Science & Faith
1/18/13 at 09:19 PM 7 Comments

Flu Season Frustration & The Intelligent Design of the Immune System

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Although recently huge numbers of people have been frustrated with the inability of their immune system to prevent them from getting the flu, there are good reasons to think that our immune system is the product of intelligent design, rather than an unguided material evolutionary process. Our immune systems actually protect us from many more illnesses than many realize. Dr. Donald L. Ewert recently was interviewed on a podcast about why the vertebrate immune system does not use "random" or "chance" processes like Darwinian evolution to generate antibody diversity. Instead, he argues that the immune system is intelligently designed. Listen to Dr. Ewert share one of the most interesting stories in science, the generation of antibody diversity.

Let us return briefly to the topic of the flu before you read about Dr. Ewert's credentials below, and then listen to his podcast on the immune system. The common flu is caused by viruses that mutate quickly and thus evade our otherwise well-crafted immune system. This also helps explain why the flu shot does not always prevent you from getting the flu, though it is likely to help you. You may get infected by a strain of a flu virus that has mutated significantly since the flu vacine was produced. These viruses are not becoming more sophisticated life forms. Rather, such mutations are trivial variations, yet enough to evade our immune system. In fact viruses are really not "alive" apart from hijacking the body of another creature that is alive. In short, our immune systems are well designed, but under God's sovereign plan, we live in a world appropriate for our fallen condition, and this includes flu viruses that can get past our walls of defense. For more practical information about the flu, go to www.flu.gov.

Regarding that podcast I recommended, here is some information about the expert you will hear: Dr. Ewert received his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia in 1976. As a microbiologist, he operated a research laboratory at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia for almost twenty years. The Wistar Institute is one of the world's leading centers for biomedical research. His research, supported by National Institute of Health, National Science Foundation, and Department of Agriculture grants, has involved the immune system, viruses, and cellular biology.

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