February 25th, 2017| Topic: RaMbLeS | 1


Those who settled in the Quebrada Camarones region of Chile’s Atacama Desert millennia ago had a problem. Their land, sandwiched between the Pacific on one side and the Andes the other, was the world’s driest non-polar desert. Some parts of it have never ever received rain in recorded history. And the only sources of their water, some rivers and wells, had high levels of arsenic, that can cause some serious health problems, including kidney failure and a number of malignancies.

But people still live there, drinking water that has over a hundred times more arsenic than that WHO’s safe limits for this poisonous substance.

Arsenic can also induce miscarriages. Perhaps a natural selection pressure weeded out those who were susceptible to its deleterious effects, leaving behind a population that has adapted to high levels of arsenic.

Researchers at the University of Chile in Santiago seem to believe so, as they noted in “Human Adaptation to Arsenic in Andean Populations of the Atacama Desert,” published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

Humans need an enzyme, AS3MT, to metabolize ingested arsenic into either a monomethylarsinic (MMA) or dimethylarsenic (DMA) acid. The latter is less toxic, and more easily excreted by the kidneys. Apparently there is a genetic mutation in this gene in the Atacama Desert folks that pushes the body toward making more of the safer compound, efficiently detoxifying arsenic in the process.

How about that? “Evolved” to survive poisoning by a dangerous chemical!

That can happen to all of us—an “evolution” to adapt to a sinful lifestyle. In this case, it isn’t a good thing—we become immune to the promptings of the conscience, deaf to the soundings of God, hardened to the movings of the Spirit.

But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith,
paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,
by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron.
1 Timothy 4:1–2

The English poet, Alexander Pope (1688–1744), warned of it, too:

Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,
As, to be hated, needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace. 

Get too familiar with sin, we will embrace it, seared, hardened, deaf.

And such rebellion against God has consequences:

Professing to be wise, they became fools,
and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for an image in the likeness
of mortal man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.
Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity.
Romans 1:22–24

God gives them over to sin.

And the passage continues, describing those who engage in illicit sexual activities and God’s response to them.

For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions.
Romans 1:26

God gives them over to sin, too.

Lest we are quick to retort that we are not like these—rebellious or ungodly or sexually deviant or whatever—continue reading:

God gave them over to a depraved mind …—
they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God,
insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,
without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful.
Romans 1:28–31

Oh, no, this is coming straight at me—I’m ducking! And I bet you are to. Everyone is included in this mess. And at some point, we suffer the consequences: God gives us over to sin.

Best not to stray in the first place and adapt to sin, and to “evolve” to embrace its evils!

1 Comment

  1. Luc Ladry March 16, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    Thanks for taking the time to meditate and warn us on such an important matter. Luc.


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