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For years it was considered quackery to transplant “healthy” bacteria into the gut of sick patients, but with advances in technology that permit better clinical study, an idea that was once scoffed at is now getting serious consideration. This is just another example of how the wrong worldview can hold back good science and medicine.
The human body contains up to nine times more bacterial cells than human cells. So in a sense it is correct to say that you are more bacteria than human.
Scientists are discovering that the human body is a complex ecosystem filled with many different organisms that we require to stay healthy. Many illnesses are related to a lack or imbalance of the right bacteria in the gut or an attack by harmful bacteria on healthy bacteria.
This realization about the human body has, in fact, led to new discoveries and some unusual treatments. Bacteria aren’t always the problem. In fact, bacteria (at least, the right kind of bacteria) may sometimes be the solution. When you consider that we depend on the bacteria in our gut and that bacteria produce most antibiotics, the solution to certain ailments might be to transplant bacteria to our gut.
One doctor, Thomas Borody, who works at the Center for Digestive Diseases near Sydney, Australia, is setting up medical trials to test whether such transplants can treat multiple sclerosis. He has already seen at least one patient trade in his wheelchair for a custom motorcycle.
Such medical discoveries remind us about the value of understanding the world from the biblical point of view. Discoveries about the need for help from other organisms, even bacteria, remind us that a good God created all creatures to live together in harmony, and the solution to illnesses isn’t always to kill every microbe. How amazing when modern medicine employs God’s designs to treat the illnesses brought on by Adam’s sin.