Fermi Paradox solution: Superbugs

The arms race against pathogens is a losing proposition.

What if all the effort we put into killing bacteria, fungi and viruses only serves to evolve those microbes into variants that will eventually kill us off?

“Kills 99.9% of germs — Woo-hoo! Ninety-nine point nine percent, that’s great.”

“Uh, what about the other 0.1%?”

“Bah, they don’t count.”

Humanity has been fighting a war-on-microbes for more than a century now. And it’s been a boon to the eradication of illness. What used to kill us, infection, poor sanitation no longer does. I realize that not all of us have benefited, though. Lack of proper sanitation is still one of the top killers in economically challenged nations. Education and enablement of good hygiene and public health remains a top issue there.

Yet, I wonder what one hundred plus years of killing *nearly* all the microbes—leaving their most robust, heartiest brethren to evolve, repopulate and spread—has accomplished.

Wouldn’t it be ironic to learn that all of our germ-o-phobe behavior has actually been developing superior strains of super bugs. Wash your hands with soap and warm water (leaving the strongest bugs to live another day.) Wear deodorant that kills almost all of the odor causing bacteria (leaving only the smelliest to persist). “Kills 99.9% of germs on contact” — mouthwash, sanitizers, wipes…

  • 99.9 percent reduction is the EPA’s arbitrary cutoff for sanitizer performance.

What if our efforts, for a century, has been creating an army of Killer Pathogens Set On Humanity’s Destruction!

Sure enough, the list of antibiotic resistant pathogens grows yearly. The more we fight the stronger they become.

Is this a war we can never win?

A war we will eventually lose, ending human civilization.

If it happens to us, this desire to protect ourselves by eradicating pathogens—which only escalates their evolution—might it not happen to most intelligent alien races? Killing them off, thereby solving Fermi’s Paradox?

Here comes SuperBug to save the day!

 

 


16 thoughts on “Fermi Paradox solution: Superbugs

    1. “If you can think it… It’s been thought before.”

      I’ve got about half a dozen variants of that one all synopsized. One that’s pretty unique: The only humans left are a couple who cannot conceive, but they can clone themselves. Only they, and their clones are immune to the ravaging disease that killed everyone else.

      They grow a family, then a village — from their clones. Until, one cloning goes haywire, and the resulting children are /different/. But that’s OK, until the actual clones start to get sick… Only the mutant clones can save them so they head out into the world looking for help…

      Liked by 1 person

    1. C’mon, Hetty. If you found out, say in a random blog comment that L-cysteine, the preservative used in all commercial bread products was made out of duck feathers and boar’s hair you’d be at the doc’s office swearing your toes were growing together and demanding a mustache wax.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Homo Sapiens Sapiens existed for 300,000 years. We come along and in around 100 years pervert the ecosystem so much that I’ll prolly kill us off. I think that’s funny as hell.
      “See our tech, see us glow, oh yeah, we all that!” Pfffft, said Bill the Cat.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Maybe. But what about all those WTF happened relics that are 300,000 years old built like we couldn’t that stand in Testament to us just being another brick in the wall? Mother Earth has enough of us and it’s like Thidwick the Big Hearted Moose shedding his antlers. Thinking we have much to do or any control over it is supreme vanity. Are we our own worst enemies? Maybe. But if we’re perfect planetary citizens I doubt it would make all that much difference in the long run. Dolphins are way more adapted and probably more intelligent than we are.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Nah, alien races are smarter than us…by definition. But…otherwise…you have a good point. Not to mention how we weaken our immune system by killing off all those OTHER bugs…

    Liked by 2 people

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