Oh sure, I see   . . . No, I Don’t Think That You Do
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Oh sure, I see . . . No, I Don’t Think That You Do • Posted: Jun 08, 2017 12:39:29Comments WelcomeVote CoolPhotoblogsPurchase a PrintShare

Most of us have had the experience of seeing and understanding something that others do not see or understand in quite the same way. Irritation, frustration, anger, and even violence can and sometimes does result. Work becomes stressful. Friendships strain. Marriages falter. Ominous tensions arise between nations. Not always because the facts are in dispute. Rather, interpretation of those facts can differ markedly.

While there is no single remedy for differences of opinion between humans, there does now seem to be a potential fix when that situation occurs amongst immune response cells within our immune systems. Immune response cells can and do differ in their identification of what is foreign to our bodies and, therefore, needs to be destroyed. That difference of “opinion” can lead to auto-immune diseases like arthritis, MS, and Type-1 diabetes.

Scicasts recently reported new findings by researchers from Japan, initially published in the journal Nature Communications, wherein they discovered a surprising association between a molecule produced in the early stages of an immune response, a molecule named JunB, and whether or not some immune response cells turn “rogue” and begin attacking healthy tissue, instead of attacking invading pathogens as they are supposed to.

Like many causal associations within the real world, the association between JunB transcription and certain immune response cells turning rogue is not straight forward. But, after several years of tedious work, that association has now been demonstrated to be undeniable. Within mice where JunB transcription was “knocked down”, i.e. blocked, a sequence of events resulting in a type of immune system cell called T Helper 17 turning rogue was also blocked. That is very good news, indeed, for researchers looking to stop auto-immune diseases affecting millions. It hints at where to look for other causal associations that result in other immune response cells turning rogue.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if human differences of opinion could be resolved with a mere review of the underlying logic by which those differing opinions have been arrived at?

No doubt, at some point, that may yet prove possible. But only, I think, after the personal ideal of citizenship in good standing within the world as a whole becomes more important to all than citizenship in good standing for some smaller group like a state, country, political party, tribe or religion, company, team, or gang.

Sadly, we humans suffer the call of many more internal and external imperatives than simply wanting to understand the truth of things and act with wisdom for the good of all. As a species, that diffuse strategy affords humankind multiple pathways to survival under a multitude of conditions. But, it also provides foundation for selfishness, fear, slander, hate, war, genocide, murder, and the destruction of the environment upon which we all depend.

True, one cannot assume faultless logic within everyone’s thinking would totally eliminate differences of opinion. There are many ways to skin a cat. If the job gets done without dire consequence, one way would seem to be as good as any other. Personal preference, habit, whim, happenstance, tradition, cultural norms all play a roll in how we choose which of several paths to take. And, wouldn’t life be boring if everyone thought and chose exactly like everyone else.

Still, consequences are consequences. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if human differences of opinion that predict vastly different consequences could be resolved with a mere review of the underlying logic by which those differing opinions have been arrived at?

Monday, May 30th, 2011
Benton Harbor MI
St Joseph MI