Experts back research using primatesBMJ 2006; 333 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39063.532917.DB (Published 14 December 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:1235
All rapid responses
Editor- Why is it not good to use monkeys for research into
neurological and infectious disease as deemed necessary by David
Look at what is happening. We struggle to keep up; fixing, repairing,
trying to understand the minutiae,lost in the detail,not seeing the wood
for the trees.
The bigger picture, the state of the art view, is humans as complex
systems that fall into attractor states like all natural systems do. In
the nervous system, including vision, these states are organised around
particular unconscious beliefs acquired during life's experiences and from
which a virtual model of the world is created. A model of what to expect
from that world and how to react in order to keep safe or receive
attention; necessities in the dependency of childhood.
These patterns of activity persist unless brought into conscious
experience - at the edge of chaos where there is possibility of change to
a different attractor state- a different way of being, more appropriate to
present reality. My guess with Parkinson's disease is that the unconscious
belief is something like "I must always be good" or "I must always be
careful" or perhaps "I must always be in control". The question is; is
this strategy still necessary as an independent adult?
Complexity science is also essential to understand infectious
diseases. They are not caused by microorganisms -its about relationship
again. Microorganisms abound in the complex ecosystems in which we live.
Its about human susceptibility and imbalance and perturbation of
ecosystems. These complex, non linear and unpredictable environments need
stewardship and respect (well known to pre- industrial cultures)rather
than vain attempts at control and manipulation.
Sure we need to address acute disease but we also need to address
root causes, to understand at a deeper level or we exhaust ourselves and
everyone else, including monkeys.
Competing interests: No competing interests