Wisdom from My Great Grandfather's Medical Book
A warning about abortion and contraception
A just a short update to an earlier post.
Last week, I wrote a bit about my great grandfather, Dr. William T. Mahon. I included some photos of a medical book of his that I inherited.
That book is in bad shape. It’s 148 years old, and it wasn’t always well cared for. But it’s mine, now, and I cherish it. So I am loath to just flip through it now, though I read most of it 30 years ago or so.
When I pulled the book out to photograph last week, I flipped open to a random page. The page contained, perhaps, the most pertinent content for our time.
I was struck to learn that abortion was growing problem in 1875. “Criminal abortion,” to use the author’s term. Just months after the end of Roe v. Wade, the passage reminds us that evil has always been with it, and it will remain until the end of time.
I was also struck by his assessment of the fumbling nature of birth control.
“The workings of nature in this, as in all other physiological processes, are too perfect, too accurately and delicately adjusted, not to be interfered with materially by the clumsy and inappropriate measures adopted to frustrate them.”
Immediately, I thought of Nassim Taleb’s description of “interventionistas” and iatrogenics.
Recall that the interventionista focuses on positive action—doing. Just like positive definitions, we saw that acts of commission are respected and glorified by our primitive minds and lead to, say, naive government interventions that end in disaster, followed by generalized complaints about naive government interventions, as these, it is now accepted, end in disaster, followed by more naive government interventions. Acts of omission, not doing something, are not considered acts and do not appear to be part of one’s mission. Table 3 showed how generalized this effect can be across domains, from medicine to business.1
Funny how interventionistas ruin things for others. The whole Covid freakout was an example of intervention and iatrogenics. Masking filled an emotional need to do something. It was like a scene from Get Smart when Maxwell Smart was working with an Israeli agent. Someone in their presence died (shot, I think), and the Israeli agent told 99, “Quick, get him a glass of water.”
Max said, “Water? He’s dead? How will that help?”
The agent said, “If he’s dead, what could it hurt?”
An iatrogenic is a cure that’s worse than the disease, an intervention that leaves the subject worse than it started. Most of the official public health actions in response to the virus were iatrogenic: they left the organism of the country far worse. Considering that the virus was created by the chief public health official, we literally would have been better off with no public health organizations. They made everything worse.
And there’s a incursive nature to the iatrogenics that’s easy to miss but important to remember: Covid was the result of interventionista-ism. Covid was a SARS virus that didn’t exist, so our public health geniuses decided to invent it. With our money.
So an interventionista invented an unnecessary disease, and his disease caused major human suffering which was exacerbated by the interventionista’s interventions. Reminds me of why George Carlin said if he ever struck a pedestrian with his car, he’d just keep on driving. “I’m the guy who hit him! I’m the last person on earth he wants to see.” If Fauci were as thoughtful and considerate as George Carlin, he would have disappeared the moment the first case was confirmed.
Next time you’re tempted to go see a doctor, see a comedian, instead.
I’ve written often of the value of ancient wisdom, which is far more valuable than any recent scientific study. I can prove this easily: ancient wisdom has survived millennia, but the majority of scientific studies published in the 1990s were proven wrong by 2020. And the failure rate of peer-reviewed scientific studies increases every year to the point that, in the most recent analysis in 2019, over 70 percent of such reports cannot be replicated. (For reference, a study showing that 60 percent of peer-reviewed social science papers failed to replicate made huge headlines about six years ago. The hard sciences are even worse, but no one mentions it.)
Ancient wisdom doesn’t have to be 1,000 years old to provide value. I would describe “ancient” as anything that predates any living person. The oldest living person being about 120 years old, my great grandfather’s book qualifies as ancient. And its wisdom (if not its medical techniques) represent truth that goes back to the Garden.
So, in 148-year-old book, a doctor warned about abortion, contraception, interventionism, and iatrogenic medicine. And in 2021, our society still fails to see the wisdom of the ancients. And the first socio-medical problem addressed in that ancient book was a problem that only got worse after publication. Even today, it tears apart families and societies and, ultimately, little babies’ tender bodies. Limb from limb.
Thank God Jesus is coming. We truly know not what we do.
Taleb, Nassim Nicholas. Antifragile (Incerto) (pp. 395-396). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.