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View Diary: Happy Syphilis Day (10 comments)

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  •  Data at the link also seem to indicate (0+ / 0-)

    that yaws was endemic in West Africa prior to the Columbian voyages.  One theory is that the mixing of existing bacteria from Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean may have contributed to a more virulent mutation around 1500.

    Then again, other arguments presented at the link suggest that biblical plagues closely match the symptoms of syphilis, so the disease may in fact be very old in the Old World.

    Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
    ¡Boycott Arizona!

    by litho on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 01:42:31 PM PDT

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    •  The "against" side is pretty weak (0+ / 0-)

      and seems to exist ONLY because of the modern obsession with presenting "both sides" of every single story - whether there ARE two sides or not.

      You can't put too much credence in Biblical accounts, considering how many times the Bible has been translated and re-translated and how many errors invariably crept in. (What in the world did they mean by houses getting "leprosy", anyway?)

      For the Norse to have anything to do with it, you would first have to prove that the inhabitants of Newfoundland and thereabouts suffered from syphilis circa the year 1000. That's awfully far north for something that started as a tropical disease.

      The question of whether Diaz and da Gama brought it back from the East, rather than Columbus from the West, has been under-explored.

      Any hypothesis claiming that syphilis is "really" the re-emergence of an Old World disease has to explain why it disappeared or lay fallow for so long, only to surge up in an extremely virulent and deadly form so "coincidentally" soon after the major explorations to the East and West Indies. No credible explanation has ever been offered.

      As of 2008, molecular genetics studies strongly suggested a mutation from the particular strain(s) of yaws formerly endemic in Guyana, South America. Further studies will be increasingly difficult, as yaws is a disappearing disease there and everywhere.

      Columbus has been fingered for 500 years (starting circa 1500). Maybe he really is the culprit.

      If it's
      Not your body
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      AND it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Mon Oct 11, 2010 at 07:15:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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