It is time that we awoke to the fact that de-evolution is happening all around us, and unless we act soon, it could spell our demise as a species. I know this is a strong statement, but de-evolution is the 400 lb gorilla standing in our living room that no one is talking about.
What is de-evolution? If evolution is going from simple to complex, life beginning as a uni-cellular microbe in the primordial seas, evolving into a multi-cellular world of plants and animals, and culminating in the earth’s most dominant animal- us, then de-evolution is the opposite, a movement backwards in time towards a world dominated by bacteria, algae, slime and jellyfish.
Biologists are consistently warning us and point out the effect and the devastation on the land from industrialization, urbanization and deforestation; the increased illnesses, cancers, reproductive difficulties, hormone disruption and more. Our polluting ways are particularly affecting the higher forms of life- the amphibians, reptiles and mammals. But the oceans clearly show the ravages of de-evolution and the process that will occur everywhere on our planet.
Oceanographers have now sounded the alarm- there are 405 Dead Zones in the oceans; they are dramatically growing in numbers and size each year. The dead zones are regions where neither fish nor marine mammals, or even crustaceans can survive; areas where they formerly flourished. Dead zones give us a view of the de-evolving process in action. The Gulf of Mexico serves as a prime example.
40% of the continental United States run-off comes down the Mississippi River and is dumped into the Gulf of Mexico. Millions of tons of fertilizer, human and animal waste, pesticides, herbicides, industrial chemicals, drugs, antibiotics and hormones spew constantly into the Gulf. This has caused the death of the more evolved life forms and brought about a dead zone in the Gulf the size of New Jersey.
Is a dead zone really dead? Not at all. It is actually teaming with life. As the nutrient dense waste of fertilizers and manure flow off the land into the seas, it supplies the perfect food for algae and plankton causing an explosion of growth. Normally this bloom would be consumed by the filter feeders, the large fish, marine mammals and crustaceans, but because their numbers have been reduced due to toxic chemicals and overfishing, they can’t keep up with the bloom of algal growth.
As the algae die and drift to the bottom of the ocean, it creates additional food for bacteria, which then grow exponentially, sucking the oxygen out of the water and thereby creating a hypoxic environment incapable of supplying the oxygen needs of fish and other more evolved creatures. This dead zone is teaming with toxic bacteria, algae and jellyfish, along with the carcasses of fish and crustaceans strung about the sea floor, supplying more food for the bacteria. We are fast approaching the tipping point.
Coral reefs, home to 25 % of the oceans species, are under extreme survival stress. Pollution, acidification and the warming of the seas have resulted in coral dysbiosis. The normal friendly bacteria that associate intimately with the coral, residing on their external surface, protecting these surface membranes and helping the coral to digest their foods, have become more pathogenic. ½ of the world’s reefs have died. We will take a closer look at the demise of coral reefs in our next email for it serves as a powerful example of the critical symbiotic relationships necessary between the bacterial world and the rest of the animal kingdom for the higher forms survival, as exemplified through the coral’s struggle to live. This discussion will lead us into a future examination of the human microbiome (the GI tract microflora) and its relevance to our survival as a species.
Clinical Note: Back to Basics It is well established that the increased consumption of cruciferous vegetables reduces the risk of developing cancer. The Cruciferous Sprouts Complex multiplies one hundred fold the protective effects of the cruciferous family. Take one teaspoon a day (capsules will also be available in February).
Watch the LA Times Pulitzer prize-winning report on ocean pollution: Altered Oceans. It is very powerful.