Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus is comin’ to getcha

MRSA, or methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is a bacterial staff infection that used to only infect hospital patients. Through evolution, it is becoming more prevalent outside of hospitals.

On Monday’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross there was an interview with Maryn McKenna, a science reporter and author, who wrote a couple books on MRSA. The most recent is “Superbug: The Fatal Menace of MRSA.”

Listen to the interview here. And I mean really listen to it.

Stories like this make non-acceptance of evolution an absolute ludicrous joke. And it’s why those who accept evolution get really pissed off indignant toward those who let “faith” stand in the way of accepting science.

It’s the seemingly simple things like the evolution of bacteria. These microorganisms live all around us, in the crevasses of our bodies, in our nostrils and ears. They are almost ever present. We have good bacteria and bad bacteria. And regardless of if you think there’s a deity or not, you can’t deny — not only the existence of these creatures — but the fact that they evolve so quickly because they reproduce so often.

What worries me is that the language throughout the interview includes things like “design”. Design is a word used in evolution to embody the element of evolution that makes, say, the eye appear as a design. It’s a design of evolution that has happened over millions of years. These words tend to confuse creationists.

Added, and this confused Pullman Mark Tetzlaff, McKenna says that bacteria appear to have a “mind”. When Tetzlaff reviewed one of the earlier chapters in “The Greatest Show on Earth” he seemed confused by Dawkins saying that plants have minds. Dawkins knows plants don’t have minds. It’s that plants show natural instincts that reflect what we equate with minds.

Take a house plant with leaves sitting in a window. Turn it away 180 degrees and the plant turns its leaves around. This is just a simple way that shows how plants “think”.

The other response that creationist readers might say is, “This doesn’t show how bacteria turn into something else. There’s no such thing as a “bacter-o-duck.” If this is the kind of statement you make after exploring evolution, you deserve the ignorance you have chosen.

One part that I took notice of was about the simple act of washing hands. The friction of rubbing your hands together is just as important as the soap you put on your hands.

Since I cook a lot, I looked this up. The best practice I can recommend is singing “Happy Birthday” in its entirety while washing your hands.

If you want to really get them clean, sing happy birthday to one of your Spanish friends, and use their full name, like:

Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday dear Oscar de la Hoya Chavez Paquiao Sanchez Gallardo de la Cruz.
Happy birthday to you.

PZ Myers posts two excellent stories

Just stopped by Pharyngula and PZ’s top two posts are great.

First, James Cameron is an atheist. That’s great news. He also told a group of reporters what an asshole Glenn Beck is and how poisonous he is for America. I’m not sure poisonous is strong enough.

I liked the quote that PZ added about Cameron’s non-belief (emphasis mine): “I’ve sworn off agnosticism, which I now call cowardly atheism. I’ve come to the position that in the complete absence of any supporting data whatsover for the persistence of the individual in some spiritual form, it is necessary to operate under the provisional conclusion that there is no afterlife and then be ready to amend that if I find out otherwise.”

We say it often, but until there is something more substantial than flawed books about god’s existence and the afterlife, there really is no reason to think otherwise.

Secondly, Myers posted a story that Greece is going to start taxing churches to help it get out of this financial mess. It’s about time. Greece pioneers the way. Let’s follow.