April 3rd, 2002

This morning I share an exchange from the Energy Resources Yahoo Group. In response to the Competitive Exlusion Principle (i.e. Those members of a species that over- populate will survive those that limit reprodution.) Arthur Noll wrote: This is also a description of cancer. He then asked:

Has Cancer Been the Dominant Form of Life?

Timothy Wilken, MD

Within the animal or human body cancer cells form every day. Cancer cells are just normal cells that have been damaged and lost their ability to recognize their relationship with the body.

These cells have no sense of identity with the body as a whole. Cancer cells view the body as just a growing field. They reproduce at a much higher rate than do normal cells. If they are not stopped, they will over-run the body and eventually destroy it. Usually, this results when the cancer tissue damages a critical sub-system with their overgrowth.

Cancer tissues are not dominant. Healthy organisms and tissues are dominant. In most populations of animals and humans cancer is rare.

That is because in the vast majority of body’s whether animal or human the cancer cells are detected by the immune system and destroyed.

A requirement for living in a normal body is that all cells must recognize their identity as part of the whole body. They must live within the sustainable limits of that whole body. Normal cells do not overpopulate.

Humanity must become a single system with a single body. Then we must develop an immune system that controls individual cell reproduction.

At the moment we have far too many “cells” (human individuals) and no one should be allowed to reproduce at all. We must reduce the human population drastically. We may have to limit reproduction to every other generation. Or to less than 5% of population zero levels.

Our only choice is will we do this voluntarily with compassion, intelligence and love. Or will we wait for a nuclear, chemical, or biological war and/or major eco-castrophe to do it for us.


Kristian Mandrup, Denmark

Well put!

I think that many of the desperate people with no hope of the future, barely being able to survive actually agree with this proposition. They just happen to be unable to control their reproduction and so are forced to live on in misery with less and less resources for more and more people.

As Garett Hardin put it in “Tragedy of the Commons”, uncontrolled commons always results in the degradation of the commons.

The right to have children is viewed as a commons in almost all societies and thus eventually it will become a problem like all other commons. It is however a commons so fundamental to us humans (as it would be for any lifeform), that we find it hard to accept that “creating human life” is just yet another commons to be controlled.

It would never be commonly accepted to control reproduction on a large scale in a democratic society, until it is far too late.. (mostly for historic, “ethical” and religious reasons). So naturally other forces have to kick in to solve this problem [like so many other problems we have “created” that we refuse to face]   :- )


Arthur Noll

I guess wasn’t clear enough, that this is precisely my point. I feel the quote from Garrett Hardin is right only in the short term. In the long term, individuals that reproduce without restraint, are basically cancer cells. Cancer is a dead end. It destroys it’s host. It doesn’t organize into sustainable, reproducible, formations.

Most of the time, life organizes into sustainable reproducing formations.

Somewhere a restraint is found for everything, and this turns the situation from unrestrained cancer, to a sustainable life form. The body regularly kills cancer cells, I understand that.

It is my understanding that there is also a tremendous amount of “programmed cell death”, and an individual could not function without it.

Also  be sure to see Kristian Maldrup’s article on CommUnity of Minds this morning.

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