I want to share some exciting news with you. Scientists have now discovered that Brazilian wasp venom kills cancer cells, but not healthy cells. The article explains:
The wasp responsible for producing this toxin is the Polybia paulista. The toxin has so far been tested on model membranes and examined using a broad range of imaging techniques. You can see the team’s research results in the Biophysical Journal.
Now, here’s the thing. Everyone’s gonna wanna share this with their friends. Yes, it’s gonna circulate. Because everyone wants to share a cancer cure. Why not? It’s easy, and it just takes a click of your finger. Doing so might save thousands of lives! And at no expense! And everything on the internet is true, so there’s no risk! It’s not like the advice you’re passing on might kill somebody who’se naieve enough to follow it. Oh wait, you mean that happens? Often? Dang.
People are gonna see this article and tell each other, “You know scientists just found that if you get the venom from this Brazilian wasp, you can cure any cancer!” And then it’s off to Brazil, and we’re wasp hunting. People are gonna wander into the jungles smothered in jelly or whatever the wasps might like. Somebody’s gonna figure out how to sell American wasps painted as Brazilian wasps, and they’re gonna smush em and make an anti-cancer paste that sells online for 99 dollars. People are gonna start sticking wasps in places they don’t belong, trying to find the right way to work the cure. “How much venom do you use? Where do you put it? Is it applied rectally?” I can imagine the questions.
You see, cancer sucks. Mostly cause it’s so damn tough to treat. If people could really just “get better” offa coffee enemas, oxygen baths, soursop diets, or a soak in the waters of Lake Minnetonka…there would be a lot more success stories out here. But some cancers, like the ones that disproportionately affect Black Americans, are more aggressive and deadly than others. So people would do anything for that miracle cure. But in the process, we sometimes lose our sense of reason.
I don’t care who you turn to when you’re facing a health crisis, I’m more concerned with HOW you turn. Do you look for references? Do you ask questions? Do you research? How many of us would click the link to the actual journal study above? We’d quickly learn that there’s no use flying to Brazil covered in wasp bait. Critical thinking will make you wonder, if somebody told you that soursop fruit could cure cancer, “How many fruit I gotta eat, dammit?” “What part of the fruit?” “How will I know it’s working?” And of course, there’s gonna be an “expert” somewhere, who can charge you a nice lil fee to tell you what to do. Problem is, how you know this person really gets results? Do they document their data? Do they publish their results? How many people have they killed with this advice? Do they have malpractice insurance? Or do they get to deny you, and say they never treated you? These are the kinds of questions we have to ask, whether we’re in a desperate situation or just going about our every day business. Because people might seem like they’re taking advantage of our naievete, but ultimately we’re the ones doing ourselves wrong. Why? Cause you know better. Deep down, we know how to think. Some of us are just scared to, while others are so hoping for salvation to swoop down in some miraculous, instantaneous form…because we’re scared of the work that lay ahead of us. You know that’s not the way it works. Don’t stick a wasp in your butt cause the Internet told you to.