Brett Williams's Reviews > At War Within: The Double-Edged Sword of Immunity

At War Within by William R. Clark
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it was ok


Clark’s later text, Sex & The Origins Of Death, is one of the most remarkable books ever written, cover-to-cover an exhilarating revelation. So with great anticipation for At War Within, it was a sad surprise to find it become a bedtime sedative. Clark’s masterly command of vivid painting with words disappears almost entirely after chapter two and appears only sparsely before that. It is not without gems: “Like an army lashing out blindly against an unseen and unmeasured enemy, the immune system is capable of using excessive deadly force in the wrong place and time...” And this is the core subject of Clark’s book, how our marvelous, life-saving immune system can turn on us with deadly effect. (If there were an Intelligent Designer, this fact scarcely says anything positive for the designer’s intelligence.) Reminding us of chronic human foolishness, we find there was resistance to immunization because disease was one of God’s means for punishment of the wicked – applied equally to autoimmune disease in infants, whose transgression would be…? The bizarre ability of T-cells to command other cells to commit suicide is touched upon, but a more in-depth coverage of this fascinating “programmed cell death” awaits his text noted above – which was written 3 years later, so Clark improves immensely in short order. Incidentally, Clark notes that each human consumes about 30 tons of food in a lifetime (in his section on food allergies). Given over 7 billion humans, that’s over 200 billion tons of food consumed by humans every 70 years or so – no wonder we’re eating species into extinction. Mostly a rather dry history of immunology, perhaps it’s of greater interest to the practitioner than the general reader.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
January 12, 2015 – Shelved

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