The vast majority of modern medicines are toxic at high concentrations or when misused, but they can promote health at low concentrations and when they are carefully applied. Thus, the very same compound can confer both beneficial and deleterious effects, depending on how it is utilized. Illustrating this, a new medicine to slow brain cancer is on its way—and it comes from scorpions!
A recent study examined ways to reduce the spread of cancer cells. Chlorotoxin, a compound in scorpion venom, is a strong cancer fighter. Researchers combined the arthropod’s venom with certain nanoparticles to improve the efficiency of its delivery to tissues. By doing so, the “University of Washington researchers found they could cut the spread of cancerous cells by 98 percent, compared to 45 percent for the scorpion venom alone.”1
The fact that mankind can use a toxic natural substance to treat illnesses testifies to the benevolent provision of a Creator. It is as if the world was intentionally packed with compounds that could be discovered and used to enhance human life. One evolutionist listed just some of the classes of medicines that have been isolated from the living world, though he attributed them to nature instead of God:
[A]ntibiotics, fungicides, antimalarial drugs, anesthetics, analgesics, blood thinners, bloodclotting agents…cardiac stimulants and regulators, immunosuppressive agents, hormone mimics, hormone inhibitors, anticancer drugs, fever suppressants, inflammation controls, contraceptives, diuretics and antidiuretics, antidepressants, muscle relaxants, rubefacients, anticongestants, sedatives…[are] now at our disposal, compliments of wild biodiversity. Revolutionary new drugs have rarely been developed by the pure insights of molecular and cellular biology.2
Considering all the medicines that can be derived from nature, and that some of the compounds seem to have no essential function within the bodies of the organisms that produce them, it must require remarkable faith to insist that unintelligent, thoughtless natural processes produced what intelligent, creative humans can only rarely develop on their own. Now chlorotoxin, the component of scorpion venom that fights brain cancer, can be added to the long list of natural medicines.
If chlorotoxin combined with nanoparticles eventually helps more people, then God can be credited for providing both scorpion venom and the human ingenuity needed to make medicine from it, which are both gifts from Him.
- Hickey, H. Scorpion venom with nanoparticles slows spread of brain cancer. University of Washington press release, April 16, 2009.
- Wilson, E. O. 2002. The Future of Life. New York: Vintage Books, 120.
* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.
Article posted on May 5, 2009.