You Might Soon Say “I Heart Snakes”
by Average Joe
“Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes?” Indiana Jones’ lament in Raiders of the Lost Ark resonates with all fearers of the slithery, scaly, downright scary creatures. Many people view these reptiles as stealthy, cold-blooded killers but perhaps the dirt scrapers suffer from bad press.
RTB biochemist Fuz Rana says that those who have a jones for studying snakes have accrued knowledge that “helps to advance biomedicine in a significant way.” On a recent episode of Science News Flash Fuz discussed research that described how python hearts enlarge (by up to 40 percent) when the snakes consume supersized prey. Rather than the enlargement being cause for alarm, however, the hearts bounce right back to normal size once the pythons digest their colossal feast. The snake’s metabolic response, via the activity of three fatty acids, works in concert with the organ enlargement to ensure the meal passes through the system without incident.
Due to biological similarity—there’s the rub—if researchers can develop a similar “fatty acid cocktail that could be administered to people who are suffering from heart disease,” says Fuz, it may “stimulate biochemical changes that will increase cardiac output [and] improve heart function.”
From an evolutionary perspective, biological similarity provides evidence for the common ancestry of snakes and humans. Fuz says that an evolutionist could argue, “See, this [research] demonstrates the success of the evolutionary paradigm. By looking at life in evolutionary terms we actually have a powerful tool that directs our work and is successful.” In contrast, a creationist mindset will “stultify science and prevent these types of events from happening.” Insistence on a “God did it” posture may thwart the alleviation of human suffering.
However, Fuz notes that this discovery can readily be seen within a creation model framework…
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