by Minister Masada
re humans heading for a future of mutated evolution which will give new meaning to the law of natural selection? Deformities arise and occur in nature in all species and forms of life. But, the rarity of these so-called "freaks of nature" in times past was such that traveling circuses would draw large paying crowds in every town and country.
Could the rise in industrial pollution alter the natural genetic code from the evolution of species to the evolution of genetic mutants? After the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the Ukraine, mice were found thriving in mutant forms: their DNA evolved because of the ionizing radiation. Can this happen to human DNA?
The birth of a two-headed baby in Southern California/Baja area caused great alarm. There was speculation as to cause. But those of us who are aware (of environmental issues) instinctively knew that science and technology and the polluted by-products of such is creating a complete metamorphosis of the process of human evolution and genetic mutation. What kind of hideous creatures can we expect to see in the future if the culture of "death to the environment" persists, prevails and predominates?
My teacher at Mesa College, Erica Specht, taught me that frogs are an indicator species. That's just one of the reasons students of biology dissect frogs. Frogs are the most numerous of the tailless amphibians, and there are over 2,900 species. True frogs, of the family Ranidae, generally spend an equal amount of time in water and on land and breathing air, although aquatic frogs spend most of their time in water. Frogs are also beneficial because they eat insects harmful to certain crops (e.g., sugar beetles). Whatever befalls the frogs could also befall the human population.
David Hoppe, a herpetologist at the University of Minnesota and a member of a state-financed team of scientists, recently said, "There is reasonable assumption that if there's an external substance influencing amphibian development, it could influence human development." Mr. Hoppe was addressing an alarming and horrifying discovery of tens of thousands of mutated frogs.
These mutated amphibians are being found all across Minnesota and into neighboring South Dakota and Wisconsin. Some are even being found in Vermont and Quebec, Canada. In Minnesota alone, since 1995, 54 of that state's 87 counties have received hundreds of phone calls reporting grotesquely misshapen limbs on frogs.
Some of these frogs are being born with stumps for legs, tails, missing eyes, smaller sex organs and tangled hind legs. Middle school students the New County School in LeSeur, Minnesota, made the discovery. The mutated leopard frog species in the heart of Minnesota's farm land caused even more alarm, especially to the Environmental Protection Agency, which now plans to do it's own extensive research on the dangers to the human population.
Since the worst abnormalities were found in aquatic frogs, Dr. Hoppe believes the major source of contamination is in the water. He also believes something airborne is polluting the landscape and settling into the water. Factors being considered include heavy metals, pesticides, radiation from ozone depletion, parasites, toxic chemicals, etc., alone and in combination.
The American Lung Association recently won a lawsuit establishing a tougher new air pollution standard that begins to take effect early this summer. However, an attorney for the Natural Defense Council, David Hawkins, says it could take up to ten years to see any changes. The question I want to ask is: do we have that much time?
It has already been proven that tiny airborne particles can cause health problems and that people young and old miss more school and work during days when ozone levels are high. Despite this evidence, a coalition of more than 500 business groups and numerous officials and politicians lobbied against the proposed new standards. What will it take for them to be convinced? Will infants no longer resembling humans have to be born before big business polluters receive their rude awakening?
The deformed frogs were first reported to the pollution control agency and state lawmakers last year. Students went worldwide by putting the information and pictures of the deformities on the internet. Polluters and their supporters can not claim ignorance. Mother Earth is suffering from the battered woman's syndrome and the toxic polluters are in utter denial.
As a fifteen-year student of eschatology (prophecies), I've studied the demise of virtually every civilization and the contributing factors. Violence and disrespect against Mother Nature's life forms is one of these factors. I remember the words of one eschatological prophetess who spoke of premature tiny creatures being born to women right before the mass extinction of humans. Will these tiny little mutated creatures complete the materialistic marriage of technology and it's domination over nature? (Also a metaphor for the womb of woman). Will toxic chemicals combine to create a deadly, synergistic effect unforeseen by scientists and thus be an accomplice to women giving birth to technological terrors?
According to a recent study at Tulane University in Maryland, pesticides and toxins can exhibit as much as a 1,000-fold increase in potency when combined. This finding could force a total revolution in the way environmental effects of chemicals are measured. In particular, the pesticides endosulfan, dieldrin, toxophene and chlordane are known to turn on a gene that makes estrogen in animals. I hope these finding are taken into consideration in the continuing study of the frog deformities.
Based on these new findings, I would like to see a study done on the effects of these combined carcinogenic (cancer causing) and teratogenic (deformity causing) substances as they relate to people of color in less wealthy neighborhoods, where a lot of these chemicals are concentrated. My hypothesis is that the increase in violence can be attributed to these toxins. If the earth responds with violence to these poisons, what can we expect from humans who are made of the same stuff? My very first awareness of ecological destruction came from listening to Marvin Gaye sing "Ecology, Mercy Mercy Me." He, great prophet that he was, was the father of environmental awareness in the Black community, but equally warned those outside our community. In addition, I would like to see young rap singers and artists use their powerful rhythm to sing about these planetary problems.
We humans are more complex than any of mother natures' past evolutionary creations. However, we can not assume that we will survive as a species or that our technological decadence and destruction of nature will not come without a price.
If frogs are an indicator, then man has created the technological beast which will destroy him. He has raped Mother Nature and ejaculated his technological toxins into her womb. His sperm cells, if you will, of death and deformity also cause spontaneous abortion in the natural selective process in the womb of nature.
Only the fittest will survive this next technological holocaust. Humans, if any survive, will learn this very important lesson: nature is God and God is nature, and she will have the last word.
Minister Masada is a researcher and the author of four books. She has been a regular weekly columnist for numerous local and out-of-state publications and has lectured at UCSD and SDSU. She has been an organizer of support groups for abused mothers and helped establish Battered Woman's Syndrome as a recognized point in Federal courts. Currently, she is Chairwoman of the Sisterhood of the Daughters of Zion, a mother's advocate group.