Recently I found a little book on my bookshelf that I used to love. It's beat up and dogeared. It's called The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, Ph.D. which came out in 1987. Basically it's full of thought experiments. I thought I'd pose them to you. I will put my initial answer and will eagerly look forward to your thoughts. If you think of any you'd like to have me ask everyone, email me.
So here's Question A, which is from me, not the book:
There is a guy in Britain, I think, who had ulcerative colitis.
There is interesting research into places in third world countries where people don't get this kind of thing, or allergies for that matter.
They have found that populations carry some sort of roundworm that lives in their guts there and it was thought that it conveys some sort of protection to the gut.
So this guy took a thousand roundworm eggs and swallowed them. He did it on his own but made sure his doctors knew it so they could monitor him. He had very quick and complete relief of his ulcerative colitis.
After awhile, maybe a year, he started getting symptoms again so he had his doctors test him and his roundworm population had decreased. So he took another 1500 eggs.
So here's the question. If you had ulcerative colitis (bloody diarrhea, horrible stomach pain, etc) would you swallow 1500 roundworm eggs?
If your child had it, would you have them swallow the roundworm eggs?
I think if I were suffering, I'd do it, but I'd be totally creeped out and would probably feel like I could feel them in my gut moving around. It would be really hard for me. Eesh! Once I had relief, I think I'd pat my belly and thank them.
What about you? Would you ingest a specific type of parasite if it meant no allergies, or no painful colitis?