Syphilis, a Killer Who We Are Still Trying to Solve
January 28, 2003 12:40 PM   Subscribe

Syphilis, a Killer Who We Are Still Trying to Solve Did Columbus import or export Syphilis in the New World? Do we really know whom to blame for syphilis? An interesting thought on this, The Columbus & Evolution theories of syphilis. The evolution theory is that it is related to Yaws, a nonvenereal tropical disease of the skin, is the most primitive of all diseases. Please start at the bottom of page 4.
Knowledge of the past may prepare us for our future.
posted by thomcatspike (9 comments total)
Wow that was fast. This is my kind of post. Academic, historically dismal, and perhaps portending WORSE in the future! Although it's hard to imagine a pandemic worse than the Aids pandemic. Still I guess it could happen.....airborne Ebola, anyone?

Did you just read or reference "The Columbian Exchange: The Cultural and Biological Consequences of 1492" (great book) that I mentioned in MiguelCardoso's "As American as Apple pie" post? (says the Spanish Inquisitor, "We have ways of making you TALK. We have three weapons, and our weapons are three. The first weapon......") And what, exactly, do you have against smallpox, anyway? (If the theory's true, and the Europeans caught Syphilis from the Indians.........well, Smallpox did a real number on the inabitants of the New World!)
posted by troutfishing at 1:26 PM on January 28, 2003

As a side note, this is my favorite wpa poster, about syphilis. [self link]

wpa poster
posted by plemeljr at 1:28 PM on January 28, 2003

Plemeljr - WOW. That's really cool. I WANT one. Full poster size. Thanks so much. Have a cookie.
posted by troutfishing at 1:44 PM on January 28, 2003

What I want to know is who at WNET thought it was a cool idea to make up PC wallpaper of a male torso ravaged by syphillis? Scroll down the second lead in the initial post...
posted by agaffin at 2:25 PM on January 28, 2003

Um, "second link," sorry.
posted by agaffin at 2:26 PM on January 28, 2003


and very, very grisly.

posted by dash_slot- at 3:03 PM on January 28, 2003

pox (nytimes link, login:dolface1 pwd:dolface1) looks like it's really good.
from the review:
In the view of Deborah Hayden, syphilis has been vastly underrated as a force in shaping human history. It has been misdiagnosed, misinterpreted, dismissed and denied. Syphilis, she says, is ''the disease that dare not speak its name,'' particularly not in association with the names we know: the geniuses who revolutionized art, music and literature, the statesmen who helped shape democracy, the tyrants who sought to obliterate it.
posted by dolface at 3:46 PM on January 28, 2003

"Hey 'Pu, you got a breakfast cereal for people with syphilis?"
posted by cinderful at 6:39 PM on January 28, 2003

That is gross. Also, very compelling reading. As does agaffin, I have to wonder at the thinking process that leads to "let's make a wallpaper showing a guy with pustules all over his chest" The world is full of odd people.
posted by dg at 3:20 AM on January 29, 2003

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