Insight on the News
The Only Cure
When many of the world’s experts on aging met last year at New York’s Mount Sinai Medical Center to discuss the biology of aging, one fact was apparent—no one could agree on why man grows old and dies. Some experts theorize that “aging is genetically ‘programmed,’ like other stages of life,” reports Newsweek on Science & Technology. However, the article adds that “it is difficult to conceive why nature would evolve a gene for growing old.” One theory proposed by Leonard Hayflick, a gerontologist with the University of Florida, was that “certain genes may have evolved to keep people healthy and functioning until they can reproduce.” Hayflick concludes that by the time man reaches 30 or so, such longevity genes would begin to wear out. The fact is, the average life expectancy for an American is little more than 74 years “for today’s diaper set,” and “even cures for the diseases of old age—cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s—will do little to extend the outer boundaries,” notes the article.
Though scientists find a cure for aging to be as elusive as its cause, careful students of God’s Word do not. The reason man grows old and dies is explained at Romans 5:12: “Through one man [Adam] sin entered into the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men.” The only cure for the effects of inherited sin will come through the ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ. “God sent forth his only-begotten Son into the world that we might gain life through him.” (1 John 4:9) Under his Kingdom rule, “death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore.”—Revelation 21:3, 4.
When the leaders of the two major world powers met together on December 8, 1987, to sign a treaty for missile reduction, it was described as an event that is “profoundly significant” for mankind. Why? Because “it is the first time since the dawn of the Atomic Age that the superpowers have agreed not just to restrain nuclear weapons but to eliminate entire systems,” reports the New York Daily News. Commenting on both the treaty itself and the reduced number of weapons, the News added: “If their substance and principles can be extended, history ultimately may record them as the first act in Earth’s most important drama of peace and international security.”
True, current proposals toward peace and security are of significance. However, of much greater universal significance will be the moment in history when world leaders will cry peace and security in a more pronounced way than ever before. A moment will come when their cry will prove different from the many peace efforts that had been made up until that time. Why can we be sure? Because long ago the apostle Paul foretold that “whenever it is that they are saying: ‘Peace and security!’ then sudden destruction is to be instantly upon them . . . and they will by no means escape.” (1 Thessalonians 5:3) True peace and security will then follow under the benevolent rule of Christ Jesus, the “Prince of Peace.”—Isaiah 9:6, 7.
“The Real Disease”
“AIDS is neither an unfortunate accident nor an inescapable natural calamity. Its epidemic proportion is a product of our own folly. . . . We have no one but ourselves to blame,” says a Denver obstetrician-gynecologist, W. M. Merrick Thomas. Explaining the reason for his view in the newspaper Rocky Mountain News, he notes: “AIDS is not a disease of homosexuality. It is a disease of proximity and promiscuity. . . . Diseases of promiscuity will directly affect all who are promiscuous.” Thus, as Thomas observes, “our behavior is the real disease.”
How timely are the words of Paul, who, when describing the inexcusable conduct of persons who claim to know God, said: “Therefore God, in keeping with the desires of their hearts, gave them up to uncleanness, . . . to disgraceful sexual appetites, . . . working what is obscene and receiving in themselves the full recompense, which was due for their error”! (Romans 1:24-27) Clean living in harmony with Bible standards often serves as a protection against afflictions that plague mankind today.—Psalm 19:7-11.