I thought of a great parallel example today that I think explains quite well what I'm trying to get at.
In the last 20 or 30 years, soil science has made massive new discoveries and now understands that soil is an extremely complex ecosystem involving a wide range of bacteria, viruses, plants, animals all working together (if things go right) to maintain and build health soil. Human agriculture is way behind the curve and has been all along, getting, at best, short-term benefits for long-term disasters, and lately the drive to disasters has been accelerating with GMOs and herbicides and pesticides all wreaking havoc on the soil ecosystem and undermining the long term health and viability of our planet. This article isn't free, alas, but even one paragraph points to some of the amazing research which is going on nowadays. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal...ture13855.html
This one is also helpful http://nature.berkeley.edu/~miguel-a...trategies.html
The prevalent philosophy is that pests, nutrient deficiencies or other factors are the cause of low productivity, as opposed to the view that pests or nutrients only become limiting if conditions in the agroecosystem are not in equilibrium (Carrol et al. 1990). For this reason, there still prevails a narrow view that specific causes affect productivity, and overcoming the limiting factor via new technologies, continues to be the main goal.
Points to a very narrow view of problems and solutions.
I think the similarity to vaccines as a solution to illness is fairly obvious.
Human beings got into a cycle of disastrous outbreaks of diseases because they began living in villages, towns and then cities. Agriculture brought more food, but also unreliable food and less nutritious and varied food. The combination of sanitary problems and malnutrition and crowding all resulted in disastrous outbreaks of disease. Trade helped spread technology and culture and disease. Eventually our technology began to catch up with our life style and sanitary engineering and especially chlorinated water massively reduced disease outbreaks. As I pointed out earlier in this thread, food storage systems and transportation improved nutrition and restored some of the variety to the human diet that was lost in the move to agriculture. Technology also improved housing and reduced overcrowding. Birth control in combination with cleanliness and other factors (such as mothers being able to stay home and care for and breastfeed their own babies, amazingly enough, working women in many cultures could not) reduced infant mortality.
Eventually modern medicine jumped in with a lot of vaccines and also with antibiotics and tried to paint themselves as the major saviors, but they really came late to the game.
Basically, I'm seeing both antibiotics AND vaccines as crutches (just like pesticides and herbicides and the technological solutions in agriculture) which look like great solutions but in the long-term are disastrous. Vaccines no more create healthy bodies than pesticides create healthy soil ecology.
I think there is an opportunity for a major re-thinking of the entire human relationship to our planet and our bodies--time for transformation! Let's look, in the long run, for real health.