Re, Smallpox

Richard Jensen rjensen at SAINTMARYS.EDU
Fri Aug 2 12:13:32 CDT 1996

On Fri, 2 Aug 1996, JAMES ALAN BLAKE wrote:

> Smallpox has decimated whole civilizations, for example, the Carbib
> Indians, the Aztecs, not to mention numerous other tribes of native
> Americans and other cultures that were at one time isolated from the
> organism. I susepect that the number of deaths attributed to smallpox
> far and away exceed those from other famous deseases including plague
> or nuclear weapons for that matter.
I hate to bring this into the argument, but I think I could frame a
similar scenario using good,old Homo sapiens as the villian.  Who
introduced smallpox to these cultures?  Who has probably destroyed the
lives of more humans than any other organism?

I vote for saving the smallpox genome - there may come a time when we
discover it has some property that will be of benefit to many in the

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