Former President Jimmy Carter said Sunday his cancer is gone, and immediately people began to claim the good news was a miracle, ignoring the fact that science is the hero in this story.
In a statement the former president announced:
My most recent MRI brain scan did not reveal any signs of the original cancer spots nor any new ones.
Carter, 91, initially announced the good news near the beginning of the Sunday School class he was teaching at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Georgia. It was the same place Carter first announced he had been diagnosed with four small melanoma lesions on his brain last August. The original stage four cancer diagnosis was made after an operation to remove a tumor from his liver. At the time, it was thought to be a fatal diagnosis.
Immediately after the welcome announcement that Carter was cancer-free, many on social media began to claim it was a “miracle.”
However, as the Guardian points out, Carter’s good news is not a miracle:
It is not a miracle, however much it may sound that way.
Rather than a miracle, the report from the Guardian points out that it is a “new immunotherapy drug behind Jimmy Carter’s cancer cure” and not divine intervention. The report notes Carter was given pembrolizumab, one of the most promising new drugs in the treatment of cancer, explaining:
Pembrolizumab, sold under the brand name Keytruda in the United States, is one of the first immunotherapy drugs. Instead of killing cancer cells, these drugs boost the immune system to do the job. The theory behind immunotherapy has been around for decades, but it is only in very recent years that scientists have been able to put it into practice with, so far, just a couple of remarkably successful drugs.
Bottom line: A miracle did not cure Carter’s cancer. Instead, scientific research by bright and dedicated scientists and medical professionals made Carter’s cancer-free diagnosis possible.
And while it may be a small thing, it is important to push back against the common assumption by many seduced by religious superstition that medical advancement is somehow miraculous, and not the result of education and scientific investigation.
(Watch video on the story via CNN, note several people making the “it’s a miracle” claim)