By definition, the cause of an effect is completely responsible for it. Thus, there cannot be two or more causes. The phrase “a cause” is a contradiction in terms. Removal of the cause of a malady cures ALL people of ALL aspects of the condition.
By definition, the driver of an effect is predominately responsible for it. Thus, there cannot possibly be two drivers of an effect, although when apparent drivers interact, and when each is studied independently, each can appear to be predominately responsible for the effect. In reality, both apparent drivers are contributors. With the exception of interacting “drivers”, the phrase “a driver” is a contradiction in terms. Removal of the driver of a medical condition approaches a cure of the condition.
By definition, a contributor to some effect is partly responsible for it. Removal of a contributor alleviates the condition.
There can be only one cause and only one driver. If there is a driver, there must also be at least one contributor. There can be any number of contributors along with one driver, and there must be two or more contributors when there is no driver and no cause.
Statistics and common sense tell us that in nature there are many more correlates than contributors and many more contributors than drivers, and many more drivers than causes.
The genetic mutation in the Beta globin gene is the driver of sickle cell anemia, not the cause of sickle cell anemia.
The mere existence of a wide range of phenotypes of those who suffer from the disease says that there is more to this disease than this genetic mutation, this driver, this common denominator, this defining characteristic, this challenge, the mutation being the challenging problem that sets up a whole lot of other problems.
The fact that there are mild cases of sickle cell anemia says either that the genetic lesion itself -the driver- is not so bad as imagined or that other things can ameliorate the condition.
If those suffering the worst cases of the disease were cured of the driver, they would not be restored to ordinary levels of health. They have other maladies that make their disease so much worse than average.
“The cause of sickle cell anemia” is a phrase that approaches reality only in those with the mildest forms of the disease. If this one malady were reversed, their health would be much, much better, though never perfect. Perfect health does not exist.