Things Are Starting To Look Good For Viruses

Most of the time when someone mentions a virus, we think of things like colds or flu or just diseases in general but not all are bad in fact, the human body contains trillions of them. So there must be some good ones, right? Researchers at the University of British Columbia and Washington University are beginning to explore more of the human virome and here is what they have discovered so far…

“In the past decade, scientists have come to appreciate the vast bacterial world inside the human body.  They have learned that it plays a role in regulating the energy we take in from food, primes the immune system, and performs a variety of other functions that help maintain our health. Now, researchers are gaining similar respect for the viruses we carry around.”

Surprised? There are viruses that have very important functions which also have a very positive impact on our health! Many of our internal viruses are bacteriophages that invade and kill bacteria. This puts the brakes on bacterial infections. For every one bacterium, there are one hundred viruses, Pennisi wrote. The number of virus species identified in stool samples of healthy adults ranged from 52 to 2773.

People who remain on the same diets, the viral community remains stable over the course of the year unless there is a change in diet then the viromes will change. We are full of all kinds of viruses but we have yet to discover all what they actually do. This is an amazing part of science because learning more about the functions of viruses which have a very important impact on what’s going on in our bodies! It’s not enough to know your bacteria; you have to know the viruses that interact with them.

Viruses are incredibly well designed.  Some bacteriophages look like spaceship capsules with legs and all.  Scientists have discovered back in 2004, that some of these viruses have shells like hard plastic and in 2007-08 discovered that these viruses also pack their DNA into their capsids with motors generating remarkable force, in an orderly manner.  They are also extremely effective in finding their target cells, inserting their DNA, and commandeering the genetic machinery to make copies of themselves!

It is interesting to note, evolutionists are a bit puzzled on what to do with viruses in the scheme of the story because they are not considered transitional forms between molecules and life. The modern intelligent design movement would predict functions from the viruses but would be hard pressed to explain harmful ones. On the other hand, biblical creationism would be able to explain, all the viruses were originally designed good but some became harmful after the fall of Adam!

This research will open doors to answering questions like, were viruses intended to be regulators of bacteria?  Perhaps they were designed in order to send information to the body about new environments, and were equipped to copy themselves to spread the word so that the body could be prepared. This has the potential to dramatically change our understanding of nature in a very big way! In the future, one can expect amazing things to be discovered about these tiny, mysterious machines which are starting to look not that bad after all!

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11 thoughts on “Things Are Starting To Look Good For Viruses

  1. “Good” viruses and bacteria surprise Michael, because he does not understand the difference between the evolutionary concepts of parasitism and symbiosis—specifically, that they frequently overlap.

    This good-guy/bad/guy mentality seems to happen because creationists force themselves into thinking of a “purpose” for every life form. What is the “purpose” of a virus? Why was it created?

    They cannot understand that every life form on earth is just trying to make a living for itself. Dogs don’t nuzzle their owners because they were designed to serve humans; they do it because we feed them when they do it. Thousands of years ago, they decided that it was an easier life than hunting down their own caribou.

    In the past, most people have put bugs on the parasite end of the scale. The ones that caught our attention did so because they made us sick. More recently, we have looked into some of the others, and found they are actually fine fellows—more toward the symbiont, or win-win side.

    Sorry, Michael—the consequences of this for evolution are nil.

    And it most certainly has nothing to do with God’s word. In fact, creationists are still trying to hide the fact that the Bible doesn’t even mention the most abundant form of life on earth. A glaring oversight, wouldn’t you say?

  2. It is interesting to note, evolutionists are a bit puzzled on what to do with viruses in the scheme of the story because they are not considered transitional forms between molecules and life. The modern intelligent design movement would predict functions from the viruses but would be hard pressed to explain harmful ones. On the other hand, biblical creationism would be able to explain, all the viruses were originally designed good but some became harmful after the fall of Adam!

    Puzzled? Michael once again misinterprets evolution as a single path from molecules on one end to himself on the other. (We won’t say, of course, which of these ends is the primitive end.) Everything must “progress,” in this distorted view, and it must do so in a single line.

    In fact, biologists agree that viruses are polyphyletic—that there can be no single ancestor for all viruses. Some may be built up from the plasmids that engage in horizontal gene transfer. Others seem to be stripped-down bacteria or archaea. The core components of different virus families have more in common with different orders of bacteria than they do with each other.

    Creationists, of course, have not a clue about how viruses relate to each other, or to anything else. It is they who are puzzled, not the biologists.

    ID can’t explain harmful viruses? Apparently Michael has never read Michael Behe’s “The Edge of Evolution” in which he pontificates in some detail on the malaria parasite. His position seems to be that the Designer need not be beneficent, and may in fact have an evil steak.

    By Michael’s logic, ID also would not accept that any lie form is harmful to any other. What is special about viruses, that ID would treat them any differently? Makes no sense, Michael.

    But creationism can explain harmful viruses? OK. If the Fall turned viruses evil, why only some of em? Creationism would seem to predict that all viruses would be harmful. Why are some bad and some good—And how does creationism explain the difference?

    Of course, there is no evidence whatever for a time when there was no death, no carnivores, no parasitism. And creationists accuse scientists of making up just-so stories.

  3. Viruses are incredibly well designed. Some bacteriophages look like spaceship capsules with legs and all. Scientists have discovered back in 2004, that some of these viruses have shells like hard plastic….

    One word: Pareidolia.

  4. Michael loves to quote the popular press when an article seems to support his beliefs.

    When it debunks creationism, then not so much.

    For example, today in Live Science, we read “Discovery Rocks Creationists’ Claim That Humans Lived with Dinosaurs”

    “The most important implication of these findings is that one of the creationist camp’s favorite piece of ‘evidence’ for the coexistence of dinosaurs and humans — a dinosaur petroglyph — doesn’t even exist,” researcher Phil Senter, a paleontologist at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina, told LiveScience.

    …..

    “Until our study, this was the best dinosaur petroglyph — that is, the hardest to argue about, because it looked so much like a dinosaur that there was no way to interpret it as anything else,” Senter said. “The ‘best’ dinosaur is now extinct.”

    Senter and archaeologist Sally Cole described their work in the March issue of Palaentologia Electronica.

    Too bad, Answers in Genesis—

    The petroglyph of a sauropod dinosaur clearly has important implications—indicating that dinosaurs were indeed known to men after the Flood until they eventually died out and became (apparently) extinct.

    (From “Dinosaur Petroglyph on Kachina Bridge”)

    One word: Pareidolia.

  5. @Michael

    I know you do not have to respond to us, but considering that both Olorin and myself have commented frequently actually answering your posts directly; where I come from, ignoring us is considered rude.

  6. Kris: On the other hand, ignorance is a defining characteristic of creationists.

    I just now submitted a comment to Evolution News and Views, concernong Casey Luskin’s “A Positive, Testable Case for Intelligent Design” (March 30, 2011). Casey’s article takes umbrage at a biology professor’s claim that ID has no testable hypotheses. Casey’s answer seems to have been lifted almost verbatim from a screed that he wrote several years ago.

    Comments are held for moderation there. The two existing commentsw are paeans to Casey’s logic. (What else?) I’d give my comment the proverbial snoball’s chance of ever seeing thlighht of day in that forum. If it doesn’t make it there, I might post it here.

  7. Well, I’ll be a monkey’s grand-nephew. Evolution News & Views did approve my comment

    Casey even replied. Mostly by quibbling about the exact date of tetrapod transitions predicted b evolution. So I riposted, because he didn’t even attempt to address the question of ID testability, the subject of his post and of my comment

    We’ll see

  8. @Olorin,

    I just posted there too. Casey Luskin challenged you to give examples on how living creatures differ from human artifacts.. I gave him three examples:

    First, that living things were subject to natural selection; human artifacts are not.

    Second, that living things reproduce; human artifacts do not.

    Third, that living things mutate naturally; again, human artifacts do not.

    I pointed out that evolution needs all three of these things…but human artifacts are incapable of them.

  9. Goodo. We’ll see how it goes.

    Several other commenters have also rubbed Casey’s nose in the non-testability issue, but he just dances around it. One might remind him that “predictions” have to be made before the test is carried out, not afterward, as creationists do.

  10. Once more into the breach rode the six hundred.

    Am I not being clear in what I’m asking for? Or is Mr Luskin, Esq. answering a different question to avoid the one I asked? I think the Discovery Institute offer a graduate-level course in Ignoratio Elenchi. And Mr Luskin teaches it.

  11. @Olorin

    I got a mini-reply from Luskin in a PS of a post; fair enough, I gave him a mini-reply. I now am asking him why “complexity” equals “design.

    Now I am hoping to see your reply to him.

    Hey, Luskin at least answers his detractors….unlike Michael.

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