Are viruses alive?

RONNAL CHANCELLOR REC at IUPUI.LIB.NET
Sat Nov 18 12:33:50 EST 1995


ALFREDO, 

THIS LINE OF THOUGHT WAS RECENTLY EXPLORED ON THIS NET.  HERE IS A BRIEF SUMMARY
OF THAT FLOW.


                           RONNAL




> 
> From usenet.ucs.indiana.edu!indyvax.iupui.edu!indyvax.iupui.edu!nntp Fri Aug 25 15:33:14 1995
> Newsgroups: bionet.virology
> Subject: EPIDEMIOLOGY, CHAOS THEORY, AND A BIT OF ZEN
> Message-ID: <1995Aug25.153315.17390 at indyvax.iupui.edu>
> From: "RAD.COM.NET" <REC at IUPUI.NET.>
> Date: 25 Aug 95 15:33:14 -0500
> Nntp-Posting-Host: ul3100-an.ulib.iupui.edu
> Lines: 125
> 
>                     THE ORDER OF EVENTS
> 
> .................
> 
> I'm new here and have read with interest the debates on the origins
> of viruses, and the questions as to whether they are alive or not.
> My question is:  What are their purpose?
> 
> Is it to spread genetic material across the planet?  Is it to achieve
> hegemony over the planet (seems they already do)?
> 
> Any thoughts welcome,
> 
> Mark A. Lilly
> .................
> 
> This in response to Mark Lilly's question as to what are the purposes
> of viruses.
> 
> I ask Mark, why do they need a purpose.  Do you have a purpose?  Do
> I?  Because we are not theologians, let's leave superstitions out of
> the argument.  Makes answering Mark's question a tad harder, eh?
> 
> If, as Duncan McGeoch says, "viruses are mistletoe on the Tree of
> Life", we can all shut down our screens and go have a beer.
> 
> Charlie Calisher
> ..................
> 
> If you ask for a purpose, you have to infer that there is "someone"
> who constructed the universe and who has given everything a purpose.
> 
> In my opinion, things are not there to serve a purpose, they just
> exist.  The basic concept of evolution is that things "happen" or
> "evolve" by chance.  If they "work", they will survive, if not,
> they will disappear.  Charles Darwin called this "survival of the
> fittest".
> 
> Obviously, viruses "work" quite well - that's why they continue to
> be around.  They don't need a purpose.  By the way - what is your
> purpose?
> 
> Wolfram Brune
> ..................
> 
> I agree with you Mark.  I would argue that the "purpose" of viruses,
> as with all living organisms, is to propagate their genetic material.
> Viruses are just a little more aggressive in their pursuit of this
> goal.
> 
> Any Nguyen
> ..................
> 
> Yes another agrees.  The aggressiveness can be really very high,
> Ebola Zaire for example kills 9 out of 10 hosts in <14 days.  I'd
> speculated that, for the virus, this is not too good an idea.  If
> you want to spread your genetic material and you are too pathogenic,
> then you eventually loose your host.  Whereas AIDS, although equally
> aggressive, allows the host to live thus allowing its (somewhat
> rapid) propagation.
> 
> Roy Goodacre
> ...................
> 
> AFTER READING THE ABOVE DISCOURSE, I POSTED THE FOLLOWING RESPONSE.
> 
> ...................
> 
> 
>                           FUTURES
> 
> STRANGE ATTRACTORS
> 
> All species are subject to cycles of sustained growth and sudden
> calamity.  It is a rhythm as old as life itself, and an integral
> part of the evolutionary process.
> 
> The classical symptoms of any species in crisis are:
>   1. Increased aggression
>   2. Sexual dysfunction
>   3. And disease.
> 
> DYNAMICS
> 
> The number of AIDS deaths continues to periodically double.
> 
> The disproportionately large sector of the population known as the
> "baby boomers" is rapidly approaching the unpleasant end of the
> demographic python.
> 
> What is the probability that these two rising curves will both reach
> maximum intensity in the same relative time frame?
> 
> VARIABLES
> 
> Are accurate numbers on the AIDS epidemic readily available to the
> general public?
> 
> What is the current doubling rate for deaths due to HIV infection?
> 
> Is the capitalization of the funeral industry an expedient
> precaution?
> 
> Is it a moral investment strategy?
> 
> __________________________________________________________________
> ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
> 
>    FUTURES was created in recognition of the considerable
>    achievements of Mitchell Feigenbaum.
> 
>    It is also my $0.02 worth on the questions of:
> 
>      1.  What constitutes life?
>      2.  What is the purpose of it all?
> 
>    RAD.COM.NET - reporting on the unprecedented consolidation of
>    resources occurring in the international funeral industry.
> 
> 
> Ronnal E. Chancellor
> 
>                        LIFE IS CHANGE
> 





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