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View Full Version : Life, a universal virus?



Achilleus
2012-Dec-14, 02:14 PM
Why are we here? This question has plagued humans since our first notions of the universe.
Here is just something to think about
Viruses move into a host cell, use that cells resources, and usually eventually kill the cell

Life, or at least humans, require a host planet, use that planet's resources, and then more than likely through pollution and global warming will destroy the planet. I personally think that life is probably very common throughout the universe. I also think that interstellar colonization will occur in the future. Will we move from planet to planet destroying 1 by 1?
Is intelligent life merely an evolved virus?

profloater
2012-Dec-14, 04:04 PM
The role of viruses is more complex than that, for example viruses can also change the genome, sometimes to advantage, and you might loosely call early DNA and RNA evolving viruses, but the idea that intelligent life is "merely" an evolved virus is a simplification too far since it leaves out the whole current picture of evolution, the role of oxygen, the links for oceans to land, the interplay of vegetable and animal life and so on. Not least is the very fortuitous sequence of solar system development, catastrophe, and global cycles which combined to make our life possible. Nobody knows if this has happened on other solar systems so you a free to speculate as much as you like, but oversimplifying what we know at present does not make a strong argument. I guess it is the "'merely" that needs more contemplation in my opinion, good luck with that.

TooMany
2012-Dec-14, 05:32 PM
The role of viruses is more complex than that, for example viruses can also change the genome, sometimes to advantage, and you might loosely call early DNA and RNA evolving viruses, but the idea that intelligent life is "merely" an evolved virus is a simplification too far since it leaves out the whole current picture of evolution, the role of oxygen, the links for oceans to land, the interplay of vegetable and animal life and so on. Not least is the very fortuitous sequence of solar system development, catastrophe, and global cycles which combined to make our life possible. Nobody knows if this has happened on other solar systems so you a free to speculate as much as you like, but oversimplifying what we know at present does not make a strong argument. I guess it is the "'merely" that needs more contemplation in my opinion, good luck with that.

Also, intelligence and tool-use are a revolutionary game changer in evolution. Have to admit though that we tend to act a bit like yeast in barrel eating and multiplying until we consume the available resources or poison ourselves. Hopefully we will get past that failure to apply our brains.

publiusr
2012-Dec-15, 07:44 PM
Will we move from planet to planet destroying 1 by 1?
Is intelligent life merely an evolved virus?
Actually it is probably the other way around. Bad history with Manifest destiny, I see intelligent life as promoting biodiversity.

An intelligent civilization may wipe out a few species, but it keeps the spark of evolution going across worlds that may never develop large life due to a wide range of factors. This is why techno-diversity is immediately more important than the saving of any one species. Spacecraft are examples of things that really are of intelligent design, which means they can't re-evolve. The niche is still there for rhinos as for triceratops (torosaurus). But when the last satellite dies, that's it.

Imagine if humans went extinct. Nature might like it for awhile, until the next super-impact or Red giant phase. Then everything dies. From this perspective, an intelligent species, even a dirty one, is better than none.