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Is God a Cosmic Micro-Organism?
By John Saxon

Having written about the relevance of bacteria to fundamentalist Christianity, and upsetting the apple cart, I came across this article, which is written from an evolutionary perspective, so Christians, click off. Still, it represents a challenge to the faith if it was correct; our consciousness, our soul, came from bacteria:

“You've got an ancient virus in your brain. In fact, you've got an ancient virus at the very root of your conscious thought.

According to two papers published in the journal Cell in January, long ago, a virus bound its genetic code to the genome of four-limbed animals. That snippet of code is still very much alive in humans' brains today, where it does the very viral task of packaging up genetic information and sending it from nerve cells to their neighbors in little capsules that look a whole lot like viruses themselves. And these little packages of information might be critical elements of how nerves communicate and reorganize over time — tasks thought to be necessary for higher-order thinking, the researchers said.

Though it may sound surprising that bits of human genetic code come from viruses, it's actually more common than you might think: A review published in Cell in 2016 found that between 40 and 80 percent of the human genome arrived from some archaic viral invasion.”

As we are all interested in scientific papers, which we read whilst straining out our turdies on the crapper each morning, the relevant papers are:

(1) J. Ashly (et al.), “Retrovirus-Like Gag Protein Arc 1 Binds RNA and Traffics Across Synaptic Boutons,” “Cell” vol. 172, 2018, pp. 262-274;

(2) N. F. Parrish and K. Tomonaga, “Endogenized Viral Sequences in Mammals,” “Current Opinion in Microbiology,” vol. 31, 2016, pp. 176-183.

Not only does the human body arise from 40-80 percent of past viral parasitic invasions, incorporating the alien proteins into its being, much as nations munch up migrants, but the viral proteins have influenced the way consciousness has developed.

Now, if correct, this could be taken as a direct argument for the nihilistic point of view. But, maybe not so quick…. Could it be that we were all wrong about thinking of God in humanoid form? Could God be a cosmic virus? Not your garden variety of virus, which would be blasphemous and degrading, but something really grand, something infinite, cosmic and totally uncaring about the slabs of meat it created for the truly important beings – virus and prions – to feast upon? Maybe the world should be viewed from the top to the bottom, and little things are more important than big things, excluding penises of course.

The evolutionary biologist J. B. S. Haldane said in his1949 book What is Life? The Layman's View of Nature, p. 248:

“The Creator would appear as endowed with a passion for stars, on the one hand, and for beetles on the other, for the simple reason that there are nearly 300,000 species of beetle known, and perhaps more, as compared with somewhat less than 9,000 species of birds and a little over 10,000 species of mammals. Beetles are actually more numerous than the species of any other insect order. That kind of thing is characteristic of nature.” Haldane got it right about the stars, but wrong about species, for microorganism (bacteria, viruses etc.) rule this world:

“Although the 1998 estimates have been questioned in terms of ocean-dwelling microbes, the University of Georgia researchers suggested that the DRY biomass of bacteria is between 350,000 and 550,000 million tonnes.

Since the dry biomass of humans is only around 105 million tonnes, the bacteria on Earth weigh at least 3,000 times as much as all of humankind combined.

And I suppose this shouldn’t actually surprise us when we stop to reflect on the fact that there are about 50 million bacterial cells in a single gram of soil, and estimates suggest that over 90% of all bacteria on Earth live in the soil.

In fact, someone who may well have had too much time on their hands calculated that the world’s soil bacteria weigh as much as the United Kingdom, although working that out couldn’t have been easy.

I mean, how do you weigh Wales anyway?

Let’s just finish by reminding ourselves how much bacteria you have in – and on – you right now, casting no aspersions on your personal hygiene of course.

The folks at the Human Microbiome Project estimate that all your personal bacteria probably weigh in at between two and six pounds, enough to fill a large soup can, and consisting of something like 100 trillion cells.”

Growing bacterial resistance to antibiotics may return medicine to a kind of Dark Age:

“The rise of antimicrobial resistance is a global crisis, recognized as one of the greatest threats to health today.

The threat is easy to describe. Antimicrobial resistance is on the rise in every region of the world. We are losing our first-line antibiotics. This makes a broad range of common infections much more difficult to treat.

Second- and third-choice antibiotics are more costly, more toxic, need much longer durations of treatment, and may require administration in intensive care units.

Superbugs haunt hospitals and intensive care units all around the world. Gonorrhoea, which is a sexually transmitted disease, is now resistant to multiple classes of drugs. An epidemic of multidrug-resistant typhoid fever is rolling across parts of Asia and Africa.

Even with the best of care, only around 50% of all patients with multi-drug resistant tuberculosis can be cured.

With few replacement products in the R&D pipeline, the world is heading towards a post-antibiotic era in which common infections will once again kill. If current trends continue, sophisticated interventions, like organ transplantation, joint replacements, cancer chemotherapy, and care of pre-term infants, will become more difficult or even too dangerous to undertake.

This may even bring the end of modern medicine as we know it.”

As usual, everybody is fuckedTM; like these guys:

The Great Train Wreck of the West

Add Comment
PRFebruary 9, 2018 10:27 PM UTC

What I said in the last post was:

"Evolution is just old-fashioned atheism. I believe that our genome and that of other animals changes over time. Despite the existence of smarter apes that walk upright, I don't believe we evolved from them. Why? Humans reason morally, apes and other animals do not. We inherently know right from wrong, just as the Bible said we were made in the imago Dei. Also, things have a first cause. All of the matter and energy in the universe did not come from nothing. It came from something - God the Creator, the omnipotent being with the power of self-existence.

Why do bacteria harm us? Because of the Fall. It had an effect on all of Creation, not just us. The entire Creation is groaning under the weight of our sin (Romans 8:22) and the ground (the Earth) is cursed because of us (Genesis 3:17). So, Creation is against us and God is against us. The good news, if you repent and believe, is that Jesus has died for your sins so that you don't have to bear the wrath and curse of God."

If you can explain how something came from nothing in a consistent way, then there's no need for God. Of course, something cannot come from nothing.

To your main point, there are smarter creatures that use higher-order thinking (dolphins, apes). Applying thought to a problem (the laws of logic, for example), is not the same as moral reasoning (saying something is Right or Wrong). Only humans are capable of the latter. You also fail to define terms. What is "consciousness?" What is a "soul?"
BobFebruary 9, 2018 8:14 PM UTC

First, not all Christians are fundamentalists, the broad range of denominations alone speaks to that straw man. Second, not all Christians are averse to evolutionary theory, which is not to say that there aren't legitimate doubts about certain elements of contemporary scientific dogma. Like, where is the fossil evidence of intermediate species? Crickets chirp loudly...

Michael Behe's "Darwin's Black Box" examines lacunas in Darwinism.

Another one I'd recommend for the open-minded is "Darwin on Trial" by Phillip Johnson

Aside from the argument about the origin of Man, the author tries to pass off "conscious thought" or "consciousness" as "soul". All organisms with brains are endowed with consciousness, a capacity to perceive and react to external stimuli. Soul is that moral character that makes Man unique among all sentient beings. The only beast with introspection to temper the base instincts.

"Bad dog!" contains no moral judgment, merely an injunction to obey Master.