“Viruses are very smart, that’s what I love to say,” Muller says. “They have lots of strategies to stick around, and they don’t do a lot of damage for a very long time, because that’s one way to hide from the immune system. It’s becoming harder for researchers to claim that there is no intelligence in nature. That’s probably why so many of them are embracing panpsychism. They want a way to include intelligence in nature without an intelligence outside nature. It won’t work but at least it makes more sense in relation to the evidence.
The basis for such panic marketing is usually a correct science observation — in this case, that microscopic life forms (and viruses) may hibernate for long periods in ice. However, as the New Scientist article notes, “bacteria that infect humans are adapted to live at our body temperatures, so it is highly unlikely that they would survive for long periods below zero.”
Researchers who study viruses, including the one that causes COVID, note similarities between viral strategies and those of insects and animals.
It doesn’t help settle the ongoing debate that there is no single definition of life. Or that giant viruses like the mimivirus blur the line. Or that viruses share some genetics with host cells. Also, we often hear about the “strategies” of viruses. Which raises the question: If information had a physical form, would it be like viruses?
The caterpillar-wasp-virus predation system is complex but there is no reason to think it is chaos. It’s just more complex than humans might have expected it to be and perhaps more complex than we could design.
This is a problem, all right. But really, why do these, or any life/quasi-life forms, have a “genetic alphabet” (an alphabet of life, not learning) at all if everything happened by natural selection acting on random mutation, as the textbooks claim? Let alone an alphabet of life they can just substitute some other letters for? Is there anyone out there who can do the math?
The reader comments that viruses cannot afford to carry around much non-functioning nucleic acid. More likely, the 43% that are mystery proteins do have a function. If even viruses are much more complex than we expect, what chance that all these complex systems arose by natural selection acting on random mutations (Darwinism)?
Sometimes Darwinians are a parody of themselves.
Nature is full of information and, while these viruses and cells don’t think, something in them does.
Researcher: “Typically, what separates life from non-life is to have ribosomes and the ability to do translation; that is one of the major defining features that separate viruses and bacteria, non-life and life,” Sachdeva said. “Some large phages have a lot of this translational machinery, so they are blurring the line a bit.”
A new study promises to unveil “a novel mechanism that allows viruses to produce unexpected proteins.
We really do not know anything like what we should know about viruses before we just shut down our economies in a panic and so forth.
Hugh Harris: “Some properties of living things are absent from viruses, such as cellular structure, metabolism (the chemical reactions that take place in cells) and homeostasis (keeping a stable internal environment).” And yet, as he goes on to say…
The worst part of witch hunts in science is that they so often involve controversies over words without precise definitions,
Villarreal and Mazur introduce a term that will be new to many— and relevant to viruses like COVID-19: quasispecies