Are human beings a disease?
Given we wake up to each day learning of new horrors caused by humankind, much of it sinking and soul-crushing, it does make one wonder- are we the same as a virus, wreaking destruction on everything we touch?
Humanity constantly struggles with itself and the world with itself, with our darkest sides in the spiral of all this evil and violence. Apart from the psychological dimension of the analogy and the harm people cause to each other, there is also the dimension of the damage humanity has inflicted on the world. Well, for starters, not all viruses are bad, are they? Some kill bacteria, while others help us fight against more dangerous viruses. Perhaps we’re a good kind of virus?
Our ability to use more than 10 percent of our brain makes us unique- shouldn’t this help us do more and do better? But much of our actions, including overconsumption of resources and pollution, have had a detrimental impact on the Earth and its ecosystems, akin to a virus draining its host organism. The fact that humanity represents just 0.01 percent of all living creatures on Earth colors a darker perspective.
Scientific explanations lead us to assume that if people are indeed viruses in this world, then the world produces some kind of antibody, perhaps in the form of epidemics and natural disasters, to get rid of this virus. Our attempts to resist these antibodies with technological innovations and use them to move to other planets for permanent settlement show similarities to viruses trying to pass from one organism to another to survive.
But some do not agree with this analogy. The crux of their arguments is that the biosphere is not a body-like organism. Although a dynamic system, the lack of vital organs in the biosphere prevents it from being harmed by viruses, removing the possibility of people being viruses themselves.
A study conducted to determine if humans are viruses observed that 8 percent of humans are viruses! Thousands of pieces of ancient viruses exist in the human genome capable of creating protein. Viruses insert their genomes into their hosts in the form of a provirus integrated into the DNA of a host cell.
Researchers examined the genetic material in a database containing over 14,000 donated tissue samples from across the body and found several proviruses active. Their study added a new dimension to this data by demonstrating that HERV genes are present in even healthy tissues.
So then, scientifically speaking, humans being viruses is indeed a myth. The analogies to this myth are a tad bit too convincing that it takes us some effort to see through it.