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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:53 am 
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Ok, I am trying desperately to understand this. So, if I am annoying you just tell me to shut up and I'll quit with the questions.

This is what I understand from what you are saying:

A virus is no more than a code. It floats or sits around, unable to move itself, so it has to rely on other things to move it (air, water, sneezes...), and when it comes in contact with something that its code knows, it injects itself and reproduces...?

Ok, so saying this above is correct, the only part that I don't understand is how a non-living thing could DO the act of injecting itself. All the other stuff I understand...the code within the virus tells the cell to do this or that. But how does the virus "inject" itself? How does it do this action when it should be inanimate?

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:24 pm 
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Procreation isn't a purpose? Whatever triggers survival instincts has to start with a purpose and for the virus, it is merely to exist. I don't think the prime directives have changed much, all we've done as a species is made it more sophisticated. Appearances are deceiving- how many of us are on autopilot? Nothing has to have meaning that fits our worldview, that is what we use to describe our search. Everything IS, and what we don't understand we proscribe meaning to it and add it to our worldview.

Thanks GG for your points about the web site- your knowledge and insights are much more critical than ours. The main reason I posted it was for the list of theories they had to show the diversity of thought into the known and unknown. At this point in our methods of understanding, most things that aren't sentient and in our immediate vicinity seem to be out of our understanding. We have to make stands on what we believe so we can move on with our ideas.

Too bad though that if our starting point is wrong everything that follows leads one off on a false trail. But like we know best intentions and mistakes can be corrected if we learn from them.

Thanks for the directions you keep us going on and maybe together all of us can come up with a script that reads like a Socratic dialectic. I think lefty summed up the first part pretty concisely

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A virus is no more than a code. It floats or sits around, unable to move itself, so it has to rely on other things to move it (air, water, sneezes...), and when it comes in contact with something that its code knows, it injects itself and reproduces...?
Think of the computer and how one catches a virus. Ask yourself, What is a virus, Where did it come from, When did it form, How did I catch it, What's its purpose, Does it have meaning, who instilled life into this, Who started it, Why did I catch it?- Stuff like that. I know that there are 10 things in life that spread viruses very well and when you count on your fingers you will know the answer too. How simple is that to transmit? Think of them as part of a system that has a connection in the tree of life but we can't figure out all the answers yet. Time, we need time, while it may have been around forever.

Maybe the ability to switch itself off and on is an evolutionary advantage that worked in its early environment, from heat, cold radiation etc., and it worked so well that it never changed.

The horseshoe crab is still intact as it was when it formed with few changes since its inception. Sometimes things just work so well they don't require much adaption. What the conditions were when it formed we may never be able to comprehend, but the crab has lived within its environment for millions of years and still match their ancestors. We on the other hand have gone through a few changes along the way as our environments and requirements changed, so evolution requires necessity to change for survival. Perhaps the virus is a near perfect lifeform and requires little change for its survival. Only by asking questions can we figure out all possibilities.

So please don't shut up about it, because asking questions is the only way we can work things out. I hate it when there are more questions than answers, but that is our natural checks and balances that we have to follow, or end up in some theocratic nightmare that knows all the answers to avoid all the questions? I'll take the mystery thanks. Much more intriguing- I've found a purpose and meaning in it. Constructive dialogue.

This multi dimensional world we live in has quite a few things left to reveal to us before we get it all systematically organized. Seems the smaller the problem the bigger the investigation becomes. No wonder that on our level we're so confused- it all adds up to a big mystery. But what fun would it be if it was simple stupid. It should always be to Keep It Simple- Smart!

The KISS formula with an intelligent twist. Keeps us on our toes.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 7:48 pm 
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lefty wrote:

Ok, so saying this above is correct, the only part that I don't understand is how a non-living thing could DO the act of injecting itself. All the other stuff I understand...the code within the virus tells the cell to do this or that. But how does the virus "inject" itself? How does it do this action when it should be inanimate?


There are cells of many animals which react in a purely mechanical nature. For example, some moss have spores packed into a tiny container (operculum) and when humidity reaches a certain point, BOOM! It explodes and the spores go flying. While the moss is alive, it plays no part itself in the release of the spores, it happens automatically. Same way with jellyfish stingers. All it takes is the proper stimuli and the spears shoot. Its all mechanical also. Its all mechanical, just like a mousetrap.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 7:59 pm 
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DO.g's wrote:
Procreation isn't a purpose? Whatever triggers survival instincts has to start with a purpose and for the virus, it is merely to exist. I don't think the prime directives have changed much, all we've done as a species is made it more sophisticated.
I agree. Its really hard to think of a virus as doing anything intentionally, and it doesnt. But what we need to remember, that if a molecule is going to persist, it must find ways to adapt and persist. Does it think about it? Nope. It just turns out some molecules could self-replicate. (like many crystals can). Turns out, this was a good thing. Some became better at replicating than others. It was because of something as simple as a molecule being able to replicate at least once that we have life.

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Appearances are deceiving- how many of us are on autopilot?
Exactly.

Here are some examples.

You see a little kid being jumped by some older guys. You instantly feel something. Your hear begins to race, your hair might stand on end. Now, would that be conscious? Not at all.

Same if you were attacked. When you are attacked, you switch to whats called your "reptilian" brain. The part that makes you "you" essentially shuts down and go become your most primal. Fight or flight. (are you angry or scared) Its all autopilot from there. This is why so many people "black out" during high stress situations.

Now, if we can act out, without any thought whatsoever, based only on our programming, why cant a virus?




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Too bad though that if our starting point is wrong everything that follows leads one off on a false trail. But like we know best intentions and mistakes can be corrected if we learn from them.
This is why I get so furious at bad science. People who want to be well informed, are also the most vulnerable to being exploited by these snake oil salespeople. Its frustrating.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 5:33 pm 
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So, what do you think lefty?

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 8:25 pm 
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I feel I have a better grasp of it. Far better than any prof has been able to explain to me. Thanks so much!!! Um, I am still not totally convinced as to why they are not considered alive, or maybe why we don't have a classification of aliveness for certain semi-alive acting things. But, hey, I can't have everything, right?

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