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EXCUSE ME, The Earth is NOT Alive!

David Sanders ae766 at yfn.ysu.edu
Thu Apr 13 07:03:39 EST 1995

In a previous article, mattymcd at aol.com (MattyMcD) says:

>>The Earth is not a living organism, it is merely a creation of God.  If
>>anyone is trying to get us, it would be God.  And I sure as heck know he
>>is not trying to kill us because he could do it anytime he wanted in a
>>Thank You.  There, controversy ended.
>I thought that this was bionet.virology, not alt.religion.wackos.

The theory of the earth as a living organism is not confined to religious
wackos.  It is a viable concept expressed also by some biologists.  Viruses
are a part of the whole.  While you may not agree with the concept, I don't
think it deserves to be dismissed so easily.

I am a pagan by choice, but do not accept the physical existence of any of
the normal pagan deities.  I consider the universe to be a single divinity,
including man.  And I do consider the Earth to be very like a living organism.
However, I stop short of saying that it *is* because I prefer to base my
beliefs in solid science.

Virology is one of the most fascinating branches of science/medicine/sociology,
and viruses are an integral part of the biological world.  I think the concept
as originally proposed on the Net deserves consideration.

But, I also think that there is a flaw in the argument.  I cannot accept
that a *conscious* effort is being made by "Mother Earth" to get back
at humans for their failings.  I agree that viruses, as part of the natural
world, are reacting through natural processes.  Whether or not this is a
"leveling" or something else I question.  I'm not sure where "level" is, or
even if there is such a situation.

A recent report on TV (sorry, can't remember just where) reported that dengue
fever is spreading, and that the spread is due to climatic shifts.  This was
taken as an indication of global warming.  Indication, not cause of.

One of the things I found students had the most difficulty with in science
classes I have taken is the concept of evolution based on environmental
change.  Most seem to have the idea that when an environmental change occurs
an organism will change itself to adapt.  While some modification can take
place in an individual, this does not change the genetics of the organism,
and thus cannot be responsible for evolution.  What is more disturbing is
that teachers seem to be unaware of the fact that their students are thinking
this way, and so do take steps to correct the mis-belief.

Please note that I am not a professional virologist.  I have a BS in Combined
Science, with a concentration in biology, but no virology.  Virology was
taken up as an interest after graduation.  I currently work in industrial
pretreatment of wastewater, where I often have need to be aware of viral
problems because I work directly with all of the hospitals in this area.

David E. Sanders
ae766 at yfn.ysu.edu

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