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“Viruses don’t exist” - Where is this bizarre claim coming from?

(27 Posts)
Namine20 Sun 19-Apr-20 09:52:18

I keep seeing on Twitter and other so-called media certain people saying this over and over again. They claim viruses are really exosomes which already live in our body and flare up when we get stressed, and that there’s no such thing as a virus!!

Are there any scientists on here who can explain why some believe this as I find it bizarre? And anyone at all actually who can help me to respond to actual people I know who believe that all of this is a plan to gain control/police state and that they just want to take our freedoms away? Also a lot of people seem to believe 5G is the cause of ALL of this.

I know I shouldn’t bother to argue back but I want to be able to say something rational as these people are dangerous stating there’s no such thing as viruses.

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AvalancheKit Sun 19-Apr-20 09:57:25

But Twitter is a virus. It attacks the human brain and causes all sorts of illness.

Porcupineinwaiting Sun 19-Apr-20 09:59:32

I'm a scientist. Its because some people's stupidity outstrips their level of scientific understanding.

Igotthemheavyboobs Sun 19-Apr-20 10:06:35

Why do you need to respond to them? You can't argue with stupid.

Saz12 Sun 19-Apr-20 10:19:00

I’m not a scientist. But some people believe the 5G rubbish, so.....

On a side note, is it true that our mitochondria started off as viruses and behave a bit like they still are? Someone (sensible, scientific) told me years ago and I’ve always wondered in a “chicken-and-egg” kind of way.

Namine20 Sun 19-Apr-20 10:26:15

Ha yes Twitter is the virus I agree!

I know I shouldn’t bother to argue, I guess I just want to have an answer for the ones I vaguely know so I can prove them to be completely wrong. Probably quite immature of me. I just hate that some are spreading this misinformation and people are taking it in. I’m definitely open minded to alternative theories I just like to be factual about them.

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Gronky Sun 19-Apr-20 10:28:20

On a side note, is it true that our mitochondria started off as viruses and behave a bit like they still are?

Mitochondria probably started off more like bacteria that moved into a eukaryote ancestor (long before complex organisms). Eukaryotes are essentially everything but bacteria and some algae (which are prokaryotes). They let the eukaryotes dedicate the rest of their cells to other tasks besides energy production and, in exchange, the mitochondria gained protection and nutrients. It's a lot more complex but that's the simple version.

Saz12 Sun 19-Apr-20 10:31:56

Gronky, isn’t life weird? Thanks for the explanation!

Doyoumind Sun 19-Apr-20 10:32:20

Some people believe the earth is flat too. Some people are just idiots. Leave them to it.

I spend a lot of time on Twitter and haven't seen this claim by the way, so perhaps change who you follow.

midgebabe Sun 19-Apr-20 10:36:44

Gronky, no idea what you are saying, ( cell specialisation?) but at least it's believable

Why do people believe rubbish?
It's easy t9 believe rubbish if you have low knowledge in an area. Then you tend to believe the first thing you hear, as that becomes stored data that takes more work to overwrite . That's why disrupters will try to spew out false information, they know some will stick. People become attached to their ideas. Because otherwise it would lower their self esteem to admit even to themselves they were duped?

Then I think People believe things because they are scared , makes people more irrational. Keen perhaps to find an enemy they can see and so fight?

Gronky Sun 19-Apr-20 10:37:57

Sorry, forgot to answer the initial question. Exosomes could be regarded as being somewhat like a virus in that they contain proteins and genetic material which are then ejected by the cell. However, that ejection doesn't do damage to the cell as it leaves like a virus does.

Also, there is a lot of so-called 'junk' DNA in our genome. It's very contentious whether this is just extra, unused information that we've picked up or if it performs a function we don't yet understand but a lot of it is from some viruses that can do a nasty trick called reverse transcriptase, where they essentially edit our genome (not all viruses do this, in fact, it's less common). These are called retroviruses, one being HIV. Over the enormous timescale of evolution, some of these attempts have failed to produce virus replication but have left their mark on our genetic sequence. This is rather undermined by Covid-19 not being a retrovirus but the sort of person who believes what you relayed is unlikely to trust the people who've sequenced it.

Gronky Sun 19-Apr-20 10:42:41

cell specialisation

Prokaryotes essentially spread their work across the inside of their cell (sort of but not really, apologies to other biologists) while eukaryotes (us and a lot of other life) put a lot of their functions into specific locations. An example would be the cell nucleus. Bacteria spread their genetic material all over their cell, willy-nilly.

Think of it like having a house that's one big room (prokaryotes) vs having a separate kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, ect (eukaryotes). It's a lot easier to build one big room but it's also difficult to, for example, get your washing dry while you're taking a shower.

JaneJeffer Sun 19-Apr-20 11:26:28

I think this idea came from a Dr. Kaufman on YouTube.

Namine20 Sun 19-Apr-20 13:35:27

Thanks for the interesting replies, I wish I was intelligent enough to understand the science of them! But they do make sense.

@Doyoumind yes I think you’re right, a cull of these ‘woke’, rude idiots is needed.

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lljkk Sun 19-Apr-20 14:02:31

In modern times we have germ theory. Little invisible things make you sick. This is drilled into us in school in rich countries from a young age, but...

Some people still reject germ theory. They usually say instead that 'toxic pollution' or 'toxic radiation' is causing any disease blamed on germs. Sometimes they insist that supposed infectious diseases are all due to lifestyle decisions (like eating white flour). That's an attractive alternative because it implies whether you get sick is entirely in your own control... .and funny enough also if you get sick it's your own fault for making the wrong choices. It creates a moral division about who gets sick and who doesn't. Suddenly sickness is fair, you brought it on yourself or big bad forces like bad companies and bad govt made you sick. Anyone but Mother Nature.

Folk must find these alternative explanations more comforting and they must meet some inherent desire for 'fairness', is why they prefer them (imho).

MRex Sun 19-Apr-20 14:10:17

I know a flat earther. He also thinks vaccines are a problem, moon landings didn't happen, most famous people are transvestites and covid-19 is just a flu with government conspiracy. I think he has an undiagnosed mental illness that is creating paranoia; the crazy fringe of the internet appear to share their individual delusions with each other and are affected by people who come up with more either as a joke or to stir political unrest.

Best to say nothing unless you plan to get the person whatever psychiatric help they need because you won't change their minds.

YogaLite Sun 19-Apr-20 14:26:14

But some viruses do stay in the body and flare up eg cold sores. I guess that after u pick them up at some point.

What I do not quite understand is that they seem to lie dormant in nerve cells? Is it the case for all viruses?

Namine20 Sun 19-Apr-20 20:46:33

@lljkk thank you very much for that detailed explanation, I appreciate that. I actually didn’t know that some people dispute germ theory in general, I thought it was only since COVID that this notion had come about because of how it’s affected the world and the links some have made between lockdown and being controlled.

@MRex yes they all seem to share those same beliefs from what I’ve seen, they think every single event is a lie. I will need to disengage I think now as it’s upsetting to read people say this doesn’t exist when people are suffering.

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YogaLite Sun 19-Apr-20 21:25:22

It only doesn't exist if their nearest and dearest are not affected, the "it's not going to happen to me/us" territory.

boogiebogie Sun 19-Apr-20 21:41:40

Isn't it because no virus has been able to be identified outside the body or host?

Gtugccbjb Sun 19-Apr-20 21:45:28

As if it would be easier to find a scientist with the perfect expertise on here rather than searching the internet. You came on here to rant about people that think differently to you and you’re looking for some other ranty stress heads to join you. At least admit it.

steppemum Sun 19-Apr-20 21:56:15

It's easy to believe rubbish if you have low knowledge in an area.

My dh once told me about a conference he went to. It was presenting a huge project. He was a young graduate in his field, and when there is bumped into a couple of people he knew, with expertise in related but different fields.
there was a huge presentation, of all aspects of the project.

Dh thought that it all sounded great, except he noticed several wrong assumptions in his area of expertise, not crucial but nevertheless they were there.
Over lunch, he talked to the people he knew. They also had noticed a few mistakes/misrepresentations. Each of them had only noticed the problem in their own area. The presentation of the other ares, even though related, seemd perfectly fine to them.
When they talked and realised that they ALL had seen flaws, it really made them question the whole project. The flaws were only visible if you were an expert. With some, but not enough knowledge, it all looked fine.

He said it was a great lesson early in his career about the need for people to really know what they were doing, and how easy it is to be misled

goingoverground Sun 19-Apr-20 22:21:17

Isn't it because no virus has been able to be identified outside the body or host?

I think you might be confused with the idea that viruses aren't "living" outside the host, at least not in the sense that we define "life" @boogiebogie

www.newscientist.com/question/are-viruses-alive/

donquixotedelamancha Sun 19-Apr-20 22:58:51

Are there any scientists on here who can explain why some believe this

Yes. I'm a Scientist. I'll try to simplify some of the very complex Science behind this phenomemenon:

Some people are fucking stupid.

Namine20 Mon 20-Apr-20 01:49:43

@Gtugccbjb - no, I genuinely thought this would be an easier way of finding out how to reply to some of these idiots in a way that I can understand a bit better. MN has some amazingly clever people on here and I wondered if any of them read this thread they’d be able to explain where this belief stemmed from. That’s the truth.

@donquixotedelamancha Well yes this is it in a nutshell isn’t it grin

Thank you to those who have replied, it’s actually helped a lot flowers

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