GOD CREATED VIRUSES AND THEY WERE VERY GOOD!
- Grady McMurtry
- June 06, 2022
GOD CREATED VIRUSES AND THEY WERE VERY GOOD!
“There is no one more cruel than a Liberal.” by Dr. Grady S. McMurtry
“And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.” Gen. 1:31 (NASB)
There are virologists that have sold their souls in a Faustian manner to ingratiate themselves to the Far-Left political agenda. They have forgotten their purpose to protect and to heal people from the few dangerous viruses that harm us, and they have done the opposite. In spite of the facts of real science, they have politicized their degrees, positions, and reputations and lied, misinformed, and deliberately obfuscated the truth about viruses, how they came into existence, and how to prevent viral infections.
God created viruses! They were ALL good at the time of the initial creation. They are necessary for life to exist! It is the evolutionary worldview and its subsequent religious beliefs that make people think that all viruses are bad for us or the rest of nature.
We need to lovingly correct this view, teach the truth about viruses to others, and look at viruses through a God-centered Christian Biblical Worldview lens.
What are viruses? God created them primarily as bacteria eaters, although they have many other useful purposes. Because of human sin in the Garden of Eden, a few of them have degenerated into dangerous human pathogens. Almost all viruses are not even interested in humans. Because they primarily kill bacteria, they are known as bacteriophages: the word literally means “bacteria eater.”
It is argued whether viruses should be considered alive or not because they are composed of a single nucleic acid molecule that is surrounded by a protein structure. They cannot reproduce themselves, but only multiply by infecting a host cell, hijacking the cells reproductive machinery, and producing duplicate viruses. The viruses duplicate so many copies of themselves that they burst the cell wall open, and the new copies go on to infect more cells.
Viruses keep bacterial populations under control. This is an absolutely necessary activity for life as we know it to exist. There are more bacteria alive on earth than there are stars in the known universe (more than a 1 followed by 24 zeros = 1 septillion). Bacteria multiply incredibly quickly. The average bacteria divides (reproduces) once every 20 minutes. In only 10 hours a single bacterium, living in perfect biological conditions, will have a billion offspring. In order to prevent us from being overwhelmed by a monstrous number of bacteria, God created viruses as pest control agents that keep them in check.
While most people do not like to think about it, our bodies contain many “other” organisms. We have a lot of non-human critters in our body. They are, however, very necessary for our human cells to be alive and to properly function.
An average human body contains about 30 trillion (30,000,000,000,000) human cells. But, that is not all the living cells that are contained in or on our bodies. The Microbiome, meaning the total amount of human cells, bacteria, fungi, and other microbes that exist in or on our bodies under normal conditions, totals about 39 trillion (39,000,000,000,000) organisms. Yet these extras, because they are so much smaller than human cells, amount to only one to three percent of the total mass of our bodies.
This is why viruses do a body good. Without them controlling and limiting the total amount of bacteria and fungi we have individually, these intruders could easily overwhelm us and would cause many serious illnesses and death. Viruses, that we do not make in our body, are necessary for us to live healthy lives. They are essential to our survival.
Indeed, microbes have infiltrated every niche of multicellular life. So much so that one might ask: “What is a human body?” The human body is a blend of one big organism with a lot of little organisms existing together. Most of the time the total body mass lives together quite harmoniously. All the little organisms help with digestion and preventing illnesses. It is only when one of the few dangerous little organisms enters into our bodies and is not immediately destroyed that we get sick.
Viruses and Our Immune System
In 2010, evolutionary geneticist Vicente Perez-Brocal of the U. of Valencia, Spain, was attempting to study Crohn’s disease. Crohn’s being an inflammation of the bowels and thought to be the result of the immune system going into overdrive. It can damage the intestines and increase the risk of colon cancer. The question was how do viruses fit into the picture? After all the greatest number of “inhabitants” in humans are viruses.
There are about 10 quintillion (1 followed by 31 zeros) virus particles on or in one human body. Some viruses do cause diseases like Flu, COVID, HIV, and some cancers, but most of them promote health. Together, all the viruses in and on one human body are called the human virome.
It turns out that many viruses are part of the human immune/defense system. For example: as reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in May 2013, mucus studded with bacteria-infecting viruses (bacteriophage or just “phage”) help to protect host cells from invasive microbes. Within the mucus barriers that line our airways, intestines, mouth, and other openings, the host and phages work together to control the movement and reproduction of bacteria. Anchored to sugars produced by host cells, phage infect and “blow up” invading bacteria that try to cross through the mucus barrier.
Indeed, the high mutation rates of beneficial viruses helps to keep bacteria “on their toes” because the bacteria are constantly encountering “new” forms of viruses that prevents bacteria surviving and producing an immunity to the viruses. The opposite may also occur. Phage may strengthen bacterial attacks on their human hosts. Phage may deposit genes for resisting antibiotics, or for making toxins, into the bacteria they infect, potentially producing virulent infections that resist antibiotic treatment.
Paradoxically, some bacteria use viruses as weapons against other bacteria! Under certain conditions, a common intestinal bacteria (Enterococcus faecalis) unleashes a dual phage cocktail that kills other bacteria giving it an advantage over its competition. This action leads us to the modern medical method for killing bacterial infections with viruses instead of with antibiotics. Antibiotics kill bacteria indiscriminately; phage target only specific microbes but leave the rest (the good ones) alone.
What then allows us to live healthy lives in this virus-filled world? It is not entirely due to our wonderful God-given immune system. It is because of the quirks of viruses. They are incredibly precise as to what cells they will or will not infect! An infinitesimally small number of viruses actually pose any threat to human beings.
When it comes to epidemics there are predictable patterns. Most new infectious diseases enter the human population or transfer to another animal species as a zoonosis (a disease that infects by crossing from one animal species to another). Mammals and birds are estimated to have 1.7 million undiscovered types of viruses. Oops!
But the successful crossover process is difficult, requiring a series of events to happen. There must be contact followed by a successful infection. After this, the virus must infect additional members of the new species.
It is more difficult than it sounds. After contact: how long can the virus exist outside of a host? How efficiently does the virus subvert the immune system? Is the virus affected by rain or a local food shortage? Is the virus capable of latching onto a “docking site” on the outside surface of a host’s cell? It is like a key and lock matching exercise. The vast majority of viruses simply “bounce” off our cells and harmlessly eventually exit our bodies.
Of course, the crossover does happen occasionally. There are more than 200 viruses that are known to cause diseases in humans. That does not mean that they necessarily started off being able to infect people, nor did they necessarily start off as being detrimental to anything.
Viruses with a lot of “flexibility” are those that store their genetic information as RNA rather than DNA. RNA viruses are particularly adept at making the cross-species transition. While DNA duplication does produce mistakes (mutations) it is far more precise than RNA duplication. Because of this “sloppy” RNA copying process the mutation rates for RNA-based viruses is extremely high. It is an error-prone process that in turn produces immense diversity and more opportunity for survival when occupying new environments.
The rapid mutations of RNA-based viruses that allow them to produce their wide diversity and opportunities to survive are also their Achilles Heel. Consider all the variants of the COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) virus there have been. As of December 2021, there have been ten known variants from Alpha to Omicron; but only six of these mutations were labeled as “variants of interest”.
In August 2021, Japan recorded 23,000 new Delta cases per day. By the end of 2021, their new Delta case numbers were down to 16 per day. Why did the vaunted Delta variant seem to just fade away from public attention?
The Delta variant fizzled out because it mutated itself out of existence. Over time, the rapid random mutations of viruses scramble up the genetic materials contained within them. Viral mutations are ridiculously hard to target because they are like supersonic moving targets. Why do we have Flu shot immunizations every fall, often containing multiple anti-Flu ingredients, and yet the shots are only about 70% effective? MUTATIONS!
Viruses cannot think, they are not really alive as commonly defined, and their mutations do not make them better only worse. But their mutations (as God designed them) allow them to dodge immune systems and therefore spread quickly. We may find a way to eliminate a certain strain, but their “offspring” produce mutations that are unaffected, and we have to start all over again.
The COVID-19 virus contains an “error-correcting” enzyme labeled nsp14. In the Delta variant, it mutated so fast that the nsp14 enzyme was damaged. The virus became “faulty” because the damage prevented the virus from continuing to replicate and it could no longer be the dominate virus within the population. While it was more transmissible than the original Alpha variant it is mutating itself into extinction!
The Delta variant has produced what are called “lineages,” but these lineages have proven to be less virulent, cause fewer symptoms, and spread slower. The same fate is probably what stopped the spread of the first and second Corona virus epidemics (SARS in 2002–2003 and MERS in 2012). This was scientifically proven to be true in the case of the now extinct SARS virus.
We have to wait and see which strains continue and which strains “commit suicide.” It is not predictable, and many strains will remain viable.
The most serious and dangerous viruses are RNA-based. The list includes Ebola, SARS, MERS, Zika, various influenzas, SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), smallpox, colds, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis, polio, rabies, hantavirus, and dengue fever.
Unfortunately, viruses may also “swap” genetic materials. Again, they are not alive and do not sexually reproduce, they only “copy” the “parent;” but if two similar viruses infect the same host at the same time, they are able to mingle genetic information which in turn yields a hybrid novel offspring different from either of the two original “parents.” The process is called antigenic shift. Flu viruses are well-known for doing mutations and intermingling RNA fragments. This is why they so easily move from animal hosts to human hosts and back again.
Viruses have another annoying ability. They can infect a host but remain hidden for long periods of time. The most common example is the Chicken Pox virus that remains dormant, but is mutating within the host, and then suddenly erupts into Shingles.
Viruses are ubiquitous. Depending on the type of virus they are transmitted in many ways.
Touch: hands, nose, mouth, and eyes.
Respiratory droplets: talk, cough, and sneeze.
Direct contact: HPV by touching skin or Epstein-Barr (aka Mono) by kissing.
Bodily fluids: HIV/AIDS
Contaminated food or water: Noroviruses
Insects: Zika, West Nile Fever, Lyme Disease, Encephalitis, Yellow Fever
The COVID-19 virus is an interesting case of how a virus can not only infect a patient but can “attack” the patient in such a way as to prevent the virus from being ejected from the body! The COIVD virus mows down the hairlike cilia that coat a person’s airways, destroying the crucial barrier that prevents the virus from lodging deep within the lungs.
Viruses and Our Immune System
Viruses do not think, but they are promiscuous. Why are the newer and newer variants of COVID more and more infectious, but less and less lethal?
“It just so happens” that the new variants have formed hybrids with genetic material from another virus - the coronavirus that causes the common cold! Gee, just when you thought that things could not get worse, they did. When was the last time the world’s governments shut down their economies, foisted tyrannical authority upon their citizens, and declared an all-out war promising to irradicate the common cold???
Researchers at Nference, Cambridge, MA, analyzed the omicron genetic code and found a new snippet of code that is also present in a common cold virus. It is likely that a human host was infected by a common cold coronavirus (HCoV-229E) and by an omicron coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) at the same time. While the two viruses were duplicating in the host, they also exchanged information (called viral recombination). This hybrid makes omicron very infectious, but only a little worse than a common cold infection. There is no evidence at this time that this snippet has worked its way into other variants of COVID-19.
This fact of science also begs the question, why should anyone tolerate being denied effective drug prescriptions for a large group of known safe therapeutics that can be used for treating common viruses?
How Do Viruses Assist Our Immune System
New viruses are identified every year. Studying new viruses allows us to determine which have the potential to be developed into useful biologics with therapeutic benefits to humans. Some viruses have beneficial properties in a symbiotic relationship within us, while other natural and laboratory-modified viruses can be used to target and kill cancer cells, to treat a variety of genetic diseases as gene and cell therapy tools, or to serve as vaccines or vaccine delivery agents. The ability to treat diseases using viruses (virotherapy) is at the cutting edge of modern medicine.
About nine million people die from cancers every year. We are all aware that cancers are treated with chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. These methods provide increased survival rates, but their efficacy is often limited. Chemotherapy and radiation often have significant adverse side effects. In addition, some cancers will reoccur.
Emerging alternative treatments for cancers are based upon using viruses to kill cancer cells on a selective basis. At least seven families of viruses are being studied for their potential use as anti-cancer agents. Viruses are extremely selective, like GPS guided cruise missiles, and will target only specific cancer cells without harming noncancerous cells. Those used to treat cancers are called oncolytic viruses.
Current research is targeting cancers of the lung, breast, prostate, pancreas, bladder, and ovaries. In 2015, the first such cancer treatment was approved by the US FDA for the treatment of melanoma lesions of the skin and in lymph nodes.
While targeted treatments destroy cancer cells; there are many viruses that are nonreplicating. They can be used as vectors carrying corrective gene delivery into cells. Virus-mediated gene therapy deals with the delivery and expression of therapeutic genes to desired target cells in order to remove defective genes and replace them with fully functional genes. This application would be used to treat monogenetic disorders.
Viral gene therapy uses a virus’ natural capacity to protect DNA inside the viral capsule and to deliver it to a specific site inside the cell nucleus. In order for this to work, almost all the original viral content is removed, and new DNA is inserted in its place. The virus delivers the new DNA, and the patient will no longer suffer from their previous condition. Patients with hemophilia B and sickle cell anemia would be prime candidates for this type of treatment.
Most gene therapy research is concentrating on the use of adenoviruses, lentiviruses, and retroviruses as the vectors. The first approved treatment using this technology was approved in 2012. One injection of particles given to a hemophilia patient resulted in more than a 90% reduction in bleeding episodes with the effect lasting more than three years, with no toxic effects! The downside is that the treatment cost about $1 million. Continued research should make it far more affordable.
In addition to the current high cost, another problem with adeno-associated virus therapy is the potential for immune responses against the virus capsid and the therapeutic gene products that are produced. A decade ago, it was believed that this form of therapy would not elicit an immune response. Experiments with large animals, nonhuman primates, and humans has since proved this is not true.
In order to maintain the expression of the desired therapeutic protein, different strategies have had to be developed in order to avoid or to suppress the rejection of the desired immune treatment. In gene therapy scenarios it is important to avoid our bodies immune responses to the outside of the virus capsule and the transported DNA contained inside the virus.
In contrast, the goal for viral vaccine development is to provoke the human immune system to be activated including the generation of neutralizing antibodies. In order to induce a protective immune response, patients are injected with an attenuated or inactivated virus or with specific viral antigens. For patients with an immune deficiency disorder, passive immunization by direct administration of antibodies may be done. [Do monoclonal antibodies sound COVID familiar?]
Administration of antibodies that produce immunity is unfortunately temporary lasting only a few weeks or months. This is why we have to develop gene therapy transport agents that express broadly neutralizing antibodies that can be used for the long-term treatment of patients with HIV, Flu, and various cancers.
Some of the viruses that infect humans are certainly dangerous and capable of causing severe and often lethal diseases, but other viruses can be manipulated to be beneficial to our health.
In addition to these viruses offering us the potential for the successful treatment of cancers and the correction of genetic disorders, they also provide us with the tools to significantly treat many viral infections that would otherwise decimate the human population worldwide.
This is not the end of how viruses may be used beneficially for human life and longevity. In laboratory experiments, viruses also may be used in genetic studies to determine molecular mechanisms (an area of study with great potential); in studies to develop beneficial pesticides and insecticides without negative impacts to non-crop plant species and beneficial insects; and studies to develop drought resistant edible plant varieties that would provide food sources in arid parts of the world.
We must strive to recognize that most viruses are benign or beneficial to the human population and that we should not be afraid of most of them. We need to be able to explain to people that there are many “good” viruses and that they do a lot of good things are us.
WITHOUT VIRUSES LIFE ON EARTH WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE
Viruses are found in every environment where life exists. Whether in the extremes from freshwater, super saline water, soil, desert sands, or thermal hot springs viruses are there. It is in the oceans and soils that we find the largest numbers. In extreme ecosystems, viruses are the only predator.
Consider these phenomenal numbers: one kg (2.2 pounds) of marine sediment may contain over one million kinds of viruses; a glass of seawater may contain 5,000 viral kinds; there are about 1,000 viral kinds in the human alimentary canal; and even human blood is populated with as yet unidentified viral, but apparently beneficial, communities. In their role as predators, viruses prevent the over population of bacteria. They kill the winners and keep populations in balance.
It is in their ability to exchange genetic information between hosts, whether for benefit or detriment, that they have their greatest significance. When they inject their genomes into host cells their host temporarily replicates proviruses. Proviruses are viruses that have integrated their genome into the host’s genome. These proviruses then become active and will lead to the death of the host cell. The key point is that proviruses express genes that alter the phenotype (the observable characteristics of an individual resulting from the interaction of its genotype with the environment) of the host.
For example, the normal environmental strains of Vibrio cholerae are not normally human pathogens. They only become lethal when they are infected by a provirus that is carrying the cholera toxin. This is a classic observed mechanism of lateral gene transfer - a proof of creation and a refutation of evolution!
WITHOUT VIRUSES LIFE IN THE OCEANS WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE
Lateral gene transfer is ecologically important. Viruses that infect the marine cyanobacteria (Prochlorococcus and Synechoccus, formerly called blue-green algae) are called phycoviruses and they often carry a gene (psbA) that encodes a protein that is essential for photosynthesis. These viruses use this gene and others to keep the host alive in order to produce the necessary energy needed during the infection cycle - another example of how viruses confiscate the hosts machinery for their own benefit.
In some cases, when the virus inserts this gene into the host, a recombination of genetic material occurs, and the recombinant gene material actually inactivates the viral gene. This recombination enables the host to survive, and the information is added to the host genome leading to immunity of the host from that virus.
Viruses also move genetic material from one ecosystem to another. They can successfully move by infecting microbes in normally unrelated environments. A recent study of human RNA viruses demonstrated that plant viruses efficiently move through humans in order to be disseminated. In a similar way, viruses use animals to move from one place to another.
New viruses are constantly being discovered and the study of their genetic material continuously reveals new genes and new potential uses of this material.
Importantly, virus predation on microbial hosts has been shown to have significant impact on carbon cycling in the Southern Oceans. However, hosts may also be predators of viruses!
Ocean dwelling viruses are an important part of the food chain! Ocean dwelling viruses make up to 70% of the biomass in the oceans. One small glass of seawater contains over 150 million viral particles. Filter feeders, like oysters, sponges, and corals “eat” viruses that constitute up to 12% of their lunch! When sponges have nothing else to consume, they remove 94% of the viral particles that pass through them!
God created the earth and all its organisms to exist in a balanced way with checks and balances throughout the global environments. This overall specified complexity demonstrates God’s infinite foreknowledge and creative abilities.
The oceans contain vast numbers of bacteria that are constantly reproducing. They would overwhelm the oceans in a short period of time. Dozens of viruses, called femtoplanton, may land on a single bacterium. After infection, the bacteria are broken open (lyses) releasing more viruses to go on and infect other bacteria. This is called the lytic cycle.
While viruses are typically thought to have little genetic material of their own, and often thought more of as gene-thieves who prey upon and steal the mechanisms of living cells, a new understanding of them is emerging.
Rather than thieves, viruses are being seen more as commodity brokers, playing a major role in transferring genes from one organism to another. Their acquisition of new genes may dramatically change the lifestyle of those organisms that “receive the goods,” allowing them to invade new environments, or give them the ability to fight off predators.
New information indicates that viruses may keep acquired genes and even bundle them together. This is the case with several photosynthesis genes found in marine viruses. The findings hint at a huge viral contribution to the world’s energy production.
Marine virologist Curtis Suttle, U. of British Columbia, stated: “Viruses are major drivers of nutrient and energy cycles on the planet.”
A more productive view of death by virus is coming into focus. Viruses do not just kill plants, animals, and bacteria - they also kill the organisms at the bottom of the food chain, whose deaths have great implications. Suttle continued: “If you take viruses out of seawater, counterintuitively, things stop growing.” Why? By killing organisms, viruses release badly needed nutrients. Effectively, by killing organisms, viruses feed the world!
Viruses are the most numerous things in the oceans. If you were to take all the viruses out of the oceans and stretch them end to end, the string would reach beyond the 60 nearest galaxies.
Viruses infect phytoplankton including algae and photosynthesizing bacteria.
Phytoplankton are the major force behind the ocean’s nutrient and energy cycles and make up about 90% of the ocean’s biomass. Viruses kill an estimated 20% of this biomass every day! The good news is that the phytoplankton reproduce at an incredibly fast rate.
The death of phytoplankton can literally shape the land. Coccolithophores, single-celled marine floaters, are known for their calcium rich carbonate skeletons. The mass death of these creatures builds up layers of chalk around the world. The White Cliffs of Dover in the UK are 100% cytoskeletons. It was a phytoplankton bloom and mass death caused by viruses that formed the White Cliffs in the warm waters of the Flood of Noah.
You may also see much smaller blooms on satellite pictures. They often appear as milky blue whisps at the mouths of rivers.
The death of phytoplankton caused by viruses not only influences the makeup of the marine community, but they also affect geochemical cycling. As their dead bodies sink to the bottom, they sequester an estimated three billion tons of carbon each year. [An Environmental Terrorist’s dream come true.]
The death of some phytoplankton enhances the production of dimethylsulfide, an ocean gas that is the main natural source of sulfur in the air. As a series of chemical reactions take place dimethylsulfide is transformed into airborne particulates that seed cloud formation and affect worldwide storm cycles. Rain is good for so many reasons!
Certain ocean dwelling creatures benefit from viral infection. The emerald-green sea slug Elysia cholotica (the solar powered sea slug) gets its green hue and photosynthetic ability by dining on the algae Vaucheria litororea. By digesting the algae, the slug acquires the light harvesting factories, the chloroplasts, and sequesters them in carefully designed cells in the slug’s gut.
The photosynthesis process continues and provides enough energy to sustain a slug for months without eating. The problem is that the chloroplast genome does not contain all the necessary genes to make the light-harvesting factories run. Genes from the algae’s nucleus are also required.
These sea slugs are born with DNA containing the same genes as the algae they eat. However, this is still not enough to produce the food supply that the slug needs. Virus-like particles have been found in the “stolen” chloroplasts from the algae and in the cell nuclei of the slugs. God designed viruses that give the slug their photosynthetic abilities.
There are other examples of viruses being beneficial to ocean life. The grouping of species called Octocorals consist of organ-pipe corals and sea fans. While they are not considered to be true corals, they do have a DNA-repair gene that appears to have been added by a virus in the past.
The suspected culprit is a huge mimivirus originally found inside a water tower in London, England. This virus is more than 4,000 times bigger than the common cold virus. Comparing it with ocean water samples found similar mimivirus “relatives” and to the discovery of a version of a DNA-repair gene labeled MutS known in bacteria but never before seen in viruses. All marine mimiviruses contain this gene.
In addition to being “gene brokers” some viruses keep what they have gathered for their own use. Seven genes needed in the photosynthetic process have been recently found in the genomes of viruses that infect marine cyanobacteria. These genes give directions for making photosynthesis I, a protein that gathers electrons from proteins that are located upstream in the photosynthesis chemical chain. In the cyanobacterium genome these genes are separated by large amounts of DNA, but in the viruses, they are located next to each other. Being located next to each other they photosynthesize more efficiently providing more fuel for the organism.
There is no limit to the types of genes that viruses can acquire!
PEOPLE CAN BENEFIT FROM VIRAL INFECTION, TOO!
In 2015, a seven-year boy was dying from a rare genetic skin condition called junctional epidermolysis bullosa. The condition had caused him to lose about 80% of his skin. This condition occurs in children because of errors (mutations) in copying one of three genes - LAMA3, LAMB3, or LAMC2.
These genes produce parts of the laminin 332 protein, the protein that helps to attach the top layer of skin (epidermis) to the layers below. Such children are sometimes called “butterfly children” because their skin is as fragile as a butterfly’s wing. Even the mildest friction can cause severe blistering. This blistering can also affect the mucus membranes inside the body, making swallowing, breathing, and digestion of food difficult.
In the USA, only about 1 in 20,000 babies are born with this condition each year. More than 40% of these children die before they reach adolescence. A previously attempted skin graft from his father had been rejected.
For small areas, about the size of 8 x 11 paper, stem cell patches had worked in other children. This boy required 14 times as much area to be replaced!
In September 2015, a small 0.6 square inch piece of unblistered skin was removed from him, and stem cells were grown from the sample. Then, using a retrovirus to insert healthy copies of non-mutated LAMB3 genes into lab-grown cells, normal stem cells, both progenitor skin cells (short lived skin cells) and holoclone cells (long lasting skin cells), were produced.
The genetically corrected skin cells were first grown into thin sheets. Then two sheets were transplanted onto the boy’s body during two surgeries in October and November of 2015. Following a third surgery in February 2016, he was released from the hospital. A true miracle of modern medicine had occurred. [The Divine Healer provided the knowledge and worked through human hands.]
Skin cells replace themselves fairly quickly. His “new” skin has become fully functional. In 2017, the boy was able to start playing soccer. Some of the corrected stem cells started migrating into untreated areas of his skin and were expected to eventually replace all his skin allowing him to lead a normal adult life.
This case was a huge leap forward in the development of stem cell therapies and an excellent example of how viruses can be used to benefit human life.
And, viruses help to develop the human mind from baby to adult! In 2015, researchers found DNA segments called transposable elements (TEs). TEs are repetitive mobile genetic elements that act as gene regulatory elements. They influence gene expression and play a role in controlling and fine-tuning gene networks in the human brain! TEs attract transcription factors to specific DNA sites, recruit silencing complexes that shut down DNA regions, and alter splicing patterns to produce useful proteins.
These transposable elements continue to amaze us in their varied functions. They may enhance gene expression or repress it. They are capable of rewiring gene networks. They can supply starting sites for the transcribing of lengthy non-coding RNAs that will regulate other processes.
One proof that random evolution is impossible is to simply ask: “What are the odds that a parasitic infection could, by random chance, inject the perfect coding information that would achieve so many complicated interrelated components at the cellular level? And, at the same time promote healthy brain development?”
Do not try to calculate the odds, it is simply impossible. This obvious design requires a Perfect Designer with infinite knowledge of molecular microbiological chemistry. It requires Someone that can at will create non-living atomic materials, join those atoms together into incredibly complex molecules, and then combine those molecules into a living organism.
Because this obvious design did not fit their religious narrative, evolutionists declared TEs to be useless vestiges of evolutionary development - initially describing them as genetic trash or “Junk DNA.”
Using the Christian-based Modern Scientific Method and taking it to its logical conclusion has shown researchers who seek truth and not just the next grant, that the DNA of TEs have plenty of valid uses. They have discovered that TEs control precise functions in the development of brain cells. What gives TEs these abilities? Viruses! The real credit, of course, goes to the Creator God revealed to us in the Bible.
Viruses have, in general, been given a bad rap. They are incredibly small, well-designed molecular “machines” with specified complexity to do millions of useful tasks. They are useful in proving that creation is true and occurred recently, and that they are consistent with the Genesis account of creation.
Those RNA viruses that are disease causing include influenza variants, COVID-19 variants, HIV, and measles. Their current disease-causing affect should not be used to obscure their original created purposes.
First, RNA viruses show all the elements of obvious design. Their genes carry codes that produce accurate proteins to accomplish useful tasks including full replication. This is micro-design at the highest level that demonstrates incredible intelligence far beyond human capabilities.
Second, disease causing RNA viruses are benign (asymptomatic) in their original hosts! This means that they were created and non-disease causing when placed into the genome of the original host.
For example, in 2002, the Oxford University zoologist Dr. Edward Holmes wrote concerning the RNA Bird Flu virus that it “persistently replicates in the intestinal tract and is asymptomatic” in certain birds. In a similar vein, the infamous HIV-1 and HIV-2 viruses play a totally normal role in the lives of several African monkey species. In the monkeys these viruses are a part of their healthy immune system. It is only when these viruses are taken out of their normal environment and enter the environment of the human immune system that they become deadly. It isn’t the HIV viruses that kill people, but it is the addition of a foreign virus that greatly lowers the human immune response to other diseases.
Thus, we may see that God made viruses and they were very good in the original perfect creation. God created all living things with harmless beneficial viruses within each organism’s genome. It is only when they are taken out of their original genomes that they may become dangerous either directly or indirectly through accidental recombinations.
What caused these benign viruses to leave their first estate and to start moving around and allow a few of them to become detrimental? It was the first sin of man and woman in the Garden that caused the perfect creation to become imperfect. When it comes to disease don’t blame God, blame the Adamic sinful nature inherited from our first parents.