Friday, April 6, 2012

Are Microbes The Origin of PTSD?

The world of biological science has gone through extreme verbal wars and revolutions in the past hundred years or so.

The verbal war is one of the more civil facets of the development of evolutionary sciences, some of which arose as misinterpretations of the science Darwin conducted and wrote about.

One such interpretation became "social Darwinism", which led to beliefs that caused some people to become psychopaths:
Social Darwinism is a term commonly used for theories of society that emerged in England and the United States in the 1870s, seeking to apply the principles of Darwinian evolution to sociology and politics. It especially refers to notions of struggle for existence being used to justify social policies which make no distinction between those able to support themselves and those unable to support themselves. The most prominent form of such views stressed competition between individuals in laissez-faire capitalism; but it is also connected to the ideas of eugenics, scientific racism, imperialism, fascism, Nazism and struggle between national or racial groups.
(Social Darwinism). I wrote "one of the more civil facets" above, because "the survival of the fittest", in social Darwinism terms, led to a "scientific social explanation" for ongoing real shooting wars between those who considered themselves the most fit to survive (e.g. having the bigger fangs, the bigger military).

That misunderstanding eventually led to two world wars, racial, religious, and ethnic conflicts, as "the most evolved" reacted to the misinformation within the mythical and wrong-headed social Darwinism hypothesis.

One clear manifestation of social Darwinism has been explored in the recent Dredd Blog post: Ayn Rand: Patron Saint of the Plutocracy.

Meanwhile, scientists who actually studied the real natural world which Darwin was supposed to have described, began to see some different dynamics operating under the covers:
The study of mitochondria in recent years has come to occupy an important position in biology. Two points of view are held in regard to the nature of these microscopic structures, and this circumstance appears to be responsible for the diversity of opinion as to the activities of these bodies. The most commonly accepted view holds that mitochondria are cell-organs derived from the cytoplasm. The other view, that they are microorganisms "symbiotically" united to the cell, has attracted only a few adherents, and apparently has been looked upon as a fantastic and improbable theory.

The bare statement that all living cells of plants and animals contain small bodies that are independent entities capable of a free existence, or in other words, that all cells contain bacteria or microorganisms, is, perhaps, a little shocking to those who hold dogmatic ideas on cell physiology.
(Symbiotism and The Origin of Species, by Ivan E. Wallin, 1927, p. vii). This "fantastic and improbable theory" was ignored until it was revisited by scientists in the 1960's who were further developing the concept of "Symbiogenesis" and similar theories, as concurrent explanations for origins of species.

Diehard Darwinists wanted to keep the holy grail of pure Darwinian evolution intact, and wanted their "scientific" status quo protected, so they fought hard in that misdirection.

Eventually, those neo Darwinists lost verbal battles, and eventually lost that ideological war, but some skirmishes continued as that verbal civil war subsided, even as "Darwin will rise again" was shouted out less and less as time went on.

The extinction of social Darwinism, along with some aspects of actual evolutionary Darwinism, began to take place once the reality took hold that catastrophic events, unrelated to biological evolution, were responsible for mass extinctions on Earth.

It became obvious that neither natural selection nor random mutation, bulwarks of the theory of survival of the fittest (the theory that only the unfit would become extinct), caused the numerous mass extinctions that we have evidence of.

We have talked about one such mass extinction event, the "K-T boundary" extinction, in a Dredd Blog post From Deepwater I To Deepwater II, as well as in other posts:
A day or so ago a distinguished group of scientists determined that the theory which says a piece of an asteroid became a meteorite which caused the extinction of the dinosaurs was more likely to be reality than the competing theory.
[A] brave individual, about 50 years ago, noticed that the scientific community was kowtowed, afraid, and timid about even seriously considering the theory that a chunk of asteroid caused the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Simply put, he noticed that there was tyranny of dogma within the scientific world, and that such tyranny would lead us to a bad place.

Therefore, "de Grazia dedicated the whole September 1963 issue of American Behavioral Scientist to the issue" concerning the part that catastrophes, like the chunk of asteroid (meteorite) strike, have played in the evolution on this planet.
(SCAD). One thing was for sure, the K-T boundary mass extinction was not the result of Darwinian natural selection nor random mutation (cf. PNAS).

Thus "symbionticism" and "symbiogenesis" theory could no longer be ignored, because the evidence was mounting:
Entire genomes with their accompanying protein synthetic systems are transferred throughout the biosphere primarily as bacteria and protists which become symbionts as they irreversibly integrate into pre-existing organisms to form more complex individuals. Individualization is stabilized by simultaneous transmission of once-separate heterologous genetic systems. The origin of new species is hypothesized to correlate with the acquisition, integration and subsequent inheritance of such acquired microbial genomes. These processes were recognized by Mereschkovsky (“Symbiogenesis” in Russian, 1909) and by Wallin (“Symbionticism”, see p. 181, this issue).
(Origins of Species). That paper, written by Dr. Lynn Margulis, Department of Biology, University of Massachusetts, concerns "acquired genomes and individuality."

Her work took into consideration the science that cyanobacteria have, for billions of years, had incredible adaptive abilities, including altruism, cooperation, and other symbiotic behaviors, which neither the Darwinian theory of natural selection nor genetic random mutation theory could explain.

Recently, scientists discovered that even humans and microbes are symbionts, and in fact humans can not reproduce without them.

One can surmise that the K-T boundary extinction event was globally traumatic, since ~90% of land species, including dinosaurs, bit the extinction dust, as did perhaps ~50% of ocean species.

How did the remaining microbes react?

Since the utter destruction and catastrophe caused by the K-T boundary extinction was globally extreme, the microbes that survived would have been extremist types for the most part, otherwise they would have been unable to exist in those new extreme conditions.

The subsequent extreme events of taking over control of mammalian female placenta, establishing a virgin species, or perhaps engendering the adaptability of newts, may have been microbial reactions to the extreme trauma of the K-T boundary extinction event.

The spurious activity caused by any such trauma may explain why not all mammals, for example the rabbit, need those microbes to reproduce.

Evidence, in the form of the oldest rabbit fossil yet found, shows that it originated after the time of the K-T extinction event.

The rabbit, and species close to it, are not like other mammals such as the gorilla, monkey, orangutan, or human, which must have microbe (viral) help in order to reproduce via a functional placenta.

Whatever the answer turns out to be, in closing, let's remember that social Darwinism is still in full force and effect in the domestic and foreign policy of the U.S. and other governments.

Is that because some microbes are subconsciously producing toxins of power, due to ancient Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) exposure, experienced for millions of years post K-T extinction, then stored in their/our genes?

Then to be expressed after humans appeared and formed civilizations?

Did microbes, upon becoming exposed to power as human symbionts,  begin to react in extreme ways?

We now know that they can change from pathogen to symbiont, and vice versa under requisite environmental conditions (Microbial Languages: Rehabilitation of the Unseen--2).


  1. I guess we can conclude that feathers were not the reason bird-dinosaurs made it through the K-T boundary mass extinction. Luck is a better reason: Link

  2. Conversely, if microbes produce toxins of power, might they prepare humans to serve the higher minds quest to be free/more free from a centralized power? Civilization to post- civilization- from information coming from the powerful to power derived from processing information from multiple sources simultaneously?,The relatively fast shift from lack of information to information overload has challenged us to move from seeking ways to find information to seeking how to process massive amounts of information. Perhaps A "PTSD toxin" is really an initiation of a LeMarckian v. Darwinian evolution in humans. CT scans reveal actual physical fissures forming in the brain as a result of traumatic events, and there is research that indicates children of parents with PTSD show a higher propensity to develop PTSD, and physical anomalies in their brains are similar to the fissures of PTSD subjects. Experiences are information in the rawest sense.The seeming inability to control accessing certain information and the subsequent bio processes, hyper-vigilance and attention deficit may not be welcomed today, but may be the beginning of a transition from, say, a linear to a kind of parallel processing of information in the human brain in the future. This too would serve the symbiotic relationship!

  3. It has been discovered lately that microbial behavior can be modified.

    For example a deadly pathogen or parasite can change behavior to become a symbiont, a mutualistic microbe (Microbial Languages: Rehabilitation of the Unseen--2).

    Environmental changes in microbes result in changes in behavioral patterns.