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Global viral extermination, how soon?
Posted 8/29/15 , edited 8/29/15
Airborne viruses are pretty weak and easy to kill/defend against in comparison to bloodborne viruses, and it's not easy to infect humans by blood.

Bacteria has a better chance at exterminating the human roaches. When all antibiotics lose its power, that's when doomsday starts.
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Posted 8/29/15

GayAsianBoy wrote:

Airborne viruses are pretty weak and easy to kill/defend against in comparison to bloodborne viruses, and it's not easy to infect humans by blood.

Bacteria has a better chance at exterminating the human roaches. When all antibiotics lose its power, that's when doomsday starts.


Actually, it doesn't really make sense to compare different classes of organisms and modes of transmission. The Swine Flu was an airborne virus but was one of the worst pandemics in history. The common cold and flu manage to infect countless millions each year thanks to their airborne transmission. They survive because they get around. Ebola is bloodborne, and for a long time we didn't see it precisely because of its virulence: outbreaks killed their host before they got very far, fortunately. Modern transportation and development has much to blame for ebola's surge. HIV is also bloodborne, but it has a slow burn, so one person carrying the virus can manage to get around and transmit the virus to many others before noticing any problems. One way or another, all of these pathogens get the job done.

The bit about antibiotic failure representing doomsday is completely off. Humanity has had antibiotics for only a few decades, and we were doing pretty well up to that time.

But you're right in that we'll be in a world of hurt when the antibiotics go, which they will. Most antibiotics are now ineffective for a number of major pathogens, and only a handful of compounds are left as our final defense against the worst multi-drug resistant infections. But extinction is an extremely unlikely option for simple evolutionary reasons: a pathogen that wipes out its host denies itself a future.
Posted 8/29/15

kamosuzo wrote:


GayAsianBoy wrote:

Airborne viruses are pretty weak and easy to kill/defend against in comparison to bloodborne viruses, and it's not easy to infect humans by blood.

Bacteria has a better chance at exterminating the human roaches. When all antibiotics lose its power, that's when doomsday starts.


Actually, it doesn't really make sense to compare different classes of organisms and modes of transmission. The Swine Flu was an airborne virus but was one of the worst pandemics in history. The common cold and flu manage to infect countless millions each year thanks to their airborne transmission. They survive because they get around. Ebola is bloodborne, and for a long time we didn't see it precisely because of its virulence: outbreaks killed their host before they got very far, fortunately. Modern transportation and development has much to blame for ebola's surge. HIV is also bloodborne, but it has a slow burn, so one person carrying the virus can manage to get around and transmit the virus to many others before noticing any problems. One way or another, all of these pathogens get the job done.

The bit about antibiotic failure representing doomsday is completely off. Humanity has had antibiotics for only a few decades, and we were doing pretty well up to that time.

But you're right in that we'll be in a world of hurt when the antibiotics go, which they will. Most antibiotics are now ineffective for a number of major pathogens, and only a handful of compounds are left as our final defense against the worst multi-drug resistant infections. But extinction is an extremely unlikely option for simple evolutionary reasons: a pathogen that wipes out its host denies itself a future.


Swine flu and normal flu virus kill people who are immunosuppressed or low immunity, e.g. elderly people, people with HIV, babies etc. They don't kill normal healthy adults.
That's why I say bloodborne is better in terms of killing people, it can kill a normal healthy adult, even if slow. There's no cure for it, e.g. HIV. The virus itself doesn't kill the person, the person dies from other viruses like flu because they lose all white blood cells.


I don't understand this part, you say my point is "off", yet claim "I'm right" at the same time... :S


Well, bacteria and viruses were here long before humans came about... and they will continue to be here even if humans are gone... so I don't understand your point about killing its hosts. It can jump to another host... :S
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Posted 8/29/15

GayAsianBoy wrote:

Swine flu and normal flu virus kill people who are immunosuppressed or low immunity, e.g. elderly people, people with HIV, babies etc. They don't kill normal healthy adults.
That's why I say bloodborne is better in terms of killing people, it can kill a normal healthy adult, even if slow. There's no cure for it, e.g. HIV. The virus itself doesn't kill the person, the person dies from other viruses like flu because they lose all white blood cells.


I don't understand this part, you say my point is "off", yet claim "I'm right" at the same time... :S


Well, bacteria and viruses were here long before humans came about... and they will continue to be here even if humans are gone... so I don't understand your point about killing its hosts. It can jump to another host... :S


You make a valid point about what I said about you being "completely off". Sorry, I was being sloppy there and spoke in excessively broad strokes, not making it clear what the points of agreement and disagreement were in your argument. To clarify: The failure of antibiotics does not represent an extinction scenario for humanity. That particular assertion was what I mostly criticizing. But I agree with you that when we lose all antibiotics it will be very, very bad and many will die.

Also, you're right in that pathogens often have multiple species for hosts, and that it's possible for a pathogen to survive while killing a whole species, using other species as a reservoir. But wiping out entire species does not present any evolutionary advantage to a pathogen once the species is gone. Crossing into a new species only has a long-term evolutionary advantage if some of that new species survives, finding some way to tolerate the pathogen. The ones with the best advantage are commensal species like our gut flora or perhaps minor pathogens like the common cold which most hosts tolerate. Ebola, on the other hand, is so virulent it can be self-inhibiting--you only have a few days to get around and infect someone else before you're dead.

And about comparing airborne versus blood-borne pathogens, I feel like you're comparing apples and oranges, but arguably I'm hair-splitting. While they are different modes of transmission, an airborne pathogen pretty much has to have a lower virulence than a blood-borne pathogen if they end up with comparable overall rates of lethality, since airborne transmission implies many more opportunities for exposure and infection than blood-borne transmission. I take your general point.
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Posted 8/29/15
We're much more likely to collapse due to population growth. We have an additional 80 million people added a year. Do you really think the planet can sustain such a huge population for an extended period of time?
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Posted 8/29/15 , edited 8/29/15
As I said in my earlier post, our population was moderately in control until the 1950's. We hit around 2 billion people then. We are currently over 7 billion. Antibiotics have changed a lot, dontcha know.

EDIT: apparently I was supposed to quote....Still don't know how to work teh forums.
Posted 8/29/15 , edited 8/29/15
Most likely not for a long time, Humans can breed very quickly unlike some endangered species. Hence why humans are not endangered and there is sometimes too many!

edit: Unless the virus effects the fetal development process then yea human race will be hurt but then again.. We have test tube babies.
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Posted 8/29/15

kaolinite wrote:

(singsong)I think we are all in denial!


In the distant past there has been records of many, many people dying due to illness. The start of it all basically occurred once humanity decided to stop being hunter-gatherers and decided to call a place home. Since then, our filth and the filth of other living things all cocooned into a small area made it easy for bacteria and viruses to flourish.

Many people died from those conditions, not knowing exactly why they were dying. This happened pretty much in every grouped society and there are a lot of illnesses that gained fame. The black plague, for example, which actually has a pretty easy fix. There are records of people, today, getting this illness. But it's always manageable unless no one decides to manage it haha.

Even then there were people susceptible to those illnesses and then others who had a stronger immune system or had a natural immunity to it. What I'm trying to say is whereas there's a good chance something could wipe out a large chunk of humanity, I believe that there were always be a small percentage out there that will be immune, or will be in an area that is so separated from the rest of civilization that the virus cannot spread to them. There will be some people that the medicine they work on to "cure" it will react. There are just so many known unknowns and unknown unknowns that I think it's too soon to throw in the towel just yet.

Humanity will certainly have it's last day of life, but I don't think it will be due to a virus.

P.S. You need to do some more read up on those illnesses, because the media really blew them out of proportion. In some cases the spread was just not logical, or difficult. Or the way in which they spread was so specific that it would have been difficult unless an idiot were involved (which, hey, could be the case). From your initial post it doesn't appear as though you've done much research besides the news articles on FOX or CNN--or perhaps on what you've seen on the news or from that Ancient Aliens guy with the freaky hair.
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Posted 8/29/15
I believe that the human race either dies out because of the lack of resources and the consequences from it or because of natural disasters.

Its not like diseases come here every once in a while and try to kill us. Ebola was known for a long time, we just happened to controll it for a long time. We then had some problems with it and now it looks fine again.
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Posted 8/29/15

pirththee wrote:

Every other species eventually becomes extinct and humans are no different.Human's technology is more likely to hasten that demise even though they depict themselves as the smart ones..


While that is true that we will eventually go extinct, we do have superior knowledge and will probably last until either we destroy ourselves with weapons of mass destruction or a external threat appears, natural disasters are probably not likely to end humanity:\
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Posted 8/29/15

CSPower wrote:


pirththee wrote:

Every other species eventually becomes extinct and humans are no different.Human's technology is more likely to hasten that demise even though they depict themselves as the smart ones..


While that is true that we will eventually go extinct, we do have superior knowledge and will probably last until either we destroy ourselves with weapons of mass destruction or a external threat appears, natural disasters are probably not likely to end humanity:\


One small asteroid 20 miles across moving at 6 miles a second is all of the natural disaster it would take .Humans are hardly masters of their fate no matter how many times they quote Invictus.
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Posted 8/29/15
I'm just waiting for the zombie outbreak to start.
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Posted 8/29/15
The earth has no need for people. The planet can shake us off like fleas and new lifeforms will take over to replace the old ones.
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Posted 8/29/15
Birds will kill us all.

Natural selection hasn't taken any effect on them for many years, because they just eat our food and thrive. Look how many seaguls and pigeons there are! They're gonna catch something worse than bird flu one day and wipe us all out. Rats caused the spread of the first plague, the flying rats will cause the next one.
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Posted 8/29/15

pirththee wrote:


CSPower wrote:


pirththee wrote:

Every other species eventually becomes extinct and humans are no different.Human's technology is more likely to hasten that demise even though they depict themselves as the smart ones..


While that is true that we will eventually go extinct, we do have superior knowledge and will probably last until either we destroy ourselves with weapons of mass destruction or a external threat appears, natural disasters are probably not likely to end humanity:\


One small asteroid 20 miles across moving at 6 miles a second is all of the natural disaster it would take .Humans are hardly masters of their fate no matter how many times they quote Invictus.


I considered a asteroid a external threat:\, but yes
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