Maybe AIDS was intentionally created

It is often reported that many Africans believe that AIDS was intentionally created by the CIA or some other American government agency with an animus toward black people.  My week in the Amazon jungle among the macaws has raised the idea that perhaps these folks are partially right.


The fundamental problem facing wildlife worldwide is habitat destruction due to the growth of human population.  Ecologists have figured out that creating a handful of tiny reserves doesn’t actually do much to prevent extinction but merely delays the inevitable.  Each tiny reserve functions like a land-bridge island and eventually most of the species go extinct.


Scientists claim that humans contracted HIV from monkeys.  Monkeys in Africa are endangered by a human population that was/is breeding out of control.  Fundamentally the only way for monkeys to save their habitat and therefore themselves is to kill as many humans as possible and prevent the remainder from breeding.  It would be evolutionarily adaptive for a wild animal in Africa to create a deadly virus and pass it to the humans who are destroying his habitat.

39 thoughts on “Maybe AIDS was intentionally created

  1. You are a freaking crazy nut-job. I am now removing your RSS feed from my reader. Have a nice life.

  2. Yes, you are a freaking crazy nut-job, and that’s why you’re on my RSS feed. 🙂 But I’m not sure I understand your point in this post. It seems reasonable to state that HIV could have been created as an evolutionary response, but how does this support the theory that the American government intentionally created it?

  3. Philip, you’re neither a biochemist nor an evolutionary biologist, are you?

  4. Sounds like a good theme for Planet of the Apes VIII (I think that’s the next number).

  5. Let me add, the monkeys also created desertification of the Sahel.
    Lest you not forget, a rat named Willard began the Black Death in the Middle Ages.
    – And watch out for the trees. They have risen up to kill both Sonny Bono and Michael Kennedy.

  6. That was one funny post, Philip. You sure agitatate these conservative puritan american fucks. Keep up the good work!

  7. Kinda reminds me of an early child rearing class that I took…

    No matter what the behavior is that the child exhibits, the parents’ response is the desired response (placation, attention). The only way to change the behavior is to develop an unexpected response.

    So, now evolution is the misbehaving child Staying out of the jungles is the desired response and humans dying in droves is just an inconvenient side-effect (to us)…

    It’s kinda ‘big picture’ for me, although there are a number of other african monkey diseases that are pretty effective at laying people low (ebola, herpes-n…) Hmmmmm

    Sorry, I have a real hard time buying any of those intelligent creator ideas myself, kinda makes me dizzy. I also find most super-germ warfare nighmares, such as The Stand, to be in the realm of fiction.

    However, if we do want to save the wild areas of the planet then it will be necessary to come up with an effective means to keep people from treading through them. Irrational fears seem to be the most effective ways to keep most people from mis-behaving. The biggest problem is that the most abundant religions seem to encourage mankind to try and tame anything wild.

    Maybe we need a solution like in Childhood’s End, Horned overlords from outer space and long-lived humans dancing in circles in the woods (not to mention one or two rivers flowing uphill).

    Or we can just educate the populace, find ways to preserve their lives and cultures without slash-n-burn argiculture, cut back on over population and, just for an encore, find peace in our time…

    Okay, okay, mebbe it is them monkeys trying to kill us all, put up big signs, QUICK!

  8. This wacky idea totally ignores the tribal custom of injecting monkey blood to take on aspects of the monkey. A teeny bit of anthropology can go a long way, as long as you are willing to actually do the anthropology in the first place, andnot just have some wacky idea.

  9. Just to recap…
    Partisans from the US created AIDS as part of a racist plot by exterminating monkeys, so that our simian stalking horses would somehow co-evolve a virus that strikes back at the humans.

    Is this the plot?

    I would say, “too stupid for television”, except I don’t believe that’s true.

  10. Phillip this is a great topic for making jokes (when is AIDS not funny?)…after what happened to that guy who posted a column saying Pat Tillman deserved to die in Afghanistan, you better watch out for Larry Summers to publicly denounce what you said in this post. Oh, and maybe Vest will fire you from the faculty of MIT, too.

  11. Do not go freaking out. Phillip’s reflection is logical enough, but let us read into his unspoken thoughts.

    Could Phillip’s comment has to do with the rate where the West has gone about conquering science (biology especially) and almost all aspects of humanity. That has left little for man’s imagination of supreme wisdom. The conquerors (with their destructive power) could and would ultimately be driven to destroy lives (man included) – not that they choose to.

    Human-technology is obssessed with perfection inching towards immortality – all for his own pleasure. This is understandable, when life gets as good as it can be (in advanced nations), nobody wants to leave.

    Would we choose to read into wisdom?

  12. It never ceases to amaze me how stupid people can be. How the hell can anyone think that claiming monkeys intentionaly created HIV as a defense mechanism is serious!?

    Very funny post, but I guess one deeper meaning one could find in it is that giving money to any “save Africa” charity is a waste unless this charity puts a lot of effort in convincing people to stop breading themselves to death!

    (As in: “yeah, I’ll dig a well for you as long as all the women who already have 2 children have this contraceptive implant”…)

  13. Well, the creepy virus mutated from somewhere. And it mutates in the laboratory every x days (months? .. someone has documented this). So it had to have started somewhere as a mutation of an otherwise harmless cell.

    Why not “intentional”. We all know that good intentions get us nowhere. Why not malevolent intentions benefit monkeys?

    If Philip is right, locating the basis for a cure or an immunizer might be next.

  14. I would think it is a joke, except that it comes too scarily close to how some otherwise intelligent people believe evolution actually takes place. As if “evolution” is some sentient being that knows how to solve problems.

  15. Fascinating how people who don’t know their heads from their other orifices start denouncing the intelligence of other people for having an interesting idea.
    Evolutionary speed, and the injecting monkey blood have no bearing on whether or not Monkeycosm (the semi-independent partially-contained ecosystem) would try to kill people… which if various ape species are any example, they will gladly war with other groups to expand/protect their holdings…
    If in the Monkeycosm at some point a horrendous biological weapon had developed, natural selection would have maintained it for potential future use.
    We don’t have evidence that there was ever a human/neanderthal war that killed that species off, maybe it wasn’t us at all. The monkeys killed them first, and then held onto that viral nuke (or something like it) for 80000 years.
    And HEY! I’M one of those crazy american conservatives… don’t confuse “wickedly naive followers of someone elses values” with logiocentric conservatives just because God told them to vote for W!

  16. Check out the cuy (looks like a deep fried rat) and dark beer in Cuzco. The amazon was amazing; camped out one night. Woke up in the morning surrounded by water after a night of constant downpour. The inca trail is amazing. There are literally perfectly fashioned stone steps and roads dug into cliffs. You have to hike in to see the good stuff.

    There are some interesting volcanic mudbaths in Northern Chile near Arica if you go south. You can drive to 15k feet(never saw that before) to see pink flamingos.

    dc

  17. As for the departure of the former readers who were offended by what is obviously a …. well, it’s hard to categorize the post, but it’s not something to be taken literally, all I can say is it reminds me of an old joke.

    The scene opens on a Western saloon filled with grimy ill-tempered cowboys and a lone well-dressed Brit who is stationed at the bar. In comes a very agitated bad-ass hombre who starts firing his gun in the air to get attention. The place immediately quiets. He bellows “I want every flea-brained no-good low-life varmit out of this Saloon in 30 seconds or I’ll start a killin’ some folk. The place clears, except for the Brit who remains in a relaxed posture at the bar.

    The cowboy walks over to him slowly, eyeing him intently, and as he approaches he says “Well?” The Brit takes a drink from his glass and responds “Well, there certainly were a lot of them, weren’t there?”

  18. Philip is neither joking nor being sarcastic. He’s just giving Darwinian evolution a little too much credit. The part about the conspiracy theory being partially right has to do with AIDS being intentionally created (by monkeys, not the CIA) to get rid of the humans that are destroying their habitat. While technically correct in that this may have been evolutionarily advantageous for the monkeys, it is purely random and coincidental. A non-lethal virus (one among many) that just happened to have formed using monkeys as hosts was then passed to humans, for whom it turned out to be lethal. It’s just as likely that another virus formed within monkeys (or another animal) and was passed to humans, but turned out to not have any (or much less) affect on us. There are no conspiracy theories about slightly annoying viruses.

  19. Yes, and mosquitos created malaria because we kept on swatting them and now they’ve brought west nile virus to the shores of our great land. Save humanity – kill a mosquito.

  20. Let’s not confuse the evolution of a multi-cellular organism (monkey) with the evolution of a single strand of DNA wrapped in a protein jacket (virus) A virus is not alive and can’t evolve (multiply with errors different than the infecting virus) without a host. That being said, multi-cellular organisms can evolve rather rapidly, relatively speaking. Salmon populations have been known to specieate in less than twenty years. If SIV was “created” or “evolved”, which amounts to the same thing, it soitanly wasn’t as a defense mechanism, or any other mechanism for that matter. Interesting idea, though. Good enough for Sci-Fi.

  21. Frank Zappa
    Promiscuous

    The Surgeon General, Doctor Koop
    S’posed to give you all the poop
    But when he’s with P.M.R.C.
    The poop he’s scoopin’
    Amazes me

    C-Span showed him, all dressed up
    In his phoney Doctor God get-up
    He looked in the camera and fixed his specs
    ‘N gave a little lecture
    ‘Bout anal sex

    He says it is not good for us
    We just can’t be promiscuous
    He’s a docter — he should know
    It’s the work of the Devil, so
    Girls, don’t blow!

    Don’t blow Jimmy, don’t blow Bobby
    Get yourself another hobby
    (If Jesus practiced medicine
    I’m sure he’d do it
    Just like him)

    Is Doctor Koop a man to trust?
    It seems at least that Reagan must
    (But Ron’s a trusting sort of guy —
    He trusts Ed Meese
    I wonder why?)

    The A.M.A. has just got caught
    For doin’ stuff it shouldn’t ought
    All they do is lie and lie
    Where’s Doctor Koop?
    He’s standin’ by

    Surgeon General? What’s the deal?
    Is your epidemic real?
    Are you leaving something out?
    Something we can’t talk about?
    A little green monkey over there
    Kills a million people?
    That’s not fair!
    Did it really go that way?
    Did you ask the C.I.A.?
    Would they take you serious,
    Or have THEY been
    Promiscuous

    Frank Zappa (lead guitar, vocals)
    Ike Willis (guitar, vocals)
    Mike Keneally (guitar, synthesizer, vocals)
    Bobby Martin (keyboards, vocals)
    Ed Mann (percussion)
    Walt Fowler (trumpet)
    Bruce Fowler (trombone)
    Paul Carman (alto saxophone)
    Albert Wing (tenor saxophone)
    Kurt McGettrick (baritone saxophone)
    Scott Thunes (bass)
    Chad Wackerman (drums)
    Eric Buxton (vocals)

  22. I think the real question here is why you no longer write informative and opinionated articles on the latest camera equipment? Are you done with that? Does the dominance of digital have you scared? What is it Phil? Get back to your roots.

  23. I think Philip has got it right – travel light.
    Phil’s postings are mirthful even when he is reaching for grave tones.
    Q is, has Philip liberated himself somewhere?

  24. This posting was worth the read to me for no other reason than the image of a bunch of monkeys with cast-off medical research equipment and a really long extension cord tolling away in the jungle to develop their supervirus.

  25. I see lots of replies bickering about whether or not monkeys created AIDS, but Philip only said it would be evolutionary advantageous for them to do so. How many of the readers here don’t know the difference between a claim and a hypothesis?

    Jan

  26. The level of misunderstanding about evolution both in the original post and the comments in this thread is very disheartening.

    I can only hope that the original thread was meant to be tongue-in-cheek. But even then, this kind of thing just contributes the general public’s complete lack of understanding about how evolution works.

    Sigh.

  27. Its an interesting hypothosis. I’m wondering, could we adapt a similar virus here in Colorado to reduce the number of carpet baggers invading us from the north? It will only be used to reclaim habitat lossed to urban sprawl brought about by houses built to house the carpet baggers. I’m afraid the natives are a dying breed and it’s probablly to late for a virus anyway.

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