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jfos's avatar

What if our bodies were vehicles of smaller creatures?

Asked by jfos (7380points) May 3rd, 2010
19 responses
“Great Question” (1points)

Recently, my friend brought to my attention how interesting it would be if our bodies were the vehicles of something(s) smaller. We decided that the creatures would most likely control us from the brain.

What do you think? If this was true, would you oppose it or go along with it? How would it work? Go.

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marinelife's avatar

They are. We carry all kinds of fauna inside of us.

shilolo's avatar

We already are. Indeed, the human microbiome project aims to sequence as many of these cohabitants as possible, and to determine their individual and group significance to health and disease.

jfos's avatar

@marinelife @shilolo But as far as we know, those organisms are not controlling/driving us. I was going to specifically set this aside in my question, I guess I should have.

Cruiser's avatar

Somehow I think there was a bong involved with your friend when he thought this one up!

shilolo's avatar

@jfos We don’t know that. It depends on what you consider “controlling/driving.” For example, the human gut has a wealth of bacteria and fungi. There is clear evidence for cross-species communication between these organisms and human cells. For example, there is already evidence to suggest that the gut bacteria affect our immune and metabolic systems. Indeed, hormones and cytokines that circulate in the blood have pleiotropic effects that include altering neuronal activity (as well as other things, like hunger and satiety). Can these communities control your thoughts/activities directly? Well, if you feel hungry, and seek out a burger, and we learn that the hunger signal is driven by the bacteria themselves, does that mean they are controlling you?

MissAusten's avatar

You are. Your body is just a vehicle for your genes, and you exist only to pass them to your progeny, continuing the existence of those genes. At least, that’s what Richard Dawkins thinks.

tragiclikebowie's avatar

Like yeerks!

mrentropy's avatar

I think the brain would be a bad place. It’s too easy to lose one’s head. Better to be someplace more centrally located. Like a liver, or spleen or something.

jfos's avatar

@tragiclikebowie Yes, like yeerks.


bongo's avatar

@jfos fancy being our test subject? we could cut you open and find out.
i promise i will do my best to put you back together

Trillian's avatar

Hehehehe. i know what you’re talking about. men in Black is the first thing I thought of, remember the itty bitty guy driving around that big tall guy?
But in another sense, that is what we are if you consider that the body is nothing more than a shell worn by the spirit, cast off when the shell stops functioning.
Still not what you’re getting at, I know.

tragiclikebowie's avatar

Well, if it was like yeerks, we’d all be screwed. It depends on what their intentions would be and if we have any power to fight it or work with the creature; like both controlling one body.

@Trillian Or if we were like the brain from TMNT!

CyanoticWasp's avatar

There are viruses, I’ve read, that actually do control the host organism to act in ways that reduce the host’s chances of survival while facilitating the virus’ reproduction / replication process.

I think the example that I read about was a virus that invades an ant, and makes changes in its brain so that the ant will climb to the top of a stalk of grass and wait to be eaten by a predator. That kills the ant, obviously, but it puts the virus into the gut of its ‘vector’, a bird that will later excrete it… so that more ants can clean up the excreta and become infected.

jfos's avatar

@CyanoticWasp Yes, Cordyceps unilateralis. Pretty frightening, but nonetheless interesting.

Nullo's avatar

C. S. Lewis (I think) once said that we are not bodies that have souls, but rather we are souls that have bodies. In that respect, the body is a vehicle for the soul, and an anchor.

Trillian's avatar

@Nullo I already said that. It’s good to know that others think the same way.

DarkScribe's avatar

You apparently have not given piggy-back rides to your children. Giddyup Daddy!

aprilsimnel's avatar

Suddenly, I thought of the Twiddlebugs.

And then I was grateful for vaccinations.

Berserker's avatar

I met this dude once who said that evil people like politicians are controlled by invisible demons which look like small dragons, when sighted whenever the Matrix fucks up. They strap yourself to your back and control your spinal chord all the way to the brain.

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