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Germ Theory, New Perspectives

By Tom Cowan, M.D.

Editor’s note: What are viruses? Are they good or bad? What’s their origin? Offering new philosophical perspectives is a core value of pathways. One of these perspectives is the recognition of the vitalistic intelligence of life, so that we may help create symbiosis within the world and within biology. All organisms are composed of micro-organisms: bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Conventional thinking on this topic is fast evolving. Dr. Tom Cowan offers a key perspective that is helping to expand our paradigm of micro-biology, to help empower and inform decisions on this topic that has for centuries been crowded with fear.

In the world of science, beliefs typically die a long, slow death. Such is the case with the germ theory, which really took off in the late 1800s.

At that time, the main proponents of the germ theory, including the Frenchman Louis Pasteur and the German Robert Koch, ardently believed that all the bacteria in living organisms, including human beings, were invaders from the outside. In other words, from our skin inward, we were sterile, except if we had been invaded by a pathogen. Today, 150 years later, this idea seems laughably incorrect and naïve.

Almost everyone now knows that trillions of bacteria live in and on every surface of our bodies. Some people have even attempted to demonstrate that most of our genetic material is bacterial rather than human in origin. We now have conclusive evidence that these trillions of bacteria living in us help digest our food, synthesize crucial nutrients, participate in detoxification functions, help regulate and control our emotions and, in some ways, participate in every normal human function. The early proponents of the germ theory were not only completely inaccurate in their conclusions about the role of bacteria in the human organism, but, more important, they established a framework that postulated that human beings were somehow separate from nature. This insidious and unscientific conclusion, which continues to the present time, has caused grave harm to all living systems.

In the case of viruses, a similar shift is just beginning to happen in the scientific community. The old paradigm about viruses is that we are essentially “virus-free” in our healthy, natural state, and the only viruses that are inside us must be pathogens that came from the outside. This belief was, of course, never proven; it was just stated as dogma, and it dovetailed nicely with the narrative of “nature is out to get us.”

If we fast forward to modern virology, we now know that these particles called viruses can be
exosomes, also called extracellular vesicles (EVs), which are generated from the tissues as a way of detoxification and communication. The way it works is that when a tissue is exposed to a certain toxin, especially one that breaks down the genetic material, the tissue packages this broken-down genetic material into vesicles so they can be excreted from the body.

This excreted package of poisons is not only a vital detoxification strategy, it also serves as a communication vehicle that can be sent out to the world. Through a kind of resonance, exosomes can communicate from one part of the body to another, or from one organism to its community of friends. The conclusion, then, is that these internally generated exosomes (EVs) are the agent of adaption for living beings. They are not pathogens. Unfortunately, the medical/scientific community has mistaken these detoxification-communication messengers for pathogenic viruses. But that narrative is starting to crumble. Consider this quote from a recent paper published in the journal Viruses 2020 May; 12(5). 571. The paper was written by Gianessi, F et al and is titled: “The Role of Extracellular Vesicles as Allies of HIV, HCV and SARS Viruses.” Here is a quote from Section 3 of the paper:

The remarkable resemblance between EVs and viruses has caused quite a few problems in the studies on the analysis of EVs released during viral infections. Nowadays, it is an almost impossible mission to separate EVs and viruses by means of canonical vesicle isolation methods, such as differential ultracentrifugation, because they are frequently co-pelleted due to their similar dimension. To overcome this problem, different studies have proposed the separation of EVs from virus particles by exploiting their different migration velocity in a density gradient or using the presence of specific markers that distinguish viruses from EVs. However, to date, a reliable method that can actually guarantee a complete separation does not exist.

Read the final line again: A way to distinguish external “pathogenic” viruses from particles generated from our own tissues does NOT exist, period. Perhaps the reason virologists can’t find any method to distinguish these particles from each other, in spite of the fact that they can pull a single molecule out of virtually any complex solution, can only be because there is nothing to distinguish. I submit that all viruses are exosomes/EVs. They are all generated from our tissues. None are pathogens.

This change in how we view viruses (exosomes) will happen, but possibly only when the old guard dies out. Paradigms are hard to change. This one, however, is threatening to destroy the world, and we don’t have time for the virologists to fade away. We must understand this shift ourselves. It’s not that complicated once you remove the veil. It’s obvious: We humans are part of the joyous dance of life, viruses and bacteria are our dance partners, and without them, we will trip on our own two feet and fall flat on our collective faces.