|you cannot resist- we are already inside you!|
do you dare question your very existence? do your micro-controllers want you to look through the words below?
the theory ::
human behaviour is chiefly guided by the needs of the billions of microscopic bacteria that live in and on our bodies.
the origin ::
very tricky to say with any exactitude, but conjecture around it is inextricably linked with the human microbiome project, which was the first large-scale effort to map and categorize the flora living on all human bodies. so we'll cite that as the root of all subsequent theories.
the believers ::
a number of people involved in or interested in the microbiome project from various health sciences fields, although by no means all of them.
the bad guys ::
there are no good guys. there are no bad guys. in fact, if the theory is true "good", "bad" and "guys" are all meaningless terms. there is nothing but bacteria terraforming human cells to perpetuate the life of its kind.
the evidence ::
first off, we must confront an uncomfortable reality: we are more them than we are us. of the total cells that make up the thing that stares back at us in the mirror, human cells represent only about 10%. the rest of that meatbag we call a body is made up of lots of microscopic bacteria, who are just trying to make it work for their people in their corner of the you-niverse. [what human cells lack in number, however, they more than make up for in size/ weight; for instance, the 100 trillion bacteria that live in the average human gut amounts to only a pound or two. so if it's any consolation, by mass, you're definitely human.]
|except that the inoculation will only increase our strength|
but toxoplasma gondii is something that's not normally present in humans. there are millions of varieties of bacteria that are normally present in humans and all of them want to create the most hospitable environment for themselves too. think of your ancestors, many thousands of years ago, as they tried to get the hang of farming. they learned that they needed certain things to happen in their environment in order for crops to succeed, primarily irrigation. if there wasn't enough water coming into the land naturally to feed crops, then the humans had to intervene and make a change that brought more water into the land. that's what bacteria do, except that their needs aren't generally as simple as water and the land that they're managing is you.
the gut is the greatest source of bacteria, both in terms of overall number and variety. and not all of those bacteria agree on what constitutes ideal living conditions, not by a long shot. some like to have a more acidic environment. others like things more alkaline. and most of the time, the overall environment is kept balanced enough that everyone can live together, but sometimes, certain species get a taste for expansion and that's when things get weird. when the balanced environment shifts, some bacteria are able to greatly expand their territory, essentially committing bacterial genocide by displacing their neighbours who are less suited to changes in the environment.
their victory only makes them realise the possibilities for even greater conquests, which prompts them to do things that make expansion easier, i.e., things that make their environment [you] more hospitable. what scientists have discovered is that bacteria can do things like signal the vagus nerve to deliver more stuff that will make the environment hospitable, like say, keeping the scid levels higher than normal. the vagus nerve deals with these signals by shooting them into your brain, where you experience them as cravings for things like pasta and pickles, which increase acidity in the gut.
that's all well and good for the bacteria that thrive in acidity, but scientists studying the human microbiome have noted that it can cause long-term environmental damage. people with highly acidic guts are prone to developing all sorts of different conditions, which, unlike acute diseases, don't simply start, progress and pass, but endure, causing ongoing inflammation and deterioration. nor are those limited to the gut. some of the most interesting correlations between human health and acid-base homeostasis [the fancy term for the correct ph balance in the body] have to do with what can happen inside the brain. that's something we've talked about this more than once on more like space.
|your size is no match for our superior numbers|
the likelihood :: 7/10
even though the science is young, and it's yet to be determined the extent to which our microbiome makes our decisions, what's come out thus far is pretty damn compelling. bacteria, much like humans, termites, and many other lifeforms, exhibit a type of inverse natural selection, modifying their environment to suit their needs as well as adapting to better survive in it. and we're what's being modified.
there are trillions of them and they are able to send signals for what they need by using our strings of cellular material, signals which we receive and act on. we think we're in control, but every time we want another chocolate, chances are that's a bacterial battalion desperately looking to frack more life-sustaining nutrients out of our lower intestine.
but just because it's been some time since we got all paranoid around these parts, how's this for a potential twist: in two or three hundred years, what are the odds we find out that the bacteria are actually controlled by molecules that cling to their surfaces? how far does this thing go, exactly?