creator , CeeAmerica


This conversation is closed.

Are human beings a virus?

Agent Smith: I'd like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You're a plague and we (computers) are the cure.
Points established:
1) Humans are in fact mammals!
Points in question:
1) Humans are different from all other mammals?
I would say "NO", 65 million years ago monkeys were bashing other monkeys heads in for sport just as humans and monkeys still do! What's changed?
So, are human beings a virus?
Again I would say "NO" but we sure act like a virus with most of the same characteristics and with the same result(destruction of the host).

Thank you all for participating and as usual I will give any of you the last word. There are still two days left to add anything you want to the summation and conclusions I have drawn above. Love the dark...Keith

Closing Statement from Keith W Henline

Points established:
1) Humans are in fact mammals!
Points in question:
1) Humans are different from all other mammals?
I would say "NO", 65 million years ago monkeys were bashing other monkeys heads in for sport just as humans and monkeys still do! What's changed?
So, are human beings a virus?
Again I would say "NO" but we sure act like a virus with most of the same characteristics and with the same result(destruction of the host).

I believe we can do better, it will be up to our next generation and so far they are not disappointing. I love their independent, self-confident, nature. Just what is needed! Go get em kids

  • Dec 13 2013: Actually, every mammal gets into equilibrium with nature by force, not by choice. Those who failed at equilibrating died off. Equilibrium happens by death too. It's the interplay among the different species etc.

    We are mammals for sure.
    • thumb
      Dec 13 2013: Yes, with the exception of humans. We are the only species that has the technological and intellectual capabilities to tip the least for some time.
      • thumb
        Dec 14 2013: And then we're back at being like every other organism... Which we are, we just haven't died yet...
        • thumb
          Dec 14 2013: Not necessarily. Our intelligence and technological capabilities might buy us enough time until we'll be able to colonize other planets. That's something no other organism can do.
      • Dec 16 2013: And if we have these capacities, it means that we are actually NOT viruses, since viruses do not have such capacity for restraint. Indeed, if one is considering things from a moralistic standpoint (and all silly statements that humans are viruses are ultimately moralizing), we are BETTER than all other organisms specifically because we have this capacity.
        • thumb
          Dec 16 2013: Bryan, the "virus" story is an analogy ! We are not injecting DNA into other organisms, hence we are not a virus.
          Obviously we are no computer virus either.
  • Dec 19 2013: Nature is fractal by nature, it means, that the same pattern repeats itself on different scales, very different.
    We look at the mirror and see viruses there, we recognise the pattern.
    I think it wouldn't hurt to stop acting like viruses, i dare hope that the change in reflection will come with.
  • thumb
    Dec 19 2013: I think humans are mammals with an organ developed to an extent that is taking it out side of the bounds and obligations of the natural order (hinted by the biological classification: mammal). That organ is called the brain. Having too much of it can strangely resemble the condition of having none of it at all (virus).
    • thumb
      Dec 19 2013: "Having too much of it can strangely resemble the condition of having none of it at all (virus)"

      Great point.

      Do you think our obligations of the natural order would be best served by a level of intelligence that is also cognizant of instinct?

      Is it our intelligence that is the virus, or is it our instincts?
      • thumb
        Dec 19 2013: Yes. Giving instincts a better hand in thinking and intelligence a better hand while acting.
        For your last question Allan, I see a new topic of discussion coming. Plus its only about 3 hours of this discussion left. :)
  • Dec 13 2013: Pretty much any animal without something regulating its numbers is the same. The "equilibrium with nature" business is a load of bull.

    Darwinian evolution is pretty geared towards this sort of thing, actually. Promoting one species at the expense of screwing over the rest. Viruses are just better at it then most animals.
    • Dec 13 2013: Besides, viruses also get into equilibrium. Those who don't and kill their hosts die with their hosts. Exactly like every other life form.
      • Dec 13 2013: Not necessarily. A sickness that would put a human in bed for a few days can easily kill an animal in the wilds indirectly--they don't have civilized comforts and peers taking care of them (usually), and predators are pretty adept at picking out the weakest target--its actually an advantage if the virus can infect the predator.

        From the virus' standpoint, it may as well kill the host by breeding as fast as possible, as the host may well end up dead anyway even if the virus multiplied in a more laid back fashion.

        Lack of equilibrium isn't always a bad thing. Human population used to be controlled by droughts, famines, plagues and predators, all those things we seek to rid of ourselves today.
  • Dec 18 2013: Yes, we are and like a mutated virus until nature creates a balancing force.
  • thumb
    Dec 17 2013: If I may share my general opinion on some aspects of this conversation with you Keith.

    First of all I don't think that this conversation is labeled correctly, rather you seem to want to ask something along the line of "Are human beings harmful for the world?" or "are we headed in the wrong direction?", correct me if I'm wrong.

    There is no such thing as "de-evolution", creatures do not evolve to a "higher" state per say, evolution doesn't have a plan, it's simply genes adapting to circumstances and the best suited individuals for those circumstances are allowed to have those genes passed on with all their potential "flaws". But evolution does not judge, we do.

    TED conversations is mostly populated by men, as you've noticed. The women that tend to join, mostly join in on conversations on humanities and topics that usually fall under the category of "arts" and not as "sciences". And since this is a scientifically asked question, or may be interpreted that way, chances are slim that we'll get many woman here (if any). And the explanation (the quote from the Matrix) is a typical guy movie you're bound to lose those that checked in to read it. Or maybe this is just unlucky, I'm speculating.

    And clearly when answering this question scientifically humans are not a virus, as you've stated we are mammals.

    It even goes astray at the very start when asking this scientifically because we're not even in the same kingdom, virus don't have one, I'm sure you'll find more commonalities with other species in our Kingdom then you could with virus.

    We are:

    Kingdom: Animalia
    Phylum: Chordata
    Class: Mammalia
    Order: Primates
    Family: Hominidae
    Tribe: Hominini
    Genus: Homo
    Species: H. sapiens

    While viral classifications are constructed like:

    Order (-virales)
    Family (-viridae)
    Subfamily (-virinae)
    Genus (-virus)

    I think that you're advocating a healthier and better way of living which is good, keep it up.

    Just my general thoughts on this conversation.
  • Dec 14 2013: Do you see this virus a good or bad thing?
    • Dec 14 2013: Brilliant question Dylon, there are two reasons why this question is important, does anyone know why? My answer is I don't know, not enough data yet. From it's outward appearance it looks bad. Make room, we have another thinker here folks. Welcome to TED Dylon.
      • thumb
        Dec 15 2013: Keith, I think you need to see this...
        • Dec 15 2013: Thanks Jimmy he is helping the mortality rate but is that what we really want? We are already overpopulating the earth and it's making us stir crazy now. We are the only species that promotes the weak and sickly then put the strongest in jail. That is not a recipe for health of our species. Even the term strongest is changing from physical to the person with the most money.
      • thumb
        Dec 16 2013: Maybe you didn't notice the bottom line of the graph where it said "children per woman"... That's a really important statistic to take into account. And there's a strict correlation between child mortality and children per woman.

        Here's the best estimate of the worlds population growth till the year 2300 by the UN, it's a heavy document of 254 well written pages that take almost every possible scenario into account. Basically I don't think it's going to be a problem as long as we ensure (female) education and general prosperity.

        But if you want some lighter reading try the Wiki:
        • Dec 17 2013: OK Jimmy so we can stop worrying about population growth, one down a few more to go.
      • thumb
        Dec 17 2013: Did this answer this conversation for you or did I miss "the others" in this conversation? If so which are left?
    • thumb
      Dec 15 2013: I can't say what Keith had in mind, but in principal a virus could be a good thing too, although no specific case comes to mind.
      A virus is like a self replicating nano machine. You just have to program it to do something useful.
      • Dec 15 2013: Harald this Talk by a teenager is evidence of part one "a virus can be a good thing"
        In her research she is trying to fight cancer, with cancer. Firefighters use the same method at times to fight fire with fire.
        Friedrich Nietzsche said: "The best weapon against an enemy is another enemy"

        Part two has to be thought of from a perspective of someone who creates and probably is directing a project like our universe. In a project of that magnitude it would probably be little presumptuous for us to think we who occupy such a infinitesimal sliver of time here could understand what is best or even remotely comprehend their plan.

        The question appears: What if all of these things that appear as chaos (suffering, insanity, wars, greed, killings and so on ) What if they are all here to help us face our demons and push us to make a change or die so to speak. It's a win, win situation for them. If we in fact change and create a better world, fine and if we do not then we reaped exactly what we sowed, KARMA. A couple of them have an asteroid fight and eventually put a rather large hole in the earth and then they are on to the next "problem" planet. For them it is probably like us on a weekend going fishing or golfing.
        • thumb
          Dec 16 2013: Hi Keith, I agree with the first part of "fighting fire with fire", however, I don't believe in anything directing the universe nor do I see any particular purpose in suffering, etc.
          We as everything else are products of nature and obey laws of nature. There, in my opinion, is no purpose to any of that. It just happens. It also happens to other organisms, however, they don't might perceive suffering the way we do.
          Neither do I believe in Karma and there are endless examples how good people are suffering and the bad guys are doing pretty fine. Again, no correlation of being good = reward and being bad = punishment.
      • Dec 17 2013: Well Harald I respect your opinion and agnostic point of view and I am sure you have your own evidence to support it. I would like to think everything is just some kind of natural evolution or order but I do not have that luxury. I have experienced first hand evidence that I cannot explain in any other way and not just once but many times throughout my life. However I do enjoy our conversations as long as you agree with me! (only kidding :))
        • thumb
          Dec 17 2013: lol....I support the view that whatever works for you is fine as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else.
          Btw, sometimes, what appears to be evidence, really isn't if subjected to more scrutiny.
  • Dec 13 2013: No. We are mammals. We are no different from any other mammal, except that we are more efficient than many of them at doing what mammals do. That's the whole truth of it, but nobody wants to admit that. Instead, they make up silly little rubbish like claiming that humans are "a disease". If we are "a disease", then EVERY LIVING THING IS A DISEASE, because we only do what every other living thing does. The ONLY fundamental difference is that we are aware of our impact while all the others just ignorantly go on gobbling up all the resources they can manage to get their little paws/claws/roots/pseudopoda/cilia on. Of course, such knowledge violates the dogmas of the various cults who would rather invent a fake "nature" and worship it than learn about reality.
    • Dec 15 2013: Can we be mammals and a virus or mammals with a virus? Certainly you are not implying that everything is OK?
      • Dec 16 2013: No, but you are claiming ridiculous claptrap. If humans are a disease then EVERY OTHER LIVING THING IS EQUALLY A DISEASE. All we do is what other organisms do. We are not qualitatively different in that aspect. However, cultists refuse to acknowledge this. The only qualitative difference we have in this area is that we have the capacity to question the wisdom of acting in a PURELY NATURAL FASHION and choosing to be UNNATURAL in our behavior. Natural = rapacious exploitation. Unnatural = voluntary restraint.
  • Dec 13 2013: K......Fear not. I think there is an undercurrent to the nastiness. Things take time to shake out.
    • Dec 15 2013: Have you read my comments Scott? Either I am a permanent residence of the cockoo's nest or I have NO fear. Maybe both.
  • thumb
    Dec 13 2013: This is the definition of a computer virus:
    "a piece of code that is capable of copying itself and typically has a detrimental effect, such as corrupting the system or destroying data."

    1) Humans produce an ever increasing number of copies of themselves.
    2) Humans certainly have a detrimental effect on the system (global environment)
    3) Humans destroy a lot of things not only data.

    So, somehow I get the impression that the term virus might be applicable to us.
    • thumb
      Dec 13 2013: what about a rabbit?
      • thumb
        Dec 13 2013: Rabbits have enemies that at least try to control its reproduction (us for example). We can shoot rabbits to reduce the population but using the same method on people doesn't seem to be a good idea.
        Rabbit's although they can be pretty destructive, they limit themselves to veggies which is unlikely to result in a potential destruction of our planet.
        Also, humans have a global impact, while rabbits are more of local and perhaps regional concern.
        • thumb
          Dec 13 2013: that is like the 4th point missing from the above list? because i see no mentioning "lack of effective control on its numbers". all your 3 points pretty much match different animals/plants in different times and places. the first huge ecological disaster was caused by single cell plants in the ocean. or you can look up what rabbits did in australia.
      • thumb
        Dec 13 2013: Their are plagues of any kind whether that's rabbits or algae or whatever. However, even the worst plagues are limited in scope or are you saying that rabbits took over our planet and now dominate it ?
        • thumb
          Dec 13 2013: rabbits try to do that, but fail. you can see that they try in australia. every single life form tries that.
      • thumb
        Dec 13 2013: Not every single life form has our capabilities. For example a sea star population on a coral reef might destroy this reef if unchecked, however, it will always be limited to the reef because it just can't survive anywhere else. Beside, once the reef is destroyed the sea star population will start to go down or even be extinguished as well.
        Only humans have a global spread plus the intellectual and technological capabilities to potentially destroy the entire planet. We are also the only organism that can circumvent limits nature usually puts on unchecked population growth.
        • thumb
          Dec 13 2013: so your argument boils down to: humans are more able than other animals. but then you should forget the 3 points of yours, and have this single one instead.

          that is something i agree with. humans are a uniquely capable race. we actually can kill the planet if we really want to. probably, at any rate.

          but that does not make us virus. this makes us ... well i'd leave the classification to mr peter weyland :).
      • thumb
        Dec 13 2013: Obviously we are not a virus, let alone a computer virus, by definition. However, we have characteristics that are typical for a virus.
        Actually, we are potentially even more dangerous than a virus.Probably we need to invent a new term for that.
        This brings up another question. Are we as a species sustainable ? So far our existence on this planet is pretty short compared to other life forms (e.g. dinos that existed for some 130 million years) yet we already managed to cause quite some havoc on this planet.
        • thumb
          Dec 13 2013: no we don't, because we just established that all animals have the characteristics we have. in fact, all living organisms. you can not define "virus" as "successful". i mean, come on!

          it is not decided whether we are sustainable, and the question is never provable positively. but as things look now, i would give bigger chance of surviving the next 500 years than not. alas, not as much bigger as i would like to.
      • thumb
        Dec 13 2013: " 500 years..."
        lol.....a pessimistic outlook. 500 years isn't a lot in the big scheme of things.
      • Dec 15 2013: What about a Humuhumunukunukuapuaʻa?
    • Dec 13 2013: And how is this different from EVERY OTHER ORGANISM???
      • thumb
        Dec 13 2013: every other organism ? Can you be a bit more specific ?
    • Dec 16 2013: EVERY OTHER ORGANISM ON EARTH does those things you claim. Humans are just very efficient.
      • thumb
        Dec 16 2013: As I pointed out above, humans ARE different in the sense that we apply intelligence and technology.
        We are also the only ones that invade every corner of our planet, while most other species are limited to a particular environmental niche.
        • Dec 17 2013: The latter is merely an accidental outcome of being particularly good at being organisms. The former may be what matters. Our destructiveness is shared with every other living thing. It is the nature of life to destroy and exploit. It is our ability and (sometimes) willingness to hold back on that nature that is unusual, but the cultists don't want to see it that way. They prefer childish fairy tales of "nature in harmony" under attack by innately evil humanity.
      • thumb
        Dec 17 2013: Ecosystems are systems where all components interact. Removing just one element can cause problems.
        For example, fungi are extremely important organisms in the soil. Heavy fertilizer and herbicide use can kill them or at least substantially reduce them, hence a negative impact can be expected. The same is true for other organisms living in the soil.
        Another example is deforestation. It's no secret that deforestation causes huge problems. Areas that previously were covered by tropical forest in Brazil turned into waste lands.
  • Dec 16 2013: Hi Keith, one big difference between us and mammals is that we have a spiritual freedom. So we can love our enemies, change out mind.
    IOW we are not our body, mammals are.

    Could evolution be reversing?? Why do mammals know, sometimes within minutes, how to walk, what to eat, etc., while that takes us years? Could there be a reason for this?

    We can decide to change (improve?) the use we perform in our society, just wondering, could a virus do something similar?
    • Dec 16 2013: Adriaan here is the definition of mammal from the Oxford dictionary:
      a warm-blooded vertebrate animal of a class that is distinguished by the possession of hair or fur, the secretion of milk by females for the nourishment of the young, and (typically) the birth of live young.

      The first small mammals evolved from reptiles about 200 million years ago, and the group diversified rapidly after the extinction of the dinosaurs to become the dominant form of land animal, with about 4,000 living species. Mammals belong to the class Mammalia, which contains the subclass Prototheria (monotremes) and the infraclasses Metatheria (marsupials) and Eutheria (placental mammals such as rodents, cats, whales, bats, and humans)

      Take special note of the last word, we are mammals..

      "Could evolution be reversing?" In my opinion we have been reversing, I call it devolution and it started when we started cooking all the nutrients we need, out of food.

      "Why do mammals know, sometimes within minutes, how to walk, what to eat, etc., while that takes us years?" All animals adapt to their environment, that's what evolution is. Some birds with wings no longer fly, some fish walk on land, some fish fly, humans have just as much variety, we come in all shapes, sizes, colors and abilities. If you take a baby a couple months old and throw them in the swimming pool, do you think they would drown? My daughter didn't. She bobbed up rolled on her back and floated, just like we taught her. Do you think all babies start with babbling goo goo and dada and mama? Wrong again, they repeat what they see and hear so we never talked like that to her and she never talked like that back to us. Do you think you can raise kids without an occasional spanking? None of our kids have ever had a spanking or any other violence in the family and they are all very successful and happy.
      We must change or we will perish, our present path is not sustainable. We have to take responsibility.
      • Dec 16 2013: Hi Keith,
        as you say --"Take special note of the last word, we are mammals.."--
        It seems you follow scientific interpretation. I have no problem with that at all, everyone has that choice.

        My question if evolution was reversing was somewhat tongue in cheek.. As I follow the spiritual meaning of Scripture, which explains why we are born the way we are, there is the opportunity to see humanity advancing. Life is a lot saver and easier than 1000 or even a 100 years ago.

        Our body is indeed made of the very same materials as those of animals. But I regard humans as not being human because of their body, but because of their spirit. Which also give us the 'opportunity' to become worse than animals and be send to jail.

        You are right, violence of any kind can destroy a family. But we do have to teach them consequences.
  • Comment deleted

    • Comment deleted

  • Dec 15 2013: Your question is, IMO, not asking whether humans are an alternative version of the virus, but rather whether the humans can destroy part, or the whole, of the earth where we live. Therefore, there are less reasons to argue whether the virus is essentially a RNA or DNA. As a matter of fact, even whether a human has lot of RNA and DNA in himself is irrelevant here. Let me discuss about the first question listed above, which is, are human activities harmful to mother earth similar, resemble or parallel to the virus' "activity" against a mammal or a human.
    There are some resemblance in human activities that actually "kill", at least temporarily a part of the earth, such that, after the meltdown of the nuclear plants in Chernobyl and Fukushima which rendered the place almost uninhabitable for many years. There are also minor damages when certain towns where the drinking water was contaminated with carcinogens. Of course, these "minor" accidents can't wipe out the whole population on earth, but an all out nuclear war, or the development of certain potent biological weapons, might do it. With virus, it could only destroy one human at a time, even though the virus as a group seldom die entirely because somehow it would mysteriously come back anytime through the so-called animal reservoir. Furthermore, some viruses (such as the Herpes, Hepatitis or the AIDS HIV or any so-called retro-virus) do stay in the living human body throughout his whole life without killing him. But the important thing is that humans can reproduce themselves to replenish the ones who are killed by the virus. However, we have only one earth, at least in the "visible" vicinity in our universe. So that could be a serious problem for us.
    • Dec 15 2013: Bart I used that direct quote from "The Matrix" movie for two reasons: 1) Because the movie was quite popular and a lot of people would understand the meaning of my question very fast and 2) Although I do not agree with every word precisely as was quoted, I felt it was close enough to start the conversation. A lot of the people in here have very specialized fields and get caught up in terminology and want a problem defined like a patent paper on lawyers terms. I think Edison put it better that I can, he said “There ain’t no rules around here! We’re trying to accomplish something!”
      Bart you named just a few of the screw-ups but the point is this bad behavior is not corrected, not in the no-liability corporations, not in the government, not in religion, not even in the community or the family. There is something wrong with an organism that allows this to happen continuously. It is sick, not working properly, you might say it has a virus. It does not happen in nature "ANYWHERE"! In nature there are always consequences to bad behavior, almost immediately.
      In the human race parents are to busy "looking good", nice car, nice home, nice job, nice friends, HIGH MAINTAINENCE, they don't have time to raise kids. Or the other extreme parents don't even know where the kids are and as long as there is pizza, beer, TV and a welfare check... who cares.
  • Dec 14 2013: Humans are mammals (I think most of us can agree on this point)
    Are humans different from all other mammals?
    I think that is a fair question and I am leaning toward no in the face of evolution.
    However we do have problems with our species and I think most of us can agree on that point also.
    Some of the questions I have are: 1) What are the problems? 2) How long have they existed? 3) How can we fix them? 4) If we are a virus then we will have to be exterminated and that is a big problem but if we just have a virus then how do we get rid of it? Maybe only some of us have a virus? What do you think?
    Question? Where are the ladies??? Wait a gall darn minute, I know how to get them in here!
    • thumb
      Dec 15 2013: "Are humans different from all other mammals? "
      Yes and no in my opinion.
      Technically speaking we are not much different than other mammals.
      However, only humans have the level of intelligence we have and only humans with their use of technology are able to tweak nature in a way that other creatures aren't able to.
      As to our problems:
      We look at problems within the time frame of a human life span or less. However, the question is, are those problems REAL problems or do we only perceive them as such because we lack the long term view.
      Humans roam the earth for a fairly short time and since we started to walk on two legs we constantly made progress and our lives in general improved and got increasingly longer. Doesn't sound so bad, does it ?
      Humans always faced one problem or another but eventually we also found means to overcome them. Is there any reason this trend should come to a screeching halt ?
      • Dec 15 2013: The biggest problem I see is because of the size, strength and attitude of corporations (I break it, you fix it or we both ignore it), they are destroying the planet a lot faster than we can fix it. They are stealing the earth's future and they must be held accountable very soon so the question is how can we hold them accountable. I have tried to host that question but TED doesn't like the idea I presume so we won't embarrass their sponsors.
        • thumb
          Dec 16 2013: Keith, I think that view is a bit too simple. How would a world be w/o corporations.
          Corporations aren't doing anything at all. They are made of people and as in all areas, there are people that are doing good deeds and others that aren't.
    • Dec 16 2013: In terms of how we treat "the environment", yes, we are different. We have and exercise the capacity to VOLUNTARILY RESTRICT OUR EXPLOITATION OF THE ENVIRONMENT. I capitalize this specifically to emphasize the statement in opposition to the silly nattering of "nature" cultists. If anything sets us apart from other animals, it is that we can and DO choose to not exploit everything around us to the limits of our ability to exploit. Should we exercise this capacity more? Probably. However, portraying us as somehow more innately rapacious than any other organism is nothing but mumbo-jumbo nonsense.
      • thumb
        Dec 19 2013: "...silly nattering of "nature" cultists... mumbo-jumbo nonsense..."

        Once again, great debating Bryan.
  • thumb
    Dec 14 2013: For one thing, viruses don't write uneducated screenplays. All they can do is infect a host writing one and, possibly, make it worse.
  • thumb
    Dec 14 2013: Damn this movie sucked.
  • Dec 13 2013: Well folks I see you are doing quite well without me, just wanted to let you know I am watching but in the process of moving a few miles away closer to a college so I can have access to the labs and of course the discounts, may even start lecturing again. Soon as I get settled again I will catch up. Good work so far. Love the dark.. Keith
  • thumb
    Dec 13 2013: Per definition we are not a virus. Virions don't even have the same building blocks as we do.

    Is a fish an elephant because they have similarities?

    And as Entropy Driven pointed out much Equilibrium happens by death. Let me give you two common examples of this.

    1. Norway Lemming
    2. Sea Urchin
    • Dec 13 2013: I used to work in virology. Viruses DO have the same building blocks we do. They have nucleic acid, proteins, carbohydrate modifications of said proteins, etc.
      • thumb
        Dec 13 2013: Virions (which I believe is the correct term when speaking of many virus) can be made up of DNA or RNA. But in most cases it's made by RNA I believe, the single strain kind too. And that is what I meant.
        And I was referring to the compounds of the nucleic acids of both.

        DNA's nucleic acids; guanine, adenine, thymine, and cytosine
        RNA's nucleic acids; guanine, adenine, uracil and cytosine

        So, not the same building blocks...
        • Dec 16 2013: Most viruses are DNA viruses. AND HUMANS HAVE RNA, TOO. Indeed, by mass, we probably have more RNA than DNA at any given moment.

          And humans and viruses have the EXACT SAME nucleic acids in their DNA and their RNA.
          Finally, NO VIRUS AT ALL is "made up of" DNA or RNA. Viruses CONTAIN DNA or RNA, but all viruses also contain proteins.

          Where did you get your biology degree?