It is believed by some that the cause of vampyrism is to be attributed to some type of "virus." The, "Vampire Virus," has been given many, many names over the years, including, "Code V," "Code 5," "K-17," "G-17," "vHERV," "Stem Alpha," and, perhaps most notably, "The V5 Vampire Virus." It is believed that this is what causes vampyrism because, as studies have shown, retroviruses can have some rather significant (long-term) impacts on the physical rendering of one's appearance and attributes.
It is thought that this virus is a sort of endogenous retrovirus, behaving much like HIV. In short, retroviruses are viruses that, once in the body, attack the genetic make-up of our bodies, altering our very DNA, and the term, "endogenous," means that it is passed on through the offspring from the parent organism. Therefore, "endogenous retrovirus," means that it is a DNA-altering virus that can be passed on to the infected individual's children.
History of Endogenous Retroviruses
Allow me to start from the beginning...of time, that is... You see, endogenous retroviruses are the primary source of "evidence" for those who support the evolutionary theory and try to debunk all religion; however, it should be noted that many religious figures also use this as evidence for a divine being(s). Now then, that being said, there is a lot of evolutionary jargon involved in endogenous retroviruses, but we'll try to keep it simple for now.
What are known as, "common ancestors," are merely the creature that all sub-species evolved from. For example, all birds came from a single, "common ancestor," with other species and kingdoms having been derived from other common ancestors. It is believed that there were several of each common ancestor roaming the earth at some point in time long, long ago. The common ancestors were, essentially, the "pure" species of avian (birds), mammalia (mammals), and the other animal groups. So, what was it that made these creatures change into, well, something else?
Charles Darwin stated that it is reasonable to make the assumption that our environments play some role in our developments as species, thus explaining why, in the Gallopagos Islands, turtles on some islands have short necks and uniform shells while turtles on other islands have long necks with a cut-out in their shell around their heads which allow them to raise their necks higher. This would also explain why Africans and other peoples with closer proximity to the equator are of a darker skin complexion than individuals in the extreme northern reaches of the world who tend to be of a much paler complexion; because if the Africans were not so dark they would burn, and because the sun shines to a much lesser extent in the north (if the sun even shines at all, which it doesn't in some parts of the year), the peoples of such regions have less need for darker skin, therefore they are more pale.
It could be said that the discovery of retroviruses both futhers Darwin's theory and destroys it, depending on the individual's views. It is believed that retroviruses played a key role in the development of life as we know it. To Darwin, we began with a common ancestor and its offspring adapted to their different environments accordingly. To retrovirologists, we began with a common ancestor who became infected with a retrovirus, altering its DNA, and, therefore, the DNA of its offspring, making it an endogenous retrovirus. This endogenous retrovirus then continued to alter the DNA of its host organisms through many, many, many generations until its host had achieved the new design that which the retrovirus was programmed to change it to.
In short, we had a basic, common ancestor with simplistic functions, but that design wasn't good enough so the retroviruses came along and infected the organism, thus altering its genetic makeup, which, as science has proven countless times, alters the physical attributes of the creature. Over many years, the virus continued to change the creature until the virus either died somehow or something happened that caused the virus to become dormant and stop functioning (science hasn't gotten that far quite yet).
Retrovirii Evolve to Form Vampire Virus
It is believed that a retrovirus similar to that of its ancient viral ancestors has been born and is beginning to affect the homosapien species, entering the organism and altering its DNA. Some of these changes include increases in reflexes, day and night eyesight, smell, hearing, endurance, strength, agility, a change in the body's circadian rhythm to be more awake at night (when most predators hunt), and much, much more.
Believers of this 'new retrovirus' will often cite the Mayan calendar and various other astronomical charts from different cultures, stating that they predicted, "a great change," in the year 2012, and that this change they mentioned could very well be the next step in human evolution a new endogenous retrovirus.
This retrovirus would be passed on through the offspring of the infected, and could likewise be transferred via a blood transfusion to infect others. The virus would then force the new host to undergo the changes it was programmed to inflict until there are no further changes to be made and its purpose has been fulfilled. It is theorized that this state of "fulfillment" is vampyrism.
One individual with whom I spoke took this a step further, even, so as to say that this is why we Hunger for blood, and it must be said that it is definitely one of the most logical reasons I have heard thus far. This individual's theory for our need for blood was that it is what is needed to "fuel" the retrovirus and the changes it must make to our DNA. Our bodies would begin to enjoy these changes and, consequentially, become addicted to them dependent on them even, and would therefore not allow them to cease so easily. When the retrovirus became weak, our bodies would induce upon us the symptoms of the Hunger, telling us to Feed; to nourish the virus so that it may continue to advance our bodies to the next step in evolution.
The Real World Disagrees
Unfortunately for fans of the "Vampire Virus," there are many, many, many kinks in the hypothesis.
- For one, viruses act without the necessity of nourishment.
- For another, it is not yet 2012, but is, in fact, quite far from it.
- Also, if it were endogenous, as many claim, it would have spread so widely by now that everybody would have it, and, therefore, be a vampyre. No matter how you look at it, it's a mathematical impossibility.
- This is blindingly obvious since if we were to assume that it is the cause of vampyrism it would have had to have been around for thousands and thousands of years, equivalent to the age of the earliest vampyre.
- Even if we were to assume that vampyrism has only been around for a few brief decades although there is ample evidence to prove otherwise, approximately half (at least) of the earth's population would have contracted the virus by now, and since we have (supposedly) decoded the entire human genome recently, we would have noticed it by now, especially since it would only show up in some individuals (vampyres) and not others.
One could argue, "Well, this is a special kind of retrovirus because nothing of this scale has ever occured before," but I sincerely hope that you, the reader, realize how childish this argument sounds, especially in light of the fact that retrovirologists, themselves, state quite firmly that things of this scale have, indeed, occured in the past the evolution of every single species on earth is a pretty large-scale development if you ask me. Immaturity aside, it has been proven that viruses do not require nourishment this is why they are so lethal and are so difficult, if not impossible, to eradicate. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a beautiful example of this.
Of course, they would then argue, "Well, then it's something else," to which I reply, "Well now, didn't you just state quite adamantly that it was a retrovirus and make dozens of web pages and blogs providing alleged 'proof' of why it is such a thing? Well, what is it then if it's not a retrovirus? Oh, you don't know? Well, then it would appear that you are now in the same boat as the rest of us, as well as without any legitimate reason as to how this could even remotely resemble a retrovirus."
Another item that believers of the "V5 Virus" like to mention is the Harbinger3_DR. In lay man's terms, the Harbinger3_DR enters a host, scurries along the DNA fixing anything and everything that's wrong with it, and cuts-and-pastes pieces of DNA to make them better, and is even quite capable of cutting itself out of the genome itself, continuing onward in its journey to make every single strand of DNA 'perfect.' My comment on the Harbinger3_DR? That's pretty damn cool.
There's just one minor (actually it's pretty major) problem with the theory that this gene has anything to do with vampyrism: "...the Harbinger3_DR gene is extinct in humans, but zebra fish contain a version of the transposon." [Scientific American] Well then, by the looks of it unless vampyres are zebra fish (*checks for gills* nope, no gills on me) we're out of luck. Incidentally, so are fans of the Harbinger3_DR somehow magically contributing to the so-called, "Vampire Virus."
Ironically enough, the above quote is in the abstract of the article so it's pretty hard to miss. Even if we were to assume they skipped over that, it is also re-stated in the third sentence of the paper. Let's go even further so as to say that they missed that too or perhaps overlooked it entirely simply because it didn't work in their favor that's fine, the paper is about gene therapy. Yes, that's right, this is what it's all about:
"'The reason we chose Harbinger3_DR was this unexpectedly specific insertion site,' [...] 'We were hoping to use this [reincarnated] element for later studies, to understand how it selects this specific target site,'" because, "modern scientists would love to master its secrets so they could more precisely control where genes introduced for gene therapy incorporate themselves into a patient's DNA strand," due to the fact that, "inactivated viruses are currently the only means of permanently inserting a new gene into a patient's DNA, but the viruses integrate fairly randomly into the host genome."
How people can take a paper about studying safer and more efficient ways to control genes in gene therapy (especially since dormant viruses are often currently used and, "Viral insertion into critical genes has triggered lethal leukemias in several gene therapy recipients," and, "Rarely, viruses can also regain their ability to reproduce, posing a risk of becoming infectious.") and turn it into something about vampyres being injected with a rogue zombie strand of Harbinger3_DR and have it running around making their DNA "perfect" (we may be conceited at times, but to say we're perfect on a genetic level!?) is beyond me. It really seems like these people are grasping for straws.
All of the above quotes were taken from Scientific American. If you can't access it, scroll to the bottom of this article for help with finding the source, or view the PDF of the whole magazine here: Scientific American magazine. The information regarding Harbinger3_DR is located on pages 24-26.]
Vampire Virus and its Roots in Media
Oh, and lest I forget to mention this last little bit of information, here it is: http://web.archive.org/web/20030912124237/http://v5.gq.nu/site.html, the worst nightmare of all believers in the, "Vampire Virus."
You see, the entire idea of vampyrism being caused by a virus was thanks to a very imaginative TV series creator, named Joe Ahearne. Joe Ahearne is the creator of the (no longer running) television mini-series "Ultraviolet" in which mankind is destroying itself as they advance in technological discoveries, such as the atom and hydrogen bombs, as well as grow more and more foolish so as to allow the spread of AIDS to become that of a low-grade epidemic and destroy the planet upon which they live. The main storyline of the series was about vampires re-gaining control of their food source (humans) after allowing them to live to their own devices for so long.
In the series, the vampires were called, "Code V's," while the particular genetic vampirism-causing strain was labeled, "Code Five." From this it is fairly easy to see where the term, "V5," was derived from. Coincidentally enough, "V5," is by far the most commonly used term in place of the words, "Vampire Virus." In fact, it is also quite common to see them paired together.
Still don't believe it was just a television series? Well then, take a gander at the IMDB profile for "Ultraviolet."
In short, the so-called, "Vampire Virus," is a fake, a sham, a lie, and a hoax.
- Soares, C. (2008). Ancient gene, new tricks. Scientific American, 299(1), 24-26. ISSN: 00368733