side and little calcium carbonate stones in your inner ear hit the
cilia. ;is has been known since shortly after electron microscopy
came in ;;;;. Sensory cilia did not come from random mutations. ;ey came by acquiring a whole genome of a symbiotic
bacterium that could already sense light or motion. Speci;cally,
I think it was a spirochete [a corkscrew-shaped bacterium] that
became the cilium.
Don’t spirochetes cause syphilis?
Yes, and Lyme disease. ;ere are many kinds of spirochetes, and if
I’m right, some of them are ancestors to the cilia in our cells. Spirochete bacteria are already optimized for sensitivity to motion,
light, and chemicals. All eukaryotic cells have an internal transport system. If I’m right, the whole system—called the cytoskele-tal system—came from the incorporation of ancestral spirochetes.
Mitosis, or cell division, is a kind of internal motility system that
came from these free-living, symbiotic, swimming bacteria. Here
[she shows a video] we compare isolated swimming sperm tails
to free-swimming spirochetes. Is that clear enough?
And yet these ideas are not generally accepted. Why?
Do you want to believe that your sperm tails come from some spirochetes? Most men, most evolutionary biologists, don’t. When
they understand what I’m saying, they don’t like it.
We usually think of bacteria as strictly harmful. You disagree?
We couldn’t live without them. They maintain our ecological
physiology. ;ere are vitamins in bacteria that you could not live
without. ;e movement of your gas and feces would never take
place without bacteria. There are hundreds of ways your body
wouldn’t work without bacteria. Between your toes is a jungle;
under your arms is a jungle. ;ere are bacteria in your mouth,
lots of spirochetes, and other bacteria in your intestines. We take
for granted their in;uence. Bacteria are our ancestors. One of my
students years ago cut himself deeply with glass and accidentally
inoculated himself with at least ;; million spirochetes. We were
all scared but nothing happened. He didn’t even have an allergic
reaction. ;is tells you that unless these microbes have a history
with people, they’re harmless.
Are you saying that the only harmful bacteria are the ones that
share an evolutionary history with us?
Right. Dangerous spirochetes, like the treponema of syphilis or
the borrelia of Lyme disease, have long-standing symbiotic relationships with us. Probably they had relationships with the prehuman apes from which humans evolved. Treponema has lost
four-fifths of its genes, because you’re doing four-fifths of the
work for it. And yet people don’t want to understand that chronic
spirochete infection is an example of symbiosis.
You have upset many medical researchers with the suggestion
that corkscrew-shaped spirochetes turn into dormant “round
bodies.” What’s that debate all about?
Spirochetes turn into round bodies in any unfavorable condition
where they survive but cannot grow. ;e round body is a dormant
stage that has all the genes and can start growing again, like a
fungal spore. Lyme disease spirochetes become round bodies if
you suspend them in distilled water. ;en they come out and start
to grow as soon as you put them in the proper food medium with
serum in it. ;e common myth is that penicillin kills spirochetes
and therefore syphilis is not a problem. But syphilis is a major
problem because the spirochetes stay hidden as round bodies
and become part of the person’s very chemistry, which they commandeer to reproduce themselves. Indeed, the set of symptoms,
or syndrome, presented by syphilitics overlaps completely with
another syndrome: ;;;;.
Wait—you are suggesting that AIDS is really syphilis?
;ere is a vast body of literature on syphilis spanning from the ;;;;s
until after World War II, when the disease was supposedly cured by
penicillin. Yet the same symptoms now describe ;;;; perfectly. It’s in
our paper “Resurgence of the Great Imitator.” Our claim is that there’s
no evidence that ;;; is an infectious virus, or even an entity at all.
;ere’s no scienti;c paper that proves the ;;; virus causes ;;;;. Kary
Mullis [winner of the ;;;; Nobel Prize for ;;; sequencing, and well
known for his unconventional scienti;c views] said in an interview
that he went looking for a reference substantiating that ;;; causes
;;;; and discovered, “;ere is no such document.”
Syphilis has been called “the great imitator” because patients
show a whole range of symptoms in a given order. You have a gen-
ital chancre, your symptoms go away, then you have the pox, this
skin problem, and then it’s chronic, and you get sicker and sicker.
;e idea that penicillin kills the cause of the disease is nuts. If you
treat the painless chancre in the ;rst few days of infection, you may