Theories About Poliomyelitis Vaccine Treatment

To commence, although the term ‘theory’ has innumerable definitions, I believe that a theory is a coherent ideology that rationally explains and illuminates a significant concept. A limitation to a theory is a distinctive situation where individuals or organizations create alternate explanations with the aim of rationally explaining and illuminating the same concept in a different manner. Moreover, I agree with the explicit knowledge claim in the title: retaining a multiplicity of theories within a particular discipline culminates in the development of a cross-pollination of ideas, which helps individuals to understand the world from several different perspectives. I firmly believe that we understand the world through comprehending the significant conceptualizations from important academic disciplines such as Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

According to the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, “change is the only constant in life.” Thus, the formulation of innumerable theories ensures that our perspective on worldly affairs is congruous with the current level of scientific information and knowledge in the world. Through the Knowledge Question, “To what extent do we need reason and intuition to form multiple theories that help us understand the world from an objective perspective?” I plan to comprehensively discuss my position on the aforementioned title.

The primary Knowledge Claim that I have developed is, “Reason is an imperative factor that helps individuals form multiple objective theories that help us understand the world better.” This Knowledge Claim is best explained through the theory of spontaneous generation within the Area of Knowledge of Natural Sciences. This theory was that life could arise from decayed substances, provided there was a significant amount of vital heat.

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Prior to the advancement of scientific and technical innovation in the 19th century, biologists and philosophers alike understood the world through this theory. They believed that life could arise from nonliving matter in ideal conditions. Their beliefs stemmed from the robust history of this theory, rooted in Ancient Greece and Medieval Europe, and supported by eminent individuals such as Aristotle and van Helmont. As scientific and technical innovation profusely developed, the scientific community found themselves unable to objectively verify this theory through a variety of experiments and observations. Because the scientific community at large could not use reason to verify this theory, it had a conspicuous limitation. Therefore, scientists such as Spallanzani and John Needham began to develop alternate explanations to the theory of spontaneous generation to help them better understand the origin of life.

As a result, reason is an important factor that helps individuals to form multiple theories to strengthen their understanding of the world. Because scientists could not objectively verify the veracity of this theory, individuals began to acknowledge its limitations and construct alternative explanations to help them better understand the world. Furthermore, retaining a multiplicity of theories eventually helped scientists understand the truth about spontaneous generation; Louis Pasteur disproved this theory during his “swan-neck flask” experiment in the 19th century. Hence, within the Natural Sciences, developing a multiplicity of theories through robust objective reasoning aids in better understanding of the world.

Next, the second Knowledge Claim is that “Intuition is an imperative factor that helps individuals form multiple objective theories that help us better understand the world.” This Knowledge Claim is best explained through the Pythagorean-Hippasian conceptualization of whole and irrational numbers within the Area of Knowledge, Mathematics. During the 6th Century BCE, the theory of Pythagoreanism (the notion that all numbers could be expressed as a ratio of two whole numbers) spread rapidly through Ancient Europe. For several years, individuals alike believed in the veracity of this theory and understood the world through this lens.

However, numerous reports indicate that Hippasus, a strong disciple of Pythagoras, had an intuitive sense that the theory of Pythagoreanism was erroneous. Consequently, his intuition led him to believe that there were limitations in this theory, convincing him to create an alternative explanation. This alternative explanation, the notion that not all numbers could be expressed as a ratio of two whole numbers (such as the square root of two), is widely supported in modern times (conceptualized as irrational numbers). Hence, intuition is an important factor that helps us better understand the world from an objective perspective, as Hippasus’ intuition led him to form another objective theory that helped him better understand the world. In turn, this fostered the growth of the discipline of Mathematics by providing an integral concept to the aforementioned field.

However, a counterclaim to the Knowledge Claims above is that while reason and intuition are important factors that help individuals and organizations to form a multiplicity of theories to better understand the world, they are not imperative factors (i.e., other factors such as emotion can contribute to the development of a theory without the presence of reason or intuition). Even though the disciplines of mathematics and the natural sciences are predominantly objective in nature (theories and assertions can be easily proved through a series of objective experiments, observations, and other methods using empirical evidence), emotion can also contribute to the formation of a multiplicity of theories to help individuals better understand the world from an objective perspective.

Thus, the counterclaim for this Knowledge Question is that “Subjective factors, such as emotions, equally contribute to the formation of multiple theories to help individuals better understand the world.” This is seen through the robust difference in theories developed by scientists Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin in the 20th Century regarding the cure for polio. In 1955, the existence of polio created rampant and widespread complications for people, culminating in an international epidemic. At that time, the scientific community believed that there was solely one method for curing polio: by developing a vaccine using a destroyed poliovirus.

However, there was a fierce rivalry between Salk and Sabin at that time. Consequently, when Salk was the first scientist to develop a polio vaccine using a destroyed poliovirus, Sabin’s robust sense of competition and intense rivalry with Salk culminated in him emotionally rejecting the conceptualization developed by the scientific community. His intense reluctance to concede defeat to Salk meant that he developed his own theory that a polio vaccine using a live but weakened form of the virus was a more effective manner of curing polio.

Consequently, although his idea to formulate an objective conceptualization was based on a multiplicity of factors idiosyncratic from reason and intuition (such as anger, frustration, and despondency), Sabin’s vaccine was ultimately used for mass inoculations. Consequently, our understanding of polio and its vaccination is based on the retention of a multiplicity of theories. Had the rivalry between Salk and Sabin not existed, it is possible that polio could still be a widespread epidemic. Therefore, subjective factors—such as emotions—can help individuals form multiple objective theories that help us better understand the world.

In conclusion, I would like to restate the words of the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus: “Change is the only constant in life.” By retaining a multiplicity of theories to understand the world, our apprehension of multifarious topics, such as irrational numbers and polio, has vastly strengthened. Opening our minds to a multiplicity of theories allows our understanding of significant concepts to be appropriate to the level of scientific information and knowledge in the world. For example, even more effective treatments than the polio vaccine may be developed based on both Salk’s and Sabin’s conceptualizations of the ideal vaccination. Hence, I strongly agree with the title: the retention of a multiplicity of theories is beneficial for communities at large, especially scientific ones.

Lastly, in response to my Knowledge Question, I believe that we need reason and intuition to form multiple theories that help us better understand the world from an objective perspective to a vast extent (i.e., their presence is critical). This notion was developed in the first two real-life situations, where our current knowledge about the origin of life and irrational numbers stemmed from the reasoning and intuition of individuals and organizations. This prompted them to form alternative explanations that rationally explained and illuminated the same concept in a different manner. It is through Pasteur’s reasoning and the intuition of Hippasus that we currently understand the world within the academic disciplines of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. However, while the presence of reasoning and intuition is critical to the formation of a multiplicity of theories, their absence isn’t necessarily detrimental. A myriad of other factors, such as emotions, can help individuals acknowledge limitations in theory and develop their own alternative explanations that illuminate the same concept through their understanding of the world. Consequently, retaining a multiplicity of theories to understand the world encourages critical and creative thinking, promotes independent exploration, and fosters a collaborative environment.

Poliomyelitis – One Of The Deadliest Virus

Deadly viruses and pathogens have been around for various years. One of the deadliest and most recent outbreaks is the Ebola virus, which is still occurring now. Although the spread of Ebola has decreased due to the biomedical research that has been done, it still continues to sicken others. Despite the fact that biomedical research has done a lot in terms of treatments for viruses, there is also controversy surrounding it. This controversy stems from mistakes that have occurred in research, and because of this, people have begun to oppose research on viruses. We can reach a balance between the safety of the world and researching viruses by having more uptight security.

Since viruses have been here for several years, it has impacted human civilization in many different ways. In the past, when there was no knowledge of these viruses’ people used to think these outbreaks were caused by angry gods and tried to pray them away. However, when this proved to be futile, people began to ignore each other when someone was sick from fear of it being spread to them. One example of this is the Black Plague. The black Plague occurred in the mid-1300s. The virus came from 12 ships returning from the black sea; it docked at the Sicilian Port of Messenia. Most sailors on those ships were either dead or on the brink of it because of illness.

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The illness quickly spread and affected twenty million people over the next five years in Europe. The virus came with aches, pains, painful swellings, and many more symptoms, eventually ending with death. Society at the time responded with fear; most people thought the virus was god’s punishment. Some responded with violence, seeking forgiveness from god by purging their communities. They did this by murdering thousands of Jews. Furthermore, people began to avoid each other for fear of catching the virus, and family and friends would avoid each other, never visiting when one was ill. Society started to become violent and secluded. Furthermore, this caused some long-term impacts, the population got lower because of the deaths, and wages became higher because of this. It also had a cultural effect, turning it towards negativity, art depicting the pessimism from that time.

Furthermore, there have also been contemporary breakthroughs in viruses, those being the study of it. For instance, some major breakthroughs were those of treatments found for Ebola, the polio vaccine, and treatments found for other viruses. One of the first treatments, variolation, was popular in the 18th century. People living in that era would take material from infected people and use it to infect others in a mild way. They would create small cuts on someone’s body and infect them by putting the material in the open wound. This method was used for smallpox, and when deliberately infecting a person, that person would essentially be sick for two to four weeks, then go away, thus making the person immune to the virus.

However, this method of curing smallpox was replaced by the vaccine developed by Edward Jenner. Edward Jenner was an English doctor who began the study of a smallpox vaccine. Jenner found out that people who had suffered from cowpox became immune to smallpox and tried to prove his hypothesis by infecting a local boy with cowpox, then exposing him to smallpox. However, the boy did not become infected with smallpox; now that Jenner had this information, he created a “vaccine” and proceeded to vaccinate many children, even his own son. Furthermore, Louis Pasteur, a scientist, discovered that microorganisms’ activity caused diseases to arise (germ theory). He studied deadly pathogens, and from his research, he learned how to create a vaccine by weakening microbes involved with viruses.

The Polio Vaccine in the 20th century came to be because of the research scientists put in. For example, Albert Sabin, one of the scientists who researched the vaccine, stated in a 1956 paper featured in a journal of the “American Medical Association,” “approximately 9,000 monkeys, 150 chimpanzees, and 133 human volunteers have been used thus far in the quantitative studies”. These studies were necessary to ensure there would be a vaccine created to eliminate Polio.

The epidemic of Polio occurred in the early 1900s, although it has been proven to date back to even before that. Although the polio death rate was low, with an overall rate of 15-30%, there were serious long-term effects caused by it. Those who survived the polio illness either completely recovered, or some were left with paralysis and deformities; this commonly affected young children, devastating their families. However, in 1953 a scientist by the name of Jonas Salk finally found a vaccine to prevent the further spread of Polio. Salk used test subjects for his vaccine, including himself, his family, and polio survivors; because of his research and vaccine, Polio has almost completely been eradicated.

Furthermore, viruses and deadly pathogens have also been used as weapons in warfare and terrorism over time. They have deliberately been used for homicidal purposes. For example, the work of the Japanese military, unit 731, deliberately used deadly pathogens during WW11. Unit 731 used biological warfare on Chinese prisoners and civilians. These biological warfare experiments were always gruesome. One of the experiments they conducted was infecting tens of thousands of Chinese prisoners and civilians with Yersinia Pestis and Typhus. They wanted these viruses to spread from person to person and lower the population in some areas; they also wanted to breed a lethal weapon from this.

Furthermore, what they did to the people who they would shoot survivors of the diseases and those who quickly got sick had been bled to death. Unit 731 had collected the blood from their victims and transferred it to other prisoners. In addition, when unit 731 was finally satisfied with the Plague, they had bread and bacillus, and they had let the last of the infected prisoners become exposed to fleas. Unit 731 then captured these fleas that had sucked on the infected victims’ blood, put the fleas in bomb casings, and then proceeded to drop these bombs on a Chinese village, Quzhou. This attack leads to several deaths, approximately more than 3,000. Their use of biological warfare cost many lives and was extremely gruesome.

One more recent outbreak was the zika virus. The zika virus was first found in Uganda in 1947. The zika virus is spread by Aedes mosquitoes and can be sexually transmitted; symptoms include joint pain, rash, redness in the eyes, and fever. However, not all people infected with the virus will show symptoms. Furthermore, pregnant women infected with the virus may give birth to children with birth defects, some being microcephaly, which causes underdevelopment of the head and brain damage. The most recent outbreak of the zika virus occurred in the United States in 2016. Although the zika virus is not deadly, it does have a fatality rate of 8.3%.

Furthermore, the current state of viral research has advanced over the years due to the studies being conducted by scientists. However, there are dangers that come with researching viruses. For example, there has been a lift on a federal ban that once prevented researchers from making lethal viruses. In the article “The Deadliest Virus’, by Michael Specter, the author explains that a Scientist who researched the virus, H5N1, had manipulated and enhanced the virus, making it deadly.

The scientist, whose name is Ron Fouchier, had created fear amongst others because of his bird flu. Specter stated, “Fouchier’s bird flu posed a threat to hundreds of millions of people.” (Specter). They further go into the likelihood of the virus escaping the laboratory, explaining that they are worried about the virus being released to someone from the public. This worry stems from accidents that have occurred during research, most leading to researchers’ deaths. One of these examples was when many laboratory technicians in Hong Kong became infected with a virus called SARS. Researchers fear what can be done to viruses and what they can create, but some do this to further investigate how a virus works.

Overall, the best approach to keeping a balance between the need for scientific research and the safety of the civilian population when it comes to studying viruses and deadly pathogens is to restrict access to viruses to the public. Ensuring that knowledge of the genetic code of the virus is kept away from the public would keep a balance because knowing how a virus is made can be detrimental when someone who is dangerous has access to it. Furthermore, keeping the virus research confidential can also be another approach to keeping a balance. The symptoms and cures of the virus should be accessible to the public, but no other confidential information should. In addition, having more security when researching viruses would keep the public safer.

In conclusion, although there have been several problems that come with researching viruses and studies of them have developed. The accidents that occurred proved to be a lesson that more security when it comes to virus research is needed. Furthermore, as a society and the world come to understand viruses, long-term consequences will occur. Some of these consequences can be that since people are beginning to understand viruses, they may be able to prevent themselves from being infected by one. In the future, society can possibly create a cure for deadly pathogens that are uncurable now. In addition, knowledge of viruses can lead to someone recognizing symptoms and getting treated before the virus gets worse. We should be hopeful for the future because as we gain a better understanding of these viruses and deadly pathogens, it can lead to new discoveries and possible cures.

Work cites

  1. Author: N/A Smallpox: Variolation, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, July 30, 2013,
  2. Author:N/A, Salk announces polio vaccine,, A&E Television Networks, 2018,
  3. Donald G. McNeil Jr., A Federal Ban on Making Lethal Viruses Is Lifted,, December 19, 2017,
  4. Medial Apocalypse The Black Death,, BBC, April 9, 2015,

    Zimmerman Barry E. and David J. Killer Germs: Microbes and Diseases That Threaten Humanity Chicago: Contemporary Books, [2003], (244 pages)

  5. Virus Evolution documentary,, National Geographic, 2015
  6. Michael Specter, The Deadliest Virus, The New Yorker, The New Yorker, June 19, 2017,
  7. Steve Nadis, A Drop of Blood, a History of Viruses, Dsicover Magazine,
  8. Richard Stockton, 6 Horrifying Human’ Experiments’ That WWII Japan Got Away With, All That’s Interesting, November 5, 2018,
  9. Zika virus, World Health Organization, July 20, 2018,

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