From RationalWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Live, reproduce, die
Icon bioDNA.svg
Life as we know it
Divide and multiply
Great Apes

A disease is a condition in which the life of an organism does not proceed easily; Encyclopedia Britannica defines it as "a harmful deviation from the normal structural or functional state of an organism".[1] Modern medicine recognizes many, but not all, diseases as infections by bacteria, other microbes, or viruses. A more holistic approach blames disease on stress, since germs are everywhere (like radiation and toxins). This has some factual basis, though, as stress can weaken the immune system.[2]

The study of disease is called pathology.[3]

Germ theory and "dis-ease"[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Germ theory

Germ theory is the scientific theory that many diseases are caused by germs, a catchall term for pathogenic microscopic bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Many forms of alternative medicine presuppose a different cause of illness, and don't bother to verify whether those suppositions hold true.

One common trope from chiropractic and other alternative medicine proponents who happen to, ahem, "have disagreements" with germ theory is to stylize the word disease as dis-ease (with a hyphen),[4] and hearken back to the original definition of disease ("A lack of ease; uneasiness; trouble; vexation; disquiet").


See also[edit]


  1. Encyclopedia Britannica: disease
  2. American Psychological Association: Stress Weakens the Immune System - "Our bodies are well equipped to handle stress in small doses, but when that stress becomes long-term or chronic, it can have serious effects on your body. [...] chronic stress can result in impaired communication between the immune system and the HPA axis."
  3. What is Pathology?, McGill Department of Pathology.
  4. Embry, Irucka. Germs Can Not & Do Not Cause Dis–ease: The “germ theory of disease causation” is a Fraud," ResearchGate.