Dang it. I was really hoping to get through Sternbergs space-time-continuum ripping paper before I got to any other ID vs ERV garbage, but I cant do it. There is just too much poo to wade through in Mr. Black Holes paper, and to be timely, I should respond to DaveScots recent comments on UD (only give them a hit if you have to).
Dave starts out with a simple, but basically correct description of retroviruses and how they can become endogenous retroviruses. Sure he says 'translate' instead of 'transcribe', and he over simplifies what can happen to ERVs over the course of time (usual Creationist lack of creativity), but eh, not so bad.
Then I think he starts to pull crap out of his ass. Right about... here:
It should be noted that human designers use domesticated RVs as delivery vehicles to insert foreign genes into genomes to create so-called GM (genetically modified) organisms like tomatoes with longer shelf lives and whatnot. Theoretically this can be used to distribute vaccines for various diseases. A GM banana for instance could carry genes that cause it to manufacture a vaccine for malaria. Eat a GM banana and you’re immunized against malaria.Yeah.... no. Plants dont really 'do' retroviruses. They like RNA viruses more, cause they can modify plasmodesmata and slither through to new cells. You dont make GMO plants with retroviral vectors. You make them either by using a gene gun, or the agrobacterium method.
Yeah... that kinda puts a kabosh on the rest of his post, even if you ignore the logical problems with DSs case for design.
More significant to the case for intelligent design is that this is a mechanism a designer could use to modify genomes - introduce a virus into the population which inserts genes that cause the spawning of a new species.Nope. Unless youre playing the Old Creationist Game: Nothing is important except for animals cause they got named by Adam and were on the Ark. Because retroviruses are basically an 'animal' virus. I think theyve found 'retroviral like' viruses in plants, but retroviruses arent a source of novel genes in non-animal organisms. Try to give an E. coli a retrovirus. Shell look at you like youre on crack.
So if anyone asks about possible mechanisms a hypothetical designer could use to intervene and direct evolution that’s a good answer. Human designers are already doing it so it’s a proven mechanism.No, you just made up an ad hoc explanation for a scientific phenomena that directly contradicts your Creation myth in order to align your views with reality so your head doesnt explode. You also did it by not understanding what you were talking about-- using retroviral vectors to transform cells is only possible in animals. Youve still got to explain the evolution of a few billion other organisms, who have pseudogenes and other genetic artifacts that act just like ERVs.
Morever a highly infectious retrovirus inserting genes that cause modification and speciation could convert entire populations into a new species in just one or several generations and at the same time cause the original species to become extinct virtually overnight.*looks around* What the hell are you talking about, Davie? How about you give an example of a retrovirus doing this? Maybe some experimental data? No? To much for the Creationist to actually, you know, do something? Easier to just pull crap out of your ass? Okay then.
That fits wonderfully with the indisputable testimony of the fossil record which paints a picture of abrupt speciation, millions of years of little if any change in the new species, followed by an abrupt extinction. A mechanism for causing saltation of new species is thus shown.YAAAAAAY! +10 to Crappenpuff for managing to mangle punctuated equilibrium out of the blue!
In which Davie almost realizes he needs a negative control. Almost.
If common design instead of common ancestry the designer is evidently using existing species in situ as the template for new species. If that’s the case there’s effectively no difference whatsoever between common design and common ancestry.
Im not reading the 'comments'. I heard Sally-baby left a stinker, and Im sure some beautiful evilution straw-men and arguments from personal incredulity were erected, but Im still not feeling so well. I cant imagine Creationist Crap will improve my health.
But if you guys happen to click over to read the UD article and find a juicy Creationist Claim-- please feel free to squash it over here *devilish grin* That will cheer me up!