Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Evolution didnt predict ERVs, so ERVs arent evidence for evolution.

Index to Common Creationist Claims about ERVs

This is probably the most pathetic Creationist Claim about ERVs. No, I did not make it up. Its right there in TrueOrigins 'Critique of +29 Evidences of Macroevolution '.

Evolution does not even predict the existence of ERVs, much less that they will be found at the same location in two or more species. After all, evolutionary theory was considered robust prior to the discovery of ERVs.
Evilution as Darwin knew it did not predict ERVs, specifically. Mostly because DNA, RNA, retroviruses, sequencing, etc etc etc werent discovered yet. Yes, the theory of evolution worked just fine before any of those things were discovered.

Whats important is that their discoveries supported natural selection and descent with modification, thus influenced modern evilutionary theory in a positive fashion (science, unlike dogma, is not static. this is a good thing).

Over and over and over, ERVs can be traced back to create a phylogenetic tree. ERVs and their components descend with modification over time. Sometimes these modifications lead to junk, sometimes they are coopted by their host, sometimes they become such an integral part of the host that it is almost impossible to tell the DNA is exogenous.

ERVs themselves werent predicted by Darwin, but what they do and how they behave was. Descent. Modification.


Torbjörn Larsson said...

It springs from the black-and-white mindset of the creationist, that since theories must produce testable predictions (to "survive" :-P), all data must be predicted by theories.

Their logical acrobatics is breathtaking.

Tyler DiPietro said...

That is probably the most pathetic objection I've ever heard from any crank. It's like saying Newtonian mechanics didn't predict the Laplace transform or the Navier-Stokes equation. Of course it didn't, but the subsequent discovery enhanced and enriched the theory.

Although there may be a bit of "science envy" here, since while real science has advanced, creationism hasn't been enriched by any recent discovery.

ERV said...

torbjorn-- And its all just to avoid accepting a theistic evolutionists position.

Tyler-- Thats why I posted the link. Its so pathetic I didnt think anyone would believe me without it. *blink*

J Myers said...

Is it wrong that I want to kick in creo heads when I read this stuff? I suppose it's consistent with my results from that personality test in one of your other posts:
100% rational
28% extroverted
71% brutal
57% arrogant
Personality: Sociopath
(In my defense, I think I am more than 57% arrogant)

zilch said...

The sad thing is, that for people who don't know anything about the big picture, this kind of argument sounds convincing. I've had any number of frustrating discussions with creationists who claim that since (according to them) any finding can be rationalized, and the lack of findings is inconclusive, that evolution is unfalsifiable and thus not scientific.