Friday, August 03, 2007

Quick Translation For Laymen!

Sorry, folks! I should have added this as a short note on the end-- I knew a lot of what I wrote would be gobbledy-gook to sane persons, but I wanted to put enough detail in to close off any of Behes escape routes. Thank you to the commenters that suggested this!

Quick summary:

Behe says over and over and over and OVER in 'Edge of Evolution' that HIV:

  1. Has no new genes (specifically says something about no new genes through duplication).
  2. Has no new protein-protein interactions.
If you dont believe me, check out a copy at your local library, or brows one at Borders-- page 137-ish he really gets going.

The problem is, HIV-1 and HIV-2 both have new genes. HIV-1 has a gene called Vpu, and HIV-2 has one called Vpx. Vpx is the result of a gene duplication-- a second Vpr.

Vpu has evolved a multitude of 'new' protein-protein interactions. Its even done something particularly cool-- turned itself into an ion channel! Thats kinda weird for a virus.

HIV-1 and HIV-2 have done these things in modern times. Its not magic. Its science.

Ill be home tomorrow! More posts then!

9 comments:

Jeremy said...

"It's not magic. It's science." You should totally sell that on a bumper sticker. Unless someone is already doing it ... excuse me while I Google.

Kevin Z said...

Thanks for these posts on Behe and HIV. I study invertebrate systematics and ecology so know little about HIV other than the conversations over pitchers of beer I have with the CIDD grad students (particularly grad students in Eddie Holmes lab). I've learned alot reading your blog. Keep it up!

Tyler DiPietro said...

I think I got the point from a discerning reading of your first post, even if it has the usual high-amount of nomenclature that you find in biology. But still, this is a great Reader's Digest version, great work!

Sorry once again for being late to this party. :(

h3nry said...

Thank you very much ERV for putting it into laymen's terms.

Mark said...

Is your arguement here against Behe's "Edge," Or just against his statements about HIV?

Does Behe define the "Edge of Evolution" as lying at this point? Do these protein-protein interactions or new genes lie on the "evolution can't do it" side of the line? Or would Behe still allow this amount of development or change as within the power of Darwinian evolution?

MS

Chris Harrison said...

Luskin's got your number now Abbie!
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2007/08/pandasthumb_fails.html#more

ERV said...

Mark-- Vpu is three things that are listed as 'over the Edge': "Genetic Code" "Multiprotein Complexes" and "Molecular Machines". Vpu is something evolution cant do, according to Behe.

Mark said...

So Behe defines the Edge of evolution as simply being or having "Genetic Code" "Multiprotein Complexes" and "Molecular Machines"?

So what you are saying is that the genetic code of Vpu has evolved from, or beyond, (or however it ought to be stated) that of HIV. And that this change from HIV to Vpu is not within what Behe considers the ability of Darwinian evolution.

So what you are saying is that the "Multiprotein Complexes" of Vpu have evolved from, or beyond, (or however it ought to be stated) that of HIV. And that this change from HIV to Vpu is not within what Behe considers the ability of Darwinian evolution.

So what you are saying is that the "Molecular Machines" in Vpu have evolved from, or beyond, (or however it ought to be stated) that of HIV. And that this change from HIV to Vpu is not within what Behe considers the ability of Darwinian evolution.

MS

ERV said...

Mark-- The only HIV evolution that Behe accepts is drug resistance (though he is very very loose with his wording, as I suspect he has no idea what 'drug resistant HIV' means beyond point mutations).

He repeats over and over and OVER that HIV has not/cannot evolve biochemically (Vpu demolishes that claim), and that it has not/cannot evolved genetically (again, Vpu crushes that claim).

Behe put a little diagram in the front of 'Edge' defining his... edge.. if you want to see exactly what he means. I think PZ had it up on his blog a while back-- search Pharyngula for Behe posts :)