Sunday, September 02, 2007

Careful with that Creationist Claim! Its an antique!

Predicted Creationist Claim:

Chris Harrison, July 19, 2007-- Duh Abbie, it's still HIV isn't it? I'll be impressed when it evolves into a penguin."

Gary Bohn, August 2, 2007-- But the HIV has not turned into a cat or a bird or something even after all the opportunity for it to do so.

Mike, August 9, 2007-- No, no, no, no, no. You guys just don’t get it. It’s STILL HIV! By now with all those ‘random’ mutations, if evolution was true, HIV should have evolved into something else, like fish or people! Until HIV involves into people who can wear suits and object to who other people love, your precious evolution stands refuted by the Einstein of Biology!

Actual Creationist Claim from UD:
August 29, 2007-- But the virus is still no more than a virus, with several different forms of the basic vpu function competing with one another.

Just a virus.
Just a virus.

Just a virus.

Just a virus.

Billions and billions of viruses. But theyre 'just viruses'. DNA. RNA. Single strands. Double strands. Linear genomes. Circular genomes. Segmented genomes. Membranes. No membranes. Endogenous. Exogenous. Assemble at the plasma membrane. Assemble in the cytoplasm. Icosahedral. Helical. Icosahedral and helical. Infect archaea. Infect fungi. Infect snakes. Infect whales. Nonpathogenic. Pathogenic. Pathogenic in one organism, but not another. Lytic. Latent. Lysogenic.

Billions and billions of viruses.

Theyre just viruses.

Retroviral genome size is tightly constrained by the abilities of reverse transcriptase, and the ability to package a larger genome into the available virion. There is a reason why Mimiviruses are not retroviruses. And, HIV-1 has one promoter for allllll of its genes. Again, a tightly regulated dance determines how what HIV-1 proteins are made when. You cannot just *add* things to the HIV-1 genome and expect everything to work marvelously. Yet evolution did it. Not only did SIVcpz evolve the Vpu initially, but HIV-1 then went on to manipulate it into a multidomain protein to get more bang for its gene buck.

1930s SIVcpz /= 2007 HIV-1


Tyler DiPietro said...

Its just another example of creationist goalpost shifting, really.

When Egnor is shown that information, given any of the actual metrics and standards used to measure such a quantity, can be produced by evolutionary mechanisms, his retreat is to say "that's just Shannon/KCS information, not biological information".

When confronted with significant evolution within viruses, their claim turns to "well, it's still just a virus, it hasn't evolved into a cow at any point during it's now decades long lifespan."

Same shit, different topic.

quantok said...

Wow! So much diversity! And on the face of it easily misconstrued as evidence for molecules-to-man evolution.

If only some genius could come up with some sort of meaningful collective noun to explain what the Designer was thinking with all those diligent reiterations on the virus model.

Oh, I dunno, like KIND, maybe?

And here I was thinking god only had a hard-on for beetles...

ERV said...

ROFL! Since front loadings true, and we evolved from viruses, Noah could have made his job a lot easier if he just chilled on the boat and sampled viruses from the Flood water. You really only need The Virus Kind.


Chris Noble said...

Perhaps I'm stating the obvious here but HIV-1 is doing a very good job of not only surviving but increasing it's prevalence.

Apart from rapid evolution in the env gene to evade the human immune response and the development of drug resistant mutations what selective pressure is there.

What do the creationists with their strawman version of evilution expect HIV to do?

Chris Harrison said...

Hopefully the inanity of the HIV--->penguin deal gave it away, but I just wanted to say that my comment was a joke..

Marion Delgado said...

You were impressed with Behe's HIV/DNA thing, but really, you should NOT be.

Behe will NEVER top this from Dembski. Never, ever, ever, ever.

"But why should disbelieving evolution reflect a lack of understanding of it? Alternatively, does understanding evolution automatically force one to believe it? I remember speaking at the University of Toronto in 2002 when a biologist challenged me about how holding to ID renders one a nonscientist. I asked him if that disqualified Isaac Newton from being a scientist. His instant response was, “but he didn’t know about evolution.”"

Which Dembski went on to find unreasonable. Like the HIV's DNA has mutated radically thing, you have to read it over a couple times. Then something in you goes, NO NO NO NO NO NO OH GOD NO!

And then you realize yeah, he means it, yeah that's the quality of his argument. He's maintaining a position that DEFINITELY includes a current belief in a young, flat earth with 4 elements and fire caused by phlogiston and worlds in collision and The Flood and homunculi and bleeding and humors, because otherwise you foolish people you're excluding some of the greats like Archimedes, you ignorant bastards!

olegt said...

Over at UD PaV sums it up. I'll skip the usual probability guestimates and quote the relevant part. I don't think any comment is necessary.

And, then, finally, what was the point that Behe was making? Well, he was saying we don’t see any “biochemical novelty” in HIV. It replicates the same. It has the same gene component. It enters the cell in the same way, etc. Where Behe certainly opened up a can of worms when he addressed HIV (almost in passing), I think his remarks, if properly understood, are correct. I mean, how interested are we, really, in the “biochemical life” of viruses. Now, certainly we should be as far as the human damage they inflict. But for an understanding of how life began, how life evolved, I, for one, am certainly more interested in what eukaryotic cells do.

If looked at in context, this whole imbroglio about HIV only points out the desperation that Darwinists must feel. If you have to resort to the “amazing” changes that have taken place in HIV to defend Darwinism, well….. I think you have to be in pretty bad shape. IOW, where are their examples from eukaryotic life? Where??

The Factician said...

*Exit Goalpost Shifter, Stage Left*

Torbjörn Larsson said...

Even if a person in denial can't learn anything, they can at least sense their dangers. A "can of worms" was the best accolade I have heard in a long time.

the Einstein of Biology


Einstein was eminently familiar with earlier physics and managed to create a whole new basis for reference frames and gravitation, which necessitated an unfamiliar mathematical apparatus (tensor calculus and later connections, et cetera).

What would be the equivalent in biology? Perhaps RA Fisher who worked on population genetics and founded modern statistical science. As Einstein might have been the greatest of Newton's successors, Fisher has been called "the greatest of Darwins successor's".

Behe is a biochemist which confuses RNA and DNA. I would call him the Bozo of Biology. (With apologies to Pinto Colvig, who in contrast to Behe seems to have been talented.)

ERV said...

Marion-- Oh dear.

oleg-- 'I mean, how interested are we, really, in the “biochemical life” of viruses. Now, certainly we should be as far as the human damage they inflict. But for an understanding of how life began, how life evolved, I, for one, am certainly more interested in what eukaryotic cells do.'
He doesnt read my blog, I take it.

AIGBusted said...

The thing they don't get is that evolution takes a long time. A simple organism like a virus wouldn't evolve into a donkey in a few hundred years. It didn't happen way back when so it won't happen now. The DNA has to change a little at a time through mutation, so it would be millions and millions (if not billions) of years before a virus were evolve into a penguin.

ERV said...

They also dont appreciate the fact that viruses DID evolve into penguins.


arensb said...

Yeah, I don't see why Ray Comfort and Kent Hovind are so incredulous about humans and bananas sharing common ancestry. I mean, they're still just Eukaryotes.

Anonymous said...

Abby, please pay careful attention to the following words of Michael Behe:

"One possible point of miscommunication is that I’m concentrating on the biochemical machinery of the virus, while Smith is more concerned with epidemiological factors. As she writes: “Im trying to figure out the physiological and epidemiological impact of the changes. Im hoping that I can figure out a genetic determinate of transmission, narrowing down the epitopes a potential vaccine would need to contain. Everybody is trying to figure this kind of thing out now in the HIV research world.” That focus is certainly critically important for public health, but it’s not the same question as how do complex biochemical systems arise."

In other words, the fact that changes happen which are significant from the point of view of public health does nothing to show that random mutation and natural selection could somehow be responsible for the development of life from its alleged single-celled origins to the diversity we see today.