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Does Retroviral DNA Insert Randomly into Genomes? More creationist lies



Here's another typical creationist page, this one from reasons.org by a certain Dr. Fazale Rana, Does Retroviral DNA Insert Randomly into Genomes? that illustrates the lies that creationists are driven to over ERVs.

Lie #1. "According to the evolutionary paradigm, ERVs become instantiated in the genome as a consequence of a retroviral infection of germ line cells."

No. It is not "according to the evolutionary paradigm", but according to the evidence. See "Why do virologists and geneticists think that ERVs come from retroviruses? Isn't that just supposition on their part?"

Lie #2. A lie by omission, omitting to address the evidence linked to in my response to lie #1.

Lie #3. "When evolutionary biologists present this type of argument, they make two interrelated assumptions: (1) the ERVs (and derived sequence elements) lack function..."

Evolutionary biologist have discovered that certain sub-components of certain ERVs perform useful, sometimes even vital functions for their hosts. What is clear is that ERVs are of retroviral origin (see above), and that no ERVs function as a fully viable provirus (thank goodness!) See "ERVs do stuff. Doesn't that prove that they didn't originate from retroviruses, but were designed?"

Lie #4. "...nonrandom insertion may be a general feature of the retroviral integration into host genomes. "

This is a lie by misdirection. Various studies have shown that retroviruses tend, statistically, to integrate in certain types of locations, just like auto accidents tend to occur in certain accident "black spots" or inherently dangerous stretches of road. But just as no two road traffic accidents are identical, no two independent integrations are absolutely locus specific. (Well, such occurrences are extremely rare, at least.) See "Don't retroviruses target particular locations in the DNA? Doesn't this explain corresponding ERVs?"

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