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Endogenous Retroviruses - Frequently Asked Questions

This page lists frequently asked questions (FAQs)
from creationists about the case for common descent
from endogenous retroviruses (ERVs).

These are specific markers that establish, 
beyond any reasonable doubt, 
the truth of common descent.

Each question links to its answer.

If you wish to ask further questions 

or discuss any entries, post your questions 
or comments in the discussion section below, 
or join the FaceBook group, ERV.

0. This looks hard. Do you have a simple introduction to the subject?


1. What is the "case for common descent" from ERVs?

2. Why do virologists and geneticists think that ERVs come from retroviruses? Isn't that just supposition on their part?

3. Isn't this just circular reasoning, assuming evolution to "prove" evolution?

4. How many ERVs are shared, in common locations, in the genomes of humans and chimps?

5. Don't retroviruses target particular locations in the DNA? Doesn't this explain corresponding ERVs?

6. ERVs do stuff. Doesn't that prove that they didn't originate from retroviruses, but were designed?

7. ERVs promote the transcription of host DNA. Doesn't this prove they are designed?

8. ERVs are essential in reproduction (syncytin and the formation of the placenta). How can this be?

9. Aren't the same ERV genetics in the same places in different species because they have to do the same job?

10. But how can you rule out design as an explanation?

11. How could a species survive a massive invasion of retroviruses into it's genome?

12. How could ERVs survive programmed cell death (apoptosis)?

13. The same retrovirus or ERV has been found in two species that evolutionists say are very distantly related. How is this possible?

14. What if we find an ERV in a common location in chimpanzees and gorillas, but not in humans?

15. David DeWitt at AiG says ERVs do not line up with the expected evolutionary progression. What gives?

16. What's all this about the Phoenix Virus? Sounds like a Michael Crichton science fiction story!

17. Hasn't the evolutionist's story about ERVs been debunked by scientists such as Dr. Yingguang Liu and Dr. Georgia Purdom?

18. Aren't you just a plagiarist? Why don't you attribute your sources? And who are you anyway?

19. Other articles on ERVs.

22 comments:

  1. Perhaps ERV-like sequences are sources of escaped genes that contribute to the genesis of retroviruses. Perhaps retroviruses precede the establishment of ERVs, as is observed today. Perhaps both are true in different instances.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Retroviruses produce ERVs, but ERVs have also (rarely) been observed to produce retroviruses. Some creationists speculate that ERVs were designed as tools of genetic engineering, to produce retroviruses and spread genetic material around, and were installed independently in different species. There are problems with this idea.

    1) Retroviruses are pretty indiscriminate as to where they integrate their DNA. This can cause severe problems, and this is why there is so much excitement at the moment of writing about CRISPR, which is a precise genetic engineering/therapy/research tool that does not have these problems. It's not a very good way of

    2) Most ERVs are faulty. Disabled by mutation and methylation (thank goodness). The disabling mutations are largely the same in closely related species. See http://barryhisblog.blogspot.fr/p/the-natural-history-of-retroviruses.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oops. The editing function is on the blink. Point 1) should end, "It's not a very intelligent way of tinkering with genomes!"

      Delete
    2. Barry I've argued with creationists before who have made the same case that all retroviruses we have today came from the ERVs we were designed with.

      One of the major flaws with this argument is the fact that many of our ERVs are flanked by two near identical LTRs which conform to the pattern U3-R-U5. We know exactly how these duplicate LTRs are formed - they are formed in the reverse transcription process from RNA to DNA.

      http://www.microbiologybook.org/flash/hiv-ltr-fn.html

      In other words if we ever see and ERV in our DNA flanked by LTRs (and there are tens of thousands of these which are shared with chimpanzees in identical locations), then we can be absolutely sure that this sequence is foreign to our genome and came from a retroviral infection at some point in our past.

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    3. I believe the next step the Illuminati plan is to engineer a virus that will change genetics to create Nephilim for Anrichrist's World government. See my books.

      Delete
    4. I believe that you are a raving nut-case, Jeremy.

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    5. To the raving blind sighted= [ The primary purpose of the Chemical A0-3959X.91 – 15 pathogen is to cleanse planets of unwanted non-botanical life forms. Once exposed to another organism, the virus begins mutating its host by rewriting their DNA.]http://avp.wikia.com/wiki/Chemical_A0-3959X.91_%E2%80%93_15

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  3. The other point to make is that the experiments with the reconstructed Phoenix HERV-K retrovirus demonstrated that you have to remove the mutations from the ERVs in order to get functional retrovirus. If retroviruses were inserting into genomes to produce ERVs, and subsequent mutations altered the ERVs further from that original and functional retroviral genome, then a consensus sequence of different ERVs should give you the original retrovirus genome, and it should be functional. That's exactly what we see. When you line up the ERVs and use them to produce a consensus sequence, that consensus sequence produces a viable retrovirus that also inserts into the same types of genomic motifs (of which there are millions in the human genome) that we find ancient HERV-K insertions.

    To use an analogy, you don't conclude that the cars at a junkyard are on their way to becoming new cars. ERVs have all of the dents and rust that you would expect from an ancient insertion.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Here I am, Mr Barry, and so far I have seen no text of yours that accounts for the issues with the potential detrimental effects posed by uncontrolled ERV insertions and activity accumulating during millions of years prior to the evolution of the mechanisms that tightly control these retroviral elements (for example, more than 40 genes are required to properly regulate the ERV's...)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ERV integrations, like mutations from other sources, are more likely to be detrimental than advantageous. The detrimental ones become extinct because their carriers fail to reproduce so well. The advantageous ones tend to tend to increase in frequency in the population, because they aid successful reproduction. Th eprocess is known as the natural selection of advantageous heritable variations.

      I'm interested, Anon. Do you have an alternative explanation for correspondingly localised ERVs in different species?

      Delete
    2. Re
      for example, more than 40 genes are required to properly regulate the ERV's...)


      I have no idea what you are talking about here

      Can you please cite the literature to supply a window into these 40 genes?

      Since herv dont have that many tital it must be host genes

      Afaik hosts dont have genes thst regulate rv infections

      Delete
    3. Re
      for example, more than 40 genes are required to properly regulate the ERV's...)


      I have no idea what you are talking about here

      Can you please cite the literature to supply a window into these 40 genes?

      Since herv dont have that many tital it must be host genes

      Afaik hosts dont have genes thst regulate rv infections

      Delete
    4. Re
      for example, more than 40 genes are required to properly regulate the ERV's...)


      I have no idea what you are talking about here

      Can you please cite the literature to supply a window into these 40 genes?

      Since herv dont have that many tital it must be host genes

      Afaik hosts dont have genes thst regulate rv infections

      Delete
  5. Barry, you have done a wonderful job here. I may have already told you this but I know Graeme Finlay personally and have co-presented with him to NZ biology teachers. I also have his book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, David! :) For other readers, Graeme Finlay's book, Human Evolution, is a great source on ERVs and other genetic markers that ceryify common descent. For those who deny common descent for "religious" reasons, Finlay happens to be a Christian.

      http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/life-sciences/evolutionary-biology/human-evolution-genes-genealogies-and-phylogenies

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  6. http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/03/viral-fossils-our-dna-may-help-us-fight-infection?utm_source=sciencemagazine&utm_medium=facebook-text&utm_campaign=viralfossils-2747
    Viral ‘fossils’ in our DNA may help us fight infection

    https://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-07-kinds-retroviruses-lookor-actthe.html

    Traits are determined by gene sequences:
    http://sciencerefutesevolution.blogspot.fi/2017/03/human-traits-and-epigenetics.html
    No two kinds of retroviruses look—or act—the same

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tomi, Will you enable comments on your bog? If not, I don't see why I should allow you to comment here.

      BTW, the fact that epigenetics can influence traits does not mean that genes cannot.

      And also BTW, none of your material addresses the case for common descent from common ERVs!

      Delete
    2. Folks, this is someone who posts garbage on a Facebook "Intelligent Design" group. He gives the lie to the assertion that Intelligent Design enthusiasts are not just dishonest (is there any other sort?) creationists.

      Delete
  7. Barry blocked me after I showed these evidences that prove his claims pseudoscience. There are no mechanisms for large scale evolution.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I blocked you on Facebook for being a twat. I'm quite happy to let you document your twattery here. Are you going to let me comment at your blog?

      Delete
  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete