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



This question reveals a misunderstanding of the case for common descent from ERVs. Retroviruses occasionally cross to other species, often distantly related ones, such as from gibbons to koalas. They can also become endogenous in two distantly related species. The presence of the same retroviruses or ERVs is not evidence for common ancestry. It is ERVs in corresponding locations in the DNA of two species that is evidence of common descent - because a bunch of them are highly unlikely (to say the least) to have ended up in corresponding locations, by chance, from independent infections. The only viable explanation is that both species inherited the corresponding ERVs from the same ancestors. Inheritance guarantees corresponding locations. Separate infections do not.

http://jvi.asm.org/content/74/9/4264.full

Gregory J. Baillie and Richard J. Wilkins, "Endogenous Type D Retrovirus in a Marsupial, the Common Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula)," Journal of Virology, March 2001 vol. 75 no. 5 2499-2507. http://jvi.asm.org/cgi/content/full/75/5/2499

Robin A Weiss, "The discovery of endogenous retroviruses," Retrovirology, 2006; 3: 67. Published online 2006 October 3. doi: 10.1186/1742-4690-3-67.http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1617120


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7 comments:

  1. "It is ERVs in corresponding locations in the DNA of two species that is evidence of common descent - because a bunch of them are highly unlikely (to say the least) to have ended up in corresponding locations, by chance, from independent infections."

    It is not by chance. The genomes are littered with potential integration sites for endogeneous RNA viruses, the socalled sole (or isolated) LTR. They function as docking sites for recombinational entry. So, the intergration is not random but on LTRs. In fact, LTRs are sequences full of eukaryotic promoters. They are controlled and regulated (mostly silenced) by proteins and methylation (which in turn is also regulated by proteins in a sequence specific way). Nothing in biology just happens, it is all controlled and regulated. Everything in biology that just happens leads to death and demise.

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  2. See http://barryhisblog.blogspot.com/p/relationship-between-integration-sites.html

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  3. Peer has been repeatedly asked about his attitude to the Creation Ministries International statement of faith. Only on providing a satisfactory response will his deleted comments on ERVs be restored.

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    2. Readers, please note: I have told Peer that I would re-post all of his deleted comments if he gives a satisfactory response to my questions about his attitude to the statement of faith at Creation Ministries International (where he blogs). The statement that gives me concern is this:-

      "Facts are always subject to interpretation by fallible people who do not possess all information. By definition, therefore, no interpretation of facts in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the scriptural record."

      His attitude to this goes straight to the heart of whether he can be considered a reliable, objective observer. Once we can establish whether or not he can be, either way, we can then proceed to address his comments.

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