The Instigator
everseeingeye
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
mecap
Con (against)
Winning
21 Points

Endogenous Retroviruses are not evidence for evolution, as shown by Daniel Nahum

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
mecap
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/18/2009 Category: Science
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 7,734 times Debate No: 6568
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (3)

 

everseeingeye

Pro

Mecap thinks ERVs are "evidence for evolution" But this is just an old evolutionist argument that has been proven false by Daniel Nahum. He raises many objections:

One problem is that retroviral DNA does not show an apparent link between
mammals and other classes of animals, and in fact the difference between retro genes in vertebrates and invertebrates is very significant, and the supposed retro genes in invertebrates are not even considered ERVs by some scientists.
This is a very important point because if evolutionists claim that retroviral DNA proves that all mammals have a common ancestor then, if we use the same logic, retroviral DNA disproves the idea of mammals having a common ancestor with other classes. For example evolutionary theory claims that fish and humans have a common ancestor however they do not share any ERVs as we would expect if evolution is true.

To overcome this claim, evolutionists claim that since fish and humans share a very oldancestor, they share very old ERVs therefore these ERVs had enough time to evolve independently in humans and their ancestors and modern fish and their ancestor, and since the common ancestor between humans and other mammals, and specifically with other primates is relatively young, ERVs did not evolve (change) too much. However, evolutionists fail to provide a rate in which and ERV can change, and they fail to provide a mechanism in which and ERV can change so drastically and pass it to the next generation, but there is not evidence supporting this claim. This argument also assumes evolution to be true, so which one is it?
a) ERVs prove evolution
b) Evolution proves ERV

In other words if evolutionists are using retroviral DNA to prove evolution, then they
can not assume evolution in their arguments.

Problem 2) Lack of Falsification

According to the phylogenetic tree Chimps are closer to Humans than to Gorillas, they claim to have overvaluing evidence supporting this claim, if this claim is true, and if evolutionists interpreted ERVs correctly, then Gorillas and Chimps can not share an ERV, unless, this ERV is also present in humans, therefore finding and ERV in chimps and gorillas, but not in humans should falsify evolution, or at least the argument on ERVs, however there is at least 1 ERV from the family K that is present in chimps and gorillas, but not in humans, this ERVs are in orthologous position, therefore this fact should falsify evolution. Evolutionists claim that this does not falsify evolution because maybe a retrovirus infected the common ancestor of gorillas, humans and chimps, but humans lost the ERV recently, however this makes the argument on ERVs impossible to falsify, besides evolutionists fail to explain how many of this irregularities are allowed, without contradicting evolution, they fail to provide a process in which an ERV can disappear, they fail to provide a rate in which ERVs disappear, besides if one human somehow lost an ERV, only some of the descendents of this human should lack this ERV, but not all humans.

http://www.talkorigins.org...

According to talk origins finding an ERV in dogs and humans but not in other primates would falsify evolution, however finding an ERV in dogs and humans but not in other primates is like finding an ERV in chimps and gorillas but not in humans, and if we ever find an ERV in humans and dogs but not in other primates evolutionists will simply claim that all the primates except for humans lost the ERV recently, the argument on ERVs is simply impossible to falsify.

Another problem is that The argument on ERVs assumes that retroviral DNA is junk DNA, this assumption is known to be wrong in at least some cases, and even though some ERVs do not have any apparent function, this does not mean that ERVs had always been useless, and it is also possible that all ERVs have a function but has not been discovered in some cases, after all there are countless examples of supposed pseudo genes that turned out to be functional, when farther research was made.

For example in mammals ERVs are a very important part of the reproductive system, ERVs protect the embryo form the mother's immune system, Also Retroviral DNA cause the formation of the placental syncytium in order to limit the exchange of migratory cells between the developing embryo and the mother. Also some ERVs protect organisms from diseases, such as HIV, (humans do not have the ERV that protect others form HIV) ERVs (like any other protein) need to be in very specific places in order to be functional, are we to believe that retroviruses attacked randomly in the one and only place in which they can be functional? To try to refute the argument evolutionists claim that ERVs where originally useless, and then they evolved and become functional, but once again, this arguments assumes evolution, and is based on circular reasoning. Chimps and humans share a considerable amount of ERVs in the same place, so what? God put them in the same place because otherwise ERVs would have not been functional and reproduction would have been impossible. A common question asked by evolutionists is: Why did God created ERVs to look as if evolution were true? But this question is simply out of place, a better question is: Why did ERVs evolve as if they where designed?

Finally evolutionists claim that if creationists prove that retroviral infections are not
random, the argument would be refuted, but how do they know that ERVs are in fact retroviral insertions? How do they know that ERVs came from retroviruses? The only thing that we really know is that ERVs and retroviruses are similar (almost identical) but this does not mean that ERVs came originally form retroviral infections, maybe it is the other way around, maybe retroviruses came originally form ERVs after all retroviruses can not live without a host genome, which means that the first generation of retroviruses came from inside the genome, once you accept this as a fact or at least as a reasonable possibility, it is logical to assume that retroviruses came from retroviral DNA. In other words it is my hypothesis that God created the genome with ERVs and after the fall some ERVs become infectious retroviruses, this hypothesis explains the fact that most ERVs do not have an infectious counterpart.

Retroviral DNA in no way proves evolution beyond reasonable doubt, retroviral DNA is perfectly consistent with creationism, and evolution is not needed to explain the facts related to Endogenous Retroviruses, in fact if evolution would have never been proposed by Darwin (or some one else) Retroviral DNA would not create any controversy in the scientific community, ERVs are simply proteins that serve specific functions (just like any other protein.) Evolutionists claim that ERVs differ from other proteins bec ause ERVs are junk DNA and retroviral incretions; however these assumptions are known to be wrong, or at least highly questionable, besides it is impossible to falsify the argument on ERVs, every single possible scientific discovery would fit in to the evolutionary model.
mecap

Con

Many thanks to my opponent for posting this debate- good luck and enjoy :).

PROPOSITION 1: Retroviral DNA does not show apparent link between mammals and other classes of animals...
REBUTTAL: This statement is simply not true 135 vertebrates were sequenced for ERVs(1), and the article released by scientists from Department of Biological Sciences, Imperial College, UK provides sufficient evidence to show that the distribution of ERVs matches the expected hierarchical distribution of animals with accordance to what we expect to see if evolution is true.

PROPOSITION 2: "...fish and humans have a common ancestor however they do not share any ERVs as we would expect if evolution is true."
REBUTTAL: Again, my opponent offers an unsubstantiated claim. Zebrafish and humans share ERV-9 (2), this has been confirmed by MIT scientists. But the mere fact that we can show that humans and chimpanzees share a common ancestor via ERVs should be enough to disprove my opponent's position that God created humans in a special case of creation.

PROPOSITION 3: "...evolutionists claim that since fish and humans share a very oldancestor..."
REBUTTAL: There are several genus of Retroviruses, the fact is that different genus of retroviruses tend to infect different genus of animals, plants, etc. For example, RS and MMV like ERVs infect vertebrates only, there are others who only infect aquatic animals;
TY3/Gypsi infect plants, insects and nematode;
BEL only infect lower chordates and insects (3). As a matter of fact, there are retroviruses that ONLY infect humans, such as HIV... so it's not surprising that we may see retroviruses which are unique to one genome or another.

PROPOSITION 4: "This argument also assumes evolution to be true, so which one is it?
a) ERVs prove evolution
b) Evolution proves ERV"
REBUTTAL: Evolution does not prove ERVs, but ERVs prove evolution... you can't have it the other way around. ERVs are just evidence/facts, they're not a theory so they can't be "proven", they just are! The gravitational theory does not prove the attraction between bodies with mass, but the attraction between bodies with mass proves the gravitational theory...

PROPOSITION 5: "According to talk origins finding an ERV in dogs and humans but not in other primates would falsify evolution..."
REBUTTAL: Indeed it would... it's very unlikely that humans and dogs can share ERVs when NONE of the other primates share the same ERVs with humans, it borders in the line of impossibility, just like it borders on the line of impossibility that we see 16 K-Class ERVs infecting the EXACT SAME location of the human and chimp genome. The full statement form talkorigins, courtesy of my opponent:

"For instance, it would be incredibly unlikely for dogs to also carry the three HERV-K insertions that are unique to humans... since none of the other primates have these retroviral sequences." (4)

PROPOSITION 6: "Another problem is that The argument on ERVs assumes that retroviral DNA is junk DNA, this assumption is known to be wrong in at least some cases"
REBUTTAL: This is an irrelevant statement, the functionality of ERV transcribed genetic code is irrelevant to the fact that the ONLY way ERVs can be shared in the genome of two separate species is if the species share a common ancestor. It doesn't matter of the code has function or not, there is only one way to get it in the genome!

PROPOSITION 7: "Why did ERVs evolve as if they where designed?"
REBUTTAL: Because that's what happens when things evolve- they start to look designed :).

PROPOSITION 8: "Why did God created ERVs to look as if evolution were true? But this question is simply out of place..."
REBUTTAL: Actually I demand that you answer that question, since I answered yours :).

PROPOSITION 9: "How do they know that ERVs came from retroviruses? The only thing that we really know is that ERVs and retroviruses are similar (almost identical)"
REBUTTAL: First of all- ERVs ARE retroviruses, it's in the name, Endogenous Retroviruses (ERV)!

Well how do we know the sun is actually burning? It certainly looks like it's on fire, it's almost identical to fire... oh well, I guess we can't trust the scientists on that one either!

However, it's an undeniable fact: ERVs are everywhere and our understanding of them is sufficient enough to conclude that the only way they can get in the exact same location of the genome of two separate species is via a common ancestor!

PROPOSITION 10: "In other words it is my hypothesis that God created the genome with ERVs and after the fall some ERVs become infectious retroviruses"
REBUTTAL: Back to my previous question, why would God put the ERVs in the EXACT same location of the chimpanzee and human genomes? Why would God put ERVs in the genomes so that all animals look like they evolved? Is he playing a trick on people? Is that some kind of running joke he has with the Angels? Like he wakes up one day and says: "Look at these fools out there, thinking that those ERVs REALLY point to evolution!" and all the Angels chuckle with God...

If ERVs are the result of the fall of man, then they couldn't have been part of the common design scheme where God re-used the same genetic code for many different animals, since the fall of man was AFTER all the animals (and man) were created! Therefore it makes it even less logical that the ERVs would be in the EXACT same place in the genome of humans and chimps!

PROPOSITION 11: "it is impossible to falsify the argument on ERVs, every single possible scientific discovery would fit in to the evolutionary model."
REBUTTAL: You can't falsify facts, ERVs are facts and they can't be falsified! You can't falsify the fact that the sun is shining, that doesn't make sense... What you can falsify is a theory, there are many ways to falsify the theory of evolution, for example:
- Find a Precambrian bunny.
- Find a mammal species with 7 toes/fingers.
- Find an invertebrate reptile.
...and so on.

CONCLUSION:
My opponent has not provided any reliable and fact substantiated arguments in this debate... as a matter of fact most of his propositions are gross misinterpretations that border on the line of deliberate misinformation!

(1) http://jvi.asm.org...
(2) http://www.pnas.org...
(3) Viruses and the Evolution of Life By Luis P. Villarreal, p 208.
(4) http://www.talkorigins.org...
Debate Round No. 1
everseeingeye

Pro

everseeingeye forfeited this round.
mecap

Con

PLEASE NOTE: my opponent has forefeited the previous round- ALL of my points still stand unchallenged!

My opponent did not offer a single line of his own reasoning, instead his entire argument is a copypasta- http://swordandshield.biz...

My opponent did not provide a SINGLE source, although he mentioned in the title that some guy named Daniel Nahum has somehow shown that ERVs are not evidence... I went through the ENTIRE argument, showed the blatant inconsistencies and provided reliable sources to support my position!
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Now let's look at some of the other failed arguments which are proposed by my opponent!

PROPOSITION 1: "evolutionists fail to provide a rate in which and ERV can change, and they fail to provide a mechanism in which and ERV can change so drastically and pass it to the next generation, but there is not evidence supporting this claim."
REBUTTAL: This is COMPLETE nonsense! ERVs- Endogenous Retroviruses are not something which resides in the genome, but their genetic code is left the genome! The rate of change of DNA in the human genome is 3x10^-6 per base per 20 years (1), multiply the mutation rate times the total number of base pairs in a human (~3 billion) and you'll get approximately 9000 base pair mutations per 20 year generation, or 450 mutations per year! If the mutations never occur in the same place and are all retained, then the ENTIRE human genome can be replaced in 6.6 million years JUST BY [RANDOM] MUTATIONS!

"More generally, the mutation rate in eukaryotes is in generally 10-4 to 10-6 mutations per base pair per generation[4], and for bacteria the rate is around 10-8 per base pair per generation[5]. The highest mutation rates are found in viruses, which can have either RNA or DNA genomes. DNA viruses have mutation rates between 10-6 to 10-8 mutations per base per generation, and RNA viruses have mutation rates between 10-3 to 10-5 per base per generation[5]. Human mitochondrial DNA has been estimated to have mutation rates of ~3�10-6 or ~2.7�10-5 per base per 20 year generation (depending on the method of estimation)[6]; these rates are considered to be significantly higher than rates of human genomic mutation at ~2.5�10-8 per base per generation[1]."(1)

PROPOSITION 2: "This argument also assumes evolution to be true, so which one is it?
a) ERVs prove evolution
b) Evolution proves ERV"
REBUTTAL: This is my favorite statement, so I had to discuss it again! Here is how it works: Newton observed that objects with mass attract one another so he proposed a theory to explain what was observed (1).

--> Falling objects prove the theory of gravity;
--> The theory of gravity cannot prove that objects are falling- it can only explain WHY they're falling!

So we observe Endogenous Retroviruses transcribe RNA into the genome of a host, we see ERV RNA left in the matching locations in multiple separate genomes, and we explain it with the theory of evolution!

PROPOSITION 3: "How do they know that ERVs came from retroviruses?"
REBUTTAL: Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) **ARE** retroviruses!!!

It's like saying- "how do you know shipwrecks come from ships?" Well we could all say that the same people that designed ships also designed shipwrecks and put them in the bottom of the ocean for no apparent reason!

PROPOSITION 3: "The only thing that we really know is that ERVs and retroviruses are similar (almost identical) but this does not mean that ERVs came originally form retroviral infections, maybe it is the other way around, maybe retroviruses came originally form ERVs after all retroviruses can not live without a host genome, which means that the first generation of retroviruses came from inside the genome, once you accept this as a fact or at least as a reasonable possibility, it is logical to assume that retroviruses came from retroviral DNA."
REBUTTAL: FAILURE, EPIC FAILURE! None of this makes sense... the propositions is that retroviruses came from Endogenous retroviruses, because retroviruses "cannot live outside the host genome"- actually retroviruses DO live outside the genome, but they can't REPRODUCE outside the genome. Scientists have studied retroviruses for more than 20 years, and the most famous retrovirus is HIV (3)... so my opponent thinks that HIV viruses cannot live unless they're in a genome, which is patently FALSE- HIV lays dormant in the host until it encounters DNA after which it transcribes its RNA into the genome and thus it reproduces!

So by my opponent's reference to flawed logic, he must find it perfectly plausible that ships come from shipwrecks! EPIC FAIL!

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Conclusion:
Not only has my opponent forfeited this debate, but his original post contained laughable "logic"... It's utterly inconceivable that anybody who has BASIC understanding of how retroviruses work, would even postulate the nonsense that my opponent has proposed! Obviously my opponent's ONLY source of knowledge on ERVs is a single paper from an unnamed author (although my opponent said that this came from Daniel Nahum, the paper did not have Daniel's name on it)!

ERVs are DEFINITIVE evidence FOR evolution, the evidence leaves us with no other conclusion!
Please vote CON!

(1) http://en.wikipedia.org...
(2) http://en.wikipedia.org...
(3) http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
everseeingeye

Pro

everseeingeye forfeited this round.
mecap

Con

Round 3 and my opponent has forfeited again! All of my previous arguments still stand unchallenged!

This was not a debate, my opponent didn't even bother to make his own argument... he simply copied and pasted an argument which he doesn't understand, and the argument he pasted was full of inconsistencies, misunderstandings, and fallacies showing the blatant lack of knowledge in regards to ERVs.

At one point in the argument it's even questioned if Endogenous retroviruses (AKA ERVs) are actually retroviruses... it's almost equivalent to questioning if a Siamese cat is actually a cat!!!

Vote Con! :)
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by mecap 8 years ago
mecap
Not necessarily plagiarism since in the title my opponent stated: "as shown by Daniel Nahum"... but an awful debate, as my opponent did not offer one single view of his own.
Posted by mecap 8 years ago
mecap
I wonder if my opponent is actually taking 2 days to write a reply, or if he's looking for something else he can rip off again... in any case, I'll call him out on his plagiarism! What a joke!
Posted by mecap 8 years ago
mecap
I feel cheated :) LOL,
I should make it a good practice to check for copypastas from now on, I had no clue this happens so often... it just seems like creationist dishonesty has no end in sight! The audacity of ignorance is so appalling, but this only makes the victory taste that much sweeter!
Posted by jjmd280 8 years ago
jjmd280
Just put the link into google and you'll get the PDF.
Posted by jjmd280 8 years ago
jjmd280
It's a PDF - http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:kNK08Ag3jHAJ:swordandshield.biz/endogenous_retroviruses.pdf+http://swordandshield.biz...
Posted by mecap 8 years ago
mecap
Some more copypasta from a creationist, a quick google search reveals my opponent did exactly what every creationist normally does: copy and paste an entire argument from a source and pretend they wrote it... luckily technology is on our side and here is the source my opponent should have posted- "http://swordandshield.biz...;
Posted by everseeingeye 8 years ago
everseeingeye
Thank you for accepting my challenge, I have to get some sleep now so it may take time before I respond, but I do appreciate our correspondence.
Posted by Maya9 8 years ago
Maya9
Oh, now I see why. His profile suggests that he very likely has no real education in the field of biology and is just parroting someone else's ill-conceived argument because he himself doesn't like the idea of evolution and doesn't have anything better.

Pro, just because something has science-y words in it, does not make it credible.
Posted by Maya9 8 years ago
Maya9
Why do I get the feeling that Pro is basing his entire argument on someone else's argument that he may or may not really understand?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by bigg3r_trigg3r 8 years ago
bigg3r_trigg3r
everseeingeyemecapTied
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Vote Placed by jjmd280 8 years ago
jjmd280
everseeingeyemecapTied
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Vote Placed by mecap 8 years ago
mecap
everseeingeyemecapTied
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