Human endogenous retrovirus K (HERV-K) insertions in identical chromosomal locations in various primates
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
"The denial of evolution requires denial of the bedrock of two centuries of biology and geology. That is quite a feat ..."
The quote in the title of this post comes from Sean B. Carroll's The Making of the Fittest, DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution.
In the same book Sean B. Carroll also wrote:
For all of those who do see the overwhelming evidence of natural selection and life's descent from ancestors, and the immense span of time over which the story of life unfolded, it is, to put it mildly, baffling how so many still do not. It is absolutely astonishing and often infuriating that some take it so far as to deny the immense foundation of evidence and to slander all the human achievement that foundation represents.
I won't "put it mildly". Evolution deniers are world-class idiots. Their stupidity and their irrational fear of reality is as overwhelming as the massive scientific evidence they have to deny to defend their dead Jeebus. Evolution deniers, also known as creationists because of their childish belief in an invisible creator who used a magic wand to create every creature out of nothing, are severely mentally disturbed. In many cases their mental illness is dangerous to others. They disgrace the human race with their cowardly denial of what every biologist knows is the strongest basic fact of science. In Idiot America they are most of the population and they have disgraced my country long enough. They will always have my complete contempt.
Magical Intelligent Design Creationism (or whatever Christian assholes are calling it now) is virtually always an incurable disease, but there are very rare exceptions. After years of trying I did, only once, convince a Christian his magical creationism has big problems, like for example it's bullshit. How was I able to convince a willfully ignorant Christian tard to grow up? That's what this post is about.
I have talked to science deniers both in person and on the internet. The one person I was able to convince was communicating with me on a Christian website. Unlike most creationists this Christian was not an uneducated moron. He had a lucrative career that required strong intelligence. Unfortunately like most Americans he was a victim of intense religious brainwashing, but this person still had the ability to think. So instead of giving up early like I usually do (because insanity can't be fixed) I kept at it for awhile.
I was explaining why ERVs are used to accurately determine evolutionary relationships. I explained why, for example, ERVs in the exact same locations in the genome of modern human apes and modern chimpanzee apes show beyond any doubt these two ape species share an ancient ape ancestor.
He then invoked one of the professional assholes who work for the Christian Creationist Discovery Institute who said these ERVs are functional, which is not true and in any case has nothing to do with the point of this evidence.
I then explained that not only was his professional liar wrong about ERVs, it wouldn't even matter if he was right. The liar was only trying to avoid talking about the reason this evidence is so powerful which is that ERVs are inherited and when they appear in identical locations in two species, the only possible explanation is those ERVs were inherited from a common ancestor.
To my great surprise the Christian understood. He actually said "This is a problem for creationism." Even more surprisingly he asked for some books to read and I recommended Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne.
He said he was going to continue being a Christian no matter what. I never heard from him again but I would bet by now he's in the process of throwing out his Christian death cult.
This blog has a few posts about ERVs:
We also harbor dead genes that came from other species, namely viruses. Some, called 'endogenous retroviruses' (ERVs), can make copies of their genome and insert them into the DNA of species they infect. (HIV is a retrovirus.) If the viruses infect the cells that make sperm and eggs, they can be passed on to future generations. The human genome contains thousands of such viruses, nearly all of them rendered harmless by mutations. They are the remnants of ancient infections. But some of these remnants sit in exactly the same location on the chromosomes of humans and chimpanzees. These were surely viruses that infected our common ancestor and were passed on to both descendants. Since there is almost no chance of viruses inserting themselves independently at exactly the same spot in two species, this points strongly to common ancestry.
-- Jerry Coyne