ERVs and evolutionary predictions

Why would a designer reinvent a bend, broken, useless, square wheel for no reason?

Hi Ron
Show they are broken.

Find a paper that has knocked them out of a germ line and see if the organism can reproduce.


How do you know that? (I know that it is a popular trope but familiarity is not evidence.)

I am interested in seeing the numbers and your calculations on this. How did you calculate/determine what a designer is “very likely” to do?

(1) Why not “reinvent the wheel”? (In other contexts we Christians like to say that God loves variety and creativity.)

(2) Does reinventing the wheel require a reason? How do you know?

Isn’t it easier to accept the massive evidence for what ERVs are and do? Does parsimony provide any good reasons?

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Is it? How likely are we talking here? How would we test that? What knowledge do you or I have about this impossible hypothetical designer, that would allow us to estimate how likely they are to make some choice over the alternatives?

Also, how come this designer is perfectly happy to reinvent the wheel many times over when ever the common ancestor of two lineages happens to not have had the wheel in question? The designer figures it makes sense to reuse designs between organisms that are closely related, but forgets all about that trick when relatedness goes back further than either organism’s acquisition of the design. Almost as if he has none of the properties an actual real designer would, like memory, or foresight. Come to think of it, that designer seems to be doing his utmost to make it look like no designer had any part in the process at all. Perhaps he ain’t all too proud about what’s coming out of it.

Oh, if only there was some other reason we should expect organisms to share genes, some mechanism that would account for both the reuse and the non-reuse, depending on their genealogy

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Why not? You’re the one making a strong claim. You should support it.

I have no idea what “a rare type of retrovirus” even means, but the question seems irrelevant to any point. Are you perhaps confusing retroviruses with endogenous retroviruses in the germ line?

A big problem you have, consistently, is that you ignore established results. Science doesn’t work that way. Science builds on past results to enable the interpretation of new results. One established result is that we know most of your genome is junk. (See Larry Moran’s book for illumination.) So no, I’m not ahead of myself. I just stand on the shoulders of giants.

This points out that your creationism is incapable of presenting well-formed hypotheses. We have no idea what a designer, particularly an omnipotent one, would or could do. We need to understand both the designer’s capabilities and his inclinations or purposes in order to make predictions. You have none of those, so your prediction is worthless. Why would a designer re-use sequences? If he had human limitations on effort, perhaps. But is the designer so limited? If he placed some aesthetic value on standardization, perhaps. But does he? Elsewhere, it’s been claimed that the designer glories in diversity, which would suggest that every species should have different sequences to accomplish the same purpose. And suppose the designer likes standardization, why do homologous ERVs differ so much in sequence both within and between species? So much for standardization. You really need to think about what you’re proposing and why. (Of course, evolution explains both the similarities, due to descent, and the differences, due to subsequent divergence.)


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2 posts were merged into an existing topic: Junk DNA, High R, Pinnipeds, and the Multiverse

Why are you arguing with a literal creationist chat-bot? It’s the same recycled stupidity over and over again. There is nobody left who isn’t aware Bill is wrong. Even his ostensible teammembers who still sometimes post here never bother to defend his crap except in terms of whining about tone. Giltil knows he’s wrong too, and just relegated literally all his shite to “philosophical commitments.”

They know they are wrong. They are insane. Literally.


5 posts were merged into an existing topic: The Argument Clinic

Lesson for everyone free of charge. Observe. Bill writes to me, what do I do? Nothing. Learn. Watch and learn.

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Technically, that was a response… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:



No. You are wrong about that. Reminding people that the DEFAULT position is what the vast millions of English-speaking Christians already believes should help avoid the subconscious (and erroneous) position that the opposite of the I.D. view equals non-designed (atheistic) evolution.

This assumes that the forum should adopt a collective “DEFAULT position” – which, as I’ve said previously, would seem to require the forum to make the perilous venture into apologetics.

Whilst the “vast millions of English-speaking Christians” accept evolution, it would seem that they reach that acceptance by a number of paths, depending on their theological position on the historicity of the Book of Genesis (generally) and Adam and Eve (specifically).

I also have to ask why we’re only restricting ourselves to the “English-speaking” subset of Christians? Do the French, German, Pollish and Russian (etc, etc) speaking Christians either have a different perspective, or in some way not matter?

Given that beliefs about Evolution and Creationism exist on a spectrum, it would seem that Atheistic Evolution is the furthest viewpoint away from ID, so is arguably its “opposite” – in the same way that the viewpoint that is furthest away from Theistic Evolution is some form of Geocentric or Flat-Earth YEC. This does not, in and of itself, negate the validity of viewpoints between these extremes.

Speaking for myself, I tend to be extremely uncomfortable about what seems to be the proposition of some form of mutually-enforced ‘groupthink’ on this.


We will eventually have to decide what we are (versus what we could be). In the absence of my proposal for such a default position, many visitors and old-timers will be left with only one impotent impression: that we exist only to allow atheists to attempt to convince creationists that there is no God.

This point is doubly vexed:
1] it is much easier to convince a creationist that God’s design includes evolution, and

2] it puts us squarely in opposition to the greater majority of our audience who like to see God as the master engineer of Evolution.

As to your discomfort with “groupthink”, I am amused. Right now PS suffers from the toxic polarization that the most useful position to take against I.D. is that there is no divine intelligence. This is a terrible PR cul de sac! We are arguing against every Christmas, Easter, and even against Passover and Chanakuh!

Why should the default position be based on only about 10% of the world’s population?

Why should it be based on numbers of believers at all?

If you insist on selecting the default position based on numbers, there are more native Chinese-speaking folk religionists (~700m) than there are native English-speaking Christians (~300m).

But really, the default position should be some variation of “I DON’T KNOW”.


Who exactly is this “we” you talk about? Is it the forum hierarchy? The forum’s scientists? The forum’s atheists? Or who?

And why do “we”, or they if “we” is defined to exclude me :slight_smile: , have to make such a decision?

Who, apart from yourself, are the “old-timers” who are left with this odd impression?

To the extent that I can perceive a raison d’etre for this forum, it would appear to be (i) to promote Joshua’s book & worldview, and (ii) to try to encourage non-creationists to be nicer to creationists than their frequent lack of competence, humility and honesty would seem to merit.

I rather suspect that I have a reputation on this forum for being one of its blunter atheists, but I cannot remember ever having “attempt[ed] to convince creationists that there is no God” – my position has tended to be more towards the viewpoint of ‘apologists make bad arguments’ than ‘Christianity per se is bad’ (hence my disinclination to indulge in apologetics myself).

My own aim is far more modest than that – simply to demonstrate that certain specific Creationist apologetics arguments are bad arguments. I am happy to thereafter leave them to themselves as to what they do with that information.

I would rather suspect that the vast majority of more liberal Christians, outside of direct contact with creationists, never even consider Evolution as being a factor in their religious views – any more than they would consider Gravity as being a factor. I know that it never even entered into the picture back, half a lifetime ago, when I was still a Christian.

Eris protect us from “useful position[s]” – we get quite enough of those from the apologists.

I’m far more interested in truthful positions or interesting positions than “useful” :face_vomiting: ones, than you very much.

If you want to do PR, then join an apologetics ministry. Maybe you should find out if Michael Dodds is hiring. :smiley:

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Surely the most useful position to take against ID is that it is a nothing but a con set up by a bunch of shysters in order to bypass US legal restrictions on teaching, it doesn’t have any actual substance, and anyone advocating it who isn’t a professional IDer has been duped into supporting a deception.


I have never seen this on PS, much less seen it as a common theme. I think that Mr. Brooks is projecting onto people he doesn’t bother to get to know, and a forum he doesn’t bother to actually read.


I think we need more clarity here. The majority membership position is that ID is not science because it presumes an intelligence beyond the realm of science.

Most would agree that conflating religion with science is toxic to science. Some will also agree that is toxic to religion as well.

I’m reasonably sure everyone would agree that science does not require assumptions about any unknown and unknowable intelligence.