Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Ten Myths of Evolution Refuted, Part 4

I'm not going to lie, I didn't know what to do about this one. I've heard ridiculous claims before, but never have I seen this level of stupidity. The 7th myth on the Answers in Genesis list of 10 is that human and chimp DNA similarities prove evolution. That's right, they think that the fact that humans and chimp DNA similarities (which is 98%, by the way) does not prove evolution.

So, according to AiG, we "evolutionists" often forget that the 2% difference between chimps and humans equates to millions of differences in the arrangements of their nucleotides (they call them letters, retards). You're right, there are millions of differences in our base pairs (two opposite nucleotides), but where exactly does that disprove evolution? That 2% difference in our genomes make up all of the anatomical, physiological, and social differences that humans and chimps have, but, remember that there is still a 98% similarity! The number of similarities outnumbers the differences by a ration of 48:1! This alone does not prove evolution or ancestry, but it is one of the hundreds, perhaps thousands of pieces of evidence for it.

Now this is the second thing they said, and it gets me every time. For some reason they like to think that we evolved from chimps. Let me tell you right now: WE ARE NOT chimps. We did not evolve from chimps. or any other LIVING primate species on the planet for that matter. We simply share ancestry, and that ancestry is solidified by the fact that 98% of our genome is identical. The further you go back on the tree, to reptiles, amphibians, fish, invertebrates, non-chordates, etc., the percentage of the genome that is identical lessens. You can see that decreasing trend not only in genetics, but in comparative anatomy, physiology, social behaviors, embryology, paleontology, zoology, botany, and beyond. The older you get, the less similar the organisms are.

Now, let's toss some interesting evidence out there.

A retrovirus is an RNA virus that gets replicated in the host cell through use of an enzyme called reverse transcriptase, which produces DNA from its own RNA genome. The virus then produces DNA and integrates it with the host cell by the enzyme integrase. This means that the virus can replicate itself as a part of the host cell's DNA. The simple way to say this is that retroviruses take their own RNA, produce DNA, and then synthesize the proteins necessary for duplication. Normal viruses operate by taking DNA from the host, producing RNA, and then synthesizing the necessary proteins. Retroviruses work backwards.

So, whats the significance? If a retrovirus (HIV is a good example) infects a body cell, then that change to the host's DNA is lost when the organism dies. If, on the other hand, it infects a gamete cell, then we have a whole 'nother story. When this happens, the retroviral DNA (which was inserted in to the host via the integrase enzyme) can be passed on to the organisms progeny. This is very important to know: those DNA changes that result from a retroviral infection can be passed on, and the offspring of the organism can bear those changes.

So, what happens when we decode the human genome? We can find where retroviruses have inserted their DNA by looking for specific patterns. We can even find what point they inserted them at. What about when we decode the chimp genome? We find that those same pieces of retroviral DNA exist in the SAME EXACT places in the chimp genome as they do in the human genome. The genome is billions of base pairs long, and the chances of the same retrovirus infecting two different species in the same exact places at different points of time are astronomical.

That is just one of the pieces of evidence for common ancestry. The human-chimp ancestor (or possibly, an ancestor from even further out) had these pieces of retroviral DNA in their genome, which were then passed to their ancestors.

Did the "designer" intentionally infect us with retroviral DNA (in multiple species, and in the same places I might add)? Seems kind of like a dick move to me.

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