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  Topic: (probably)new creationist 'argument'< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

Posts: 2
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 15 2005,05:33   

Hi, all,

I've just encountered a new form of creationist attempt to refute evolution -
the main line of it goes like :
"vertebrate immune system ( + proteolytic system )
is so gargantuanly efficient and precise that it wipes out any mutation, except few deliberately allowed for microevolution's sake,
and therefore evolution in vertebrates doesn't exist"

This claim is of course absurd. But...How to explain that to them ?
And, more over, this is ( I believe ) none of the standard creationist objections to evolution.

Author does't explicitelly claim that God, or the Designer did it, and only keeps proclaiming that evolution doesn't work.

Has anyone here encountered something similar ?
Or is this a next step in the evolution of creationism meme ?


Posts: 5
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 27 2005,22:18   

What I would say is that this is just plain false.  The immune system gets programmed to recognize proteins which are a part of the organism vs. proteins which are alien to the organism (at least in humans) by the thymus.  Please see:

Shadow Proteins In Thymus May Explain How Immune System Gets To Know Its Own Body

In addition, we know that viruses have the ability in various cases to suppress the immune system (e.g., ebola, HIV) and integrate themselves into the human genome (HIV and other retroviruses, such as the human endogenous retroviruses -- three of which are responsible for making the placenta an impregnable barrier to the mother's immune system).

Please see:

The viruses that make us: a role for endogenous retrovirus in the evolution of placental species by Luis P. Villarreal

(Incidentally, Villarreal has a new book that just came out "Viruses and the Evolution of Life."  Haven't had a chance to look at it yet, though.)

The important thing is that -- at least as far as the thymus is concerned -- the change in the genetic code take place in the germline -- but that is already a given, since otherwise it will not be passed on to the offspring.

One thing to note, though:  the immune system of humans is a bit more versatile and powerful than that of most other mammals.  Please see:

Ancient "Jumping DNA" May Have Evolved Into Key Component Of Human Immune System

This might help explain why so much gene therapy is heralded a success in rabbits and other small mammals, but usually is rejected by our immune system before it has a chance to work.

  1 replies since Feb. 15 2005,05:33 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  


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