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The Great Syncytin Challenge To Intelligent Design


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#1 Barry Desborough

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 06:56 PM

Syncytins are proteins involved in the attachment of the placenta to the uterus. They perform a very similar function to retroviral env genes that have the function of attaching a virus particle to a host cell that a retrovirus is infecting. It is not necessary, from a design PoV, to embed the DNA for these syncytins in an endogenous retrovirus (ERV), the remaining DNA of which serves no function. It is sufficient to have such proteins coded for without the ERV baggage. Indeed, in many species, this is what we see. Yet, often, syncytins are to be found in such situations. Why? The scientific explanation is that species that had received a germ-line integration of the retroviruses that gave rise to the ERV-embedded syncytins just happened to benefit from this particular gene, which was either an original mutation of the env gene involved - an error in reverse-transcription, which is known to be error-prone - or a subsequent mutation of the integrated gene.

If there is an alternative design explanation? What could it be?



#2 gilbo12345

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 07:59 PM

Welcome to the forum Barry :D

 

 

Firstly I am curious as to the blue background around your writing, did you make it that way or was it from cutting it from a website?

 

Syncytins are proteins involved in the attachment of the placenta to the uterus.

 

Sounds like a function to me smile.png

 

They perform a very similar function to retroviral env genes that have the function of attaching a virus particle to a host cell that a retrovirus is infecting.

 

So they have a similar function to some other gene in another organism (well viruses aren't fully considered life).

 

It is not necessary, from a design PoV, to embed the DNA for these syncytins in an endogenous retrovirus (ERV), the remaining DNA of which serves no function.

 

Where did this come from? First the DNA for syncytins was similar to an ERV gene, now you are claiming that syncytins contain parts of ERV sequences. I'd first ask how do you know they are of ERV origin? And please don't refer to assuming they are...

 

It is sufficient to have such proteins coded for without the ERV baggage.

 

How do you KNOW this? Or is this going the same route as the evolutionist "junk DNA" claims being made a few years ago?

 

Indeed, in many species, this is what we see.

 

Data please

 

Yet, often, syncytins are to be found in such situations. Why? The scientific explanation is that species that had received a germ-line integration of the retroviruses that gave rise to the ERV-embedded syncytins just happened to benefit from this particular gene, which was either an original mutation of the env gene involved - an error in reverse-transcription, which is known to be error-prone - or a subsequent mutation of the integrated gene.

 

That is the evolutionist explanation, I wouldn't call it THE scientific explanation.

 

I'd ask if these syncytins are useful for pregnancy and are required as such, how did the organisms maintain pregnancy BEFORE recieving the gene for it. If its a required function then it is required and as such cannot have come about from an ERV since the organism required it before getting the ERV... Its another chicken and the egg conundrum.

 

However I'd first ask for the evidence that verifies that these actually did come from an ERV since all you have done is claimed they have similar function and then assume that it came from an ERV, thats a huge assumption to base your entire claim on.

 



If there is an alternative design explanation? What could it be?

 

Wait and see. That is what happened for the "junk DNA" claims of evolutionists, further research debunked their claims I am sure further research will debunk this new spate of evolutionist assumptions.



#3 Bonedigger

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 08:18 PM

Firstly I am curious as to the blue background around your writing, did you make it that way or was it from cutting it from a website?

 

I looks like it is a copy/paste from a website...but of his own post here and here.



#4 gilbo12345

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 08:39 PM

I looks like it is a copy/paste from a website...but of his own post here and here.

 

Thanks Bonedigger, nothing gets past you ;)



#5 Barry Desborough

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 08:44 PM

Welcome to the forum Barry biggrin.png

 

 

Firstly I am curious as to the blue background around your writing, did you make it that way or was it from cutting it from a website?

 

 

Sounds like a function to me smile.png

 

 

So they have a similar function to some other gene in another organism (well viruses aren't fully considered life).

 

 

Where did this come from? First the DNA for syncytins was similar to an ERV gene, now you are claiming that syncytins contain parts of ERV sequences. I'd first ask how do you know they are of ERV origin? And please don't refer to assuming they are...

 

 

How do you KNOW this? Or is this going the same route as the evolutionist "junk DNA" claims being made a few years ago?

 

 

Data please

 

 

That is the evolutionist explanation, I wouldn't call it THE scientific explanation.

 

I'd ask if these syncytins are useful for pregnancy and are required as such, how did the organisms maintain pregnancy BEFORE recieving the gene for it. If its a required function then it is required and as such cannot have come about from an ERV since the organism required it before getting the ERV... Its another chicken and the egg conundrum.

 

However I'd first ask for the evidence that verifies that these actually did come from an ERV since all you have done is claimed they have similar function and then assume that it came from an ERV, thats a huge assumption to base your entire claim on.

 

 

Wait and see. That is what happened for the "junk DNA" claims of evolutionists, further research debunked their claims I am sure further research will debunk this new spate of evolutionist assumptions.

Thanks for the welcome, Gilbo, and thanks for your questions. As Bondigger found, the OP is my own writing, copied and pasted from elsewhere. Yes, parts of some of what are called endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) do have a function. Others have none, and others are implicated in late-onset diseases, especially cancers. In fact, human syncytin is involved in promoting human breast cancer. There are various ERV syncytins in various lineages, some  of which work, and some of which do not. I am not "claiming" that synctyins contain parts of ERVs. Syncytins appear within ERVs, in the places we expect to see "environment" genes. We know they are of retroviral origin because of the detailed, specific retroviral structure of the ERV. I shall be going into those details in another post shortly.

 

I shall post more in answer to your questions, but it is late here. I just wanted to know if anyone was interested in the subject. I shall get back to you with references and explanations as soon as I can. 



#6 gilbo12345

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 08:57 PM

Thanks for the welcome, Gilbo, and thanks for your questions. As Bondigger found, the OP is my own writing, copied and pasted from elsewhere. Yes, parts of some of what are called endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) do have a function. Others have none, and others are implicated in late-onset diseases, especially cancers. In fact, human syncytin is involved in promoting human breast cancer. There are various ERV syncytins in various lineages, some  of which work, and some of which do not. I am not "claiming" that synctyins contain parts of ERVs. Syncytins appear within ERVs, in the places we expect to see "environment" genes. We know they are of retroviral origin because of the detailed, specific retroviral structure of the ERV. I shall be going into those details in another post shortly.

 

I shall post more in answer to your questions, but it is late here. I just wanted to know if anyone was interested in the subject. I shall get back to you with references and explanations as soon as I can. 

No worries, looking forward to your answers :)



#7 Adam Nagy

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 02:52 AM

Hi Berry, it looks to me like you're steeped in the tradition of straining out a gnat while swallowing a camel.

#8 Adam Nagy

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 02:52 AM

And welcome!

#9 Barry Desborough

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 03:05 AM

Hi Berry, it looks to me like you're steeped in the tradition of straining out a gnat while swallowing a camel.

Barry.

 

And ? Is this your "design explanation"?

 

As soon as I have time, I will go into the structure of ERVs, and present solid evidence that they are of retroviral origin and that syncytins are exaptated retroviral env genes. I shall explain why a design "explanation" cannot make any sense.

 

And thanks for the welcome! :)



#10 Barry Desborough

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 04:47 AM

OK. I think it's best to take a step back and do this a bit a bit at a time.

 

First, a word about retroviruses. Retroviruses get replicated by invading the cells of organisms and hijacking the resources and DNA-processing chemistry of the cell. They do this by attaching to cell surface receptors and fusing with the cell. This is accomplished by means of retroviral environment "env" proteins.The interior payload then enters the cell. Here, another retroviral protein, an enzyme called reverse transcriptase "reads" the retrovirus' own genome, which is in RNA form, and uses cellular resources to make a DNA version of it. The process is called "reverse transcription" because normally, transcription in the cell goes from DNA to an RNA copy, a "transcript" which may then go on to cause the assembly of proteins. In fact, the discovery of reverse transcriptase caused quite a stir originally, because it went against the jokingly labeled "central dogma" of biology that DNA makes RNA makes protein. But of course, science goes by evidence, and not dogma, so the existence of reverse transcriptase became accepted, and was a major milestone in the recognition of the existence of retroviruses ("retro" because of this reverse translation process). Once completed, the DNA transcript, containing a full retroviral genome, is inserted (integrated, in the jargon), into the cell's own chromosomal DNA. This involves snipping the chromosomal DNA strand then joining each end to an end of the retroviral DNA. Once in place, this DNA is called a "provirus". The integration operation is performed by yet another retroviral enzyme, called "integrase". The action of integrase leaves telltale traces of its operation. 1) It is itself encoded, together with all the other retroviral genes, in the provirus itself. 2) It produces strings of identical DNA at either end of the provirus. These are called long terminal repeats, or LTRs. 3) Integration produces a repetition of original cellular DNA either end of the insertion. These are the features that allow us to recognize retroviral proviruses in a cell's DNA.

 

Once in place, the normal cell transcription and translation functions blindly and dutifully "read" the provirus, producing RNA and proteins, just as the central dogma describes, and so producing the components of new retroviruses which bud out of the cell to go on to infect other cells.



#11 Bond007

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 06:34 AM

http://creation.com/...us-retroviruses


Also that ENCODE project may have something to do with ERVS.



#12 Adam Nagy

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 07:09 AM

http://creation.com/...us-retroviruses

Also that ENCODE project may have something to do with ERVS.

Our friend Berry seems to be under the impression that we don't talk about such things and are in desperate need of educating.

It's expected.

Evolutionists must propagate the myth that creationists are uneducated and ignorant. It's the primary stance that can't be compromised. That's why he comes in here in a non-dialogue fashion assuming that he has to throw information at us without regard for the possibility that we may already be aware of his arguments. My opinion.

#13 Barry Desborough

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 07:12 AM

http://creation.com/...us-retroviruses


Also that ENCODE project may have something to do with ERVS.

Retroviral genomes necessarily include transcription promoters. Otherwise their retroviral genes will not be transcribed, and the retrovirus will fail to replicate. But reverse-transcription is a very error-prone process A large number of proviral integrations will fail to function fully. Some of their genes may get transcribed, but some will be faulty, or their promoters will promote something else. Drop a promoter at random into your DNA, and there is a good chance it will promote the transcription of something-or-other. No fully functioning retroviruses will be produced if there is a reverse transcription fault, but stuff may still get transcribed.

 

A thing to bear in mind is that there are virtually no fully functioning endogenous retroviruses. They are the last thing you want. Bits and bobs of some retroviruses get transcribed, or promote the transcription of something. Some of those might do something significant - provide a useful function, or maybe cause or promote a cancer.

 

The point is not that that ERVs always do nothing, but that they are of retroviral origin. As soon as I have the time I will demonstrate why we know that this is so, by comparing and contrasting exogenous (free-floating) and endogenous retroviruses, by showing evidence that a live retrovirus is in the process of becoming endogenized in one species that we know of, and how fossil ERVs can be resurrected to become fully functional exogenous retroviruses again. 

 

I shall then go on to show modern retroviruses that have a syncytal function, and how that aids their replication 'strategy', (this includes HIV) and then I will show show that different syncytins are to be found in different placental lineages, some of which function, and some of which do not. None of this can be made any sense of by a 'designer' hypothesis.



#14 Barry Desborough

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 07:18 AM

Our friend Berry seems to be under the impression that we don't talk about such things and are in desperate need of educating.

It's expected.

Evolutionists must propagate the myth that creationists are uneducated and ignorant. It's the primary stance that can't be compromised. That's why he comes in here in a non-dialogue fashion assuming that he has to throw information at us without regard for the possibility that we may already be aware of his arguments. My opinion.

I've studied this topic in considerable depth, and discussed it with many creationists. Some are familiar with it, some are not. Some have come up with ingenious objections, but none have stuck. Each time a new one is brought up, dealing with it has strengthened the case from ERVs for common descent. I'd be vary happy if anyone here could come up with anything, especially anything new.



#15 Adam Nagy

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 07:34 AM

I'd be vary happy if anyone here could come up with anything, especially anything new.

Why new? What Sammy posted looks fine. The argument is one from incredulity... We don't know why this would be here in a design model... Therefore evolution.

Sounds like evolution of the gaps to me.

#16 Barry Desborough

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 09:01 AM

Why new? What Sammy posted looks fine. The argument is one from incredulity... We don't know why this would be here in a design model... Therefore evolution.

Sounds like evolution of the gaps to me.

Not therefore evolution, but therefore retroviral. You don't know why something should be contrived in great detail to look exactly like a retroviral provirus if it isn't one? Me neither.

 

I suppose anything whatsoever could be claimed to be 'design', but that doesn't, indeed cannot explain why something is one way and not another. That is why, unless you can impose some constraints on what your hypothetical designer can and cannot or would and would not do, such as making something that makes a tiny bit of sense, the hypothesis is of little interest or value to science.

 

But patience. I haven't finished posting the proof that ERVs are indeed of retroviral origin. The detailed genome and the traces of the action of integrase should be enough for anyone objective and free of presuppositions, but there is much more...



#17 Bond007

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 09:13 AM

Data is nothing its the interpretation of data that is everything. The evolutionist starts with all life common descent presupposition and so infer certain sequences to be retroviral inserts in the germ line of the human/chimpanzee last common ancestor (link for a good lolz only the evolutionist would be surprised)

 

http://en.wikipedia....common_ancestor

 

However, there are no known fossils that represent that CHLCA. 

 

 

The biblical creationist starts with a different presupposition and so doesnt infer the same thing as the evolutionist. 



#18 Adam Nagy

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 09:28 AM

That is why, unless you can impose some constraints on what your hypothetical designer can and cannot or would and would not do, such as making something that makes a tiny bit of sense, the hypothesis is of little interest or value to science.

You just described the ad-hoc nature of Neo-Darwinian Evolution. Given enough time, and a collection of unintended mutations cobbled together by natural selection... Presto! ANYTHING is possible. Yeah right.

#19 Barry Desborough

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 10:25 AM

On Sep 19, 2013, at 7:13 PM, Fred Williams wrote:

Barry, we hardly perceive a threat from you or any evolutionists, it’s a theory in such serious crisis it should not even be given the distinction of being called theory.

 

You were marked as a ‘spammer’ by the software, which even though you aren’t, it makes me wonder after seeing 9 reports from you to ‘Elephant’. I didn’t even know IPB (our board software) had that feature. I have ‘unflagged’ you so let me know if you still can’t get in. What did the board report to you, out of curiosity?

 

Fred Williams

Thank you for your reply. I really appreciate you looking into this. The board reported nothing, but I lost the option to post.  I have zero "warning points", and it now appears that I can post once more. Thanks again. 'Bots can be pretty dumb. Score one for biological intelligence. smile.png


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#20 Barry Desborough

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 10:31 AM

You just described the ad-hoc nature of Neo-Darwinian Evolution. Given enough time, and a collection of unintended mutations cobbled together by natural selection... Presto! ANYTHING is possible. Yeah right.

Nope. Nature is constrained by probabilities. For example, 200,000 coincidental retroviral integrations in common locations in chimps and humans is way beyond the bounds of any sane level of credulity. But we are getting ahead of ourselves. We have yet to come to the rational conclusion that ERVs are the heritable remnants of retroviral integrations into germline cells.






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