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Started by Pope Beanie Mar 24, 2016.
Tom, I agree, and I recall thinking the same thing when reading the article, but I didn't mention it.
A lot of scientists have trouble describing some natural processes without implying purpose, external agency, or saying "it wants to", e.g. "electrons want to... blah blah". Creationists especially are trained to point out that slip up in semantics.
An informative article, Beanie, but is natural selection clever or does it merely function?
Even experienced science writers can slip up.
The author wrote The chunks of arachnid DNA were probably stolen by the virus to help it punch through animal cells. [Emphasis added.]
Natural selection has a purpose?
The author wrote It was a surprise because bacterial viruses were generally thought to steal DNA only from bacteria. [Emphasis added.]
... viruses were hypothesized to steal....
Beanie, I wrote computer user manual text and it had to be clear. Later I wrote semi-legal stuff and lawyers are really picky.
Virus stole poison genes from black widow spider - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-37632616
Ok, thx for Halton Arp.
Btw, I should be more clear after comparing EU advocacy to creationism advocacy. Anyone who can understand their arguments (even if they disagree with those arguments) is way ahead of me! I still have much to learn.
Can you recommend any particular scientist....
Halton Arp, in Wikipedia:
If the lines in the spectrum of the light from a star or galaxy appear at a lower frequency (shifted toward the red) than where they are observed in the spectrum of the Sun, we say this object exhibits 'positive redshift'. The accepted explanation for this effect is that the object must be moving away from us. This interpretation is drawn by analogy with the downward shift in the pitch of a train whistle as it passes through a railroad crossing and then speeds away from us. The question is: Is recessional velocity the only thing that can produce a redshift, as modern astrophysicists presume? It has become clear that the answer to that question is an emphatic NO!
It reminds me too much of the creationist agenda....
Think Ptolemy. His circular orbits needed hypothesized smaller circles upon his original circles.
I don't know how many more hypothesized still smaller circles he added before Kepler(?), following Galileo, hypothesized elliptical orbits. We know whose hypotheses had observable evidence.
Ptolemy had no such evidence and the Bangers are still looking for some.
As for conspiracies, do as investigative reporters do: follow the trail of money.
The money trail started during the Cold War when the USSR launched a man into earth orbit.
America's leaders knew the same vehicle could put weapons into earth orbit, and the money started flowing. A big side benefit was the improvement of math and science education. In many states, teaching evolution was illegal and schools were still teaching Genesis.
It reminds me too much of the creationist agenda to discredit modern evolutionary science, by "teaching the controversy". Their list of supposedly respectable scientists that debunk evolution was easily countered with a much longer list known as Project Steve.
Can you recommend any particular scientist or two on the Open Letter list for their credibility? So far, I see the majority of EU support coming from people (like Jeff Rense) who make a living by pushing pseudoscience, and pandering to an audience that distrusts conventional science as a rule of thumb.
For those reasons, I have more confidence in scientists who don't claim that their opponenents just belong to some conspiratorial group, with ulterior motives... unless perhaps they're rediculously popular on one of those generally anti-mainstrean talk shows majoring in woo, e.g. fantasies about "parallel universes", etc.
An Open Letter to the Scientific Community
Search on the above and read. What say you?
I know what you mean... I don't even have TV, but use websites like PBS or youtube channels for video. I probably get most of my science news from audio podcasts when I fall asleep at night.
THE HUMAN GENOME is three billion letters long. About 240 million letters of it, scientists estimate, is viral. Yes, eight percent of human DNA comes from ancient viruses that once infected our ancestors.
Most viral infections are as fleeting as a cold, but two things made the ancient ones unusual: One, these viruses had the special ability to copy themselves into the DNA of their hosts. And two, they sometimes got lucky enough to copy themselves into an egg that became fertilized and grew into a full-fledged adult. So that viral DNA got passed down from generation to human generation as so-called endogenous retroviruses.
[whole story here]
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