Atheists who love Science!

A group for science enthusiasts of all types -- professionals, amateurs, students, anybody who loves science.

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  • Pope Beanie

    Virus stole poison genes from black widow spider -

  • Tom Sarbeck

    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.

  • Pope Beanie

    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.