Intro to prions at Panda’s Thumb

Andrea Bottaro has an excellent review of prion genetics over at Panda’s Thumb. Prions are, of course, the transmissible agents that cause diseases such as kuru and Creutzfeldt-Jakob in humans, and related disease such as “mad cow” disease, scrapie, and chronic wasting disease in animals. Though there was initially much controversy about these agents in the early years (most notably, because they did not contain any nucleic acids), Bottaro notes that this is a “heresy” that the science community has embraced (similar to the ulcer & Helicobacter connection I mentioned a couple weeks ago):

Spurred by a host of new findings in molecular and cellular biology, in recent years an increasing number of determined biologists have come to envision processes that contradict century-old biological assumptions and seem to defy the expectations of Darwinian evolutionary theory…

Naaah, I am not talking about ID. I am talking about prions, the specter of Jean Baptiste de Lamarck, and “heretical” views about biology. And what must be truly baffling for conspiracy-minded ID advocates, the inflexible “Darwinist orthodoxy” seems to positively dig this “heresy”. Now, that must hurt…

And as I pointed out here, this is yet one more reason why, if ID proponents really want to teach a “controversy,” they should lay off evolutionary theory and attack the germ theory of disease.