Endogenous ERV


Thanks to Mark at ‘Good Math, Bad Math’, the old ERV is back up.

For now.

ERVs disappearance wasnt a generalized Blogger glitch.

I view it as malicious behavior, though I sympathize with the Blogger folks and the sheer volume of crap they have to deal with, so no hard feelings.

That being said, please check out the old ERV as long as you still can! Im backing things up (and everyone who blogs should back theirs up tonight. now. seriously.), but who knows how long it will be restored!

Here are a few of my favorites:

My Interview with the Infidel Guy
My ‘debate’ with HIV Denier Len Horowitz
Common Creationist Claims about ERVs
ERV eats Engor
Alpha retroviruses
How atheism causes anorexia. And obesity.
ERV eats Behe
My HIV research
How students should NOM anti-scientists
ERV eats Behe… again
Undergrads eat Dembski
ERV eats Behe… again
Dembski gets caught stealing one, two, three times
ERV eats Behe… AGAIN

And finally, the cult classic, Why CNN should invite me on the air to talk about atheism or science or something.



  1. #1 Sili
    April 28, 2008

    Always good to have friends in high places. Just too bad it’s necessary.

    Your RSS still doesn’t like me, but congrats on the move and getting your hard (and wonderful) work back.

  2. #2 Abel Pharmboy
    April 28, 2008

    Hey, welcome Abbie! I tried to pull a Bora and left you a comment a few weeks ago on the embryonic version of this blog but it appears to have disappeared.

    It’s great to have you over here – congrats and thanks to Mark for recovering your treasure trove.

  3. #3 Nimravid
    April 28, 2008

    “I view it as malicious behavior, though I sympathize with the Blogger folks and the sheer volume of crap they have to deal with, so no hard feelings.”

    I don’t sympathize with them! I’ve reported a bunch of splogs on WordPress, and a real live person goes to the blog and sees if it’s spam before deleting it, and they actually email me to let me know their decision too.

  4. #4 J-Dog
    April 28, 2008

    So, at one of your last blogs at the old erv, “Why Smart People Believe Dumb Things”, I suggested to William Wallace in the comments section that you would someday maybe do a post just for him: “Why Dumb People believe Dumb Things.”

    After you get settled in here, is this actually something you would consider blogging about? (But I have to say that Wallace IS such a turd brain, I bet he wouldn’t get it anyway.)

    BTW – I am glad you are here, now I don’t have to use the Gary ID again, which I had to do to post at Blogger.

  5. #5 John
    April 28, 2008

    Kinda strange seeing your Blog in this format…But I could get used to it.

    Oh, and I frackin hate using ” ‘ ” as well.

  6. #6 markomatic
    April 28, 2008

    glad to see you back online…not sure I understand what was wrong with your old blog or why Google took it down. Something unseemly that you wrote? too much traffic? what?

  7. #7 Nick (matzke)
    April 28, 2008

    Hey Erv, I think your RSS feed on ScienceBlogs isn’t working yet, I tried several variants on bloglines & none of them worked…

  8. #8 RST
    April 28, 2008

    Congrats on the new venue. You are admired and much adored ’round these parts. But don’t let the fame go to your pretty little head!

  9. #9 FutureMD
    April 28, 2008

    So what exactly happened to your old blog? Enquiring minds wish to know.

  10. #10 Steven
    April 28, 2008

    Hi Abbie,

    I remember the ERV eats Egnor post. I enjoyed reading it again. It is amazing that someone who has gone through so much education can still make such a monumental ass of himself. At least we can be glad that not all MDs have their head so far up their asses. Dr Steven Novella is one such person. Host of The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe. Love that show.

    Keep up the great blogging.



  11. #11 Shirakawasuna
    April 28, 2008

    Yay, welcome to Science Blogs! If you’d like I could obsessively go through your old site and back everything up 😉

  12. #12 Shirakawasuna
    April 29, 2008

    Too late. I backed it up (without comments) in about 5 mins. For future reference.

  13. #13 Steven
    April 29, 2008

    KEE-RIST. I just listened to the debate on the Infidel guy’s show with you, Brandon and Mr (CALL ME DOCTOR) Horowitz.

    What a dick. He Gish Gallops all the way, all the time. Talk about loving the sound of your own voice. You hardly got to talk Abbie. I was getting so angry at Horowitz for talking such nonsense.

    Link http://media.libsyn.com/media/infidelguy/Show14_Origins_of_HIV.mp3

    Listen at your own pearl. Your blood pressure will sky rocket.

  14. #14 justpaul
    April 29, 2008

    Long-time mostly-lurker at the old site. One of MY personal favorites is “In which ERV eats SALs soul”, containing that memorable put-down of Sal Cordova that will be forever burned in my memory, perhaps one of the greatest put-downs ever – “You. You Sal Cordova. You cottage cheese dripping pussy.”

    As an indicator of my esteem, ERV is right after Pharyngula in my favorites list. Looking forward to more great blogging.

  15. #15 Steven
    April 29, 2008

    Here is further notice that Horowitz is a nut.


    Here is a great article by Dr Tara C. Smith of Aetiology blog on scienceblogs.com and Dr Steven Novella from The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe podcast. It is about HIV denial.


  16. #16 MTiffany
    April 29, 2008

    Hi ERV,

    Perhaps you could answer a question: are ‘gag,’ ‘pol,’and ‘tat’ acronyms for the first three amino acids for those particular proteins? (eg does ‘gag’ stand for ‘glycine-alanine-glycine’ etc.)

  17. #17 John Scanlon, FCD
    April 29, 2008

    I, for one, welcome our new viral overlords.

  18. #18 Phil
    April 29, 2008

    Woo! Al the lurkers are creeping out of the woodwork!

    I did get all suspicious when my usual way of finding my way to your blog (type ‘erv’ into Google and hit the top link) didn’t work. From now on I’m doing the normal / sane thing of actually bookmarking you :-p.

    These old posts are cheenious.

  19. #19 manigen
    April 29, 2008

    This is what happens when you try to kill an erv; it divides and mutates.

    Hello Abbie! I’ve been reading your blog for a bit now, but I haven’t posted because the blogger interface is just so… rubbish. Now you’re on sciblogs I thought I’d break my silence to say that you have a great blog, a great writing style and I never knew viruses were so much fun until I started reading erv.

  20. #20 Acleron
    April 29, 2008

    Hi Abbie, glad to see you are up and running again, whatever the problem.

    Like others above, I’m having difficulty with your rss feed.

  21. #21 Pleco
    April 29, 2008


    Using firefox I am unable to subscribe to the rss feed on this site. I get a “Not Found The requested document was not found on this server.” Just FYI!

  22. #22 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 29, 2008

    ERVs disappearance wasnt a generalized Blogger glitch.

    I view it as malicious behavior, though I sympathize with the Blogger folks and the sheer volume of crap they have to deal with, so no hard feelings.


    And your RSS feed is hosed

  23. #23 nqdrstu
    April 29, 2008

    WB ERV!

    Blog needs more DOGS imo

  24. #24 James McGrath
    April 29, 2008

    Welcome to Science Blogs! I hope you’ll be happy here!

    How do you back-up your blog? I use Offline Explorer, but I thought perhaps this incident could be turned into a positive learning experience for all bloggers who don’t back up their stuff. What method to you recommend, Abbie?

  25. #25 MICHAEL
    April 29, 2008

    Are you going to set up the RSS feed for this blog? are you going to stay here, or move back to blogger, move somewhere else? It sounds like you’re not going back to blogger other than to back things up. I too keep getting the “Not Found” error when I try to add your blog to my RSS reader. I’d also love to hear what happened to your “old” blog, if you can discuss without getting into too much trouble.

  26. #26 drerio
    April 29, 2008

    Perhaps you could answer a question: are ‘gag,’ ‘pol,’and ‘tat’ acronyms for the first three amino acids for those particular proteins? (eg does ‘gag’ stand for ‘glycine-alanine-glycine’ etc.)

    Nope. Pol stands for polymerase (often reverse transcriptase), env for the envelope protein, and gag for Group AntiGen.

  27. #27 drerio
    April 29, 2008

    Hmm… While preview gave good formatting of the text, it looks like the translation to the live page lost things like the blockquote tag….

    This should be in blockquote

    Link to scienceblogs webpage

  28. #28 Phoenix Woman
    April 29, 2008

    Welcome! Speaking as someone who bailed on Blogger when they got Googleized, you have my sympathies.

  29. #29 Scott Hatfield, OM
    April 30, 2008

    Over at his place, Blake remarks:

    I’m actually somewhat skeeved that the old ERV site upped its chucks and huffed the ether. Last summer, before Michael Behe’s The Edge of Evolution had turned out to be a complete flop, I had started compiling a list of debunkings, several of which resided at the old ERV. Hopefully those pages can get pulled from the various archives and republished at the new site.

    I second this request. In some cases the documentation you provided was a primary source for debunking some claims from the ID camp, and our ability to archive and reference those documents may prove helpful for science advocates for some time to come.

    Anyway, congratulations on finding a more clement home for your particular melange of science, doubt and sly mockery.

  30. #30 BAllanJ
    April 30, 2008

    …I followed several of the links you put above. This physics geek is definitely going to enjoy learning some more about virii from this new-to-me blog. Already have, actually. Thanks.

  31. #31 ndt
    April 30, 2008


    Are you able to give more details about Google’s explanation(s) for deleting your blog? I ask because I also use blogger for my blog. I don’t have nearly the readership you do but I’d hate for it to just disappear without explanation one day.

  32. #32 Monado, FCD
    April 30, 2008

    I don’t know if Scienceblogs lets you do mass imports but I can speak about WordPress. Creating a WordPress version gives you a backup independent of Blogger.

    You can quickly suck your site over to WordPress. You can create a WordPress account in seconds. The only hitch I found is that when I imported, all external links in article titles were replaced by permalinks for the articles.

    So go to the Blogger version of ERV and check the old posts. Wherever there’s an external link in an article title, make sure that the same link is somewhere in the body of the text. If it’s there, fine; otherwise edit the article and create the link.

    Go through all your old posts.

    Then go back to WordPress, find the Import command, and specify your blogger URL & password. Your articles will be imported. The pictures are still hosted at Blogger. Your cross-links between articles are still pointing to the blogger articles, too.

    Next, go through all the old articles in your new WordPress version and re-save the pics one by one to your computer (if you don’t already have them in a blog images directory). As you save each one, re-upload it to WordPress and replace the blogger-hosted pic with the wordpress-hosted one. Here’s how: Edit post, delete the blogger pic. Click “Add Media” (first little box that looks like a TV screen), the “Choose Files to upload” button, select file, Open. [Wordpress is crunching your file.] You get three choices of sizes: thumbnail, medium, and full size. (It’s probably easiest to go for medium and re-size it with the cursor. Holding down SHIFT sometimes makes it keep the proper proportions.) Click on Insert…

    That should work. If your dialog box goes blank, you’ve lost this round. Try again later. Usually the image is uploaded but it might not be inserted. Instead of clicking “Files to Upload” click on “Media”, select the image (latest is at the top), click on Show, and then on the command to Insert. Don’t bother to select Left or Right here, that just hard-codes the alignment. Do it after your image is in the article.

    If it fails, I often have two instances of the WordPress open. Close any extras. Re-start browser if that doesn’t work.

    Move the newly imported pic to where you want it (drag in Visual tab or cut and paste in HTML tab). Click on the inserted image and select left or right to tuck it into the text or centered to give it its own vertical space. You can edit the HTML view add margin to keep the text from touching the image. I can supply the codes for decent left and right margins (two separate sets).

    Finally, fix intra-blog links so they point at WordPress.

    Hope that helps.

    You don’t have too many articles; I have 1900 in Science Notes and my old pictures are still mostly on Blogger. I’m currently going through all my 900 personal blog entries to make sure the external links are in the articles. Then I’m going to suck it over into my personal WordPress blog.

    Apparently you can use a 303 Redirect to keep your old blog’s market share or rating.

    In WordPress, you publish once; after that you just save and the article stays published. You can also give articles a future date and time and publish them. They will appear at the specified hour.

  33. #33 Monado, FCD
    April 30, 2008

    One more thing,:

    You probably should look at your blogger article tags, too. You must edit articles individually in WordPress to change their tags or categories. However, you can convert tags into categories. So if you tag the articles (which you can do en masse in Blogger) with your proposed category names, when the articles are in WordPress you can convert the tags to categories and skip that editing chore. You’ll end up deleting some categories and re-applying them as tags, but that’s better than having everything “Uncategorized.”

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