Though the Google Machine has pissed me off in the past, I still loves it. One thing I really like about teh Google is Google News, where I can pop in words Im interested in, and read the latest news on that keyword every day.

No big surprise one of my keywords is ‘endogenous retrovirus’.

Well today, under the ‘ERV’ tab, I noticed an article by Adnanabannabiingbong Yahya, or someone writing under his name:

QUESTION: How do you account for Endogenous Retro Viruses (ERVs), and the markers they have left in inheritable genes? You can clearly “trace” ancestry using these ERV markers. How do you explain these markers that are the same in Human and Chimp DNA? The odds of this happening as many times as they have are mind-boggling. How do you explain how well it can be traced down a phylogenetic tree? How can this be explained by anything but common ancestry?

Darwinists have the tendency to interpret ERVs (endogenous retroviruses) as a heretic legacy from our imaginary ape forebears. They claim that retroviruses, which make up 8 percent of human genome, were active in the past but, undergoing some mutations, lost their functions, and were left to human genome from the imaginary ape forebear as junk DNA.

First; ERVs exist not only in chimpanzee genome but in the genome of all mammals living all over the world. Presenting ERVs’ presence in chimpanzee as an evidence for alleged human evolution is a serious defeat of logic.

Second; according to Darwinists ERVs should be junk inherited from imaginary ape forebears. However, new findings have refuted this important Darwinist claim. ERVs have functions and assume three important roles in human cell. 1) gene regulation 2) formation of placenta 3) formation of disorders such as cancer, infertility. That ERVs are not junk DNA definitely eliminates all Darwinist claims.

Yes, thats nice. All of that is covered under ‘Index to Creationist Claims about ERVs‘. Nothing new at all.

EXCEPT this part: “However, new findings have refuted this important Darwinist claim. ERVs have functions and assume three important roles in human cell. 1) gene regulation 2) formation of placenta 3) formation of disorders such as cancer, infertility.

Long-time readers of ERV will be familiar with that ‘infertility’ comment. I think I probably brought it up first when PZ and I were discussing ‘epigenetics’ and ‘ERVs’ on BloggingHeads last year (~minute 11). Youll also note that, at the time I said it, I also said that epigenetic disregulation and ERVs causing spontaneous abortions, perhaps even forms of infertility, were just a pet theory of mine that I had no evidence for. I brought it up again here.

Look up “ERV + infertility” in PubMed. Theres nothin. “Retrovirus + infertility” is all how to prevent HIV-1 transmission, and gene therapy experiments. “”Endogenous retrovirus” + infertility” will get you one hit from Japan that talks about homologous recombination of a HERV might be associated with gimpy sperm. Thats it.

And yet, curiouser and curiouser, Haruynamalakahiki responded to a ‘question’ using that personal pet theory of mine.


Edit: *sad panda* Harunny Poopies wasnt reading my blag, he was plagiarizing Answers in Genesis:

Contrary to being “junk” DNA, HERVs are thought to play at least three major roles. One role is to control the regulation of genes (the expression of proteins from genes). Members of the HERV-K family are typically found in areas near genes. The regulatory role of HERVs has been demonstrated in the liver, placenta, colon, and other locations. It was recently reported that an endogenous retrovirus in sheep was necessary for maintaining pregnancy, as it was important in the formation of the placenta. HERVs also play a role in disease, and have been linked to various cancers and male infertility.

‘Male infertility’ is just homologous recombination of an ERV cutting out a gene. Not anything nearly as cool as ERVs coming back to life to ravage an embryo.


  1. #1 Richard Wolford
    March 9, 2009

    When you need a quote to support your own crazy ass ideas, anything will do, even if it’s someone else’s crazy ass idea πŸ™‚ Maybe he can find a picture of an infertile fishing lure or something for his next book, which I’m told is going to be a pop up.

  2. #2 MattK
    March 9, 2009

    Uh…How is infertility a ‘function’?

  3. #3 MPG
    March 9, 2009

    It’s hilarious that he thinks pointing out all mammals have ERVs in their DNA somehow falsifies the notion that they are evidence for common descent. Way to grab the wrong end of the stick, Yoyo – nobody said ONLY humans and chimps have ERV markers, just out of the extant ape species, we share the most in common. ERVs in other organisms’ DNA strengthens the case for common descent, you silly, silly man. I’m no scientist but even I understand the basics of it.

  4. #4 Cory Albrecht
    March 9, 2009

    Somebody needs to tell Mr. Oktar that Downs Syndrome is an example of aneuploidy, not fusion. πŸ™‚

  5. #5 Ranson
    March 9, 2009

    Of course ERVs have functionality in fertility! Didn’t anyone read Darwin’s Radio?


  6. #6 Pdiff
    March 9, 2009

    Where is he getting this Chimpanzee bit? I didn’t see any reference to that in a quick glance at the debunking link you gave. Sorry not up on ERV’s here.

  7. #7 Deamiter
    March 9, 2009

    I’m with mattk — I wasn’t previously aware that cancer and infertility was an “important role in human cells.”

    My brain hurts.

  8. #8 Blake Stacey
    March 9, 2009

    Hey, I wouldn’t be too surprised if somebody in Yahyoktar’s clique was reading your blag. I once got an invitation to interview the man, and I’m not nearly as visible as you are.

  9. #9 justawriter
    March 9, 2009

    Oh dear, I think I have to put on my word police hat for a moment (but I like it because it is really cool – it has a big gold badge). I think you mean you have a pet hypothesis instead of a pet theory, since you say you have no evidence to support it. While these terms are colloquially interchangeable, we are dealing with creotards here who must be constantly reminded that theories are explanations of known facts supported by further observations, not wild assed guesses.

    Sorry you’re a sad panda. Don’t worry, I’m sure someone will quote mine you someday.

  10. #10 Tatarize
    March 9, 2009

    Pfft. The obvious problem is he never answered the question at all.

    “The sky is blue and seems sort of dome shaped, but in the Bible it’s called the firmament and described as being made of metal and opening to allow the waters of the sky to fall down. How do you fit that into your literalistic interpretation?”

    “Well the sky isn’t always blue at certain angles such as near a sunset you get a wide variety of colors and it exists all the way around the planet.”


    “Even just tracking the ERV bits we can reprove most of ancestry.”

    “(Cue random facts that do not set the prior observation asunder)”

    I don’t expect much from creationists but at least make up non-question dodging.

  11. #11 Joshua Zelinsky
    March 9, 2009

    I’m confused. So Oktar thinks that cancer and infertility were deliberately designed into humans? That makes even less sense than the Christians who claim that everything bad came from The Fall. He thinks that God deliberately put ERVs into humans to torture us or what?

  12. #12 Militant Agnostic
    March 9, 2009

    Scoff at Oktar’s insect pictures (the ones with the hooks on them) all you want you Darwinists. Where are the transitional fossils for the Royal Coachman and the Stimulator? – I would say those flies are evidence of Intelligent Design. In fact I would say they are the best evidence of Intelligent Design anyone has come up with so far.

    @Richard Wolford – please, those were flies, not lures. Lures are what the spincasting rabble use.

  13. #13 minimalist
    March 9, 2009

    I’m confused. So Oktar thinks that cancer and infertility were deliberately designed into humans?

    I wonder if they are intending to say, in their typical clumsy, uncomprehending way, that the ERVs actually play a role in the normal processes, and only result in cancer/infertility/demonic possession when they get mutated.

    They probably came across “tumor suppressor genes” when doing their half-assed research (degree from Google U.), and subsequently mangled the half-remembered concept, resulting in the above mishmash.

    Man, I probably shouldn’t put ideas into their heads. I don’t want them to actually come close to constructing anything vaguely plausible. But man, I could be like the best creationist ever if I could only put aside my ethics. It has to pay better than science.

  14. #14 Pete
    March 10, 2009

    “The regulatory role of HERVs has been demonstrated in the liver, placenta, colon, and other locations.”

    Is this true?

  15. #15 Scott Hatfield, OM
    March 10, 2009

    Loved this post, another expose of the incestuous nature of so many creationist claims, all served up with a playful side dish of whoop-ass. Here’s one for you: I once sent a chapter president of the old-earth creationist outfit ‘Reasons To Believe’ a copy of a message I gave at a local church on the Big Bang and its significance for theism (I’m a Methodist).

    Anyway, a few months later, this gilded lily gives a presentation to his own chapter that essentially quotes me chapter-and-verse for several paragraphs without citation. After a few minutes of this, I pointed out that he was using my work without attribution in a public setting, as if these were his ideas. Far from being apologetic, he seemed puzzled that I would object, and adopted a hurt look, as if I had asked him to get rid of the family pet.

    Anyway, I like the way you give it to the creationists. Some of them are dumb, some of them are dishonest, and quite a few are both. They deserve pretty much as much scorn as I can muster, but being a Christian, I find myself a bit constrained in certain settings. Your blog, thankfully, is not one of them.


  16. #16 Ali
    March 16, 2009

    Harun guy is fake. He has absolutely no education.. Everything he says or claims he writes, his followers do.. He has a cult. Illegal cult, he is sentenced to go to prison for 3 years last year for organizing an illegal cult and organization, blackmailing, bribing….

    This God damn clown, uses rich and young people to excell, and have sex with them…. Look him up online, you will see his followers post thousands of videos trying to make him look like an important person…

  17. #17 Calilasseia
    March 16, 2009

    Tangential diversion for a moment.

    Abbie, you probably have better things to do with your life than dealing with every nutjob who doesn’t understand the first thing about ERVs (such as your serious research, which I emphasise just in case there are some people trolling your blog who haven’t yet received the memo that you’re a real scientist) but we have an interesting case over at the Richard Dawkins forums if you;’d like to accept an invitation to educate him. πŸ™‚

    Oh, and as for everyone’s favourite convicted Turkish gangster and sex criminal, I still can’t help but laugh at his “Atlas of Creation”, which introduced us all to a new Caddis fly that I’ve decided deserved a taxonomic name, and have thus labelled Siderancistrus epiproctus, which those familiar with Classical Greek will know translates as “iron fishhook upon its arse”. πŸ™‚

  18. #18 Dustin
    March 22, 2009

    ‘Pillsbury Doughboy Crotch’

    I just got a revolting mental image about what must happen if you, you know, poke him.

    God, it’s etched in my mind.

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