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Virus Evolution Errors In New Scientist Magazine

In its 27 August, 2008, edition the magazine carried an article by Gary Hamilton containing speculation about the role of viruses in so-called evolution. Titled “Viruses: Unsung Heroes of Evolution,” the article noted the grave dilemma that complexity poses for the theory of evolution. The following questions at the very beginning of the article are an indication of this: 

“How did the first cell emerge from the primordial soup?”
“How did natural selection come up with a marvel as complex as the human brain?”

The Dilemma That Complexity Poses for the Theory of Evolution:

The complexity in living things represents an enormous dilemma for the theory of evolution. The theory hypothesises that life, once limited to a single cell, acquired increasingly more complex structures and turned into the species we know today. The fact is, however, that no organism has ever acquired any new genetic data it did not possess before, and no increase in complexity has ever been observed. THERE EXISTS NOT A SINGLE EXAMPLE OF SUCH A THING.

The Harvard University zoologist Ernst Mayr, on of the 20th century’s best known adherents of Darwinism, admits this in the words:

[Research reveals that there is] no clear evidence … for the gradual origin of an evolutionary novelty. 1

The evolutionist error regarding viruses

Hamilton’s article suggests that throughout the course of so-called evolution, living things turned into more complex life forms thanks to the genetic material in the bodies of viruses. One of these claims regards the origin of the first cell, which lies at the root of the error that life evolved by chance.

The science writer Frank Ryan sets this claim out in the article:

Most virologists no longer believe that viruses derived from host genome sequences, but instead that they arose as independent life forms, probably prior to bacteria.”
Yet this claim is totally groundless. The reason is the fact that viruses, alleged to have evolved before bacteria, cannot replicate in the absence of the living cell.

Viruses are nucleic acid (DNA or RNA) units encased in a protein sheath. Much smaller than the cell, viruses cause a great many illnesses. They are only able to replicate inside the cells of living organisms. They have a much simpler structure than the cell, and are unable to manufacture their own energy or to reproduce by themselves. They replicate themselves by taking over the host organism’s mechanisms and using the facilities in the cell.

As we have seen, living cells with complete mechanisms are essential for viruses to reproduce. For that reason, and contrary to what some evolutionists maintain, they cannot be regarded as a supposed intermediate stage for life forms. Life cannot have begun by way of the evolutionary path alleged to exist from viruses to the cell. Because viruses could not replicate in a world in which there were no living cells. This is a fact that evolutionist scientists have had to admit.

Professor Ali Demirsoy, for instance, one of Turkey’s leading proponents of evolution, considers the claims made about the origin of viruses as “more fiction than science,” and describes their invalidity as follows:

The accumulated data we have to hand are far from providing any information about the origins of viruses and how they have survived up to today. At the same time, their existence in three totally different physical universes and the fact that not one universe gives an entirely satisfactory account of the virus makes interpretation even more difficult… interpretations rely more on fiction than on scientific foundations.

(Prof. Dr. Ali Demirsoy, Inheritance and Evolution, Meteksan Publishing Ankara, 1995, p. 73)

As the above statements show, viruses  are not the beginning of life or a supposed evolutionary transitional path from inanimate matter to the living organism. 

The admission that retroviruses are functional

One noteworthy piece of information in the article is the admission that retroviruses are functional. Retroviruses are the remains of viruses affecting the cell in the DNAs of eukaryotic organisms, including human beings, in other words, they are parts thought to have been subsequently added to DNA.

For many years, evolutionists suggested that parts in DNA that play no known role in the coding of any protein were waste products from the imaginary evolutionary process. These they referred to as “junk DNA.” It only subsequently emerged that this idea of “functionlessness” stemmed from evolutionists’ ignorance and was in fact a huge error. It was discovered that these actually assumed highly important tasks in protein coding and cellular functions.

By saying that the majority of retroviruses, described as viral wastes, are functional, the New Scientist article once again confirms that the idea of “junk DNA” has nothing to do with the true facts.

Conclusion: Viruses are all marvels of creation

The claims made in New Scientist are entirely speculative, and the dilemmas that surround them still apply, as we have shown above and as evolutionists themselves admit. One important factor that evolutionists ignore in their scenarios regarding viruses is that these entities, which are devoid of any consciousness and consist solely of molecules, in fact exhibit highly rational strategies and literally “intelligent” behaviour. Exceedingly intelligent behaviour is not something, of course, that a virus can acquire by chance. There is no doubt that it is God, the Lord of the universe, Who also creates viruses with a specific wisdom.

1 Ernst Mayr, Toward a New Philosophy of Biology: Observations of an Evolutionist, Harvard University Press: Cambridge MA, 1988, p. 529-530

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