Intelligent Design

The ID perspective on viruses?

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Do viruses exploit cells or do cells also exploit viruses? Viruses may have varying roles that we have hardly begun to discover. This conviction is likely to grow stronger as the evidence for the ubiquity and density of viruses in nature accumulates.

‘Coinage’ of plankton — viruses
BOSTON, March 24 (UPI) — Sea experiments show there’s a constant shuffling of genetic endowments among tiny plankton, say Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers.

The “coinage” the plankton use seems to be a flood of viruses, says researcher Sally W. Chisholm.

The MIT team is uncovering a new facet of evolution that may help scientists see how photosynthesizing microbes manage to exploit changing conditions such as altered light, temperature and nutrients.

“We are beginning to get a picture of gene diversity and gene flow in the most abundant photosynthetic cell on the planet, the Prochlorococcus group of planktonic microbes,” said Chisholm.

The photosynthesizing bacteria “form an important part of the food chain in the oceans, supply some of the oxygen we breathe, and even play a role in modulating climate,” said Chisholm.

“It’s very important that we understand what regulates their populations,” she said. “And now genetic diversity seems to be an important factor.”

The findings are reported in two articles in the Friday issue of Science.

From http://www.sciencedaily.com/upi/index.php?feed=Science&article=UPI-1-20060324-23145700-bc-us-plankton.xml

One Reply to “The ID perspective on viruses?

  1. 1
    Red Reader says:

    From the article:
    “The MIT team is uncovering a new facet of evolution that may help scientists see how photosynthesizing microbes manage to exploit changing conditions such as altered light, temperature and nutrients.”

    In his letter–recently quoted and discussed here on UD–Dr. William Hart, PhD. Mathematics U of I, Ubana, wrote:
    “I believe that we have arrived at the current point in the history of science by systematically looking for evidence to support our favorite conjectures, rather than actively seeking evidence which independently confirms conclusions reached by other lines of scientific enquiry.”
    (See: http://www.uncommondescent.com.....chives/951)

    The story from MIT is a good example of this mindset–EVERYthing must be viewed in terms of Darwinian evolution.

    The idea that this is a “new facet of evolution” is based on nothing but a predisposition to believe, a faith if you will, that EVERYthing is some facet of Darwinian evolution.

    The plankton “trade genetic endowments” within a population by means of free-floating genetic material that resembles virul fragments. Why is this a “new facet of evolution”? Isn’t this simply the way plankton were designed to respond to their environment?

    Populations of finches’ beaks lengthen or shorten over time in response to changing weather patterns in the Galapagos. The genes for both long and short beaks are permanent fixtures of Finch DNA. Natural Selection DOES operate within the genetic boundries favoring whichever trait is more appropriate for the slow-changing weather patterns of the islands.

    Fish and other aquatic life use the liquid medium of their environment to “trade genetic endowments”; fertilization occurs in the open water where egg and sperm have been released in mass quantities. Is this a “new facet of evolution or simply the way in which some aquatic life reproduce?

    Here’s a possible alternative mindset: that the plankton “trade genetic endowments” by means of free-floating genetic material that resembles virul fragments is simply another example of “irreducible complexity”; such a system could NOT have evolved by accident over time.

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