As readers of UD know, Elizabeth Liddle is convinced that in any population there are neutral versions of the genome that have every needed variation an organism must have. Change the environment, and, lo and behold, the organism changes.
But what has happened here? Let’s quote the article:
H5N1 evolved in poultry in east Asia and has spread across Eurasia since 2004. In that time 565 people are known to have caught it; 331 died. No strain that spreads readily among mammals has emerged in that time, despite millions of infected birds, and infections in people, cats and pigs. Efforts to create such a virus in the lab have failed, and some virologists think H5N1 simply cannot do it.
Where are the neutral mutations?
But, don’t be disheartened. Scientists were finally able to make something happen:
The work by Fouchier’s team suggests otherwise. They first gave H5N1 three mutations known to adapt bird flu to mammals. This version of the virus killed ferrets, which react to flu viruses in a similar way to humans. The virus did not transmit between them, though.
But they weren’t quite yet there:
Then the researchers gave the virus from the sick ferrets to more ferrets – a standard technique for making pathogens adapt to an animal. They repeated this 10 times, using stringent containment. The tenth round of ferrets shed an H5N1 strain that spread to ferrets in separate cages – and killed them.
Aw….the wonders of “artificial selection”!! Darwin tells us that nature is scrutinizing everything, all the time, and that “natural selection” is, thus, so much more powerful than “artificial selection”. But wait a sec. . . . NS can’t think. It’s not goal oriented. But intelligent agents are. And, so, they ultimately found a solution to something nature was unable to; thus, disproving Darwin’s claim that NS is more powerful than AS. Darwin is once again shown to be wrong—as he is in just about every case. But, no matter: Darwinists are “true believers”!!
Oh, BTW, someone appears to have been proven correct. Let’s take a closer look:
The process yielded viruses with many new mutations, but two were in all of them. Those plus the three added deliberately “suggest that as few as five are required to make the virus airborne”, says Fouchier. He will now test H5N1 made with only those five.
Let’s see: three mutations are manufactured by humans, and two mutations—found in all the developed strains—by nature. Now that sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Yes, of course, the very same conclusion that Michael Behe came to in his Edge of Evolution!
So: Behe is right; and Darwin is wrong. What are we to expect from the Darwinist “true believers”? Denial and derision. All hail the ‘scientific method’ and its best friend, ‘naturalism’.