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Author Topic:   Creationist ERV Misinformation
Member (Idle past 238 days)
Posts: 9724
Joined: 03-06-2009

Message 1 of 2 (901868)
11-15-2022 11:39 AM

Proposed forum: Human Evolution and Origins
The purpose of this thread is to catalog the misinformation creationists have put out on the internet regarding endogenous retroviruses (ERV's).
Let's start with the facts.
First, a bit of terminology. An orthologous feature is a feature found at the same base in two genomes. Therefore, an orthologous ERV is a viral insertion found at the same base in two genomes. If they are not found at the same base then they are non-orthologous.
The 2001 human genome paper found 203,000 ERV class I-III insertions comprising 4.64% of the human genome. An additional 3.65% of the human genome is comprised of MaLR's which are retroviral terminal repeats that have combined with a transposon. It would be correct to say that MaLR's have viral sequence, but they aren't the product of viral insertion so I usually don't count them as being the same as ERV's. Here is table 11 from the 2001 human genome paper.

Initial sequencing and analysis of the human genome | Nature
The 2005 chimp genome paper mapped all of the ERV's in the chimp genome and compared them to the human genome. They reported the lineage specific ERV's for both chimps and humans which are the non-orthologous ERV's. By default, the rest are orthologous ERV's. In table 2 of the chimp genome paper they report 82 human specific ERV's and 279 chimp specific ERV's. These again are the non-orthologous ERV's. This means that out of the 203,000 ERV's reported in the human genome only 82 are not shared with chimps at the same base.

Initial sequence of the chimpanzee genome and comparison with the human genome | Nature
That is where we are starting from. If a creationist source tries to tell you differently then they are misinforming you about the number of orthologous ERV's.
This one piece of information will cover a lot of the misinformation creationists are trying to pass off on their audience. Future posts will cover some of these examples.

Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003

Message 2 of 2 (901938)
11-16-2022 12:17 AM

Thread Copied to Human Origins and Evolution Forum
Thread copied to the Creationist ERV Misinformation thread in the Human Origins and Evolution forum, this copy of the thread has been closed.

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