Viruses are a difficult topic for creationists. If the world as created by God was originally “very good” then how could viruses even exist in the first place? To answer this, it is generally asserted (in a hand-wavy fashion and entirely bereft of evidence, as usual) that viruses were originally created to preform some kind of function involving the transfer of genetic material between animals. There are a number of problems with this, beginning with why it was even necessary in such a world, and why we don’t still see it happening in any particularly useful way in the modern, post-Fall world.
Nevertheless, Thomas’ latest article – Virus Adapts with Gene Accordion – just assumes this explanation and carries on:
One newly discovered genetic manipulation program helps the poxvirus rapidly invade various kinds of cells. How would such a program arise?
Poxviridae is the family of viruses that includes smallpox and cowpox. Viruses in this family use DNA, rather than RNA, as their nucleic acid of choice. DNA viruses have a much lower mutation rate than RNA viruses such as HIV, but are still capable of adapting to keep up with changes in the immune system. To see what tricks are being used to make this possible, a group of researchers observed the vaccinia poxvirus. Continue reading