Some defenders of evolution claim a virus is an example of evolution in action. I noticed it was one of the very first things brought up by a believer in Darwinism when I stated that if macro-evolution were true, it would not observable in real time. Unlike changes on a micro level we do see happening in real time within the species of it’s own kind. The micro level changes are certainly not a concept against creationism.
Now back to the topic, let’s take the latest well known virus, the H1N1 flu. Live Science got really excited and proclaimed, “Swine flu is evolution in action.” His reasoning was, if there is no change in the virus then evolution would be false.
A regular blogger in the blogger Huffington Post website stated…
“The swine flu is a virus that EVOLVED right in front of our eyes! It found a new way to survive. You would not need a new flu vaccine every winter if creationism was real. Heck, even when a new flu vaccine comes out, it’s already obsolete, because 2–3 more strains have already EVOLVED from the base flu strain the vaccine is based on.”
Contrary to what this blogger tries to imply, creationists do take viruses seriously, and do believe in the advancement of the medical field. Now his other implication, just mere changes doesn’t represent evolution, nor did the hype that somehow this virus would become a monster with the open border between Mexico (the source of the virus) and the United States.
So what sort of changes is Live Science really talking about? First of all, viruses do not create brand new information (which would be evolution) rather it steals from already existing DNA in order to survive. This is what happened to the swine flu virus.
“It appears the H1N1 swine flu may be a reassortment of the H (hemagglutinin) gene from typical North American pigs with the N (neuraminidase) and M (matrix) genes from European pigs,” Deems said.
Second of all, we see no new genetic information, just already-existing genetic information reshuffled which doesn’t enable the virus to create new encyclopaedic information and as a result, turns simple creatures into more complex living creatures. It’s not evolution in action!
Live Science does seem to be confused on what is living and what is non-living material. It tries to head off the criticism by saying…
“Viruses may be living or non-living, depending on the definition of life,” Deem explained. “”Viruses the host (pig or human) are definitely alive. So, this for sure is an example of evolution in the living system of the virus pig human.”
David Schaffer, a professor of chemical engineering and bioengineering at the University of California says otherwise…
“Viruses are not alive, in that they do not have the ability to replicate themselves independently, without infecting and relying upon a cell to do so,” Schaffer said. “That said, biological entities need not be alive in order to evolve.”
Despite what both had said, this ‘change’ is not enough to demonstrate a supposed evolutionary history of life on earth. And on a side note, Bacteria can change to become antibiotic resistant, by loosing some of it’s information rather than stealing it from another source.