Cornelius Hunter has a Ph.D. in Biophysics and Computational Biology.1 He's an adjunct Professor at Biola University where, presumably, he teaches undergraduates.
Dr. Hunter has recently learned about transposons and this promoted him to write something on his blog, Darwin's God [Retrotransposons are not Free].
Transposons, as most of you know, are bits of selfish DNA than insert themselves into genomes. There are several different kinds of transposons but Hunter concentrates on retrotranspsons in his example. Most of the time when transposons insert themselves into a genome they cause problems because they disrupt a gene. The exceptions are those species with large genomes containing lots of junk DNA where the insertions are usually harmless.
Every now and then, a transposon will insert near, or within, a gene causing a mutation that may become beneficial. This is what caught Hunter's attention.
Consider the retrotransposons that, in addition to its promoter sequence that helps initiate the copying of its DNA into an single-stranded RNA molecule, carries its own handy reverse transcriptase gene which encodes the protein machine that copies the RNA back into a DNA molecule, for later insertion into the genome. This can certainly cause biological variation, but it is anything but free.Does this sound like a fairy tale. Yes, it does. The scary part of Hunter's fairy tale is that so many people will believe it, including his students. That's more like the Grimm brothers than Hans Christian Anderson.
With evolution we must believe that so many of the sophisticated biological variation mechanisms, such as in retrotransposons, were produced by evolution. Do you see the problem? In this circular tale that even Hans Christian Andersen could never have imagined, evolution produces the intricate mechanisms that produce evolution.
Evolutionists insist that there is no problem because none of this is impossible. Why can’t evolution produce mechanisms that produce evolution? Unless one can prove this is impossible, evolution wins (an argument that goes back to the sage of Kent himself). Though the evidence fails to prove evolution, it nonetheless must be a fact. In this Alice-in-Wonderland world, that which is not false is a fact (if it is evolution, that is).
Seriously, there's an interesting problem here. We often make fun of the stupidity of creationists like Hunter and Richard Sternberg because they are clearly out of their depth when they write about biology and evolution. But why are their fellow creationists so silent? If it were an evolutionist writing such nonsense we would be just as critical—in fact the blogs are full of such critical debate about science.
Why aren't there any intelligent creationists who speak out against the fairy tales that permeate their blogs and their publications? Is it because there aren't any intelligent creationists? Or, is it because they are extremely reluctant to criticize their own kind? Don't they realize that their cause is being damaged by propagating nonsense?
Maybe they're not worried because they know their audience.
1. He can't be a very good creationist because, as far as I know, he has only one Ph.D.