Monday, 13 July 2020

How the Malevolent Designer Beats Medical Science

H3N2 influenza virus particles, coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM). Each virus consists of a nucleocapsid (protein coat) that surrounds a core of RNA (ribonucleic acid) genetic material. Surrounding the nucleocapsid is a lipid envelope that contains the glycoprotein spikes haemagglutinin (H) and neuraminidase (N). These viruses were part of the Hong Kong Flu pandemic of 1968-1969 that killed approximately one million worldwide. H3N2 viruses are able to infect birds and mammals as well as humans. They often cause more severe infections in the young and elderly than other flu strains and can lead to increases in hospitalisations and deaths.

Fast-Spreading Mutation Helps Common Flu Subtype Escape Immune Response - 2020 - News Releases - News - Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

News today of how creationism's malevolent designer keeps ahead of medical science by giving the common influenza virus H3N2 strain a mutation that makes it immune to human antibodies by preventing our antibodies from binding to a protein on the viral coat.

Additionally, the mutation makes the virus so good at spreading that it is now present in virtually all strains of H3N2.

The study was conducted by two researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and is published open access a few days ago in the online journal PLOS Pathogens:


In the 2014–2015 influenza season a novel neuraminidase (NA) genotype was detected in global human influenza A surveillance. This novel genotype encoded an N-linked glycosylation site at position 245–247 in the NA protein from clade 3c.2a H3N2 viruses. In the years following the 2014–2015 season, this novel NA glycosylation genotype quickly dominated the human H3N2 population of viruses. To assess the effect this novel N-linked glycan has on virus fitness and antibody binding, recombinant viruses with (NA Gly+) or without (NA Gly-) the 245 NA glycan were created. Viruses with the 245 NA Gly+ genotype grew to a significantly lower infectious virus titer on primary, differentiated human nasal epithelial cells (hNEC) compared to viruses with the 245 NA Gly- genotype, but growth was similar on immortalized cells. The 245 NA Gly+ blocked human and rabbit monoclonal antibodies that target the enzymatic site from binding to their epitope. Additionally, viruses with the 245 NA Gly+ genotype had significantly lower enzymatic activity compared to viruses with the 245 NA Gly- genotype. Human monoclonal antibodies that target residues near the 245 NA glycan were less effective at inhibiting NA enzymatic activity and virus replication of viruses encoding an NA Gly+ protein compared to ones encoding NA Gly- protein. Additionally, a recombinant H6N2 virus with the 245 NA Gly+ protein was more resistant to enzymatic inhibition from convalescent serum from H3N2-infected humans compared to viruses with the 245 NA Gly- genotype. Finally, the 245 NA Gly+ protected from NA antibody mediated virus neutralization. These results suggest that while the 245 NA Gly+ decreases virus replication in hNECs and decreases enzymatic activity, the 245 NA glycan blocks the binding of monoclonal and human serum NA specific antibodies that would otherwise inhibit enzymatic activity and virus replication.

Author summary

Influenza virus infects millions of people worldwide and leads to thousands of deaths and millions in economic loss each year. During the 2014/2015 season circulating human H3N2 viruses acquired a novel mutation in the neuraminidase (NA) protein. This mutation has since fixed in human H3N2 viruses. This mutation at position 245 through 247 in the amino acid sequence of NA encoded an N-linked glycosylation. Here, we studied how this N-linked glycan impacts virus fitness and protein function. We found that this N-linked glycan on the NA protein decreased viral replication fitness on human nasal epithelial cells (hNEC) but not immortalized Madin-Darby Canine Kidney (MDCK) cells. We also determined this glycan decreases NA enzymatic activity, enzyme kinetics and affinity for substrate. Furthermore, we show that this N-linked glycan at position 245 blocks some NA specific inhibitory antibodies from binding to the protein, inhibiting enzymatic activity, and inhibiting viral replication. Finally, we showed that viruses with the novel 245 N-linked glycan are more resistant to convalescent human serum antibody mediated enzymatic inhibition. While this 245 N-linked Glycan decreases viral replication and enzymatic activity, the 245 N-linked glycan protects the virus from certain NA specific inhibitory antibodies. Our study provides new insight into the function of this dominant H3N2 NA mutation and how it impacts antigenicity and fitness of circulating H3N2 viruses.

This discovery presents a number of problems for intelligent [sic] design creationists:
  • The way creationists normally explain away these instances of what can only be described as malevolence on the part of any designer, is by invoking the religious notion of 'The Fall', so rendering any claim that ID is science not religion, redundant and patently false. No science would invoke mythology and a magic sky man in any explanation because those are unproven and unfalsifiable notions, so have no place in a scientific explanation.
  • If they invoke 'micro-evolution' (i.e. evolution) then what we have here is an example of a mutation which is clearly beneficial, yet the currently in vogue notion in creationism is that all mutations are detrimental and so should be deleterious (a notion called genetic entropy, again related to the religious notion of 'The Fall'). But very clearly the evidence shows how this mutation very quickly spread within the viral gene-pool because it gives carriers an advantage.
  • Abandoning the pretense that ID is not religion, as many creationists now have, leaving no doubt that the putative designer is none other than the Abrahamic god, raises the question of why a supposedly omnibenevolent god would act like a malevolent, psychopath who makes people sick and die for the fun of it.

Just as with Covid-19, currently devastating human society world-wide and causing untold economic damage as well as killing millions, it is a major embarrassment to creationists that the only explanation that doesn't leave their god looking like a malevolent, anthropophobic psychopath is evolution - the rejection of which is the reason so many are creationists in the first place.

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  1. ID does NOT say that evolution doesn't happen. ID does not say that random mutations don't happen and cannot mess things up. ID does not say that beneficial, which is relative, mutations do not occur. You clearly have no idea what ID says.

    ID doesn't have anything to do with religion. The best that can be said of ID is it allows you to be an intellectually fulfilled theist. ID says nothing about worship. Nothing about prayer. So clearly you have some sort of agenda and it ain't honesty.

    1. Perhaps you would like to do what no other ID advocate has done so far and explain the appearance of malevolence in 'design' that this article and several other articles in this blog highlight.

      How is that more scientific that the explanation offered by the TOE, please?

      Perhaps also you would like to do what no other iD advocate has done so far and refute the evidence against ID that I present in my book, "The Unintelligent Designer: Refuting the Intelligent Design Hoax".

      Good luck. Don't come back until you can, unless to admit you can't.

    2. There isn't any scientific theory of evolution. So that would be a problem for you. Genetic entropy explains the appearance of malevolence in design. The fact that the universe was intelligently designed for (scientific) discovery (see "The Privileged Planet") explains the appearance of malevolence in design. It is an impetus for research and exploration. There is a reason why technology grows so fast during war- the need is the impetus to improve.

      What your side can't do is explain the appearance of life nor viruses. You have nothing to account for the coded information processing systems that rule biological life. Your entire premise is a hoax.

      If you had evidence against ID you would win a Nobel Prize for being the first to demonstrate nature can produce coded information processing systems. Your evidence against ID is just one strawman after another.

      Good luck with that.

    3. >There isn't any scientific theory of evolution. <

      Oh dear! WEll, I'm afraid your ignorance is not a problem for science to be bothered with, not is it something I'm going to try to rectify for you. There are very many excellent biology books you can read if ever you decide to educate yourself. But I suspect you'd rather pretend ignorance is a short-cut to the expertise to tell yourself that you know more than the millione of biomedical scientists who understand the mechanisms that cause species to evolve over time and who use the science every day of their working lives.

      Good luck with convincing others of that.

      I note you were unable to meet my simple challenge. Have you ever asked yourself why that might be?

    4. I have taken evolutionary courses in college. I have taken biology courses in college. It is very telling that you failed to link to the alleged scientific theory of evolution. ID is NOT anti-evolution. ID only argues against blind watchmaker evolution having sole dominion over evolutionary processes.

      I left a review of your asinine book over on Amazon

      So clearly you are the ignorant one, here. Your simple challenge proves that you don't know anything about ID and science. This is being cross-posted over on an ID blog Uncommon Descent

    5. I'm sorry you lack the integrity or maturity to deal with the points raised in this blog or to answer the questions put to you. Perhaps you would be better off simply talking to your echo chamber rather than risk having to consider the terrifying prospect of being wrong.

      Unless you can debate like an adult, please refrain from posting here.

      Thank you for playing.

    6. I dealt with your points. You are a strawman humper. And you ain't an adult. Clearly you lack the integrity and maturity to deal with the fact there isn't any scientific theory of evolution.

    7. Yep! By ignoring them. Now, either participate like an adult or go play with children of your own mental age.

  2. Genetic entropy explains the appearance of malevolence in design. The fact that the universe was intelligently designed for (scientific) discovery (see "The Privileged Planet") explains the appearance of malevolence in design. It is an impetus for research and exploration. There is a reason why technology grows so fast during war- the need is the impetus to improve.

    1. Genetic entropy is a hoax on a par wit intelligent [sic] design, introduced by Michael J Behe to try to bolster the failing Wedge Strategy of his Discovery Institute employers. There is simply no mechanism whereby a deleterious gene could increase in the species gene-pool. It's a hoax aimed at scientifically illiterate superstitious simpletons who can't bring themselves to believe their mummy and daddy could be wrong, so have fallen for the 'Fall' nonsense in the locally-popular creation myth.

      But at least Behe is no longer trying to pretend creationism is real science and not Christian fundamentalism dressed up in a grubby lab-coat so Christians can get to lie to school children at public expense. It's his attempt to resurrect failing creationism following his Kitzmiller vs Dover District disaster.

      I'm sorry you've fallen for it.

      Now, unless you can begin to deal with the contents of this blog-post like an adult, I will politely ask you to refrain from parasitising this blog to post your creationist disinformation, no matter how entitled you feel to behave as arrogantly as you wish.

      If not, I will simply delete your parasitic spam.


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