Cephalopod venoms

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The history of venoms is a wonderful example of an evolutionary process. We're all familiar with the idea of venomous snakes, but the cool thing is that when we examine exactly what it is they're injecting into their prey, it's a collection of proteins that show a nested hierarchy of descent. Ancient reptiles had a small and nasty set of poisons they would use, and to improve their efficacy, more and more have been added to the cocktail; so some lizards produce venomous proteins, while the really dangerous members of the Serpentes produce those same proteins, plus a large array of others.

lizard_venoms.jpg

So something like CRISP (Cystein RIch Secretory Protein) is common to all, but only the most refined predators add PLA2 (Phosopholipase A2) to the mix.

Now lethally poisonous snakes are nice and cute and all, but we all know where the interesting action really is: cephalopods. Let's leave the vertebrates altogether and look at a venomous protostome clade to see what they do.

cephalopod venom glands
Relative glandular arrangements of a cuttlefish and b octopus. Posterior gland is shown in green; anterior, in blue. Orange structure is the beak.

Brian Fry, who did all that excellent work characterizing and cataloging the pharmacy of venoms secreted by poisonous snakes, has also turned his hand to the cephalopods. He examined the products of the venom glands of octopus, squid, and cuttlefish, and found a range of proteins, some unique, and others familiar: CAP (a CRISP protein), chitinase, peptidase S1, PLA2 and others. There are a couple of interesting lessons in that list.

First, evolution doesn't just invent something brand new on the spot to fill a function — what we find instead is that existing proteins are repurposed to do a job. This is how evolution generally operates, taking what already exists and tinkering and reshaping it to better fulfill a useful function. Phospholipase A2, for instance, is a perfectly harmless and extremely useful non-venomous protein in many organisms — we non-toxic humans also make it. We use it as a regulatory signal to control the inflammation response to infection and injury — in moderation, it's a good thing. What venomous animals can do, though, is inject us with an overdose of this regulator to send our local repair and recovery systems berserk, producing swelling that can incapacitate a tissue. Similarly, a peptidase is a useful enzyme for breaking down proteins in the digestive system…but a poisonous snake or cephalopod biting your hand can squirt it into the tissues, and now it's being used to digest your muscles and connective tissue. Some effective venoms are simply common proteins used inappropriately (from the perspective of the target).

Another interesting observation is that cephalopods and vertebrates have independently converged in using some of the same venoms. In part, this is a consequence of historical availability — all animals have phospholipases,, since they are important general signalling molecules, so it's part of the collection of widgets in the metazoan toolbox from which evolution can draw. It's also part of an inflammation pathway that can be exploited by predators, in the same way that we have shared proteins used in the operation of the nervous system that can be targeted by neurotoxins. So there is independent convergence on a specific use of these proteins as toxins, but one of the things that facilitates the convergence is a shared ancestry.

In fact, some very diverse groups seem to consistently settle on the same likely suspects in their venoms.

Venom table

But finally, there must also be physical and chemical proteins of these particular proteins that must also predispose them to use as toxins. After all, animals aren't coopting just any protein for venoms — they aren't injecting large quantities of tubulin or heat shock proteins into their prey. There must be something about each of the standard suspects in venoms that make them particularly dangerous. What the comparative evolutionary approach allows us to do is identify the common molecular properties that make for a good venom. As Fry explains it,

Typically the proteins chosen are from widely dispersed multigene secretory protein families with extensive cysteine cross-linking. These proteins are collectively much more numerous than globular enzymes, transmembrane proteins, or intracellular protein. Although the relative abundance of these protein types in animal venoms may reflect stochastic recruitment processes, there has not been a single reported case of a signal peptide added onto a transmembrane or intracellular protein or a hybrid protein expressed in a venom gland. A strong bias is also evident for all of the protein-scaffold types, whether from peptides or enzymes. Although the protein scaffolds present in venoms represent functionally and structurally versatile kinds, they share an underlying biochemistry that would produce toxic effects when delivered as an "overdose". Toxic effects include taking advantage of a universally present substrate to cause physical damage or causing changes in physiological chemistry though agonistic or antagonistic targeting. This allows the new venom gland protein to have an immediate effect based on overexpression of the original bioactivity. Furthermore, the features of widely dispersed body proteins, particularly the presence of a molecular scaffold amenable to functional diversification, are features that make a protein suitable for accelerated gene duplication and diversification in the venom gland.

To simplify, killing something with a secreted poison typically involves reusing an extant protein, but not just any protein — only a subset of the proteins in an animal's proteome has just the right properties to make for a good venom. Therefore, we see the same small set of proteins get independently coopted into the venom glands of various creatures.


Fry BG, Roelants K, Norman JA (2009) Tentacles of venom: toxic protein convergence in the Kingdom Animalia. J Mol Evol Mar 18. [Epub ahead of print].

77 Comments

Very interesting, PZM – animal venoms are a very intriguing subject on which not so much is written.

Very Cool. I remember Fry’s snake venom paper from a previous venom-posting on pharyngula (Fry showed up in the comments and gave a link, which was great). I hadn’t thought about the selection of venom proteins before - why choose one protein over another. It is a good example of organisms exploiting common descent. By acting on the universal substrate – modified versions of proteins shared by most every living animal – the venom will work on everything it tries to eat to some degree.

Great stuff (invert’s are, of course, WAY COOLER than vert’s anyway). A quick Q, however: Table 1 in the post denotes eleven animals/animal groups - what is the context for including “proboscis” and “Stinger” - are these body parts or critters I’m not familiar with? Not being critical here, just wishing for a more detailed “Legend” for the figure. (Note: I am, of course, being both lazy and cheap in asking, as the article is not presently available free without a subscription…).

I think “proboscis” and “stinger” both fall under insects, along with “bristle”–presumably each of those has evolved independently to be a venom-delivery system.

[blockquote] To simplify, killing something with a secreted poison typically involves reusing an extant protein, but not just any protein — only a subset of the proteins in an animal’s proteome has just the right properties to make for a good venom. Therefore, we see the same small set of proteins get independently coopted into the venom glands of various creatures. [/blockquote]

I was thinking of an analogy – we don’t normally use anything in the kitchen drawer as a weapon, but if we have to improvise we always go for the butcher knife before we go to the basting spoon.

Oh, also thanks for remembering that us layfolk don’t always follow the verbiage in a science journal paper all that easily. Some folks with advanced degrees can be a bit inconsiderate in that respect.

Vince said:

Great stuff (invert’s are, of course, WAY COOLER than vert’s anyway). A quick Q, however: Table 1 in the post denotes eleven animals/animal groups - what is the context for including “proboscis” and “Stinger” - are these body parts or critters I’m not familiar with? Not being critical here, just wishing for a more detailed “Legend” for the figure. (Note: I am, of course, being both lazy and cheap in asking, as the article is not presently available free without a subscription…).

In insects, the proboscis is an extension of the mouth, formed from extensions of the mandibles and rostrum, which may or may not be fused together (i.e., the powerful beak of kissing bugs versus the elements of the mosquito proboscis)

In gastropods, the proboscis is simply the mouth extended into a long, muscular, tentacle-like structure, as seen in cone and turret snails, and can be everted out to great lengths, such as those of murex snails.

Anton Mates said:

I think “proboscis” and “stinger” both fall under insects, along with “bristle”–presumably each of those has evolved independently to be a venom-delivery system.

Thanks, I do know what the terms mean, I need the context or exact legend (if the table comes from the paper) so that I can correctly use it in my Invert class without having to buy the article.… (BTW - “proboscis” can fall under anything from Acanthocephalan to Elephant and it might even apply to a few insects :)) Vince

As for stingers (hit submit button too soon), well, any venom-delivering organ that isn’t directly related to the mouth (i.e., proboscis or fangs) is termed a “stinger,” i.e, the fin-spines of scorpion-fishes, the spines of fireworms, the telson of scorpions, the business ends of bees and wasps…

As far as I know, though, there are two exceptions to this convention, one being that the “stingers” of the male platypus are simply termed “spurs,” and the venomous chelae or claws of pseudoscorpions are referred to as venomous chelae or venomous claws.

Vince said: (BTW - “proboscis” can fall under anything from Acanthocephalan to Elephant and it might even apply to a few insects :))

Well, “50,000+ species” is, technically a “few” when you’re talking about Insecta.

I loved this article. really interesting.

So the vemons are literally too much of a good thing…

Makes me wonder about spiders, particularly the brown recluse. Has a nasty necrotizing venom, I wonder what its other uses are…

Wow. What a great article. That’s really interesting that cephalopods and vertebrates independently converged on using the same venoms.

(BTW - “proboscis” can fall under anything from Acanthocephalan to Elephant and it might even apply to a few insects :))

Oh, sure–I’m just saying, since “proboscis” and “stinger” can apply to insects, and they’re listed directly below an explicit insect part, and are otherwise the only entries without a taxon attached, they’re probably meant to be insect parts in this particular table.

The above was me…

In regard to PZ’s comments:

“So something like CRISP (Cystein RIch Secretory Protein) is common to all, but only the most refined predators add PLA2 (Phosopholipase A2) to the mix.”

and

“First, evolution doesn’t just invent something brand new on the spot to fill a function — what we find instead is that existing proteins are repurposed to do a job. This is how evolution generally operates, taking what already exists and tinkering and reshaping it to better fulfill a useful function.”

Yes, this is the big dilema for your failed theory. Where did the existing and/or added proteins come from?

For PZ’s (and Dawkin’s) problematic explanation for the origin of an eye, go to Example #2 & #3: http://www.whoisyourcreator.com/how[…]n_occur.html

“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools …” - Romans 1:22

Y’know, the PT posting system leaves a lot to be desired in a technical sense. The lack of a killfile mechanism is a particular failing.

mrg said: I was thinking of an analogy – we don’t normally use anything in the kitchen drawer as a weapon, but if we have to improvise we always go for the butcher knife before we go to the basting spoon.

When I think analogies, Coumadin and botox spring to mind. Coumadin: anti-clotting medicine, and rat poison. Botox: anti-wrinkle treatment, and biological weapon. Yikes!

who is your creator said:

“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools …” - Romans 1:22

Yes, only a fool who professes to be wise would suggest that detached retinas and venom came about solely because of the punishment of our legendary ancestors’ alleged sin.

eric said:

mrg said: I was thinking of an analogy – we don’t normally use anything in the kitchen drawer as a weapon, but if we have to improvise we always go for the butcher knife before we go to the basting spoon.

When I think analogies, Coumadin and botox spring to mind. Coumadin: anti-clotting medicine, and rat poison. Botox: anti-wrinkle treatment, and biological weapon. Yikes!

Actually, Botox was originally used to treat various convulsive and involuntary movement conditions.

who is your creator said: Yes, this is the big dilema for your failed theory. Where did the existing and/or added proteins come from?

I don’t think you grasp the concept of incremental change. Your argument is stuck at the chicken-vs-egg level of (un)sophistication.

eric said:

Botox: anti-wrinkle treatment, and biological weapon.

I did some studies on chemical-biological warfare:

http://www.vectorsite.net/twgas.html

You could carry a load of botox in a knapsack that, properly dosed, would kill every man, woman, and child on this planet.

eric said:

who is your creator said: Yes, this is the big dilema for your failed theory. Where did the existing and/or added proteins come from?

I don’t think you grasp the concept of incremental change. Your argument is stuck at the chicken-vs-egg level of (un)sophistication.

Are you aware that “incremental change” must first have something to change?

Maxwell Smart: “It’s the old YOU HAVE TO PROVE EVERYTHING AND WE DON’T HAVE TO PROVE ANYTHING trick again!”

who is your creator said:

eric said:

who is your creator said: Yes, this is the big dilema for your failed theory. Where did the existing and/or added proteins come from?

I don’t think you grasp the concept of incremental change. Your argument is stuck at the chicken-vs-egg level of (un)sophistication.

Are you aware that “incremental change” must first have something to change?

Yes, we are keenly aware of incremental changes needing something to change.

To suggest that this is supposed to be a problem with the science is, however, utter idiocy.

Along with the others who’ve recently posted here, one thing you clearly don’t understand is convergent evolution - in this case of the evolution of venom - between cephalopods and some lizards and snakes:

who is your creator said:

In regard to PZ’s comments:

“So something like CRISP (Cystein RIch Secretory Protein) is common to all, but only the most refined predators add PLA2 (Phosopholipase A2) to the mix.”

and

“First, evolution doesn’t just invent something brand new on the spot to fill a function — what we find instead is that existing proteins are repurposed to do a job. This is how evolution generally operates, taking what already exists and tinkering and reshaping it to better fulfill a useful function.”

Yes, this is the big dilema for your failed theory. Where did the existing and/or added proteins come from?

For PZ’s (and Dawkin’s) problematic explanation for the origin of an eye, go to Example #2 & #3: http://www.whoisyourcreator.com/how[…]n_occur.html

“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools …” - Romans 1:22

I find Fry’s superb work on both reptile and cephalopod venom to be far more interesting that the religious mumbo jumbo you care to spout.

Live Long and Prosper (as an AiG Dalek Clone),

John Kwok

John Kwok,

FWIW, while I’m an atheist, I find the study of the exegesis, provenance, etc. of the Bible (and other religious texts) to be of great interest. It is basically too influential a text to simply ignore.

Seward,

I completely endorse your sentiments, especially when I think there are many beautiful, quite poetic, passages in the King James version of the Bible, the Torah, and the Qur’an (Incidentally, I am a Deist, but I have Christian, Jewish and Muslim relatives.):

Seward said:

John Kwok,

FWIW, while I’m an atheist, I find the study of the exegesis, provenance, etc. of the Bible (and other religious texts) to be of great interest. It is basically too influential a text to simply ignore.

However, I don’t think you should admit this in the comments section of a PT posting by someone who will be this year’s recipient of the AHA Humanist of the Year Award (IMHO it is an honor that he doesn’t deserve, since there are other, far more deserving candidates who have done ample positive work in promoting secular humanist values, such as two fellow New Yorkers, author and journalist Susan Jacoby and philosopher and Center for Inquiry United Nations representative Austin Dacey.). Otherwise, you may incur his wrath as much as I have incurred his over at his blog.

Cheers,

John

who is your creator said:

nothing of any scientific value. And he clearly missed that whole part of the post where the specific types of co-opted molecules were listed. Nor can he offer any valid explanation how and why the “creator” gave animals venom in the first place. I thought nothing killed each other before the “Fall” and so the use of a toxic venom would be entirely unnecessary for the world of completely herbivorous species.

Whining might incur my wrath, that is true. So stop whining.

PZ Myers said:

Whining might incur my wrath, that is true. So stop whining.

It would be far more productive to do something like empty out the English Channel with a limpet shell, or knit a rope bridge to the Moon than to expect a creationist to stop whining.

What incurs my wrath is the overuse (as well as poor use) of the term wrath. ;)

Just Bob said:

Still waitin’. How is evolution a “failed theory”?

That’s because some people said that the Bible said so (without ever specifically stating exactly where in the Bible), and there are, tragically, millions of people excruciatingly imbecilic credulous enough to trust the aforementioned some people with their hearts, souls, and pitiful remnants of their minds.

Just Bob said:

Still waitin’. How is evolution a “failed theory”?

Because it’s unfalsifiable and falsified. Which makes YEC, OEC and “don’t ask, don’t tell” all true at the same time. Ain’t it cool? ;-)

That said, can we all, once and for all, stop feeding the trolls? If that’s impossible to resist, please just ask them to state clearly whether they agree with anti-evolutionist Michael Behe on the age of life (~4 billion years) and that humans share common ancestors with other species.

Stanton said:

Just Bob said:

Still waitin’. How is evolution a “failed theory”?

That’s because some people said that the Bible said so…

That may be how it started, but as you know, Michael Behe is not only not a Biblical literalist, but even says that reading the Bible as a science text is “silly.” Yet he too considers evolution a “failed theory.” But like everyone else who thinks so - Biblical literalist or not - he has failed to take even step one at supporting that elusive alternate theory on its own merits.

As long as most nonscientists remain fooled that theories can be supported by fabricating “weaknesses” in the current theory, anti-evolution activists will always have a market for their scams.

If anyone would like a copy of the article, feel free to email me for it.

The journal changed the box view and I didn’t catch it in the proofs. Insects were supposed to be divided into three layers in the one box: bristle, probiscis and stinger. These each represent independent evolution of venom within the insects. And the use of the probiscis to deliver venom is something that almost certainly has been convergently utilised on several occasions but it was beyond the scope of this article to go into that. We do, however, have a very lengthy article coming out soon(ish) in Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics in which we explore this in greater detail. The abstract for the ARGHG article is as follows:

Convergently recruited proteins were compared from the venoms of centipedes, cephalopods, cone snails, fish, insects (e.g. ants, bees, Lonomia caterpillars, wasps), platypus, scorpions, shrew, spiders, toxicoferan reptiles (lizards and snakes) and sea anemones. Proteins types that have been convergently recruited into disparate venoms are AVIT/Colipase/Prokineticin, CAP, Chitinase, Cystatin, Defensins, Hyaluronidase, Kunitz, Lectin, Lipocalin, Natriuretic, Peptidase S1, Phospholipase A2, Sphingomyelinase D and SPRY. Many of these same venom protein types have also been convergently recruited for use in the hematophagous gland secretions of bloodmeal-feeding invertebrates (e.g. fleas, leeches, kissing bugs, mosquitos, ticks) and vertebrates (Vampire Bats). We discuss a number of overarching structural, functional and evolutionary generalities of these protein families from which toxins have been frequently recruited and propose a revised and expanded working-definition for venom. Given the large number of striking similarites between the protein compositions of conventional venoms and hematophagous secretions, we argue that the latter should also fall under the same definition.

Cheers Bryam

email address is bgf AT unimelb.edu.au

Dale Husband said:

who is your creator:

…would be better named “who is your imaginary friend”.

If he’s the one who runs the website http://www.whoisyourcreator.com/ , he has IDIOT written all over it! Or maybe LIAR would be a bit more accurate.

You’re being too closed-minded. He could easily be BOTH.

In fact, I’ve encountered precious few creationists who only fall into one of those categories, and not a single one that was in neither (though Kurt Wise, master of reality denial, might come close). Stupidity, willful ignorance, denial, and massive dishonesty go with the territory. There simply is no way to be a creationist if one makes the slightest effort to understand and be honest about reality.

Frank J said:

…as you know, Michael Behe is not only not a Biblical literalist, but even says that reading the Bible as a science text is “silly.” Yet he too considers evolution a “failed theory.” But like everyone else who thinks so - Biblical literalist or not - he has failed to take even step one at supporting that elusive alternate theory on its own merits.

Well, the jury is still out on whether he really believes his own evolution-denying nonsense, or if he’s simply playing his role to the hilt in pandering to his Creationist audience and financiers.

Are we to imply that just because lizards have venom and snakes have venom that one came from the other? When DNA information demonstrates a loss of functions and never a gain of functions how do we explain this gentlemen?

phantomreader42 said:

Dale Husband said:

who is your creator:

…would be better named “who is your imaginary friend”.

If he’s the one who runs the website http://www.whoisyourcreator.com/ , he has IDIOT written all over it! Or maybe LIAR would be a bit more accurate.

You’re being too closed-minded. He could easily be BOTH.

In fact, I’ve encountered precious few creationists who only fall into one of those categories, and not a single one that was in neither (though Kurt Wise, master of reality denial, might come close). Stupidity, willful ignorance, denial, and massive dishonesty go with the territory. There simply is no way to be a creationist if one makes the slightest effort to understand and be honest about reality.

I think a lot of people don’t even understand what the Creation Science theory is all about in this forum to be honest. A lot of people who are Evolutionist tend to attack what they think is Creation Science, but when you look at what Creation Scientists really study you’d find that its a lot different than what you’re thinking it is. Are you to actually infer that no Creationist can truely be honest in their beliefs and research? Geez tell that to my 15 years in the field of Creation science research. Thats insulting. You mean to tell me that a Scientist with a PHD who has been doing labwork for 15 years (A Biologist, your favorite in this case) has absolutely no idea what he’s talking about?

When DNA information demonstrates a loss of functions and never a gain of functions how do we explain this gentlemen?

You mean to tell me that a Scientist with a PHD who has been doing labwork for 15 years (A Biologist, your favorite in this case) has absolutely no idea what he’s talking about?

Too funny.

Actually, Doctor Doctor, I have no idea what you’re talking about.

Which contains more information:

CCGATTACAGACCAGTCG

or

CGGATTACAGACCAGTCG?

Really, I’m just a layman so I need you to explain this to me.

Thanks.

Dr. J Lewis said:

Are you to actually infer that no Creationist can truely be honest in their beliefs and research? Geez tell that to my 15 years in the field of Creation science research. Thats insulting. You mean to tell me that a Scientist with a PHD who has been doing labwork for 15 years (A Biologist, your favorite in this case) has absolutely no idea what he’s talking about?

No, we are implying - not inferring - that creationists are either dishonest or ignorant, the ignorance usually being wilful.

If it is a fact that you hold a PhD in biology, and have been doing labwork for 15 years, it can hardly come as a surprise to you that 99.8% of your peers hold separate creation of the species to be ignorant and/or intellectually dishonest nonsense. That you appear to be ingenuously unaware of that fact - or in denial of it - makes me very skeptical of your claims. This is given some support by your somewhat erratic spelling, punctuation, and curious method of writing PHD (sic). All of which leads me tentatively to believe that you do not, in fact, know what you are talking about.

But you can easily disprove that. All you need to do is to cite your peer-reviewed research. The title, year, and University publishing your doctoral thesis would be a good place to start. Then your publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Fifteen years of research should have produced quite a few.

Oh, and I should have added: after we have established that you are not fraudulently claiming qualifications you do not have, we can discuss what your findings are, and what evidence you can cite. That should be very interesting. You do know, don’t you, that if you’ve actually found any evidence for separate creation of the species, you’re up for a Nobel?

Dr. J Lewis said:

A lot of people who are Evolutionist tend to attack what they think is Creation Science, but when you look at what Creation Scientists really study you’d find that its a lot different than what you’re thinking it is.

Well, maybe so, but one might get the idea that “creation science” is bogus from the laughable braindead arguments one sees from Darwin-bashers on talk.origins, over at Livescience.com, or on Youtube videos (look up “VenomFangX” if you’re not familiar with that last one).

OK, you say you’re operating at a higher plane than that. Maybe so. Just out of curiosity, then would you have any problem if we ran some of the arguments put forward by loose-cannon teenagers like VenomFangX past you for your judgement on them?

Obviously, if we’re getting a mistaken impression of “creation science” from the fumble-fingered amateurs, you’ll be only too happy to clear up the record for us. And then we can pass back to VenomFangX that a “true creation scientist” thinks he’s off base.

Don’t want to stick your head into that noose, do you?

MrG http://www.vectorsite.net

Dr. J Lewis said:

Are we to imply that just because lizards have venom and snakes have venom that one came from the other?

Yes, given as how the venom production genes of snakes and lizards are derived from a bile gene that was copied and spliced into a saliva gene in an ancient iguanian lizard over 200 million years ago.

Furthermore, it’s a well-known, heavily supported fact that snakes are nothing more than highly modified lizards, supported by both anatomical evidence, as well as genomic comparison. To suggest incredulity and disbelief over an otherwise elementary fact (that snakes are a group of lizards) strongly demonstrates that the doctorate in Biology you received is worthless

When DNA information demonstrates a loss of functions and never a gain of functions how do we explain this gentlemen?

Typical creationist bullshitting. A bile gene that’s been spliced into a saliva producing gene, making the saliva poisonous is a grotesquely obvious demonstration of a new function.

Dr. J Lewis said:

I think a lot of people don’t even understand what the Creation Science theory is all about in this forum to be honest. A lot of people who are Evolutionist tend to attack what they think is Creation Science, but when you look at what Creation Scientists really study you’d find that its a lot different than what you’re thinking it is.

The Creation “scientists” whom I’ve encountered are obsessed with proselytizing and shaming people who accept the heavily supported facts that “descent with modification” occurs, that the Earth is 4.65 billion years old, and that a literal reading of the Book of Genesis is scientifically worthless. If “Creation Science” is something other than bible-worshiping and mocking people who refuse to be pious morons, then tell us what it really is.

Are you to actually infer that no Creationist can truely be honest in their beliefs and research? Geez tell that to my 15 years in the field of Creation science research. Thats insulting.

Well, what can one do for research when you’ve sworn an oath to interpret or ignore all evidence in order to support your conclusion that the King James’ Translation of the Bible is literally true? What do you have to show for your troubles for these 15 years?

You mean to tell me that a Scientist with a PHD who has been doing labwork for 15 years (A Biologist, your favorite in this case) has absolutely no idea what he’s talking about?

Given as how you’ve demonstrated incredulity over the fact that snakes are a group of lizards, as well as bringing up the stupid creationist trope of “no new genetic information,” you’re doing a good job of showing that you have no idea of what you’re talking about in Biology all by your little self.

Dr. J Lewis said: Are we to imply that just because lizards have venom and snakes have venom that one came from the other? When DNA information demonstrates a loss of functions and never a gain of functions how do we explain this gentlemen?

We explain it by saying: your assumption is wrong.

“Dr.” J Lewis said:

I think a lot of people don’t even understand what the Creation Science theory is all about in this forum to be honest.

Then what is it about? If you really think you have a scientifically valid theory, state it. Show it to us. Give us the evidence. Go ahead, quit hiding, show the world your amazing “creation science” and win a Nobel Prize! Unless, of course, you’re too much of a coward to put your cards on the table. Or such a liar that you know full well “creation science” is worthless, but still keep promoting it.

Put up or shut up, “Dr”. If you really had a “creation science theory” you’d be explaining it, testing it, and showing evidence. Not just whining about how no one understands your precious theory that’s too fragile to show to anyone.

“Dr.” J Lewis said: A lot of people who are Evolutionist tend to attack what they think is Creation Science, but when you look at what Creation Scientists really study you’d find that its a lot different than what you’re thinking it is.

I’ve seen what “creation scientists” really study. Mythology, propaganda, and lies. They flee in abject terror from science. They can’t find the slightest speck of evidence to support their absurd assertions, so they look for ways to manipulate the law to gain an unfair advantage and spread their lies. But if you claim that there is some “creation science” with merit, it’s up to YOU to support that claim. It’s up to YOU to provide evidence. Get off your ass and get to work, “Dr”.

“Dr.” J Lewis said: Are you to actually infer that no Creationist can truely be honest in their beliefs and research?

Some creationists, though very few, are honest in their beliefs, and honest with others about what they believe. The trouble is, when those beliefs are actually examined and tested against the EVIDENCE it becomes obvious that said beliefs are incorrect, based on faulty assumptions, outdated mythology, and outright lies.

Some creationists are honest to themselves about their beliefs, but lie to others about that they believe. These people are frauds, not to be trusted, they lies to try to steal tax money for spreading their propaganda.

And while it’s hard to identify them, there are surely plenty of people who claim to be creationists but don’t actually believe all the “GODDIDIT” bullshit, who misrepresent themselves to fleece the gullible. These folks are lying for money, but their victims are so eager to believe the lie, so terrified of critical thinking, that they can keep ripping them off indefinitiely. It’s the kind of thing that happens when a group of people proudly declare themselves mindless sheep. They get sheared.

“Dr.” J Lewis said: Geez tell that to my 15 years in the field of Creation science research. Thats insulting. You mean to tell me that a Scientist with a PHD who has been doing labwork for 15 years (A Biologist, your favorite in this case) has absolutely no idea what he’s talking about?

Yes, it is insulting. That’s the point. Every creationist I’ve ever encountered is either willfully ignorant, a liar, or insane. They have gone to great lengths to earn insults, so that is what they are getting.

To be honest, I don’t actually believe you’ve done any research. If you had, you could have presented your research and evidence. You have not done so. Instead you choose to whine and complain because someone DARES call out your fellow creationist cultists for their dishonesty.

You claim to have two doctorates, so tell us where and when you got them. Support your claim. Most creationists who claim to have doctorates are outright lying or using unaccredited diploma mills. If you’re different, show us.

You claim that you have been doing research in biology for 15 years. Describe your research and show us the results. Support your claim.

You claimed that “There is ample evidence that man and dinosaur walked the Earth together at one point in time.” Show us this evidence. Support your claim.

Bottom line, “Dr”, put up or shut up! Show some evidence to back up your assertions, or QUIT MAKING BASELESS ASSERTIONS!

Anyone like to look for antibodies specific to venom in my blood after years of working with exotics?

“…envenomation I did experience:

- lots of different bees and wasps - the worst are on the island of Utila, Honduras - they feel like you are hit hard by a 2x4 - Central American tarantulas are not too bad - unless they hit bone, it takes longer for the soreness to go away - several species of scorpion have stung me, the smaller types always seem to pack a bigger wallop, especially in the mountains of Mexico - rear-fang snakes - none have done more then leave me with an itchy bite; - poisonous frogs and toads - the only mistake I’ve made there is rubbing my eyes after handling them, it is like rubbing your eyes after eating Jalapeno peppers! - Atlantic Stonefish - I grabbed a small one (2-3 inches) in my collectors net, thinking it was a little grouper, and was rewarded for my effort with immediate excruciating pain that felt like a red hot poker slowly traveling up my arm, finally stopping at the shoulder - Walking Catfish - I stepped on a big one and the poisonous dorsal spine went deep into my instep, took me two days to get the swelling down and be able to walk again; - Saltwater Catfish of the South Pacific - the dorsal & pectoral fins all have venomous spines with a very painful sting, they travel in swarms and act like the Army Ants of the reef - Micronesian Lionfish - a couple have hit me while handling them in holding tanks, like a bee sting; - Pacific Crown-Of-Thorns Starfish - very painful stings that only diminish after soaking the wound in hot water to kill the enzymes - Fire Coral - short term ‘burning’ sensation - Fire Ants - long term ‘itch’ - Portugese-Man-O-War , where the tentacles wrapped around your body it feels like some one traced the lines with a blow torch - extreme pain; - plants - Poisonwood, nettles, Dumb Cane, Pencil Cactus, Poison Sumac, experiences with them come to mind, but their poisonous experiences with me have been minor.”

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This page contains a single entry by PZ Myers published on April 2, 2009 4:23 PM.

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