Author: Larry A. Moran (email@example.com)
Title: Russian Creationist Dmitri Kouznetsov is no scientist
Jim Loucks (firstname.lastname@example.org) defends Scientific
Creationism by quoting from an interview with a Soviet
creationist lecturer named Dr. Kouznetsov,
"That's interesting, because most people in the West believe that
creationists are just trying to somehow make science fit the Bible
because they're Christians.
Well, I don't know about your country, but in Russia this
is extremely common -- for people to become creationists on
scientific grounds and then to become Christians afterwards,
at least in the case of the so-called 'intellectual community'."
I asked several Russian and Eastern European colleagues about
this. It is NOT common for intellectuals to become creationists
in Russia. They are just as smart as intellectuals in the rest
of the world. Kouznetsov claims that it is "extremely common"
for intellectuals to become creationists - this seems to be a
flat out lie.
Jim Loucks continues with his quotation,
"Evolutionists believe that their imaginary one-celled first ancestor
has turned into fish and palm trees, and into frogs which then turn
into princes. They know that this means a lot of genetic information
has to be added to living things over time, and they teach that
inherited mistakes called mutations can add these new useful genes.
We don't see that, of course.
But they have to believe that it is theoretically possible. I
understand that some of your research indicates that even if it were
possible to get such an new gene, such a new packet of useful
information, it would have very little chance of being expressed.
That's correct. I found that the translation of a modified
gene into a modified protein involved a group of substances
in the cytoplasm (outside of the nucleus, which is where the
DNA resides) which are very powerful suppressors of the
slightest changes to the DNA."
I'll ignore the ignorant characterization of evolution and
concentrate on the bizarre idea that new genes are not possible
and would not be expressed.
In my lab we routinely modify genes and make new proteins.
Furthermore we put mouse genes in bacteria and yeast, bacterial
genes in yeast, and yeast genes in bacteria in order to make
foreign proteins. In other words these new genes from different
organisms are expressed. These are pretty drastic changes to
DNA - I wonder why Dr. Kouznetsov doesn't mention experiments
like these? Furthermore there are all kinds of examples of
modified genes which make modified proteins. The idea that such
mutations are forbidden or inhibited at the level of
translation is quite silly. Incidently the wording of this
paragraph indicates that Kouznetsov is on unfamiliar ground. In
other words he does not know what he is talking about. No
expert would make the mistake of referring to "translation" of
Every population contains considerable variation at the level
of the gene. For many genes there are multiple alleles and each
one makes a slightly different protein. This is why one sees
morphological variation within populations (eg. Homo sapiens),
and this is the raw material of evolution. If Kouznetsov knew
anything about biochemistry, genetics or evolution he would
recognize that his statement is ridiculous because his
postulated mechanism would also suppress such variation.
I have no idea what kind of powerful cytoplasmic suppressors
Dr. Kouznetsov could be referring to. It is probably safe to
assume that these are figments of an overactive creationist
mind. If such substances existed I would know about them.
Jim Loucks continues to quote from the interview with Dr.
"Dr Kouznetsov, you once talked about the 'subjectivity' of evolutionary
theory. Could you give an example?
Yes, it's true that evolutionists are very subjective in which
data they decide to use as evidence for their theory. Take my
own field of brain cells, for instance. There is a protein --
creatinine kinase, or CK -- found in the brain cells of a very
large number of species. We are led to believe that when you
compare the same sort of protein in many different species,
there is this universal pattern -- as would be predicted by
evolution -- that the most similar proteins are from the most
closely related species. However, as reported at a conference
in your own country, in Perth in Western Australia about a
decade ago, when one puts in all the data related to CK and
asks the question 'Which are the two closest relatives according
to CK data?', the answer is -- 'the African elephant and the
ordinary domestic housefly.' Of course evolutionists don't
regard these as most closely related, but if the molecular
patterns were consistent with evolution, they would use it as
evidence. This is what I mean by the subjectivity of their
Creatine kinase (not creatinine kinase) is an enzyme that can
be found in many organisms. In most vertebrates it is abundant
in muscle cells where it serves to replace energy molecules
used up during muscle activity. A different but related enzyme
is found in nerve cells which have a high ATP turnover.
Vertebrates also have a mitochondrial creatine kinase. The
three different proteins are encoded by three different genes
that are found at different locations in the genomes of
vertebrates. The data indicates that there were two gene
duplications in vertebrate ancestors and this gave rise to
three different genes which have evolved independently from
that point on. This is a common pattern in the evolution of
complex organisms; namely that additional features are formed
by copying and modifying existing genes. Most of you are
probably aware of the evolution of hemoglobin genes which is
another example of the same phenomenon.
I searched the nucleic acid sequence databases for all creatine
kinase sequences and found 74 examples that have been published
in the past thirty years. There are no published sequences for
either elephant or houseflies! I also searched the protein
databases and found 22 more sequences, again there is no record
of an elephant or housefly sequence ever being published. So I
went to the primary literature on creatine kinase sequences but
there are no references to elephants or houseflies in the
papers that I examined. Most of the readers of talk.origins
will realize that it is very unusual to have molecular data on
either elephants or houseflies. They are not popular lab
species and there is no particular reason why anyone would
clone their genes. Anyone familiar with evolution or
biochemistry would recognize that these are highly unusual
examples. On the other hand, someone who was quite ignorant of
the field ....
There was an International Congress of Biochemistry in Perth,
Australia about ten years ago. None of my colleagues who
attended that meeting recall hearing a talk such as the one
that Kouznetsov describes. I conclude that this particular
creationist is making up a story in order to suggest that
evolutionary biologists are as subjective as the average
Jim Loucks closes his extensive quotation with,
"There was more to the interview but that's about all I thought
you'd find interesting. Not only did I share this interview with
you because I thought it was interesting, but some of you think
that creationists can't possibly be decent scientists and this
interview offers an opposing viewpoint to such a belief. Also,
the FAQ on creationists credentials comes across in a negative
tone and I'm tempted to put together a positive FAQ on creationist
scientists with degrees and backgrounds that simply can't be
I think you can sum it all up and say that we're all going to
believe what we want to believe. Ken Ham appears to add to that
with: It's not whether you're biased or not, everyone is biased.
But which bias is the best bias to be biased with?"
Well Jim, I thank you for posting this interesting interview.
However, I regret to inform you that it only confirms what I
already knew, namely that creationists can't be decent (or
honest) scientists. You are more than welcome to put together a
FAQ on creationist scientists whose degrees and backgrounds
simply can't be overlooked - are there any such scientists?
You have certainly convinced ME that you are going to believe
what you want to believe irrespective of the actual facts.
Kouznetsov obviously falls into the same catagory which means
that he is definitely NOT a scientist. I also accept your point
that everyone is biased to some extent but there is no doubt in
my mind that some biases are more ridiculous than others.
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