Creationists React to Venter’s Breakthrough, Part 6

THIS is another follow-up to Craig Venter‘s announcement that his lab has created a bacterial cell with a synthetic genome. For earlier creationist reactions see Part 1 and Part 2, and then Part 3, and then Part 4, and lastly Part 5.

Today’s reaction is written by Babu G. Ranganathan, an advocate of primitive, full-blown creationism, whose writing we’ve discussed a few times before, the last time here: Creationism, Socialism, and Intelligent Design.

Babu’s work is usually found in Pravda, but this article is in The Mercury, a daily newspaper published in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. It’s titled Scientists are simply copying God! Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:

The recent news is that scientists have created the first cell controlled entirely by man-made genetic instructions. First thing to understand is that these genetic instructions did not come into existence by chance but by intelligent design.

See? Everything scientists do is evidence of intelligent design. ID will always be true! Babu continues:

Second, scientists didn’t create life but what they did is implant their man-made genetic instructions into an already existing living cell. All this happened by using intelligence, not chance.

Venter doesn’t claim to have created life, but he did artificially assemble a bacterium’s DNA, which then lived. According to Babu, Venter implanted that construct into “an already existing living cell.” Not quite. The recipient had once been a living bacterium, but before the implant it was empty and therefore lifeless — until the artificial DNA made it live. Here’s more from Babu:

All of this is, in a very small way, nothing more than copying God, the original Intelligence and Source behind life. Even if scientists ever create life from scratch it won’t be by chance.

This is pretty much the reaction of all the creationists in this series. Babu doesn’t offer us anything particularly new here. Not yet. However, we should point out that if Babu is correct and mere men can copy God, that’s no small accomplishment.

Then, Babu launches into a childish assault on the classic Miller–Urey experiment, claiming that it’s worthless. After that he babbles incoherently about organic chemistry. For example: “There is no innate chemical tendency for the various amino acids to bond with one another in a sequence.” We won’t burden you with any of that. Moving along:

If the cell had evolved it would have had to be all at once. A partially evolved cell cannot wait millions of years to become complete because it would be highly unstable and quickly disintegrate in the open environment, especially without the protection of a complete and fully functioning cell membrane. And even having a complete cell doesn’t necessarily mean there will be life. After all, even a dead cell is complete shortly after it dies!

We warned you that Babu adheres to a very primitive version of creationism. He claims that everything had to magically fly together all at once, and then life had to be breathed into it — like in Genesis. That’s the only way it can happen. Forget about Miller, Venter, and anyone else who may come along and demonstrate otherwise. You have heard the word of Babu, so it must be true. We continue:

What about natural selection? Thanks to evolution’s popular high priests and evangelists such as Richard Dawkins, many in society have come to believe that natural selection will solve all of evolution’s problems.

Natural selection cannot produce anything. It can only “select” from what is produced. It’s strictly a passive process in nature. If a life form develops a feature (I.e. change in skin color) that helps it survive then we say it was “selected” (it survived!). That’s all natural selection is. It’s another term for “survival of the fittest.” Furthermore, natural selection only operates once there is life and reproduction and not before so natural selection couldn’t be involved in how life originated. Natural selection is not an energy-converting and directing mechanism!

Got that? Natural selection didn’t originate life. It doesn’t do much of anything. There’s really nothing to it.

We’ve tried to imagine someone outside of an asylum who might be impressed by Babu’s writing, but we can’t. Yet the editor of The Mercury must have liked this article well enough to publish it. Anyway, here’s how it ends:

Science cannot prove that we’re here by chance or design. Both require faith. Where will you place your faith?

Click over to The Mercury and read it all. After that mind-numbing experience, you won’t know a thing about Venter’s work. But of course, neither does Babu.

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

3 responses to “Creationists React to Venter’s Breakthrough, Part 6

  1. Darn, I can’t get out of my mind Babu saying “The Curmudgeon is a very very bad man.”

  2. cnocspeireag

    Obviously, Babu’s article is worth little, but you were perhaps unfair to describe his observations as ‘babbling incoherently about organic chemistry’. He poses what seem to be salient observations, although they are not necessarily anything of the kind.
    The M-U experiment was conducted almost sixty years ago and Babu uses the familiar creationist tactic of criticizing an original experiment without referring to subsequent studies. I suppose if you are willing to base your morality on a palimpsest of iron age superstition, then this approach comes naturally to you.
    All his uninformed comments can be answered, of course. Racemic mixtures can often be resolved by surprising simple means, for example.
    I suppose I find it dangerous to write off Babu’s garbage as simple babbling, as many will read this as avoiding legitimate questions. On the other hand, I’m sure you have many better things to do and, as we see so many times, it’s much easier for folks like Babu to scatter bulls**t than it is for rational people to clear it up again.

  3. cnocspeireag says:

    I suppose I find it dangerous to write off Babu’s garbage as simple babbling, as many will read this as avoiding legitimate questions. On the other hand, I’m sure you have many better things to do …

    Dangerous? We don’t teach organic chemistry here, and no one visits this blog expecting that we will do so. The uninformed can either believe Babu, or they can take the time to learn about the subject. They can also decide, based on his other arguments, if it’s worth the bother to consider anything he says as credible. The choice is theirs.