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.
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