Babu Is Back in Pravda Again

One of our clandestine operatives tipped us off to a new article by Babu Ranganathan. He’s a graduate of Bob Jones University, with a major in Bible and a minor in Biology.

We’re delighted to see that Pravda is once again hosting his material. It’s a great embarrassment to the allegedly conservative Discovery Institute in Seattle, but we find that whether they’re in Seattle or in Moscow, creationism’s advocates and apologists are all the same. Their anti-Enlightenment mode of thought, their peculiar style of argument — specifically what they say about evolution — demonstrate that rejection of reason is the common thread that unites authoritarians around the world.

Babu’s latest is Does fish DNA support evolution of limbs? It’s his creationist reaction to something reported recently in PhyOrg: From fish to man: Research reveals how fins became legs. They say:

Vertebrates’ transition to living on land, instead of only in water, represented a major event in the history of life. Now, researchers reporting in the December issue of the journal Developmental Cell provide new evidence that the development of hands and feet occurred through the gain of new DNA elements that activate particular genes.

[…]

In order to understand how fins may have evolved into limbs, researchers led by Dr. Gómez-Skarmeta and his colleague Dr. Fernando Casares at the same institute introduced extra Hoxd13, a gene known to play a role in distinguishing body parts, at the tip of a zebrafish embryo’s fin. Surprisingly, this led to the generation of new cartilage tissue and the reduction of fin tissue—changes that strikingly recapitulate key aspects of land-animal limb development.

[…]

“We found that in the zebrafish, the mouse Hoxd13 control element was capable of driving gene expression in the distal fin rudiment. This result indicates that molecular machinery capable of activating this control element was also present in the last common ancestor of finned and legged animals and is proven by its remnants in zebrafish,” says Dr. Casares.

There’s also an earlier article on the same thing: Before animals first walked on land, fish carried gene program for limbs. Research like that is more than a creationist can tolerate. Babu ain’t no kin to no fish! Here are some excerpts from his very predictable rant, with bold font added by us:

The recent news is that scientists have discovered some snippets of DNA from an ancient fish that can cause mice to grow limbs. This is wrongly being hailed as evidence that fish had developed legs. Isn’t it interesting that the fish they got the DNA from didn’t have legs!

That’s right. The researchers added an extra Hoxd13 control element to the fish’s pre-existing genome, and the fish’s genome did the rest. The original fish had almost everything it needed. Let’s read on:

Imagine an evolving fish having part fins and part feet, with the fins evolving into feet. Where’s the survival advantage? It can’t use either fins or feet efficiently. These fish exist only on automobile bumper stickers!

Sorry to break the news to you, Babu, but now they also exist in the lab. He continues:

All real evolution in nature is within limits. The genes already exist for micro-evolution (variations within a biological kind such as varieties of dogs, cats, horses, cows, etc.), but not for macro-evolution (variations across biological kinds such as from sea sponge to human).

*Sigh* Let’s not go through that again. Babu repeats the same stuff in all of his articles. Much of this was covered the last time around — see Babu Is Back: Evolution Is Impossible. Here’s more:

Evolutionists hope and assume that, over millions of years, random mutations (accidental changes) in the genetic code caused by radiation from the environment will produce entirely new genes for entirely new traits in species for natural selection to use, so that macro-evolution occurs. It’s much like hoping that, if given enough time, randomly changing the sequence of letters in a cook book will turn the book into a romance novel, or a book on astronomy!

M’god — he said exactly the same thing the last time we wrote about one of his essays. Moving along:

A major problem for macro-evolution is the issue of survival of the fittest. How can a partially evolved species be fit for survival? A partially evolved trait or organ that is not complete and fully functioning from the start will be a liability to a species, not a survival asset. Plants and animals in the process of macro-evolution would be unfit for survival.

He said that before too, more than once, and we always respond with this picture of a thriving species with partially evolved wings:

Penguin

Here’s more from the brilliant creationist:

Genetic and biological similarities between species are no proof of common ancestry. Such similarities are better and more logically explained due to a common Genetic Engineer or Designer (yes, God) who designed similar functions for similar purposes in various species. Genetic information, like other forms of information, cannot arise by chance, so it’s more rational to believe that DNA or genetic similarities between species are due to intelligent design.

We can dimly understand why, if some phenomenon has no readily apparent natural explanation, a certain kind of mentality would assume that a miracle occurred. But can anyone explain why, when there is clear evidence of a natural process, anyone would insist on interpreting it as a supernatural event? Ah well, let’s jump to his final paragraph:

All the fossils that have been used to support human evolution have ultimately been found to be either hoaxes, non-human, or human, but not human and non-human. All species in the fossil record and living are complete, fully-formed, and fully functional. There’s no macro-evolution in nature.

He’s right about one thing — everything that ever lived was a fully formed creature. We may sometimes find a partial fossil, but we don’t find complete fossils of something that was only, say, the left half of an animal — something that was just wandering around waiting for evolution to provide it with the missing half. Good point, Babu!

Anyway, it’s good to see Babu back in Pravda. The Discoveroids should make him one of their “fellows” — so they can reach out to their natural constituency. The creationists’ recent occupation of the Republican party always seemed a bit awkward to us.

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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9 responses to “Babu Is Back in Pravda Again

  1. The operative phrase is “major in Bible and minor in biology.” Its galls me just to think that Bob Jones University even teaches biology. One can only imagine what those classes are like.

  2. My first thought wsa – mudskipper!

  3. “All the fossils that have been used to support human evolution have ultimately been found to be either hoaxes, non-human, or human, but not human and non-human.”

    There you go. Evolutionary theory predicts fossils that are human and simultaneously non-human. It also predicts colors that are green and non-green, and a day in the week that is Wednesday and non-Wednesday.

    It’s Kafka-logical.

    Curm, this should be one of your Readers’ Challenges:

    What Kafka-logical predictions of evolution can you think of?

    — Diog

  4. Ceteris Paribus

    @Biokid:
    If Bob Jones University Biology students barely encounter evolution because it is “only a theory”, then why does the BJU Church Music department force its students to take four semesters of Music Theory?

  5. Charles Deetz ;)

    Fish don’t have feet? They must not have Google Image Search in Russia. (Some cool pics there, not of bumperstickers.)

  6. Charles Deetz ;)

    Well, a closer look, most of those ‘fish’ are actually amphibians. I know there are fish with feet tho.

  7. What? You had Babu deported? You’re a very bad man, Curmie, very very bad. 😉

  8. We should petition the DI illuminati to honor Babu as a Senior Fellow of their wank tank.

  9. “… random mutations (accidental changes) in the genetic code caused by radiation from the environment …”
    This is what you get when you learn your biochemistry from postapocalyptic science fiction. In fact the vast majority of mutations arise from simple sloppiness in the chemistry and are quite independent of radiation.