Creationist Wisdom #497: Babu Is Back

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in The Mercury from Pottstown, Pennsylvania, and it’s titled Did God use evolution to create? Like an earlier letter in that newspaper, about which we wrote Creationist Wisdom #481: Babu Ranganathan, this one is from the same author.

As you know, we don’t use the full name of a letter-writer, unless he’s a politician, preacher, or some other public figure. But Babu Ranganathan is an exception. We used to write about his articles when they appeared in Pravda, but they seem to have abandoned him. He’s a graduate of Bob Jones University, with a major in Bible and a minor in what that school calls Biology.

We’ll give you a few excerpts from his latest — but as with his last letter, we won’t give you too many because like all his other writings, this is the usual collection of long-refuted creationist nonsense, and you’ve seen it all before. The newspaper has a comments feature, but Babu’s letter has attracted only one so far. Perhaps that will change. Okay, here we go, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

He begins by referring to the Pope’s recent comments on evolution and the Big Bang. We wrote about that here: Pope Francis, Evolution, & the Big Bang. Then he says:

Contrary to the Pope’s assertions, literal creationists do not believe God used magic to create. Magic is not real. There’s no actual cause/effect relationship in magic. God used supernatural power to bring about creation and established natural laws to maintain or conserve creation, and those natural laws God established allow for only micro-evolution (limited evolution) to occur in nature, not macro-evolution.

Good point! Magic isn’t real, but Oogity Boogity makes sense. Then he tells us:

Only changes or mutations that occur in the genetic code of reproductive cells (i.e. sperm and egg) can be passed on to offspring. Modern evolutionists believe and hope that over, supposedly, millions of years, random genetic mutations in the genes of reproductive cells caused by environmental radiation will generate entirely new genes. This is total blind and irrational faith on the part of evolutionists. It’s much like believing that randomly changing the sequence of letters in a romance novel, over millions of years, will turn it into a book on astronomy! That’s the kind of blind faith macro-evolutionists have.

Egad — it’s blind and irrational faith! Babu doesn’t want any of that! Let’s read on:

How could species have survived if their vital tissues, organs, reproductive systems, etc. were still evolving? A partially evolved trait or organ that is not complete and fully functioning from the start would be a liability to a species, not a survival asset.

Right. Whatcha gonna do with half a heart and half an eyeball? He continues:

All the fossils that have been used to support human evolution have been found to be either hoaxes, non-human, or human, but not non-human and human (i.e. Neanderthal Man was discovered later to be fully human).

Right again! It’s all a fraud. Here’s more:

What about genetic and biological similarities between species? Genetic information, like other forms of information, cannot happen by chance, so it is more logical to believe that genetic and biological similarities between all forms of life are due to a common Designer who designed similar functions for similar purposes. It doesn’t mean all forms of life are biologically related!

And now we come to the end:

Also, so-called “Junk DNA” isn’t junk. These segments of DNA have recently been found to be vital in regulating gene expression (i.e. when, where, and how genes are expressed, so they’re not “junk”).

Are you convinced, dear reader? If not, we can’t imagine why. We’ll end by once more expressing our gratitude to The Mercury for rescuing Babu from oblivion. We’ve missed him since he was a regular in Pravda.

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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16 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #497: Babu Is Back

  1. Our Curmudgeon challenges us:

    Whatcha gonna do with half a heart and half an eyeball?

    Hey, no problemo. Creationists function with less than half a brain…

  2. For some reason, I can not seem to understand the difference between “magic” and “supernatural power”. If I observe something that does not seem to be a possible result of a natural process, how can I tell if it was due to magic [or] a manifestation of supernatural power?

  3. @Stephen Kennedy
    I’m not altogether sure what “natural” and “supernatural” mean.
    It seems to be that natural means that it follows some rules. In which case, how does supernatural differ from what the creationists complain about evolution, that it is pure chance?
    Maybe natural means something like: Start off with the laws of matter and energy, and then the laws that are completions of those laws.
    Then magic is occupying a different domain of rules.
    And the rules of the supernatural have no overlapping with the rules of the natural?
    And then there is the domain of mathematics, which has its own rules.
    I don’t know.

  4. Dave Luckett

    Ah, Mr Kennedy. Allow me to edjumicate you: magic is when there is no cause. The conjurer says “hey, presto!” and the effect happens without any explanation. Supernatural power is when there is no cause: the deity says a word (which was there from the beginning, only nobody knows what word it was) and the effect happens because of that explanation.

    See the difference? Oh, look over there. Shiny!

  5. “There’s no actual cause/effect relationship in magic. God used supernatural power to bring about creation and established natural laws to maintain or conserve creation, ,,,”

    Hmm, isn’t supernatural power magic? He’s blown his own argument.

  6. @Megalonyx: “Creationists function with less than half a brain…”
    Oh, my friend you are so cruel. Completely accurate of course, but a little cruel. At least if you squint the right way.

  7. “Supernatural,” in my opinion, is a null word, one without meaning. If something exists, it’s part of nature. If it seems to violate “natural law,” that’s because our understanding of natural law is imperfect.

    At the end of the nineteenth century, radioactivity seemed to violate the law of conservation of energy. Einstein showed that it didn’t, because the laws of conservation of matter and of energy are really one and the same and matter can be transformed into energy. And his famous E=mc2 didn’t come out of nowhere; he derived it mathematically from earlier physics equations.

    Likewise, any seemingly “magical” or “supernatural” phenomenon is merely one whose natural explanation we don’t know. In theological terms, one might say that if God exists, he created the laws of nature and does not violate them, ever–though the laws may allow seemingly “magical” things to happen.

  8. Supernatural may be nature we don’t understand yet, but at this point it is more likely to be the percolating of the electrochemical soup our brain relies on to function combined with some idiotic stories told to us as children.

  9. Wow, a graduate of Bob Jones University – hoo ha! That “university” bases its “science” on YEC philosophy. I find it interesting that they are accredited by the “Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools”; I assume that no broadly recognized accreditation agency would touch them

  10. Either Bob Jones University’s biology department doesn’t know about natural selection, or the good Babu wasn’t paying attention. As for his comment “…believing that randomly changing the sequence of letters in a romance novel, over millions of years, will turn it into a book on astronomy” I’m pretty sure that if some literary process mimiced the role of natural selection, preserving appropriate letter changes and discarding others, it could change a romance novel, or even the bibble, into an astronomy text in a few million years.

  11. I’m quite sure Bob Jones University is well aware of selection but I’d hazard a guess* that their position is that if it isn’t guided by an intelligent agent it’s just random. They likely have a distorted idea of what is and what isn’t random.

    *Based on years of interaction with creationists.

  12. @Tundra Boy
    I have seen the “random” argument, and (as I speculate above) what is more random than an agency which is not following any rules? And what are the rules that God follows? God could give us the power of sight by giving us eyes like insects, like octopuses, or (yes, God could) like potatoes.

  13. Babu is back? Didn’t Jerry Seinfeld have him deported in 1993?

  14. Modern evolutionists believe and hope that over, supposedly, millions of years, random genetic mutations in the genes of reproductive cells caused by environmental radiation will generate entirely new genes. This is total blind and irrational faith on the part of evolutionists. It’s much like believing that randomly changing the sequence of letters in a romance novel, over millions of years, will turn it into a book on astronomy! That’s the kind of blind faith macro-evolutionists have.

    This is just the “odds” argument in a different shape- “what are the odds that a romance novel could randomly become an astronomy book in a few million years.” But “odds” depends on predicting a specified goal- the “astronomy book”- while evolution as a past process had none- any outcome would be as good as any other; so if (say) a Stephen King novel were to result instead, or pure gobbledygook, that outcome would be just as “acceptable” (for lack of a better word) for a process that just doesn’t “care” (again for lack of a better word).

    (BTW- Frank, no, Jerry didn’t “have” Babu deported, he just forgot to pick up his mail, with his INS renewal notice (or whatever it was)- so the outcome was Babu getting deported. Again, not a normative process or an aim of it. But Jerry was “a wery, wery bad man- wery, wery, bad” anyway.)

  15. Diogenes Lamp

    Creationists nowadays are going to great lengths to redefine the word “magic.” Why? Because for decades we’ve asked what was THEIR hypothesis, and pointed out that all their “explanations” and “answers” boil down to “it happened by magic.” They know that’s a strong argument, so they have to redefine “magic”, just like they redefined “macroevolution”, “information”, etc.

    What’s impressive is that they’re not just trying to redefine “magic” so that it allegedly excludes the supernatural . That would be funny enough. No, they’re trying to redefine “magic” so that it INCLUDES evolution by observed natural processes, but EXCLUDES the supernatural, inexplicable actions of a transcendent, inscrutable God. That’s chutzpah.

    Watch closely: this is how all Christian apologetics works:

    1. Start with conclusion, “God did it.”

    2. Work backwards to premise that makes 1 appear to logically follow. Falsely call that your “starting premise.”

    3. Redefine words arbitrarily to make “starting premise” in 2 seem plausible and non-self-contradictory.

    With this argument, the creationists passed step 2– they worked backwards to the premise “Evolution is magic, but God’s supernatural actions are not”– and now they’re working on step 3, trying to redefine “magic” to make this $π!+ look plausible.

  16. Diogenes Lamp: “Watch closely: this is how all Christian apologetics works:”

    Funny how some of the biggest advocates of “Christian apologetics” are Jews like Medved and Klinghoffer. But whether Christian, Jew, Muslim, or the occasional agnostic (e.g. Berlinski), the worst response is argue that “God didn’t do it.” Even if one is 100% convinced of that, it only legitimizes their faulty method. The best thing to do is to ask what God (or the unnamed designer) did, where, when and how. Of course that works best if others are present who are neither hopelessly committed evolution-deniers nor fully aware of the games that evolution-deniers play. It will not take much to show that audience how that denier operates (knowingly or not) on a double standard.