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January 21, 2008

Barking Russian ID article.

by Feòrag

Russia: The Soviet Union was never that fond of Darwinian evolution, preferring the Lamarkian model, most notable for the idea that acquired characteristics could be passed on. Not a lot has changed since then, although the excessive influence of the church means that deliberate pseudoscience is preferred these days. If you need an article to demonstrate the sheer silliness of "Intelligent Design", the Pravda can help. Even though the article has been translated by someone who does not have English as their first language, I don't think it can be misunderstood. It's first argument is that, as we can build machines to build other machines, we must have been designed. Really.

Imagine finding a planet where robots are programmed so that they can make other robots just like themselves from raw materials.

Now, imagine an alien scientist visitor coming to the planet and, after many years of studying these robots, the alien scientist visitor comes to the conclusion that since science can explain how these robots work, operate, function, and reproduce there's no reason to believe that there was an ultimate intelligent designer behind them.

The analogy above certainly is not perfect but it is sufficient to reveal the fallacious thinking of those who attack intelligent design behind life and the universe.

It's five pages long, and your brain will hurt before you've finished the first. He again asserts that, because we understand genetics enough to tinker with it, we must have been the result of such tinkering ourselves.

Think about it! If humans must use intelligence to perform genetic engineering, to meaningfully manipulate the genetic code, then what does that say about the origin of the genetic code itself!

Yet then comes up with a refutation of his own argument -- humans haven't created life from scratch:

Contrary to popular belief, scientists have never created life in the laboratory. What scientists have done is genetically alter or engineer already existing forms of life, and by doing this scientists have been able to produce new forms of life. However, they did not produce these new life forms from non-living matte

So, if I follow the author's previous logic, this means that as we can't do it, then neither could some other being. Ah, no, apparently this means the opposite of all the earlier assertions and our inability to intelligently design an organism is now evidence against evolution.

The rest of it is strip-mined from creationist propaganda, with clichés about tornados in scrapyards making 747s and all the other bollocks with which you will be familiar if you read Pharyngula. One more example:

How, for example, were animals breathing, eating, and reproducing if their respiratory, digestive, and reproductive organs were still incomplete and evolving? How were species fighting off possibly life-threatening germs if their immune system hadn't fully evolved yet?

Like most creationists, the author deliberately does not mention God and tried to pretend that what he thinks is purely scientific in origin. Pity the extended byline gives away his motives and lack of any genuine qualifications:

The author, Babu G. Ranganathan, is an experienced Christian writer. Mr. Ranganathan has his B.A. with academic concentrations in Bible and Biology from Bob Jones University.

Meanwhile, Tasmanian Devils appear to be evolving resistance to the cancer that's been killing them off (via Red Wolf).

Understanding intelligent designPravda, 21st January 2008.

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Posted in Science Fiction at 11:30. Last modified on February 03 2008 at 21:13.
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1: Posted by: John Fruhwirth | January 22, 2008 3:32 AM


You said .. "Like most creationists, the author deliberately does not mention God"

However, I found the following reference on page 2 ... "But God was there first. Remember that!" ...

2: Posted by: Feòrag | January 22, 2008 4:23 AM

Oops. My defence is that the article is so detrimental to brains that I failed to notice it amongst all the other bollocks.