Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Babu Babble

Oh, my! Babu G. Ranganathan is back demonstrating his absolute lack of understanding of evolutionary theory in particular and science in general. Not wanting to risk killing too many neurons by exposing them to the neutron-star-like density of Babu's ignorance, I stopped after I ran across this:

A true transitional form would be something like a fish having part fins…part feet, or a bird having part scales…part feathers, partially one function, partially another with neither being complete or functional.
Those are actually fairly apt descriptions of Tiktaalik roseae, an intermediate form between fish and amphibians with "fins" that had basic wrist bones and simple fingers that were weight bearing, though they probably were not used to walk but, instead, were likely used to prop up the creature's body and Dilong paradoxus, a primitive tyrannosaur, which had protofeathers which were not an not an adaptation for flight but, probably, for insulation.

The strange thing is that Babu apparently thinks that the transitional features of these creature would necessarily be functionless. In fact, functionless features of organisms tend to disappear over time (think of the eyes of cavefish). As Mark Isaak's "Index to Creationist Claims," number CB925, at the Talk Origins Archive points out:

Evolution does not predict incomplete creatures. In fact if we ever saw such a thing it would pretty much disprove evolution. In order to survive, all creatures must be sufficiently adapted to their environment; thus, they must be complete in some sense.
The notion that some feature of an animal would evolve from one function to another by going through a completely functionless stage is the surest proof that Babu doesn't know what he is babbling about.

What about the transition from jaw bone to middle ear bone, where there is the famous doubly-articulated jaw of Morganucodon?

It isn't a case of the bones having neither function, but rather having both functions.

Tom S.
Babu would doubtless say that what Morganucodon had were "simply biological similarities" to either jaw or ear bones and really had some other use. Maybe they were there to keep Morganucodon's brains from leaking out its ears ... an adaptation Babu could use.
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