A challenge for John Mackay (by Dan Ryder)

Mr Mackay: In the debate, you responded to the argument described in my “debate summary” (below) by saying that science is not done by majority opinion, as though my argument was just: believe what the expert biologists say. That was not my argument. I was asking for an explanation for why, if you’re right that the biological evidence points towards separate origins, virtually all the experts (i.e. the biologists) disagree with you. Are they deluded? Or just stupid?

As I showed, the standard young-earth creationist response, which is to say the biologists are deluded by dogmatic atheism, is incorrect. (40% of biologists believe in God: data here.) For some inexplicable reason, you are still clinging to this myth in your posts so far (the last paragraph of “Family Trees”, and the last paragraph of your debate summary). You can’t do that.

My challenge to you is this: what is your new explanation for why biologists are supposedly misinterpreting the evidence so catastrophically? Are all those biologists simply stupid?

2 thoughts on “A challenge for John Mackay (by Dan Ryder)

  1. STUPID BIOLOGISTS? Dan asks “Are all the biologists stupid?” How could they all be wrong? Easily. With the very next piece of data. You see that’s how science works. It’s not a majority rules scenario. It’s a minority rules scenario. The very next piece of evidence found can blow away you the entire last theory no matter how popular it’s been. That is – it should unless politics and prejudice prevent this as Dan and his atheist followers provide wonderful evidence for.

    As Huxley said: “The great tragedy of science—the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.” (1)

    Did you note the singularity Dan?
    One fact is all it takes. To say that the great majority of biologists believe something means nothing. “If 40 million Frenchman believe a stupid thing…it is still a stupid thing.” Its true for Canadians also.

    Now Dan – explain the fact – repeat fact, that fossil Comb Jellies found in the Burgess shale are still Comb jellies today ( supposedly 530 million yrs later and have been comb jellies since they appeared on planet earth and this is true for every known biological group? After their kind works Dan – give up. And remember you only have one week left of this online debate to cough up something!

    (1)Thomas Henry Huxley
    President’s Address to the British Association for the Advancement of Science, Liverpool Meeting, 14 Sep 1870. The Scientific Memoirs of Thomas Henry Huxley (1901), Vol. 3, 580.

    -John Mackay

  2. John, you didn’t answer the question. As I made clear, I’m talking about our current evidence, not some hypothetical earth-shattering piece of evidence that will supposedly blow evolution out of the water in the future. Or perhaps you’re in possession of such a piece of evidence, never before revealed? No, of course not. In your defense, you’ll trot out information (disregarding the misinformation) that everyone is aware of. (Like the comb jellies – more on those in a minute.) That is: you’ll base your conclusions on the current evidence.

    The current evidence is on the table for everyone to see. 99.9% of the experts, biologists, think that evidence points massively towards common descent. You think it doesn’t. You can’t both be right – that would be a contradiction. Therefore *one of you must be reading the current evidence incorrectly.* That follows from basic logic. (Notice I’m asking about where the current evidence points, which is different from asking what’s true.)

    Such a massive mistake in reading the current evidence would require an explanation. I’ve given mine (dogmatic Biblical inerrantism, supported by the data on young earth creationists.) I ask again: what’s yours? Your latest post makes three different suggestions:

    1) The biologists are all dogmatic atheists (“Dan and his atheist followers” – hmm, I wish I had followers, that would be cool!) I can’t believe you’re bringing this up again. (Do you question the Gross & Simmons data or something? If you do, let’s hear what the problem is.)
    2) The biologists are all stupid. (By implication from “If 40 million Frenchman believe a stupid thing…”) I assume you don’t seriously mean to suggest this, as it’s clearly laughable.
    3) The biologists have a secret political agenda. (“unless politics & prejudice prevent this…”) This conspiracy theory idea is a new one to me. I confess I am at a loss to imagine what political agenda could possibly explain the willful misrepresentation of conclusions (and data too, it would have to be) in millions of peer-reviewed articles across the globe about one particular scientific subject, and its related areas in geology, physics, etc. Please enlighten me.

    This next part is on John’s aside about the comb jellies. If you’re not worried about the comb jellies, you can stop here.

    OK, let’s look at that supposedly lynchpin piece of evidence that blows evolution out of the water: those comb jellies. (That’s unfair – in the debate you mentioned some other cases of fossils that appear to be similar to current creatures, including Wollemi pines and filamentous bacteria. I remember seeing some others on your website. Let’s say 100 examples? Feel free to correct me on that number.) According to evolutionary theory, if an environment favours a particular shape, there will be selection pressure to maintain that shape. Alternatively, there may be a developmental pressure or law of physics that maintains a particular shape. So according to evolutionary theory, we would expect to find lots of examples of shapes that are maintained for long periods. So it’s quite easy to explain your supposedly challenging fact. If you don’t think it does, please create a new main post explaining your argument here. (And please don’t trade on the popular misconception that evolution requires morphological change, because that’s false, and you know it. You also know that there are tons of examples of body plans that are found only briefly in the fossil record – although it wouldn’t even matter if this weren’t true.)

    Only a week left, you say? I see wishful thinking is settling in.

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