Debate Summary (by Dan Ryder)

I just received a nice email from Mr. Mackay, in which he admits that he’s got it all wrong. He now accepts evolution, and is willing to interpret Genesis as being somewhat metaphorical.

Just kidding! But he should, shouldn’t he?

We’ve seen that John’s religious dogmatism is so strong that no amount of distorting or ignoring evidence is beyond him. As long as it’s fashioned to fit with Genesis, he hears a melodious ring of truth. If it can’t fit, he doesn’t hear it at all.

The evidence suggests that this is exactly how creationists manage to misread the data so dramatically. John owed us a similar explanation for how, as he believes, the biologists could be so wrong – but he manifestly failed to do so.

Instead, we got quotemines and a failure to answer the vast majority of my challenges. When he did answer them, he fell into absurdities: for example, his comments on so-called flood geology commit him to denying myriad facts in geology, chemistry, biology, astronomy, archaeology, and even basic laws of physics.

The main theme I pursued was that there are multiple lines of utterly conclusive evidence for common descent, all based on the same common sense reasoning. John’s comments on this theme descend into contradiction. For example, he’s happy to accept the conclusive evidence for common descent in some cases (e.g. kangaroos and bacteria), but arbitrarily rejects that very same evidence in others (e.g. primates and mammals). He argues that species-level gaps in the fossil record show common descent to be impossible in those cases, while blithely admitting that exactly similar or bigger gaps exist among current organisms that are related. He denies that we’ve ever observed evolution, but needs it to happen so fast that we could film it.

John: When your hypothesis leads to contradiction, that means the hypothesis is false. (John’s not worried, though, because if the Bible says black is white, or that there are circumstances in which it’s OK to beat people to death, it must be true.)

Since I’ve been denied the right to post even the smallest comment in response to John’s debate summary (in which it’s rumoured he’ll be linking to lots of rubbish without fear of me exposing him), here are some links that might help you figure out where any new mistakes are:

Talk Origins (see especially here [updated here] and here. If John falsely implies that a common creator can explain the pattern of organism similarities, see here.
Talk Reason
• evangelical Christian biologist Dennis Venema
The Panda’s Thumb group blog
• A simple introduction to evolution

Thanks to John Mackay, the Creation Club… and to you for reading!

Debate Summary (by John Mackay)

Most of what Dr. Dan did over the past weeks was attack straw men and shown his misunderstanding of the biblical creation model.

Dan tried (and failed) to connect languages with biological evolution. Fact – languages/dogs change, but this is not evidence organisms change to completely different kinds

Dan also claimed small mutational genetic changes accumulate to evolve new organisms. The late biology professor Lynn Margulis famously stated: “Never, however, did that one mutation make a wing, a fruit, a woody stem, or a claw appear…No evidence in the vast literature of heredity changes shows unambiguous evidence that random mutation itself, even with geographical isolation of populations, leads to speciation.” I agree. No one has observed the evolution of a single new body part let alone new organisms. Supermutagenesis experiments of fruit flies for over 100 years underscores this failure. Organisms give rise to progeny only slightly varied from their parents. I support common ancestry in that every organism can be traced back to separately created parents.

Likewise Erwin’s paper challenges Dan’s claims;

As for fossils, they support the creation model very well. “Most fossil species appear suddenly without transitional forms in a layer of rock and persist essentially unchanged until disappearing from the record of rocks as suddenly as they appeared.” (Graham and Campbell, Biology: Concepts and Connections, 2006, p. 290.) This means the first fossil bat, seal, ant or shrimp is essentially identical to modern versions with no hint of differing ancestors from which they supposedly evolved. Fossils are a record of sudden death, representing catastrophically torn apart ecosystems transported and buried, first during Noah’s flood, and later in smaller cataclysms

Dan supports geologic strata of great age and cited varves in the Cache Creek area. But I have a buried complete fossil mesosaur across many varves which proves multiple varves can be deposited rapidly. Also, Guy Berthault’s flume experiments showed that mixed mineral laden currents do RAPIDLY produce strata explaining how fish can be fossilized in the act of eating one another, again undermining Dan’s deep time argument.

During the debate, I asked for evidence of molecules-to-man evolution (macroevolution). Dan boasted science overwhelmingly favours evolution because of “the sheer weight of evidence,” which he would cite in the online debate.

Dan still hasn’t cited this evidence. Put up or shut up as they say. Sadly Dan has done neither.

More Observable evidence



Sidetrack Dan (by John Mackay)

SIDETRACK DAN is a good label for what you have often tried to do in this debate on fossils and genetics support evolution etc Dan. I have ignored most of them such as homosexuality, the age of trees and Old Testament being in error about slaves, therefore not inspired etc, so let me just put a perspective on this.

You raised C14 age of trees as indisputable evidence the Genesis record could not be taken literally. That would be a great argument except for one thing! Dating method results are not facts. You may choose to believe that whatever Carbon 14 is doing now it has always done, a basic necessity for the method to work, which is your only option if you have no authoritative witness from the past. But you need to admit that you got this assumption from the founding father of modern Geology from Charles Lyell who is on record as declaring the reason for his choice of such an assumption was his aim “to free the science from Moses!”( ref…)

He was well aware Genesis teaches the opposite. The present is very different from the past. Lyell knew nothing about C14 but he knew Genesis teaches God made the world very good. Ipso facto: in a good world devoid of death and suffering there was no loose canon H.E. radiation from above or below. Implication; not even short lived isotopes such as C14 would prove reliable in trying to reach beyond Noahs flood. Again – its not the facts that contradict genesis – it is your opinion as your create arguments. The reason why C14 and all the other methods contradict Genesis is they are designed to do this as Lyell and his disciple Darwin and their descendant Sidetrack Dan. Besides the most important point here is the age of a tree has little to do with how it got to be a tree. So where are your fossils and genetics Dan. All favour the mate. Sudden appearance and after their kind.

You are on your own Dan: “In any case, no real evolutionist, whether gradualist or punctuationist, uses the fossil record as evidence in favour of the theory of evolution as opposed to special creation” – Mark Ridley, ‘Who doubts evolution?’, New Scientist, vol. 90, 25 June 1981, p. 831 plus: “Fossil evidence of human evolutionary history is fragmentary and open to various interpretations. Fossil evidence of chimpanzee evolution is absent altogether”. Henry Gee, ³Return to the Planet of the Apes,² Nature, Vol. 412, 12 July 2001, p. 131.

AS FOR ADMITTING a god for the purpose of the debate, the real God was unimpressed and neither was I his servant.

When you claim that some of the statements re slavery show the fallibility of scripture be careful Dan. Atheist philosophers are normally those who favour woman’s rights to kill their babies in the womb, of getting rid of the elderly when it is convenient, and of assisted suicide, so you are not in a moral position to judge how to treat slaves in a culture far different than yours. Of course if you are against any or all the above, now is the time to say so and then explain why. I can. God as creator has the right to tell us what is wrong. Stronger than that even. He has the right to judge us and will do so one day. Better yet. The Creator Christ came down to earth to die in our place so we could be forgiven all the murders and immorality thefts and adultery etc, that plague mankind, if we but humble ourselves and ask. I did.


Kind (by John Mackay)

UNKIND DAN as this debate draws to a close and I sit here in Toronto airport pondering Dan slates faux pas grande, I am amused by his statement John: thank you for defining “kind” for me. You say the term refers to a group of organisms that are all related by common descent. OK, fine. (Dan Ryder on February 27, 2012 at 12:54 pm)

You remind me Dan of when I first went to the USA 30 yrs ago and was very homesick. Missing wife and new baby and the young family where I stayed also had a new child so in perfect innocence I asked if could nurse the baby. The mother looked horrified . The husband embarrassed. What they meant by nurse was very different than what we Aussies meant. We meat to hold the baby – the Americans meant to breast feed it. So get it into your head Dan when we talk about common descent within a kind we are not talking about evolutionist common descent. Your atheistic theory of common descent means lifeless molecules becoming cells, becoming multicelled, becoming fish, becoming amphibians etc up to man and it is still happening. Creation of Biblical kind means the bird kind is unrelated to the fish kind. Mankind is unrelated to ape kind. But all humans black white or any shade in between are related and have not evolved by millions of years of natural selection plus mutation. Hence the creationist term Mankind Single cells did not originate from lifeless molecules, but were created by the cleverness of the pre-existent creator Christ and in my last post for this debate that’s the topic I will address.

Trees and Kinds (by John Mackay)

HOW KIND? Yes it is true – I have hammered and will continue to hammer after their kind. You claim my use the of the term ‘kind’ is spectacularly vague. Nonsense. It is experimentally proven that organisms reproduce after their kind. What’s vague about that?
Kind simply refers to all those creatures that are related as in mankind being unrelated to the bird kind or the ape kind. You want the actual details on how God created? We know about as much about that process as evolutionists know about abiogenesis. But here is the difference. Complex information ALWAYS comes from intelligence. Always. This is where evolution fails big time. We have a source of complex information in the intelligence of God. Evolutionist have to rely on experimentally unsupported, yet to be found mechanisms they accept by blind faith alone! You continually view mutations/natural selection as the hero of the evolution story when there is no evidence that our laboratory efforts can mutate new types of organisms and gain new complex information. Our
attempts to scientifically reproduce the evolution fantasy have all proved to be failures. And that with carefully controlled lab conditions, scientists etc., and not natural non-guided conditions which is what evolution demands. The amount of your faith in evolution is admirable but foolishly founded in desperation. As Dr. Kemp curator of Zoological Collections at Oxford University so clearly stated; “To account for evolutionary changes that take millions of years to completion solely by reference to processes that can be studied only over tens of years requires an extraordinary faith.” T S Kemp, Fossils and Evolution, Oxford University Press, 1999, p 251. No, that is not a quote mine.

DATING TREES: I couldn¹t believe you would waste space in the debate on tree ring chronology since showing that a pine tree is old only undermines your case. If pine trees have remained pine trees for 10,000, or 30,000 or 300,000,000 yrs, then you have made a
claim that is no help to your argument for evolution. Knowing how old they are does not tell us where they came from. But the older you make them the longer we can argue they have not evolved! There is no observation evolution does happen, no mechanism to show it can, and no evidence to support it has ever happened! On this basis Dan I could allow you millions of years and safely predict you will find nothing evolves into a new KIND of organism. Case closed! Yet again- but are you listening?

Fossils and Finches (by John Mackay)

Dan we’ve been waiting nearly 2 weeks for that promised evidence and to date your blog entries read as just so many insinuations and patronizing replies. So let’s move the debate up a notch.

FOSSIL RECORD: We have established, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that organisms appear suddenly in the fossil record, have no ancestors and have been stable in form from their first appearance on earth. This fact alone speaks against evolution and supports the Biblical Kind account. The argument that the fossil record doesn’t support evolution because organisms have evolved to reach astable ‘equilibrium’ with selection pressure is not persuasive and is frankly a bit of a cop-out.

The fossil record doesn’t support the change from one kind of organism to another at all which you have to establish in order to convince any of us that the evolution of kinds has occurred! I am surprised you haven’t brought up evolution’s favourite whale of a tale story but perhaps you are beginning to see the flaws in that one.

The time is way past for you to argue that the fossil record is inadequate and spotty and only catches some change. It has been 150 yrs since Darwin and we have found billions of fossils. Billions. It’s hard to sweep that amount of evidence under the rug when we all know that not one example of an invertebrate ­ fish evolution sequence exists. That IS damning evidence. The experts in the field admit that the fossil record does not support evolution as I have repeatedly stated and you have repeatedly ignored.

GALAPAGOS FINCHES: You also ask; ‘Was the common design in finches achieved thru God targeting genetic changes?’ Are you deliberating baiting me with this? The genetic information for all finches was already present in its ancestor. As they proliferated, the different types of finches occupied different environments and it was these changes that Darwin used to support his theory of evolution. We now know that these finch changes are not caused by mutations. The genetic information for all finch beak shapes is built in and they can flip flop beak shape almost at will. This is adaptation and natural selection but it is not evolution. More information can be found here Nature, vol. 445, p563, 3 Aug 2006. And don’t forget that creationists were the first to define natural selection and adaptation before Darwin’s book. We emphasize that natural selection is not evolution. All that natural selection produces is the LOSS of genetic material and variability. It can’t evolve anything, just eliminate the unfit in a population. Finches turning into finches is of no use to you Dan and every support to us creationists. Admit it mate – you’ve lost.

LANGUAGE ANALOGY Ryder’s Fatal Errors (by John Mackay)

Dan, why are you still playing around with languages to prove evolution? We agree languages do change over time and they do descend from a parent language. The bible describes exactly that. One common created language for all people which was first changed at Babel. But you abuse the analogy when you claim changing languages are a picture for the biological world where ‘one thing descended from another’. Are you kidding? Your language analogy has nothing to do with how simple chemicals formed the first cell, how naturalistic processes produced a genetic language from no language and then continued without intelligent input to generate increasing information. Language analogies also have nothing to do with whether fossils show how one type of organism evolved into a totally different organism. Could we stick to the debate question about fossil/genetic evidence and stop equivocating. You compare languages (invented by intelligent designers) to the genetic code which you describe as being much more complicated than languages. So let’s think that one through. Languages come from intelligence but a far more complicated genetic program happened by itself. Care to backtrack on that? Shouldn’t you conclude that since languages have come from intelligence therefore a much more complicated and efficient genetic code came from a much more competent and superior intelligence? That’s logical. You mention chimps and humans have 98% similar DNA. You¹re out of date. Recent studies now show quite a difference between chimp and humans on chromosome 22. I quote: ‘The results reported this week showed that “83% of the genes have changed between the human and the chimpanzee only 17% are identical so that means that the impression that comes from the 1.2% [sequence] difference is [misleading]. In the case of protein structures, it has a big effect,” Sakaki said.’ Furthermore, chimp and human Y chromosomes differ by more than 30% in a recent study. And you accused me of not researching things!

You make the statement that biologists have even better evidence for common descent among organisms. But the only common descent through time that could be demonstrated must come from fossils which do go all the way back to the original and separate kinds – but no further. Biologists have no evidence for a common ancestor of all life, no matter how insistently they point out gene similarities. Explanations are not evidence. We actually have evidence that kinds reproduce their same kinds in the present and all through observed history which is thoroughly supported by the fossil record. Besides as I stated during the debate ­ genetic mechanisms for replication prevent organisms from evolving.

My punch line? Museums are estimated to contain 100 billion invertebrate fossils plus another 500,000 fossilized fish. Evolutionists claim invertebrates gave rise to fishes. Surely 100 billion fossil invertebrates might contain one example showing how an ancestor evolved a backbone and ultimately became a fish. But there is ***absolutely no evidence*** for this supposed transition! Given the plethora of fossils and the inadequacies of the fossil record to support evolution…evolution has become the god of the gaps. The huge number of fossils is more than a lack of evidence for invertebrates evolving to fish. It’s damning evidence against evolution, and wonderful evidence that Genesis is accurate about how life was created to function ­ it really does produce after its kind! As you might say: case closed!


It is impossible to escape damning fossil evidence with the claim that evolution predicts there will be creatures that remain stable – such as the comb jellies I asked you about, without asking ( and more honestly answering) how many such groups behave that way? If it is only one or two or even the 100 groups you state you found on then you might be able to ignore them and argue from the rest to show evidence of creatures having been fossilised in the process of evolving. But we have already quoted the problem with fossils as stated in your own Uni text book and you didn’t listen so here’s the important bit again; “….fossil species usually appear suddenly in a layer of rocks, and may persist essentially unchanged for the whole time they exist on earth, finally disappearing from the record of the rocks as suddenly as they appeared.”(1). Stop showing your ignorance Dan and start giving us evidence of real and observed evolution.

I first encountered this problem when I was an evolutionist during one year of my paleontology studies where we used Prof Carters text Structure and Habitat in Vertebrate Evolution. Full of wonderful diagrams on how life evolved – but the end of every chapter asked a far more important question – do you actually see this in the rocks? And in every case the answer then and now is NO! What you see is not just the comb jellies – not just the hundreds of specimens of scallops or oysters or stromatolites etc I have personally collected, but you see it in every group. As Carter taught us; “We do not have any available fossil group which can categorically be claimed to be the ancestor of any other group. We do not have in the fossil record any specific point of divergence of one life form for another, and generally each of the major life groups has retained its fundamental structural and physiological characteristics throughout its life history and has been conservative in habitat.“(2). That was when I began to doubt evolution Dan and 40 years of follow up fossil collecting confirms Carter is right.

Even Prof Gould who invented the punctuated equilibrium evolution theory to try to overcome this very real observation restated it in 1977 as; ‘All paleontologists know that the fossil record contains precious little in the way of intermediate forms; transitions between major groups are characteristically abrupt.’(3) Likewise cofounder of Punctuated Evolution Niles Eldridge rephrased it again in 1995: “No wonder palaeontologists shied away from evolution for so long. It never seemed to happen. Assiduous collecting up cliff faces yields zigzags, minor oscillations, and the very occasional slight accumulation of change over millions of years, at a rate too slow to account for all the prodigious change that has occurred in evolutionary history.”(4)

Wake up Dan the fossils are not only no use to evolution – they are the death of it, and all living things deny your atheistic evolution as well. You can even go and experiment with bacteria and get them to go through millions of generations and thousand of mutations to try to simulate evolution, but it’s been done and the end we have seen them stay bacteria. How long they have been doing this for was emphasised in the fossil Filamentous Bacteria I showed during the debate from the supposedly 3 1/4 billion year old West Australian rocks.(5) So if you want an absolute statement – bacteria have been bacteria for as long as we can prove they have been on planet earth. They provably produce their own kind in all present day observed processes, as well as showing every genetic ability to resist evolving at every opportunity. At the wish of being repetitive, they behave in accordance with the formulae Genesis states God created by; After their own Kind! Give up Dan. You’ve lost. God is and He did Create!

See our Article “A World Full of Living Fossils”. Download PDF here
1.Campbell Mitchell and Reese, Biology Concepts and Connections, Benjamin Cummings 1994, p286.
2. G. S. Carter, Professor. Fellow of Corpus Christi College. Cambridge, England. Structure and Habit in Vertebrate Evolution. University of Washington Press.
3. Stephen Jay Gould ‘ The return of hopeful monsters’. Natural History, vol.LXXXVI(6), June-July 1977, p.24.
4. Niles Eldridge (1995) Reinventing Darwin, Wiley & Sons, p95.
5. Filamentous microfossils in a 3,235-million-year-old volcanogenic massive sulphide deposit. Birger Rasmussen, Nature 405, 676-679, 8 June 2000

Family Trees (by John Mackay)


During the debate Ryder made much of family trees providing substantive genetic evidence for evolution, whilst at the same time he quietly conceded fossils are not much help to his case. Darwin’s original tree diagrams were constructed to show present day species ascending in branch form from others until far down the tree, you reached a common but unknown ancestor. Modern trees are more likely to resemble many separate trees ultimately merging into two trunks then finally and much more definitively showing one organism – the common ancestor of all life.

But in Darwin’s Bi Centennial year 2009, the front page of New Scientist January 24th read DARWIN WAS WRONG referring to the key article on family trees. It included such insights as;

“For a long time the holy grail was to build a tree of life”
Eric Bapteste,
Evolutionary biologist
Pierre & Marie Curie University,
New Scientist, 24 Jan 09, pp34-39.

And; “The tree of life is not something that exists in nature, it’s a way that humans classify nature.”
W. Ford Doolittle
Dalhousie University,
Halifax, Nova Scotia
New Scientist, 24 Jan 09, pp34-39.

Since the authors are old earth evolutionists their points are simple to follow. First: such trees are not the result of the evidence but simply the consequence of how researchers arrange the evidence based on current presuppositions – and today that means evolution, so as one author stated:

“We have no evidence at all that the tree of life is a reality.”
Eric Bapteste,
Evolutionary biologist
Pierre & Marie Curie University,
New Scientist, 24 Jan 09, pp34-39.

If we add to that a beautiful fossil quote from a Biology text used at Ryders own University;

“Many evolutionary biologists since Darwin’s time have been struck by the failure of the fossil record to conform to the gradualist model. Few sequences have ever been found that represent gradual transitions of species. Instead, fossil species usually appear suddenly in a layer of rocks, and may persist essentially unchanged for the whole time they exist on earth, finally disappearing from the record of the rocks as suddenly as they appeared.”
Campbell Mitchell and Reese, Biology Concepts and Connections, Benjamin Cummings 1994, p286.
Then it shouldn’t surprise us that one author in the January 09 New Scientist stated;“The tree of life is being politely buried, we all know that.” And went on to further say

“ What’s less accepted is that our whole fundamental view of biology needs to change.”
Michael Rose,
Evolutionary biologist
University of California, Irvine
New Scientist, 24 Jan 09, pp34-39.

And with that statement I profoundly agree. That fundamental view of Biology is presently naturalistic evolutionism.

We should note that evolutionists and creationists both believe in family trees and descent with modification. But evolutionists believe family trees go back to an uncreated common ancestor of all life whereas we creationists argue real and separate family trees go back to separately created ancestors for each kind. The evidence from the fossil record clearly supports our view because fossil organisms for each kind always appear suddenly and fully formed with no hint of ancestors (see quote from Biology Concepts and Connections) The authors have used this fact to illustrate problems in the differing evolutionist family trees of Darwinism vs Punctuated Evolution. When we add data from the longest biological experiment ever done by man – farming over thousands of years, it is an observed and repeatedly tested fact that dogs only produce dogs, cats cats etc. i.e. they are only ever observed to produce after their kind. Experimentally, this damning evidence effectively nullifies all theories of evolution.

Since Ryder quietly conceded during the debate fossils are not much help to his case, plus we now know his favoured family trees are fatally flawed by his evolutionist atheist preconceptions, again we ask; “Can you provide any evidence for evolution, that does not presuppose evolution has already happened? OTHERWISE – We must all conclude this is a world where all creatures are observed to only reproduce their own KIND as Genesis states they were created to do!”

John Mackay’s debate summary

INTRODUCTION. Make testable predictions resulting from good creation, followed by degenerate change to creatures made separately to reproduce own kind ; i.e.

1. Life, ECOSYSTEMS will show I.D. properties not derived from parts they are made of.
2. Fossil/ Bio evidence – will show creatures have been recognisably separate groups from beginning.
3. Earths age will prove irrelevant to since evidence of a Creation is independent of its age.
4 . But since degeneration is time dependant the longer life exists the more degeneration will occur .
5. Original ID will be overlaid by degenerate change to genomes, climate .. producing struggle, survival of fittest, natural selection, devolution …

DEFENCE 2 KEY points:

1.Show fossil and living creatures have provably produced own kind (not species).
…our ability to classify both living and fossil species distinctly and using the same criteria, “fit splendidly with creationist tenets.”
Stephen Jay Gould (Professor of Geology and Paleontology, Harvard University), ‘A quahog is a quahog’,
Natural History, vol.88 (7), 1979, pp. 18-26.

“In virtually all cases a new taxon appears for the first time in the fossil record with most definitive features already present, and practically no known stem-group forms.”
T. S. Kemp, Fossils and Evolution Oxford University Press 1999 , p246,

2. Show such genetic stability maintained by possessing DNA designed to prevent evolution and produce ‘after its Kind.’
DNA 60 plus repair mechanisms do maintain stability and when any fail, result is not evolution but at best lesser stability; at worst degeneration.

CONCLUSION Plenty of opinions and theories on fossils and genetics disagree with Biblical Creation. The facts don’t!

Real problem is redefinition: Scientific theories are ….. explanations about aspects of nature without reference to God.” The Science Teacher, Nov 2003, p34. So any answer acceptable to science provided it is Agnostic or Atheistic. Creation ruled out by anti intellectual fiat declaration.