Biographies for John Mackay and Dr. Dan Ryder


John Mackay is the Australian Director of Creation Research. He has informally debated Richard Dawkins on Youtube, and the NCSE’s [National Center for Science Education] Eugenie Scott on radio.

John has formally debated the Centre for Inquiry’s Christopher DiCarlo, John Polkinghorne (the UK’s leading theistic evolutionist), among others.

John has presented his research at geological conferences and lectured extensively in universities, schools and churches throughout North America, Europe, the Caribbean, New Zealand, Australia and Asia. He is a published author and has appeared widely on radio and television.

A favourite quote submitted by John:

“The truth shall set you free.” –inscribed in the Sandstone mantle above the old entrance to the Science Department at Queensland University, and quoted from Jesus Christ.


Dr. Dan Ryder is UBCO Assistant Professor of Philosophy, where he has taught since 2004. Dr. Ryder has a background in both philosophy and biology, with a BSc in Cellular, Molecular, and Microbial Biology, an MA in Philosophy and Neuroscience (both from the University of Calgary), and a PhD in Philosophy (from the University of North Carolina). His current research focuses on theoretical neuroscience and its implications for longstanding questions in the philosophy of mind. As an active member of the Centre for Inquiry, he is also interested in the promotion of good thinking practices in the general public.

A favourite quote submitted by Dan:

“What is the aim of philosophy? To be clear-headed rather than confused; lucid rather than obscure; rational rather than otherwise; and to be neither more, nor less, sure of things than is justifiable by argument or evidence.” –Geoffrey Warnock

Rules for the Online Debate

I would like to apologise for not making this clear earlier. The online debate will be between Dr Dan Ryder and John Mackay only. The format will be as follows:
1.) The main points of the debate will be posted on the blog
2.) Both debaters will be able to discuss their positions by posting comments on the main points

The debate is being done this way to prevent people from posting spam or irrelevant comments. This blog is intended as a continuation of the debate between Dr. Dan Ryder and John Mackay. If you would like to discuss anything with the debaters, e-mailing them directly would probably be the best idea.

John Mackay’s Opening Argument

I will show that the genetic and fossil evidence better supports the
biblical creation model.

The founding fathers of genetics (Gregor Mendel) and modern palaeontology (Nicholas Steno) interpreted the scientific evidence in harmony within a creationist paradigm. It was Steno who first began to unravel the true nature of fossils, unlike the understanding that was inherited from the ancient Greeks. Still, Lamarck, Lyell, Darwin, and others rejected the creationist paradigm and moved towards the alternative of naturalism and atheism.

I will present abundant genetic and fossil evidence for biblical creation,
and discuss the faith basis inherent in both origin models.

Dan Ryder’s Opening Argument

Why are French and Italian so strikingly similar? Common sense dictates that they are descended from an earlier language: Latin, as it happens. The massive similarities alone are enough to demonstrate common descent, although we also happen to have “fossil” evidence in the form of writing. Just as linguists have constructed vast family trees of related languages on the basis of similar words, biologists have done the same on the basis of similar genetic codes. Young earth creationists’ denial of common descent forces them to deny common sense, motivated only by a dogmatic adherence to a literal interpretation of Genesis.