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Monday, October 16, 2023

Stephen Meyer lies about scientists working on evolutionary theory

I know Stephen Meyer and I have discussed his views on creationism many times. Some of the issues he raises are quite interesting and they aren't easy to refute. In this video from 2020, he presents two standard creationist objections to evolution: the Cambrian explosion, and the probability of evolving a gene.1

The first one is a standard Stephen Meyer argument and he's well aware of the major weaknesses in his argument. Nevertheless, I do not fault him for maintaining his stance that this poses a major challenge for our understanding of the history of life. The second argment is ridiculous and he knows it. I can only assume that he is advancing it in order to appeal to creationists who know far less about biology than he does.

"It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that)."

Richard Dawkins

There's something else in this video that upsets me more than those two arguments. In the beginning of the video he claims that there are genuine scientific reasons to doubt the "evolutionary account of life's origin." He mentions that he attended a 2016 conference in London (England) where they addressed "growing doubts about the modern version of Darwin's theory." In the very next sentence he addresses his "two scientific reasons to doubt this theory."

I was at that conference and I can assure you that there were no scientists who had any doubts about the evolutionary explanation of the history of life. None of them thought that the Cambrian explosion refuted evolution and none of them were stupid enough to be confused by the probability argument. They were there to discuss possible extensions of the Modern Synthesis, not to challenge the concept of evolution. It was a conference about different aspects of evolutionary theory.

Stephen Meyer knows this. I can only conclude that he is lying. That disappoints me because up until now I was content to attribute his rejection of evolution to ignorance, stupidity, or insanity, and not to wickedness.

1. The video is produced by PragerU, otherwise known as The Prager University Foundation. It's a nonprofit dedicated to promoting "American values" (such as creationism) and it is obligated to declare that it is NOT an accredited university. The fact that Stephen Meyer would collaborate with such a despicable organization shows you that Intelligent Design Creationism has sunk to new depths.


Anonymous said...

Creationist like Stephen Meyer enjoy beating dead horses but shy away from actually producing original work with positive arguments in favor of their preferred view.

C.Evans said...

I almost hesitate to launch the video on the chance that my phone will then be tagged and I'll be presented with more PragerU videos... which I don't want.

John Harshman said...

As others, I'm disinclined to watch the video. What exactly, this time, is the substance of his claim that the Cambrian explosion refutes evolution? In what way is it interesting? And your footnote #1 appears not to have a footnote attached, unless it's the reference to Prager U.

Anebo said...

It's always wickedness.

William Spearshake said...

I have argued the probability argument at UD back in the day. In short, their argument is based on a false premise. They were either too dense or too intransigent to understand it. My counter-argument, simply stated, is that according to their arguments Gordon Mullings or Philip Cunningham do not exist. If we go back in time 500 years and calculate the probability that a being with Gordon's and Philip's exact genetic make-up would be so astronomically small that it would be effectively zero. Thankfully, that is not how evolution works.