Fresh from his recent reappearance on KKMS, where he debated me with a new strategy which gave him a slight chance of winning (i.e., one in which I was not present), Geoffrey Simmons is now crowing victory. It’s very strange. Why would anyone with any sense think that demanding a ‘debate’ in which one is unopposed and has a sympathetic moderator and which suppresses audience input is in any way anything but an act of cowardice and intellectual bankruptcy?
This is posted on Evolution News and Views, the Discovery Institute’s version of Pravda, but since they don’t bother to link to any of my articles to which they specifically refer, and since they don’t take comments themselves, I see no point in linking to them. Here is the complete text of Simmons’ vainglorious howl of triumph.
Against Stupidity, God Himself Is Helpless – Old Jewish Proverb
Before the recent KKMS (MN radio) debate, Dr. P.Z. Myers blogged on Pharyngula that he would decimate me. Within minutes of the show’s conclusion, he blogged that he accomplished his goal, never conceding a single point from an hour long show. It is worth one’s while to read his blogs and those that follow as they readily speak to the character of these folks, much moreso than I could ever do. Richard Dawkins was also quick to compliment the professor and add to the feeding frenzy. Again, no concessions. They had their hearing aids turned off before the show even started.
Other than winning points for outright rudeness and making up fiction, what part of the debate did this tax-paid professor win? Could it be the five or so fossil pieces from dog-size animals that represent intermediate species between land animals and the quadrillion-cell whale with unexplained tons of blubber, communication skills that span thousands of miles, a windpipe separate from the esophagus (unheard of in land animals), segmental decompression, a heart the size of a Volkswagon, ability to dive thousands of meters deep or eat a krill diet? Or, was it the fact that a sperm and egg cell can unite to form a 10-75 trillion cell human being without going through 10-75 trillion trial and errors? Perhaps it was my misunderstanding of their ways of critiquing the theory of evolution? To me, it’s like having your brother correct your homework. Lastly, where is the rule that says one has to have an alternative and provable explanation for the origin of life before one can criticise Darwinian thought? Cannot a child point to the leaks in a dam and warn people of an impending flood without any knowledge about dam construction? Their rule, this requirement, doesn’t exist.
– Geoffrey Simmons, M.D.
Author of What Darwin Didn’t Know and Billions of Missing Links
So much, so wrong.
We all had our hearing aids turned up, I assure you. How else could we laugh at Dr Simmons’ remarks?
For a perfect example, look at his claims here: he claims the whale fossil series consists of “five or so fossil pieces from dog-size animals”. Go ahead, look at any summary of the fossil evidence for whales; there are far more than 5 pieces, and the size of the animals ranged from a 100 pound deer-like beast to, well, whale-sized. You can also find nice diagrams of nasal drift — remember, Simmons claimed there was no evidence of blowholes in the fossils. There were no concessions to Simmons because Simmons was wrong on every point.
I’ve read his books, and as usual, he resorts to the litany of complexity to make his case. He doesn’t stop to consider how all that complexity arose, just its existence is all he uses to claim justification for his claim of Intelligent Design creationism. That doesn’t fly, Dr Simmons. We have mechanisms that generate such complexity and refine noise into functionality that do not require intelligent intervention. Sure, single-celled zygotes develop into organisms with many trillions of cells. We can study that and find lovely developmental mechanisms behind it; we can watch mitoses occur; we can find the molecular interactions that lead to differentiation. Telling me that there are lots of cells there does not support your apparent contention that they all poofed into existence with the assistance of a meddling cosmic superbeing, either phylogenetically or ontogenetically.
Oh, and little children who call up the National Guard and demand that we evacuate the town because the dam is leaking when they’ve never seen the dam, know nothing about how the dam is constructed, and have no evidence that it is leaking other than that the crotch of their pants are suddenly wet, are not brave heroes. They’re petty liars seeking attention.