Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Reasons to Believe and the Credibility Gap

Todd Wood has wrapped up his long series on the problems with Fuz Rana's interpretation of the human/chimp DNA differences and his responses to Dennis Venema's writings. He closes with some sobering thought:
To be honest, I do not believe that RTB will pay any attention whatsoever to this series of posts. Given Rana's insulting response to Venema's critique, I expect that they'll treat this as yet another "ad hominem attack." I've mostly written this series for third parties that might be confused about the Venema/Rana exchange. As far as I'm concerned, RTB's credibility is completely shot (read my analysis of their handling of the Neandertal genome for more evidence of errors and exaggerations on the part of Ross, Rana, and Samples: parts one, two, three). I would recommend that no one accept any of RTB's arguments without fact-checking their claims first. I do not know whether these problems are due to lazy scholarship, ignorance, intentional deception, or ideological blinders. What I do know is that you cannot trust Reasons to Believe.
This is very disappointing but, having read enough of Steve Matheson's writings, not entirely surprising. Once upon a time I had much respect for Hugh Ross and the work he did to try to convince the evangelical community that there could be a fulfilling theological construct that incorporated an old creation. He came to the University of Tennessee in the early 1990s and gave a series of compelling, cogent lectures on the astrophysical evidence. Even then, though, I had misgivings about what his (and his organization's) treatment of the biological data would be like. Now, it seems that my misgivings were well-founded and we have our answer.

No comments:

Post a Comment