Sunday, 16 September 2012

Beware prats in tinfoil hats

If you happen to be in the vicinity of Grill in the Park, Nobles Park on the evening of 25th October or The Studio, Upper Car Park, Central Prom the following evening look out for people in tinfoil hats. Even if you spot people in more conventional dress entering these establishments you might want to make a note not to trust them with any important matter regarding you or those you care about.
The thing is, information passed to me indicates that the Manx Tinfoil Hat Tendency is fast gathering momentum. If you can bear to follow some of the recent odd exchanges on the local newspaper letters pages and IOM Newspapers website you know the sort of person, and their flaky views.
You would think that these freaks meet in the corners of dingy pubs at night (which quickly clear when they start talking) or perhaps the cheaper caffs during the day after they’ve signed on.  Surprisingly not, in fact it seems they are about to go into the after-dinner speaking lark.
In fact one John Mackay of Creation Research UK is due to make all but the wackiest upchuck their food on 25th and 26th October. As stuff I’ve seen suggests those arranging this visit are barely literate I’m not sure this is wise, but hey ho, any entrepreneur has to be encouraged during a recession.
 Mackay, if you’ll excuse the pun, is a real dinosaur of the Evolution Denial industry. He started in the 1970’s (so must now be over 60) and is now seemingly moving into Global Warming as his traditional market shuts down.
Creation Research UK is the European arm of an Aussie outfit, Creation Research, and Mackay pretty much runs both as a means to push DVDs and speaking tours of views he variously claims to be presenting as a scientific or theological academic (depending on the punters and venues). However, credible evidence of his expertise in either field seems as light as creationist evidence that the Bible should be taken literally.
The British Centre for Science Education (which IS run by scientists, and regards the likes of Mackay as menaces to the young and impressionable everywhere) says that:
“Mackay has a doctrinaire (dogmatic) belief in his religion; he has absolute belief in the absolute certainty of the revealed truth of the bible, as literally interpreted.
He was originally a school teacher and holds a degree in geology from a reputable Australian university (Queensland). What Mackay has never been is a professional, practising geologist. Despite the name of his ministry, he has never had a peer-reviewed article in any scientific or geological journal. Nor is the author of this report aware that he has ever submitted such a paper.
Mackay has also been described as a geneticist, presumably because he undertook a course in this subject as part of his BSc. However, one thing Mackay is not is a geneticist. What he would have learned in a 1st degree in geology is both years out of date and well below the breadth and depth of education which most consider necessary to be a practising geneticist. Mackay certainly has never practised as a geneticist.
Nor does Mackay appear to have any theological qualifications whatsoever.”
Actually, the BCSE study the professional creationist racket rather closely (for obvious reasons), but remain objective enough to ask the main players precisely what they mean to say, and how they mean to say it. In the course of this they uncovered something else about John Mackay.
Do not read until you first place a pillow below your chin. You will need it to prevent your jaw breaking when it hits the floor.

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