Michael Shermer, the originator of the Skeptics magazine in the USA, and a Scientific American columnist, is a self-confessed apostate and atheist. So he has a vested interest in supporting his own worldview, i.e. that there is no God and as such mankind can decide what is truth for himself.
I wrote the following in response to a lecture “Why Darwin Matters: Evolution, Intelligent Design and the Battle for Science and Religion,” which he delivered 20 August 2008 during Science Week, 2008, at the University of Western Australia, where I was working at the time. I asked the Science Faculty community engagement person, in the spirit of open discussion, if I could give a response lecture. That request was rebuffed, but they offered me the opportunity to write 200 word response in their internal online news bulletin “Science Matters.” I opted rather to write a much longer review of his lecture. This article was first published on creation.com on 22 September 2008.
In his lecture, Shermer was very insulting and condescending towards creationists and the ID movement. I felt that his sarcasm and arrogant attitude was not fitting for a scientific discussion. He adopted a ridiculing tone through most of his lecture.
Even in the Q&A time when asked, ‘How did life start?’, he answered by saying there were many theories but never gave any examples of where life had been created in the lab, let alone formed spontaneously, as evolution requires. In a condescending manner, he challenged the questioner to do the experiments and find out for himself. This presupposes that natural processes generated life, which was precisely the question at issue—such question-begging is common among believers in chemical evolution. And he had a blind spot: if scientists did make life, they would use intelligence.1