Friday, March 16, 2018

#1981: Grady McMurtry

Grady McMurtry is a regular guest on Revelation TV, especially on The Q&A Show (with Revelation TV founder and host Howard Conder). Now, Revelation TV is a British endeavor, but McMurtry is American: he is the head of Creation Worldview Ministries in Orlando, which consists of one person in addition to himself. So, yeah – he is a minor player. But he has received some attention by being unusually ridiculous, even by the already dismal creationist standards.

Like most creationists, McMurtry likes to mislead his audiences about his credentials. He claims to be a “scientific creationist” and often presents himself as “Dr. McMurtry”, but his doctorate is from an unaccredited Bible college, and his BA and MA have nothing to do with evolution (his credentials are discussed in some detail here). And make no mistake: McMurtry has no idea what the theory of evolution actually is, and tends to refer to anyone who disagree with him on matters geology or astronomy as well as “evolutionists” ( For instance, according to McMurtry “evolutionists say things are getting bigger, better, faster, smarter,” which is not really what the theory of evolution predicts. McMurtry also blamed the Virginia Tech shootings on evolution being taught, since, as McMurtry sees things, evolution teaches us “that humans had no more value than cats and dogs,” and makes people feel that way about themselves since morality is impossible if facts are facts: if evolution is true and “you have excess people, then you can just put them in a bag, throw them in the river the way you would too many kittens or too many puppies,” says McMurtry. McMurtry makes this mistake because he is stupid and unable to distinguish a scientific theory about how the world works from a moral theory about how the world ought to be. (I leave it to readers to assess his views about "excess" puppies and kittens and evaluate his character accordingly.)

Part of the problem is, of course, that McMurtry has no idea about what science is. Thus, McMurtry says things like “evolutionists do not have one single scientific proof that [the earth] is old,” being apparently oblivious that “proof” is an expression belonging to mathematics and formal logic, not science; scientists have of course ample evidence that the Earth is old. Apparently state politicians, who are not usually elected for their scientific literacy, are sometimes impressed with McMurtry’s work.

As with most “scientific creationists” his own method for supporting the inerrancy of the Bible is the exact opposite of a scientific method. Instead, McMurtry carefully follows the form of the Texas sharpshooter fallacy (centered on the inerrancy of the Bible), and selects evidence to support the dogma by the time-honored means of confirmation bias and motivated reasoning.

Of course, McMurtry doesn’t only reject the science of biology; geology has to go, too (there is a video of him trying to argue against plate tectonics, for those who are interested). It is probably little surprise that he is a climate change denialist, too, viewing climate change as a communist conspiracy and environmentalism in general as a type of “terrorism”: “I Dr. Grady S. McMurtry have been studying the Global Warming/Global Cooling controversy since the 1960s. […] I am completely convinced that the controversy is 100% politically motivated and not based on good science. The promoters of either view are either extreme socialists or extreme communists. Their sole primary purpose in promoting either view is to destroy Christian capitalism and replace it with extreme socialism/communism based upon the religion of Secular Humanism.” Of course, nothing in that statement, or anything else he has done, involves any discussion of anything resembling the science of the topic, any more than his discussions of biology do. There has, of course, never been any scientific global warming/global cooling controversy.

Trivia: Grady S. McMurtry is the son of Aleister Crowley associate Grady Louis McMurtry.

Diagnosis: Religious fanatic, who uses his religious fanaticism to fuel his astonishingly silly pseudoscience and science denial. Not an uncommon situation, and McMurtry is honestly a B-level celebrity as far as creationist celebrities are measured. But whatever his impact may be, it is certainly not for the benefit of mankind.

Hat-tip: Nucellalapillus


  1. For the record; evolution is based on the improvement of a species through micro advancements over a long period of time. It is standard that all changes to an organism must be positive and improve the organism or the next evolutionary change is to remove that change. This is evolution 101. So, when this pseudo-science zealot says “evolutionists say things are getting bigger, better, faster, smarter,” he is right, it does. Like my daddy said, "Even a broken clock is right twice a day."

    1. No it doesnt. It says that species and organisms that develop certain characteristics or abilities will survive, thrive and out number other similar where the features give them an advantage in the prevailing environment. Whether or not the new or mutates species is better or not is only a matter of opinion.
      Darwin didnt kow how the adaptations and variations occured as genetics had not developed at that time.Random genetic mutations explain sceintifically how variations occur and is separate from evolutionary science. Your Dadddy's poit about the broken clock doesnt prove anything about either genetics or evolution.
      Best of luck with your enquiries.

  2. It's funny that those who's disagree attack the individual and not the facts. Instead of putting him down, why don't you take his points and refute them. Knowledge is power, personal attacks are juvenile.

    1. You didn't really read the entry, did you?

      Or perhaps you didn't understand it: Most of McMurtry's "points" don't need more refutation than what he inadvertently provides himself, such as his misunderstanding of what "science" is. Otherwise, for instance with regard to his climate denialism, the links will take you to all the refutations of McMurtry's claims you'll need. But you are not really interested in that, are you?

  3. Hate to break it to you but the truth of Darwinian evolution by random mutations & NS has nothing to do with explaining Creation ex nihilo,the beginning of all time space and matter. Nor is it PROVEN by an unwavering philosophical commitment to scientific materialism or the accuracy or otherwise of any Scriptural text u have no understanding of. Perhaps ur need to lead a hedonistic lifestyle free of any moral consequences a la Jean Paul Sartre blinds most atheists to any intelligent debate about the origin of life and our finite, awe-inspiring, ABSTRACT law abiding, rationally-intelligible universe.

    1. Not sure who you are referring to by "you". It is, after all, McMurtry who seems to be under the delusion that evolution has anything to do with abiogenesis or the origin of the universe.

      "Nor is it PROVEN by an unwavering philosophical commitment to scientific materialism or the accuracy or otherwise of any Scriptural text"

      This passage is impossible to interpret, since it is multiply ambiguous what "it" is supposed to refer to. But regardless of whether you are referring to the origin of the universe or evolution, surely no sane person would think that it is "PROVEN by an unwavering philosophical commitment to scientific materialism or the accuracy or otherwise of any Scriptural text"? That's not how science works, nor evidence. And hint: science is not committed to materialism - if you have a non-materialist hypothesis with better predictive power than current "materialist" theories (that is, predict observable data that current theories do not), go ahead: You'll win.

      I do not see what atheism has to do with any of this, though.

  4. I am a creationists” and accept that the universe is billions of years old as a Christan it realy dosen't matter the bibel is silent,the issue is not the age of the earth but who do you say christ is that question hasent changed in two thousand years,who do you say he is you at least owe your self an honest answer.As for me he is the unique person of the univers there is no other like him in human history,he is either God,Mad or Bad what do you say you must decide no one can do it for you who do you say christ is?As for Grady McMurtry i dont much care he's not the issue either all though when he says evolutionists see people as just animals and can be disposed of like cats or dogs he has a point after all the full title of Darwins book On the Origin of the species by means of natural selection,or the FAVOURED RACES in the STRUGGLE for life.
    Was this title responsible for the carnaig in the 20th century?
    Who do you say is the CHRIST?

  5. When the argument is lost the looser resorts to ridicule.

    How about you debate the many very valid assertions and proofs that Grady has put forth rather then resorting to an all out character assassination?

    You cannot or are afraid to attack the ideas, lest their factual self evidence come to light, so you attack the man.

    And yes I have read your entire article.

    In 2013 a peer reviewed study found that a majority of scientists were skeptical of the "global warming" theory so your attempt to ridicule Mr McMurtry on this basis not only failed miserably but clearly displays your willingness to use even the most trivial matter in an attempt to discredit him.

  6. "In 2013 a peer reviewed study found that a majority of scientists were skeptical of the "global warming" theory"

    Among silly denialist talking points, this must surely rank among the most quixotic. 97% of climate scientists agree that global warming is happening and is largely caused by human activity. If you want to understand the background (I suspect you don't), you can even start with wikipedia here and here. You conveniently neglected to specify the "peer reviewed study" you are talking about; if you are talking about the Legates et al. reply to Cook et al. (2013) - denialists, being either dishonest or stupid, sometimes are - it doesn't actually materially disagree with Cook et al., but argues mostly semantics. I know that climate change denialists like Richard Tol and Roy Spencer like to try to attack the Cook et al. study, too, but they don't get it published. As a final nail in the denialist coffin, their criticism is in any case irrelevant, since the Cook et al. (2013) paper is superseded by (e.g.) the newer one I linked to (among many others), which got the same result. McMurtry is a denialist loon. So are you.

    Either you haven't read the whole blogpost, or you are unable to comprehend it. You see, there are several responses to McMurtry's nonsensical ideas there, and plenty of links to further information. You apparently pretend not to see it, don't you? I am of course not going through the whole rich array of nonsense he has produced - after all, I have amply demonstrated that he has no idea what the theory of evolution actually says, what evidence real scientists are relying on, or even what science actually is and does. That makes it rather pointless to pursue it any further.

    I know creationists like to call for debates (after all, debates are won by the most skilled debater, not by the person who is correct or actually has the best evidence - or do you really think there is a correlation between who wins, say, a political debate and who is right). There is no point in playing a game of chess with someone who don't know the rules, will shit all over the board, and then declare victory, and similarly there is no point in debating creationist pseudoscientists - it will only give them a veneer of legitimacy they definitely don't deserve. But let me return with a different challenge: what about McMurtry actually teaching himself some biology, do some genuine research, and get his conclusions published in a legitimate journal? If he manages to convince experts in biology by actually addressing their hypotheses and the evidence they rely on, I will certainly change my mind.