DAWKINS’ SHONKY FRONKEY STORY: In his book The Greatest Show on Earth, (Bantam
Press, 2009, pp 151-154) Richard Dawkins accuses creationists of asking: “Why doesn’t the fossil record contain a
fronkey?” (quote marks his) He then goes on to state:
... it is a disgrace that the perpetrator of
this little witlessism, the Australian itinerate preacher John Mackay, has been
touring British schools in 2008 and 2009, masquerading as a ‘geologist’,
teaching innocent children that if evolution were true the fossil record should
(quote marks around ‘geologist’ and ‘fronkeys’ are in
further perpetrates this accusation against John Mackay in the product
description of his book on the Amazon UK website. In the section headed “From the
Author”, Dawkins presents a series of questions and answers including “Why doesn’t the
fossil record contain a fronkey, or a crocoduck?” Dawkins replies;
“The question betrays
a lamentable confusion about what evolution means. Yet such questions really
have been truculently asked, in all earnestness, by creationists: for example
the Australian creationist John Mackay, who is regularly invited to preach to
British schoolchildren ... The question presumes that evolutionists ought to find
an intermediate between pairs of modern animals, such as frog and monkey, or
crocodile and duck”.
ED. COM. Until we saw it in Dawkins’ book, neither John Mackay nor any of the
Creation Research team had ever used the word “fronkey”, so we were intrigued
as to where Dawkins got this idea from, as he does not provide a direct reference
to John Mackay or any Creation Research publications. He does mention a Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) article, 7 May 2006. All other blog and web postings connecting fronkeys
and Mackay that we tracked down can be traced to this same SMH article by Annabel
Crabb, entitled 'Darwin's
evolutionary theory is a tottering nonsense, built on too many suppositions'. (quote marks in original). Crabb reported on John Mackay’s meetings
in Britain in April and May 2006.
The SMH article
contains the following statement and hypothetical question:
Put simply, Mackay's belief - and it's one
that is firmly entrenched in the US, where President George Bush advocates its
ventilation in schools - is that Darwin's evolutionary theory is a tottering
nonsense, built on too many suppositions and not enough evidence.
If so many species evolved from the shapeless
creatures of the primordial slime, if people came from monkeys via frogs and
fish, then why does the fossil record not contain a "fronkey"?
The question was clearly written by the SMH
journalist and is clearly NOT a quote from John Mackay. Since no one at the meeting heard John Mackay
ask such a question, and no one heard him use the word “fronkey”, then who is journalist
Annbel Crabb quoting, or has she created the word herself by deliberate intelligent
To give you the full context Crabb
continued her article by accurately telling everyone: “Mackay, who was originally educated as a
geologist and devout Darwinist at the University of Queensland, experienced a
conversion while working as a teacher and now tears down his former beliefs
with the seamless enthusiasm of a zealot.
"Charles Darwin actually graduated in
theology, which is a little-known, well-kept secret," he tells his
audience. "He knew exactly what he was trying to disprove."
As a university professor Dawkins should
know that if you are going criticise what someone has said or written, you need
to show that the person actually stated what you are criticising, and give the
reference to that person, not a secondary source. Dawkins has clearly not done this, as the
word “fronkey” does not appear in any Creation Research writing (until now) or
other media we produce, and has never been used by John Mackay in any
interviews or presentations around the globe.
If Dawkins was a first-year university
student submitting an essay, he would, quite rightly, be rebuked for using such
poor research methods. He is, however, a
retired Oxford University professor, therefore, his sloppiness which has lead
to this false accusation is inexcusable, and he rightly owes John Mackay an
apology for slandering his name, and an erratum slip placed in his book ‘The Greatest
Show on Earth’, plus a statement on Amazon stating he is wrong about Mackay.
We await with eagerness this test of his honesty. (Ref. atheism, Darwinism, fraud)