Introducing Herman Mays

Hi all. Evograd invited me to the forum but I’m not getting around to it until now. thanks for tuning into the debate.


I’m going to post a written review on my webpage soon. I could maybe post sections of it here first to get some constructive comments.

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@Herman_Mays, great to have you here! Let me know if you are not actually an Atheist Biologist though :smile:. @evograd thanks for inviting him along.

That sounds like a great idea. There are several here that have relevant expertise and motivation to help you be as clear and salient as possible: e.g. @Joel_Duff, @Art, @Evograd, @Nlents, @Glipsnort, and myself.

In particular, the last point you had would be very good to emphasize. Jeanson has signed a statement promising not to recognize evidence against his position. He can do this, but why should we trust him if he won’t acknowledge falsifying evidence? I’m curious where you were going with the AIG belief statement.

There are some other big points to address on his analysis and more.

This appears to be @Herman_Mays website:

Dr. Mays, I watched the debate and the after party. You did well. I am glad you tried to pin down Dr. Jeanson on mtDNA compared to whole genome. If he get 6000 years convergence with mtDNA, then whole genome convergents is much much earlier. Welcome to the forum.

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However, Adam and Eve the coalescence of autosomals is not as important as the time to most recent four alleles, which is expected to be at the same time as mtDNA. That is not a strong critique, unless you bring in the TMR4A analysis (Heliocentric Certainty Against a Bottleneck of Two?).

I just can’t stand Dr. Jeanson cherry picking the data. Sure ten years ago all we had was mtDNA, now there has been over 1 million whole genomes sequenced so it is long past the time when Dr. Jeanson should have switched over to whole genome analysis.

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Great to have you here also. Since science is neutral on whether there is a God or not and you are an excellent scientist, so it is not important what your faith is or isn’t. :grinning: But we are all curious as to where you stand on the Dawkins meter with 1 being complete theist and 7 being complete atheist.

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You are missing his strategy. It is effective. It is so effective even @Robert_Byers picked up on it.

For low attention span and low information viewers, the smart strategy for AIG is to make the conversation such a morass that no one wants to engage the details or understand what is going on. You make it an unclear tangle, then people are convinced that the “evidence is not clear” or that “it is debatable”. Claim victory to your own base, and Jeanson is perceived as delivering a win.

@Herman_Mays, what ever you in your response, make it brief with very clear evidence. Rather than making the case, point to places that do. Also separate the case from atheism. This is just about getting the science right.

I thought he was an atheist. Did I miss something? Do I need to change his tag?

And you are certainly right about this.

No, I am sure I heard Dr. Mays saying he wasn’t an atheist. Perhaps an agnostic or a cultural Catholic/Protestant/Jew. I am sorry Dr. Mays, please speak for yourself here or say that you want to keep your beliefs private. Either way is fine here.

I will remove the label then.

@Herman_Mays You are an evolutionary biologist and an expert on birds. Would you like to comment of AIG’s Dr. David Menton recent post about birds not being living dinosaurs?

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There is one skeletal feature that could help determine if a dinosaur were warm-blooded. Warm-blooded creatures have scroll-like bones in their nose called nasal conchae (turbinates). These are thin plates of bone covered with a well-vascularized mucosa that warms and humidifies the inspired air. Most, if not all, birds have these structures2 along with other warm-blooded creatures, while dinosaurs appear to lack nasal conchae.3 This would be consistent with dinosaurs being cold-blooded like all other living reptiles.4

It took me all of 5 minutes to find a paper describing evidence for nasal conchae in a dinosaur:
The weight of the evidence (from histology, biomechanics, ecology, etc) certainly point to dinosaurs being at least mesothermic, if not endothermic.

The structure of the avian lung is unique among all vertebrates and, though relatively small in size, is the most efficient vertebrate lung. Birds do not have tidal respiration, like mammals and reptiles, where air is alternately moved in and out of the lung. Instead, airflow in the avian lung is continuous and unidirectional. Birds do not exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide in blind-ending alveoli like the alveolar lungs of mammals and reptiles, but rather they exchange gasses in flow-through tubular structures called parabronchi. Air is moved in and out of the lungs through pressure changes in nine air sacs located throughout the body. The air sacs function like a bellows to move air through the lungs.
One of the most unique things about the avian respiratory system is that birds do not have a diaphragm, which is the primary muscle mammals and walking reptiles use to breathe. Instead, the air sacs are squeezed and expanded by numerous muscles acting on the sternum and hinged ribs unique to birds.
Lungs and diaphragms are soft tissues and thus are only infrequently fossilized. But fossil evidence suggests that theropod dinosaurs, which are believed to be bird ancestors, had lungs that were much like living crocodiles and alligators.5

Here Denton references a 21-year-old paper. As you can probably guess, we know a bit more than we did in 1997, and there is now abundant evidence that dinosaurs had lungs similar to extant birds (and so do crocodiles!):

The rest of the article is of little consequence, although I did find it interesting that Denton decides to classify Trooidontidae, Oviraptosauria, and Dromaeosauridae as “birds”. Take a look at some images of these groups, while they definitely have some “bird-like” traits, there’s also very clearly dinosaurian.


Well put.

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