Yes. But my assessment of his sensitivity has been tempered by his practice of consistently ignoring various simple, easily answered, questions from those he is supposedly most concerned about assisting. Several people (including myself), have put very basic questions to him, the answers to which would help us assess the relevance of this complex scientific discussion, to our beliefs or those of others who feel affected by the subject. Those questions have been phrased consistently respectfully and graciously, with full acknowledgment of his time constraints.
However, those questions have been ignored. Note that this is not even a case of Dr Buggs responding to these questions with “I understand your concern and note your questions, but regret I cannot address them within my current time constraints”, it is a question of him completely ignoring them and not acknowledging them in any way at all. Perhaps now you have asked a couple of these same questions, he may feel more inclined to answer them, but at this point it really does look like his main concern is “taking down” Dennis in the name of ID and the Discovery Institute, rather than actually addressing the personal concerns of rank and file Christians.
No one has attempted to dismiss or ignore his question on the basis of its source, or claim that it is invalid on the basis of its source. The point being made is that his question has not arisen on a scientific basis; it has not arisen from a need to find a scientific solution to a scientific problem. It is an apologetic argument which has arisen on a theological basis, and this needs to be both acknowledged and stated explicitly. When someone’s interpretation of the science is affected by their theological constraints, it is important to identify this and examine how it affects their interpretation of the science. When this is swept under the carpet, and discussion of it is discouraged, red flags should fly.
He has also made the claim that there have been no scientific bottleneck studies which have ruled out a bottleneck of only two people. I believe Dennis has already shown that this is simply not true, and has listed a number of them. If Dr Buggs had mentioned these other studies and explained why he thought they didn’t support the conclusions of their authors, that would have been fine, but instead he has given the impression that they don’t even exist. My surprise at this claim of his was matched only by my surprise that Dennis was able to show easily that they do exist.
There is nothing wrong with Dr Buggs challenging Dennis over Dennis’ representation of the science. However, I don’t think Dr Buggs has been accurate in his representation of the science, and it is clear to me that he really does believe it is about the science, not simply Dennis’ representation of it.
I don’t think that Dennis has conceded this, or that Dennis has overstated the science. I am still wondering why Dr Buggs has not contacted Zhao et a, if he is so concerned that their analysis of the data is wrong.
I think this wrongly suggests that Dennis is acknowledging some kind of failure on his part which weakens his case.