Physics student Ryan MacDonald is another Mars One finalist, who is refuting Dr. Joseph Roche's claims that the whole thing is a scam.
Earlier in the week, we ran a rather lengthy article on Mars One finalist Dr. Joseph Roche's claims that the entire Mars One operation was just one big scam. Naturally, quite a few people took issue with this, including a different Mars One finalist - Ryan MacDonald, a 21-year-old student from the UK - who Tweeted to us with the assurance that it actually isn't a big scam.
MacDonald presented his arguments in a video, which you can check out to the right. The hinge of his argument is that the original Medium article on the matter is "filled with factual inaccuracies," which the video address.
First up, to refute Roche's claims that many of the top 100 "bought their way in," MacDonald says that the only necessary payment is a nominal application fee, and notes that several second phase applications who donated quite large sums of money did not make it through to the third phase.
Another of Roche's more worrying concerns was that he never actually met anyone from Mars One in person, and the only interview he had was a 15-minute Skype call. MacDonald does not refute this, but states that the online interview's purpose was to ensure all applicants around the world were subject to the same criteria. He assures us that more thorough testing and interviewing will come later in the process.
Another popular claim is that Mars One has no money, as the initial six billion dollars was supposed to come from a broadcasting deal that has fallen through. MacDonald says that actually, the money is coming from private investors, who will get a stake in the TV broadcasting rights as a result of their investment.
MacDonald proceeds to refute most of Roche, and other Mars One skeptic's most popular arguments, including the claim that applicants have to donate money from media appearances to the corporation.
While MacDonald certainly makes some compelling counter-points, at this stage it is essentially his word against Roche's word.
So what do you guys think? Is it a scam?