Prove Science Debunks Genesis and a Creationist Will Give You $10,000

A California scientist and creationist hopes the contest will improve the quality of debate between evolutionists and creationists.

  • Share
  • Read Later
Getty Images

Children in fancy dress as Adam and Eve.

Creationist scientist Joseph Mastropaolo has thrown down the gauntlet to anyone wishing to argue against him in a courtroom that science disproves the literal interpretation of the book of Genesis.

The California-based Mastropaolo, who taught biomechanics and physiology at California State University for 26 years, has set up the ‘Literal Genesis Trial, a contest that aims to improve the quality of the debate between evolutionists and creationists. As an extra-incentive for die-hard evolutionists out there, he has offered $10,000 of his own money that he will place in an escrow account before the debate. The catch for his any potential adversary is that they too would have to put forward $10,000. The winner would take all $20,000.

(MORE: Can Your Child Be Too Religious?)

Mastropaolo told TIME in an email that there is “considerable interest” in the trial, which is to be held in Santa Ana, California.

Speaking with the Guardian, Mastropaolo explained that he will need firstly to select a scientist to argue that a non-literal interpretation of Genesis is more scientific: “They are not stupid people, they are bright, but they are bright enough to know there is no scientific evidence they can give in a minitrial.”

The minitrial format is a recognized form of alternate dispute resolution, used as a cheaper means of settling an argument rather than going to court. However, like many legal proceedings, the costs can run into the thousands. According to the rules published on the Creation Science of Hall of Fame website, the prevailing party would bear the costs. Other rules include the demand that the “evidence must be scientific, that is, objective, valid, reliable and calibrated.”

Some are openly skeptical about Mastrapaolo’s contest. Michael Zimmerman, founder of the Clergy Letter Project aimed at teaching evolution in public schools, writes in the Huffington Post that the competition is just a gimmick. Describing Mastropaolo’s approach as a “foray into publicity-hunting, anti-intellectual demagoguery,” Zimmerman explains that he previously attempted to debate with the scientists but was disallowed after several disagreements.

MORE: The Evolution Wars

29 comments
absurdiamnot
absurdiamnot

Article states "Other rules include the demand that the “evidence must be scientific, that is, objective, valid, reliable and calibrated.”"

Mastropaolo set the sound of this argument = ABSURD!  Really?! What objective, valid, reliable and calibrated is in the scriptures aka Bible?

Who wants to bet $10,000 against absurdity?  How did he teach biomechanics?  Did he really?


doodlebugger2
doodlebugger2 like.author.displayName 1 Like

This creationist should learn to read, he he has already lost, repeatedly and defintively. A publicity stunt by an ignorant clown.

BabuG.Ranganathan
BabuG.Ranganathan

ONLY LIMITED EVOLUTION POSSIBLE IN NATURE
 
All real evolution in nature is within limits. The genes already exist for micro-evolution (variations within a biological kind such as varieties of dogs, cats, horses, cows, etc.), but not for macro-evolution (variations across biological kinds such as from sea sponge to human). The unthinking environment has no ability to design or program entirely new genes. Only variations of already existing genes and traits are possible. A dog will always be a dog no matter how many varieties come into being. 

Evolutionists hope and assume that, over millions of years, random mutations (accidental changes) in the genetic code caused by radiation from the environment will produce entirely new genes for entirely new traits in species for natural selection to use, so that macro-evolution occurs.  It’s much like hoping that, if given enough time, randomly changing the sequence of letters in a cook book will turn the book into a romance novel, or a book on astronomy!
 
Another problem for macro-evolution is the issue of survival of the fittest. How can a partially evolved species be fit for survival? A partially evolved trait or organ that is not complete and fully functioning from the start will be a liability to a species, not a survival asset. Plants and animals in the process of macro-evolution would be unfit for survival. 

Imagine an evolving fish having part fins and part feet, with the fins evolving into feet. Where’s the survival advantage? It can't use either fins or feet efficiently. These fish exist only on automobile bumper stickers!

In fact, how could species have survived at all while their vital organs were supposedly evolving? Survival of the fittest (aka natural selection) may explain how species survive, due to minor variations and adaptations to the environment, but not how they originated. Natural selection doesn't produce biological traits or variations. It can only “select” from biological variations that are possible. The real issue is what biological variations are possible, not natural selection.

Genetic and biological similarities between species are no proof of common ancestry. Such similarities are better and more logically explained due to a common Genetic Engineer or Designer (yes, God) who designed similar functions for similar purposes in various species. Genetic information, like other forms of information, cannot arise by chance, so it's more rational to believe that DNA or genetic similarities between species are due to intelligent design.

What about "Junk" DNA? The latest science shows that "Junk DNA" isn't junk after all! It's we who were ignorant of how useful these segments of DNA really are. Recent scientific research published in scientific journals such as Nature and RNA has revealed that the "non-coding" segments of DNA are essential in regulating gene expression (i.e. how, when, and where genes are expressed in the body).
 
All the fossils that have been used to support human evolution have ultimately been found to be either hoaxes, non-human, or human, but not human and non-human.
 
All species in the fossil record and living are complete, fully-formed, and fully functional. There's no macro-evolution in nature.
 
Visit my newest Internet sites, THE SCIENCE SUPPORTING CREATION and WAR AMONG EVOLUTIONISTS (2nd Edition)
 
Sincerely,
Babu G. Ranganathan
(B.A. Bible/Biology)
 
Author of the popular Internet article, TRADITIONAL DOCTRINE OF HELL EVOLVED FROM GREEK ROOTS

*I have given successful lectures (with question and answer period afterwards) defending creation before evolutionist science faculty and students at various colleges and universities. I've been privileged to be recognized in the 24th edition of Marquis "Who's Who in The East" for my writings on religion and science.

Felipe
Felipe like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

your terms "macro-evolution," "evolutionists," remind me of Hahnemann's "allopathic medicine:" both are examples of ad-hominem attacks thinly veiled as descriptors. In other words, you are attaching labels to your opponents in an effort to attack them as individuals by using loaded terms that your opponents reject: I, as a student of anthropology, biology, and evolutionary medicine, reject your label as loaded and a distractor… why don't you use the terms we use instead without loading them? (e.g., "scientists," "biologists," "evolutionary biologists," "theoretical scientists," "students," "researchers," "evolution" vis-a-vis "macro-evolution", "natural selection," etc.).

second, scientists and the scientific method is not built on "hope" or "belief," rather, it is conditionally accepted as useful when the scientific method shows support (i.e., fails to falsify in more accurate terms) for a proposed hypothesis and its mechanism. Conclusions are only drawn after significant research provides a warrant to do so, NEVER before. So your claim that "evolutionists hope" ignores a foundation of all science made obvious since the time of Bacon & Hume (e.g., "empiricism" & the "problem of induction").

did that all sound like sophistry? read it again, this time without prejudice…you might be surprised

with that in mind, let me try to address your point from the ground up…

evolution is merely a descriptor of the change in the makeup of a specific population over time… the terms macro- an micro- are red herrings your ideology requires, but they mean nothing in terms of evolution. in order to prove there are divisions between macro and micro (evolution), you'd need to prove there are absolute divisions between different species of life, and then go about identifying all the known life forms into these groups. Let me help you out: scientists since the time of Darwin have known this is impossible because "species" is a term invented for our convenience. In nature, every "species" (or "kind" for creationists) definition falls apart with numerous exceptions… ponder this fact for a few minutes in order to understand why it renders the whole "macro vs micro" dichotomy meritless.

as for natural selection only selecting but not producing biological traits: duh.
natural selection is one of many types of mechanisms that DRIVES evolution, it is NOT evolution by itself, nor is it sufficient to drive evolution. evolution is the catch-all descriptor for complex thermodynamic processes and so all the processes that are under the umbrella of evolution (e.g., mutations, methylations, reading errors, damage, gene transfer, quantum effects, natural selection, etc.) contribute to the "production of biological traits" you deny. The fact you never took the time to test these processes in a laboratory and in the field doesn't mean some of us haven't done your work for you… I can show you how information increases ex nihilo in bacteria as a result of multiple mechanisms, including natural selection… it happens all the time, everywhere on earth. The fact you ignore it doesn't make it disappear...

next, your understanding of "fitness" is incomplete. In order to understand fitness, you must consider the organism in its environment at a point in time. If you wish to go on a thought-experiment ("how can a partially evolved species be fit for survival"), you cannot use loaded words: partial-evolution implies some sort of end-result… evolution has no end-result. Wings on birds are not the pinnacle of evolution, nor are eyes, nor is the adaptive immune system. each is "good enough" for the organism it is in, and the state of development it occurs is useful to the organism… this was the one point even Darwin proposed as a falsifier of his theory when he explained that if "it it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find out no such case."(p. 166, Darwin, 1st ed) [creationists often leave out that last sentence]. This is a often argued point, mostly because those who harp on it are ignorant of the fact ALL "INTERMEDIATE" FORMS ARE USEFUL TO THE ORGANISM AT THE TIME. The most famous example of this is the evolution of the eye: from pigmented spots on protozoa to flatworm eyes, nautilus eyes, squid eyes, and human eyes, every one of these forms is "intermediate" yet highly useful. There are thousands of other examples of intermediate forms (e.g., flagella, adaptive immune system, wings, teeth, bones, etc.) that are perfectly useful to the organisms that had, and have them… the problem is you can only imagine them in their current form and performing their current function and you ignore that the tail of a bacteria that it uses to swim also works as a syringe in other bacterias, as a pore for expelling wastes in others, as a pseudo-antibody in others, as a cytoskeleton in others, and many other uses we are barely getting to know… your ignorance of these other uses does not limit the rest of us understanding them.


next, your claim of "Junk DNA isn't junk after all" is another attempt at mischaracterizing the state-of-the art of scientific research by repeating an old term that, while never really used between scientists, was used by some science teachers when teaching students about 30 years ago. Even you acknowledge that scientists are discovering more functions in it, and as time goes on, we will discover more… Even if scientists DID call it "junk" at first, science is founded on improving our understanding and discarding ideas that don't work: the idea that noncoding DNA is "junk" doesn't work, ergo, it is not used by any geneticist, evolutionary biologist, or biological engineer I know. So you are using an obsolete term and passing it off as if it was still in current use… that's either ignorant or dishonest of you.

if you demonstrate this much bias in mischaracterizing scientists, ignorance in understanding evolutionary mechanisms (mutations, methylations, natural selection), and the transitory nature of ALL FORMS, and then mischaracterize noncoding DNA as if scientists are now calling it "junk DNA", then how much more faulty could the rest of your claims be?

worse yet, will you skim over the valid points I made and MISCHARACTERIZE THEM TOO?

and I'm only a student, and you're the B.A.

BubbaGumjp
BubbaGumjp like.author.displayName 1 Like

@Felipe 

Felipe, well done Sir!! I simply did not want to take the time to discredit this guy which, as you have shown, would have been simple. The sad thing is you cannot change these types of peoples' minds as they are forever locked in the dark ages. I have a BS & MS in Engineering and a MBA. My minors and other interests were economics and physics. I'm especially fascinated with theoretical physics. I have worked in Research & Development and in Commercial/Industrial Design. If you are indeed only a student, I am thoroughly impressed and encourage you to continue and finish your studies. It's young minds like yours the world needs more of. Off the subject, but perhaps of interest, I am not an atheist.


absurdiamnot
absurdiamnot

@Felipe @BubbaGumjp

Think again!  if you would bet $10K against absurdity, you will turn into it.

There's no merit whatsoever in the debate, there's no debate, read what I posted before.  I like what you wrote but know that there's more than 30% of the US population that is fervent in Christian belief and the creationism, it is call the Bible Belt.  A very high percentage call themselves Christian.  Around 10% call themselves Atheist and their arguments against believers are not always right and fall in the same ideology but this time with the flag No God.

Keep it up and keep on thinking!  BabuG's points are nothing but ethereal non sense with absolutely no support or evidence nor direction.  What do you expect from someone that is a believer?

BubbaGumjp
BubbaGumjp

@Felipe @BubbaGumjp

The debate is rigged. Think about it. Although my money would be on you, it's a no-win situation kind of like the Kobayashi Maru on Star Trek. And this gentleman has you pay for the costs, regardless.


Felipe
Felipe like.author.displayName 1 Like

@BubbaGumjp@FelipeI recognize the cause is lost on fervent ideologues like BabuG.Ranganathan, but once in a while in between studies, I entertain myself by sharpening my debating skills as they might serve me later on. That and the fact there are still folks on the fence who might actually believe BabuG (believe it or not) . Too bad i lack the 10k to argue with Mastropaolo.

BubbaGumjp
BubbaGumjp

@BabuG.Ranganathan

Silly lad. Your rant is utter nonsense. So much so, it's simply not worth the time to discredit it line by line. I don't care who you 'think' you are based on questionable accolades nor your mastery of circular logic. What you have is a set of beliefs, no more no less. You are entitled to your views and opinions, however. Here in the US, these idiocies are to be kept out of public schools, universities and my home.


doodlebugger2
doodlebugger2 like.author.displayName 1 Like

Babu. You need to write this down and send it to Science or nature, get it published and collect your Nobel Prize Babu.

Or, join the Flat Earth Society, because your scientific capability is Middle ages in extent. Ridiculous.

MikeChi
MikeChi like.author.displayName 1 Like

Someone chuck a fossil towards this meathead. The debate itself would be on unfair grounds unless he himself can prove scientifically that the bible is literally correct. A debate is arguing a point with an exact polar view. This debate of faith and science cannot be proven at all. If he can explain in scientific terms the explosion n diversity of God's creatures all in seven literal days using science's might theories of evolution, i will give him ten thousand for free. Have fun disproving the three conditions of evolution which are at direct odds with religion. (As Christian as I am the bible cannot be taken literally. As a monotheistic evolutionist, the very request of debate by this gentleman would seemingly portray is slightly extreme or fundamentalist views.)

DaveThomas1
DaveThomas1 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

Heck, I can get $10,000 from the Time Cube guy just for showing that Cubic Creation is not almighty.

Felipe
Felipe like.author.displayName 1 Like

the challenge to debating lies in acknowledging that most debates are NOT about the facts, but about the psychology behind the debate... on this front, creationists (and their religious ilk) are formidable simply because they are often more personable to average folks, while many erudite scholars come off as elitist pricks. I recall seeing P.Z. Myers argue with a creationist, and though I was thoroughly convinced of Myers' spectacular arguments, he did carry himself as an intellectual bully, often ridiculing his opponent and simply dismissing the opponent's (bad) logical arguments as unworthy of response. The problem is that while those who have experience in scientific arenas might totally agree with Myers, we forget the less sophisticated listener will be repelled by such conceit. 


Long story short, it can be done, but not without learning the debating game the way the religious folks know it, and only then can we keep the debate from degenerating (as it usually does) into psychology... if we can keep it straight... the depth of the evidence will steamroller them

but that's a tall order

BubbaGumjp
BubbaGumjp

@Felipe 

I agree. Too often the audiences, that these Creationist's discussions/debates take place before, are highly uneducated or nicely put, under-educated. Therefore, the debate needs to be framed differently. Better yet, the debate(s) should only take place when these neanderthals try to impose their belief system or dogma on the general populous.

absurdiamnot
absurdiamnot

@BubbaGumjp @Felipe

They really don't try, they don't have to find the proper audience.  I already commented about this, there's a huge population that call itself a Christian and believer.  So, they have the audience almost everywhere.  Mostly, people that come from science into religion they do it because of being undecided of what path to take in their lives, it is not just ethnic cultural preference rather it is insecurity which leads to hypocrisy.  So, you have a serious problem with people that have access to real education still wiggling through the religion realm where on the other hand, you have extremist as well, there are folks like Prof. Richard Dawkins that with his fanaticism turns into a bully, close to what Felipe described of P.Z. Myers whom I don't know yet it would be an unfortunate experience to have.

There are better questions to ask to creationists but they are not ready to respond, the script runs out of answers rather quickly.

As of yet, there hasn't been one worthy religious thinker in the world that could be asked about it.  There will never be one!!!

WalterLauinger
WalterLauinger like.author.displayName 1 Like

I wish science and religion would declare a truce and co-exist. 

BubbaGumjp
BubbaGumjp

@WalterLauinger

Interestingly, until I moved to the South, I didn't know a conflict existed. I grew up in the Mainstream Church(s) up North. I had never met a Baptist, Fundamentalist or Evangelical. The Bible Belt was unknown to me. If you look at the total population from the Mainstream Churches plus the growing segment of non-denominational (not agnostics or atheists), the numbers are vastly greater than these Bible Belt zealots. I submit that they are the one's causing so much trouble and imposing their beliefs on a majority. This must stop. Freedom of religion is not an absolute nor does it allow one doctrine to impose its views on others. These zealots would turn the US into a theocracy. 


absurdiamnot
absurdiamnot

@BubbaGumjp @WalterLauinger 

BubbaGumjp, you are not seeing it yet?  "In God we trust" is in every single US dollar, "so help you God" is attached at the end of every sworn demand in any court across the USA, presidents conclude their statements with "God bless America", the Supreme Court votes rather than rationalizing, their "view" are posted as an interpretation of the law and the imperfect constitution is not a theocracy but it is run like one in many aspects.  This is not going to stop, it will only get worse.

skyguynick
skyguynick like.author.displayName 1 Like

@WalterLauinger 

They do... Quite happily in fact.  The Catholic Church has been cool with modern cosmology, geology, biology, et cetera, et cetera, for years.  But certain troublemakers keep insisting that one is just as interchangeable with the other.  Worse, they take conclusions based on pure religious fiat to be equally valid as those arrived through rigorous use of the Scientific Method.

BubbaGumjp
BubbaGumjp

@skyguynick @WalterLauinger

Indeed. Stephen Hawking was invited to the Vatican and met with Pope Benedict XVI, the meeting was organized by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Not for a debate, but for knowledge exchange.


BubbaGumjp
BubbaGumjp

In science, the term "theory" refers to "a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment. Theories must also meet further requirements, such as the ability to make falsifiable predictions with consistent accuracy across a broad area of scientific inquiry, and production of strong evidence in favor of the theory from multiple independent sources. Essential criteria are as follows-

1. It makes falsifiable predictions with consistent accuracy across a broad area of scientific inquiry (such as mechanics).

2. It is well-supported by many independent strands of evidence, rather than a single foundation. This ensures that it is probably a good approximation, if not completely correct.

3, It is consistent with pre-existing theories and other experimental results. (Its predictions may differ slightly from pre-existing theories in cases where they are more accurate than before.)

4. It can be adapted and modified to account for new evidence as it is discovered, thus increasing its predictive capability over time.

Religious doctrine is a belief system, a codification of beliefs or a body of teachings or instructions, taught principles or positions, as the body of teachings in a branch of knowledge or belief system. A philosophical theory consisting of statements which are believed to be true by the thinkers who accept them, and which may or may not be empirical. The sciences have a very clear idea of what a theory is; however in the arts such as philosophy, the definition is more hazy. Philosophical theories are not necessarily scientific theories, although they may consist of both empirical and non-empirical statements.


skyguynick
skyguynick like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

Why not just ask science to refute the existence of fairies and purple dragons?  Science is only interested in describing the natural world.  The supernatural is, by definition, outside that realm.  If it makes you feel better to believe in a particular omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient deity (or deities), then fine.  But exactly how will that improve the scientific endeavor?


Besides...  Only $10,000 to overthrow the collective knowledge acquired over the last 300 years??  Think bigger if you want people to take you seriously.  For years, James "The Amazing" Randi has had a $1,000,000 jackpot waiting to be collected, and all he is asking for is proof of supernatural abilities (or the supernatural in general) under laboratory conditions.  That would seem to be a much, much lower bar than disproving the Biblical Genesis.

AimeJWichtendahl
AimeJWichtendahl like.author.displayName 1 Like

It's called starlight. The speed of light is a universal constant. Proving that the universe is 13.8 Billion years old and has evolved over eons and not created in seven days 6000 years ago. Also dinosaurs, there are no hominid fossils at the same geological layer as dinosaurs proving that they predate man. That will be $10,000 call my secretary and I will know what bank you can wire the funds to. 










0

BubbaGumjp
BubbaGumjp

Joseph Mastropaolo is at best a sad misguided little man. He can no more prove his position than fly to the moon by flapping his arms. I can hardly wait for him to produce his expert witnesses for testimony and cross-examination (God, Jesus, Moses, et al). Should he do so, even I will convert. In the meantime, the preponderance of evidence from so many disciplines would render his arguments mute. He is entitled to his beliefs and faith, as that is all he has. I hope nobody takes him up on this divine comedy, it's as silly as arguing whether the earth is flat. He should simply be ignored and maybe he and his ilk will go away.

crookedline99
crookedline99 like.author.displayName 1 Like

Weird that his terms say the winner pays the court costs.  Doesn't the loser usually do that?

tcementco
tcementco like.author.displayName 1 Like

By Jove! This Mastro-whatever chappie is on to something here.

And we need to take him SERIOUSLY! VERY SERIOUSLY!

As soon as he presents his proof for existence of Adam-Moses-Jesus lineage, I am fully prepared to do just that.

Till then, I think I'll stick with the old time religion. Multiple contending gods are so more Occam's razor than Mastro-whatever and his monotheist/atheist single malevolent monstrosity.

VonBailey
VonBailey like.author.displayName 1 Like

Anyone reading this should also read Zimmerman's disagreements before you think this is remotely serious.  Mastropaolo is the source here for all that TIME is quoting about the event and he has a vested interest in seeing it publicized whether it happens or not.  Mastropaolo doesn't argue on scientific, rational or legal grounds and insists that only his definitions of terms can be used.  Who would accept such a one sided debate except publicity hounds?

roknsteve
roknsteve like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

Creationist scientist is an oxymoron.  Plus Genesis was copied from the Sumerian Enuma Elish creation story.  Guess what?  The Hebrews that copied it left out all the science.  

Raja
Raja like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

Joseph Mastropaolo - scientist?