A California-based creationist is so convinced that the Book of Genesis provides a literal recap of life’s beginnings that he’s willing to put $10,000 on the line, offering the large sum of money to anyone who can successfully debunk the claims present in the book. But there’s a twist: The scientific take-down of the Biblical stories must be done in front of a judge.
Dr. Joseph Mastropaolo, who holds a Ph.D. in kinesiology, is hoping that his challenge to non-theists and others who dismiss the Bible as mere allegory will spawn a larger-scale and healthier discussion about creationism and evolution.
“The evolutionists thereafter could read that transcript and make their case a bit stronger on the next one they contend against and we can do the same,” he said in a recent interview. “We can read the transcript and not have to go through the same process over and over and over again without any let up, without any resolution.”
The contest, called the “Literal Genesis Trial,” was first outlined by Mastropaolo in an interview with the Guardian. Here’s a description of how it would work, should an evolutionist rise to the occasion:
Dr Joseph Mastropaolo…has pledged to put $10,000 of his own money into an escrow account before the debate. His competitor would be expected to do the same. The winner would take the $20,000 balance.
The argument would not be made in a formal court, but under an alternative dispute resolution model known as a minitrial. Mastropaolo said he would present the argument in favor of a literal interpretation of the creation story once he had found a willing scientist to argue that a non-literal interpretation of Genesis is more scientific.
In the interview, Mastropaolo said that those who embrace evolution are bright and that they will know that it’s impossible to come up with evidence to disprove Genesis in the model he’s proposed. After all, he dismisses evolution entirely, noting that there’s no solid proof that the concept is a scientific reality.
“It turns out that there is nothing in the universe [that] is evolving, everything is devolving, everything is going in the opposite direction,” he told the Guardian.
According to the contest rules, a judge, bailiff and court reporter would be present and the evolutionist would need to present scientific points to contradict the Biblical stories, the Guardian reports. The trial would take place in Santa Ana, California.
The Creationist Hall of Fame, a web site honoring those who have helped advance the Biblical story of creation, is collaborating on the project and has posted the rules for the potential trial online. A letter to evolutionists reads, in part:
Dear Theistic Evolutionists, “Allegoricalists”, Atheists and all you “Long Agers”,
This is your chance to shine. Are you willing to participate in a contest to prove your point that the Bible is wrong and that we evolved? You could go home with $20,000 if you win!
Read more about the contest here.
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