Almost a decade ago, on Valentine's Day of 2004, I was invited to participate. The rules were very similar to what The Guardian presented. In both cases, $10,000 would be put in escrow by the participants and the outcome would be determined by a judge. Rather than proving that science contradicts the literal interpretation of the Bible, the Life Science Prize challenge focused on the nature of science and creationism. Here's how the challenge was framed back then: "If the evolutionist proves evolution is science and creation is religion, he wins the $20 000. If the creation scientist proves that creation is science and evolution is religion, then the creationist collects the $20 000."The rest of the article is a sobering account of how twisting the scriptures to make them fit a particular young-earth hermeneutic eventually leads to a completely warped view of science. Zimmmerman writes that Mastropaolo's views are "far from the mainstream." Judging from what emanates from AiG and similar sites, and what I have read and seen in homeschool textbooks, I am not so sure. It is what makes me think that young earth creationism is, at the very least, gnosticism, and quite possibly heresy.
As I explained in an article I published in 2006, I engaged with Mastropaolo for about two months attempting to come to an agreement on terms for the contest. (If you read the article I wrote, you'll see that from the outset I had no belief that my interactions would be productive but I thought they would be both interesting and edifying, and they most certainly were.) Rather than making any progress, I was berated, abused and had complaints filed with the person I reported to at the university at which I worked at the time.
Wednesday, April 03, 2013
More on Joseph Mastropaolo...
One of my readers posted a link to an earlier article, by Michael Zimmerman, on HuffPo about Joseph Mastropaolo, the creationist I wrote about yesterday, who is asking to debate the literal reading of Genesis. Zimmerman writes: