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-   -   Religion Creationist offers $10K to prove Bible wrong (http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showthread.php?t=271521)

Dave Lane 03-27-2013 02:42 PM

Creationist offers $10K to prove Bible wrong
 
Creationist offers $10K to prove Bible wrong
Betting that science supports Genesis and not Darwin.

By Rich_Maloof

A die-hard creationist is putting his money where his faith is.
Dr. Joseph Mastropaolo believes unequivocally that the Bible's book of Genesis is a literal account of our universe's origin. Standing firmly behind his convictions, which he believes can be scientifically demonstrated, Mastropaolo has issued a challenge: Anyone who can prove, using hard evidence, that science contradicts the literal reading of Genesis walks away $10,000 richer.

Be warned: You don't want to sign up for this challenge without your facts in order. Contestants must arrive ready to argue their position against Mastropaolo with their own $10k in hand — and be willing to lose the money if Mastropaolo's scientific evidence of creationism prevails. So it's not so much a reward situation as a high-stakes bet. Whether or not the Bible says gambling is a sin remains a debate for another time.

The Literal Genesis Trial Contest is detailed at the Creation Science Hall of Fame — "Honoring those who honored God's Word as literally written in Genesis" — where the challenge is addressed, in good competitive spirit, to theistic evolutionists, allegoricallists, and "all you 'Long Agers.'"

According to contest rules, a mini-trial will be held in a courthouse where the contestant and Mastropaolo are to each put $10,000 in escrow. A superior court justice will decide which party prevails and is awarded the $20,000. (The Creation Science Hall of Fame is hosting the challenge but says it is not a party to the judge or any other entity involved.)

If you plan on arriving with a high schooler's grasp of evolution and a copy of Darwin's "On the Origin of Species," well, may God be with you. Mastropaolo is a highly educated, highly accomplished scientist. He's a recognized expert in kinesiology (the scientific study of body movement, aka human kinetics) and a recipient of Vice Presidential Awards for his studies on life in space.
And he believes that evolution cannot be proved.

"[Evolutionists] are not stupid people," Mastropaolo told The Guardian. "They are bright, but they are bright enough to know there is no scientific evidence they can give in a mini-trial."

Mastropaolo's bio indicates he has already scientifically proved that Adam and Eve were genetically perfect, that "ape-men are frauds" and that the Earth is 6,800 years old, give or take eight and a half centuries.

http://living.msn.com/life-inspired/the-daily-dose-blog-post?post=56fddca5-e512-4367-b2bb-7530e3bc8006#scptmh$


http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lr...hybuo1_400.gif

Dave Lane 03-27-2013 02:42 PM

Too funny for the creationist thread...

Bump 03-27-2013 02:59 PM

lol. It already has. Their only argument is "the bible says so" and there is no way they would listen to the proof. Because they can't understand it, their brains are not capable of thought outside of what the bible tells me to do.

cosmo20002 03-27-2013 03:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dave Lane (Post 9533506)
Too funny for the creationist thread...

Your honor, I wish to introduce Exhibit A into evidence--a book titled "The Bible." We rest our case.

/creation attorney

Bump 03-27-2013 03:04 PM

"Properly read, the bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived."

-Isaac Asimov

mr. tegu 03-27-2013 03:17 PM

The sad part about this is that most likely no one will challenge because either they don't have the money or they know that no matter the evidence they present it will not be accepted. In which case this guy will claim a great victory as he brags about how no one was up to the challenge because they knew the task he asked for could not be done.

DJ's left nut 03-27-2013 03:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bump (Post 9533545)
lol. It already has. Their only argument is "the bible says so" and there is no way they would listen to the proof. Because they can't understand it, their brains are not capable of thought outside of what the bible tells me to do.

If you talk to the man on the street, that is correct.

However, there are some remarkably intelligent and articulate physicists, mathematicians, etc... that will absolutely abuse someone with your outlook.

I personally think creationism is a little batty. That said, there are some brilliant people that believe in it. Those people are more intelligent than me, you and yes, even Dave Lane (though he'll never admit it).

And they'll absolutely give you an argument far beyond "the bible says so".

If Neil deGrasse Tyson shows up at this thing, you'll have a hell of a discussion but ultimately I'd put my money on NdT. That said, this guy will absolutely have his way with throwaway skeptics such as yourself.

Now you and the rest of the devout atheists can go back to beating each other off if you'd like.

KChiefer 03-27-2013 03:33 PM

Here's a blog post by someone who once engaged this charlatan a decade ago...

Quote:

Literal Genesis Trial: Creationist Gimmicks Versus the Optimism of Education


At the core of every successful teacher is a sense of optimism. That optimism is absolutely essential because every day, every teacher participates in the hard work of helping students peel back the veil of ignorance. Without that optimism there's no hope that the work being done is of any use.

There are constant challenges, though, that make it difficult to maintain unbridled optimism. Students often aren't excited by subjects in the same way that the teacher is. Too often opinions substitute for facts and bias replaces knowledge. Lessons learned one day are often forgotten the next. But good teachers know that over time progress can be made, learning can occur and the world can become a better place.

Personally, I have faced days when the process of education seems entirely hopeless. Invariably when this occurs it's for the simple reason that I feel I'm living a Groundhog Day existence. My "discussions" with creationists often repeat themselves to such an extent that it seems futile to continue.

Today was one such day.

The Guardian, for reasons I cannot begin to imagine, published an article summarizing the so-called Literal Genesis Trial being promoted by Joseph Mastropaolo. As reported, "A California creationist is offering a $10,000 challenge to anyone who can prove in front of a judge that science contradicts the literal interpretation of the book of Genesis."

What makes this charade so frustrating is that the Literal Genesis Trial is nothing more than a recycling of Mastropaolo's previous foray into publicity-hunting, anti-intellectual demagoguery. The Literal Genesis Trial used to be called The Life Science Prize and Mastropaolo regularly tried to bait evolutionary scientists into engaging in a similar contest.

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."

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.

Let me share just a couple of examples. When I proposed that we agree on definitions of evolution and creationism as a starting point, things went awry pretty quickly. In response to my suggestion that we use the classic textbook definition for evolution (a change in allele frequencies in a population over time), Mastropaolo's second argued that "change in allele frequency is about as meaningless a definition of evolution as can be offered." Mastropaolo himself countered with the following: "evolution is the development of an organism from its chemicals to its primitive state to its present state." My Ph.D. in evolutionary biology didn't help me make any sense out of that definition. Mastropaolo went further and said that I "may not be competent to contend for the Life Science Prize."

He very much liked the phrase "competent to contend for the Life Science Prize, also warning me that "Evolutionist hallucinators so out of touch with reality are psychotic by medical dictionary definition, and therefore not mentally competent to contend for the Life Science Prize."

So Joseph Mastropaolo is back generating publicity, promoting ignorance and spewing misinformation. I can't tell you how incredibly depressing it is to see a reputable media outlet like The Guardian take him seriously.

Beyond the ridiculous things he said to me, he is, after all, the author of a 2001 piece entitled "Evolution is Lethal Antiscience," published in the Creation Research Society Quarterly. The first sentence of that article is as clear as it is wrong: "The foundation of evolution is abiogenesis, life spontaneously generated from nonlife." In fact, evolution and the origin of life are completely separate disciplines, asking different questions and using different methodologies. This is a point clearly made in high school and middle school biology classes.

And the next to last sentence in the abstract of that piece is as unclear as it is wrong: "Therefore, evolution is identified here as the wantonly lethal antiscience ruling the summit of criminality." I can't begin to offer a meaningful critique of that sentence.

Nothing of significance has changed over the last nine years in Mastropaolo's rhetoric or in his understanding of science. And as the thousands of clergy members who have joined The Clergy Letter Project to promote both religion and evolution have shown, Mastropaolo's theology is also far from the mainstream.

But the press likes gimmicks and rewards them with coverage.

As depressing as all of this is, two things about this story ease my concern. First, I really do believe in the power of education and I am confident that most people reading about Mastropaolo's latest stunt will see it for what it is.

Second, I was unable to stop laughing when I found The Guardian story reported on a USA Today webpage. At the bottom of that page was a link to another story by the same "reporter." That story's headline was "another state is calling for Punxsutawney Phil's head."

Groundhog Day indeed! The universe obviously has a sense of humor.

-Michael Zimmerman, Ph.D.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michae...BNotifications

Fish 03-27-2013 03:36 PM

Quote:

A superior court justice will decide which party prevails and is awarded the $20,000.
I think they need to qualify that just a bit.

Either way, I doubt any reputable scientist would bother touching this. Arguing with someone who actually believes the world is < 7000 years old is futile. And that's ignoring the fact that Evolution does not and never was meant to answer the question of how life began. Evolution cannot prove the origin of life any more than a 2000 year old book can. The smartest scientist in the world with the best knowledge of biology and evolution could not prove the origin of life. But that in no way means that evolution itself is not correct.

This contest is not winnable by either side. Which I'm sure this Mastropaolo fellow knows full well..

cosmo20002 03-27-2013 03:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mr. tegu (Post 9533584)
The sad part about this is that most likely no one will challenge because either they don't have the money or they know that no matter the evidence they present it will not be accepted. In which case this guy will claim a great victory as he brags about how no one was up to the challenge because they knew the task he asked for could not be done.

IIRC, a couple years ago some creation group challenged some evolution scientists to a trial. I think it was in KC. The evolution group wouldn't play along, assuming it would be a sham. The creation group allowed some local guy to represent the evolution side. I'm pretty sure the creationists 'won.'

RNR 03-27-2013 03:47 PM

It is not possible to prove any belief wrong. You can offer up with all the evidence available it is highly unlikely that any of the three main monotheism's are true. Someone should offer him the same if he can prove it is true. He cannot even come close. In a case of the preponderance of the evidence he would come up embarrassingly short~

Fish 03-27-2013 03:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KChiefer (Post 9533623)
Here's a blog post by someone who once engaged this charlatan a decade ago...

OK... that explains things much better. That's pretty much what I expected.

Quote:

Beyond the ridiculous things he said to me, he is, after all, the author of a 2001 piece entitled "Evolution is Lethal Antiscience," published in the Creation Research Society Quarterly. The first sentence of that article is as clear as it is wrong: "The foundation of evolution is abiogenesis, life spontaneously generated from nonlife." In fact, evolution and the origin of life are completely separate disciplines, asking different questions and using different methodologies. This is a point clearly made in high school and middle school biology classes.

And the next to last sentence in the abstract of that piece is as unclear as it is wrong: "Therefore, evolution is identified here as the wantonly lethal antiscience ruling the summit of criminality." I can't begin to offer a meaningful critique of that sentence.

Nothing of significance has changed over the last nine years in Mastropaolo's rhetoric or in his understanding of science. And as the thousands of clergy members who have joined The Clergy Letter Project to promote both religion and evolution have shown, Mastropaolo's theology is also far from the mainstream.
This Mastropaolo guy is evidently defining evolution himself. And he's including abiogenesis into evolution. Which is as wrong as wrong can be.

He's simply playing a game of semantics with defined rules garnered so that it's impossible to prove.

Meh....

DementedLogic 03-27-2013 04:54 PM

http://dadhoc.com/wp-content/uploads...-model_635.jpg


How do I collect my 10 grand?

Prison Bitch 03-27-2013 06:07 PM

Trying to convince an creationist that the Bible isn't real is like trying to convince a liberal that gun control won't prevent gun violence.

Dave Lane 03-27-2013 06:20 PM

Debating a creationist on the topic of evolution is very much like playing chess with a pigeon - it knocks over the pieces, craps on the board and flys away to its flock claiming victory


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