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In relation to atheism and debate, although atheists claim there are reasonable arguments for atheism, the quality of atheist debate has been quite poor from the proponents of atheism. Below are some examples which demonstrate the unreasonableness of atheist debaters.

Doug Jesseph

In October of 1997, atheist Jeffrey Jay Lowder, a founder of Internet Infidels, stated that he believed that in regards to atheism and and debate that "the most impressive debater to date" was Doug Jesseph.[1] Yet Doug Jesseph claimed in a debate with William Lane Craig in 1996 that the origin of life had a detailed atheistic explanation(s).[2] In 1996, John Horgan wrote the following regarding what the highly respected origin of life researcher Stanley Miller believed to the case regarding naturalistic explanations of the origin of life: "Miller seemed unimpressed with any of the current proposals on the origin of life, referring to them as “nonsense” or “paper chemistry.”"[3] In addition, in 1996, John Horgan wrote the following in Scientific American: "The origin of life is a science writer's dream. It abounds with exotic scientists and exotic theories, which are never entirely abandoned or accepted, but merely go in and out of fashion."[4]

Gordon Stein

Bahnsen

Dr. Greg Bahnsen became known as the man atheists fear most" due to Michael Martin's cancellation of their scheduled debate.

In 1985, Christian apologist Dr. Greg Bahnsen and prominent proponent of atheism Gordon Stein had a debate at the University of California, Irvine regarding the positions of atheism and theism. John Frame wrote regarding the debate in which Dr. Bahnsen used the transcendental argument for the existence of God that "In the end, Stein walked and talked like a broken man."[5] The Greg Bahnsen-Gordon Stein debate was recorded and transcribed and was dubbed "The Great Debate".[6][7]

Greg Bahnsen and Michael Martin

Dr. Greg Bahnsen became known as the "man atheists fear most".[8] This is because Harvard-educated Dr. Michael Martin was scheduled to debate Bahnsen but pulled out of the debate at the "eleventh hour". A press release at the time said that Dr. Martin offered ruses on why he pulled out and didn't want the scheduled debate recorded but the real reason was that "...Michael Martin is afraid that he will be publicly humiliated just as his friend and fellow atheist, Dr. Gordon Stein, was..."

Martin later released his transcendental argument for the non-existence of God (TANG) in 1996 which was rebutted by Christian apologists.[9]

Creation Scientists Tend to Win the Creation-Evolution Debates

File:PH2006022801720.jpg

A majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the naturalistic evolutionary position since World War II have been atheists.[10][11] Creation scientists tend to win the Creation-Evolution debates and many have been held since the 1970's particularly in the United States.[12][13] Robert Sloan, Director of Paleontology at the University of Minnesota, reluctantly admitted to a Wall Street Journal reporter that the "creationists tend to win" the public debates which focused on the creation vs. evolution controversy.[14][13] In August of 1979, Dr. Henry Morris reported in an Institute for Creation Research letter the following: “By now, practically every leading evolutionary scientist in this country has declined one or more invitations to a scientific debate on creation/evolution.”[13] Morris also said regarding the creation scientist Duane Gish (who had over 300 formal debates): “At least in our judgment and that of most in the audiences, he always wins.”[13] Generally speaking, leading evolutionists generally no longer debate creation scientists.[15] In an article entitled Are Kansas Evolutionists Afraid of a Fair Debate? the Discovery Institute states the following:

Defenders of Darwin's theory of evolution typically proclaim that evidence for their theory is simply overwhelming. If they really believe that, you would think they would jump at a chance to publicly explain some of that overwhelming evidence to the public. Apparently not.[16]

In 1994, the arch-evolutionist Dr. Eugenie Scott made this confession concerning creation vs. evolution debates:

During the last six or eight months, I have received more calls about debates between creationists and evolutionists than I have encountered for a couple of years, it seems. I do not know what has inspired this latest outbreak, but I am not sure it is doing much to improve science education.

Why do I say this? Sure, there are examples of "good" debates where a well-prepared evolution supporter got the best of a creationist, but I can tell you after many years in this business that they are few and far between. Most of the time a well-meaning evolutionist accepts a debate challenge (usually "to defend good science" or for some other worthy goal), reads a bunch of creationist literature, makes up a lecture explaining Darwinian gradualism, and can't figure out why at the end of the debate so many individuals are clustered around his opponent, congratulating him on having done such a good job of routing evolution -- and why his friends are too busy to go out for a beer after the debate.[17]

In August of 2003 the Creation Research Society published some interesting material regarding their correspondence with Richard Dawkins regarding a creation-evolution debate in which Richard Dawkins participated in as a debater.[18] The Creation Research Society stated regarding the debate the following:

Despite Dr. Dawkins’ plea, there were apparently 115 votes for the creation position (more than 37%). This was done near Darwin’s turf. Imagine flat-earthers going to NASA and convincing over 37% of the scientists there that the earth is flat. Maybe creation science is not as closely akin to flat-earthism as Dr. Dawkins supposes (see his Free Inquiry article).[19]

Richard Dawkins and Recent Debates

Atheist Richard Dawkins Lost a Debate to a Rabbi and then Claimed Debate Never Took Place

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach was named the London Times Preacher of the Year 2000 and is the author of 20 books.[20] Recently Rabbi Schuley Boteach reported that college student audience voted that he won a debate between himself and Dawkins and then Richard Dawkins claimed the debate never took place. (the debate later turned out to be video taped). [21][22]

A video of the debate that Dawkins lost to Rabbi Shmuley Boteach is available at Rabbi Schely Boteach's website.[23]

Refusal of Richard Dawkins to Debate Christian apologist Dinesh D'Souza

Christian author Dinesh D'Souza wrote that Richard Dawkins' recent refusals to debate him and other knowledgeable Christian apologists was bizarre.[24][25][26] Dinesh D'Souza also accused Dawkins of chasing down weak opponents to debate him in situations where Dawkins controls the editing. [27][28][29]

Christian apologist Dr. William Lane Craig is Reported to Have Called Dawkins a Coward

Christian apologist Dr. Victor Reppert reported that Dr. William Lane Craig told him in a private email that Richard Dawkins is a coward for refusing to debate him.[30] Currently, there is a petition requesting Richard Dawkins to debate Christian apologist William Lane Craig.[31][32]

Anthony Flew and Dr. Gary Habermas Debate Regarding the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

An article hosted by Westmont College states the following regarding the debate between former atheist Anthony Flew (who has since become an ex-atheist) and Dr. Gary Habermas which focused on the issue of the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

Another helpful resource for judging the demonstrability of the resurrection is Terry L. Miethe, ed., Did Jesus Rise from the Dead? The Resurrection Debate. It chronicles a debate between Gary Habermas and Antony Flew held at Liberty University in 1985:

All parties agreed ... to limit the debate to a single issue, that of the historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus. The debate was not to be concerned with issues such as God's existence, revelation (such as the Bible), or miracles in general. These issues could, however, be addressed in the question and answer session following the formal debate.

Because audiences are perennially interested in who the experts choose as the winner of a public debate, we organized two panels of experts in their respective areas of specialty to render a verdict on the present subject matter. One panel consisted of five philosophers, who were instructed to judge the content of the debate and render a winner. The second panel consisted of five professional debate judges, who were asked to judge the argumentation technique of the debaters. All ten participants serve on the faculties of American universities and colleges such as the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Virginia, Western Kentucky University, James Madison University, George Mason University, Randolph-Macon College (Ashland, Virginia), Sweet Briar College, and Liberty University. We attempted to choose persons of a wide spectrum of views and persuasions.

The decisions of our judges were as follows. The panel of philosophers, judging content, cast four votes for Habermas, none for Flew, and one draw. ...[33]

The panel of professional debate judges voted three to two, also in favor of Habermas, this time regarding the method of argumentation technique.[34]

Kai Nielsen Versus J.P. Moreland Debate

In regards to athiesm and debate, there was a debate between atheist philosopher Kai Nielsen and Christian theist philsopher J.P. Moreland. Internet Infidels states the following regarding J.P. Moreland's book Does God Exist? which mentions the debate:

I agree completely with the conclusion of Craig's flow of the debate, that Moreland won the debate. In fact, Moreland's victory in the debate was so decisive I am left wishing that Keith Parsons had been Moreland's opponent; I wonder if Nielsen even took the debate seriously. In light of this, I am baffled why a secular humanist publisher like Prometheus Books would choose to publish this particular debate, given how pathetic Nielsen's performance truly was. (Jeffery Jay Lowder)[35]

Frank Zindler Versus Dr. William Craig Debate

The website TrueOrigin states the following regarding the debate between atheist Frank Zindler and Christian philosopher Dr. William Lane Craig:

Frank Zindler

A leading light in the American Atheists. Isn’t it amazing how so many atheists love evolution and appear to be threatened by the massive scientific evidence for creation? Zindler took the atheism side in an Atheism v. Christianity debate in front of 7,500 people at Willow Creek Community Church, USA. His opponent, Dr William Lane Craig, tore his ignorant arguments to shreds so effectively that many atheists in the audience realised that Zindler had lost the debate. It was presumably to this debate that John Snowden was alluding when he wrote that a representative of the American Atheists, whom he used to support, lost a public debate to a “fundamentalist” (Skeptic 18(3), 1998).[36]

See Also

External Links

Notes

  1. http://www.infidels.org/infidels/newsletter/1997/october.html
  2. http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/doug_jesseph/jesseph-craig/jesseph1.html
  3. http://www.trueorigin.org/abio.asp
  4. http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones/orignl01.html#orgnflfmjrprblmschcknndgg
  5. http://www.frame-poythress.org/frame_articles/Bahnsen.htm
  6. http://prosapologian.wordpress.com/2007/08/15/great-debates/
  7. http://www.bellevuechristian.org/faculty/dribera/htdocs/PDFs/Apol_Bahnsen_Stein_Debate_Transcript.pdf
  8. http://mywebpages.comcast.net/webpages54/ap/biobahn.html
  9. http://www.reformed.org/apologetics/index.html?mainframe=/apologetics/martin_TAG.html
  10. Don Batten, A Who’s Who of evolutionists Creation 20(1):32, December 1997.
  11. Jonathan Sarfati, Refuting Evolution, Chapter 1, Facts and Bias
  12. Ankerberg, John, and Weldon, John, Truth in Advertising: Damaging the Cause of Science
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Fraser, Bill,Who wins the Debates?
  14. Ankerberg, John, and Weldon, John, Truth in Advertising: Damaging the Cause of Science
  15. http://www.icr.org/article/811/
  16. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2005/02/are_kansas_evolutionists_afraid_of_a_fai.html
  17. http://www.skepticfiles.org/evo2/credebec.htm
  18. http://www.creationresearch.org/creation_matters/pdf/2003/cm08_04_rp.PDF
  19. http://www.creationresearch.org/creation_matters/pdf/2003/cm08_04_rp.PDF
  20. http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Judaism/2008/05/Richard-Dawkins-Shameful-Attack.aspx
  21. http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Judaism/2008/05/Richard-Dawkins-Shameful-Attack.aspx
  22. http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=61565
  23. http://anhonestdebate.com/2007/09/03/shmuley-boteach-vs-richard-dawkins/
  24. http://www.one-episcopalian-on-faith.com/2008/07/richard-dawkins.html
  25. http://townhall.com/columnists/DineshDSouza/2008/07/28/countering_richard_dawkins_on_al-jazeera
  26. http://www.tothesource.org/11_13_2007/11_13_2007.htm
  27. http://www.one-episcopalian-on-faith.com/2008/07/richard-dawkins.html
  28. http://townhall.com/columnists/DineshDSouza/2008/07/28/countering_richard_dawkins_on_al-jazeera
  29. http://www.tothesource.org/11_13_2007/11_13_2007.htm
  30. http://dangerousidea.blogspot.com/2007/01/dawkins-ducks-craig.html
  31. http://manawatu.christian-apologetics.org/sign-the-richard-dawkins-should-debate-william-craig-petition/
  32. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQlB78Hgsj4&feature=channel_page
  33. http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=639
  34. http://www.westmont.edu/~wor/faq/resurrection.html
  35. http://www.thedivineconspiracy.org/athart3.htm
  36. http://www.trueorigin.org/noaig.asp
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