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The Lie: Evolution
 

Creation


Debate with Dan Part II (Dan Does It! )

By Karl Priest April 10, 2009

I submitted a letter to the Charleston Gazette about the Life Science Prize and when it was not published I took the editorial page editor, Dan Radmacher, to task again. (See Debate with Dan Part I.)

This was compiled from emails and (in 2002) I had no plans to make a report so I sometimes saved emails that had several email exchanges within the body of the email, therefore making it difficult to place a date on some of them. The debate picks up with Dan responding to my email of which I have not located a copy. My words are in bold font to facilitate reading.

4-12-02

Dan said: I will publish your letter, but doing that, I believe you owe me an answer, as well as our readers and the members of our forum.

Or is this simply an empty challenge?

Please answer me, otherwise, I may feel the need to expose it as such.

Karl replied: Please tell me exactly what you mean by that last statement.

Thank you.

Karl P.

4-13-02

Karl,

You are using our Readers Forum to issue a challenge. If it is, in fact, a fraudulent challenge, I believe I have an obligation to inform our readers. Don't you? So please tell me who the jurors are who will judge this debate, should it ever actually take place.

Dan

4-14-02

Dan:

I should be offended that you are accusing me of proposing fraud.  I would be if I didn't understand the fear that is behind your statement.

The Daily Mail published the challenge and, not being so fanatical in their support of evolutionism, they felt no need to question my sincerity.

The fact is, Dan, that you are posturing to rationalize the Gazette's response to the challenge that has evolutionists trembling.

You know that you will not allow a level playing field on the pages of the Gazette and you fear (as you did during the Resolution and Pandas debates) that evolution cannot withstand a battle on equal terms with science.

You can prove that you have evolved into an open minded seeker of the truth.  Join me in promoting this debate.  Get Fox News and WCHS Talk Radio to cosponsor the debate and history will be made. Of course, you have to risk your cherished faith in evolution will be shattered.

I asked for guest article space and renew that request.

To answer your question about adjudication of the debate--it's simple.  In the spirit of the American system of justice a good old American jury will decide the winner.

Karl P.
---------------------------------------------------
So when I get letters in response to yours asking the very valid questions that you have so far refused to answer on our forum about the composition of the "panel of jurors," what should I tell them?

Simple.  Tell them to contact me.

Please, as promised, publish my letter.

Thanks.

Karl
---------------------------------------------------
4-14-02

Karl,

Neither I nor the theory of evolution have anything to fear from you.

The only reason I would question your sincerity is your ongoing refusal to explain the terms of the debate on our forums, despite repeated requests.

A good old American jury, eh? Like the one that acquitted OJ? Juries don't do so well with complicated scientific information. They don't have the training. Evolution is judged daily by a jury of scientists - all scientists (or at least, a good portion of scientists who deal with aspects of evolution: biologists, zoologists, geologists, etc.). A little show here in Kanawha County would do nothing to challenge the overwhelming scientific consensus that evolution is the best current theory to explain the development of life on this planet. And certainly convincing 12 uneducated "jurists" that a professor of physical education knows more than 99 percent of the scientific community would do nothing to convince me or any other thinking observer that the theory of evolution is incorrect.

So we'll publish your letter, and I won't expose your little fraud. It would only give you more attention, which you clearly don't deserve. Nor do you deserve or have the credentials, as I have explained before, for a guest commentary.

Good luck getting anyone to risk $10,000 on the vagaries of a good old American jury.

Dan
---------------------------------------------------
Dan said:  Neither I nor the theory of evolution have anything to fear from you.

Karl replied: Don't take it personally.  Except for your fanatical devotion to evolutionism you seem to be a fine fellow.  However, as history has shown, evolutionists have so little confidence in their dogma that they will go to the extreme in order to keep the public and innocent public school children from discovering what a farce evolution really is.

Dan said: The only reason I would question your sincerity is your ongoing refusal to explain the terms of the debate on our forums, despite repeated requests.

Karl replied: Didn't you read my last post on the forum?  It made it very clear why I will not participate. (Karl’s 2009 note: The “forum” Dan refers to was a Gazette viewpoint exchange (i.e. endless arguments) webpage.)

Dan said:A good old American jury, eh? Like the one that acquitted OJ?

Karl replied: Hey, who wrote that statement?  It surely wasn't a top editor of the famous liberal Gazette.  
Dan said: Juries don't do so well with complicated scientific information. They don't have the training.

Karl replied: Are you advocating eliminating expert witnesses from American courtrooms?  No matter, because--in the case of evolutionism--there are no empirical scientific facts. Any jury will clearly see that fact if presented the evidence under courtroom conditions.
     
Dan said: Evolution is judged daily by a jury of scientists - all scientists (or at least, a good portion of scientists who deal with aspects of evolution: biologists, zoologists, geologists, etc.).

Karl replied: Contact a scientist who works in real world science and see how important evolution is.  I have already done so.

Dan said: A little show here in Kanawha County would do nothing to challenge the overwhelming scientific consensus that evolution is the best current theory to explain the development of life on this planet.

Karl replied: Maybe.  Maybe not.

Dan said: And certainly convincing 12 uneducated "jurists" that a professor of physical education knows more than 99 percent of the scientific community would do nothing to convince me or any other thinking observer that the theory of evolution is incorrect.

Karl replied: There you go.  Defamation when you lack substance.  You flamed the jurors and Dr. M. Shame on you!  If you were my student you would be talking to me in the hallway.

Dan said: So we'll publish your letter, and I won't expose your little fraud. It would only give you more attention, which you clearly don't deserve. Nor do you deserve or have the credentials, as I have explained before, for a guest commentary.

Karl replied: The only fraud is evolution. If you want credentials, I can get a former local high school science teacher (two in fact) to do an article.  How about it?

Dan said: Good luck getting anyone to risk $10,000 on the vagaries of a good old American jury.

Karl replied: I guess, from my estimation of your age, you missed out on the American history my generation learned.
      
Thanks for publishing the letter.  I know it is difficult to put your worldview in jeopardy.
---------------------------------------------------
4-15-02

Karl,

My worldview depends little on evolution. However, it is the foundation of much of modern science. Perhaps if you talked to real scientists rather than high school teachers, you would know that (I already have).

Don't take it personally, other than your fanatical devotion to non-science, you seem to be a fine fellow.

Let me ask you something, Karl, and try to answer honestly. Which of our two positions is based on evidence, and which is based on preconceived notion? Creationism goes back to the Bible, which has been around thousands of years. Your main evidence, and your main point of reference (some would say your only point of reference) is the text of Genesis, which was written how many thousands of years ago?

Evolution as a theory evolved (sorry) over the last 150 years or so based on the evidence. It overcame an extremely skeptical scientific society. Every piece of evidence, from genetics to DNA on forth, supports the theory (I know you say it does not, but, you are wrong - and if you weren't wrong, evolution hardly would have become the dominant theory of the development of life).

Scientists every day seek new evidence. Perhaps you read about the potential discovery of a new type of matter, stars made of "strange quarks" or some such, in the last few days. I don't know the details. But I know this: Scientists observed something they couldn't understand. And they are striving to make their understanding fit the evidence. You, and your creationist brothers, on the other hand, strive to make your evidence fit the understanding.

You can say that isn't so, but I know it is. And I can prove it. The understanding of creationists has not changed one single bit in the last several thousand years, despite an onslaught of evidence and humongous strides in technology. The understanding of scientists, on the other hand, has changed with the evidence. That's why they are scientists, and you and Dr. Mastraopalo are not, and probably never will be.

As to your request for commentary space: Here's where I stand. I don't want to waste any precious commentary space, pro or con, on an issue that science has already settled.

Thanks for talking. And I hope you listen, just a little.

Dan
---------------------------------------------------
Dan said: My worldview depends little on evolution. However, it is the foundation of much of modern science. Perhaps if you talked to real scientists rather than high school teachers, you would know that (I already have).

Karl replied: Dan, you are blinded to the fact that your worldview is very much based upon evolutionism.  I can refer you to some literature that will make you think.  Just ask.

Dan said:

Don't take it personally, other than your fanatical devotion to non-science, you seem to be a fine fellow.

Karl replied: Good line, Dan.  Where did you get the idea?

Dan said: Let me ask you something, Karl, and try to answer honestly. Which of our two positions is based on evidence, and which is based on preconceived notion? Creationism goes back to the Bible, which has been around thousands of years. Your main evidence, and your main point of reference (some would say your only point of reference) is the text of Genesis, which was written how many thousands of years ago?

Karl replied: Dan, I can separate my religion from my science.  You don't seem to be able to do so.  You constantly attack Biblical creation.  I (nor major creation leaders) do not advocate Biblical creation for the schools.  Dr. M is putting 10 grand on the line to back up the fact that evolutionism is not scientific.  He doesn't need scripture to do it.  If you think this is a bluff--get your 10 grand together and find out who has scientific facts on their side.

BTW, Dan, don't you know evolutionism is based upon ancient religious beliefs?


Dan said: Evolution as a theory evolved (sorry) over the last 150 years or so based on the evidence. It overcame an extremely skeptical scientific society. Every piece of evidence, from genetics to DNA on forth, supports the theory (I know you say it does not, but, you are wrong - and if you weren't wrong, evolution hardly would have become the dominant theory of the development of life).

Karl replied: Again, Dan, (with all due respect) put your money where your mouth is.  Surely there are 10,000 people in the world who will send you a buck.  If not, there must be a thousand who will send a ten-spot.  OK--beg and get 100 to send in their fair share.  Call it the "100 Club".

Dan said: Scientists every day seek new evidence. Perhaps you read about the potential discovery of a new type of matter, stars made of "strange quarks" or some such, in the last few days. I don't know the details. But I know this: Scientists observed something they couldn't understand. And they are striving to make their understanding fit the evidence. You, and your creationist brothers, on the other hand, strive to make your evidence fit the understanding.

Karl replied: For a man of above average intellect (I mean that sincerely) you are confused.  I think it is a heart, rather than head, problem.  You must learn to separate "scientists" from "evolutionists". The terms are not synonymous. Scientists look at evidence and seek to understand it with objective scientific laws.  Evolutionists (who do nothing to contribute to real science) look at evidence and seek to make it fit their philosophy of evolutionism.

Dan said: You can say that isn't so, but I know it is. And I can prove it. The understanding of creationists has not changed one single bit in the last several thousand years, despite an onslaught of evidence and humongous strides in technology. The understanding of scientists, on the other hand, has changed with the evidence. That's why they are scientists, and you and Dr. Mastraopalo are not, and probably never will be.

Karl replied: Dr. M and I are off the porch and barking.  You and your evolutionist puppies are still on the porch yelping.  Get your 10 big ones and come to the dogfight.

Dan said: As to your request for commentary space: Here's where I stand. I don't want to waste any precious commentary space, pro or con, on an issue that science has already settled.

Karl replied: How can you live with yourself?  During the Resolution debate you gave a column to an art teacher from SCHS to ridicule my position.  Oops, I see it now!  Her credentials, in teaching art, trump mind on teaching math because evolutionism is imaginary and artistic individuals are qualified to discuss it.

As far as being settled by science--have you ordered your copy of Dr. Hermann's book? (Karl’s 2009 note: Dr. Hermann –mentioned elsewhere in this debate—iwas a professor of mathematics at the U. S. Naval Academy. I must have told Dan about him in an email that I cannot locate.)

Dan said:  Thanks for talking. And I hope you listen, just a little.

Karl replied: You are welcome.  Right back at you.  8>)

Karl P.
---------------------------------------------------
4-17-02

Karl,

You didn't answer my very sincere question. Here it is again:

Let me ask you something, Karl, and try to answer honestly. Which of our two positions is based on evidence, and which is based on preconceived notion? Creationism goes back to the Bible, which has been around thousands of years. Your main evidence, and your main point of reference (some would say your only point of reference) is the text of Genesis, which was written how many thousands of years ago?

If evolution is based upon ancient religious beliefs, simply point them out. Don't leave me hanging like this. Also, please point out how my worldview, which you know next to nothing about, is dependent on these ancient religious beliefs, which I know next to nothing about.

Dr. M is only willing to put $10 grand on the line in a rigged debate. Ask him to put it in escrow in my name. I'll put $10 grand up in return, I swear, and we can debate in just as honest a debate - though it will be by a panel of "Good old American jurists" that I pick.

I'm sure that Dr. M will jump right at that offer, won't he?

Won't he?

Well, why not? My panel will be more qualified than his to judge "objective scientific standards," because my panel will be of actual objective scientists.

What, that won't work for Dr. M? Why, I wonder why not. I am shocked, shocked, I say.

You don't see it yet, do you? You are checkmated here. Yes, Dr. M can win if he picks the panel. I can win if I pick the panel. Only I can say that I will truly pick a random panel of practicing, publishing scientists.

Give me that, and I will put up the $10 grand, even if I have to borrow it.

Will Dr. M?

Debate or default.

It's in your court. And I will admit that I know next to nothing about evolution. Dr. M claims to be an expert. I'll still best him.

I'll get the account ready for Dr. M's $10 grand.

Debate or default.

We published your letter. Ready to publish mine, Karl?

Debate or default.

My money is where my mouth is. I am just as ready to put up $10,000 as your Dr. M - under my conditions, and my definitions. Where is he?

Debate or default.

My money is ready. Where is Dr. M's?

Debate or default.

Here it is. All you must do is ask for the account number.

Debate or default.

I'm waiting. I'm all here by myself. No dogs or nothing. Where is Dr. M?

Debate or default.

Let me see. Dr. Hermann's book - is that the one published by such a reputable publisher that he couldn't get simple typos fixed?

Debate or default.

I'm waiting.

Debate or default.

That's what I thought. I'm tired of this, Karl. I'm throwing all of this right back in your face. If Dr. M doesn't agree to my terms for debate, he has defaulted and exposed himself for the fraud I know him to be. Of course, whatever he does, and whatever I do, evolution will still be the preponderant scientific theory of the day, won't it? Isn't all this stupid? Yes, it is. So, until Dr. M puts $10 grand in my account, I'm done with this conversation.

Debate or default.

I'm done.

Dan
---------------------------------------------------
Dan said: You didn't answer my very sincere question. Here it is again:

Let me ask you something, Karl, and try to answer honestly. Which of our two positions is based on evidence, and which is based on preconceived notion? Creationism goes back to the Bible, which has been around thousands of years. Your main evidence, and your main point of reference (some would say your only point of reference) is the text of Genesis, which was written how many thousands of years ago?

Karl replied : Here is the answer: my science is based upon objective, observable, empirical facts. Evolutionism is NOT.  

Now, answer my sincere question.  Why do you keep harping on the Bible?  I thought the issue is SCIENCE.

Dan said: If evolution is based upon ancient religious beliefs, simply point them out. Don't leave me hanging like this. Also, please point out how my worldview, which you know next to nothing about, is dependent on these ancient religious beliefs, which I know next to nothing about.

 Karl replied : In a nutshell: Plato's "Great Chain of Being", Eastern Religions, and New Age beliefs are correlated to, and derived from, evolutionism.  There are many more details.  You can do the research or, when you calm down and request it, I will assist you.

Dan said: Dr. M is only willing to put $10 grand on the line in a rigged debate. Ask him to put it in escrow in my name. I'll put $10 grand up in return, I swear, and we can debate in just as honest a debate - though it will be by a panel of "Good old American jurists" that I pick.

Karl replied : At this point you begin to rant and rave.  Don't worry. This is a common reaction by evolutionists who (at least subconsciously) see there imaginary world begin to fall apart.  Some harden their hearts and are no longer capable of reason.  Others (like Hoyle) remain antagonistic to the truth of creation, but admit the absurdity of Darwinism.  (Some of the best antievolutionism material I've read is from honest skeptics.)  A few (and I hope you will ultimately fit into this category) become creationists.

Since your (following) hysterical remarks are mainly directed to Dr. M, I shall offer him the change to reply.  However, some items in your diatribe warrant comments from me. (Karl’s 2009 note: See Dr. Mastropaolo’s comments below.)

Dan said: I'm sure that Dr. M will jump right at that offer, won't he?

Won't he?

Well, why not? My panel will be more qualified than his to judge "objective scientific standards," because my panel will be of actual objective scientists.

What, that won't work for Dr. M? Why, I wonder why not. I am shocked, shocked, I say.

You don't see it yet, do you? You are checkmated here. Yes, Dr. M can win if he picks the panel. I can win if I pick the panel. Only I can say that I will truly pick a random panel of practicing, publishing scientists.

Give me that, and I will put up the $10 grand, even if I have to borrow it.

Will Dr. M?

Debate or default.

It's in your court. And I will admit that I know next to nothing about evolution. Dr. M claims to be an expert. I'll still best him.

Karl replied : You sure have based a lot of your life (and eternal life) on something you "know next to nothing about"!  Creationists have studied both sides of the issue.  Who is most likely uninformed and narrow-minded?

Dan said:

I'll get the account ready for Dr. M's $10 grand.

Debate or default.

We published your letter. Ready to publish mine, Karl?

Debate or default.

My money is where my mouth is. I am just as ready to put up $10,000 as your Dr. M - under my conditions, and my definitions. Where is he?

Debate or default.

My money is ready. Where is Dr. M's?

Debate or default.

Here it is. All you must do is ask for the account number.

Debate or default.

I'm waiting. I'm all here by myself. No dogs or nothing. Where is Dr. M?

Debate or default.

Let me see. Dr. Hermann's book - is that the one published by such a reputable publisher that he couldn't get simple typos fixed?

Karl replied : Now you are attacking a professor of mathematics at the US Naval Academy.  See where your fit of irrationality has taken you.

Dan said: Debate or default.

I'm waiting.

Debate or default.

That's what I thought. I'm tired of this, Karl. I'm throwing all of this right back in your face. If Dr. M doesn't agree to my terms for debate, he has defaulted and exposed himself for the fraud I know him to be. Of course, whatever he does, and whatever I do, evolution will still be the preponderant scientific theory of the day, won't it? Isn't all this stupid? Yes, it is. So, until Dr. M puts $10 grand in my account, I'm done with this conversation.

Debate or default.

I'm done.

Karl replied : Whew!  Now, take a deep breath, and read carefully.  We have (as gentlemen) made a very clear challenge with very clear terms that are easily understood by rational people.

I don't want you to lose your own money.  I assume you have a family to support.  So far, the "$10,000 Challenge" has not been made directly to you.  However, if you insist on answering the challenge we will proceed
.

Each party will place $10,000 in escrow.  A jury will be selected.  As you will remember from your civics classes--a jury is neutral.  The rest consists of logistics which we can mutually settle.

So, Dan, let's GET IT ON!

Karl
---------------------------------------------------
(Karl’s 2009 note: Dan now refers to something that is in an email I cannot locate. It appears to me to be a little joke I played because Dan was so adamant about stacking the jury with (his definition of) scientists. I submitted a list of highly qualified scientists who were all creationists. He missed the humor, but caught on later.)

4-25-02

Karl,

What, you think the rules change because you make a ridiculous "challenge"? Sorry, but equal space is not an option, unless I limit myself to 200 words like I did the last time I addressed creationism in print.

You still don't have the credentials to earn op-ed space. If anything, this exchange has proven that beyond a shadow of a doubt.

If you want, though, I'll post this entire exchange on the evolution/creation forum. That's the only Gazette publication that grants you unlimited words and unlimited submissions. You've been strangely silent there, though, haven't you? I guess you don't like the knowledgeable rebuttals you get there.

By the way, here are the last words I let myself publish in the Gazette about this debate. There are less than 200 of them. You're crazy if you think I'll let you have more words than that:

Those who urge the teaching of creation "science" just don't get it. Scientists can be religious. Many are. But no real scientist accepts a supernatural cause for an answer to a scientific question. To do so misses the whole point of science, which is a search for rational explanations. Scientists are interested in the how, not the who or the why.

If you answer the question "What are the origins of life" with "God," there is nowhere left for the search to go. Creation "science" or "intelligent design" or any of the euphemisms creationists use are religion cloaked in pseudoscience.

Is every facet of the theory of evolution proven? Not by a long shot. Science is a constant quest for knowledge, and as new facts come in, new theories are constantly developed and tested. But the fundamental principles of evolution are generally accepted by the scientific community, having been subjected to decades of scrutiny.

Finally, I find it extremely ironic that the champion "scientist" of the creationists is a man with a doctoral degree in physical education who thinks he disproved evolution when spaghetti failed to come alive after he zapped it with electricity.

---------------------------------------------------
(Karl’s 2009 note: There may be a missing email here.)

Dan

4-27-02

OK, Karl. Submit your 200 words. I'll publish them along with mine in a column.

Teno's remarks are silly. This is not a trial. This is science. Science happens every day. You said this debate would be judged by objective scientific standards. Who better than scientists to judge that? But Teno says I want a biased jury because scientists have already determined that evolution is good science. I can't help that scientists have determined evolution is science. But it doesn't help make your point that the only way you can win this debate is to convince a panel of uneducated "jurors" that evolution is not science when those who practice science say it is.

Your debate is meaningless. And it is a fraud. And you never answered any of my questions about your hand-picked jury. Instead, Teno starts sputtering about picking random citizens out of a phone book - something that had not been mentioned before.

I'll be waiting for your 200 words, Karl.
-----------------------------------------------------
Karl replied: Dan: OK, 200 words apiece.  Let's have at it.  You ridiculed my friend Dr. Mastropaolo and insulted me.

I made a very simple and fair challenge and even gave you a chance to gracefully bow out.  

Now prove your fraud charges to the public or withdraw them.  I stand firm on my charge that you are a debate dodger and I will defend my claim with 200 words.  Let's get it on!

Karl


PS:

I am still very indignant and not in the right frame of mind to elaborate on your lack of logic and hypocrisy.  Teno is more objective and I paste his comments below.  I hope you will read them and give them careful thought.

Dan said: This is the first suggestion I've heard of a random jury selected from a phonebook. Is that how that list of names Karl presented me was selected? I doubt it, since he said they were all qualified scientists and teachers.

Teno said: Long ago Karl mentioned something like "a good old American jury". If you knew the first thing about American jurisprudence, you'd know that a jury is not supposed to be experts because they are inherently biased. Experts are supposed to be witnesses, not jurists.

Dan said: But the truth is the average citizen is not qualified to make a determination about this. The average citizen lacks the scientific education to judge evidence. Most could not give you an accurate definition of science.

Teno said: If they could, evolution wouldn't stand a chance. Science includs things that are OBSERVABLE, experimental, and repeatable.

Dan said: Most would tell you that evolution says man evolved from apes, even though the theory does not suggest that.

Teno said: What would virtually anyone call a common ancestor of men and apes if not an ape? Anyway, the idea is to EDUCATE the jury, to present our evidence and see who can make a better case. If they are experts, they are already biased.

Dan said: The standard proposed by Karl for this debate was objective scientific standards.

Why are you afraid to have scientists and professors - from any field - be the judge of objective scientific standards? It must be because you know that scientists have already made that judgment,

Teno said: There you are - you have admitted you want a PREJUDICED jury - who have PRE-JUDGED the matter. That's a farce, not a jury. You could go to jail for that in a real court.

Dan said: I never suggested that a panel of scientists would have to include those who have published articles about evolution, I merely suggested that they include scientists whose work has been published in peer-reviewed journals, since this indicates a level of accomplishment (and would also give us a ready source for names). (Karl’s 2009 note: See Dr. Mastropaolo’s comments below.)

Teno said: Creation Technical Journal is peer-reviewed by scientists, many of them published in secular scientific sources. Would they do? Or can they only be biased in YOUR direction?
---------------------------------------------------
4-27-02

I'll be waiting for your 200 words, Karl.
---------------------------------------------------
Let's keep it fair.  I will hand deliver my 200 words and pick up a copy of your 200 words.  No changes allowed unless both of us agree.

Karl P.
---------------------------------------------------
4-27-02

I'll go you one better than that. Give me a little time, and I'll come up with a 150-word introduction, that you can have input on, and my 200-words, that you can have no input on. Then you give me your 200 words to finish the column.

Yes, I am so confident in my position, that I'll give you the last word.

5-2-02
---------------------------------------------------
Karl,

I am trying to work on the column I promised you. I need to know something that you have never answered. Was that list of jurors you gave me legitimate? Is that really who you intended to judge this debate?

Dan
---------------------------------------------------
5-2-02

Karl,

Operating under the assumption that your hand-picked "jury" of creationists was actually an attempt at humor, I went ahead and wrote my column. Here it is. As I said, you can have input into the first part. You have no input into my 200 words (actually 197). We'll need to have any wrangling on this done by next Wednesday night for the column to run on Friday.

I did this all by myself. Are you going to bring Teno and the bunch into this, or can you do it all on your own, too?

I don't know how I get myself into these things. I guess it's because I like to debate. Anyway, I became involved in an e-mail exchange with Karl Priest, a local creationist who recently issued a $10,000 challenge in our Readers' forum.

The idea is that someone who supports evolution puts up $10,000. Dr. Joseph Mastropaolo, a creationist friend of Karl's, puts up $10,000, and they have a debate. If Dr. M (as Karl calls him) proves that evolution is not science, he walks away with the $20,000. If the evolution proponent prevails, that person walks away with the $20,000.

Well, I asked Karl the rather obvious question: Who decides who wins and who loses? That led to a lengthy exchange that culminated in a rather testy e-mail from me challenging Dr. M to a debate under my terms to be settled by jury composed of practicing scientists and professors. I repeatedly threw Karl's favorite tag phrase back at
him: "Debate or default."

And I accused him of trying to stage a rigged and fraudulent debate. (Did I mention my e-mail was rather testy?)

This led to more e-mails about what would constitute a reasonable jury for such an undertaking. Karl proposed a "good old American jury." I countered by saying, "Oh, like the one that found O.J. innocent?" and explained why I thought a random jury of citizens probably wouldn't be qualified to determine what is good science and what is not.

According to Karl's letter, the standard for deciding the winner will be "objective scientific facts." What better jury, then, than scientists? Karl said I was confused about the difference between a jury and expert witnesses.

Finally, Karl challenged me to a debate right here, with equal time to both sides. We agreed we would both limit each other to 200 words (our limit for letters to the editor). This introduction doesn't count. Karl was able to preview this introduction and make suggestions to ensure its neutrality.

I also promised him the last word. Sound fair? Here goes:

You propose a fraudulent debate. Not only that, it is a worthless debate. It is fraudulent because Dr. M gets to pick the jury. Even if the jury is a random sampling of unbiased citizens, there is no way in a short debate to present the literal mountains of scientific evidence that support evolution.

It is worthless because science is not conducted by public debate. It is conducted in peer-reviewed journals. And evolution is the hands-down winner in that ongoing debate, which is the only one that matters.

Karl will tell you that such a debate is the one truly rigged because there is some pro-evolution conspiracy among scientists. Scientists do overwhelmingly consider evolution the best theory to explain the development of life. But they do so because the evidence supports it.

How can I prove this? Simple. The theory of evolution has evolved (sorry) over time. It has been adapted and changed as evidence has become available. That's what scientists do. They strive to make their understanding fit the evidence, not the other way around.

Creationists do not change their theory no matter what the evidence, because it is based on religious faith, not scientific inquiry.

That's my 197 words. Now it's Karl's turn:

Bring it on.
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5-3-02

I assure you it was a sincere offer. Though I would feel better about it if you would specifically say that the "jury" of creationist "scientists" was indeed a joke.
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Joe provided the list.  I took it, and submitted it to you, as tongue-in-cheek to make a serious point.  If a banker was on trial for embezzlement the court would not sit a jury of bankers (be they all honest or all crooks).  However, bankers could testify as expert witnesses.

Karl
---------------------------------------------
Dan:

I just got this (10:30 PM) and am exhausted after a local creation group officers meeting.  I have mid-term tests and grades to do. Our group meeting is Saturday morning and I have about two acres to mow after much rain.

I just skimmed what you wrote and see that you seem to do what I figured was very unlikely you would do.  Maybe its fatigue (or West Side savvy), but I am a little leery.  However, I will respond, in good faith, by Sunday eve.

Under the assumption you are proceeding as a gentleman I say "thanks" for a willingness to meet on a (limited) level playing field.

Karl P.
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5-3-02

Dan:

I am going to draft my part tonight and work on it more as time allows.  When I said I would submit something by Sunday, I had not read that your deadline is Wednesday, so I may not finish until Monday or Tuesday.  I forgot that my son and daughter are coming to visit Saturday eve.  To make things even more complicated, my wife has adopted a pup and I need to help set up for that.  

But, I will not stall and will send my copy to you ASAP (that could very well be Sunday).

I will not share your column with the group at tomorrow's meeting, but I will tell them the combined column is in the works.  BTW, we meet at 10 AM at SC Municipal Court.  Please join us.  One of our regulars is someone who totally agrees with you and posts a lot on the Gazette forum.  We consider him a friend.  Anyway, you can be assured that you won't be treated unkindly.  Oh, another thing.  Our July speaker is the fellow (Steve Conifer) who wrote a letter you printed.  Remember, the leader of the MU humanist group.  I hate to destroy your stereotype of us creationists as a bunch of narrow minded fanatics.

Concerning the blind CCs of my correspondence: that is a rabbit trail debate that we can do some other time.  I have my own thoughts about that.  But, to ease your mind, let me clarify.  I've already explained Teno's part.  I also CC Dr. M. because the 10 grand is his money and he has a right to know how I use his challenge as a red flag in front of evolutionists.  The others are less than a dozen members of the local creationist group.  I want to reiterate that their addresses are blind to protect them--not to deceive you.  Most are intimidated [due to occupation, personality, or personal status (single female, for example)] by you.  After all, you wield a lot of power in WV. (Karl’s 2009 note: This refers to another email I have not located where Dan expressed concern over the BCC’s I was using. Teno was a creationist who posted on the Gazette forum.)

I did not send that group your column draft.  I did add a fellow (David) for a few of the posts including your column.  He lives in another state.  He is a softhearted fellow (of keen intellect) who is concerned that I am too harsh with you.  I value his conciliatory advice.

I will write my reply myself, but I will consider advice from Teno, Joe, and David.  I think you are an honest man and I take your word when you say you did your part on your own.  If you want to rescind your part and seek advice from the boys on the Forum--go ahead.  But call me (769-0217) so I won't work on a response to the draft you sent only to have a revision to deal with.  I usually don't check email until late in the evening.

I was too tired to read your email last night.  You'll understand when you pass 50. I took your draft to school hoping to study it during the day.  Unfortunately about 100 teenagers had other plans for my time and I just read it over (word for word) a few minutes ago.  I don't think there will need to be much "wrangling", if any.  My first impression is that it is an accurate introduction and straight up attempt to neutralize the debate challenge.

Karl

PS  I only refer to Dr. Mastropaolo as "Dr. M." for email brevity.  I never refer to him that way otherwise.
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5-4-02

What you miss, Karl, is that I am not proposing a jury of bankers. Evolution is on trial. You say it's not science. I'm proposing a jury of scientists, not evolutionists.

Now, if you are telling me that scientists and evolutionists are the same, then I really see no need for the trial. If they are not, then scientists would seem to be the best ones to decide if evolution is science.
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5-5-02

What you miss, Karl, is that I am not proposing a jury of bankers. Evolution is on trial. You say it's not science. I'm proposing a jury of scientists, not evolutionists.

What you miss Dan, is my metaphor.  But, we AGREE, evolution is on trial.  I propose a jury of sworn citizens--not expert witnesses.  Bring your scientists and your evolutionists and let's let the public decide who is believable and which side has the facts of evidence on their side.

Hey, we are starting to chase our tails.  I have a draft ready for you.  I am going to sleep on it and send it to you tomorrow night (Lord willing).

Karl P.
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5-6-02

Dan:

Here it is--in my own words.  Thanks for the opportunity.  I doubt if I'll get the "last word" and don't really want it.  I want a debate and let the jury have the last word.

Karl

Dan's comments are examples of how evolutionists answer criticism of evolutionism.  They defame the critics, cast the issue as purely religious, and claim evolutionism is supported by overwhelming evidence.  

Real science does not use "e-coli to editor" evolution. Evolutionism is built upon a belief that life comes from nonlife and, through millions of miracles, simple life forms become more complex. Fakes, fallacies and pagan religious beliefs permeate the history of evolutionism.

This issue is worthwhile because citizens are greatly affected by how public money is spent on scientific research and the education of its children.  Americans should not be ruled by an elite few who hold knowledge only they understand.  Sounds like the occult to me.

The framers of the Constitution had confidence in trial by jury.  We have evidence to back facts--not beliefs. All evolutionists need to do is present their three best proofs.  If those don't convince a jury, alleged piles of other "evidence" is useless.

The fraud is not the debate challenge. The fraud is in getting the public to support something less likely than (as Dr. Mastropaolo says) the Blue Fairy.  Evolutionists: you have been called out. Let's see who has a rubber sword.  Retrieve the gauntlet or retreat.
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5-7-02 9:50:08 AM

Karl,

This should run Friday. I will change the references to Dr. M as Dr. Mastropaolo. Other than that, you had no problem with the introduction? I did strive to be fair and honestly present the debate to that point.

Dan
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5-7-02

You did good, Dan.

Thanks.

The article should be of interest to many of all stripes.

I still think the Gazette should co-sponsor the debate a la Dayton, TN.  8>)

Karl P.
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5-8-02

Karl,

Thanks. I tried.

Now, why would I recommend that the Gazette co-sponsor a debate I find fraudulent and worthless? :-)
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5-8-02

Hey, think back to Scopes.  It would bring the national media and fill hotel rooms.  75 years from now some famous actor will play you in another propaganda presentation (Inherit the Wind II).  8>)

Also, IF your side wins, it would be a crushing blow to creationism.

Seize the moment.

Karl P.
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5-9-02

Karl,

I'm sorry to inform you that there will be a one-week delay in the publication of the column. I felt compelled to write about Judge Haden's latest mountaintop removal ruling this week, while it was still fresh.

The column should run next Friday.

Thanks,
Dan
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Many thanks to Teno Groppi, David Bump, and Dr. Joseph Mastropaolo for their tremendous support during the lengthy dialogue with Dan.  The culmination of which follows.)

Charleston (WV) Gazette
Call to debate answered - in print

Friday May 17, 2002


I DON'T know how I get myself into these things. I guess it's because I like to debate. Anyway, I became involved in an e-mail exchange with Karl Priest, a local creationist who recently issued a $10,000 challenge in our Readers' forum.

The idea is that someone who supports evolution puts up $10,000. Dr. Joseph Mastropaolo, a creationist friend of Karl's, puts up $10,000, and they have a debate. If Dr. Mastropaolo proves that evolution is not science, he walks away with the $20,000. If the evolution proponent prevails, that person walks away with the $20,000.

Well, I asked Karl the rather obvious question: Who decides who wins and who loses? That led to a lengthy exchange that culminated in a rather testy e-mail from me challenging Dr. Mastropaolo to a debate under my terms to be settled by jury composed of practicing scientists and professors. I repeatedly threw Karl's favorite tag phrase back at him: "Debate or default."

And I accused him of trying to stage a rigged and fraudulent debate. (Did I mention my e-mail was rather testy?)

This led to more e-mails about what would constitute a reasonable jury for such an undertaking. Karl proposed a "good old American jury." I countered by saying, "Oh, like the one that found O.J. innocent?" and explained why I thought a random jury of citizens probably wouldn't be qualified to determine what is good science and what is not.

According to Karl's letter, the standard for deciding the winner will be "objective scientific facts." What better jury, then, than scientists? Karl said I was confused about the difference between a jury and expert witnesses.

Finally, Karl challenged me to a debate right here, with equal time to both sides. We agreed we would both limit each other to 200 words (our limit for letters to the editor). This introduction doesn't count. Karl was able to preview this introduction to ensure its neutrality.

I also promised him the last word. Sound fair? Here goes:

Dan: You propose a fraudulent debate. Not only that, it is a worthless debate. It is fraudulent because Dr. Mastropaolo gets to pick the jury. Even if the jury is a random sampling of unbiased citizens, there is no way in a short debate to present the literal mountains of scientific evidence that support evolution.

It is worthless because science is not conducted by public debate. It is conducted in peer-reviewed journals. And evolution is the hands-down winner in that ongoing debate, which is the only one that matters.

Karl will tell you that such a debate is the one truly rigged because there is some pro-evolution conspiracy among scientists. Scientists do overwhelmingly consider evolution the best theory to explain the development of life. But they do so because the evidence supports it.

How can I prove this? Simple. The theory of evolution has evolved (sorry) over time. It has been adapted and changed as evidence has become available. That's what scientists do. They strive to make their understanding fit the evidence, not the other way around.

Creationists do not change their theory no matter what the evidence, because it is based on religious faith, not scientific inquiry.

That's my 197 words. Now it's Karl's turn:

Karl: Dan's comments are examples of how evolutionists answer criticism of evolutionism. They defame the critics, cast the issue as purely religious, and claim evolutionism is supported by overwhelming evidence.

Real science does not use "e-coli to editor" evolution. Evolutionism is built upon a belief that life comes from non-life and, through millions of miracles, simple life forms become more complex. Fakes, fallacies and pagan religious beliefs permeate the history of evolutionism.

This issue is worthwhile because citizens are greatly affected by how public money is spent on scientific research and the education of its children. Americans should not be ruled by an elite few who hold knowledge only they understand. Sounds like the occult to me.

The framers of the Constitution had confidence in trial by jury. We have evidence to back facts - not beliefs. All evolutionists need to do is present their three best proofs. If those don't convince a jury, alleged piles of other "evidence" is useless.

The fraud is not the debate challenge. The fraud is in getting the public to support something less likely than (as Dr. Mastropaolo says) the Blue Fairy. Evolutionists: you have been called out. Let's see who has a rubber sword. Retrieve the gauntlet or retreat.

Karl P.
------------------------------------------
Dr. Mastropaolo responded to two of Dan’s “points”:

(1) We have published the scientific evidence in a peer reviewed scientific journal. The evolutionists have not published and cannot publish because they have no scientific evidence. All the evolutionists have is a religious faith in the infinite miracles of the occult, pagan goddess, Cybele, who was worshipped 2,500 years ago when Anaximander invented evolution. 

(2) OK. We'll debate with peer reviewed journal articles. We submit  Evolution Is Lethal Antiscience, Creation Research Society Quarterly 38: 151-158, 2001. The abstract says: The foundation of evolution is abiogenesis, life spontaneously generated from nonlife. The superstructure placed upon that foundation is monogenesis, myriad spontaneously generated structures to produce every kind of simple life form then by countless spontaneous generations every kind of complex life form. The other definitions of evolution are change over time, common descent and natural selection. Laboratory abiogenesis has failed consistently and dredging the bottoms of the oceans yielded the inert sulfate of lime, not the fraudulent monera. The simulated abiogenesis of the proteins to mock-up the simplest original cell is more than a zillion (>104,000,0000, 1 followed by more than 4,000,000 zeros) times more impossible than the mathematical definition of impossible. The probability of monogenesis was not attempted because myriad multiplications of impossible yield impossible to unimaginable extremes. The common textbook instructions, life arose in the ancient seas from that original organic soup, are teaching the innumerable miracles of the evolution religion and that violates the U.S. Constitutions prohibition of a state supported church. To meet the requirements of science and the Constitution, these lessons must be changed to life was created, as in Henry Ford created the Ford automobile.

Change over time, definition one of evolution, actually describes devolution to extinction, the exact opposite of evolution. Common descent,d efinition two of evolution, actually describes true-to-type devolution to extinction, again the exact opposite of evolution. A sample engineering analogue, as well as actual epidemiological data from human genetic disorders and fatal birth defects, identify natural selection, the alleged primary mechanism for evolution, as actually a mechanism for devolution to extinction, the exact opposite of evolution. Both definitions of evolution and evolution’s primary mechanism yield universal devolution to extinction. Additionally, evolution is the antithesis of science because it cloaks current permanent accelerating human and biosphere extinction in the garb of biologically advantageous progress. Evolution wantonly militates against countermeasures while myriad individuals and populations, including humans, are accelerated to the greatest mass extinction in history. Therefore, evolution is identified here as the wantonly lethal antiscience ruling the summit of criminality. As a first step for self defense against imminent permanent human and biosphere mass extinction, the evolution movement must be expunged worldwide.

Now let's see your peer reviewed journal article that establishes with objective, valid, reliable, calibrated evidence that (1) evolution is not a religion prohibited by the U.S. Constitution, (2) change over time is not 100% devolution, not evolution, (3) Common descent, definition two of evolution, actually does not describes true-to-type devolution to extinction, again the exact opposite of evolution, (4) natural selection, the alleged primary mechanism for evolution, is not actually a mechanism for devolution to extinction, the exact opposite of evolution, (5) evolution is not the antithesis of science because it cloaks current permanent accelerating human and biosphere extinction in the garb of biologically advantageous progress, (6) evolution does not wantonly militate against countermeasures while myriad individuals and populations, including humans, are accelerated to the greatest mass extinction in history, (7) evolution is not the wanton lethal antiscience at the summit of criminality, and (8) as a first step for self defense against imminent permanent human and biosphere mass extinction, the evolution movement must not be expunged worldwide.