Field of Science

Official challenge to creationists

Ray Comfort, aka the bananaman, has offered Richard Dawkins $10,000 if he will debate with him for an hour.

Dawkins normally makes much more than this per talk, and he has answered that such a small amount wouldn't be worth his time. However, he has offered to do it if Comfort donates ten times that amount to the Richard Dawkins Foundation.

The ball's in Comfort's court. I doubt he will cough up $100,000, though I sincerely hope he will, and that they meet for a good mauling.

Ray Comfort is of course the star in this most credulous movie where he explains how the banana is proof positive of (his) God. When I first saw it years ago I thought it was a very funny parody of a creationist argument. Only much later did I learn who Comfort was, and that he means every word. Take a look. ("It's even curved toward the face to make the whole process so much easier.")

The big secret is that the banana indeed is designed - by man. The wild banana is green, roundish, tough, and full of seeds:

It is, by the way, not the first time Dawkins has been offered a fair amount of money for this sort of thing. Last year a man by the name of Gerry Rzeppa offered him $64,000 if he would sit and hear Rzeppa read a poem to him, and then answer a single question. (I've read the poem. It's awful. I'd love to know what the questions is, though.) Dawkins refused, and I then sent Rzeppa an email offering to come in Dawkins' place. I thought that was mighty grand of myself, actually, but Rzeppa refused saying I wasn't enough of a big shot. In other words, he would not get the exposure he needed if I showed up and Richard stayed home.

Whenever a challenge like this is made, from a creationist to an evolutionist, the reason they do it is to raise their own credibility. If they can boast that a famous scientist took them serious, then that's practically like adding a 'Ph.D.' to your name, and your book and your ideas will sell even better. When the scientists refuse to meet, they pretty much always counter by asking what the evolutionists are so afraid of. If they are so sure that evolution is true, then why not debate the creationists?

From Comfort's challenge:
"Sadly, I have found that even evolution's most staunch believers are afraid to debate, because they know that their case for atheism and evolution is less than extremely weak," Comfort said.
The real reason Dawkins generally won't debate them is stated well by one of the forum members of
As has been said... "Never argue with and idiot. He will drag you down to his level and then beat you with experience."

Richard is right. To even agree to appear on the same stage as these people is to give them too much credibility and publicity.
But, it is annoying that people are persuaded but the false implication that the evolutionists won't debate because they know they would lose. I therefore had the idea that I will send out similar invitations to creationists, and ask if they will debate me. I don't have any money to offer (I'm sort of hoping the cash will flow the other way), and I am not famous, so I doubt I will have much success. Except that I can then rhetorically ask why they are so afraid to debate an evolutionist, of course.

I'll let you know how that goes...


  1. My offer to Dr. Dawkins still stands.

    And I'd be happy to spar with you on this blog, in an appropriate format, if you'd like. It might be good mental exercise for both of us, and enlightening to others.

  2. That would be lovely. You could start by telling me what the big question was, perhaps.

    (I don't suppose you changed your mind about giving me the $64k - or even a fraction of it?)

  3. The revelation of the "big question" will occur when Dr. Dawkins is prepared to answer it. But that doesn't mean we can't have a good discussion while we're waiting.

    How would you like to proceed? Regarding form, I'd prefer an exchange via email (so I don't have to compose my reponses in this tiny little box); you can post the discussion here as it develops.

    Regarding substance, either I can question you, or you can question me. I think it should prove lively either way.

    Regarding remuneration, I don't see why either of us should pay the other at this juncture. We can share the rights to the complete dialog, however, jointly and severally, in case it turns out to be valuable in the future.

    My email is:

  4. You're on. First question will be about your poem. What's the point?

    Remuneration: You have a full coffer, and I don't...


Markup Key:
- <b>bold</b> = bold
- <i>italic</i> = italic
- <a href="">FoS</a> = FoS