Houston Atheists’ Unprofessional Debate Challenge

This week I received an email from the Houston Atheists Association, challenging me to a debate while I’m at the Texas Homeschool Coalition Convention, August 1–3. Now, Mark Looy, CCO at Answers in Genesis and my longtime friend, has helped organize several debates over the last 25 years. He has never seen as nasty an invitation as this one.

The invitation was incredibly unprofessional; the association didn’t even include a contact name or the name of the person who sent it. In contrast, these types of invitations are typically much more formal—and polite.

To give you some examples of what the Houston Atheists Association said in their invitation, I’ve included some quotes below:

Please let it be known that while we respect your freedom to express your religious views, we also vehemently oppose the indoctrination of children with radical fundamentalist theology under the false guise of “science”, and your claimed beliefs—that the universe is less than 7,000 years old and that non-avian dinosaurs co-existed with humanity—certainly qualify as such.

To “teach” students with your message is to lie to them.

That may serve your religion, but it does not serve children who will grow up trying to live and work in contemporary, science-based societies.

Wow! They begin by accusing me of indoctrination, lying, and depriving children of learning science—and then ask me to participate in a debate? Why would anyone accept such an unprofessional, nasty invitation?

Now, we’re not saying no to a debate with the Houston Atheists Association. In fact we want one of our PhD scientists on staff to debate a PhD scientist chosen by the Houston Atheists Association. This would encourage a more fruitful exchange on the merits of creation vs. evolution, the age of the universe, etc. Answers in Genesis would seek out an impartial moderator, perhaps a local newsperson, and the debate could even be held in a university setting. Such a debate needs to be set up in a formal and professional way.

We hope that such a scientist with a doctorate would be willing to engage in a debate where both participants have time to present their sides and offer rebuttals in a respectful manner.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
Ken