A California man who believes the literal interpretation of the Bible is real is offering $10,000 to anyone who can successfully debunk claims made in the book of Genesis in front of a judge.
And for a man wanting to debate the very nature of human existence, Joseph Mastropaolo is taking a decidedly happy-go-lucky approach, saying he hopes the contest will improve future discussions on both sides of the argument.
"The evolutionists thereafter could read that transcript and make their case a bit stronger on the next one they contend against and we can do the same," Mastropaolo told the Guardian. "We can read the transcript and not have to go through the same process over and over and over again without any let up, without any resolution."
Mastropaolo’s plan is to put $10,000 of his own money into an escrow account. His debate opponent would be asked to do the same. They would then jointly agree on a judge based on a list of possible candidates. Mastropaolo said that any evidence presented in the trial must be “scientific, objective, valid, reliable and calibrated."
For his part, Mastropaolo has a Ph.D. in kinesiology and writes for the Creation Hall of Fame website, which is helping to organize the minitrial. It’s also not the first such trial he’s tried to arrange. A previous effort, known as the “Life Science Prize,” proposed a similar scenario. Mastropaolo includes a list of possible circuit court judges to oversee the trial and a list of those he challenged to take part on the evolutionary side of the debate.
The Creation Hall of Fame website describes the event as a “chance to shine” for skeptics of creationism. “Are you willing to participate in a contest to prove your point that the Bible is wrong and that we evolved? You could go home with $20,000 if you win!”
If he can find a willing participant, the “Literal Genesis Trial” would then be held in a courthouse in Santa Ana, Calif. Of course, the trial would not have any legal basis and would not be conducted by a state or federal government body. Instead, it would be what is known as a minitrial, a voluntary, nonbinding courtroom model for certain settlement cases. Nonetheless, a bailiff and court reporter would be on hand.
After the judge’s final decision, the winner in the trial would take home $10,000.
"They [evolutionists] are not stupid people; they are bright, but they are bright enough to know there is no scientific evidence they can give in a minitrial," Mastropaolo said.