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The Almighty Buck Idle Science

Creationist Bets $10k In Proposed Literal Interpretation of Genesis Debate 1121

HungWeiLo writes "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. Joseph Mastropaolo, the man behind this challenge, 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."
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Creationist Bets $10k In Proposed Literal Interpretation of Genesis Debate

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  • And? (Score:5, Informative)

    by 50000BTU_barbecue ( 588132 ) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @12:24AM (#43299663) Journal
    What is this supposed to prove? Plenty of idiots have money in our society, money only has a tenuous correlation with intelligence.
  • Re:Easy... (Score:5, Informative)

    by LordLucless ( 582312 ) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @12:34AM (#43299733)

    No. In chapter one, male and female are created. It does not specify order, nor the period of time between one or the other, as it is an overview. In chapter two, which goes into detail, you get the specifics.

    For reference, Genesis 1:27:

    So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

    Genesis 2:8,18

    Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed

    The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

  • by Pseudonym ( 62607 ) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @12:56AM (#43299825)
  • Re:Easy... (Score:5, Informative)

    by elfprince13 ( 1521333 ) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @01:02AM (#43299849) Homepage
    Protestants must do no such thing. Sola scriptura is not at all the same thing as a supremely narrow attempt at Biblical literalism.
  • Re:Easy... (Score:4, Informative)

    by MaskedSlacker ( 911878 ) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @01:32AM (#43299987)

    Well, it is generally accepted that we are all matrilinearly decended from the same woman, Mitochondrial Eve [], I think this pretty much scientifically disproves there being two women at creation, unless one mothered no daughters.

    Sigh. Did you even read the article you linked? Because it doesn't mean or say what you think it does.

  • by DragonWriter ( 970822 ) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @01:40AM (#43300023)

    Adam and Eve had two sons and no daughters.

    Incorrect. Adam and Eve had three sons mentioned by name (Cain, Abel, and Seth), and, additionally, "After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters." (Gen 5:4)

    I propose that their children were mother fuckers.

    Abel is never identified as having a mate before being killed by Cain. Cain expressly has his own wife, though its not entirely clear where she came from, and following the chronology implied by the order of verses in Gen 4, by the time Seth is born, Cain has five generations of descendants. Though, arguably, the similar names in Gen 5 (which only traces Seth's line) suggest a slightly different chronology (or maybe just name-sharing), because some of the descendants of Cain that appear to precede Seth in Gen 4 appear to also be descendants of Seth in Gen 5, which might suggest that the discussion of Seth after the discussion of Cain's line in Gen 4 isn't chronological.

  • Re:Easy... (Score:5, Informative)

    by LordLucless ( 582312 ) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @01:55AM (#43300099)

    In the first version it was animals first and then mankind, in the second version it was man first, then animals. (And then woman.)

    No, it wasn't. Chapter 2 verse 18 uses the past tense "the Lord God had formed". The sequence of events:
    Animals Created -> Man Created -> Animals Brought Before Man -> Woman Created
    is consistent with both accounts.

  • by Sigma 7 ( 266129 ) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @02:00AM (#43300133)

    The traditional trick of these publicity stunts is to post a challenge, and claim there was no response otherwise and therefore it is true. The claim is made while plugging fingers in the ears and pretending there's no contradictions.

    Look back to the Kent Hovind [] challenge, where he posted $250,000 to prove evolution. He gradually shifted the challenge from "provide any evidence of evolution" to "demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that God couldn't cause the big bang" - and each step at asking for clarification was given non-answers (if any).

    Even if someone did manage to complete his challenge, Kent Hovind couldn't pay the amount - he's a NINJA - No Income, Job or Asset, by his own bankruptcy claim. Both a scientific and financial fraud.

    This challenge is archived [], with the current page saying you followed an imaginary link. "If you can't win, burn the evidence of losing."

    This challenge may be "possible", but don't waste time on it. You have better luck compleing the James Randi challenge instead.

  • First clue (Score:3, Informative)

    by http ( 589131 ) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @02:05AM (#43300165) Homepage Journal
    The man has a Ph.D. in kinesiology. According to the Chart of Woo [], that's at the corner of Quackery Bol. and Pseudoscientific Bol.
  • Re:Easy... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Capsaicin ( 412918 ) * on Thursday March 28, 2013 @02:15AM (#43300207)

    You seem to have a reading comprehension impairment. Chapter 1 is an executive summary showing the general chronological order of creation. Chapter 2 goes into detail about the creation of Adam and Eve.

    No, Gen 1:1-2:3 and Gen 2:4 on are different stories as is obvious to any reader who, as I put it above, has not since childhood been exposed to harmonising accounts. The general chronological order in the 2nd account (Gen 2:4 ...) completely contradicts the order of the 1st. In the first (as it appears in the text, but probably also the more recent) account life is created in this order: plants (Gen 1:11); fish & birds (Gen 1:20); land animals (Gen 1:24); humans both male and female (Gen 1:26-27). The 2nd account, but contrast, has this order, male human (Gen 2:7); plants (Gen 2:9); land animals & birds (Gen 2:19) and female human (Gen 2:22). Nor does the strict classification of creation by days in the 1st account, and the narrative necessity for the primacy of Adam and the final creation of Eve in the 2nd allow for any honest harmonisation of these two distinct accounts. I'm sorry you have been misled.

    Now I could point out the differences style, the designed symmetrical account in the 1st account vs. the rambling folk-talesy tone of the second; or between the nature of God (Elohim), who creates by pure will, "Let there be light" and who dwells on high, with the LORD (YHVH ... for the fist few instances the harmonising YHVH-Elohim), a terrestrial being who "fashions" out of clay, who has to call Adam and Eve from their hiding spots and discovers their transgression by their covering (hardly behaviour God on high would engage in). But given the radical disagreement in the "chronological order of creation," all that would be superfluous.

    See the heading at verse 4, Chapter 2?

    And extremely interesting verse. Though there is room for disagreement here, the best reading IMO is that this verse, though presented as a way to connect both accounts, the first half of the verse "[t]his is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created" ends the first account, and the second "when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens" (a mirror of the beginning of the first, "When God began creating the heavens and earth ..." or however you want to translate this difficult piece of Hebrew). Among the facts that recommend this reading is the order heaven-earth vs the earth-heaven which reflect the extra-terrestrial and terrestrial nature of the different numen described above. Also that the highly symmetrical 1st account will end as it began. However, it may simply be that the entire verse is the introduction to the 2nd account.

    I have only the slightest hope that this may help rectify your "reading comprehension impairment."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 28, 2013 @02:48AM (#43300343)

    "Cain expressly has his own wife, though its not entirely clear where she came from,"

    I am from the deep south and this is what my great aunt told me years ago, about Cain's wife. After Cain killed Abel, he was exiled to Ur. The only thing in Ur to mate with was monkeys. Black people came from Cain & a monkey. No lie. That's what my great aunt believed, which is not to say I believe it.

  • by kevingolding2001 ( 590321 ) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @04:49AM (#43300863)

    I don't have time to dig up the exact surah, but I recall one that gives men an explicit pass on beating their wives.

    That would be 4:34

  • Re:Easy... (Score:5, Informative)

    by flyneye ( 84093 ) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @07:50AM (#43301479) Homepage

    Well, if you forget the pain-in-the-ass literal translationists and get over just-any-ol-thing to piss them off, relax and take a look at what it is.
    1. First book of the Pentaeuch, the Talmud,the history of the Hebrew peoples. Possibly rewritten from memory by the prophet Ezra and attributed to Moishe (thats Moses before the Greeks misspelled it.)
    2.These are the stories that were handed down in a verbal tradition from a people lacking written language for the period portrayed. Some embellishment is expected.
    3. The Adam( Hebrew word for Man as in Mankind) and Eve story is someone remembering the oldest memorable person in the lineage and the story they were told. It amounts to the emergence of Man ( we will define it as the emergence of Man with developed introspection, which places it fairly accurately for a verbal tradition. Why would these people leave lovely lush Bablylonia at the fork of the Tigress and Euphrates? The story seeks to relate that to the listener who would be a Hebrew learning his history.
    4 The "begets" and the impossible longevity problem. The odd thing is why this is such a mystery. Every one of those names represents a tribe or a place , not necessarily just an individual. So we can say that from Enoch to Methuselah these represent the loosely knit stone age tribes of the Hebrews. The ages give the longevity of the tribe or settlement.
    5. Noahs Ark; we know there was a great flood in what is now Armenia, in the valley below the Ararat range (it was a range, not an individual mountain) Watermarks show HIGH water. This was their world, therefore the World was flooded. Remember this is how they explained their history to each other, lacking written language.
    Oddly, there is also another tradition that places Gilgamesh in the boat, rather than Noah, but that is someone else, another time.

    This just scratches the surface of Genesis and the details it gives, there is much, much more. I recommend " Azimovs Guide to the Bible" as a good read to find more. Yes, it was written by Issac Azimov, from a Jewish/ secular perspective. He really is a great author and scholar outside of science fiction.

  • Contradiction (Score:5, Informative)

    by tepples ( 727027 ) <tepples@gmail.BOHRcom minus physicist> on Thursday March 28, 2013 @08:11AM (#43301615) Homepage Journal

    The whole "prove something isn't true" doesn't work that way.

    One common way to prove that an assertion is false is to prove that assuming it would lead to a contradiction.

  • Re:Easy... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Attila Dimedici ( 1036002 ) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @08:23AM (#43301695)

    No, it doesn't. Per Genesis, we're all matrilineally descended from Noah's wife.

    This is incorrect. According to Genesis, Noah's three sons were married before the flood. Which means that Genesis tells us that none of us are matrilineally descended from Noah's wife. It is only one the father's side that Noah's grandsons were descended from him and his wife. Or to put it another way, per the Genesis account, none of the genetic material today that is transmitted exclusively from the mother comes from Noah's wife.

  • Re:Easy... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jiro ( 131519 ) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @10:54AM (#43303021)

    The term was adopted by vitriolic anti-Christians as literally "Christianity without Christ" and is extremely offensive to anybody that knows that. If you're actually looking to have intelligent discourse,

    This isn't true.

    See [] (which applies it to more words than just Christmas). The "X" derives from the Greek letter Chi, which is the first letter in Christ, and it's been used that way for hundreds of years.

  • Re:Easy... (Score:4, Informative)

    by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @11:49AM (#43303581)

    The term was adopted by vitriolic anti-Christians as literally "Christianity without Christ" and is extremely offensive to anybody that knows that.

    I suppose it would be extremely offensive to anybody that ~thinks~ that. But those people are idiots.

    X doesn't mean "without Christ". Its literally an abbreviation FOR Christ, in that X is the first letter of Christ in Greek. It was used in Christian art hundreds of years ago. Ancient bible manuscripts going back 1000 years even use the abbreviation Xc for Jesus Christ in the New Testament.

    . If you're actually looking to have intelligent discourse, [...]

    I should probably talk to someone else?

  • Re:Easy... (Score:4, Informative)

    by LordLimecat ( 1103839 ) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @12:12PM (#43303773)

    I would have been surprised that you got +5 insightful, but then historical accuracy has never really been a strong point of slashdot.

    First, there is a massive difference between disapproving of a sexual practice, and discrimination. Its not "discrimination" to say "I think adultery / promiscuity is wrong"; why does it become discrimination to say "I think homosexual intercourse is wrong"? Is this the age of equivocation or something?

    Womens rights... .you somehow act as if all throughout society women had all these wonderful rights and then christians came in and took them away. Meanwhile, back in reality, Christianity specifically marks out women and children as having some worth, in an age ( 1st / 2nd centuries AD) when they were seen as worthless and property of their husbands. In fact, throughout the Old and New testaments, it REPEATEDLY has women shown as having value-- in fact, the same value before God as men.

    Regarding slavery, perhaps you should some more research on historical christian vs non-christian views and attitudes towards slaves and slavery-- ie, during OT times (Egypt, babylon vs hebrew), or NT times (christian vs roman), or during the abolition movement.
    Regarding the latter, I might start you off here: []

    Although many abolitionists opposed slavery on purely philosophical reasons, anti-slavery movements attracted strong religious elements. Throughout Europe and the United States, Christians, usually from 'un-institutional' Christian faith movements, not directly connected with traditional state churches, or "non-conformist" believers within established churches, were to be found at the forefront of the abolitionist movements

    I also like how you defined "on the losing side of an issue" as "doesnt agree with me". Protip-- socially conservative doesnt mean "doesnt contribute to charity" or "doesnt volunteer"; but Im sure all those friends I know serving at homeless shelters, assisting families of incarcerated men, providing free ESOL, etc are all heartless, greedy corporatists, right?

    You want to talk about bigotry, honestly Ive seen more of it on slashdot towards christians than anything else. Your closing sentence kind of sums that up pretty well.

  • Re:Easy... (Score:5, Informative)

    by LordLimecat ( 1103839 ) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @12:16PM (#43303827)

    The issue isnt one of worth. Christianity does not teach that women or homosexuals have less worth, value, or whatever other metric than anyone else.

    It does however think that women have a different role than men, and that homosexual activity is sinful. Such a public sin-- particularly if unrepentant, and willful-- would immediately disqualify one for a leadership role in the church.

    You're free to disagree, but this is an issue of people saying "I dont care what the bible has to say about my behavior, and I want to be an elder anyways". Well, unfortunately that places you out of the running.

"In matrimony, to hesitate is sometimes to be saved." -- Butler