Some of you might be familiar with Joseph Mastropaolo. He published a paper in CRSQ called "Evolution is lethal antiscience," wherein he argued that the human race is going to die out in a matter of decades because of harmful mutations. It spurred a surreal debate in the letters to the editor, which I truly lack the words to describe. I was stupefied by the whole affair. In recent years, he seems to have given up on publishing papers in creationist periodicals and instead has turned his attention to developing his own website, www.josephmastropaolo.com.
If you poke around his website, you'll find out about the "Life Science Prize," which is a $10,000 prize for evidence of evolution. There are, however, certain rules. The evidence has to be presented in a court and accepted by a judge. And it's not actually a prize, it's more of a bet. Mastropaolo insists that those offering evidence for evolution must also put up $10,000, which he gets to keep if the judge decides the evidence is insufficient.
Offering the prize doesn't seem to be enough for Mastropaolo, though. He's actually sent out emails to evolutionists trying to entice them to take up his challenge. On Mastropaolo's website, his associate Karl Priest keeps a list of evolutionists who have refused or ignored his challenge. He describes them as,
A default-judgment debate dodger is a creation, devolution, intelligent design, or religion basher who declines to contend with scientific evidence. To date, those evolutionists individually and by organization invited to contend are more than 363,000, and none will contend because they have no scientific evidence to support their insulting public statements. For modern times, they are premier examples of anti-scientists because of all their so-called evidence is either superstitions (12%), frauds (74%), or forgeries (14%).Now here's the reason for the title of this post: Check out the latest version of this Debate Dodger list, and look at the last entry (#170).
Yes, I got the email challenging me, "evolutionist, Todd Wood" (who?), to the $10,000 wager. I ignored him, and true to his word, Mastropaolo had me put on the list. Actually, I seriously and very briefly considered taking him up on his challenge. After all, since he's not going to be the judge of the evidence, taking his money would be a piece of cake (or easy as pie, if you prefer). Right now, I could really use an extra ten grand. But in the end, it just seems wrong, like stealing candy from a baby. So instead, I just got a good laugh, which unfortunately is nothing I can put in the bank.
(If anyone's wondering what evidence I might offer, click here.)