Browse Search Feedback Other Links Home Home The Talk.Origins Archive: Exploring the Creation/Evolution Controversy

Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2006
Previous Claim: CA342   |   List of Claims   |   Next Claim: CA350

Claim CA343:

Many prominent evolutionists have declined to participate in Mastropaolo's "Life Science Prize" challenge. According to the terms of this challenge, the evolutionist and creationist each put $10,000 in escrow; they present their evidence in a courthouse to a mutually agreeable trial court judge; the judge decides which side has the science and which is religion; the side declared science wins the $20,000.


Mastropaolo, Joseph. 2003. Life science prize.


  1. Never wrestle with a pig; you both get dirty, and you soon discover that the pig enjoys it. The challenge itself reveals that Mastropaolo is scientifically inept. (A scientist would know that one does not need a courtroom to debate evidence. And one term states that "Evidence must be scientific, that is, objective, valid, reliable and calibrated." Calibration applies to equipment, not evidence.) People who ignore the challenge are labeled "Debate Dodgers" who practice a "pagan Cebelese religion" (Brayton 2004). Such statements remove the challenge from the field of life science and place it squarely in the realm of crackpottery.

    Alfred Russel Wallace, co-discoverer of the theory of evolution, once accepted the challenge of another crackpot, John Hampden, to demonstrate the earth's curvature. Wallace did so, but Hampden's subsequent legal and other harassment caused Wallace to consider accepting the challenge a big mistake. (Raby 2001, 206-207)

  2. The challenge is legal invalid. Two people cannot simply decide that a court of law will decide their case. Cases come to court only when one party sues another, and then they get no choice of judge.

  3. An equivalent challenge has been met. The McLean vs. Arkansas case hinged on whether creationism is religion or science, and Judge Overton ruled that it is religion.

  4. According to the challenge, religion is always the losing side, which makes Mastropaolo inappropriately hostile to religion.


Brayton, Ed. 2004 (1/13, 1/19, and 1/22). The JoMo Creationist Challenge.


  1. Brayton, Ed. 2004 (Jan. 22). (see above)
  2. Raby, Peter. 2001. Alfred Russel Wallace: A Life. New Jersy: Princeton University Press.

Further Reading:

Zimmerman, Michael. 2005. The Life Science Prize. Reports of the National Center for Science Education 25(5-6): 33-34.
Previous Claim: CA342   |   List of Claims   |   Next Claim: CA350

created 2004-8-8, modified 2006-6-28