Creation scientists tend to win the creation vs. evolution debates and many have been held since the 1970s particularly in the United States. Given the lack of evidence for the evolutionary paradigm and the abundant evidence for biblical creation, this is not surprising.
In August 1979, Dr. Henry Morris reported in an Institute for Creation Research letter: “By now, practically every leading evolutionary scientist in this country has declined one or more invitations to a scientific debate on creation/evolution.” Morris also said regarding the creation scientist Duane Gish (who had over 300 formal debates): “At least in our judgment and that of most in the audiences, he always wins.”
Intelligent design proponent Phillip E. Johnson debated the evolutionary paleontologist and agnostic Stephen Gould at Harvard University before a select audience of elite American intellectuals in a closed door event not open to the public. The debate was considered a draw. At the end of the debate, Johnson hugged Gould and he noticed in the embrace that Gould was nervously shaking. Both theists and atheists frequently accuse agnostics of being cowardly, due to their wishy-washy rejection of God. Studs Terkel, a self-described agnostic, jokingly referred to the frequent charge of agnostics being called cowardly, "You happen to be talking to an agnostic. You know what an agnostic is? A cowardly atheist".
Generally speaking, leading evolutionists no longer debate creation scientists because creation scientists tend to win the debates. In addition, the atheist and evolutionist Richard Dawkins has shown inconsistent and deceptive behavior concerning his refusal creation scientists.
Evolutionists and atheists inconsistency concerning debating creationists was commented on by the Christian apologetic website True Free Thinker which declared: "Interestingly enough, having noted that since some atheists refuse to debate “creationists” but then go on to debate some of those people but not others, it is clear that they are, in reality, being selective and making excuses for absconding from difficulties..." In an article entitled Are Kansas Evolutionists Afraid of a Fair Debate? the Discovery Institute states the following: "Defenders of Darwin's theory of evolution typically proclaim that evidence for their theory is simply overwhelming. If they really believe that, you would think they would jump at a chance to publicly explain some of that overwhelming evidence to the public. Apparently not."
In 1994, the arch-evolutionist Dr. Eugenie Scott made this confession concerning creation vs. evolution debates:
|“|| During the last six or eight months, I have received more calls about debates between creationists and evolutionists than I have encountered for a couple of years, it seems. I do not know what has inspired this latest outbreak, but I am not sure it is doing much to improve science education.
Why do I say this? Sure, there are examples of "good" debates where a well-prepared evolution supporter got the best of a creationist, but I can tell you after many years in this business that they are few and far between. Most of the time a well-meaning evolutionist accepts a debate challenge (usually "to defend good science" or for some other worthy goal), reads a bunch of creationist literature, makes up a lecture explaining Darwinian gradualism, and can't figure out why at the end of the debate so many individuals are clustered around his opponent, congratulating him on having done such a good job of routing evolution -- and why his friends are too busy to go out for a beer after the debate.
In 2010, the worldwide atheist community was challenged to a debate by Creation Ministries International as prominent atheists were speaking at a 2010 global atheist convention in Australia. Richard Dawkins, PZ Myers and other prominent atheists refused to debate Creation Ministries International.
- Reason or Rhetoric by Henry Morris, PhD
- Voices for evolution - John Ankerberg website
- Meyer on Phillip Johnson’s Courage, ID the Future website, the account of the debate begins at the 4 minute 45 second portion of the audio recording
- Studs Terkel, a self-described agnostic, jokingly referred to the frequent charge of agnostics being called cowardly, "You happen to be talking to an agnostic. You know what an agnostic is? A cowardly atheist".
- Interview:Studs Terkel, PBS