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Retired high school teacher offers gold and cash for a debate about whether evolution is 'bad science'

Retired high school teacher offers gold and cash for a debate about whether evolution is 'bad science'

Tom Ritter is a retired high school teacher who taught physics and chemistry.  As previously reported, he filed a federal lawsuit against the Blue Mountain School District in Pennsylvania because he claimed that the school was violating the First Amendment by teaching the "religion of atheism." The lawsuit, filed in early 2011, has reportedly been dismissed.

Over the last few weeks, Ritter has been issuing press releases in order to claim that atheists belong to the "new flat earth society" and that agnostics are also members of that society because they do not subscribe to the view that the second law of thermodynamics disproves the theory of evolution. The second law of thermodynamics is a common argument used by biblical creationists. One of the most succinct explanations of the law appears in Evolution Frequently Asked Questions website:

The second law states that "In a closed system (one in which energy cannot enter), Entropy will not decrease." Since Entropy often refers to disorder, this law is often taken to mean that order cannot arise from disorder. How then would life, which is highly ordered, form naturally? The answer, simply, is that life is not a closed system. Energy is constantly being added to the Earth from the Sun, which fuels the plants, which in turn fuel other life. This is how plants, for example, can have more energy than the seeds they originally sprouted from. But life is not the only example of order from disorder. Snowflakes, crystals, lightning, and sand dunes are all examples of non-living matter organizing into complex structures.

In his latest press release, Ritter now wants a debate over whether the theory of evolution is "bad science."  He's offering a winner-take-all of gold contributed toward the debate and offering a $500 finder's fee for someone meeting his qualifications who is willing to take the time to debate him. His press release reads in its entirety:

"The theory of evolution by cumulative natural selection is the only theory we know of that is in principle capable of explaining the existence of organized complexity." -- Richard Dawkins, famous Atheist

There are basically two kinds of Atheists: Overt, that is they say they are Atheists, and covert, that is they deny they are Atheists or do not even know they are one. For many people, the subject of evolution separates the Atheists from the believers.

You see evolution is bad science. It proposes that sexual species can evolve and that the human brain evolved from lower forms. Neither has been shown to be even possible, no one was there to see this "evolution" even if this did happen, and the fossil record is no help. Therefore the only objective approach to evolution is to say, "Maybe; maybe not. I do not actually know".

But most evolutionists do not say this. To the contrary they declare that evolution is a fact. Some science!

They say this because they cannot fathom a Creator had a hand. And no Creator means there can be no God. Thus most evolutionists are Atheists.

Now Atheism is a religion, that is, something based on an article of faith which in turn is something important that cannot be proved, like there is no God.

And it is illegal to teach religion in the public schools.

To prove this claim, I challenge anyone in the continental USA who teaches middle school science or above, anyone running for state or federal office, or anyone who is big in the evolution community to debate the following:

Evolution is Bad Science - I, of course, will defend the affirmative.

Additionally, this debate is to take place before a jury of previously undecided people and each debater is to place five (5) ounces of pure gold in escrow, the winner, as determined by the jury, to take the pot.

I also offer a finder's fee of $500 to the first person who finds a willing and qualified challenger. So ask; it is worth $500 to you.

This offer expires 11/15/12. Let's see who has the courage to put his money where his mouth is.

Tom Ritter

Ritter can be contacted at 570-366-1115 or by email at ritterthomas754@gmail.com.

 

About D. Beeksma

One of the growing crowd of American "nones" herself, Deborah is a prolific writer who finds religion, spirituality and the impact of belief (and non-belief) on culture inspiring, fascinating and at times, disturbing. She hosts the God Discussion show and handles the site's technical work. Her education and background is in business, ecommerce and law.
  • menotyou

    Why would anyone put up $8,500.00 worth of Gold, at today's prices, to debate a person who doesn't even understand thermodynamics second law? A retired high school teacher who taught physics and chemistry who doesn't even understand that the Sun is a power source and that the Earth is not a closed system should be made to pay the School Board and parents of the students he taught $8,500.00 each, so that they can get proper tutoring and "unlearn" his physics and chemistry. It's just sick that this person was allowed to teach anyone anything.

  • R2D3

    Maybe Tim Hardcastke would be willing to debate Tom Ritter.
    Then again, a creationist from California wants to debate Hardcastle, but Hardcastle appears to be all blow and no show!

  • skater60

    No one was there to see evolution happen? LOL. And this guy was actually a teacher somewhere? Evolution is happening right now and he IS there to see it. He's the one evolving – from dumb to dumber. It takes balls of titanium to tell God how to create stuff – "Look Lord, you're doing it all wrong! It says right here in Genesis that…."
    "And so you took it literally?"
    "Wull, yeah."
    "Uh huh, uh huh, okay. So…. how about those Mets!"

  • http://www.facebook.com/Desertphile David Rice

    But evolution is not science, let alone "bad science:" there are no scientists out there who will ever claim evolution is science. How the bloody hell does Cultist Ritter expect a scientist to debate a claim no scientist makes, nor defends?

  • Peter

    Why do I think Ritter is running a scam and doesn’t believe anything he says. There are lots of fundamentalists and young earth creationists out there who would contribute generously to his “cause.” An easy way to supplement his meagre teachers pension. Barnum was right: there is a sucker born every minute.

  • R2D3

    ENCODE Study Forces Evolutionists to Retract “Junk DNA” Myth
    http://crev.info/2012/09/encode-study-junk-dna/

    RSF: Enyart Exhumes Eugenie Scott
    [A few radio clips from this May 5, 1998 show are rebroadcast]
    http://kgov.com/Eugenie-Scott-debates-creation-evolution

    The Myth of Junk DNA
    http://www.mythofjunkdna.com

  • John

    Mr Ritter has a high school teacher understanding of the second law of thermodynamics. I would encourage him to spend his golden years reading up on statistical mechanics and non-equilibrium thermodynamics. No doubt he is also conflating the "entropy" of information theory, with the "entropy" of thermodynamics (two mathematically similar appearing results, but two quite different physical quantities). I am sorry that he feels that his religion is in peril because of the results of modern science, but Mr. Ritter's attempt to stop the teaching of mainstream science in public schools is an act of intellectual vandalism. His attempt to get money for a meaningless debate is pure political demagoguery. It is sad to see a teacher fall so far.

  • http://twitter.com/InisMagrath Inis Magrath

    "… place five (5) ounces of pure gold in escrow, the winner, as determined by the jury, to take the pot."

    In the case of Ritter, that would be a crack-pot.

  • dagobarbz

    If his quotes are anything to go by, a nine year old with google skillz could take his gold.

    • Deborah_B

      Thanks for commenting — I had forgotten about this story and need to follow up to see if he had any takers.

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