Moderator: Good evening and welcome to the UPC [University Program Committee] Religious Affairs and Horizons Committee debate on creation, special creation, versus evolution. My name is Cathy Hennen and I’m from the Department of Speech Communication and it’s my privilege to be the moderator of tonight’s debate.
The topic for the debate is as follows: the theory of evolution is superior to the theory of special creation as an explanation for the scientific evidence related to origins. In short, evolution versus special creation.
Speaking in favor of the theory of evolution is Dr. Kenneth S. Saladin, of the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences at Georgia College in Milledgeville, Georgia. Dr. Saladin holds a Ph.D. in parasitology from Florida State University, and is currently an associate professor of biology at Georgia College. Dr. Saladin has written extensively in the areas of biological research and humanism, as well as lectured extensively in the areas of biological research and humanism, as well as lectured extensively to Unitarian-Universalist fellowships in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. His writings can be found in The Humanist and Free Inquiry. Dr. Saladin has also won several awards, including the Macon Telegraph and News Golden Pen Award for editorial writing in 1984, and in 1986 from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Freethinker of the Year Award, for leadership in church-state separation. Dr. Saladin is listed in American Men and Women of Scientists [sic], and Who’s Who in Frontier Science and Technology , and is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions. Welcome to Auburn to Dr. Saladin. [Applause]
Opposing the theory of evolution and supporting the theory of special creation is Dr. Duane Gish, vice president of the Institute for Creation Research in California. Dr. Gish received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, in biochemistry. Additionally, Dr. Gish has held a Lily postdoctoral fellowship at Cornell University medical college, where he collaborated with a Nobel prize winner in chemistry, and was a member of the virus laboratory at the University of California at Berkeley, where he collaborated with Wendell Stanley, Nobel prize winner in medicine. Before joining the Institute for Creation Research in 1971, Dr. Gish was a staff member at Upjohn Company, a pharmaceutical firm in Michigan. Dr. Gish has also published extensively, technical articles, and articles on the subject of the scientific evidence against evolution, and on other Bible-science subjects. He is listed in American Men of Science and Who’s Who in the West. He is a member of the American Chemical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and is a fellow of the American Institute of Chemists. Dr. Gish, welcome to Auburn University. [Applause]
Let me briefly give you a format for tonight’s debate so you’ll know what to expect. Both speakers will give an opening statement of 45 minutes, beginning with Dr. Saladin, speaking of evolution, and ending with Dr. Gish speaking for the theory of special creation. Following the opening statements we will take a 10-minute break, and then we’ll begin the rebuttals. Each speaker will have a 15-minute rebuttal, followed by a 5-minute rebuttal to close the debate. After the second set of rebuttals Dr. Gish and Dr. Saladin will entertain questions from the audience. What we would like for you to do is raise your hand and be recognized, and then ask your question directly to one or the other of the speakers. We would like to ask you to limit yourself to questions only, no arguments with the speakers please, and to one question only. The speaker addressed will have two minutes to respond, and the opposing speaker will have a minute rebuttal time. We would like to alternate questions, so please listen to the question ahead of you and make sure that yours is addressed to the other speaker. Without further ado we’ll begin with Dr. Saladin.
Saladin: Thank you very much. I’m happy to be here this evening. Ah, could we have the first slide please? I’m afraid these lights are going to wash out the slides. Very difficult to see them. Thank you.