The following comes from an email sent by Kerry Beck of Catholic Answers.
Wednesday, February 12 is remembered by academics and atheists as Darwin Day, a day to recognize Charles Darwin’s contributions to science and to promote science in general.
Whether or not the organizers knew that going in, it seemed an appropriate choice for a debate between a Catholic apologist and an atheist on the topic God: Supreme Being or Imaginary Friend? presented on the campus of the University of San Diego by the San Diego-based international Catholic apologetics organization, Catholic Answers.
The debate matched Catholic Answers apologist and author Trent Horn against Dan Barker, co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation.
The debate was attended by a crowd of about 300, divided evenly between Christians and atheists. The evening included argument, rebuttal, and cross-examination, and the highlight was the audience-participation question-and-answer session with lines of attendees stretching from the microphones by the stage all the way to the back of the room.
Trent Horn, author of the best-selling book Answering Atheism, gave some background. “Since Dan Barker has engaged in over a hundred public debates and has been an activist for atheism since before I was born, you can understand that I was a little nervous before this debate,” he said.”
Catholic Answers director of development Christopher Check moderated the debate. “Debate is an essential element of the apologetics tradition,” he noted. “While I watched Trent field and respond to questions, and so much of it off the cuff, I felt this is what it must have been like to see Frank Sheed in action at Speakers’ Corner.
Catholic Answers is located in El Cajon is now known from its radio show Catholic Answers Live (broadcast locally 3 to 5 p.m. on KCEO AM 1000), Catholic Answers magazine, its website, Catholic.com, its speakers bureau.
The debate is available now in MP3 Format and will be available soon in DVD format.
Catholic Answers forthcoming national conference right here in San Diego this September 4-6.