My BBC Online Debate On Evolution With A Christian Creationist


The BBC Religion & Ethics website have just published my online debate with Pastor Greg Haslam of the Westminster Chapel about evolution and religion. Greg Haslam is a Christian creationist who believes the universe was created around 10,000 years ago and seems to adopt a literal rendering of Genesis in the Bible. I thought I did quite well in the debate!

I also met Greg during the recording of BBC1’s Big Questions that is scheduled to be aired this Sunday 13th Jan 2013. This edition of the Big Questions is dedicated to asking the question ‘Is it time for the main religions to accept the fact of evolution?’

I will post a more detailed blog about evolution after the programme airs, insha’ Allah.

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4 Responses to My BBC Online Debate On Evolution With A Christian Creationist

  1. Michael Munnik says:

    Thanks for sharing the details of your discussion, and I look forward to hearing the debate programme tomorrow. However, I found that the religious dimension of the discussion was gone from your arguments after awarding religion the place to answer “questions science cannot answer.” Many of your answers could be given by any high school science teacher or non-rabid atheist in a creation/evolution debate. In what ways does your Muslim faith bring something unique to your defence of evolution? Do you/How do you incorporate a creative God into a four-and-a-half billion year old planet, and what if any role does that God have in the ongoing maintenance and recreation of that planet and its life? I’m not asking these questions in a spirit of attack, but rather in an attempt to enrich a discussion that already seeks to stand out from the typical debate waged between the faithful and the, as it were, faithless or even between the liberal and evangelical wings of the Christian church.

  2. Michael: That is because the evidence for evolution does not come from religion but from observing nature. God and the afterlife etc are not questions that science can provide answers to as they – by definition – relate to the supernatural, not the natural realm.

    This is why the Qur’an specifically states that true belief require ‘Iman bi’l Ghayb’: belief in the unseen.

  3. snowdenmc says:

    Slightly disappointed you let him get away with so much nonsense. As with most creationist arguments his was an ‘argument from ignorance’ drawn from a lack of knowledge about science and a stubborn refusal to learn. Claiming the evolution has anything to do with the birth of the universe, invoking the second law of thermodynamics in an open system like Earth, claiming Hitler was an atheist, claiming evolution is ‘blind’ when the processes that drive it are readily understood. None of these glaring errors were addressed.

    The key bit fact that i believe hurts his position is that he didn’t put forward a single shred of evidence to support his ‘six days’ claim over Evolution. It’s all very well taking (poorly aimed) pot shots at established science, but when all you have to replace it is ‘God did it’, you’re hardly a beacon of learning yourself.

    • Apologies – there was only very limited room to reply. About 150 words per response. That is why I mentioned the Talk Origins website so people could look up scientific responses to the many other questions he raised.

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