We recently caught up with Brad Harrub to ask him about the debate, held at the College of Charleston during Darwin Week.
BNc: Why is it important to show the link between evolution and immorality?
Brad: Between 1959-1963 our government dumped millions of dollars into teaching science and evolution into public schools. At the same time the courts outlawed prayer and Bible reading in the classroom. This set in place the perfect recipe for disaster.
Since 1963 immoral behavior among students has steadily increased in almost every category (e.g., premarital sex, violent crime, etc.) There are only two possibilities as to where morals came from: God or evolved from man. However, the idea that man evolved morals leaves a big problem–because “who” gets to determine what is right and what is wrong (e.g., Hitler?) Without God there is no absolute standard.
Consider for a moment that we have tried to exclude God from the classroom. How do we teach “character” and “morals” to students without an absolute standard?
BNc: Do debates produce more heat than light? Why do you consider them an effective means of communicating truth?
Brad: I think there are occasions in which debates can produce a great deal of heat. However, I also believe if we conduct ourselves in a Christian fashion, it provides a great opportunity to reach individuals who have never been exposed to the truth.
Too often we are preaching our message “to the choir” inside a church building and the lost never hear the truth. Debates allow us to reach many individuals who may be asking many of the large questions of life.
BNc: Do you expect any new arguments or perspectives to appear in this debate, or will it be a rehash of old arguments?
Brad: Unlike the traditional debates on the existence of God, this one will look at morality and our culture. The information from this debate should be strongly considered by Christians and non-Christians alike–especially given the direction our nation has been going.
BNc: How did this debate come about? Who arranged it?
Brad: I was doing an Origins Seminar in a public theater in Duncan, S.C. Several professors from the College in Charleston attended. They were impressed by the material I presented on morals and our culture and asked if I would be interested in participating in a debate. It was officially set up by Robert Dillon, a professor at the college, and the organizer of Darwin week.
BNc: What are the qualifications of the debaters for this topic?
Brad: I debated Dr. Jim Miller, a retired Presbyterian preacher who has specialized in “faith and science.”
BNc: In what ways and media will the debate be made available?
Brad: The debate was recorded by GBN. They hosted a “pre-debate show” with Glenn Colley on location, and then recorded the entire session. They asked Dr. Jim and I to join them for a post-debate show. The debate aired online and on GBN on President’s Day, Feb. 20.
Focus Press has made a DVD copy available.
BNc: Any post-debate perspectives?
Dr. Miller didn’t really address his topic, and he was a major Calvinist. He actually said “I don’t know why we are spending so much time talking about salvation and redemption.” The DVD is a great lesson for those interested in what hard-core Calvinists believe about predestination.