But before the debate could begin, the two pseudo-techies at the front table needed to kludge together a cell phone, an audio amp, an audio switch box and a set of speakers. As someone who does this all the time, I could tell these guys had left their clue box at home, and seriously needed a visit from the clue fairy. I was tempted to get up and do it for them, but they were using a cheap Radio Shack switch box, crappy PC speakers and a 35-cent analog cell phone ear bud, so it would have been hopeless.
After about 20 minutes they got it working well enough, and Mark, the local guy, negotiated the format with the fellow in LA whose name I did not catch. Let's call him LA Guy. LA Guy went first, saying he was a chemist, and a Christian, and just as he has never seen an electron but can infer its existence from the evidence, he has never seen God, but can infer His existence as well.
He babbled on like that for the allotted 15 minutes, using the Bible as "evidence", which is not my idea of your basic science text.
Mark then did his 15 minutes, and I have to say he was not much more inspiring than LA Guy. Both of them were monotonous speakers. He got lost a few times (he needs to use bigger print and note cards instead of 10-point single-spaced 8.5x11 word processed text). He did make a couple of good points. One was the classic "who created the creator?" which poses the question that if the creator can be infinite, why can't the universe be infinite instead?
Another question he raised which I hadn't thought of was "which creator?" Rama, Jehovah, Allah? I thought he should have added the Great Cosmic Mushroom, but he didn't.
They then had 5 minutes each to answer each other, then another 5 minutes to sum up. After the formal part of the debate LA Guy said he was open to questions, of which there were plenty. During one of his 5-min blurbs he said the way he justifies all the evil and suffering in the world is this is "just a test", the real world awaits in Paradise. God is teaching us. When I asked him what scientific evidence he has for this, he sputtered and said "none". Which got a big WTF look all around the room.
Mark opened it up for questions to him, but LA Guy only had one, which was "what evidence would it take to convince you there was a Higher Power?". Mark rambled a bit before coming up with "If the stars suddenly rearranged themselves to form the words "Jesus Lives" that might do it". I suggested to him afterward that "Universal World Peace at 8 tomorrow morning" would do it for me.