Hugh Ross Avoids Debating Russ Humphreys … Again
D. Russell Humphreys, Ph.D. Physics
March 20, 2003 E-mail to the Creation Research Society (relayed to Russ Humphreys and paraphrased by him here) about Ross’s alleged reason for not debating Humphreys:
I've studied a lot about Hugh Ross and Reasons To Believe, and agree with CRS that Ross’s views are seriously flawed. However, I haven't been able to find any sort of response by Russ Humphreys to a recent claim (August, 2002) by Hugh Ross published on the Reasons To Believe website.
I believe Ross’s claims there are probably either untrue or taken out of context. But could you please confirm this for me? I am a young-earth creationist, and I can’t comprehend why someone, even Ross, who professes to be a Christian, would flat-out lie about such things if they are not true.
Ross's August 2002 web article is not true. He claims that I insist on a non-technical audience. Yet five months before, on March 7, 2002, I offered to debate Ross before a technical audience at Los Alamos National Laboratory. I've reproduced the e-mail below. One of the recipients relayed my challenge to the Ross organization, and on March 8, 2002 he received an acknowledgement of receipt from Bob Stuart, the Apologetics Director of Reasons to Believe. After that, the Ross camp never responded to me or took up my offer to negotiate about it. I can document all these things.
In October 2002, after seeing Ross's August article, I prompted the middleman to ask Bob Stuart again about my offer. Stuart replied by sending a copy of Ross's August article and saying,
"This piece on the RTB website is a result of the original offer to debate that I relayed to Dr. Ross."
The following two quotes show the stark contrast between my offer and Ross's response.
Humphreys to RTB, March 7, 2002:
"I propose Los Alamos National Laboratory as a possible location for such a debate. The same 'Megaviews' Forum which recently sponsored Phil Johnson and Mike Behe there might be interested in sponsoring a debate. ... Both Dr. Ross and myself have supporters in the Forum, there are a number of astrophysicists at the Laboratory, and there is now great interest there in creation/evolution topics. The Physics Auditorium at the Laboratory holds about 300 people and is outside the classified area, so that Dr. Ross would not need to get a badge and an escort. The auditorium was filled to capacity for Phil and Mike's seminars, and Mike's talk was also on live streaming video for the rest of the Lab to see."
Ross to his website readers, August 2002:
"Instead, [Humphreys] insists on debating me in a room filled with lay-people or non-specialists who are ill-equipped to grasp the fine details of Dr. Humphreys’s highly complex model and to spot what I believe are its glaring scientific problems. Only in a responsible, academic environment can our two models be put to the test to see which one is adequately supported by the record of nature and the words of the Bible"
Ross does not really think the astrophysicists at Los Alamos National Laboratory are "... lay-people or non-specialists who are ill-equipped to grasp the fine details ..." Instead, he wants his supporters to think he has good reason for avoiding debates with me.
It is difficult for me to imagine Ross's statement above as anything other than a deliberate, blatant, self-serving lie.
D. Russell Humphreys, Ph.D.
Institute for Creation Research
From: Russ Humphreys
Sent: Thursday, March 07, 2002 1:17 PM
Subject: I'm interested in debate
So .... after avoiding debate with me in the past, Dr. Ross now wants to do so? He wants to defend the big bang before an audience of people highly committed to that theory. That way, I have to take on the audience as well as him. Nevertheless, that advantage for him may even up the odds enough to make it fun for me! I'm quite interested in it, and I invite Dr. Ross to e-mail me directly (address above) and start negotiations about it. [To intermediary], would you please relay this message to Bob at Reasons to Believe (whose e-mail address is not in my copy of the correspondence below) and ask him to relay it to Dr. Ross?
I propose Los Alamos National Laboratory as a possible location for such a debate. The same "Megaviews" Forum which recently sponsored Phil Johnson and Mike Behe there might be interested in sponsoring a debate. Above I've cc'd a member of Megaviews, Dr. John Baumgardner, to let him know what we're considering. Both Dr. Ross and myself have supporters in the Forum, there are a number of astrophysicists at the Laboratory, and there is now great interest there in creation/evolution topics. The Physics Auditorium at the Laboratory holds about 300 people and is outside the classified area, so that Dr. Ross would not need to get a badge and an escort. The auditorium was filled to capacity for Phil and Mike's seminars, and Mike's talk was also on live streaming video for the rest of the Lab to see.
Just to set the record straight, the web page Bob at Reasons to Believe recommended is several years out of date. It is dated "March 22, 1999", after which two more years of printed technical debate between the Ross camp and myself appeared in the pages of the journal TJ. The debate abruptly ended in the summer of 2000, when the Ross supporters ceased answering, letting me have the last word. You can read my summaries of the debate, with many links to related articles, at the following web pages:
In searching the above websites for other mentions of my name, Bob will have a better chance of succeeding if he spells it correctly as "Humphreys".
Last, please ask Bob at Reasons to Believe whether he thinks describing my character with such words as "duplicity" is in the best tradition of gentlemanly discourse among Christians.
Sincerely in Christ,