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God: Supreme Being or Imaginary Friend?
Contact: Jon Sorensen, Catholic Answers, 619-387-7200

EL CAJON, Calif., Feb. 26, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- 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. Catholic Answers hosted the event to provide an opportunity for a lively yet respectful clash of ideas during which believers and unbelievers would be able to hear the best arguments for and against the existence of God.

The debate was attended by an overflow 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. A wide range of questions tested the debaters' ability to defend their beliefs on the spot.

Trent Horn, author of the best-selling book Answering Atheism, was pleased with the way the night went. "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. "However, I felt that my preparation paid off, and Dan's remark in his closing statement that I 'wasn't a pushover' was to me a very high compliment. I felt that the Catholic position was well defended and gave everyone present a lot to think about."

Catholic Answers Director of Development Christopher Check moderated the debate and was thrilled with the event's success. "Debate is an essential element of the apologetics tradition," he noted. "While I watched Trent so deftly 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. The audience was completely captivated. What's more, the enthusiasm and size of the audience confirms our belief that Catholic Answers needs to be hosting many more events like this right here in our hometown."

Catholic Answers is located in El Cajon and has a decades-long history of educating Catholics and non-Catholics alike on the teachings of the Catholic Church, through its radio show Catholic Answers Live), its flagship publication Catholic Answers Magazine, its website, Catholic.com, its speakers bureau, and a number of other outreaches, including fielding one-on-one phone calls from people with questions about the Catholic Faith.

The debate is available now in MP3 format.

Visit sandiegogoddebate.com for more information.