Yolandy Michel stopped on the Plaza of the Americas on Monday to play chess with a master and strike up a conversation about creationism.

Michel, a 20-year-old UF telecommunication sophomore, is a member of SOMA, UF’s college and young adult ministry. The organization hosted Jonathan Sarfati, a creationist, published author and chess master.

Members of SOMA set up 10 tables with three chess boards each in a circle so Sarfati could play up to 30 people simultaneously. Always as the white pieces, he would go around the circle and the opponents would make their moves.

Rob Sullivan, the pastor at Calvary Chapel Gainesville, which heads SOMA, said he wanted to bring a creationist on campus for the organization’s first big event. He said the chess circle was a way to attract people and engage conversation about creationism.

Michel said Sarfati answered a lot of her questions about creationism.

“Sometimes I find myself not being able to defend my faith when evolution was thrown in my face,” she said. “I feel so much more confident now.”

Sarfati is one of the speakers in Creation Ministries International. He said he usually doesn’t visit universities because the ministries’ main focus is to speak at churches. But Sarfati said there’s a lot of misinformation about creationism that students should be aware of.

“I’m hoping to present something positive as well,” he said.

Sarfati also presented his speaker series titled “Design, Deluge and Dilemma” to about 100 people at the Reitz Union Grand Ballroom. After the session, he took questions from the audience. Sarfati used examples like the Grand Canyon and fossils to refute the idea of evolution. He explained how operational science has roots in the bible.

“We have the right to investigate the creation,“ he said.

Contact Colleen Wright at [email protected].

(11) comments


Thanks for the article!
A few things that should be talked about whenevr a creationist begins making non science supportable claims such as the ones you cited the pastor as saying are these.
First, most mainstream Christian churches in the US, have released statements form their national councils denouncing creationism and supporting science and specifically evolution.(NCSE web site, church statements)
So, the good pastor has MAJOR denominational problems and in fatc is representing a
small portion of national churches regarding his attacks on science(which he is doing).
Second, the US Suprme Court and the Fedral Courts have ruled that creationism is not science, but religion(Aguilard vs La 1987, Kitzmiller vs Dover 2005). So, the pastors desire to characterize creationism or intelligent design creationism as science hasMAJOR legal rulings by the highest courts in the country that don't agree with his religious claims.
Third, and most damning. There is not a single accreditted science university department in the nation , that teaches creationism as having ANY scientific merit.
Creationist claims have been repeatedly and conclusively refuted and repudiated by
national and international science organizations. There are ZERO creationism articles in the science section of the Library of Congresses catalog. The AAAS and all science organizations in America denounce creationism as not science. The VATICAN describes it as neither science or religion.
The good pastor will not find a Noah's flood description of the geology exposed by The Grand Canyon in any geology textybook. His non scientiifc non geologically supportable claims about The Grand canyon are based on either ignorance, wishful thinking, delusion or deceit. And thats being charitable.
Creationistshave no scientific ideas or research.(talkorigins.com). Their ideas are repudiated by all Nobel Prize laureates(hundreds of them, see the La list cof signatories compiled by Zack Kopplin.
To quiote Kopplin"You don't need laws to teach critical thinking in science. Thats what science is. You need laws to teach creationism."
The creationist will run through a long list of disgraced "science" claims to those who attend this gathering, damging their ability to utilize the scientific mehtod and misinfomring them> There are hundreds of deceptive and incorrect creationist claims out there and the group will hear most of them, becoming misinformed and misled about science by the pastor and his speaker.
This is a disgraceful display of willful ignorance and deceit by this speaker and the pastor.its important to do this whenever creationistsattempt to mislead others about science. There is no magic in science. The great scientists of the past and present have no magical mystical components in their work. Intelligent design and its fraudulnet "science" claims has been decimated by credible science everywhere.
They have a right to claim whatecver they care to. But like all creationists who crave credibiklity,will never have. My faith isn't threatend by the study of the natural world
and the discoveries science is constantly making. This speakers apparently is. Why is that? However if he just has to persist in these "science" claims about evolution and the other sciences he attempts to dismantle wityh these ridiculous claims, then he should write his ideas down, send them to a credible science journal for publication, and collect his Nobel prize. If not, perhaps the Flat Earth Society would be more his speed as scripture claerly says the earth is flat, and resting on pillars.
A desire for literalism in in scripture puts this group in direct conflict with virtually everything science, ;ogicv and reason has discovered about the world. Ignorance and failure to coprehend what science is, or folklore claims w/o merit about things like the geology of The Grand Canyon is the result we get from creationists.
Sad story about people who live in a fantasy land of scientific ignorance and deceptiveness.
Oil and Gas geologist


for anyone who attended the event, the previous comments clearly show that this person is speaking in ignorance.

to spare the readers of these comments from pages + pages of rebuttal from both sides, please take a moment to seek out the truth about creation science, and do not fall trap to falsely basing your thoughts off what one mis-informed view states.

Here is a great start:

(this is also the group that Dr. Sarfati is a part of so you can do your own research into the clear fact that science is littered within the confines of the Bible)

God Bless, Seek Truth.

rob stingle

Yes, ignorance, clearly. Like how he cited a reference for each and every point made. Who needs to engage in critical debate, constructing your own arguments and presenting them publicly to provoke thoughtful responses? Isn't it far easier to just post a link to another website and let that site do all the thinking and talking for you? Ignorance indeed!


Okay gracefor the fallen has given the highly scientific lakeoffire argument a try.
Very impressive.
As to ignorance, were you capable of understanding the scientific legal and religious statements below or researching them, you'd find they are all accurate. So, don't do that.:)
We have no magic in science. If, you read about the cientific mehtod you will know that.
And most Christians don't have the trouble you apparently do reconciling their faith with the realities of the scientific method.
Which is probably why youi are never going to be a physicist.
Bearing false witness is not something Christians do. And your claims and attacks on science with ZERO credible science or research are, well, charitably, a huge overexuberance of faith.
SShould you care to base your view of the scientific world on the beliefs of some Babylonian era goat shepherds feel free. But, shouldn't you stop using gasoline , satellite communications and electricity, antibiotics and the benefits of modern science?
None of these sciences have any mystical magical component.
So, thanks for supporting the spread of misinformation about science but you get an epic fail in that.
And I'd really appreciate it if you didn't refer to mainstream Christian churches as ignorant big fella. :)
Oil and Gas Geologist


“Sometimes I find myself not being able to defend my faith when evolution was thrown in my face,” she said. “I feel so much more confident now.” = "I was afraid I was going to actually learn something while at college, but now I've been reassured that ignorance is something to be proud of."


This article is as cherry picked as the good Doctor's lecture was. He openly lied about what evolution was, even after someone in the audience told him the definition he uses in his pamphlet is wrong. He combines Evolution and Atheism to an absurd degree, as if one were in conjunction with the other, and he also openly lied about history. He dared to say Galileo was supported by the church. I am sorry, since when is excommunication considered encouragement?

Creationism isn't a debate. It isn't a discussion. It isn't science. Its a scam. A lie to delude gullible people who don't like to think too much, and I don't believe for a second he actually believes this. I think he came to plug his book and when it came to answering legitimate science question, or even question regarding his honesty, he clammed up and simply gave a knee jerk reaction of "I believe the Bible!"

What a joke.


Gracefor thefallen has generously sent everyone a link to a scientifically disgraceful and fraudulent creationism site.
If you want to see how "science" was conducted in the 12th century, pop on over.
Its oogity boogity "science" all the way.
All the fraud is there. The disgraced and rfeuted irreducible complexity, the michael Behe non science, the Dembski evangelism posing as science, the whole nine yards.
Its the real deal. Except none of it has ever been peer reviewed in a science journal of merit or not disgreed with by the data and research done by the scientific community.
Oogity boogity science, the new revolution.
Gracefor thefallen is heavily versed in both the scientific method and the sciences in general, having gotten a degree in...........arts.
Thank you for miraculously redefining the scientiifc method to include magic !
I can't wait until my next biology exam when I can answwer all the questions "God did it".
That'll be sure to win widespread scientific approval.


The definition of faith is the belief in things unseen, but that by no means rules out the blessings of experience that comes with such faith. I have skimmed through some of these responses, and I don't see any passion for peace, just a fervor for being scientifically correct. Jesus didn't pick out His disciples in order to start a debate ministry, He chose them because of His great, unfathomable capacity to love. If one is putting all of his or her chips in science, he or she would be endlessly searching for answers, perhaps never settling in their endeavor for an absolute truth or answer. Why not consider what God has done for those who set themselves aside and recognized the need for a Savior? Why not take that fervor and have a peek into the lives of those who have been changed by Him? What about the healing miracles performed in the name of the Holy Spirit by those who lay on hands? These are just some examples of points that have been so long swept under the rug - evidence of Him, the footsteps of Jesus, the case for Christ. It's like the air we cannot see that stirs up the leaves, it's God who is in control, and we see that when we call on Him, having but only a mustard seed of faith, which in reality is not much faith at all.

As I read some of these posts, I can no doubt see a bunch of racing intellectual minds packed with all sorts of information - that's a blessing in and of itself. God gave you that ability to soak in all that information, regardless of what information it is, and regurgitate it upon demand; some of it you may even remember forever. But what I challenge you to do, if you truly desire to seek the absolute truth, is to read the Book of John a time or two with an open mind (New King James Version), maybe even three depending on how hard you're really seeking, then ask God to make a move in your life. Reading John, the ministry and accounts of Jesus Christ, should give you that mustard seed of faith to ask for revelation of Him in your life. If you're super skeptical, think it's a stupid idea and a waste of time, you're definitely the person I'm talking to, more so than the person who is easily open and willing to do it. I say that because you're more selective in the challenges you choose to take - this is one to take.

Why is this so hard for some people? Well, let's face it - it's way easier to not believe than it is to believe, and people, in reality, simply just want to live their life the way they want to live it. This is exactly want Satan wants from people - to not care and to continue blowing off any arising conviction they have with any reasonable justification they can get their minds on. It's the normal, average, everyday way of living - judging things by the way you see it, morals and values passed on throughout the generations, and doing what seems right to you. It's easy, and people call that "life." The reality is, there is something much deeper than all that, deeper than what we can wrap our minds around and relate to, a call for action that a lot of people just don't choose to hear neither in their mind or heart. God tries to reach us in many different ways, He knocks at the door to your heart. The real question is, are you ever going to answer? Will you ever set yourself aside to hear Him? Will you believe for just a moment that there's something more than what meets the eye or is scientifically proven? I hope this challenges you enough to seek out God and not be so quick to write Him off.

The beautiful part is, if you do decide to open that door to accept Him, finally come to terms with your sinful ways, and realize you need a Savior in your life, I'd bet all that I know and have that you'll never go back to living the same life you've lived for a long as you've known. You will have opened your heart to a new first love - a God who is everlasting, ever-graceful, ever-merciful, and never-changing. You will see Him work in your life, and you will be reborn a new person with new hope, new joy, and a new, lighter, touch on the things of this world.

Thank you all so much for reading, and I pray you get at least something new out of it.
God bless you greatly and abundantly.

rob stingle

Your attempt at poetry adds little to any debate you might think you're sustaining here. Moreover, the way you've borrowed evangelical rhetoric indicates conceptual laxity on your part in not making the distinction between a lack of a belief in god and the lack of faith in god among believers. I doubt you fully understand, or care to understand for that matter, the tenets of atheism.


Talemire I appreciate your expression of faith, however you are missing the point here. Creationism is fraud deception and ignorance and is an attack on the basics of the scientific method. As an expression of faith it is disgraceful fraud regarding science. We don't use our faith to attack science. That's crap. And that is the crux of the issue that seemingly eludes you.
Creationism pretends to be science when it has no merit scientifically. Until creationists stop using their faith to try to tear down the knowledge
mankind is and has developed it will always be a disgrace to whatever religion it purports to support. Your comments are waaaaay off base with regards to the issue.
Christians who intentionally lie about science are not in fact conducting themselves like Christians. If you think that's okay, you are hopeless.


For anyone who would like to hear Dr. Sarfati's lecture he gave on the Monday night, here is about 30+ minutes of it, poor camera angle and ipad ran out of memory, but at least you can capture some of it. He also had an issue with his computer, so sorry for the delays....

I appreciate your post Talemire, some encouragement... John 3:1-21 (esp v.12)

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