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].