BELLFLOWER, CA (ANS) — A TV co-host and author of a new book called, Intelligent Design Versus Evolution—letters to an atheist has challenged Bill Maher to a public debate.

Ray Comfort maintains, “Mr. Maher, like all believers in the theory of evolution simply has a blind faith in a theory-tale that can’t be substantiated. It’s just another opiate of the masses–a religion called ‘Darwinism’ that piously robes itself in what it thinks is ‘science.’ It is true science fiction.”

The author adds, “I am beginning to suspect that some men may have evolved from chickens, or at least that’s the impression I get when it comes to evolutionists standing up for their convictions. Mr. Maher can choose the place of the debate. I don’t mind if he has it in front of his audience. He can bill it as ‘Another simple-minded Christian being thrown to the lions.’”

He maintains that the political satirist was woefully misinformed last year when he lashed out at intelligent design and said, “Evolution is supported by the entire scientific community . . . the reason there is no real debate, is that intelligent design isn’t real science…”

The author said, “I can scientifically prove intelligent design. Let’s have 20 minutes each. I present my case (I won’t even mention “faith”) and then he can present his case for evolution. I say that he doesn’t have one. He’s bluffing. I don’t mind if he spends his 20 minutes telling jokes, because that’s all he has.”

In 2001, Comfort was flown from Los Angeles to Orlando, Florida by American Atheists, Inc., to be a platform speaker at their 27th National Convention. “They not only paid my airfare, but they even put me up in a nice hotel, and kindly gave me a gift basket when I arrived.”

He has also spoken on the subject of intelligent design at Yale, UCLA and other prestigious learning institutions. His publication “The Atheist Test” has sold over 700,000 copies. He’s the author of more than 50 books, including, God Doesn’t Believe in Atheists and, The Evidence Bible (2002 Gold Medallion Award finalist). He also produced and co-hosted “The Science of Evolution,” which won 2005 NRB “People’s Choice” and “Best Program Award.”

As for Maher’s claim that “intelligent design isn’t real science,” Comfort points out that the concept of Intelligent Design originated with scientists and it’s the scientific evidence that lead them to that conclusion. “Hundreds of scientific scholars and researchers throughout the world support it—including scientists with the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Smithsonian Institute, with doctoral degrees in biological sciences, physics, chemistry, mathematics, medicine, computer science, and related disciplines, from universities such as Yale, Princeton, Stanford, MIT, UC Berkeley, and UCLA. So Mr. Maher can’t dismiss the idea as ‘not scientific’ just because he doesn’t like that conclusion.”

Comforts adds that intelligent design is supported by scientist Fritz Schaefer, four times nominated for a Nobel Prize; Oxford Professor Antony Flew, the famous British philosopher and atheist who acknowledged that intelligent design proves there is a Creator; and Professor Michael Behe, the biochemist who has proven the “irreducible complexity” of the human cell structure. According to Behe, “Intelligent design is based on observed, empirical, physical evidence from nature.”

The best-selling author also points out that Intelligent Design Versus Evolution—letters to an atheist gives both sides of the issue. “The book contains scores of letters written by a very intelligently designed atheist who gives evolution’s best arguments. I think that’s healthy. Yet pro-evolution pseudo-intellectuals are calling for censorship, by not allowing school kids the freedom to listen to both sides of the argument. That reveals their insecurity.”

Comfort added, “It was the British journalist and philosopher Malcolm Muggeridge who so aptly said, ‘I myself am convinced that the theory of evolution, especially the extent to which it has been applied, will be one of the great jokes in the history books of the future.’ Perhaps Mr. Maher has thought about the issue and will admit that it was all a new standup routine—that evolution is just a ‘great joke,’ and we will laugh together. I’d love to hear from him, but I won’t be holding my breath.” For further details see www.IntelligentDesignVersusEvolution.com