I have not followed up on JD's comment and did not construe such a comment as a "challenge," but nonetheless, JD added a counting-up timer on his blog (look on the right sidebar) titled "Time Elapsed Since I Challenged Justin Vacula to a Debate Clock." The timer is currently at 6 days and 13 hours at the time of this posting.
On 7/30/11, I issued a public debate challenge to Northeastern Pennsylvania on behalf of the NEPA Freethought Society in which I wrote that people I would consider debating would need some qualifications. I mainly included this because I do not wish to debate every Joe Shmo off of the street. I want to have a fair debate, a reasonable discussion, and not a situation in which I am 'propping myself up' by debating people who are dubious.
Some positions that people may hold might disqualify them from debating because their ideas are really silly. Some of these positions might include 9/11 being a conspiracy by the US government, evolution denial, AIDS denial, holocaust denial, anti-gay bigotry, etc (and JD obviously doesn't hold all of these positions...I am just listing examples). I don't want to give people like this the 'time of the day' in a public debate and somehow make their position look tenable because I would be willing to engage them in a debate. Some people might hold what I consider silly beliefs, but I would be willing to make exceptions on some issues.
JD Curtis, though, is an interesting story. Many of his blog posts commit egregious errors in logic that often reveal that he doesn't know what his 'opponents' actually are claiming. To start, he has a "Where's the Birth Certificate" banner on his website (including a post), has Ray Comfort in his blogroll, and constantly uses LifeSiteNews, World Net Daily, and Conservapedia as sources he thinks are legitimate.
He believes, presumably because he posts it, that "atheists are demonstrably more autistic," quotes someone who knows nothing about what evolution claims and uses this as a reliable source, thinks Rick Perry is not anti-science, spreads propaganda about abortion claiming that it increases mental health disorders by 81%, believes Ann Coulter is a reliable source that one can use to falsify evolution, calls the Norway killer a 'Darwinist' and not a Christian, talks about geological evidence for Noah's flood (and presumably believes it literally happened), calls the separation of church and state "non-existent," and much more. Many of these posts from JD are quite recent. He may have changed his mind on some of these issues, but I am unaware of any such cognitive shifts.
I wonder...why should I have a written debate with JD Curtis? What are his qualifications...and why should I debate someone who 'gets it wrong' so often? ...and why is there a clock ticking on his website? I was never challenged to a debate, but rather was told that I could e-mail him if I was interested.
I'm not sure what to think here, about whether I should or should not have a written debate with JD, so I welcome comments...and especially from JD.