Last night I spoke in Dublin. We expected Dublin to be a much more difficult situation—and it was. A conservative Christian group at Dublin University sponsored the program. They had posters up all over campus because they wanted to use this as an outreach to the students as well as the public. They even had posters (with my photo) in the restrooms!
Dublin has 20,000 students, and they estimate fewer than 2% are Christians. Most of the Christians are students from Asia (Malaysia, etc.).
* Around 100 to 150 university students were in the audience, which pleased the organizers. I'm not sure what the official count was, but it looked like 300 or more. During the break and after the meeting I was swamped—I haven't been swamped like this in a long time. * During the first break, a large number of young people gathered around me. One man told me he had been reading my books and that they meant so much to him. He said the priests (they were Roman Catholics) were all so philosophical in explaining life and didn't satisfy them—didn't answer questions. So he brought a number of young people from this church, and they told me they were really impressed—that this made things "real." They were so HUNGRY! * Another young man was into Hinduism. Talk about mixed up! I don't know if I got to him at all, but he said he was going home to read Genesis 1-11. * One gentleman and his wife came up and asked about the days before the sun was created. I think he may have been a minister of some sort. He wouldn't commit himself as to what he believed, but obviously he believed in long ages. But when I tried to push him on that topic, he refused to engage in conversation and just made some comment about vast ages and left. * Because there were a number of university students present for the Friday night (150 or so) I did a philosophy of science/natural selection talk first. A man told me later that he worked at a quarry and had tried his best as a Christian to witness to his workmates but was unsuccessful—they kept bringing up evolution and "millions of years." Well, he managed to get two of his friends to this meeting where I spoke. He told me he was shocked out of his boots, as these guys, who were not Christians, rushed down and bought the big set of Answers series videos. He was thrilled and will follow up with them. * I had many other conversations—some really positive—some attacking. How sad it is to see a country like Ireland so devastated by religious hypocrisy and scandal. Most young people have very little to do with the church because they are disillusioned. The abuse scandals are to blame for much of this. But at the same time, there is a hunger. But how sad that most of the churches (even most Protestant ones—small as they are) compromise on Genesis.