One of Charleston's best-known atheists, Herb Silverman, will take on Wallace Marshall, head of a local Christian apologetics organization, in an upcoming debate.

The debate entitled "Christianity or Atheism: Which Makes More Sense?" will be at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Physicians Auditorium at the College of Charleston. It is free and open to the public.

Marshall is director of the Charleston chapter of Reasonable Faith, a Christian apologetics organization with 40 chapters throughout the United States and seven international chapters. He received his master of divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and his Ph.D. from Boston College, where he studied the historical interaction between science, religion and philosophy in the West.

Silverman is distinguished professor emeritus of mathematics at the College of Charleston, founder of the Secular Coalition for America, and founder of the Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry. He also is author of "Candidate Without a Prayer: An Autobiography of a Jewish Atheist in the Bible Belt."

The debate is sponsored by the college's philosophy department and its religious studies department, Cru, The Journey, Seacoast Church, Secular Student Alliance and Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry.

Post and Courier arts writer Adam Parker will moderate the debate.

Jennifer Berry Hawes