Comfort and the ‘typical’ atheist

Ray Comfort continues to beat the dead straw horses to death, over and over again. Now, he quotes what is, apparently, a “typical atheist” saying

On occasion, after feeding my dog I might lazily leave an empty can of dog food on my kitchen counter for 2-3 days. The amino acids in what’s left in the can form organisms by way of maggots and flies. Anyone with half a brain can understand that this type of process is what led to the existence of life on Earth. Chemistry made it happen, not god’s magic wand.

That’s what he actually thinks atheists believe, that maggots form spontaneously out of amino acids in cans of dog food. What’s worse is that he doesn’t even understand how spectacular that would be, if indeed it really happened. It would be abiogenesis happening in a can of dog food!

Now, of course, Comfort proceeds to tell this “typical” atheist what really happened:

Magical maggots are his proof that a Creator doesn’t exist. It doesn’t occur to him that a fly flew in when he wasn’t looking at the empty can, and laid eggs.

So, what? Flies laying eggs that hatch into maggots is Comfort’s proof that God does exist?

The rest of the post is more of the same I talked about last time, with Comfort simply repeating the claim that there is no scientific evidence of evolution whatsoever (not that the evidence is flawed or contradictory, mind you, that it does not exist, period), with the added bonus that apparently the Genesis account, which does contradict itself numerous times in the Bible, is absolutely, scientifically true and valid.

The tragedy for those that believe in evolution is that they automatically discount the Genesis account of creation, which holds up perfectly under the light of honest scientific scrutiny. It informs us that God is the initial Cause of all things.

Apparently, Ray believes science is some text that magically poofed into existence, and that merely informs us what is true and what isn’t. Another text informing us of something else is, apparently, arbitrarily rated higher, and therefor trumps the text of science. That is Comfort’s idea of arriving at accepted truths.

Unlike the idea of evolution, Christianity can be tested. Simply read the Sermon on the Mount—which tells us among other things that God considers lust to be adultery (see Matthew 5:27-28), and that leaves all of us in big trouble on Judgment Day, heading for Hell.

Near the end, he’s not even making sense anymore. He doesn’t even understand what he himself claims. How do we “test” whether lust is the same as adultery? He doesn’t say. He just states that we’ve been informed that that is the case, and apparently that should be enough. It’s what passes for scientific rigor to him. But then how can he dismiss the theory of evolution? How can he claim that this can be tested, but evolution can’t? He doesn’t say, and he most probably doesn’t know. At this point he’s simply say anything to prove his own point, no matter how inconsistent or contradictory it is. The cognitive dissonance is staggering.

Repent and trust Him and you will pass from death into life, and know the truth–and the truth will make you free (seeJohn 8:31-32). There’s the proof.

A guy claiming life evolves from non-life in an empty can of dog food can be dismissed without a second thought. A 2000+ year old book of collected myths and laws claiming there’s a being that can give birth to himself, to sacrifice himself to himself, yet resurrecting himself in the end, can be trusted as absolute (and testable) truth.

I… I don’t even know how to respond to a claim like that. It’s like trying to talk to the crazy guy on the street corner babbling about how his teeth pick up secret CIA radio transmissions, when all of his teeth fell out long ago.

I will admit, I cannot defend, not to mention explain, the claim that life can arise from non-life out of an empty can of dog food. Unarguably, Ray Comfort will take an admission like that to mean that I admit that all of evolution is a hoax. I leave it up to everyone else to draw their own conclusions based on that.

Comfort claims outright that there is NO evidence for evolution

Ray Comfort, after having debated the subject for years and years, going head-to-head with plenty of educated professionals, as well as passionate amateurs, has now clearly and unambiguously defined his… interpretation of the evidence for the theory of evolution. Check this out:

His problem (referring to a comment regarding the “mountain of evidence for evolution”) is that he has never taken a close look at the mountain, and believes that he has a mammoth case with his long list. His “etc.” means that he believes there are even more mountains, somewhere.

Maybe that works for the simple folk, but it doesn’t work for those who know that his evolutionary fossil “record” doesn’t exist. Of course fossils exist, but not as a record for evolution.

So, neither the person who wrote the comment Ray replies to, nor any of the worlds biologists, geologists, chemists, physicists or otherwise scientists, have ever taken a close look at the figurative “mountain” of evidence. Ray has, apparently. He has gone where no person has gone before, and concluded that it’s all smoke and mirrors, no substance to it at all. He declares, without hesitation, that the fossils that exist in no way whatsoever show any kind of historical record of species adapting and changing over time. I’ve always found it interesting why God placed so much emphasis on “kinds”, yet still needed to specially create every single form that could possibly be seen as an intermediate species… Only to kill them off and leave their bones in the ground for us to find. Why did they exist in the first place, if they weren’t good enough to take on the Ark?

Ray continues,

I don’t have time to run down the long list of winding rabbit trails, other than to say that DNA is an incredibly complex “language”, and to say that it’s proof for evolution, rather than of intelligent design, is to confirm Psalm 14:1.

No, of course he doesn’t have the time. After going through every single scientific field related to evolution, and personally studying every last piece of evidence in favor of it, there wouldn’t be much time left over to publish the results, now would it? I mean, he’s only human…

Only Ray could make the argument that it’s more important to study the external appearance of DNA, than to actually find out how it works, what it’s for and what evidence it makes up. It’s almost as if he actually believes that every biochemist out there makes the explicit argument that simply because it looks complex, that in itself is evidence of evolution.

In conclusion, Ray proves yet again how if his understanding of evolution was compared to a baseball game, he’d be the equivalent of the hot dog vendor in the stands.

Also, you are not a primate, nor are you a relative of fish, pig, or the dog. You are a human being, created by God (with an intuitive knowledge of right and wrong), and therefore you are morally responsible to Him for your thoughts, words, and deeds…whether you believe it or not.

Ray seems to think that “primate” and “human being” are mutually exclusive terms. Surprising, considering his vast expertise in biology. You’d think someone who has a complete and in-depth understanding of all the evidence in existence for the theory of evolution, would also know the most basic terminology used to describe said evidence… I guess not.

Lastly, he touches on an interesting point. So many times have I had it explained that God is like a loving, caring parent, and we are his children. Now, with that in mind, those with parents who actively punish you for thinking the wrong thoughts, put your hands up. Yes, right now. I’ll wait. No one? Really? What about those who think “thought crime” should be acceptable, as well as punishable as a capital offense? Yes, I’m talking lifetime in prison, plus Guantanamo-style torture… only it’s not for life, but for eternity. No hands for that either? Shocking!

But apparently the act of creating human beings (as opposed to primates) is so incredibly exhausting and mentally straining for an omnipotent First Cause-type being that we should spend our entire existence trying to make up for the fact that we exist. It’s almost as if God was lonely, so he created something that would amuse him, and that he could treat as badly as he wanted, only to guilt-trip into obedience every time it started to have its own opinion on things.

Ray Comfort isn’t fun anymore. It’s why there hasn’t been very much activity as of late. Ray isn’t even trying, neither is anyone else in the Creationism/Intelligent Design community. All the small, ambiguous scientific finds that could be made in favor of some kind of “purpose”-driven interpretation have been made, and debunked several times over. The only resort to these people is a fantasy world, a universe in which a street preacher has as much authority studying fossil records and DNA as paleontologists and biochemists do. A universe where evidence that has convinced the most stubborn scientists for over a century and a half is “obviously non-existent”. A universe in which “something from nothing” is a ridiculous suggestion, but “something from God, who came from nothing” is perfectly acceptable, and indeed, preferable. I suspect future updates will be scarce as well, unless something amazing happens, and at least one of the members of the league of extraordinary ignorami changes their tone, or even their arguments. Until then, it’s just beating a horse that’s been dead for decades…

I might have been slacking off, but Ray sure hasn’t

So it’s been a while. Mainly because I’ve had other things to do, and because I managed to break free from the enormous time-sink that is Ray Comfort’s blog. However, it’s summer, and work is slow, so just because I can I decided to go have a visit and see what’s up. Well, this was:

[After quoting a long list of evidence for evolution] Then, after such impressive proof, Froggie throws down the gauntlet and says, “Go ahead, falsify one even one of thousands of established facts supporting evolution. Go ahead.”

So let’s go ahead just a little and examine the list of “facts.” How about “human tails”? Where on earth (or in the fossil record) are humans with tails? We don’t even have a “tail bone” as some maintain.

Ok, so at this point I’m straight back to when I first read about Ray Comfort. I cannot believe he is anything but a fraud. You can’t possibly be this ignorant, and still maintain authority, can you?

Well, the straight fact is that humans with tails are born from time to time even today, and we do have parts of a tail bone left. In most people, it doesn’t take the shape of an actual tail, but if you ever fall down and hit the part of your lower back where that tail would be, don’t tell me it doesn’t hurt more than it should had we not even had hints of a tail bone left. Here’s the Wikipedia article on human tails. Here’s a site with plenty of images of human tails.

Now, Ray, want to revise your statement on the existence of the tail bone and tails in humans? Of course that, that would require you admitting you’re wrong.

Ray continues:

Ditto with legged whales, seacows and snakes with legs. Snakes had legs . . . did they talk? Then there’s the “ape-humans” (the missing link), and the “reptile birds” (that would be the belief that chickens were once dinosaurs). Sure.

Yes, Ray, if you close your eyes and cover your ears, all those fossils of legged whales magically disappear. There are both snakes with legs, and lizards without legs (the latter is actually quite common here in Sweden). The “missing link” is your own strawman imagination. You can’t keep getting closer to the middle between black and white, and still refuse to call it gray. As for reptile birds… Again, if you want to ignore hard evidence, that’s your problem. Ignoring it, however, does not make it go away for the rest of the world.

Of course when listing evidence of evolution, always be sure to drop in a few unpronounceables, such as pharyngeal, pseudogenes, endogenous retroviruses, anatomical parahomology and suboptimal, and you will impress the simple, because you have just evidenced your intelligence.

Maybe Ray can’t pronounce “suboptimal”, but that hardly disproves evolution as a fact (but does hint at why Ray has such a hard time grasping elementary school biology). And if it weren’t for the fact that any attempt to simplify the evidence is only met with even greater lack of understanding (a feat in itself), we wouldn’t have to write such long lists of incomprehensible and unpronounceable (say those two words quickly three times in a row) terms and names.

The rest are winding rabbit trails that I don’t have time to follow. They lead nowhere. It’s about as powerful as me listing all 66 books of the Bible and thinking that I have just proven the existence of God.

But… That is what you do, Ray. You keep telling us God exists because God says God exists in the book God wrote. That’s essentially the same as just listing the 66 books of the Bible. Did we just have a breakthrough here? Did Ray just unintentionally understand (the only way to make Ray understand anything, by the way) how flawed his entire position is?

Even if he did, he’ll repress it. After all, that’s what he does best.

The Fallacy of Gray

I never though that the colour gray could be the subject of such lengthy discussion, but everything’s possible if you’re a rationalist. Case in point: The Fallacy of Gray.

My favorite part is this:

If science is based on ‘faith’, then science is of the same kind as religion – directly comparable.  If science is a religion, it is the religion that heals the sick and reveals the secrets of the stars.  It would make sense to say, “The priests of science can blatantly, publicly, verifiably walk on the Moon as a faith-based miracle, and your priests’ faith can’t do the same.”

It seems the theists arguing against things like evolution are so hungry that they want to have their cake and eat it too. That may be a miracle God could have performed (had he existed), but it’s certainly an impossible task for mere humans.

Misplaced Brains

Ray Comfort. Don’t you just love to hate him?

He’s usually way up there, talking all kinds of nuttery, but this is pretty much stratospheric. Not only is he displaying some of the worst cognitive dissonance I’ve ever seen in him, but he even manages to end his post with one of the weakest anti-evolution statements in history. Apparently, we no longer not only lack empirical evidence, but it seems we never felt we needed it in the first place! I wonder why, exactly, Darwin then felt he needed to come halfway around the world to study it, when he could have just sat at home and made stuff up.

Anyway, it’s too short to quote without copying it all at once, so hit the link above for some serious brain-hurting nonsense. However, I’m not going to let you leave without a little bonus at least. The second worst case of cognitive dissonance (and plain ignorance) comes from blog regular starbuck:

However, I can think of no greater example of misplaced trust than the faith that believers have in the theory of evolution. They are an example of “blind” faith, with no need for any empirical evidence. The only “evidence” they have is a belief that what they have read or have been told, is true.

True! However atheists will say “please provide proof that evolution is false”.. or something like that.

No… If you as an atheist cannot provide proof then it is not true.

Don’t tell me to go to a museum, don’t tell me to go to school. Don’t tell me that it is in the DNA, that proves nothing. I could always say that is how the Creator made it that way. Which proves nothing as well. But it does negate the DNA arguement.

Tell me why evolution is true without the silly arguements you have so far provided. Maybe I will listen. You won’t convince me, but I’ll listen.

Last but not least, one of the most concise descriptions of Ray Comfort that I’ve ever seen, courtesy of another blog regular, BathTub:

Once again Ray shows his obsession with death and evolution.

He can’t do anything about the former, and he knows nothing about the latter.

Sums up Ray really, doesn’t it.

Yes, actually, it does.

Rayologies: Ray and the Stone and the Tree and the Fox

Will you look at that, Ray is giving us another one of his fascinatingly flawed analogies to dissect:

When I was about 8 years old I thought nothing of throwing a stone the full length of our street, just to see how far it would go. My problem was that I didn’t understand that sometimes actions can have serious consequences.

One day I was in a tree-filled empty lot, three doors along from our house. For some reason I threw a stone into the trees. Suddenly I heard the sound of glass breaking, and high-tailed it out of there like a rabbit that had just seen a hungry fox.

A few minutes later, the fox was at our back door. Then I heard my mom call my name, and then ask, “Did you just throw a stone through Mr. Prescott’s window?” I stepped out of my room and said that I had. I can’t remember anything else about the incident, except that my mom has said a number of times how proud she was that I had done the right thing by telling the truth.

When it comes to the issue of sin, we don’t understand that there are deadly serious consequences. We lie, steal, lust, covet, and blaspheme without too much thought. It’s no big deal. But every time we do so, we smash the window of God’s Law and that Law demands retribution. Now He’s waiting for us to do the right thing and ‘fess up. If we refuse to come out in the open we will pay for it ourselves, and there will be Hell to pay.

Ok, so the first three paragraphs are pretty straight-forward. I guess it took a while before Ray grew up to be the kook he is today. The last paragraph, however, is ripe for the picking. First of all, let’s take the issue of consequences. Ray is right to point out that actions have consequences, but speaking of people’s actions in a society, that’s not always true. Ray speaks (as usual) of laws and justice, but neglects to mention that there is such a thing as a “victimless crime”, an action that does not have a reaction towards another person. Drugs, for example, are often said to be a victimless crime, because it doesn’t actually hurt or affect anyone other than yourself. Thankfully, in most societies, the Biblical sins aren’t actually literally illegal, but if they were, most of them would also fit the description of a victimless crime. When I lust after another person, that hurts a grand total of no one. It is an act that doesn’t even have a reaction to any meaningful degree. It might lead me to take another action, such as approaching the person I’m lusting after, but that’s another act altogether. The act of lusting is a victimless crime.

Apparently, according to Ray, God is like some “universal judge” that will sentence all of us for the crimes we commit, supposedly, against him. Not mentioning the fact that this means the judge (who would have to remain impartial in order to be just) is also the victim, this means that not only is God the highest court of justice available (meaning no chance for appeal if you believe you’ve had an unfair trial), but he is also immune against prosecution from anyone else. In essence, God doesn’t have to follow his own laws.

How can all this possibly be called justice? Oh, silly me. You know what? Read the last paragraph again: “But every time we do so, we smash the window of God’s Law and that Law demands retribution.” Here I was talking about justice, when all God wants is revenge and retribution. Would we want judges in our society that cared more about retribution than about justice? If not, why would we ever accept a god that does exactly that?

Hunter’s hunt

Cornelius Hunter went on another diatribe a few days ago, this time whining about Jerry Coyne and his pitiful way of supporting the one theory actually backed by evidence and reason. Cornelius begins by explaining the the words lanugo and epistemology. He gets most of it right, which is only more odd seeing as he then goes right on to misapply them to a snippet of Jerry Coyne’s book, Why Evolution Is True.

Evolutionary thinking smashes through the IF-THEN log jam by instead using the IF-AND-ONLY-IF-THEN statement. Here’s an example: If and only if it is Friday, then evolutionists play poker. In this example, if we observe evolutionists playing poker then it must be Friday. There is no other possibility. Unlike the IF-THEN statement, the IF-AND-ONLY-IF-THEN statement allows you to establish truths.

Yes, Hunter’s hypothetical example is all well and true, but does it have anything to do with Coyne or the actual theory of evolution? No, not much.

The part of Coyne’s paragraph that Hunter really has a problem with is the following: “Lanugo can be explained only as a remnant of our primate ancestry“. There’s more, but seeing as Hunter doesn’t really care about the context of this statement anyway, then neither do I.

When you look at that statement, you might initially feel that, yes, that is an IF-AND-ONLY-IF-THEN statement. However, if you do, then you obviously don’t know much about the evolution/ID dichotomy. Intelligent Design is definitely a possible answer to the existence of life. It’s one of many. However, what it’s not is an explanation of where lanugo comes from, or why it exists. Actually, ID doesn’t say anything at all about where anything comes from, or why it exists. It just states that it was “designed” by “someone” (yeah, you try finding an IDist that actually uses the word something instead of someone), and leaves it at that. As evidence, they basically go “just look at that flower! You think it made itself?”, and think that settles it. So what if ID is the answer to the questions in nature, what does it tell us? What could knowing that do for us? What’s the practical application of knowing that “someone designed” that flower, or that Zebra, or that mountain?

I won’t claim to know exactly what Coyne meant, and to be quite honest, I haven’t even read his book yet (I’m going to, though). However, I’ve seen and heard enough of debates and statements of this kind to be quite certain that Coyne didn’t actually mean what Hunter tells us he meant. The key word in the quote Hunter uses is “explained”, and not “only”. Using Hunter’s own idea of the IF-AND-ONLY-IF-THEN statement, it would actually read as follows:

IF-AND-ONLY-IF a theory actually explains the existence of a phenomenon, THEN it is a valid explanation.

That means that should any ID advocate come up with a reasonable and evidence-supported theory that explains lanugo, then it too is a valid explanation. Simply stating that “someone” made lanugo happen isn’t an explanation, and it’s even more useless if you have no evidence to show for it.

Lastly, can someone please tell me what part of lanugo is supposed to be intelligently designed anyway? Anyone?

A Simpleton in Black and White

Ah, another fine winter morning, with the receding mist leaving all of beautiful nature covered in a frosty white veil. And just like the world right now is exceptionally beautiful, so is Ray Comfort showing how exceptionally ugly he can be when he wants to. Yes, it’s that time of the month again: Ray has published another homophobic, bigoted post on God’s judgment of gays.

We can choose to become a pedophile, a fornicator, an adulterer, or a homosexual.

I just don’t know what to say. Ray doesn’t even try to hide it. He’s straight-up, plain-as-day, clearly equating homosexuality with pedophilia.

“Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 9-10).

Notice how this actually says nothing about pedophiles? Apparently, being gay is bad enough to warrant special mention in the Holy Book itself, but raping children isn’t. Yet, Ray is equating one with the other, saying both are abominable sins in the eyes of God. How can he make that statement? Obviously, being gay is much worse than being a pedophile.

After publishing this, and quite expectedly receiving a substantial torrent of comments pointing out his bigotry and “Christ-like” hatred of people who aren’t exactly like him, Ray added a postscript. It reads as follows:

P.s. After reading this post, some have asked if I would endorse the killing of homosexuals–quoting Old Testament verses, from Hebrew civil law. Of course I wouldn’t. Why would I (living in the United States in 2010), advocate the sentence given under the civil law of nation that existed 3,000 years ago?

Pedophiles do have rights. They have the same rights you and I do, and they lack the same rights you and I do. Pedophiles, as disgusting we all think their affliction is, are still people. They have the right to, and deserve, all the help they can get to cope with their problems.

Also, I have a question for those of you who were obviously angered by what I have written. Why have none of you suggested that pedophiles are born that way, and they have rights, etc.? All I have done is given you the biblical perspective, and warned you of who will not enter the Kingdom of God. Again, if I didn’t care, I wouldn’t bother.

Oh, I know you care, Ray. The question isn’t if you care, it’s what you care about. Apparently, you care so much about people around you loving other people that you have to write a blog post specifically to condemn such “sinful” behavior. You care so much that you will compare statutory rape and child abuse with consensual sex between adults, and claim they’re both just as bad. I’m sure the Ku Klux Klan “wouldn’t bother” with the sheets and burning crosses if they also “didn’t care”.

This being the somewhat incendiary topic it is, Ray felt the need to add a second postscript:

P.P.s. Individuals have responded with: “Pedophiles don’t have rights because they are CAUSING HARM. They are harming children. Consenting adults HARM NO ONE. Again, it’s pretty clear cut.” “Said act harms children. End. Of. Story.”

Therefore pedophiles that have pictures of semi-naked young children on their computers are okay? No one is being harmed. Why then is it illegal? The “I was born like it . . . it doesn’t harm anyone” doesn’t cut it in civil court. Neither will it on Judgment Day.

Again, Ray is tripping over himself in his eagerness to portray homosexual men and women as “sinful” and wicked. Again, it’s not a crime merely being a pedophile. If a person had pedophilic tendencies but never acted on them, “I was born like it, it doesn’t harm anyone” is perfectly good defense. It’s so good, there isn’t even a reason to accuse him of anything to begin with. Is Ray suggesting that civil law start punishing thought crimes?

Ray can add all the postscripts he wants. It won’t change the fact that he is a sad, bigoted, hateful joke of a man.

If I can’t understand it, it must be science!

Let’s take a little detour from our usual route through Banana-land, shall we? Let’s talk homeopathy.

I know people who’ve tried it. I even know people who believe in it. Why? Well, who knows. I couldn’t possibly do a better job of explaining why homeopathy is so pathetically ridiculous than this comic, so I suggest you just click the link and read it yourself.

If that doesn’t convince you, maybe another “comic” will:

Eric Hovind’s Christian Arrogance

Kent Hovind being in prison doesn’t do much to contain the stupid for which he is famous. Even when he’s taking it easy, his son is busy trying hard to be just as ignorant as his father. Just listen to this:

My apologies for not posting parts 3 and 4 of the eye opening short series with Sye and I…which is exactly what this argument is to the Atheistic world view, Cyanide.

While, I suppose, somewhat originally phrased, this is something that’s been heard for decades now. You can rest assured that atheism isn’t going anywhere, that neither Eric or Kent Hovind, nor anyone else, will present anything remotely like “cyanide to the atheistic worldview”. But thanks for capitalizing Atheism though, even if there’s no reason to…

You see, the only internally consistent worldview is the Christian world view. Every other worldview will implode with an internal critique.

The mindblowing arrogance continues. Does he really believe Christianity is that much different from any other religion based on supernatural beings and events? What’s his basis for making this claim? I am well familiar with the arguments that supposedly prove how “true” or “real” Christianity is, but no one’s ever heard an argument like that that couldn’t be used equally well on _any_ religion. Heck, exposing this fact is the main purpose of the Flying Spaghetti Monster scenario.

Episode #3 of this series deals with science. Did you know that the only way to do science is based on what is known as the “uniformity of nature”. This is the assumption that tomorrow will be like today. However, this is an assumption. What is its basis?

Ok, so the way they’re “proving” Christianity is by attacking science? Has attacking science ever proved any religious point before? Why should it do so now?

And yes, Eric, science does assume that “tomorrow will be like today”. So do you. So does everyone, and they have done so for as long as anyone could reason enough to put forth a thought to that effect.

What he’s also forgetting, of course, is that science also has methods for adjusting to when tomorrow is not like today, which Christianity does not.

His last argument is really the most hilarious, so I’ll do him a favor and print it bold and in large print, just to make sure no one could possibly miss this incredible insight of Eric Hovind’s:

The only world view that can logically make sense of this idea is the Christian world view.

Eric Hovind, “Proof that God exists Part 3