Ray Comfort challenges evolution, Jesus and Mo reply

Several readers sent me both this item about Ray Comfort and the response over at Jesus and Mo.

You may know already that Ray Comfort has made a new film about evolutionary biology and its advocates, called “Evolution vs. God.” (So much for those who claim that science and faith are compatible!)  Of course it’s negative, and the trailer below gives a taste of what’s to come. Featuring P.Z. Myers and other evolutionary biologists who were unwise enough to be interviewed, the trailer implies that evolution isn’t real because we haven’t been able to see macroevolution in real time. (Well, we see it all the time in fossils.) Bacteria are still bacteria after selection!  We haven’t changed cats into dogs! Comfort is gloating because unlike the standard films, which use creationists to go after evolution, this one features only evolutionists, whose words are undoubtedly taken out of context.

Anyway, Christian News reports more:

A major evangelistic ministry is preparing to launch a 30-minute documentary that Christian leaders say will offer a “devastating,” “lights out” challenge to the evolutionary worldview.

Living Waters, a California-based ministry founded by influential evangelist Ray Comfort, has produced several groundbreaking resources over the years, including The Evidence Bible and “The Way of the Master” evangelism course. In late 2011, the ministry released the phenomenally successful abortion documentary “180,” which has since generated over four million YouTube views and nearly one million DVD sales.

Last week, Living Waters unveiled the trailer for their latest project, a video titled “Evolution vs. God.” Already the promotional clip has generated approximately 50,000 views, and that play count continues to rapidly escalate with each passing day. Not only are many Christians eager to see the film, but Comfort told Christian News Network that it has also created “a buzz in the atheist community.”

The main premise behind “Evolution vs. God” is that top evolutionary scientists cannot convincingly support their theory, and instead rely heavily on unfounded assumptions. Even when Comfort personally interviews influential evolutionists from major universities in the film (such as well-known atheist PZ Myers), they are unable to satisfyingly answer Comfort’s prodding questions.

Comfort is hoping “Evolution vs. God” will prove to be an influential weapon in the battle against current moral deterioration, much like “180” was a powerful voice against the horrors of abortion.

Comfort raises what I see as one of the main reason people reject evolution: the false notion that if we accept it, morality goes out the window:
“Today, atheists are pushing Darwin’s little theory and it has opened the floodgates to abortion, fornication, pornography, homosexuality and adultery. If there is no God and we are just primates, then there’s no ultimate right and wrong. Anything goes as long as it gets society’s smile. 180 looked at one symptom. ‘Evolution vs. God’ looks at the cause.”

“As you will see on “Evolution vs. God,”” Comfort stated, “not one of the experts could give me a whisper of evidence for Darwinian evolution. The movie is going to shatter the faith of the average believer in evolution, and strengthen the faith of every Christian.”

Yeah, those atheistic Danes and Swedes, with their high acceptance of evolution, have nearly destroyed Scandinavia through their acts of rape, murder, theft and pillage.

What a moron.

Here’s what you can expect:

This travesty opens July 11.

Jesus and Mo didn’t lose any time commenting on the film:

2013-07-03(I wish the artist had made me the barmaid this time!)

And if you wonder where Jesus’s “Kaboom! Pow! Lights out! Party’s over!” came from, it’s straight out of the Christian News report:

Though “Evolution vs. God” will not be available for public viewing until July 11th, several notable Christian leaders who have seen previews of the film say that it is outstanding. Bruce Garner described it as “absolutely devastating” to the evolutionary worldview. Randy Alcorn noted that “every student and ever parent should watch it!” And Todd Friel enthusiastically proclaimed, “Kaboom! Pow! Lights out! Party’s over!”

 

145 Comments

  1. TJR
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    So you want to be a barmaid do you?

    I suppose that’s another thing that Darwin’s theory has opened the floodgates for….

    • Posted July 3, 2013 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      I can just imagine Jerry’s bar now… lots of jazz in the background, staff in cowboy boots, great “unhealthy” food on the tables, … Pussies Lolcats Galore?

      /@

      • Posted July 3, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

        I’m not one for the night life, but I could imagine visiting Jerry’s bar.

        b&

        • Dan McPeek
          Posted July 3, 2013 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

          I’d like to LIVE in Jerry’s
          bar.

        • Dan McPeek
          Posted July 3, 2013 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

          I’d like to LIVE in Jerry’s bar!

          • Uncle Ebeneezer
            Posted July 3, 2013 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

            I’ll play in the band AND be one of the regular drunks!

          • Hempenstein
            Posted July 3, 2013 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

            Jerry’s (formerly Rick’s) Café Américain?

  2. bonetired
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Bananas!!

    • Richard Page
      Posted July 3, 2013 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      Yes, for me, Ray Comfort just isn’t Ray Comfort without a banana in his hand. Maybe peanut butter, too.

  3. eveysolara
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    This is a hilarious debate between Christopher Hitchens and Todd Friel:

    • Posted July 3, 2013 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      Wonderful! Pwned! And sometimes Hitchslapped.

    • Posted July 3, 2013 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for that, eveysolara. Wretched Radio indeed! I wish I were as witty as Hitchens.

    • lulu_footloose
      Posted July 12, 2013 at 5:57 am | Permalink

      The questions posed to Hitchens are sillier or game show versions of Pascal’s wager me thinks…

    • Posted July 17, 2013 at 3:18 am | Permalink

      He doesn’t actually listen to any of Hitchen’s answers.

  4. Andy
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Just sad and stupid. As a swede I like the reference..

  5. jesperbothpedersen1
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    “Yeah, those atheistic Danes and Swedes, with their high acceptance of evolution, have nearly destroyed Scandinavia through their acts of rape, murder, theft and pillage.”

    As a Dane, I can’t wait to have my “faith” in evolution shaken. Should be good for a laugh.

    I’ve never met a creationist irl, but if Ray Comfort is up to par, I’m not worried at all.
    Why people like PZ Myers would want to participate is beyond me and I think Dawkins’ approach ( not debating creationists ) is spot on.

    • eric
      Posted July 3, 2013 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      Why people like PZ Myers would want to participate is beyond me

      IIRC they were conned. Comfort’s company set up a false, secular-sounding front company and put out secular science-sounding blurbs for the movie in order to hide the creationism connection and make it sound like the project was a mainstream science documentary.

      Also IIRC, it wasn’t a very deep con, and some folks figured it out while Comfort’s crew were still in the process of doing the interviews. But it was too late for PZ and some others, and I don’t really blame them. This time, at least. If it happens again I would. Fool me once yadda yadda.

      • Diane G.
        Posted July 3, 2013 at 11:15 am | Permalink

        PZ, of all people, should have exquisite con-detectors regarding this crap.

        Fame goes to everyone’s head. PZ’s forte is brilliant writing. He should stick to his knitting.

      • Alektorophile
        Posted July 3, 2013 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

        What you describe sounds like what they did for “Expelled”. For this one PZed was actually interviewed by Mr.Banana Man himself, surely that should ring some alarm bells and be indication enough for anyone that the film will be a heavily edited, lying piece of pro-creationism propaganda. Why anyone would agree to participate in such a film, where editorial control is in the hands of someone as dishonest and scrupleless as Comfort, is beyond me. A live debate is one thing, but to agree to let one’s words to be edited any which way by well-known liars is another.

        • eric
          Posted July 3, 2013 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

          I didn’t know that and yes, I agree with you. If Ray Comfort is the guy giving the interview, then your answer should be no, and when the foul play happens, shame on you (or in this case, PZ).

      • Golkarian
        Posted July 3, 2013 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think he was conned in this case, other than the obvious editing (which he certainly expected), there are blog posts describing the interview directly with Ray Comfort, and PZ is familiar with Ray Comfort, PZ knew exactly what he was getting into.

  6. darrelle
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    “Even when Comfort personally interviews influential evolutionists from major universities in the film (such as well-known atheist PZ Myers), they are unable to satisfyingly answer Comfort’s prodding questions.“

    I just find that hilarious for some reason. I can’t wait to see what questions the man that came up with The Banana Cosmological Argument™ has come up with.

    Although, it is frustrating that there are people to who it is not clear from past observations that supposing that Ray Comfort is even remotely qualified to judge the validity of any aspect of something like evolutionary biology, is completely ridiculous.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted July 3, 2013 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      It’s another Expelled. I will prepare for my unfriendings on Facebook when I school people. 🙂

      • darrelle
        Posted July 3, 2013 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        Ah Ha! A disturber of the peace! A disrupter of the public order!

        I like it.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted July 3, 2013 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

          🙂

        • Mark Joseph
          Posted July 3, 2013 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

          I understand she’s shrill and strident, too!

          Which, of course, is why I like her so much.

      • lulu_footloose
        Posted July 3, 2013 at 10:48 am | Permalink

        I’m expecting a guy I went to school with to post this “documentary” on Facebook as he has already posted Comfort’s old videos (180 and the one with John Lennon). I think I’ll post Jerry’s ‘Why evolution is true’ video as a reply…among many other things (including Evolution 101from the university of Berkeley website)

  7. Diane G.
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    sub

  8. Bee
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    “Today, atheists are pushing Darwin’s little theory and it has opened the floodgates to abortion, fornication, pornography, homosexuality and adultery.”

    Creationists.

    Finding Darwin responsible for whatever they think is wrong with society since 1859.

    • Dave
      Posted July 3, 2013 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      They forgot to mention Nazism, Communism, racism, drug abuse, alcoholism, Death Metal and baby-eating. I got into all of those within days of finishing “On the Origin of Species”.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted July 3, 2013 at 10:52 am | Permalink

        Ha ha Death Metal. Also dancing.

    • Mark Joseph
      Posted July 3, 2013 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

      Well, of course; after all, none of those existed in society prior to Nov. 24, 1859.

      • Mark Joseph
        Posted July 3, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

        Sorry to respond to myself, but I’ve just got to say that Comfort’s “argument” is nothing less than the mother of all post hoc fallacies.

  9. Diana MacPherson
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    I saw this on Richard Dawkins’s Twitter feed and didn’t know what was going on (which happens on Twitter sometimes) but I did notice poor PZ was in it & new it was going to be lying for Jesus for sure.

    As soon as I read, “fornication”, I know I’m in for laughs and lies. Besides the successful atheist countries that accept evolution, what about the massive global decline in violence that Steven Pinker talks about? Oh but liars for Jesus never look at evidence!

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted July 3, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      Excuse the horrible grammar mistake.

  10. NewEnglandBob
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Banana brain!

  11. Michael Fisher
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    A MUST SEE photograph halfway down THIS POST by P.Z. Myers from early May.

    You can see Myers being interviewed by Comfort for “Evolution vs. God” in the background and in the foreground Jessica Ahlquist duelling Margaret Downey with a banana.

    I doubt that was captured for the movie 🙂

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted July 3, 2013 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Oops. The above link is to the photo and THIS is the P.Z. post it’s from

      • darrelle
        Posted July 3, 2013 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        Ahem. ??

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted July 3, 2013 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      Thanks for the heads up darrelle. The post is… H E R E !!!!

      • darrelle
        Posted July 3, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

        Thanks! I was feeling lazy.

  12. James Walker
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    When did creationists start becoming concerned about lack of evidence?

  13. Posted July 3, 2013 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    I have absolutely no sympathy for PZ on this. To put it mildly, he was a blithering fucking idiot for talking to Comfort on tape without his own recorder running, and not exactly smart for talking to Comfort at all in the first place.

    Really. It’s even stupider than sticking your head in a crocodile’s jaws while you’re dripping sweat. After you already bear the scars from doing the same thing with an alligator — let’s not forget that PZ already went through this with Expelled.

    My opinion of PZ continues to plummet at a precipitous rate. First the whole A+ “fuck anybody whose politics isn’t in perfect alignment” nonsense and now this?

    Really. With fronds like these, who needs enemas?

    b&

    • pktom64
      Posted July 3, 2013 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      My opinion of PZ continues to plummet at a precipitous rate. First the whole A+ “fuck anybody whose politics isn’t in perfect alignment” nonsense and now this?

      Are you actually saying “Fuck PZ because his politics aren’t perfectly aligned with mine”?

      • Diane G.
        Posted July 3, 2013 at 11:17 am | Permalink

        Whoa, clever debate tactic there, pk.

      • Posted July 3, 2013 at 11:22 am | Permalink

        No.

        I’m first observing that PZ was an idiot to give Comfort an on-camera interview.

        And then I’m declaring, “Fuck PZ for saying, ‘fuck everybody who doesn’t pass the PZ purity test.'”

        My political positions are generally very close to PZ’s, but I have much more respect for a certain Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate than I do for PZ. The one I can have an honest debate with about the proper role of government in American society while still finding plenty of common ground on some very controversial matters; the other will call me a fucking douchenozzle because I was upset by Elevatorgate but not to the degree he was.

        Cheers,

        b&

        • Diane G.
          Posted July 3, 2013 at 11:33 am | Permalink

          Perfectly said!

          I esp. like, “because I was upset by Elevatorgate but not to the degree he was.”

          About the time I quit reading Pharyngula, it was common for commenters to recommend the book “Mistakes were made, but not by me.” How could they miss the irony of their doing so?! (Good book, though.)

        • DiscoveredJoys
          Posted July 3, 2013 at 11:36 am | Permalink

          I stopped reading PZ’s musings for similar reasons. I might occasionally read a ‘proper science’ post of his if I hear of it though.

          • Posted July 3, 2013 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

            I can’t be arsed to check, but I rather suspect that you, Diane, and I were not the only ones to give up on PZ at that same time.

            For a while I still did a bit of lurking every now and again for the “watch a train wreck in progress” thrill, but that, too, grew stale pretty quickly.

            It’s a shame. PZ’s written some great things — especially The Courtier’s Reply — and I could really get into his style of full-throttle blasphemy. The problem is he doesn’t know when to stop blasting, or how to blast allies in a non-alienating way.

            If ever anybody fit the term, “loose cannon,” it’s PZ. And I write that as somebody whose mounts are none too tight, myself.

            b&

            • darrelle
              Posted July 3, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

              “I can’t be arsed to check, but I rather suspect that you, Diane, and I were not the only ones to give up on PZ at that same time.”

              Check. I guess I was already on my way, but that is when I really lost interest. I was already tired of the cathartic off target temper tantrums cheered on by the masses anytime somebody said something that could possibly in some imagined context be slightly controversial in some technically conceivable context.

              • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
                Posted July 3, 2013 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

                Yeah. I had stopped commenting (too long threads) and following (too judgmental) long before that. But the brain out/purity in requirement for the PZ zombie brigade stopped my interest immediately.

                When did criticism became a problem among empiricists? Oh, and I know from some post of his that PZ thinks he is allowing ‘criticism’ -‘the correct way’.

              • Posted July 3, 2013 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

                +1000

              • Diane G.
                Posted July 3, 2013 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

                @ Torbörn: Wonder if they noticed the exodus of an OM honoree?

                “When did criticism become a problem among empiricists?” Exactly.

            • stephen
              Posted July 3, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

              hear,hear and ditto (or vice-versa)

          • David Duncan
            Posted July 3, 2013 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

            I only read PZ’s site very occasionally. There’s too much traffic, and a lot of it is quite unpleasant. I like a more civil forum. But PZ has one thing in his favour: he likes d*gs. 🙂

            • infiniteimprobabilit
              Posted July 4, 2013 at 3:40 am | Permalink

              Now that is a blatant attempt to start a flamewar on this site 😉

              • David Duncan
                Posted July 5, 2013 at 7:54 am | Permalink

                No, not really. I think cats and d*gs can get along peacefully, if not why did Ceiling Cat create them? I admit I like most d*gs but am not a cat hater. I think the neighbourhood cats realise this and are fairly relaxed about me, although I’ll probably never get one.

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted July 5, 2013 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

                I hope you noted the smiley.

                Mine was just a facetious comment on this site’s predilection for cats (as, I guess, was yours).

        • pktom64
          Posted July 3, 2013 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

          I guess I took the A+ part as an “attack” on his politics.

          • Posted July 3, 2013 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

            Sorry…I probably could have been more clear, considering how stale that topic is.

            To me, A+ has precious little to do with sociopolitical positions and everything to do with petty ingroup / outgroup tribalism. It’s the latter I was attacking, and most certainly not the former (most of which, again, I agree with).

            b&

    • Richard Page
      Posted July 3, 2013 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      Scientists can be incredibly naive when dealing with people like Comfort and his production crew, a lesson that should have been learned from Expelled!.

    • Cliff Melick
      Posted July 3, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      I’m glad you said this (even though I’m in substantial agreement with you), because the last time I deigned to suggest that PZ might not be the greatest thing since sliced bread I was taken to task by one of his fanbois.

      • Diane G.
        Posted July 3, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

        Welcome to the club! Nice bunch of freethinkers over there, huh?

        I really like the way they define the term “ad hominem” essentially out of existence.

      • Diane G.
        Posted July 3, 2013 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

        PS: One of ’em took me to task on Orac’s blog, a few years ago, for daring to comment on the Pharynguloid phenomenon. You can’t escape those tentacles. Except, possibly, here.

        • Posted July 3, 2013 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

          To be fair, many of the places where one might be comfortable criticizing PZ are also ones where rape jokes are popular.

          PZ just declares that everybody who fails the PZ purity test by even a fraction of a percentage point is therefore a misogynistic pro-rape pro-forced-birth mansplaining pro-patriarchy homophobic MRA rethuglican, or at least no better than one. Those who actually do fit that characterization naturally fail the PZ purity test, and spectacularly so, as he loves to point out. He just takes that as proof of a paranoid conservative style “if you’re not with him you’re against him” extreme that I rarely see except amongst the nuttiest of the religious fruitbats.

          b&

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted July 3, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

            Sadly, I have to agree and having watched some of the goings on and some of the people who have been attacked, in my opinion unfairly, I tend to stay clear of that crowd.

          • Diane G.
            Posted July 3, 2013 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

            “To be fair, many of the places where one might be comfortable criticizing PZ are also ones where rape jokes are popular.”

            Like I’d be on those sites!

            Wait…you don’t mean Orac, right? 😀

            Yup, totally agree with everything you say.

          • KiwiInOz
            Posted July 3, 2013 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

            I’m just seeking clarification – are you suggesting that rape jokes are popular at the Pyt that daren’t mention its name? Because I will have to disabuse you if you are.

            Some of the mockery might be fringe, and it’s not for the faint of heart, but misogynists and women haters are few and far between and likely to leave quickly because they don’t get what they want.

            Otherwise I agree with you.

            • Posted July 4, 2013 at 7:03 am | Permalink

              Actually — and this goes to Diane as well — I had in mind the actual MRA people.

              You know? The ones who publish (in dead tree form) “guides” on how to “score” with women? They’re also, in my experience, the type to suggest that so-and-so uppity bitch needs a good raping, or to hope that such-and-such a bad guy drops his soap in the shower in PMITA prison.

              This is, of course, distinct from helpful advice on the proper rectal insertion techniques for a Leica wrapped in rusty barbed wire AND NO LUBE.

              Cheers,

              b&

              • Diane G.
                Posted July 4, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

                So…”at least PZ’s not like the MRA crowd.”

                Talk about damning with faint praise! 😀

  14. Hempenstein
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    if we accept it, morality goes out the window:

    Crimony – like there was no morality before Hypothetical Jesus arrived on the scene. Comfort take a tour of that Inquisition museum in Bogota (and film it!) that jac posted on awhile back.

  15. masterofozymandias
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    When I see the words “Ray Comfort” I imagine this.

    • Posted July 3, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      Similarly, I imagine this.

      Be sure to listen to the ENTIRE thing. No cheating.

      • masterofozymandias
        Posted July 4, 2013 at 7:02 am | Permalink

        Haha.

        I’ll be sure to keep it on, and on loud speakers at that…

        Isn’t it about time the ID movement disowned Comfort? I mean, even by their standards, he’s embarrassingly stupid.

  16. AD
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    I can see how people might think PZ Myers was naive to agree to the interview but maybe it wasn’t such a bad strategy in the long run. People like the readers of this website will just see confirmation of what we already know about the liars for Jesus but maybe some of the younger people in Comfort’s target audience will be curious enough to do some minimal checking on the Internet and it may give some of them pause for thought when they see the true situation of an honest person, PZ, giving clear answers and then being transparently misrepresented. One can hope anyway.

    • Posted July 3, 2013 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      That only would have worked if PZ had had the forethought to have taped the interview, himself, and to have published it at an effective strategic moment (either right after the interview or right now at the same time as the announcement of the trailer).

      As it is, PZ’s effectively done more to promote the cause of the IDiots in this one interview than he does to promote the cause of rationality in a month (or more!) of Pharyngulation.

      Through incompetence rather than malice, I’m sure, but still….

      b&

      P.S. If PZ releases the full interview the same week as the movie is released, I’ll gladly eat these words. b&

      • Jeremy Pereira
        Posted July 4, 2013 at 4:02 am | Permalink

        He has confirned he didn’t make a copy.

        • Jeremy Pereira
          Posted July 4, 2013 at 4:02 am | Permalink

          *confirmed

    • Richard Page
      Posted July 3, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      But only a tiny number of people subscribe to this blog, or others like it. And my guess is that Stephen Meyer’s new book has probably already outsold Jerry Coyne’s (it’s number seven on the NYT bestseller list). Now, here we have P.Z. Meyers, who’s announced his departure from the skeptical community, who’s known for being quickly dismissive, participating in this film. If there’s a strategy here, I’m not seeing it.

      • Richard Page
        Posted July 3, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

        I wrote ‘blog’. Whoops.

        • Jeremy Pereira
          Posted July 4, 2013 at 4:04 am | Permalink

          You also wrote “P Z Meyers”. Whoops.

  17. VIA
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Jerry,

    At the risk of being ridiculed on this blog, I affirm that I am a Christian, a pastor, AND a deeply appreciative reader of your book (which I interacted with @ http://vialogue.wordpress.com/2012/05/06/why-evolution-is-true-notes-review/), and your blog (when I can get around to it). As such, I am fully embarrassed at Ray Comfort’s entire ministry and propaganda, and would like to be a collegial voice of dissent.

    As you state, Comfort’s production poses the confrontation in such a way as to be one of the primary causes and catalysts for people to reject evolution. Conversely, I have opined and observed, he (and others like him, e.g. Ken Ham, Kent Hovind, etc.) are often the reasons why people cannot stand Christians (et.al.), reject faith, and dismiss anything that vaguely represents a trace of religion, akin to the TSA swiping for any trace of bomb making chemicals on your luggage.

    I say *ugh* to both. This is a an absurd tragedy, and a travesty to both disciplines.

    I am reminded of something Jesus said, “What good is it if you gain the whole world, but forfeit your soul.” I’m sure Comfort would disagree, but his efforts to “gain the whole world” are doing quite a bit of damage to EVERYONE’S souls.

    I reject Comfort’s bullying and editorial rhetoric, his arrogant and presumptuous attitude, his confrontational and verbally militaristic style, and his cultic propaganda. It is neither representative of Christianity, nor becoming of humanity. It is contrary to the values of grace, intelligence, and humility, and is simply “wrong” in all the definitions of the term. It is fully reasonable for intelligent people to see this and dismiss religion as caustic and, in the words of Hitchens, “poison.”

    While you and I may still have our philosophical differences (even in what I’ve written here), I have fully trusted and embraced the validity of all scientific inquiry and discovery (which includes your work), and I do so as clergy, a person of faith, a follower of Jesus, and a fellow human being. I will not claim to have fully understood everything, and I certainly am not fully knowledgeable. Nor do I claim to have absolute understanding (I do call myself an “agnostic epistemologist). However, I do believe we both agree that, as you mention, these people deserve the term “moron,” especially in the Greek sense of “foolish.”

    Thank you for your blog, and your incredible (in my words) “ministry” (i.e., “service”) to the public in your work. I hope what I’ve written here has added some value to the content of your blog.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted July 3, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      Hi VIA

      OK, you’re writing to Jerry, but I hope it’s OK to join the conversation

      I don’t think you risk ridicule here

      You reject the views of Comfort & his ilk & you say so here, but do you say this to your congregation? It is my impression that the reasonable spokespeople for a religious worldview are too busy protecting their own turf to combat the lunatics & liars flying under the same flag as themselves.

      • VIA
        Posted July 3, 2013 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

        Hi Michael. Thank you for your comforting assurance.

        I concur that there’s a lot at stake when dealing with the religious. The Clergy Project was started in line with that ethic.

        In short, yes, I do share with my students and my congregation. I’m public on my blog, which everyone in my church knows about. I have publicly shared on faith & science, and faith & technology. I was recently asked to speak at a church on this topic, to help them navigate the waters. I shared much of Jerry’s book, and heard later that they’re never having me back (which may be for several reasons :-), but mainly because of content and the fear that the Home Schooling parents had with the information I was sharing.) So, yes, I think this is important enough to voice. We must engage with the topic fully and completely with intelligence and thoughtfulness, and most especially to elevate the conversation to higher ethical values of discourse than the banal and disrespectful ways in which it is popularly done.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted July 3, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      How is it possible to write this above:-

      “…I have fully trusted and embraced the validity of all scientific inquiry and discovery (which includes your work), and I do so as clergy, a person of faith, a follower of Jesus, and a fellow human being.”

      And also be adjunct professor at William Jessup University where the Statement of Faith includes this:-

      “We believe that the Holy Bible is completely God breathed, true in all its teaching, and the final authority for all matters of faith and practice;”

      ?

      • VIA
        Posted July 3, 2013 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

        This is going to be difficult to sum up.

        First, the institutions that I’m affiliated with do not necessarily fully reflect my own thinking or beliefs on said subjects. You may have noticed there is no Statement of Faith at my church.

        Second, the SofF from WJU is fully compatible with what I’ve written in the comment. Simply put, the Bible does not teach against any scientific inquiry (though I know this has not been the popular message). The Bible is in fact NOT SCIENCE. Every piece of literature, ancient and modern, must be evaluated on its own terms according to its own merits. The collection of the Bible has a complexity in that it is COLLECTION of a VARIETY of genres NONE OF WHICH ARE SCIENTIFIC. I lament that some of the general public has seen this literature as only through the lens of what I would call conservative Christian fundamentalism. This is neither the only, nor the best way to think about this piece of literature. I’ve interacted extensively on my blog regarding this. Just a few that come to mind:

        http://vialogue.wordpress.com/2012/05/20/the-bible-made-impossible-notes-review/

        http://vialogue.wordpress.com/2012/07/22/inspiration-and-incarnation-notes-review/

        http://vialogue.wordpress.com/2011/09/15/why-we-believe-in-gods-review/

        http://vialogue.wordpress.com/2013/06/01/the-rise-and-fall-of-the-bible-notes-review/

        http://vialogue.wordpress.com/2012/08/18/saving-darwin-notes-review/

        To believe that the Bible is “inspired” also requires a more nuanced and diverse set of meaning structures. I hear people say all the time how others have “inspired” them. It’s culturally acceptable to say so-and-so was your “inspiration.” It is possible to think of “inspiration” from different philosophical points of views.

        Last, I would say that I desire to be consistent with all approaches to truth. Thus, if I’m going to trust and accept the validity of scientific inquiry ON ITS TERMS and ON ITS OWN MERITS, I must do the same for religious and biblical history. It is my attempt at holding a consistent ethic with all areas of truth. Admittedly, they are different categories of truth, which is where we need to get invoke the study of epistemology…which is why this is difficult to sum up.

        Thanks for asking follow up questions…

    • Posted July 3, 2013 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      VIA,

      First, ceci n’est pas un “bleargh.” It’s a Web site. One of Jerry’s pet peeves that I share.

      Next, I don’t think I’d guarantee you freedom from ridicule for holding to ridiculous positions, but we generally focus our ridicule on the positions themselves — at least, until those holding to them state out especially absurd or horrific positions. You would do well to not, as William Lane Craig is wont to do, cheerfully defend the Rape of Midian in Numbers 31.

      Michael has already asked you the important question: you claim to “fully [trust] and [embrace] the validity of all scientific inquiry and discovery,” yet how can such a claim be consistent with preaching anything so anti-scientific as the Gospel story of a virgin-born immortal zombie blatantly disregarding all we know of the workings of the Universe?

      Science doesn’t make exceptions for fantastic stories, no matter how appealing or ancient or popular. Especially considering the profound lack of contemporary accounts of these remarkable events (including the sociopolitical events as well as the supernatural ones), especially by the chroniclers who where there at the time (Philo, the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Pliny the Elder, the Roman Satirists, and on and on and on and on), there’s no more basis for preaching the Gospel as truth than there is for peaching any other ludicrous primitive superstition as truth.

      I’m sure you would be at a loss for words to come up with a way to respectfully engage with somebody who on the one hand claims to trust science and yet on the other thinks Osiris really did resurrect from the dead after he was murdered by Set — including that bizarre scene where Isis gets Set to eat the lettuce that Horus ejaculated on, and that that has something to do with the phases of the Moon.

      If you can understand how batshit fucking insane that would seem to you, then you know just how batshit fucking insane Christianity seems to non-Christians, and how utterly confused we non-Christians are that you Christians can claim to take both your primitive superstitions and science seriously.

      Cheers,

      b&

      • VIA
        Posted July 3, 2013 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        Ben,

        Cheers, indeed.

        Thanks for the “advice?” I admit my ignorance about blog etiquette.

        First, I have not stated any personal commentary on certain positions, e.g. Numbers 31, the virgin birth, or anything else. Perhaps we can leave that to a different time and place.

        Second, I completely concur with you that science does not make exceptions for fantastic stories. I would critique, however, your statement on “preaching the gospel as truth,” on historical grounds. Ancient Roman emperors as they came to power, declared their rule and reign as “good news” for the people (or when they returned from war victoriously). Is that contradictory to science? Is that not simply a matter of historical fact? Whether or not you believe it is good news is a different question. But the fact that they did, and so did Jesus, and so did the early Christians is, I would argue, a matter of history, not a matter of science. We’re not necessarily talking about superstition.

        Third, I completely concur with you that the variety of myths that do exist in our world are not meritorious. And yes, I do understand, as I mentioned, why Christianity seems utterly baffling and ludicrous. I listen to these stories all the time and think, “really!?” I would simply say that “ludicrous” does not equal “false.” Science, appropriately so, knows this, and is indeed forced to contend with this ethic (e.g. quantum mechanics, gene sequencing, extraterrestrial intelligence, etc.). That which does not make sense must be followed to its logical conclusions to see IF there is merit or truth in where the evidential trails leads you. Thus, to engage, epistemologically, with any idea or concept (including religion) you must do so on intellectually rigorous grounds. I try to do that consistently with everything and not simply listen to the pundits, no matter who they may be “batting” for.

        • Posted July 3, 2013 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

          That which does not make sense must be followed to its logical conclusions to see IF there is merit or truth in where the evidential trails leads you. Thus, to engage, epistemologically, with any idea or concept (including religion) you must do so on intellectually rigorous grounds. I try to do that consistently with everything and not simply listen to the pundits, no matter who they may be “batting” for.

          Then, may I suggest?

          It is almost certain that your own investigations of, shall we say, “The Jesus Incident,” are based on those sources devoted to it, and particularly those sources your religious tradition considers authoritative in the matter. Quite likely, those sources are neatly collected in an anthology that’s your favorite version of the Bible.

          But those sources represent a very small subset of relevant sources. Indeed, none of those sources are actually relevant, for they were all written decades, generations, even centuries after the dates in question — and all in an unabashedly fantastical fictional storytelling style.

          If you expand your research to the sober actually-contemporary works, especially including those by the authors I already mentioned, the true significance of The Jesus Incident will become instantly apparent: despite all the amazing things Jesus allegedly did and said and all the wondrous upheavals he set supposedly in motion and that we are to believe went on around him…nobody there at the time noticed even a shadow of a hint of any of it.

          Worse, even the earliest of Christians, especially including Justin Martyr, defended Jesus by proclaiming him to be no sillier than the popular Pagan gods of the time — and the exact details of similarity are set forth in extensive and excruciating and, honestly, embarrassingly through detail. Jesus’s virgin birth, Martyr tells us, is no more absurd than Perseus’s; his (John 1:1 style) Wordship no more remarkable than Mercury’s; and his Ascension no stranger than Bellerophon’s. And a dozen or more other examples, encompassing all the major (and many minor) elements of his biography.

          You would do well to start with a list of what facts of Jesus’s biography you hold most important or dear, and then to come up with plausible explanations for why those facts went unremarked upon by Jesus’s contemporaries and how, a mere century later, Jesus’s own most loyal worshippers could be defending them as no more absurd than any other blasphemous religious faery tale. If you are to be honest with yourself, you will cross off every fact which lacks sufficient evidence.

          If anything remains on your list, be sure to publish the evidence in a peer-reviewed journal, for you’ve got as-yet undiscovered historical gold on your hands at that point.

          Cheers,

          b&

        • NewEnglandBob
          Posted July 3, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

          “But the fact that they did, and so did Jesus, and so did the early Christians is, I would argue, a matter of history, not a matter of science. ”

          Except reputable scholars do not believe Jesus ever existed since there is no histoical evidence of his existence.

          • VIA
            Posted July 3, 2013 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

            NewEngland Bob,

            Would you consider Bart Ehrman a reputable scholar? http://vialogue.wordpress.com/2012/04/29/did-jesus-exist-notes-review/

            • Posted July 3, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

              VIA,

              We had a discussion of Ehrman not long after that book came out. In fact, I mailed my copy to Jerry, which he then reviewed.

              The short version is that Ehrman’s “sources” are all the usual laughable suspects, authored far distant in both time and space…and that the crowning glory of his “evidence” is a Greek transliteration of a fragment of an Aramaic phrase in one of the Gospels. Rather than seeing it for the “gesundheit” type of literary verisimilitude it so clearly is, Ehrman constructs an unevidenced fantasy of a long telephone game of written sources based on an ancient oral tradition that has its roots in actual eyewitnesses, and he cites those anonymous imagined eyewitnesses as a provably-real actual and reliable personal eyewitness account of the whole Gospel story.

              It’s quite excruciating to read, worse than watching a slow-motion train wreck in an IMAX 3-D theater. You keep thinking to yourself, “He can’t be serious — there must be something less idiotic he’s basing all this on,” but there’s not. He really is that blinkered.

              A shame, too, for Ehrman has had some decent scholarship before he aimed that grenade launcher at his feet.

              A bit of Google-fu should turn up the discussion, if you’re interested.

              Cheers,

              b&

            • NewEnglandBob
              Posted July 3, 2013 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

              Yes, I do. He considers almost all of the bible as fiction and he has stated that.

            • VIA
              Posted July 3, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

              Ben/NewEnglandBob,

              Thanks for the back and forth. I continue to be interested, and appreciate the exchange.

              • Posted July 3, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

                You’re welcome. You’ve certainly got plenty of homework to keep you busy, and you know where to come if you want more….

                Cheers,

                b&

              • NewEnglandBob
                Posted July 3, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

                🙂

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted July 3, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      Out of curiosity VIA, would you mind saying what Christian denomination you are a pastor of?

      • VIA
        Posted July 3, 2013 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

        No denomination or affiliation.

  18. Posted July 3, 2013 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    It’s just Expelled Part 2: This Time We’re Really Quote-Mining.

    • brotheryam
      Posted July 3, 2013 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

      Expelled Part Deux: The Quote Mininging. “This time, it’s personal!”

  19. Peter Nonacs
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    I am one of the evolutionary biologists interviewed by Ray Comfort for his new DVD. First, Ray is a charming fellow and I greatly enjoy interacting with him. I do not expect that my words will be edited out of context or that I’ll find myself somehow saying on camera that “All of evolutionary biology is a hoax perpetuated in order to justify atheism.” In short, I expect that everything in the DVD will be an accurate reflection of my words.

    Having said that, however, I do expect to see very selective editing, where my every stammer and momentary silence in response to a “profound” question from Ray will be there. I will have about 15 seconds of airtime to answer his, “Give me one piece of evidence for evolution!” All in all, Ray interviewed me for about 10 minutes. As I recall, most of that was spent talking about how poorly humans are anatomically designed to be upright animals. This, of course, supports both Natural Selection and the Binge-drinking, semi-intelligent designer theories of evolution. We also spent some time on the poorly designed vertebrate eye, which places the nerves carrying the signals in front of the photoreceptors (in comparison to the squid eye, which does it in the right order). Ray’s take, of course, is that all anatomical imperfections are degenerations that happened after being kicked out of Eden. But I could see, where after I get my 15 seconds, an incredulous voice-over will chime in, “Human and squid eyes are different, that’s it?”

    This leads to the question of why do I agree to participate in Ray’s projects, when it is clearly to make evolutionary biology look ridiculous and downright evil? The answer, in my opinion, is that the alternative is worse. When evolutionary biologists fail to engage with the Comforts of the world it gives them the great talking point of, “We have the truth, and evolutionary biologists are afraid of us because the obvious fallacies of their beliefs will be revealed.” We may think that Dawkins has it right to not waste time talking to fools and liars, but others see him as an arrogant prick who knows he will be found out in a real debate. If I thought that my refusing to be interviewed would sink these projects, then yes, I would also refuse like Dawkins. But that’s naïve – Ray is going to make his film anyway. Would it be better if he did ambush interviews, where scientists are on camera refusing to talk and demanding that he get out? Those scenes, for sure, would be in the movies!

    Ray sells and distributes his products mainly to his audience of true believers. Nothing I say (even if given an unedited hour of exposition) will convince them of the validity of evolutionary biology. My participation or lack thereof, will have no effect on these people. However, I hope there is a sliver of the audience that is still open to inquiry. What I try to get across in all my chats with Ray is several points:

    1. Evolutionary biologists are not scary and we do not just yell at people we disagree with. It can be fun to talk to an evolutionary biologist. We’re nice!
    2. Evolutionary biologists have thought deeply about their questions. We are not just reflexive atheists looking for any flimsy reason to deny the existence of god.
    3. There is a very strong scientific case that supports what evolutionary biologists believe. If you have any doubts – take a course, read a book, check it out!

    Not to say that Ray’s editing will likely make it easy to succeed with 1-3, but if there is a chance that I get through, it’s worth the shot. In my opinion, Ray always monumentally overplays his hand. He comes through as clearly biased and manipulative in his approach. His view of God is quite frightening and extremely illogical at its core (E.g., thinking about having sex with someone who is not your spouse will put you in hell right next to Hitler for eternity). My students were there and listened to the ‘interview’. He also gave us a copy of “Genius”, that they watched during a break in the class. 100% of them found him absurd and unbelievable. In total, he scored 0 converts and, rather than raising any real controversy about evolution, he damaged the Creationist viewpoint even further in their minds (if that is possible). Similarly, what I hope for is that anyone still searching for answers in one of Ray’s pieces will be put off enough by him to at least be willing to check out the ‘other’ side! And not be scared to approach me or any other evolutionary biologist.

    I hope this illuminates a little bit my motivation for participating and why I’m “helping” Ray Comfort.

    • Posted July 3, 2013 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      Peter,

      I don’t suppose you had the foresight to record your full interview with Ray?

      If so…would you please, please, please publish the full, unedited interview on YouTube the same day as the movie is released?

      Doing so would go a loooooong way to countering Ray’s disinformation campaign.

      If you want to accompany it with the types of in-depth answers you would have liked to have given in a more conducive format, fantastic, but just exposing Ray’s mendacity through quote-mining is all we really need.

      I’m sure Jerry (and probably Richard and others) would be happy to help publicize your full interview…if you’ve got it.

      Cheers,

      b&

      • Posted July 3, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

        If not, at least he had multiple witnesses!

        /@

      • Peter Nonacs
        Posted July 3, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

        No recording on my part. Ray actually interviewed me for about 2 hrs a couple of years ago on a project he was doing on Darwin. As far as I can tell nothing came of it. And he has lost that tape! This is why we did the quicky new interview. Again, I don’t think there would much on a transcript that would indite Ray for “lying”. He doesn’t interview that way. When you try to go in depth, he’ll quickly cut you off and go to the next question. My answers will be my real answers, I’m sure. It’s just evolution reduced to sound bites, with mocking voice overs. The only theory of evolution that Ray will accept is one where dogs regularly give birth to cats (which if it happened would turn me into a creationist!). Thus, he’s always asking you to defend something that apparently only creationists can believe is true. Hence, when you don’t – he wins. But again it is transparent and ridiculous to anyone not already 100% in his camp.

        • Posted July 3, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

          That’s a shame. Even if Ray doesn’t distort the facts of your responses, it’s a given that he’ll distort your coherence as an intelligent human, and I’m sure an unedited recording would show, contrary to how I expect you to be portrayed in the movie, that you’re actually a sensible and knowledgeable person who’s stumped not by the facts but by the sheer idiocy represented by the questions.

          Just as important as getting the bare facts out there is showing that we don’t need to wipe the drool from our faces.

          For next time, please try to remember that, however pleasant his affect, he’s a shameless liar for Jesus who will do everything to make you look like the blithering idiot he is — and that he has a true talent for that sort of thing.

          …and don’t let him be the only one with a recorder….

          Cheers,

          b&

        • Posted July 3, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

          …esp when there’s so many students attending the same session. SURELY somebody there has an mp3 recorder — a cell phone…

          This is, IMHO, a very critical point.

    • jesperbothpedersen1
      Posted July 3, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      “I hope this illuminates a little bit my motivation for participating and why I’m “helping” Ray Comfort.”

      It certainly does.

      I can’t say I agree entirely with your conclusions, but thanks a bunch for the insightful post.

      How much information were you given about the project beforehand?

    • Posted July 3, 2013 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      “the Binge-drinking, semi-intelligent designer theories of evolution”

      Love it!

      /@

    • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
      Posted July 3, 2013 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      Since we just had a thread on the value of debating religion (or “debates on religion”), I’ll just concatenate parts of my comments and exchange “movie” for “debate”:

      The idea of a [movie] is:

      1) A religious idea of dialectics.

      Which means creationists feel supported by the format.

      2) A secular idea of “equal worth”.

      Which means fence sitters and journalists feel confused by the format, and science is devalued by an unfair comparison.

      In other words, “it looks great on the CV of creationism, not so great on the CV of science”.

      3) A format ill suited to present science.

      [The interviewer and editor] can Gish Gallop lies, and presenting just one fact can take time.

      Someone like [a creationist interviewer] is:

      4) A charlatan.

      [The interviewer] simply makes up stuff. He doesn’t care for science, because he doesn’t need to.

      Actually, it should be simple to evaluate. Run a generic comparison:

      – Do astronomers debate astrologers or heliocentrists?
      – Do astrophysicists debate “electric universe” or flat earth believers?
      – Et cetera.

      If these areas don’t debate their crackpots, whether religious or not, why would biologists et cetera debate creationists?

      When evolutionary biologists fail to engage with the Comforts of the world it gives them the great talking point of, “We have the truth, and evolutionary biologists are afraid of us because the obvious fallacies of their beliefs will be revealed.”

      I reiterate:

      – Do astronomers debate astrologers or heliocentrists?
      – Do astrophysicists debate “electric universe” or flat earth believers?
      – Et cetera.

      If these areas don’t debate their crackpots, whether religious or not, why would biologists et cetera debate creationists?

      I assume astrologers, homeopaths, anti-abortionists, anti-vaxxers and climate science denialists all have this great talking point to some degree up to full strength. What of it?

      • Peter Nonacs
        Posted July 3, 2013 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

        – Do astronomers debate astrologers or heliocentrists?
        – Do astrophysicists debate “electric universe” or flat earth believers?
        – Et cetera.

        Do astrologers and flat earthers have an entire political party in their pocket? Do they sit on school boards that insist textbooks teach the “controversy”? If they did, then yes astronomers and astrophysicists should take them on. Following your logic, climate scientists should all ignore the climate change deniers and just hole up in their labs writing papers for each other.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted July 3, 2013 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for explaining, Peter but don’t you worry that, knowing you will be portrayed unfairly as easily stumped, etc., that this portrayal could influence people who are more vulnerable to this type of manipulation? I am thinking of young adults and kids who are impressionable enough to reject evolution. We know that these groups love targeting young people after all.

      • Peter Nonacs
        Posted July 3, 2013 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

        Yes, of course I do. But I’m hoping that I’ll be an evolutionary infection within Ray’s propaganda machine that has a net effect of moving more of the curious out of his orbit than into it.

        • Posted July 4, 2013 at 6:57 am | Permalink

          While I’ll certainly join you in your hope, I’m afraid I can’t join you in your optimism.

          Indeed, I suspect the net result will be just the opposite.

          Kids will see an allegedly respected scientist (you) look like a dumb schmuck, assume that all scientists really are as dumb as Comfort says they are for being so stupid and evil to say the things they do, and not waste another moment on Satan’s transparent lies from the Pit of Hell.

          Could a bright kid dig herself out of such an intellectual hole? Of course. Many here have done exactly that. But they’re in the minority….

          b&

    • µ
      Posted July 4, 2013 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      Re “And not be scared to approach me or any other evolutionary biologist” and “It can be fun to talk to an evolutionary biologist. We’re nice!”

      De-demonizing is important; I totally agree with you on this, Peter. I have found this to be much more difficult in my 20 years of teaching evolution than explaining evolutionary concepts, like sexual selection operating in humans. The average student seems less threatened having to think about sexual selection in humans (students can relate to that; they see the elements of sexual selection operating every day in their lives), but the same student is threatened about evolution at large, particularly the inevitability of evolution progressing in anything having heritable variation in fitness (including humans). Sexual selection in humans gives students a sense of choice and control; inevitability does not.

      I admire your courage to participate. I hope you convince at least some about the non-threatening nature of evolution and evolutionary biologists; I would guess you are more effective doing that in your classroom teaching, rather than the 15 sec clip that you will get on this DVD.

  20. Bee
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    I couldn’t help but wonder if that movie was designed to get revenge for this embarrassing interview… Does anyone remember it?

    • Posted July 3, 2013 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      Oh! Richard was so strident!!

      Honestly, you have to admire the man’s patience in the face of such wilful ignorance. No evidence in museums? 😮

      /@

    • Mobius
      Posted July 3, 2013 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      I recall the first time I saw that video. I think I still have a mark on my forehead from the headdesk she caused.

      • Yiam Cross
        Posted July 4, 2013 at 6:02 am | Permalink

        Her language is so prejudicial. The “high priests” of science, why are scientists so “aggressive” in censoring those who simply want to discuss the “controversy”.

        Why do these people become so aggressive when it comes to teaching the controversy of other creation stories? Where is their fervour when it comes to protecting the rights of other religions to act according to their conscience when it goes against their own religious teachings.

        I don’t know how he kept his hands from tightening around her throat.

    • Yiam Cross
      Posted July 4, 2013 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      Why is it not possible to respect human beings unless we accept they’re created? The state is not the entity to take care of those who can’t take care of themselves, people are? So what is the state, then, if it’s not the people? When did the belief that anyone who can’t provide for themselves and contribute to society is not necessary or needed become a part of atheistic belief?

      Honestly, she keeps going on about people without functioning brains being taken care of but I’d bet anyone with serious health problems would have a far better chance of a decent life in atheistic socialist Scandanavia, or in fact pretty much any part of Europe, than christian America. What planet are these people on?

      It takes a while for science to catch up to the beliefs which have made the best societies? Like the middle ages where most of the people were peasants and had nothing while the church and god anointed aristocracy had everything? That kind of society?

      Oftentimes science eventually catches up to realise there’s evidence for a designer? When did this happen? I must have missed that.

      Which is why evolution should have no problem being challenged and talk about the evidence against it. Which it wouldn’t if there were any but there isn’t. So what now? Oh, I know, use emotive triggers like aggressive, teach the controversy, respect for humans, loving creator or product of pondscum.

      She parrots time after time the evidence and the facts against evolution but never mentions one. Her only argument appears to be that there would be a mass of evidence showing how slime became humans through evolution. When told that there is she simply denies it. What to do?

  21. morkindie
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Just bilking the faithful for more cash.

  22. Posted July 3, 2013 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    For all of the Creationist concern about morality, they sure are quick to lie for Jesus.

  23. Posted July 3, 2013 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    It’s a law of nature: Every creationist quote has an equal and opposite rest of the quote.

    • Diane G.
      Posted July 3, 2013 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

      Ha ha ha! I like that a lot. 🙂

  24. kelskye
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    I would really hope that Christians would take the lead on calling Comfort et al. idiots when they utter inanity like that. This shouldn’t be a battle that scientists have to fight – it’s a theological issue, and that it gets coverage only serves to show the poverty of the current theological climate.

    A couple of years ago, a friend lent me a book by a theologian about different worldviews. What was interesting was in the book where it talked about evolution was that it listed in a footnote every single recent publication by ID advocates as presenting a challenge to evolution. It’s interesting to me because regardless of the scientific validity of the ideas these authors espouse, their mere existence was what warranted a mention. It’s almost as if believers want evolution not to be true, and will use anything they can to cast doubt on it.

  25. Mobius
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Oh, I LOVED the interview right at the end of the trailer…

    (paraphrasing)…

    “I think the problem with people who don’t believe in evolution is they don’t have imaginations.”

    Interviewer: “That is so true”

    Bwahahahahahahahahaha! Does the guy even realize how far into his mouth he stuck his foot?

  26. John
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    I would expect nothing less from then. They will throw their best hoo-doo at the issue because hoo-doo is all they have. It too will pass.

  27. Posted July 3, 2013 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    The social/sexual behavior of Christians is not that different from atheists except Christians are more secretive, and deceptive. The behaviors of the clergy are prime examples of immorality and hypocrisy.

  28. illinoisjoe
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    Say what you will about the content of this documentary, but style-wise there is nothing classier then shoving a mic in the faces of your interviewees as if it were a shotgun. That means it is “hard-hitting”, right?

  29. dongiovanni
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    As usual, we fail in no uncertain terms.

  30. MAUCH
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    The faithful will look at this trailer and see a bunch of scientists perplexed by Comfort’s demands that they present real evidence for evolution. They seem to be clueless that maybe the expressions they are seeing are because these scientists are perplexed by the fact that this idiot they are talking to can not be reached with common sense and real facts.

  31. Rick M
    Posted July 4, 2013 at 2:20 am | Permalink

    Comfort has one aim – to sell material (DVDs, tracts, books, geegaws etc.) to his budding evangelizing disciples. He does not care if his material is well-received by the general public as long as it is well received by his paying customers. The purpose of this film is not to discredit evolution theory but to show his troops how to defeat evolutionists with mockery and other verbal trickery. Skeptics and even many thinking theists won’t be impressed. Comfort doesn’t care as long as his ill-educated but earnest proselytizers are.

    Spoiler: God plays Himself in the movie

    • Dominic
      Posted July 4, 2013 at 5:58 am | Permalink

      herself!

  32. Posted July 4, 2013 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Parody on John 3v16: For God so loved the world that he let it go to rack and ruin

    Parody on Good Samaritan story of Luke 10v31:

    And there came a God who wasn’t trained in scientific method, when he looked down on humanity and thought they looked like bacteria in a Petri dish, he wasn’t interested to study them, so he crossed over to the other side of the road and walked on by.

  33. morkindie
    Posted July 4, 2013 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    I propose that;

    the next time someone is asked to do an interview for Ray Comfort or any other Charlatan, that they immediately agree and with pleasure.

    Then, secretly record the interview independently.

    Wait for the butchered, mined version to come out, and then immediately release the unaltered version on as many platforms as possible, to show everyone just exactly how deceitful these people are.

    • Posted July 4, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      While certainly a lovely thought, you’ll want to check your state wiretap laws before doing so. In some jurisdictions, you need consent from all parties speaking before you may legally record a conversation; in others, you only need consent from one participant (and you can be the one to give consent to yourself).

      I wouldn’t put it past a Cretinist to sue somebody who did this, so you’d want to make sure you’re in the clear.

      b&

      • morkindie
        Posted July 6, 2013 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

        being sued would be the cherry on top.
        Streisand effect.

        Especially because I would ask for a copy of the interview as well.

        • Posted July 6, 2013 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

          While that may make for good headlines, it could also make for a lot of out-of-pocket expenses if your state requires you get prior permission before recording a conversation.

          If you can afford that, great. If not, pull the microphone out of hiding and get permission on tape — or just arrange to do the interview somewhere that you don’t need permission.

          b&

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted July 4, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      Or just give him a noogie and run off!

  34. Posted July 5, 2013 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    After WWI Alexander Fleming actively searched for anti-bacterial agents, having witnessed the death of many soldiers from sepsis resulting from infected wounds. He thought he was doing us a favour by discovering penicillin. Fleming was more clever than Jebus who didn’t even realize the value of washing hands before eating- it could have prevented illnesses like Polio, if the water had been clean/ boiled –

    Fleming had trouble with development and finally abandoned penicillin. Not long after Howard Florey and Ernst Boris Chain at the Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford took up researching and mass-producing it, with funds from the U.S. and British governments. They started mass production after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
    They thought they were doing us a favour, it seems the obvious thing to be caring. It certainly helps to win battles if you can keep your soldiers alive. Unfortunately they were not omniscient, there are many aspects to each matter and many trade offs
    The draw back is that our desire to breed greatly exceeds our desire to die. Thus an imbalance between birth rate and death rate occurred and led to fossil fueled growth in
    human population. Antibiotics took the breaks of population growth and too few had the courage to insist on euthanasia of those with little quality of life because it is
    an near impossible moral maze to pick the point on the slope that people should pass away.
    So in this impossible world it is lamentable that even our best intentions can have undesirable consequences. In a busy and confusing world it is easy to overlook inconvenient truths.

  35. Posted July 9, 2013 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Intelligently Redesigned Doonesbury

    http://intelligentlyredesigneddoonesbury.blogspot.ca/2012/05/6.html


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