Refutation of “Scientific Facts in the Bible: 100 Reasons to Believe the Bible is Supernatural in Origin” by Ray Comfort
Oh please! This coming from the guy who remains firmly closed minded to anything beyond his dogmatic religious fantasy bubble that is totally divorced from reality! What planet are you from?
Ray begins by dodging questions by demanding definitions for certain words.
Ray seems to have little interest in words or definitions. Rather, he is looking for any definition that helps his case.
Ray reminds readers that history has shown science wrong several times and what we know now may be laughed at in a hundred years.
That’s something called… LEARNING! Something religion is incapable of doing.
The best thing about science is that it is a self-correcting system. When new data and evidence are discovered, our knowledge expands and new models must be made to fit the evidence. Even in a hundred years, if future generations discover something unknown to us, it will be very little embarrassment to us. As we stand on the shoulders of giants right now to help us look further, all future generations will be standing on our shoulders. Laughter will be among the last things that crosses their behavior upon discovering something new, since it is by our work that helped them look beyond farther than we can see.
Ray recalls his debate with a member from American Atheists. When Comfort mentioned that medical facts existed in the Bible a hundred years before they were discovered, the audience laughed at him. Ray thinks if the medical facts were accurate, then that provides proof the Bible is supernatural in origin.
For the record, the supposed “medical facts” Ray speaks of were complete BOGUS, hence which is why his points were met with laughter.
All these “medical facts” were vague verses that could mean anything OR they were examples of basic common sense about personal hygiene.
The problem is Ray Comfort does not check to see if these “medical facts” were discovered before the authors wrote about it. The ancient Greeks were very knowledgeable in medicine, the ancient Egyptians knew quite a lot on the human body due to their experience in mummification.
So, if things like “medical facts” are proof that the Bible is supernatural in origin (which they turned out to be either bogus or completely wrong) and these medical facts were discovered by pagans like the Egyptians, doesn’t that logically follow the pagans are right and the Israelite authors are plagiarizing them?
Comfort says the Bible does not defend itself. Later, he says that other religions (Mormons, Muslims, Buddhists) have certain prophecies, but according to Ray none of them have been proven, nor do their sacred books contain scientific knowledge (in fact they contain things that are clearly unscientific).
This is true, but the same is true for Christianity. None of the Christian prophecies have been proven true either. 
Ray Comfort says the other religions cant be true because they contain several things that are “clearly unscientific.” Well guess what mate! Christianity is unscientific too!
Christianity is unscientific by the sheer fact that it says a supernatural being created the Earth magically (among hundreds of other examples).
How does Ray Comfort account for clearly unscientific stories, like a man living in a whale for three days?
…HE INVOKES MAGIC! I’m totally not joking.
So, moral of the story, when you criticize other sacred books as containing things that are “clearly unscientific”, and then get called out that your beloved sacred books is just as guilty, what do you do: invoke the most unscientific explanation, magic!
Before moving on, Ray tries to provide an argument in which he must use the Bible (he says this is not circular reasoning).
Sorry Ray, using the Bible as your ONLY source to prove the Bible IS circular reasoning.
Ray asks if the reader believes in some of the stories in the Bible. Comfort says if you are an atheist, of course you don’t because God “has chosen foolish, weak, base, and despised things of the world to confound those who think they are wise.”
Basically, Ray is admitting that his God is a deliberate deceiver.
If God did design everything this way to fool people, then how can he punish his creations for acting in accordance to how they were made? Ray and Christianity would love to have people act like little children who do not use or practice critical thinking like an adult. People should cherish their intellectual abilities, it is the best tool we have. It is therefore, not surprising that Christianity would teach that God designed wisdom as foolish.
Where is the evidence?
Instead of actually presenting proof, Ray uses an analogy: Imagine you are looking at a luxury liner moving through calm waters, and suddenly some people jump off the boat onto small life boats. The rest, including yourself, calls them foolish. Until suddenly the luxury boat sinks, then you see the fools who jumped off earlier were wise, and those who wise who stayed on were fools. Ray urges the readers to consider the proof of Christianity provided in this book.
This analogy doesn’t even work on its own terms. Ships don’t just sink out of the blue; you would see some evidence of it, such as a hull breach, alarm, or announcements from the crew about impending evacuations. The early lifeboat jumpers in Ray’s example unrealistically leave the ship in the absence of evidence that it’s sinking; by the same logic, Ray expects unbelievers to repent in the absence of evidence of a biblical Rapture actually being imminent!?
Chapter 1: Science and the Bible
The Bible and Earth’s Free-Float in Space
Job 26:7 while the common belief of the time (1500 B.C.E.) was the earth sat on the back of a large animal or giant.
Ray provides no source or reference that the common belief (among the common folk or amongst scientists) that the earth sat on the back of an animal or giant. Not one source, no references provided.
That aside, does the Earth “free float in space”? Does the Earth “hang upon nothing?” Answer: no and no.
The gravity of the Sun pulls on the Earth, keeping it in orbit. If it “free float in space” as Ray and the Bible assert, the Earth would be a “rogue” or “orphan” planet with no sunlight.
Ray Comfort is aware of this fact, and he is aware that he is wrong whenever he asserts that the Earth does not “free float in space”… but he never admits when he is wrong.
Finally, does the Earth hang upon “nothing”? To define nothing is to say not real or non-existent but beneath the earth (and all around it) we find stars, meteorites, gamma rays, magnetic fields, cosmic dust, electromagnetic waves,and much more. That is not nothing.
Creation on the Web, a creationist website, specifically singles out the book of Job as not having scientific insight. Instead, they say that Job is poetic, and should be read as the author intended its readers to read it.
This passage also seems to contradict Job 38:4-6, which refers to the earth having a foundation and footings, in direct contradiction to the idea that it is unsupported. Job 26:11 says heaven is supported by pillars. Many verses throughout the Bible refer to a solid firmament. Also, the statement that scientists once thought hat the earth rested on the back o a huge animal is false.
The Scriptures speak of Invisible Structure
Hebrews 11:3. Science has recently discovered the universe is made of atoms, whereas scripture knew of this for 2,000 years.
The ancient Greeks were already discussing the natural structure of the universe, for a long time the common belief was the universe was made of four elements. If the Bible were in any way scientific, this verse would obviously not begin “by faith” but “by observation.”
The Bible Reveals the Earth is Round
Isaiah 40:22. The verse says the Earth is a circle. Ray says the word chuwg translates to “circuit” or “compass” indicating a spherical not flat. Comfort says Isaiah was written between 740 and 680 B.C.E. and at least 300 years before Aristotle’s book On the Heavens.
Isiah and the Bible does not support a round Earth. Isaiah 11:12 refers to the “four quarters of the earth.” A “Compass” is indeed flat, with an arrow connected to the disk. Daniel 4:20 says “The tree you saw, which grew large and strong, with its top touching the sky, visible to the whole earth…” No matter how tall that tree is, there’s no way it could be seen to the “ends of the Earth” on a spherical body!
The Bible and the Science of Oceanography
Psalm 8:8. Ray tells a story about Matthew Maury (1806 – 1873) is considered the father of oceanography and discovered many things after reading this Bible verse.
Maury was nowhere near the first to discover or write about currents; however, he was the first to unify all of these together into scientific writings and did make a lot of progress in the field. In 1513, Juan Ponce de Leon described the gulf stream. Benjamin Franklin produced a detailed map of the gulf stream in 1769 (37 years before Maury was born). Even though Maury may have produced many maps of ocean currents, it is clear that the currents’ existence was known well before his time and it is highly unlikely Maury would not have been aware of it. Maury may have been inspired by Psalms to look for more currents, but that is hardly the same as discovering a new phenomenon based on Scripture.
The Bible and Radio Waves
Job 38:35. Ray says this verse tells that light can be sent and manifest itself in speech. He says that all electromagnetic radiation (from x-rays to radio waves) travel at the speed of light. Comfort cites James Clerk Maxwell in Modern Century Illustrated Encyclopedia 1864 (3,300 years later) who discovered that electricity and light waves were the same thing.
Job 38:19 says “Where is the way where light dwelleth? and as for darkness, where is the place thereof?” Notice they conveniently forget to mention that light is also mentioned as dwelling, or staying in one place. Also, they ignore the fact that the bible treats darkness like it actually exists, when really it’s the absence of light. Also, it’s Job, which, once again, is a very poetic part of the bible. They also ignore Job 38:20: “That thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof, and that thou shouldest know the paths to the house thereof?” Light and darkness do not have “bounds” or as the NIV translates it, places and dwellings (at least not one specific one).
The Bible and Entropy
Isaiah 51:6, Psalm 102:25, 26 and Hebrews 1:11 indicate “the earth is wearing out,” and concludes this is about the Second Law of Thermodynamics (the law of Increase Entropy) and defines it as: that in all physical process, every ordered system over time tends to become more disordered.
This is false. The second law of thermodynamics says no such thing that everything leads to disorder. It says that heat will not spontaneously flow from a colder body to a warmer one or, equivalently, that total entropy (a measure of useful energy) in a closed system will not decrease. This does not prevent increasing order.
Hebrews 11:1 says “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” HOW is this “biblical” evidence of entropy!?!?!
Psalm 102:25 says “Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the Earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.” Where in this whole verse does it say anything about cold going to warm, or even hinting of the “earth wearing out”?
The Bible and the Water Cycle
Ecclesiastes 1:7. He also points out Ecclesiastes 1:3 and Amos 9:6.
What he does not point out is Job 38:22, for example, which says that snow and hail are kept in storehouses. Genesis 2:5-6 contradicts the water cycle. Ecclesiastes 1:7 does not describe the water cycle. It merely says that water returns to the source of streams; it does not say how.
Ray, the Hebrew word there means “storehouses,” not treasures. Think treasury or depository. The whole verse, if you hadn’t cut it off prematurely, says, “Have you entered into the storehouses of the snow, or seen where the hail is stored?” There’s a reason that nearly all English translations use “storehouses,” not treasures.
God is asking Job if he has seen where God keeps all the snow. If you go on to read the next verse, Job 38:23, it says…
“which I reserve for times of trouble, for days of war and battle?”
God is saying, “You little shit, have YOU seen where I keep all the snow and hail? ‘Cuz I have.”
This has NOTHING TO DO with the structure of snowflakes.
Read the god damned Bible, Ray. You’re not only embarrassing yourself but you’re making the Christians who listen to you make themselves look even more ignorant when they try to pass along *your* ignorance.
It annoys me to no end that atheists (have to) know the Bible better than preachers. It’s necessary in order to refute this stuff. But then of course, people who have actually READ the bible tend to become atheists, anyway.
Nice try, Ray. Not really, but you know what I mean.
The Bible and the First Law of Thermodynamics
Genesis 2:1- The creation was “finished”—once and for all. That is exactly what the First Law of Thermodynamics says. This law (often referred to as the Law of the Conservation of Energy and/or Mass) states that neither matter nor energy can be either created or destroyed.
Once again, we have to ask: “If this knowledge is so clear cut, why did no Christians make these predictions BEFORE the laws of thermodynamics were established?”
Secondly, the idea of God creating matter is a direct violation of that same law. Even this piece refuted itself: energy cannot be created. And yet, creationists like Ray Comfort think God “created” something which explicitly cannot be created. Energy and matter are coming from nowhere.
The Bible and Ship Dimensions
Comfort uses Genesis 6 to support this, that God gave Noah the dimensions (30:5:3) that was later used in 1609 at Hoorn in Holland and then massively used in the 1900s. Comforts source is “Llyod’s Register of Shipping” in the World Almanac.
People have been building ships for thousands of years and boats for tens of thousands of years, so it’s not unreasonable to assume they figured out the best ways to do so themselves, without having to be told by God. Also, the ideal length-to-width ratio of a ship depends on the purpose of the ship. Sailing vessels are typically built with a larger ratio; war ships have a small ratio to attain the required speed; bulk carriers are built with a large ratio because load capacity is more important than speed (the cargo does not depreciate during the voyage). Even in Biblical times this would have applied: ancient warships (rowed, fast) were built slimmer than cargo ships (sailed, large loading capacity).
The Bible and Meteorological Laws
Ray tries to defend the air cycles in Ecclesiastes 1:6.
First of all, Ecclesiastes is all about how nothing matters and nothing changes. So it poetically refers to the wind as not really changing no matter what it does, or where it blows. Secondly, Ecclesiastes 1:5 shows a geocentric world view: “The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.” We now know that the sun does not actually rise, but the Earth’s rotation makes it appear that way. So why couldn’t God predict that?
The Bible and Science
Ray include a quote from Richard Wurmbrand, ”Proof’s of God’s existence”, that science confirms what the Bible has been saying for thousands of years. He says the Christians hold the key to the secrets of the universe, and they should be the owners of the lock and key (that is, show there is no conflict between science ad religion).
However, as we have reviewed, none of the above “proofs” presented are not extraordinary or cannot be obtain with simple observation. With a bit of literacy analysis, it is easy to make a book of fables look as you want it, but if the Bible was truly a source of scientific knowledge and science confirms what is in it, then we would expect Christians to point out in their Bible several breakthroughs in physics, medicine, chemistry, etc. that are unknown to modern science. However, we do not see this. Instead, we have science making discoveries and Christians trying to create an illusion that the Bible already knew of it. Muslim do the exact same thing, such as point out the Qur’an accurately predicted the Big Bang, speed of light, reproductive systems, plate tectonics, and such, but their claims are no more credible than Christians’.
Chapter 2: The Incredible Book of Job
Book of Job (1520 B.C.)—Filled with Scientific Facts
Comfort provides the following: “The study of the Book of Job and its comparison with the latest scientific discoveries has brought me to the matured conviction that the Bible is an inspired book and was written by the One who made the stars.” (Source: Charles Burckhalter, Chabot Observatory)
This quote by Charles Burckhalter (1849-1923) is difficult to locate to verify. No source is provided.
But if we grant that he did say this, it’s completely meaningless because we do not see his “proofs” that Job was written by some god.
The Book of Job and Air Mass
Only a single quote is provided for this piece: ““Scripture tells us in Job 28:25 that there is ‘a weight for the wind.’ Long before it was recognized that the air had weight (sixteenth century), the Bible said that it did. It also tells us that water has weight. The fact that so much water covers the earth means that the effects of the sun and moon’s gravity are balanced perfectly. The energy is dissipated in the water—the weight of the water is precisely measured.” – Richard Gunther
Job 28:25 says לַעֲשֹׂ֣ות לָר֣וּחַ מִשְׁקָ֑ל וּ֝מַ֗יִם תִּכֵּ֥ן בְּמִדָּֽה or “When he established the force of the wind and measured out the waters.” How this translates to “weight of the wind” is unknown.
For the sake of argument, if we grant that this verse was translated as “To make the weight for the winds; and he weigheth the waters by measure” as in the KJV, the problem is that this is clearly poetic. Secondly, Comfort ignores the passage right before this, Job 28:24: “For he looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven;” The earth is round, so it doesn’t have ends.
Furthermore, is Ray Comfort implying that man could not have figured out that water has weight, or the wind is a force, unless man received some divine revelation from some magic man in the sky? This is ridiculous. A child can learn about the wind all on their own just by feeling a breeze. The ancient Sumerians could figure this out for themselves by having a cup of water. Even the Neanderthal man could have figured that out by cupping water into his hands.
The Book of Job and the Earth’s Rotation
Comfort says the following:
“For ages, scientists believed in a geocentric view of the universe. The differences between night and day were believed to be caused by the sun revolving around the earth. Today, we know that the earth’s rotation on its axis is responsible for the sun’s rising and setting. But 4,000 or more years ago, it was written, “Have you commanded the morning since your days; and caused the day spring [dawn] to know his place? … It [the earth] is turned as clay to the seal” (Job 38:12,14). The picture here is of a clay vessel being turned or rotated upon the potter’s wheel—an accurate analogy of the earth’s rotation.”
Here is Job 38:12-14 “Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place; That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it?; It is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment.” So it seems God could (if he existed first of all, and second if he wanted to) pick up the earth by its ends and shake all the wicked people off of it? Curious that Comfort left out verse 13. Here the author of Job is saying something is longer than the earth. A flat earth with ends could be compared for length, but longer has no meaning for a spherical earth.
But the bottom line is, nowhere in this verse about “holding the ends of the Earth” says anything about the Earth’s rotation.
The Book of Job and Springs of the Sea
Another quote from Gunther (that’s it! SERIOUSLY!) : “Modern deep-sea-diving cameras have discovered amazing hot-water vents on the floor of the oceans— ‘the springs of the sea,’ which are mentioned in Job 38:16. These thermal vents release huge amounts of mineral-rich, super-heated water—springs in the darkness.” – Richard Gunther
The words of Job 38:16 are “Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?” Oooh, Job says the seas are deep. Clearly, the ideas of shallow and deep only come from God, and so the authors of Job could not have known that. And besides the fact that this is another poetic passage, not meant to be taken literally, if it’s so clear cut, why did not a single Christian claim that there were springs in the depths before they were discovered?
The Book of Job and Light
Again, just a single quote from Gunther, “Sir Isaac Newton studied light and discovered that white light is made of seven colors, which can be ‘parted’ from the white (see Job 38:24), and then recombined to make white again. Science discovered this in 1650.” – Richard Gunther
The words of Job 38:24 are “By what way is the light parted, which scattereth the east wind upon the earth?” Once again, they quote Job, one of the most poetic parts of the bible. The fact that light is parted is easily observable by shining it through a prism. And light does not and cannot scatter wind. Parted light is almost always universally understood, not as scientifically split through a prisim, but as in a ray of light that is seemingly split into two (still white, still full spectrum) rays due to some object. The point of the Job passage is to say that no human power can do this, not to provide scientific reference of something man *can* do.
The Book of Job and the Way of Light
Comfort says the following:
“The Book of Job 38:19 asks, “Where is the way where light dwells?” Modern man has only recently discovered that light (electromagnetic radiation) has a “way.” In empty space this speed is approximately 186,000 miles per second.”
Job 38:19 says “Where is the way where light dwelleth? and as for darkness, where is the place thereof?” Notice they conveniently forget to mention that light is also mentioned as dwelling, or staying in one place. Also, they ignore the fact that the bible treats darkness like it actually exists, when really it’s the absence of light. Also, it’s Job, which, once again, is a very poetic part of the bible. They also ignore Job 38:20: “That thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof, and that thou shouldest know the paths to the house thereof?” Light and darkness do not have “bounds” or as the NIV translates it, places and dwellings (at least not one specific one).
The Book of Job and Dinosaurs
Comfort says the following:
“Why did dinosaur disappear? Science can only speculate. However, the answer may be in Job 40:15–24. In this passage, God Himself speaks of a great creature called “behemoth.” Some Bible commentators think this is a reference to the hippopotamus. However, one of the characteristics of this massive animal is that it had a tail the size of a large tree. The hippo’s tail isn’t like a tree; it’s more like a small twig. Here are all the given characteristics of this huge animal: It was the largest of all the creatures God made; was plant-eating (herbivorous); had its strength in its hips, and a tail like a large tree. It had very strong bones, lived among the trees, drank massive amounts of water, and was not disturbed by a raging river. He appears impervious to attack because his nose could pierce through snares, but Scripture says, “He that made him can make his sword to approach unto him.” In other words, God caused this, the largest of all the creatures He had made, to become extinct.”
The Bible says Behemoth’s tail “was like a cedar.” The “tail like a cedar,” which creationists think indicates a large dinosaur, is not even a real tail. “Tail” was used as a euphemism in the King James version. A more likely translation for the phrase is, “His penis stiffens like a cedar” (Mitchell 1987). The behemoth was probably a bull or an elephant, and the cedar comparison referred to its virility.
Lets read Job 40 carefully and see what creature this “Behemoth” may be.
Job 40:16 – Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly.
Job 40:17 – He moveth his tail like a cedar:
Job 40:18 – His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron.
Job 40:19 – He is the chief of the ways of God: he that made him can make his sword to approach unto him.
Job 40:20-21 – Surely the mountains bring him forth food, where all the beasts of the field play.
He lieth under the shady trees, in the covert of the reed, and fens.
The shady trees cover him with their shadow…
Job 40:22-23 – the willows of the brook
compass him about. Behold, he drinketh up a river, and hasteth not: he trusteth that he can
draw up Jordan into his mouth.
Job 40:24 – He taketh it with his eyes: his nose pierceth through snares.
Chapter 3: Medical Science and the Bible
If you are hoping for some miraculous revelation by the omni-benevolent author to reveal the secrets for the cure for cancer, you are gravely mistaken.
The Bible and the Laws of Hygiene
Here, Ray tries to portray Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis as the founder of the laws of hygiene and that the Bible led him to his discoveries. Ray says that Semmelweis was horrified at the terrible death rate of women who gave birth in hospitals. As many as 30 percent died after child birth. Semmelweis noted that doctors would examine the bodies of patients who died, then, without washing their hands, go straight to the next ward and examine expectant mothers. This was their normal practice, because the presence of microscopic diseases was unknown. Semmelweis insisted that doctors wash their hands before each examination, and the death rate immediately dropped to two percent. Ray tells us to “Look at the specific instructions that God gave thousands of years ago to His people for when they encountered disease: “And when he that has an issue is cleansed of his issue; then he shall number to himself seven days for his cleansing, and wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in running water, and shall be clean” (Leviticus 15:13). Until recent years, doctors washed their hands in a bowl of water, leaving invisible germs on their hands.
However, the Bible says specifically to wash under “running water.” Keep reading down Leviticus 15, it explains how to finish this sterilization process. “…and bathe his flesh in running water, and he shall be clean. On the eighth day, he shall take to turtledoves, or two pigeons, and come before the Lord unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation and give them unto the priest, and the priest shall offer them, one for suffering, one for burnt offering, and the priest shall make atonement for him before the Lord for his issue.” Semmelweis did not make his discoveries based on the Bible, because washing your hands prior to chopping up dead burnt pigeons to appease some desert god is more voodoo than medicine.
Furthermore, this verse does not say WHY washing your hands in running water is important. It does not say anything about what it accomplishes (besides completing a ritual). It does not say anything about germs or tiny microbes. Granted that many men were not aware of the importance of antiseptics, which led to the deaths of thousands, on the other side untold numbers of people since the ancient times could have just washed their hands to clean off blood and dirt. This does not mean that they somehow knew about germs, it just merely means that they do not want to eat their meals with filth on their fingers.
Bottom line, the argument that the Bible is true because it contains something regarding hygiene which was common knowledge is ridiculous. The secrets to good hygiene were not revealed to humans by deities, but through simple observation. A child can learn that it is a bad idea to eat your meal when your hands are covered in mud, and mud and dirt washes off really well with water.
The Bible and the Correlation of Mind and Body
Comfort says the following: Medical science has come to understand that there is a strong relationship between a person’s mental and physical health. The Bible revealed this to us with these statements (and others) written around 950 B.C.:
*“A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy is the rottenness of the bones” (Proverbs 14:30).
*“The light of the eyes rejoices the heart: and a good report makes the bones fat [healthy]” (Proverbs 15:30).
*“Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones” (Proverbs 16:24).
*“A merry heart does good like a medicine: but a broken spirit dries the bones” (Proverbs 17:22).
A healthy heart, solid bones, kind words (what?), and again a good heart.
How pathetic can this get. This is just speaking the obvious: have a good heart and healthy bones, something a child can learn.
It seems that this is nothing more than a attempt to find certain passages in an old book of fables that speak the obvious (like ‘eating healthy is good for you’) and then pretending that somehow the book new of these things before it ever dawned on man. It’s simply backwards.
You would think that the omniscient creator of the whole universe would be much more informative and selective on what to reveal to humans. Could not bother to share anything about cancer or anything important?
The Bible and Bacteria
Just a single quote from Gunther and nothing else: “And… neither shall you eat any flesh that is torn of beasts in the field; you shall cast it to the dogs” (Exodus 22:31). Thousands of years before modern science identified bacteria, God made provision for Israel by banning the eating of meat that may be spoiled by bacteria.” – Richard Gunther
Exodus 22:31 says “And ye shall be holy men unto me: neither shall ye eat any flesh that is torn of beasts in the field; ye shall cast it to the dogs.” There is no scientific reason given, no mention of tiny organisms carrying diseases. There is a very easy explanation for this. The Hebrew priests wanted to keep the people as far away as possible from pagan rituals, some of which likely would have involved eating wild animals found dead. Also, meat lying in the field would be stinking, rotten, and revolting to the senses, which common sense indicates one would avoid. Finally, many of the biblical kosher laws were intended to teach the people that these were once living creatures that they were eating. In order to convey that, the priests commanded that all animals be slaughtered by people within the camp, as a reminder. Therefore, acting as a scavenger and taking meat just found in the field would degrade respect toward the animals, and degrade respect to nature in general.
The Bible and Fat Intake
Comfort says the following: The American Heart Association says: “The major kinds of fats in the foods we eat are saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, and trans fatty acids. Saturated fats, trans fats, and dietary cholesterol raise blood cholesterol. A high level of cholesterol in the blood is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease, which leads to heart attack.”
In reference to prostate cancer, a study by the University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center stated, “The fourth most common cause of cancer among men may be related to saturated fat consumption.”
Saturated fats come from animals. In Leviticus 7:22–24 we are told, “And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, You shall eat no manner of fat, of ox, or of sheep, or of goat.”
Leviticus 7:23 says “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Ye shall eat no manner of fat, of ox, or of sheep, or of goat.” Once again, this would be impressive had the bible said something along the lines of “Ye shall eat no fat, or ye shall suffer an attack on one’s heart.” But it doesn’t. It simply says, eat no fat. Once again, pagan rituals might have included a ceremonial fat eating. Also, fat would have been more important as a fuel to burn, since one, there were no lights at night, and two, winter nights could get cold at a time where there was no central heating and oil would have had more ceremonial use.
The Bible and the Immune System
Comfort says the following:
The Bible instructs that male babies are to be circumcised on the eighth day (Genesis 17:12). Medical science has now discovered that this is the day that the coagulating factor in the blood, called prothrombin, is the highest. It reaches its peak on the eighth day, then drops. Medical science has also discovered that this is when the human body’s immune system is at its peak.
Genesis 17:12 says “And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed.” Leviticus 12:3 and Luke 1:59 say pretty much the same thing. These people seem to think the Jews were idiots who were unable to make any observations on their own. They could easily have known through trial and error. Babies died or were seriously injured more often on days that weren’t the eighth, ergo, babies should be circumcised on the eighth. Scientific observation. Wrote it down on paper. Made sure that future Jewish parents not make the same mistakes, so they made this observation look poetic and sacred. Astounding.
The Bible and Laws of Quarantine
Comfort says the following:
Long before medical science discovered the importance of quarantine of persons with infectious diseases, the Bible instigated them. In 1490 B.C. the Scriptures tell the children of Israel what to do if a man has leprosy: “All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he is unclean: he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be” (Leviticus 13:46). Laws of quarantine were not instigated by modern man until the seventeenth century.
Next, Comfort provides the following quote: “During the devastating Black Death of the fourteenth century, patients who were sick or dead were kept in the same rooms as the rest of the family. People often wondered why the disease was affecting so many people at one time. They attributed these epidemics to ‘bad air’ or ‘evil spirits.’ However, careful attention to the medical commands of God as revealed in Leviticus would have saved untold millions of lives. Arturo Castiglione wrote about the overwhelming importance of this biblical medical law: ‘The laws against leprosy in Leviticus 13 may be regarded as the first model of sanitary legislation’ (A History of Medicine).” Grant R. Jeffery, The Signature of God
Leviticus 13:45-46 says “And the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be rent, and his head bare, and he shall put a covering upon his upper lip, and shall cry, Unclean, unclean. All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he is unclean: he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be.”
Numbers 5:1-4 says “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Command the children of Israel, that they put out of the camp every leper, and every one that hath an issue, and whosoever is defiled by the dead: Both male and female shall ye put out, without the camp shall ye put them; that they defile not their camps, in the midst whereof I dwell. And the children of Israel did so, and put them out without the camp: as the LORD spake unto Moses, so did the children of Israel.”
Both of these passages have very unscientific explanations. One, biblical leprosy was reported to contaminate houses and clothing, so the people would not want to have it near them. Two, leprosy was viewed as punishment for sin, so that is an even more obvious reason; religious people would not want to surround their holiest objects with sinners.
Chapter 4: Science and Genesis
Scientists Admit Genesis is “Close to the Truth.”
Ray quotes several magazines. First one is Time from December 1976, “Most cosmologists agree that the Genesis account of creation, in imagining an initial void, may be uncannily closer to the truth.” Next from Jim Holt, Wall Street Journal, “The universe suddenly exploded into being…The big bang bears an uncanny resemblance to the Genesis command.” Finally, Ray quotes from U.S. News and World Report, March 31, 1997, “New scientific revelations about supernovas, black holes, quarks, and the big bang even suggest to some scientists that there is a ‘grand design’ to the universe.”
Unfortunately, Comfort cannot reconcile with the Big Bang theory being discussed (likely out of context) here, as it involves the universe forming over billions (not thousands, of years) that occurred naturally without the need or assistance of some divine entity.
Jim Holt is not a scientist, he is just an essayist and frequent contributor to the New York Times. His remarks that the Big Band closely resembles the accounts of Genesis is just as valid as another journalist in China claiming that the Big Band closely resembles the myth of Pangu creating the universe by splitting a black egg with an axe.
Finally, the last quote does not provide any proofs, reasons or name any scientists who think supernovas and such must imply that the universe was designed.
The Bible Speaks of Specific Design
Ray quotes from two more magazines. First from Readers Digest, September 1986, by John Wheeler (Princeton University prof. of physics), “Slight variations in physical laws such as gravity or electromagnetism would make life impossible…The necessity to produce life lies at the center of the universe’s whole machinery and design.”
This is a repeat of the old anthropic principle. This principle is defeated simply because it is a tautology, weakened by the fact of quantum mechanics and the multiverse. The Copernican Principle is more accurate. The Copernican Principle is the opposite of the Anthropic Principle and states that humans do not occupy a privileged place in the universe. Successive astronomical discoveries seem to support this principle. The Anthropic Principle emphasizes the rarity of life and consciousness while the Copernican Principle forces us to realize it was not all done just so we could exist.
There are many flaws in the anthropic principle, which argues the universe is fine-tuned for life, but if this were so then why is life such an extremely rare part of it? How fine is “fine” anyway? That question can only be answered by a human judgment call, which reduces or removes objective value from the anthropic principle argument.
Many lay people are often fooled by this “fine-tuning argument” because it makes the odds make it look like a miracle. The recipe for this statistical trick is simple.
*Simply state the odds that should be calculated ”before” an event ”after” the event has already taken place.
*If you want the event to appear even more unlikely, begin adding complicated factors (which is very easy to do after the fact).
*And voilà! You’ve made an ordinary event appear to be extraordinary.
Next quote from “evolutionist” Stephen Hawking, “the universe and the law of physics seem to have been specifically deigned for us. If any of about 40 physical qualities had more than slightly different values, life as w know if would not exist: Either atoms would not be stable, or they would not combine into molecules, or the stars would no form the heavier elements, of the universe would collapse before life could develop itself, and so on…” (Source: ”Austin American Statesman”, October 19, 1997).
Nothing in the Austin American Statesman archives reveal any mention of Stephen Hawking.
The Bible Speaks of One Common Ancestor
Here, Ray takes a quote from U.S. News and World Report Dec. 14, 1995 of a scientific terminology that 99% of all scientists agree that all humans are alike because they descend from common ancestor, traced back to one male ancestor they dubbed “Y-chromosome Adam.”
Except the Y-chromosome Adam is not a fixed individual, nor was he the only male of the species back then. The most recent common ancestor was only one of many prehistorical humans, who just happens to be the progenitor of all Y chromosomes in living humans ”today”, at this specific moment. As we march into the future and interbreed, the identity of the most recent common ancestor will by definition shift forward in time, too. In the Book of Genesis, in contrast, all humans explicitly descend from a single couple, which would be unviable as far as genetics are concerned.
The Bible and the Universal Flood
Comfort only provides a single quote for this piece: “About 85% of the rock surface around the world is made up of sedimentary rock, indicating that at some time in the past, the world was covered by water.” Peter and Paul Lalonde, 301 Startling Proofs & Prophecies
Peter and Paul Lalonde are film makers. They began a company for the sole purpose to spread Christian films. Neither of them are scientists. Their material has propagated young-Earth creationism.
That being said, here is the fact of reality: there never was a global flood. EVER.
We can prove this beyond a shadow of a doubt, given all the physical and geological evidence ever demanded. The flood story can easily be disproven by the following questions directed at creationists: Where did the water come from, and where did it go? Just doing the math to calculate the amount of water needed to “cover the world” alone easily disprove the flood.
There are other valid questions like: Was the Earth all under water at the same time? Or were they under water at different stages in time that all surfaced due to plate tectonics? Science sides with plate tectonics and against the “universal flood.”
If the geologic record was deposited in a year, then the events it records must also have occurred within a year. Some of these events release significant amounts of heat.
Magma: The geologic record includes roughly 8 x 10^24 grams of lava flows and igneous intrusions. Assuming (conservatively) a specific heat of 0.15, this magma would release 5.4 x 10^27 joules while cooling 1100 degrees C.
In addition, the heat of crystallization as the magma solidifies would release a great deal more heat.
Limestone formation: There are roughly 5 x 10^23 grams of limestone in the earth’s sediments [Poldervaart, 1955], and the formation of calcite releases about 11,290 joules/gram [Weast, 1974, p. D63]. If only 10% of the limestone were formed during the Flood, the 5.6 x 10^26 joules of heat released would be enough to boil the flood waters.
Meteorite impacts: Erosion and crustal movements have erased an unknown number of impact craters on earth, but Creationists Whitcomb and DeYoung suggest that cratering to the extent seen on the Moon and Mercury occurred on earth during the year of Noah’s Flood. The heat from just one of the largest lunar impacts released an estimated 3 x 10^26 joules; the same sized object falling to earth would release even more energy. [Fezer, pp.45-46]
Other: Other possibly significant heat sources are radioactive decay (some Creationists claim that radioactive decay rates were much higher during the Flood to account for consistently old radiometric dates); biological decay (think of the heat released in compost piles); and compression of sediments.
5.6 x 10^26 joules is enough to heat the oceans to boiling. 3.7 x 10^27 joules will vaporize them completely. Since steam and air have a lower heat capacity than water, the steam released will quickly raise the temperature of the atmosphere over 1000 C. At these temperatures, much of the atmosphere would boil off the Earth.
Aside from losing its atmosphere, Earth can only get rid of heat by radiating it to space, and it can’t radiate significantly more heat than it gets from the sun unless it is a great deal hotter than it is now. (It is very nearly at thermal equilibrium now.) If there weren’t many millions of years to radiate the heat from the above processes, the earth would still be unlivably hot.
Law of Probabilities Confirms Genesis
Comfort quotes Hoyle, “The chance that higher life forms might have emerged in this way [through evolution] is comparable to the chance that a tornado sweeping through a junkyard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the materials therein.”
“The likelihood of the formation of life from inanimate matter is one out of 1,040,000… It is big enough to bury Darwin and the whole theory of evolution. There was no primeval soup, neither on this planet nor on any other, and if the beginnings of life were not random, they must therefore have been the product of purposeful intelligence.” Sir Fred Hoyle, professor of astronomy, Cambridge University
This claim is irrelevant to the theory of evolution itself, since evolution does not occur via assembly from individual parts, but rather via selective gradual modifications to existing structures.
Order can and does result from such evolutionary processes. Hoyle applied his analogy to abiogenesis, where it is more applicable. However, the general principle behind it is wrong. Order arises spontaneously from disorder all the time. The tornado itself is an example of order arising spontaneously. Something as complicated as people would not arise spontaneously from raw chemicals, but there is no reason to believe that something as simple as a self-replicating molecule could not form thus. From there, evolution can produce more and more complexity.
Another thing to keep in mind when talking about “probabilities” is the window of time on Earth for life to develop. Carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere contains two isotopes of carbon, C12 in large amounts and C13 in small amounts. Since living organisms preferentially use C12O2 a high C12/C13 ratio in fossils compared to the ratio in the atmosphere, is a marker for the presence of life forms. The combination of finding microfossils and of analyzing the C12/C13 ratio in rocks suggest life started as early as 3.5 to 3.8 billion years ago. Based on initial estimates that it took about 500 million years for the earth to cool this would have left a very narrow time window for the evolution of first life of less that 200 million years and possibly as little as 10 million years. If the earth cooled more rapidly, as the studies of the zircon crystals suggest, the window for the development of life on earth more likely ranged from 10 to 400 million years. That is a long long long time, and when keeping in mind how big the Earth is and the countless areas where tiny polymers to self-replicate, add all that together an this “huge improbability” of life developing naturally is significantly reduced to near certain probabilities.
On top of that, scientists have shown us that the building blocks of life can form naturally (Leonard Troland 1914 and Miller/Urey 1953), we have also discovered that life forms in the harshest and most unlikely of places. For instance, conventional wisdom has held that nothing smaller than 150 nanometres – 150 millionths of a metre – can survive independently as an autonomous life form, because that is the minimum size needed to contain the necessary genetic and other life support material. The nanobes discovered by Dr Uwins, however, were only 20-150nm in diameter – remarkable considering that the size of a single ribosome (site of protein synthesis) is roughly the same as the smallest nanobes. Equally as amazing, the nanobes most likely came from a sandstone rock sample retrieved from 3-5km below the ocean bed, where the pressure is around 2,000 atmospheres and the temperature ranges from 115-170°C.
We have also discovered one of the more incredible facets of our solar system is that comets, meteorite and interplanetary dust are loaded with a wide range of organic compounds, including amino acids, hydrogen cyanide, formaldehyde, adenine, and many others. The amount of organic material currently deposited on the earth by kilograms, or 300 metric tons per year. During the early period of heavy bombardment this rate may have reached 50,000 tons per year. This rate would have produced the current biomass in approximately ten million years.
Comets are the richest source of organic compounds. This organic material makes its way to earth in the form of micrometeorites, which are formed when the comets pass close to the sun. These micrometeorites are 50 to 500 um in size and currently reach the earth in huge amounts of 20,000 tons per year. They contain tiny grains that contain clays, oxides, and sulfides of metals, which can act as catalysts in chemical reactions. As such they would function as chemical factories for the production of organic compounds.
Add all these tons of materials to the equation of the 10 to 400 million years estimated for life’s development, the “probabilities” of life forming naturally on Earth seems highly likely.
In addition to provide a rich source of organic compounds in prebiotic earth, it has also been proposed that cosmic debris bearing iron and carbon could contribute to a reducing atmosphere and lead to the production of hydrogen, methane, and ammonia in prebiotic earth, producing the conditions assumed in the Miller-Urey experiments.
Genesis Explains the Origin of Sexes
Comfort states the following: Almost all forms of complex life have both male and female—horses, dogs, humans, moths, monkeys, fish, elephants, birds, etc. The male needs the female to reproduce, and the female needs the male to reproduce. One cannot carry on life without the other. The Bible tells us that “he who made them at the beginning made them male and female” (Matthew 19:4). But if evolution is true, which then came first according to the evolutionary theory?
If a male came into being before a female, how did the male of each species reproduce without females? How is it possible that a male and a female each spontaneously came into being, yet they have complex, complementary reproductive systems? If each sex was able to reproduce without the other, why (and how) would they have developed a reproductive system that requires both sexes in order for the species to survive?
The variety of life cycles is very great. It is not simply a matter of being sexual or asexual. There are many intermediate stages. A gradual origin, with each step favored by natural selection, is possible (Kondrashov, Alexey S., 1997. Evolutionary genetics of life cycles. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 28: 391-435). The earliest steps involve single-celled organisms exchanging genetic information; they need not be distinct sexes. Males and females most emphatically would not evolve independently. Sex, by definition, depends on both male and female acting together. As sex evolved, there would have been some incompatibilities causing sterility (just as there are today), but these would affect individuals, not whole populations, and the genes that cause such incompatibility would rapidly be selected against.
Many hypotheses have been proposed for the evolutionary advantage of sex (Barton, N. H. and B. Charlesworth, 1998. Why sex and recombination? Science 281: 1986-1990). There is good experimental support for some of these, including resistance to deleterious mutation load (Davies, E. K., A. D. Peters and P. D. Keightley, 1999. High frequency of cryptic deleterious mutations in Caenorhabditis elegans. Science 285: 1748-1751) (Paland, Susanne and Michael Lynch. 2006. Transitions to asexuality result in excess amino acid substitutions. Science 311: 990-992. See also: Nielsen, Rasmus. 2006. Why sex? Science 311: 960-961) and more rapid adaptation in a rapidly changing environment, especially to acquire resistance to parasites.(Sá Martins, J. S., 2000. Simulated coevolution in a mutating ecology. Physical Review E 61(3): R2212-R2215.)
Genesis and the Universe
Comfort says the following: Science expresses the universe in five terms: time, space, matter, power, and motion. Genesis 1:1,2 perfectly revealed such truths to the Hebrews in 1450 B.C.: “In the beginning [time] God created [power] the heaven [space] and the earth [matter]. . . And the Spirit of God moved [motion] upon the face of the waters.” The first things God tells man is that He controls all aspects of the universe.
Anyone can do this same exact literacy analysis with any sacred book, such as the Bhāgavata Purāṇa. The Hindu cosmology and timeline is the closest to modern scientific timelines and even more which might indicate that the Big Bang is not the beginning of everything but just the start of the present cycle preceded by an infinite number of universes and to be followed by another infinite number of universes. It also includes an infinite number of universes at one given time.
Furthermore, a Hindu could argue that the universe is a continual cycle of creation and destruction – this on-going cycle can symbolize motion and power, all taking place within space that takes time, all concerning the origins of matter. However, just like Ray Comfort’s argument, this proves nothing except that both (and more) mythologies include similar concepts of time, motion, matter, etc.
Genesis Differentiates Man from the Animals
Comfort states the following:
The Bible tells us that animals are created “without understanding.” We are made in God’s “image.” We aren’t merely a higher form of species on the evolutionary scale. As human beings, we are aware of our “being.” God is “I AM,” and we know that “we are.” We have understanding that we exist. Among other unique characteristics, we have an innate ability to appreciate God’s creation. What animal gazes with awe at a sunset, or at the magnificence of the Grand Canyon? What animal obtains joy from the sounds of music or takes the time to form itself into an orchestra to create and harmonize music? What animal among the beasts sets up court systems and apportions justice to its fellow creatures? We are moral beings.
While birds and other creatures have instincts to create (nests, etc.), we have the ability to uncover the hidden laws of electricity. We can utilize the law of aerodynamics to transport ourselves around the globe. We also have the God-given ability to appreciate the value of creation. We unearth the hidden treasures of gold, silver, diamonds, and oil and make use of them for our own benefit. Only humans have the unique capability to appreciate God for this incredible creation and to respond to His love.
So, Comforts first proof is that humans are unique is our self-awareness? Unfortunately for Comfort, other primates show signs of self-awareness. Using the mirror test, we have proven that other primates (as well as whales, dolphins, and elephants) have self-awareness. Are each of these animals made in God’s image too?
Comforts next argument is that we are unique because we appreciate music? How does Ray Comfort know this? Do dolphins (or any other animals) who sing not have an appreciation for music?
Next, Comfort says that animals don’t set up court systems? Apparently they do: Humans. Humans are animals by definition, this has been known for millenniums. if Comfort thinks that animals do not set up court systems, he must think the Judicial Branch of the United States must not exist.
Finally, many animals have the ability to use tools. Humans are capable of great innovation, but that reveals are great ability to manufacture – this does not mean by definition we are not animals, we are just smart animals. We are very curious about our environment and universe, so we develop processes like science to help uncover the mysteries of nature. Gold, oil, and diamonds are special to humans because we give it value. On its own, gold is just another metal, like tin. Nature does not value one over the other, we do.
Chapter 5: Scientists and the Bible
Scientists Who Believed the Bible
Ray states “Many of the great scientists of the past who founded and developed the key disciplines of science were creationists.” Ray lists the following, divided up by category.
Make a special note that Ray says that they were “creationists.” This is why it is important: most of the men were way before Darwin’s day.
First of all, the study of physics was not “created” by any of these men. Physics goes back to Antiquity like Archimedes and Ptolemy, as well as the ancient Babylonians. Fancy this, these men were all pagans, not Christians. And these pagans opened the door to discovery without the aid of a old sacred book or assistance from ancient deities.
The important point to remember is this: all men of physics from Archimedes to Kelvin made their discoveries by actually doing science. Instead of relying on dogmatism and debating how many feathers were on an angel’s wing, these men were rationalists making progress dedicated to actually discover how the world works. None of them relied on some book of ancient fables in their work, nor were they satisfied with the answer “God did it.”
Independent ancient civilizations produced their own versions of chemistry thousands of years before Christ, and even before the time Young Earth Creationists believe Adam was formed. The protoscience of chemistry starts with Alchemy, which has its historical roots in Hellenistic Egypt.
While the concept of biology was created in the 19th century, biological sciences emerged around ancient Egyptian medicine and the works of Aristotle and Galen in the ancient Greco-Roman world.
Here is an interesting note: Charles Linnaeus was a creationist, he is otherwise known as the “father of taxonomy” but Linnaeus was the first to classify humans as primates, along with the other apes.
Developments in geology goes far back as Antiquity. Aristotle made several works documenting the slow rate of geological change.
The original point still stands: Instead of relying on dogmatism and debating how many feathers were on an angel’s wing, these men were rationalists making progress dedicated to actually discover how the world works. None of them relied on some book of ancient fables in their work, nor were they satisfied with the answer “God did it.”
*Galileo (Ray makes a note “It was the Roman Catholic Church that opposed Galileo, not the Christian church.)
Once again, none of these men made their discoveries due to their “theism” or revelations from a book of fables. While some men who DID follow the book of fables to the letter, they thought the Earth was flat and/or the sun was a disk that moved around the Earth. It was rational men like Kepler, Galileo, Herschel and more who were discovering that the sun was an immense fireball of gas and it was the earth that was revolving around the sun on a path of warped spacetime.
Ray then says
“These men as well as scores of others who could be mentioned, were creationists, not evolutionists, and their names are practically synonymous with the rise of modern science. To them, the scientific enterprise was a high calling, one dedicated to ‘thinking God’s thoughts after Him.'” (Source: Henry M. Morris and Gary Parker, What is Creation Science?)
Remember, most of these men were way before Darwin. It is not surprising that they did not accept the theory of evolution, because it was not constructed yet.
Ray does not even name the scientists who made great contributions who did not believe in the Bible. Go far back to where science started to take place: the ancient Greeks. The Greeks made many scientific discoveries, and they were pagans. Move around the map, the Arabs invented algebra.
Harvey, Boyle, Faraday, and Maxwell were committed Christians. Boyle was a lay preacher, Faraday read only from the Bible for a sermon, and Maxwell said “Lord, it belongs not to my care, whether I die or live. To love and serve Thee is my share, and that Thy guard must give.”
Committed Christians or not, their scientific work was not aided by their religious beliefs. Personal beliefs do nothing in regards to science. These men could have been pagans like Archimedes and Aristotle, their work is science based. Instead of relying on dogmatism, these men were rationalists making progress dedicated to actually discover how the world works. None of them relied on some book of ancient fables in their work, nor were they satisfied with the answer “God did it.”
Kepler believed science was a way to discover God’s handiwork, Kelvin believed life came from a creator, and modern day science is based on the works of these Bible-believing men;
*Samuel F. B. Morse
While all these men have done so much for the progress of science, they did not do any of this from revelations from the Bible. Just as we stand on the shoulders of these scientists, they stood on the shoulders of those who came before them.
*Aristotle performed numerous dissection and vivisection experiments in animal anatomy and physiology – composing the most scientific range of zoological works then known.
*His successor, Theophrastus, extended this work to botany and plant physiology, and the first person to produce the first known works in pyrology, mineralogy, and other fields.
*His successor, Strato of Lamsacus, extended their experimental method to machines and physics – by which many of Aristotle’s physical theories had been altered or abandoned.
*A research institute was built in Alexandria, Egypt in the third century BCE, in which Ctesibius and Philo completed the first known scientific works in experimental pneumatics.
*Eratosthenes invented the science of cartography and was one of the first scientist in history to measure the diameter of the earth (he was off by 15% – not bad), and he analyzed the effect of the moon on the tides.
(“Tides come in, tides go out. You can’t explain that.” Bill O’Reilly needs to know this was explained in the third century BCE. For a person who acts like he knows how the world works and ought to work, he is sadly out of date.)
*Herophilus became the first scientist to dissect human cadavers. Also, he and his pupil Erasistrus originated neurophysiology, establishing with detailed experiments that the mind is a function of the brain and the specific mental functions were controlled in specific areas of the brain, and they distinguished motor from sensory nerves and mapped them throughout the body. Altogether, their study of the human body and its bones, muscles, and organs, was so thorough that we still use much of their anatomical terminology.
*In Sicily, their colleague Archimedes was advancing sciences of mechanics and hydrostatics, and discovering, describing, or explaining the first mathematical laws of physics.
*Aristarchus began measuring the distances of the moon, sun and planets, and proposed the first heliocentric theory.
*In Rhodes, Hipparchus discovered and measured celestial precession, observed the first supernova, established the first detailed scientific star charts, made numerous advances in planetary theory, and developed the first scientific system for predicting lunar and solar eclipses.
*Seleucus of Babylon discovered the effect of the sun on the tides (not just the moon), developed the first mathematical lunisolar tide theory.
During the Roman Empire, science reached its pinnacle of achievement, producing works not exceeded until the Scientific Revolution. Just to name a few,
*Dioscorides in botany, mineralogy, and pharmacology
*Hero in mathematics, pneumatics, and theatrical robotics
*Ptolemy in astronomy, cartography, optics, and harmonics
*Galen in anatomy, physiology, and medicine
The point is this: huge scientific contributions predate Christianity. The ancient Greeks (who where PAGANS!) were the first to use science, in fact they invented reason (in the very sense he means, developing the formal sciences of logic, philosophy, mathematics, and rhetoric). The reason why the scientists Ray Comfort quotes as “Bible-believers” is because they come from a time when scientific inquiry that contradicted scriptures was prohibited, so they must meld their work with spirituality or risk losing their career, freedom, or life. The Christian religion dominated the whole of the Western world from the fifth to the fifteenth century, and yet in all those thousand years there was no scientific revolution. Nor did any scientific religion occur in Eastern Christian world, such as the Byzantine Empire, even though the East was just as prosperous and largely peaceful for five centuries.
Arthur H. Compton
Compton said, “Science is the glimpse of God’s purpose in nature. The very existence of the amazing world of the atom and radiation points to a purposeful creation, to the idea that there is a God and an intelligent purpose back of everything…An orderly universe testifies to the greatest statement ever uttered: ‘In the beginning God…’.” Nobel Prize winner in Physics
Compton was awarded his Nobel Prize in 1927.
Sir Isaac Newton
Newton combined his work with his theology, believing that theology was more important.
Newton, though a great scientist, believed many stupid things. Notably, he was an alchemist.
Also, Sir Isaac Newton believed that he was so brilliant that he was chosen by God to have a special understanding of the Bible over the common man. Newton did not accept the Trinity or the (wait for it!) divinity of Jesus – that last bit flies right in the face of Ray Comfort’s beliefs of Christ and Christianity.
So, does Ray adhere to the brilliance of Sir Isaac Newton that Newton was divinely chosen to understand the Bible above mere men? Or does Ray think that Newton was wrong in thinking that he [Newton] was chosen by God? And if Ray thinks the latter, where is Ray Comfort’s proof where Ray can say he “knows for a fact” God did not reach out to Isaac Newton via revelation?
Comfort gives a short bio of Lister: Joseph Lister (1827–1912) founded antiseptic surgical methods. Lister’s contributions to medical science have probably led to more lives being saved through modern medicine than the contributions of anyone else except Pasteur. Like Louis Pasteur, Lister was a Christian. He wrote, “I am a believer in the fundamental doctrines of Christianity.” (No source provided)
Actually, men like Richard Lewisohn saved more lives medically than Lister. Lewisohn is famous for developing breakways in blood transfusions. Although, ScienceHeros credits Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch as the men who saved the most lives for their development in synthetic fertilizer in order to feed and save billions of lives.
Funny, all these men: Lister, Lewisohn, Harber and Bosch fed and saved more people than Jesus “the Son of God” Christ thousands of times over!
The savior of billions of people: SCIENCE. ‘Cuz is works!
Comfort provides the following: Blaise Pascal (1623–1662) was one of history’s greatest mathematicians. He laid the foundations for hydrostatics, hydrodynamics, differential calculus, and the theory of probability. He is famous for the “Wager of Pascal,” paraphrased as follows: “How can anyone lose who chooses to be a Christian? If, when he dies, there turns out to be no God and his faith was in vain, he has lost nothing—in fact, has been happier in life than his non-believing friends. If, however, there is a God and a heaven and hell, then he has gained heaven and his skeptical friends will have lost everything in hell!”
Pascal may be infamous for his “Wager”, but to any thinking person, it is a fool’s bet.
Read my blog Tackling Pascal’s Wager to see why simple mathematics proves that the likelihood of Yahweh being the right god is absolutely ZERO.
Sir John Frederick Herschel
Comfort provides the following: Sir John Frederick Herschel, an English astronomer who discovered over 500 stars, stated: “All human discoveries seem to be made only for the purpose of confirming more and more strongly the truths that come from on high and are contained in the Sacred Writings.” His father, Sir William Herschel, also a renowned astronomer, rightly insisted, “The undevout astronomer must be mad.”
This quote by John Herschel is “unsourced” according to Wikiquote.
Comfort says Einstein was not an atheist as some claim, but admits that Einstein did not believe in the Bible. However, Comfort says “but he wasn’t a fool. He knew that there was a Creator.
Look at his words about faith and science:
“Science can only be created by those who are thoroughly imbued with the aspiration toward truth and understanding. This source of feeling, however, springs from the sphere of religion. To this there also belongs the faith in the possibility that the regulations valid for the world of existence are rational, that is, comprehensible to reason. I cannot conceive of a genuine scientist without that profound faith.””
This quote is taken out of context. Look what Einstein said afterwords:
“Though I have asserted above that in truth a legitimate conflict between religion and science cannot exist, I must nevertheless qualify this assertion once again on an essential point, with reference to the actual content of historical religions. This qualification has to do with the concept of God. During the youthful period of mankind’s spiritual evolution human fantasy created gods in man’s own image, who, by the operations of their will were supposed to determine, or at any rate to influence, the phenomenal world. Man sought to alter the disposition of these gods in his own favor by means of magic and prayer. The idea of God in the religions taught at present is a sublimation of that old concept of the gods. Its anthropomorphic character is shown, for instance, by the fact that men appeal to the Divine Being in prayers and plead for the fulfillment of their wishes.”
Comfort provides the following: Dr. James Simpson, born in 1811, was responsible for the discovery of chloroform’s anesthetic qualities, leading to its medical use worldwide. He also laid a solid foundation for gynecology and predicted the discovery of the x-ray. Dr. Simpson was president of the Royal Medical Society and Royal Physician to the Queen, the highest medical position of his day. He stated, “Christianity works because it is supremely true and therefore supremely livable. There is nothing incompatible between religion and science.” When asked what his greatest discovery was, Dr. Simpson replied: “It was not chloroform. It was to know I am a sinner and that I could be saved by the grace of God. A man has missed the whole meaning of life if he has not entered into an active, living relationship with God through Christ.”
Chapter 6: Biology and the Bible
The Bible and Plant Life
Ray states that plants need water, sunlight and minerals to survive. If one is missing, they cannot produce chlorophyll. Ray notes the chronological order of events in Genesis. 1) God created light first 2) next God created water and finally 3) God created plants.
Plants require sunlight, not light in the general sense. This is why we expose plants to UV light. Note that the sun was created on the fourth day (along with the moon and stars), BUT plants were created on the THIRD day – so God created plants before sunlight came to be. In summary, Ray’s “scientific proof” fall on its face.
Bible Statements Consistent With Biology
Here, Ray argues that historically people dealt with health issue by bleeding the patients out, but Leviticus 17:11 reveals “blood is the essence of life. Ray then goes on going into detail how blood affects the human body, and concludes that the Bible verse is correct that blood is the essence of life.
The view of blood as the essence for life predates the Bible. The Code of Hammurabi from Mesopotamia (about 1727 B.C.E., before Leviticus was written) has a phrase which translates, “to pour out his life-blood like water.” In the Enuma Elish, blood was an essential ingredient which mankind was created from. Ugaritic and Egyptian sources also note the importance of blood (Meyers 2000).
That blood is essential to life is not hard to figure out, especially to people who slaughter livestock.
Blood is not ”’thee”’ essence of life. We would not survive long without lungs, lymph, muscles, nerves, etc. either. Our bones produce blood, but bones are nowhere mentioned or credited in the equation. Some animals are alive without blood at all (jellyfish, sponges, etc.) and plants themselves are alive but do not have any blood. Therefore, blood is not the essence of life. Rather, as cell theory predicted, living things are all made of cells.
The Bible and Biogenesis
Ray argues that the Bible is consistent with the law of biogenesis: that living organisms develop from other living organisms. Ray quotes Genesis 1:11,12,21, and 25. Ray points out the phrase “according to its kind” when the animals reproduce they bring forth after their “kind.”
Actually, if you look closely, you will notice that the Bible contradicts the law of biogenesis. Remember, the law of biogenesis says a living organism develop from other living organisms. Reading the Bible verses provided by Ray, note the multiple phrases that say “Let the Earth bring forth…” and from the Earth came about certain creatures. That is, the nonliving material of Earth produced living material.
Also, Ray does not define the word “kind.” Ray did however, finally, describe what “kind” means on his blog;
“Kind,” in creationist jargon, generally refers these days to groups larger than a species but still thought to be related by common descent, such as entire genera or families (e.g. the “cat kind”). There are “species-to-species” transitions in the fossil record (e.g. Stephen Gould described a sequence of transitional fossils between two species of the snail genus Cerion), but presumably if you bothered to consider that rather than simply regurgitate your standard list of slogans, you dismiss this example as “they’re still snails” (which of course is on some other creationist’s list of standard slogans). Since “kind” is undefined, it’s difficult to find a good example of a “kind-to-kind” transitional series….The fault isn’t with the definition of the word “kind.” It hasn’t changed in the slightest. One more time; here’s the definition: dog-kind, cat-kind, horse-kind, snail-kind, human-kind, etc. The atheist’s difficulty is with the so-called evidence for evolution. There isn’t any.”
Here, we see Ray claiming that “kinds” refer to families or genera (Ray also admits that certain intermediate fossils exist between species). unfortunately for Ray, there are also transitional fossils in-between families and genera.
“Natural Kinds” Validate the Bible
Just a quote: “This notion of species as ‘natural kinds’ fits splendidly with creationist terms of a pre-Darwinian age. Louise Agassiz even argued that species are God’s individual thoughts, made incarnate so that we might perceive both His majesty and His message. Species, Agassiz wrote, are ‘instituted by the Divine Intelligence as the categories of his mode of thinking.’ But how could such a division of the organic world into discrete entities by justified by an evolutionary theory that proclaimed ceaseless change as the fundamental fact of nature?” – Stephen J. Gould
This is a typical creationist quote mine of Stephen J. Gould, that was exposed in 1984 in an article, “Scientific Creationism: The Art of Distortion” by Laurie R. Godfrey that appeared in Science and Creationism (Ashley Montagu, ed. 1984. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 167-81). Within the article, Gould is not saying (as the creationists would have it) that creationism better explains the evidence. While the “common sense” notion that species are real “natural kinds” is well suited to creationism, there are at least ”’three”’ possible resolutions of the apparent (but not substantial) difficulty with evolutionary theory that arises ”when it is viewed as requiring constant change”.
A more detailed explanation of this quote mine can be read here. All of this points to the shallowness of creationist use of quotes. In scholarly work, the use of quotations is intended to show an understanding of the relevant literature and is, in effect, a representation on the part of the person using the quote that she or he is intimately familiar with the author’s work and positions. Not only are the people using this quote unfamiliar with the article it came from or Gould’s work in general, they are even unfamiliar with the literature on the creationism/evolution conflict. Either that . . . or they are just being dishonest.
Chapter 7: The Bible’s 100% Accurate Prophecies
Ray argues the fulfilled prophecies in the Bible testify to its truth and validity, such as the bible predicted empires like Greece and Rome would fall in Daniel 2:39,40 and the destruction of Tyre and Sidon in Isaiah 23.
None of these prophecies are significant or convincing. There are several mundane ways in which a prediction of the future can be fulfilled:
- Retrodiction. The “prophecy” can be written or modified after the events fulfilling it have already occurred.
- Vagueness. The prophecy can be worded in such a way that people can interpret any outcome as a fulfillment. Nostradomus’s prophecies are all of this type. Vagueness works particularly well when people are religiously motivated to believe the prophecies.
- Inevitability. The prophecy can predict something that is almost sure to happen, such as the collapse of a city. Since nothing lasts forever, the city is sure to fall someday. If it has not, it can be said that according to prophecy, it will.
- Denial. One can claim that the fulfilling events occurred even if they have not. Or, more commonly, one can forget that the prophecy was ever made.
- Self-fulfillment. A person can act deliberately to satisfy a known prophecy.
There are no prophecies in the Bible that cannot easily fit into one or more of those categories. The prophecies from Daniel were written after the event took place, but it is inevitable that civilizations arise and fall.
Finally, Ray is pleased to present that Isaiah 23 was fulfilled when Alexander the Great conquered it. The sad thing is Ezekiel 26 predicts that Nebudchadnezzar would destroy Tyre and make it “as a bare rock”. Best of all, biblical scholars are in agreement that this book was written hundreds of years before Tyre was destroyed.
Yet we know from history that it was Alexander the Great, not Nebuchadnezzar, who destroyed Tyre.This blows the prophecy up, right in it’s face. In any case, most of the prophecy refers to “he”, which can only mean Nebuchadnezzar. Verses 10-11 tell us that “he” will enter through the city gates, trampling through all of the streets, and killing the people. But “he” never did, and neither did Alexander the Great — Tyre did not become a bare rock fated to be gone forever. So the problem still stands.
Tyre was an island city, with associated suburbs on the mainland. Some apologetists claim that these verses refer only to such suburbs, but I don’t see why they should. The island was Tyre proper – as shown by verses 4-5 predicting that Tyre would become “a bare rock … in the midst of the sea”. These verses surely indicate that Ezekiel understood “Tyre” to mean the island. So when he predicts that Nebuchadnezzar would rampage through all of Tyre’s streets, he must mean on the island.
The Bible’s Prediction of the Middle-East Conflict
Ray says that in Genesis 16:12 that the descendants of Ishmael are the Arabs, and the Bible say the descendants will be will men an every man would be against them while they [the Arabs] dwell in the midst of their “brethren.” Ray says the Jews are the Arab’s brethren.
Of course, predict that old enemies will maintain their old grudges. This isn’t a divine revelation, this is common sense. Especially when one group, the Jews, have a old sacred book that permits them to invade and enslave their foreign neighbors.
The Bible’s Messianic Prophecies
Ray quotes Micah 5:2 (born in Bethlehem), Isaiah 7:14 (born of a virgin), Zechariah 11:12,13 (betrayed for 30 pieces of silver), Psalm 22 (die of crucifixion), and Isaiah 53:9 (buried in a rich man’s tomb).
Let’s go in order,
The gospel of Matthew (Matthew 2:5-6) claims that Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem fulfils this prophecy. But this is unlikely for two reasons.
- “Bethlehem Ephratah” in Micah 5:2 refers not to a town, but to a clan: the clan of Bethlehem, who was the son of Caleb’s second wife, Ephrathah (1 Chronicles 2:18, 2:50-52 & 4:4).
- The prophecy (if that is what it is) does not refer to the Messiah, but rather to a military leader, as can be seen from Micah 5:6. This leader is supposed to defeat the Assyrians, which, of course, Jesus never did. It should also be noted that Matthew altered the text of Micah 5:2 by saying: “And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Judah” rather than “Bethlehem Ephratah” as is said in Micah 5:2. He did this, intentionally no doubt, to make this verse appear to refer to the town of Bethlehem rather than the family clan.
Isaiah 7:14. Isiah 7:14 does not say “virgin.” The Hebrew word used is ”almah” which means “young woman.” Almah does not mean virgin, virgins are called out specifically (the word is ”bethula”). Some have argued that almah may mean virgin, but this is not the case. Almah is used about nine different times in the old Testament, each one not referring to a virgin.
Zechariah 11. Matthew says Jesus fulfilled the prophecy in Jeremiah, but Jeremiah has no verse that is even similar to the words given in Matthew. Matthew confused Jeremiah with Zechariah.
Zechariah 11:12-13 –“So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prized at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD.” To make things worse, Zechariah is predicting about a false prophet.
Psalm 22:16. Fundamentalists have always claimed that the latter part of Psalm 22:16 “They pierced my hands and my feet” (which we shall designate as Psalm 22:16b) is a direct prophecy of the crucifixion; with the “piercing” referring to the nails going through Jesus’ hands and feet. Although this is not the reading found in the Hebrew Masoretic text, support is claimed from the readings found in a Dead Sea Scroll fragment and in ancient versions of the Bible such as the Septuagint and the Vulgate.
This claim is false, for a few reasons:
”The Hebrew Text Behind the King James Version”
Despite the claims of its accurate rendition of the original text, the Hebrew equivalent for “they pierced” was not found in the manuscripts available to the translators of the King James Version. Indeed the word rendered in those manuscripts means “like a lion”.
”The Dead Sea Scrolls”
The evidence from the Dead Sea Scrolls, is ambiguous at best. The word found there, kaaru, has no known meaning and may actually be meaningless.
A) Before looking at the readings of the ancient versions, it is important to know some preliminary background information about them first.
B) A careful analysis of the readings given in the ancient versions does not support “they pierced” as the correct translation. Indeed the analysis shows that there were two extant readings in the Hebrew text, one being kaari (like a lion) and the other kaaru. The very fact that translators did not translate the latter word consistently showed that even by that time, the meaning of that word was no longer known.
”Use of Psalm 22:16b by the Early Christians”
No early Christian writer, including the evangelists and Paul, until the time of Justin around the middle of the second century CE, made any explicit reference to the word “piercing” in Psalm 22:16b in relation to the crucifixion of Jesus although there were ample opportunities to do so.
A consideration of the various internal evidence favors “like a lion” as the correct rendering of the word found in Psalm 22:16b.
We can conclude with certainty that there is no reference to the crucifixion in Psalm 22:16b and with some probability that the correct reading there remains “like a lion”.
The Bible Predicted the Birth of a Nation
Ray argues that Isaiah 66:7,8 predicted the foundation of Israel.
This obviously falls in the self-fulfilling type of prophecy.
A society of people prophesying they will get their land back, and for centuries trying their hardest to achieve that goal.
This is like prophesying that the Allies will defeat Germany in WWII shortly after Pearl Harbor. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The Bible Predicts Russia’s Attack of Israel
Ray uses Ezekiel 38 (written approx. 600 BCE) prophesies in the “latter days” Russia (referred to as the “Prince of Rosh”; see ”Smith’s Bible Dictionary”, p. 584) will join forces with Iran, Libya (in Hebrew called “Put”) and “communistic” Ethiopia (in Hebrew called “Cush”) and attack Israel (vv. 5-8). Comfort says this will happen after peace treaties have been achieved in Israel (v. 11).
Comfort says verses 10-15 give the reasons why Russia will attack Israel (but does not provide them). Comfort says the Bible also shares the location of the battle: Armageddon (Revelations 16:16 – meaning the mountain of Megiddo). Comfort quotes ”Readers Digest” in explaining that Russia had a large holding in the Middle East, “The Soviets are entrenched around the rim of the Middle East heartland, in Afghanistan, South Yemen, Ethiopia, and Libya” (Source: Reader’s Digest, May 1982)
Signs of the Times Verify the Bible
Comfort says the following signs reveal the Bible is correct about the coming end of days. They are;
- There will be false Christs
- Wars and rumors of wars; Nation rising against nation
- Famines, disease (pestilence), and there will be earthquakes in various places
- False prophets who will deceive many
- Lawlessness (forsaking of the Ten Commandments)
- The gospel will be preached in all the world.
- Signs from heaven (in the sun, moon, and stars)
- Persecution against Christians in all nations
- Men’s hearts will fail them for fear of the future; they will be selfish, materialistic, arrogant, proud.
- Homosexuality will increase
- There will be blasphemy; cold-heartedness; intemperance; brutality; rebellious youth; hatred of those who stand up for righteousness; ungodliness; pleasureseeking; much hypocrisy.
- False Bible teachers will have many followers, be money-hungry, and slander the Christian faith (see 2 Peter 2:1–3).
- Men will scoff and say that there was no such thing as the flood of Noah and that these “signs” have always been around. Their motivation for hating the truth will be their love of lust (2 Peter 3:1–7). Comfort says “The Scriptures tell us that they make one big mistake. Their understanding of God is erroneous. They don’t understand that God’s time frame is not the same as ours. They think (in their ignorance) that God’s continued silence means that He doesn’t see their sins. In truth, He is merely holding back His wrath, waiting for them to repent and escape the damnation of hell. Jesus warned that the sign to look for was the repossession of Jerusalem by the Jews. That happened in 1967, after 2,000 years, bringing into culmination all the signs of the times. (These are combined from Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21; 1 Timothy 4; and 2 Timothy 3.)”
Seriously!? This is the “tell-tell” signs of the last days?
At what point in history has there not ever been earthquakes, famines, and diseases?
There have always been those who break laws ever since the Sumerians. This is why we create laws, to protect each other. But claiming the world will end when the rules of one particular religion out of the thousands is ridiculous.
How is the sun, moon and stars a “sign” of the end times?
Persecuted Christians is a rather new idea. Read the Myth of Christian Persecution by Candida Moss.
False teachers? There are 40,000 different denominations of Christianity today, each sect claiming to be the correct one with the correct interpretation of the Bible. There were numerous of Christian sects by the time Christianity came to be 2,000 years ago.
- Marcionism – Christ was a purely spiritual entity
- Nestorianism – Jesus and Christ were two different entities
- Docetism – Jesus appeared physical, but he was really incorporeal
- Apollinarism – Jesus had a human body and human soul, but a divine mind
- Arianism- Jesus was the son of God, not God himself
- Catholicism – Jesus was fully human and fully divine, both God and the son of God
Rebellious youth, blasphemy, greed, earthquakes… FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, these are all things that have always been with humankind and will always be. By that fact, this belief in “end times” LITERALLY cannot be predicted as these attributes will constantly be apart of the human species and natural phenomenas.
But to address the “men will scoff at Noah’s flood and claim it never happened” is not a “scoff” (i.e. scornfully derisive or mock), it is just a statement of the facts of reality: there never was a global flood of Noah.
This is not a matter of opinion, we know for a fact that there never was a global flood.
Bible and Armageddon
“Joel 2:1–10 relates a striking account of the coming Battle of Armageddon, the greatest of all battles. As this vision (which seems to entail flame-throwing tank warfare) was given to him approximately 2,800 years ago, the prophet relates it to the only thing he has seen in battle—horse-drawn chariots. Think of modern warfare and compare: fire goes before them (v. 3); they burn what is behind them (v. 3); they destroy everything in their path (v. 3); they move at the speed of a horse (30–40 mph, v. 4); their rumbling sounds like the noise of many chariots and the roar of a fire (v. 5); they climb over walls (v. 7); they don’t break ranks (v. 7); the sword can’t stop them (v. 8); they climb into houses (v. 9); and they make the earth quake (v. 10).”
Here, Ray Comfort is quoting the Tanakh, not the Bible. The Tanakh is a textual source of the several canonical editions of the Christian Old Testament.
The Bible and Nuclear War
“Ezekiel 39, written over 2,500 years ago, speaks of God’s judgment upon the enemies of Israel. Verses 12–15 describe what will happen after what many see as the Battle of Armageddon: “And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land… And they shall sever out men of continual employment, passing through the land to bury with the passengers those that remain upon the face of the earth, to cleanse it: after the end of seven months shall they search. And the passengers that pass through the land, when any sees a man’s bone, then shall he set up a sign by it, till the buriers have buried it in the valley of Hamongog.”
Before the days of nuclear warfare, this portion of the Bible would have made no sense to the reader. We are told that even the weapons left by the enemy will have to be burned (Ezekiel 39:9). So many will die that it will take those specially employed for the purpose seven months to bury the dead (v. 14). The Scriptures are very specific about the method of burial. When even a bone is found by searchers, a special marker is to be placed near the bone until the buriers have buried it. This would seem to be a clear reference to radioactive contamination after nuclear war. This thought is confirmed in Joel 2:30, which speaks of “pillars of smoke.”
What the **** is this? All Ezekiel 39 says is that the Israelites will burn the weapons of Gog’s soldiers and then spend another 7 months burying their bodies. And the Israelites will leave a marker to identify the fallen army.
So, the important question is: what kind of “sign” or “mark” will be left behind? The Hebrew word here is which צִיּוּן means “signpost, monument.” According to the Hebrew & Chaldee Dictionary of the Old Testament, this word means “a monumental or guiding pillar.”
Somehow, Ray Comfort has interpreted a “guiding pillar/signpost” to mean “radioactive contamination.”
Evil Kenevil could not have made that leap! This is straw grasping at its most extreme.
There is no connection with some “guiding pillar” and radioactive crap. There is no “clear indication” Mr. Banana-Man, you are a poor salesman with an agenda who is full of it.
And for the record, Joel 2:30 is speaking about the acts of God, not the weapons of man or machines of war.
The Book of Peter and Nuclear Weapons
“The Bible suggests the effects of nuclear weaponry. This is certainly not something that could have been explained in 67 A.D. using known scientific principles (when Peter wrote the following verse): But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up (2 Peter 3:10).”
2 Peter 3:10-12 says “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.” Once again, loose interpretation applied well after facts are known. Fire was probably the most destructive weapon the Hebrews knew of, so it’s not surprising they would predict the world to end in fire.
Bear in mind, the Bible contains many failed prophecies, such as Isaiah 19:5 predicting that the Nile River would dry up (it never has).
Chapter 8: Astronomy and the Bible
The Bible and Lights
Here, Ray uses Genesis 1:14, that says God created the “lights” in the heavens “for signs, for seasons, for days and for years.” Next, he explains astronomy has calculated the length of a year, a month, and when seasons should occur. Ray says it can only be divine revelation that Moses 3,500 years ago could know that “lights” were determining factors of year’s length.
What Ray does not take into account is that the Sumerians, thousands of years before Moses, already figured it out (as well as the 24 hour cycle) without the help of divine revelation or the book of Genesis.
The Bible and the Stars
Jeremiah 33:22. Ray says this was written 2,500 years ago “when no one knew who cast the stars were, since only 1,100 of them were visible.” Ray says we now know that there are billions of stars, but they cannot be numbered. Ray also says 1 Corinthians 15:41 tells us that each star is unique. Close inspection shows a difference in of light spectra.
Ray does not provide any source that shows that only 1,100 stars were visible or explain if only that many were visible in one sector of the earth. The stars can be and are being numbered, but it if not complete and difficult as stars are born and/or dying. 1 Corinthians only says that glory varies between different stars, it does not specify that each star is unique. A simple observation to the night sky, not divine revelation, could reveal that different stars have different brightness or special positions.
The Bible and Outer Space
Ray argues before the Hubble telescope, the Bible in Deuteronomy 10:14 talked about ‘the heavens’ and ‘the highest heavens.’ Ray says we now know how that the universe is, which galaxies very far away.
Here, Ray is simply speculating. “Highest Heavens” could mean anything from highest cloud in the atmosphere to some high alternate supernatural realm filled with angels. Basically it is vague and can mean anything.
The Bible and the Sun’s Circuit
Ray uses Psalm 19:6. Ray notes many people criticized this verse that it supported geocentrism. Ray says that scientists at the time (~800 BCE) thought the sun was stationary. Now, science tells us that the sun moves at great speeds. Ray argues the “circuit” in the bible verse supports this.
Saying that ancient philosophers and scientists believed in a geocentric model based on the knowledge of the time does not dismiss the stick-in-the-eye for Christians: for centuries (some to this day) think the sun revolves around the Earth.
The Bible and the Revolving Earth
Ray argues that Jesus Christ will come back (faster than the speed of light -Luke 17:24) while some are asleep at night and others awake during their daytime activities. Ray concludes this must mean that the bible knew the earth revolved, since day and night existed on earth at the same time. Ray also argues that science did not discover this until the 15th century.
Let’s actually quote and read Luke 17:24 – “For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day.”
What part of this says ANYTHING about the Earth revolving? All it says is that there will be lightning and flashy lights all across the sky. That’s it.
Where is the Biblical evidence that the authors knew that the Earth was revolving? Or for that matter, where are the verses that show that they knew night and day existed at the same time?
**It seem’s that Ray Comfort screwed up here and meant to quote Luke 17:34, not verse 24.
So, what does Luke 17:34-36 says? “I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left. Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left.”
This verse is, at best, clear speculation and wishful thinking. All if says is that Jesus will come back “that night” when some dudes are asleep and others are grinding or just “in the field” (it doesn’t say what they are doing in the field, they could just be taking a midnight walk. I myself do this constantly when almost everyone else is asleep. I like to walk at night, it is very peaceful.)
None of these verses say that the women will be awake and grinding (o-la-lah) “during the day”, in fact nowhere does it even mention “day.” All these verses say is that it will take place “that night.” All these activities can be done while at night, and apparently you must have missed that part or you have a bit of trouble reading English. Ergo, Ray Comfort are merely assuming that since it mentions some people will be awake during night must therefore mean it must be daytime, which is as ridiculous as saying the fact some people watch midnight movies at the local theater means they are watching the film while its broad daylight outside. These verses fail to provide any indication or hint that the author was aware of a round or revolving earth.
The Bible and the Expanding Universe
Ray says that the Bible mentions about seven times that God “stretches out the heavens like a curtain” but he only notes Psalm 104:2. Ray says only recently is science understanding that the universe is expanding.
WAIT A MINUTE! Earlier in this book, Ray Comfort quotes Genesis 2 that said that the making of creation was “finished” once and for all. Now Ray is quoting a verse saying that creation is still busy stretching and forming the heavens all around? Which is it?
Ray Comfort, you can’t have it both ways.
This is to say nothing of the fact that this verse describes the heavens as being equivalent to solid pieces of cloth. This may represent good science reporting to Ray Comfort, but to all scientists and cosmologists this is off the mark. This verse compares the heavens to the fabric of a tent, not a three-dimensional universe many billions of light-years across from which the Earth is suspended.
It DOES match the Hebrew view that the heavens consisted of a solid material piece of the “firmament.”
Any claim that this verse is referring to the expansion of the universe as it is understood by modern science is straw grasping at its most extreme.
Astronomy Confirms the Bible
In 1964, Drs. Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson of Bell Labs discovered a noise coming from all directions, permeating the universe. This was hailed by physicists as “the radio echo of creation.” Penzias said that the best data to go by, if he had nothing else to go on, are the five books of Moses. He also said that “the creation of the universe is supported by all the observable data astronomy has produced so far.”
Drs. Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson did not discover a “noise” they discovered microwaves. They are silent, the noise is computer generated. They discovered these microwaves by designing sensitive antennas. These microwaves were interpreted as the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB), the radio remnant of the Big Bang. This allowed astronomers to confirm the Big Bang, and to correct many of their previous assumptions about it.
So, this discovery does not prove the Bible, it provided proof for the Big Bang Theory — the very thing that Ray Comfort claims has no evidence for whatsoever.
Chapter 9: Historical Figures and the Bible
Sir Isaac Newton Believed the Bible
Ray calls Newton the father of modern science. Ray then quotes Newton claiming that he found the Bible more historically authentic than any other.
Newton also believed in alchemy and claimed it was the key to great understanding of nature, but one man’s personal beliefs does not give any special credence to alchemy or the Bible.
Samuel Morse Believed the Bible
Morse created the telegraph, who claimed four years before his death that the closer he approached death he saw the divine origin in the Bible.
And what good is that? What were his reasons, his proofs? We haven’t seen any “proofs” anywhere in this book.
Furthermore, what does this have to do with anything? One scientist turning religious before he/she dies. Would it matter if a scientist turned to Islam?
I figure if I listed 500 examples of scientists turning to Islam, or Muslim scientists who have made magnificent discoveries, I would definitely bet that Ray Comfort and many Christians like him will dismiss this as irrelevant.
Napoleon Believed the Bible
Ray provides a quote from Napoleon who finds the Bible very enjoyable and reads it daily.
So what! Adolf Hitler claimed to be a Christian who read the Bible.
Woodrow Wilson Believed the Bible
Thomas Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), the 28th President of the United States (1913-1921) may have believed in the Bible, but what Ray Comfort does not share is that Wilson also believed in the theory of evolution, “May it not suffice for me to say … that of course like every other man of intelligence and education I do believe in organic evolution. It surprises me that at this late date such questions should be raised.” — Woodrow Wilson (letter to an academic, August 29, 1922, quoted from James A Haught, ”2000 Years of Disbelief”)
Furthermore, Wilson was also a racist and a eugenicist. He is among the last people Comfort should by citing.
Thomas Jefferson Believed the Bible
Jefferson was a deist, who eventually created his own Bible (called the Jefferson Bible). Jefferson stripped the Bible of all its miracles and every instance when and where Jesus claimed to be divine.
If Ray remained consistent with himself, Ray would label Jefferson a “idolater” – that is making a “god in his own image.” Ray accused Hitler of doing the same exact thing, and claimed that was Hitler’s greatest crimes, because in so doing, Hilter’s version of god permitted the genocide of millions. Indeed, Jefferson also studied parts of the Koran, and was a strong supporter of religious tolerance. In fact, he is the one who coined the term “Separation of Church and State”.
Herbert Hoover Believed the Bible
Herbert Clark Hoover (1874-1964), the 31st President of the United States (1929-1933) came from a family of Quakers. Hoover was a firm defender of religious tolerance, “I come of Quaker stock. My ancestors were persecuted for their beliefs. Here they sought and found religious freedom. By blood and conviction I stand for religious tolerance both in act and in spirit.”– Herbert Hoover (”New Day” (1928) p. 36, from Albert J Menendez and Edd Doerr, ”The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom”)
John Quincy Adams Believed the Bible
Franklin D. Roosevelt Believed the Bible
Robert E. Lee Believed the Bible
Remember, Lee was the General for the Confederate Army in the American Civil War. You know, the guys who were fighting to defend slavery in America.
Seriously, I do not have a clue why Ray Comfort would want to brag that Robert E. Lee believed the Bible. Unless, of course, Ray Comfort sympathizes with the Confederates – but I think that may be unlikely, since Ray brings up Grant next.
Ulysses S. Grant Believed the Bible
Ulysses S. Grant, commander of the Union Army in the American Civil War, may have been a Christian, but he had other certain views. For instance, he was a stauch supporter of the separation of church and state, but he supported the taxation of church property, “In 1850, I believe, the church property in the United States, which paid no tax, amounted to $87 million. In 1900, without a check, it is safe to say, this property will reach a sum exceeding $3 billion. I would suggest the taxation of all property equally.” – Ulysses S. Grant (Rufus K Noyes, ”Views of Religion”, quoted from James A Haught, ed, ”2000 Years of Disbelief”)
Sir Winston Churchill Believed the Bible
Charles Dickens Believed the Bible
Dickens also did not like missionaries. He said, “Missionaries are perfect nuisances and leave every place worse than they found it.”– Charles Dickens, quoted from Patrick Brantlinger, Rule of Darkness, Chapter VI.
John Adams Believed the Bible
“The Bible is the best book in the world. It contains more than all the libraries I have ever seen.”
Do you want to know what else John Adam’s said? Thirteen governments [of the original states] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind.”– John Adams, “A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America” (1787-88) (Adrienne Koch, ed, The American Enlightenment: The Shaping of the American Experiment and a Free Society (1965) p. 258, quoted from Ed and Michael Buckner, “Quotations that Support the Separation of State and Church”) Adams also wrote the treaty of Tripoli, which included the following, “As the government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”
Ronald Reagen Believed the Bible
Ronald Reagan was not a popular president. Reaganomics was clearly a big lie. Reagan cut the energy policies from the Carter administration just to encourage bigger cars and more oil consumption (hence making us more dependent and bending the U.S. over for OPEC countries). Reagan promoted the National day of Prayer, which has recently been ruled in court as unconstitutional. He believed in teaching biblical creation in science classrooms and believed God was the source of all knowledge. Reagan also believed that he was living in end times. “We may be the generation that sees Armageddon.”– Ronald Reagan, in an interview with criminal televangelist Jim Bakker (1980), quoted from “A Brief History of the Apocalypse.” If Ray Comfort is the suspicious and superstitious type (and it is safe to assume so), perhaps it would be interesting to share that for years Reagen was believed to be the anti-Christ. Everyone was on the look out for a sign, particularly 666. Counting each letter in Reagan’s full name (Ronald-Wilson-Reagan) each adds to 6-6-6. It just so happens that Ronald Reagans original address was 666 St. Cloud Road, until he changed the address to 668.
George Washington Believed the Bible
George Washington may have been a Christian, perhaps more likely a deist, but above all things he was a secularist. Several other quotes Ray did not share casts doubt on Washington’s views Ray tries to portray.
Dwight Eisenhower Believed the Bible
Albert Schweitzer Believed the Bible
Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965) was a French philosopher, physician, and musician who founded (1913) and spent much of his life at a missionary hospital in present-day Gabon. However, did Albert Schweitzer believe the Bible? He entirely disputed the picture of Jesus in the classical Christian creeds, “There is nothing more negative than the result of the critical study of the life of Jesus. The Jesus of Nazareth who came forward publicly as the Messiah, who preached the Kingdom of God, who founded the Kingdom of Heaven upon earth, and died to give his work its final consecration, never had any existence. He is a figure designed by rationalism, endowed with life by liberalism, and clothed by modern theology in an historical garb.” — Albert Schweitzer (”The Quest of the Historical Jesus” (1968), p. 19)
In his book ”Quest for the Historical Jesus”, Schweitzer proposes that Jesus was a Jewish apocalyptist who believed that cataclysmic events ending human history as we know it were shortly about to occur.
Calvin Coolidge Believed the Bible
Christopher Columbus Believed the Bible
Lets take a look at how much of a good Christian Columbus was. Upon arriving in North America, among the first things to follow was genocide much greater then that of the Holocaust. It should also be noted that Christopher Columbus was convicted in a Spanish court for “Crimes of Brutality” – that translate today as Genocide. The original population under Columbus’s direct control was 8 million in 1493, that was reduced to 3 million by 1496; most as a result of having their hands cut off and bleeding to death (punishment for failing to pay taxes (Tribute)). By the time he was arrested and returned to Spain the population was reduced to 100,000 (1500) – by 1514 no more than 200 were left alive. Independent sources indicate that Columbus killed about 14,000,000 people, whereas Hitler (another Christian) murdered about 10,000,000.
Columbus described the Native Americans (who were not Christians) as, “They traded with us and gave us everything they had, with good will..they took great delight in pleasing us..They are very gentle and without knowledge of what is evil; nor do they murder or steal..Your highness may believe that in all the world there can be no better people ..They love their neighbours as themselves, and they have the sweetest talk in the world, and are gentle and always laughing.” How can these ungodly people be worse than Christians?
Abraham Lincoln Believed the Bible
This is disputed. While Lincoln was known to read the bible, it was one of the few books he had access to as a child. Despite this, evidence indicates that he was a deist or an agnostic throughout his life. He was never part of any organized church, and never mentioned Jesus in any known speech. Accounts from his friends and bodyguards indicates that at some points in his life he was skeptical of religion. Furthermore, Lincoln was an evolutionist, even though evolution was a newly discovered theory at the time.
Congress and the Bible
“The Bible is the Word of God according to the United States Congress. In a joint resolution requesting the President proclaim 1983 as the “Year of the Bible,” it declared: “…the Bible, the Word of God, has made a unique contribution in shaping the United States as a distinctive and blessed nation and people … Deeply held religious convictions springing from the Holy Scriptures led to the early settlement of our nation … Biblical teachings inspired concepts of civil government that are contained in our Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States (Public Law 97-280).”
See above points on Jefferson.
Here are some important historical figures who also believed the Bible, but Ray choose not to share,
- The Nazi party
- The Ku Klux Klan
- George W. Bush
- Dick Cheney
- Fred Phelps
- Henrich Kramer & James Sprenger, authors of the ”Malleus Maleficarum.”
- Vlad the Impaler
- Ivan the Terrible
- Hernán Cortés and many other conquistadors
- Kamini Debbarma of the NLFT, a Christian terrorist group in India
- Joseph Kony
Needless to say, this chapter in Ray’s book is entirely based on argument from authority; in other words, if some famous people are Christians, Christianity must be accurate!
Chapter 10: Archaeology and the Bible
Archaeology and History Attest to the Bible
The first section of this chapter was written by Richard Fales, PhD, who has been described as a professor of Archaeology, Greek, and Apologetics at the unaccredited, and apparently now defunct, Pacific International University. Other sites indicate his credentials are completely fictitious.
The section does make a valid point that the gap of a few decades between the events in the New Testament and when they were written down is relatively short in comparison to other works. However, Fales misdates the oldest manuscripts by upwards of half a century and the continues with the demonstrably false claim that “it can be proved, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the New Testament says exactly the same thing today as it originally did nearly 2,000 years ago.” Fales also ignores the fact that all of the oldest manuscripts are ”’fragments”’, typically smaller than a credit card and the first complete book of the New Testament was written no earlier than 200 CE. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_New_Testament_papyri)
Fales makes the following argument: Aristotle’s Ode to Poetics was written between 384 and 322 B.C. The earliest copy of this work dates A.D. 1100, and there are only forty-nine extant manuscripts. The gap between the original writing and the earliest copy is 1,400 years. There are only seven extant manuscripts of Plato’s Tetralogies, written 427–347 B.C. The earliest copy is A.D. 900—a gap of over 1,200 years. What about the New Testament? Jesus was crucified in A.D. 30. The New Testament was written between A.D. 48 and 95. The oldest manuscripts date to the last quarter of the first century, and the second oldest A.D. 125. This gives us a narrow gap of thirty-five to forty years from the originals written by the apostles. From the early centuries, we have some 5,300 Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. Altogether, including Syriac, Latin, Coptic, and Aramaic, we have a whopping 24,633 texts of the ancient New Testament to confirm the wording of the Scriptures. So the bottom line is, there was no great period between the events of the New Testament and the New Testament writings. Nor is there a great time lapse between the original writings and the oldest copies. With the great body of manuscript evidence, it can be proved, beyond a doubt, that the New Testament says exactly the same things today as it originally did nearly 2,000 years ago.
Once again, what does this prove? 35 to 40 years is A LONG TIME.
Two points I would like to make:
- 50 years after the Persian Wars ended in 479 BCE, Herodotus the Halicarnassian asked numerous eyewitnesses and their children about the events that took place during the war. Herodotus reported every story and named his sources, and he did so with a critical and skeptical mind and sometimes questioned their reliability. And yet, he nevertheless reported the following happened: the temple of Delphi magically defended itself with animated armaments, lightning bolts, and collapsing cliffs; the sacred olive tree of Athens, though burned by the Persians, grew an arm’s length in a single day; a miraculous flood-tide wiped out an entire Persian contingent after they desecrated an image of Poseidon; a horse gave birth to a rabbit; and a whole town witnessed a mass resurrection of cooked fish!
- Last point: the Book of Mormon was supposedly written (copied by Joseph Smith) in 1823 and first published in 1830, a gap of only seven years. In addition to Joseph Smith, there are signed testimonies of 11 witnesses who claimed to have seen the gold tablets on which the angel Moroni wrote the Book of Mormon.
So, if this “# of years-gap” is a sound argument, why don’t we believe that the Greeks saw a mass resurrection of cooked fish and a horse gave birth to a rabbit? Why do we all just convert to Mormonism, because only a span of 7 years is far shorter than 35-40 years, so it must be more reliable right?
Next Fales sets up the straw man that critics claim “there are no ancient writings about Jesus outside the New Testament”. Fales names Flavius Josephus (A.D. 93), the Babylonian Talmud (A.D. 70–200), Pliny the Younger’s letter to the Emperor Trajan (approx. A.D. 100), the Annals of Tacitus (A.D. 115–117), Mara Bar Serapion (sometime after A.D. 73), and Suetonius’ Life of Claudius and Life of Nero (A.D. 120).
“Another point of contention arises when Bible critics have knowingly or unknowingly misled people by implying that Old and New Testament books were either excluded from or added into the canon of Scripture at the great ecumenical councils of A.D. 336, 382, 397, and 419. In fact, one result of these gatherings was to confirm the Church’s belief that the books already in the Bible were divinely inspired. Therefore, the Church, at these meetings, neither added to nor took away from the books of the Bible. At that time, the thirty-nine Old Testament books had already been accepted, and the New Testament, as it was written, simply grew up with the ancient Church. Each document, being accepted as it was penned in the first century, was then passed on to Christians of the next century. So, this foolishness about the Roman Emperor Constantine dropping books from the Bible is simply uneducated rumor.”
While Fales does list a number of extra-biblical sources that refer to Jesus or simply to Christians, Fales falsely claims that these other sources confirm Jesus’ “birth, ministry, death and resurrection”. This is followed by an extremely vague and extremely short history of the biblical canon. Fales claims that “Each document, being accepted as it was penned in the first century, was then passed on to Christians of the next century,” obviously ignoring the “documents” written by Christians in the first century that didn’t make it into the canon.
Modern Archaeology Confirms the Bible
Quote by Jeffery L. Sheler, “Is the Bible True?” Reader’s Digest, June 2000: “In extraordinary ways, modern archeology is affirming the historical core of the Old and New Testaments, supporting key portions of crucial biblical stories.”
Here, Sheler is dead wrong. Comfort does not include anything by Sheler to present his arguments. Archeology does not support the Bible as much as Comfort wishes. In fact, due to the increasing contrary evidence against Biblical stories, the term “biblical archaeology” has been discarded by professional archaeologists.
There are no records that Herod slaughtered thousands of infants in search for one prophesied to be the messiah; the Roman consensus in the gospels is a complete fiction; there is no evidence for the Exodus. William Denver, an archaeologists normally associated with the more conservative end of Syro-Palestinian archaeology, has labeled the question of the historicity of Exodus “dead.”(Laughlin, Archaeology and the Bible: p92) Israeli archaeologist Ze,ev Herzog, provides the current consensus view on the historicity of the Exodus: “The Israelites were never in Egypt. They never came from abroad. This whole chain is broken. It is not a historical one. It is a later legendary reconstruction—made in the seventh century [BCE]—of a history that never happened.”(Sturgis, It Ain’t Necessarily So: p74)
The Dead See Scrolls Bear Out the Bible
This section is written by archaeologist and biblical scholar William F Albright, who received his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_F._Albrigh) The following will be paraphrased exactly as it is written in the book. Despite the relatively harmless claims, Albright has been highly criticized with comments like “historical interpretation can make no claim to be objective, proceeding as it does from a methodology which distorts its data by selectivity which is hardly representative”.(http://jot.sagepub.com/content/2/4/35.extract) In short, this section only serves to demonstrate that what we currently have in the Old Testament is likely to be the same as what was present 3000 years ago.
Dating the Manuscripts
Carbon-14 dating is a reliable form of scientific dating when applied to uncontaminated material several thousand years old. Results indicated an age of 1917 years with a 200-year (10 percent) variant. Paleography (ancient writing forms) and orthography (spelling) indicated that some manuscripts were inscribed before 100 B.C. Albright set the date of the complete Isaiah scroll to around 100 B.C.—“there can happily not be the slightest doubt in the world about the genuineness of the manuscript.”
Interesting that Ray Comfort only accepts Carbon-14 as a legitimate method of dating whenever it supports his case, but whenever it is used to prove evolution it is automatically a “flawed” dating method and should be discarded.
Collaborative evidence for an early date came from archaeology. Pottery accompanying the manuscripts was late Hellenistic (c. 150–63 B.C.) and Early Roman (c. 63 B.C. to A.D. 100). Coins found in the monastery ruins proved by their inscriptions to have been minted between 135 B.C. and A.D. 135. The weave and pattern of the cloth supported an early date. There is no reasonable doubt that the Qumran manuscripts came from the century before Christ and the first century A.D.
Even with these pottery and coins, which can range from anywhere from a hundred years before the estimated life of Jesus to a hundred years after.
The age and time when the Dead Sea Scrolls were written is still uncertain, but I have to admit that most scholars say the DSS predate Christ.
Significance of the Dating
Previous to the DSS, the earliest known manuscript of the Old Testament was the Masoretic Text (A.D. 900) and two others (dating about A.D. 1000) from which, for example, the King James version of the Old Testament derived its translation. Perhaps most would have considered the Masoretic text as a very late text and therefore questioned the reliability of the Old Testament wholesale. The Dead Sea Scrolls eclipse these texts by 1,000 years and provide little reason to question their reliability, and further, present only confidence for the text. The beauty of the Dead Sea Scrolls lies in the close match they have with the Masoretic text—demonstrable evidence of reliability and preservation of the authentic text through the centuries. So the discovery of the DSS provides evidence for the following:
# Confirmation of the Hebrew Text
# Support for the Masoretic Text
# Support for the Greek translation of the Hebrew Text (the Septuagint). Since the New Testament often quotes from the Greek Old Testament, the DSS furnish the reader with further confidence for the Masoretic texts in this area where it can be tested. (Generated from Norman Geisler, “Dead Sea Scrolls,” Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics)
Matching the Masoretic text or not, guess what: the Dead Sea Scrolls say nothing about Jesus or Christ. All the come to talking about some protagonist is “the Teacher of Righteousness.”
The bottom line is that the existence of the Old Testament and the intertestamental literature such as the Dead Sea Scrolls shows how Christianity is a cut-and-paste job – a fact Acharya S/D.M. Murdock revealed in The Christ Conspiracy, in a chapter called “The Making of a Myth,” which contains a discussion of some of the texts obviously used in the creation of the new faith. These influential texts evidently included some of the original Dead Sea Scrolls, serving not as “prophecy,” “prefiguring” or “presaging” but as blueprints of pre-existing, older concepts cobbled together in the New Testament.
Archaeological Discoveries and the Bible
“Archaeology has confirmed countless passages which have been rejected by critics as unhistorical or contradictory to known facts . . . Yet archaeological discoveries have shown that these critical charges . . . are wrong and that the Bible is trustworthy in the very statements which have been set aside as untrustworthy. . .We do not know of any cases where the Bible has been proved wrong.” — Dr. Joseph P. Free
Dr. Joseph P. Free (1911–1974) died before new archeological evidence revealed the exact opposite what Free held to be true. Prior to the 1970s one can be forgiven for thinking that archeology is the handmaid of the bible—for one archeological dig after another seemed to confirm it. But this is no longer true. Scholars are questioning the whole paradigm of “biblical archaeology,” which starts with the assumption that the Bible is a reliable guide for field research. Indeed, there is now so much contrary evidence against the historical accuracy of the Bible that the term “biblical archaeology” has been discarded by professional archaeologists and Syro-Palestinian archaeology has been suggested by some practicing in the field as a more appropriate term.
Archaeology’s Amazing Findings
“It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference. Scores of archaeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or exact detail historical statements in the Bible. And, by the same token, proper evaluation of Biblical descriptions has often led to amazing discoveries.” — Dr. Nelson Glueck
Nelson Glueck (1900–1971) is another example of an archeologist who died before new evidence came to light revealing the historical bankruptcy of the Bible.
Archaeological Data Corroborates the Bible
Following the 1993 discovery in Israel of a stone containing the inscriptions “House of David” and “King of Israel,” Time magazine stated, “This writing—dated to the 9th century B.C., only a century after David’s reign—described a victory by a neighboring king over the Israelites . . . The skeptics’ claim that David never existed is now hard to defend.” Time, December 18, 1995 “During the past four decades, spectacular discoveries have produced data corroborating the historical backdrop of the Gospels. In 1968, for example, the skeletal remains of a crucified man were found in a burial cave in northern Jerusalem . . . There was evidence that his wrists may have been pierced with nails. The knees had been doubled up and turned sideways and an iron nail (still lodged in the heel bone of one foot) driven through both heels. The shinbones appeared to have been broken, perhaps corroborating the Gospel of John.” Jeffery L. Sheler, “Is the Bible True?” Reader’s Digest, June 2000
The story of the united kingdom of Israel under David and Solomon also seems to be unraveled by archeology. According to the Bible, David’s kingdom consisted of a united Israel and Judah along with other kingdoms he conquered—Syria and Hamath to the north; Moab, Ammon to the east; Philistine to the west; and Edom to the south (2 Samuel 8:3-13; 10). Surely such a vast empire would have left immense archaeological evidence of its existence. The date normally ascribed to King David’s reign is 1005-970 BCE. And although no one doubts the existence of King David, there is no archaeological evidence for his kingdom beyond his existence. As archaeologist John Laughlin noted: “[T]here is little in the overall archaeological picture of the tenth century BC that can be connected with David.” Whatever evidence there is points to the fact that the story about the grandeur of David’s empire is a myth of a fictional golden age created by later writers. David’s “vast” empire is a myth. If David was indeed king, he never ruled over the vast regions described in the Bible.
The Bible and the Hittite Empire
The Scriptures make more than 40 references to the great Hittite Empire. However, until one hundred years ago there was no archaeological evidence to substantiate the biblical claim that the Hittites existed. Skeptics declared that the Bible was in error, until their mouths were suddenly stopped. In 1906, Hugo Winckler uncovered a huge library of 10,000 clay tablets, which completely documented the lost Hittite Empire. We now know that at its height, the Hittite civilization rivaled Egypt and Assyria in its glory and power.
Excavations Confirm the Bible
A hidden burial chamber, dating to the first century, was discovered in 1990 two miles from the Temple Mount. One bore the bones of a man in his sixties, with the inscription “Yehosef bar Qayafa”—meaning “Joseph, son of Caiaphas.” Experts believe this was Caiaphas, the high priest of Jerusalem, who was involved in the arrest of Jesus, interrogated him, and handed Him over to Pontius Pilate for execution. A few decades earlier, excavations at Caesarea Maritama, the ancient seat of Roman government in Judea, uncovered a stone slab whose complete inscription may have read: “Pontius Pilate, the prefect of Judea, has dedicated to the people of Caesarea a temple in honor of Tiberius.” The discovery is truly significant, establishing that the man depicted in the Gospels as Judea’s Roman governor had the authority ascribed to him by the Gospel writers. Jeffery L. Sheler, “Is the Bible True?” Reader’s Digest, June 2000
This does not prove Jesus of Nazareth nor does it prove the resurrection. All it proves is a rich man and a prefect – but it is important to note that the stone slab says “prefect” and not “governor” as said in the gospels.
Chapter 11: The Bible’s Historical Accuracy
The Bible’s Historical Accuracy
This a quote from apologist John McRay, who, as in other places is quoting in praise of Luke being a “scrupulously accurate historian.” While ignoring the contradictions in Lukes account to other Gospels writers and other contemporary historians, McRay mentions Luke’s claim to fame as being “references to thirty-two countries, fifty-four cities and nine islands, finding not a single mistake.”
So McRay (along with a number of other people) believe that being able to accurately record the places one visits makes them an historian.
Does Luke not male a “single mistake”? How about the fact that the city of Nazareth did not exist until the 4th century, while Luke was written in the 2nd.
Also, why does McRay ignore the historical embarrassment by the other gospel authors, such as Mark being wrong multiple times regarding Palestinian geography.
History Attests to Scripture
In this section, Comfort maintains the bible is historical accurate because both Matthew and Luke refer to the the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem.
It is no wonder that Comfort ignores the fact that most critical scholars, including the late Raymond Brown, a catholic priest, date both of these Gospels to ”after” the destruction of the temple. (Brown, Raymond E. (1997). Introduction to the New Testament. New York: Anchor Bible. pp. 226. ISBN 0-385-24767-2). It should be no surprise that they would have gotten it right.
Historian Attests to the Account of Jesus
This is a full quote of Josephus’ reference to Jesus in his “The Wars of the Jews”.
“Now, there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works — a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was [”the”] Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal man amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct to this day.”
This truly appears to give historical confirmation for the existence of Jesus. But is it authentic? Most scholars admit that at least some parts, if not all, of this paragraph cannot be authentic,(“Testimonium Flavianum“) even the Catholic Encyclopedia concurring. “Attempts have been made to refute the objections brought against this passage both for internal and external reasons, but the difficulty has not been definitively settled. The passage seems to suffer from repeated interpolations.”
Many are convinced that the entire paragraph is a forgery, an interpolation inserted by Christians at a later time.(Josephuson Jesus: Forgery and Fraud?.) (“Eusebius of Caesarea forged Testimonium Flavianum“).
Even Christian scholars consider the paragraph to be an overenthusiastic forgery. (Bishop Warburton: “If a Jew owned the truth of Christianity, he must needs embrace it. We, therefore, certainly conclude that the paragraph where Josephus, who was as much a Jew as the religion of Moses could make him, is made to acknowledge Jesus as the Christ, in terms as strong as words could do it, is a rank forgery, and a very stupid one, too.” Quoted by Lardner, Works, Vol. I, chap. iv.) (The Rev. Dr. Giles, of the Established Church of England: “Those who are best acquainted with the character of Josephus, and the style of his writings, have no hesitation in condemning this passage as a forgery, interpolated in the text during the third century by some pious Christian, who was scandalized that so famous a writer as Josephus should have taken no notice of the gospels, or of Christ, their subject. But the zeal of the interpolator has outrun his discretion, for we might as well expect to gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles, as to find this notice of Christ among the Judaizing writings of Josephus. It is well known that this author was a zealous Jew, devoted to the laws of Moses and the traditions of his countrymen. How, then, could he have written that Jesus was the Christ? Such an admission would have proved him to be a Christian himself, in which case the passage under consideration, too long for a Jew, would have been far too short for a believer in the new religion, and thus the passage stands forth, like an ill-set jewel, contrasting most inharmoniously with everything around it. If it had been genuine, we might be sure that Justin Martyr, Tertullian, and Chrysostom would have quoted it in their controversies with the Jews, and that Origen or Photius would have mentioned it. But Eusebius, the ecclesiastical historian (I, ii), is the first who quotes it, and our reliance on the judgment or even honesty of this writer is not so great as to allow our considering everything found in his works as undoubtedly genuine.” (Christian Records, p. 30)) (Rev. S. Baring-Gould, in ”Lost and Hostile Gospels”: “This passage is first quoted by Eusebius (fl. A. D. 315) in two places (Hist. Eccl., lib. i, c. xi ; Demonst. Evang., lib. iii); but it was unknown to Justin Martyr (A. D. 140) Clement of Alexandria (A. D. 192), Tertullian (A. D. 193) and Origen (A. D. 230). Such a testimony would certainly have been produced by Justin in his apology or in his controversy with Trypho the Jew, had it existed in the copies of Josephus at his time. The silence of Origen is still more significant. Celsus, in his book against Christianity, introduces a Jew. Origen attacks the argument of Celsus and his Jew. He could not have failed to quote the words of Josephus, whose writings he knew, had the passage existed in the genuine text. He, indeed, distinctly affirms that Josephus did not believe in Christ (Contr. Cels. i).”)
- The paragraph is absent from early copies of the works of Josephus. For example, in Origen’s second century ”Origen Contra Celsum”, wherein Origen fiercely defends Christianity against the heretical views of Celsus, he quotes freely from Josephus to prove his points, but never once uses this paragraph, which would have been the ultimate ace up his sleeve. The paragraph does not appear at all until the beginning of the fourth century, at the time of Constantine, who was eager to demolish Gnostic Christianity and replace it with literalistic Christianity. Bishop Eusebius, a close ally of the emperor, was instrumental in crystallizing and defining the version of Christianity that was to become orthodox, and he is the first person known to have quoted this paragraph of Josephus. Eusebius once wrote that it was permissible “medicine” for historians to create fictions (“How it may be lawful and fitting to use falsehood as a medicine, and for the benefit of those who want to be deceived.” (translation by Gibbon, who really didn’t like Eusebius)) — prompting historian Jacob Burckhardt to call Eusebius “the first thoroughly dishonest historian of antiquity.” Many scholars believe Eusebius was the source of the paragraph on Jesus.
- Josephus would not have called Jesus “the Christ” or “the truth.” Whoever wrote these phrases was a believing Christian. Josephus was a messianic Jew, and if he truly believed Jesus was the long-awaited messiah (Christ), he certainly would have given more than a passing reference to him. Josephus never converted to Christianity. Origen reported that Josephus was “not believing in Jesus as Christ.”
- The passage is out of context. Book 18 (“Containing the interval of 32 years from the banishment of Archelus to the departure from Babylon”) starts with the Roman taxation under Cyrenius in 6 CE and discusses various Jewish sects at the time, including the Essenes and a sect of Judas the Galilean, to which he devotes three times more space than to Jesus; Herod’s building of various cities, the succession of priests and procurators, and so on. Chapter 3 starts with sedition against Pilate, who planned to slaughter all the Jews but changed his mind. Pilate then used sacred money to supply water to Jerusalem. The Jews protested; Pilate sent spies into Jewish ranks with concealed weapons, and there was a great massacre. Then in the middle of all these troubles comes the curiously quiet paragraph about Jesus, followed immediately by: “And about the same time another terrible misfortune confounded the Jews …” Josephus would not have thought the Christian story to be “another terrible misfortune.” It is only a Christian (someone like Eusebius) who might have considered Jesus to be a Jewish tragedy. Paragraph three can be lifted out of the text with no damage to the chapter; in fact, it flows better without it.
- There was no “tribe of Christians” during Josephus’ time; Christianity did not get off the ground until the second century.
- Josephus appears not to know anything else about the Jesus outside of this tiny paragraph and an indirect reference concerning James, the “brother of Jesus” (see below). He does not refer to the gospels now known as Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, or to the writing or activities of Paul, though if these stories were in circulation at that time he ought to have known about them and used them as sources. Like the writings of Paul, Josephus’ account is silent about the teachings or miracle of Jesus, although he reports the antics of other prophets in great detail. He relates much more about John the Baptist. He lists the activities of many other self-proclaimed messiahs, including Judas of Galilee, Theudas the magician and the Egyptian Jew Messiah. He makes no mention of the earthquake or eclipse at the crucifixion, which would have been universally known in that area if they had truly happened. He adds nothing to the Gospel’s narratives and says nothing that would not have been believed by Christians already, whether in the first or fourth century.
- The paragraph mentions that the “divine prophets” foretold the life of Jesus, but Josephus neglects to mention who these prophets were or what they said. In no other place does Josephus connect any Hebrew prediction with the life of Jesus.
- The hyperbolic language of the paragraph is uncharacteristic of a careful historian: “… as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him …” This sounds more like sectarian propaganda — in other words, more like the New Testament — than objective reporting. It is very unlike Josephus.
The Bible’s Harmony Attest to Its Inspiration
As the title indicates, in this section Comfort claims that the consistency allegedly maintained throughout the bible is proof of its divine inspirations. This entire section is a quote from Josh McDowell,
“The authors, speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit . . . wrote on hundreds of controversial subjects with absolute harmony from the beginning to the end. There is one unfolding story from Genesis to Revelation: the redemption of mankind through the Messiah—the Old Testament through the coming Messiah, the New Testament from the Messiah that has come. In Genesis, you have paradise lost, in Revelation you have paradise gained. You can’t understand Revelation without understanding Genesis. It’s all interwoven on hundreds of controversial subjects. “Now here’s the picture: 1,600 years, 60 generations, 40-plus authors, different walks of life, different places, different times, different moods, different continents, three languages, writing on hundreds of controversial subjects and yet when they are brought together, there is absolute harmony from beginning to end . . . There is no other book in history to even compare to the uniqueness of this continuity.”
Comfort obviously fails to mention all of the inconsistencies and errors that need to be often addressed by various authors with typically different explanations.
Chapter 12: Evolution and the Bible
Comfort begins this chapter with “If you have read through this book with an open mind, you may be wondering how the theory of evolution is compatible with the Bible. The answer is they are not.”
This coming from a person who has no interest in honestly learning about evolution, and calls his own biases “honest.” For instance, Ray’s book You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence, but You Can’t Make Him Think, in the conclusion Ray talks about the four major religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity). Ray then goes through them to asses them to decide which one people should choose. Ray assess them with the preconception that Christianity is true. Ray faults Buddhism for not solving the “problem of sin and the reality of Hell.” Ray faults Hinduism for not solving the problem proposed in Christianity. This bias and presupposition has been made clear to Ray, but yet he still believes he never had a presupposition and was being totally honest.
As for evolution and the Bible being compatible, that really depends of the individuals perception of faith. Billions of Christians accept evolution as true, even numerous Popes have stated that the theory of evolution and Christianity are not incompatible. However, to Ray (a Bible literalist) if evolution is true then the Bible must be false. To save much trouble, evolution is true (that is a fact), but Ray will never accept that and would rather live a life of fantasy and delusion rather than accept an observable reality.
Ray’s reasons for why the Bible is true is because the Bible states that every animal brings forth after it’s own “kind” but he does not define what kind means. What separates man from the other animals? The Bible says that the “flesh” of man is different from the “flesh” of beasts. This is blatantly not true. Humans are a species of primate, which is a category of mammal, which is a category of vertebrate, which is a category of animal. This was known more than 2000 years ago.
Ray says he accepts “microevolution” as he terms it “variations within a species.” Ray states the following, “But there is ”no” scientific evidence for “macroevolution”—one species evolving into another.”
This last statement is far from true. We have observed and documented hundreds of instances when species split into new species. Ray says the claim that man evolved from primates is an example of macroevolution, however it is actually microevolution. Man is a primate right now.
Philosophy Professor Convinced
In this section, Ray tries to convince the reader that belief in the Bible is justifiable because of a man named Prince Derek, a philosophy professor at Cambridge university, said, “Prior to believing the Bible I have studied many other attempts to explain man’s origin and found them all unsatisfying and in many cases self-contradictory. I turned to study the Bible as a professional philosopher—not as a believer—and I commented to myself, ‘At least it can’t be any sillier than some of the other things I’ve heard,’ and to my astonishment, I discovered it had the answer.”
This is a fallacy known as appeal to authority. Anyone can find a quote or a testimony from a professional professor who read the Bible and numerous other sacred texts, and still find zero evidence for God nor provides any significant answers.
Evolution: Fact or Fiction?
Ray says that evolution provides more questions than answers.
This is not an accurate statement, but it is good that questions exist in science. Science is always looking for new questions to answer. Unlike the theological questions from religion, scientific and natural questions can be answered.
The reason why evolution seems illogical is because Ray does not know the answer to such questions like the first bird. Here are his questions,
“Did the bird breathe? Did it breathe before it evolved lungs? How did it do this? Why did it evolve lungs if it was happy surviving without them? How did it know that it needed to be evolved if its brain hadn’t been evolved yet? Did the bird have a mouth? How did it eat before it evolved a mouth? Where did the mouth send the food before the stomach evolved? How did the bird have energy if it didn’t eat (because it didn’t yet have a mouth)? How did the bird see what there was to eat before its eyes evolved? Evolution is intellectual suicide. It is an embarrassment.”
Reading the following questions is an intellectual embarrassment. Is anything like this similar to how Darwin described it? Has any evolutionary scientist ever described it like this? Does Ray think that evolutionary scientists claim that birds were once eyeless, mouthless, and lacked certain internal organs?
Ray then goes on to quote several people. He first quotes Prof. Louis Bounoure, Director of Research, National Center for Scientific Research, “Evolution is a fairy tale for grown ups. This theory has helped nothing in the progress of science. It is useless.”
However, Ray and other creationists have taken this quote out of context. This quote comes from 1984, but it did not come from Bounoure. “Evolution is a fairy tale for adults” is not from Bounoure but from Jean Rostand (way back in 1959), who did not even say “Evolution” but “transformation.” Rostand DDI say the following: “Transformism may be considered as accepted, and no scientist, no philosopher, no longer discusses [questions – ED.] the fact of evolution.” Rostand was an atheist, and he clearly defended evolution, calling it a “fact.” Bounoure was never Director or a member of the CNRS, he expressing his distaste at those in his day who argued over the “principles” of evolution, “how” it took place, whether via Lamarckian or Darwinian.
Second, Ray quotes Michael Ruse from his book ”Darwin’s Theory: an Exercise in Science”, “An increasing number of evolutionists…argue that Darwinian evolutionary theory is no genuine scientific theory at all…Many of the critics have the highest intellectual credentials.”
Why the spaces in-between phrases? This is a clear sign of creationist quote-mines. Even the original (which does support evolution) can be taken with a large grain of salt due to the lack of credibility that Ruse has in this domain.
Thirdly, Ray quotes Dr. T. N. Tahmisian of the Atomic Energy Commission, “Scientists who go about teaching that evolution is a fact of life are great con-men, and the story they are telling may be the greatest hoax ever.” (1974)
Finally, Ray quotes British journalist and philosopher Malcolm Muggeridge, “I am convinced myself that the theory of evolution, especially the extent to which it has applied, will be one of the great jokes in the history books of the future. Posterity will marvel that so flimsy and dubious an hypothesis could be accepted with the incredible credulity that it has.” (1981)
First of all, Ray has already demonstrated that Muggeridge does not have the correct credentials to turn to on the subject of evolution, biology, or science.
The Evolution of the Theory
Ray tries to explain the story of the concept of evolution came to be by quoting a story from ”Out Time: The Illustrated History of the 20 Century”.
Next, Ray lists several hoaxes, like Piltdown Man and Heidelberg Man. Ray argues that Neanderthal man is not evidence for evolution, because it has been discovered that Neanderthal Man died of exposure to disease and was “fully human, not ape.”
The British museum touted the “Piltdown man” as authentic, but the American Museum of Natural History displayed it only as a “mixture of ape and man fossils”, which is what it eventually turned out to be.
There was no way to adequately examine such things back in 1915. Chemical tests –common today- didn’t yet exist and we didn’t yet have a practical understanding of radiation. And before the first australopiths were discovered, we didn’t know exactly what to expect of the links that were then still missing between humans and the other apes known at that time. But as we began filling in the gaps in human evolution with thousands of legitimate fossils, a pattern emerged which left Piltdown an increasingly obvious anomaly. Consequently it was taken off display and stored away almost continuously for decades. It lost importance in most discussions because, in light of everything else we discovered over the next few decades, it just never fit, and was eventually dismissed from the list of potential human ancestors for that reason.
As the years wore on, criticism arose against everyone who ever promoted the Piltdown collection because there seemed to be so much wrong with it. Finally, in the 1950s, it was taken back out of the box and scrutinized via more modern means. First fluorine dating revealed that it was much too recent, and it was shown to have been chemically-treated to give a false impression of its age and mineral composition. Then it was finally determined that the jaw must have come from an orangutan, and that it had been deliberately reshaped with modern tools in a well-crafted and deliberate forgery.
Homo heidelbergensis was “quite human” because he was a human, just not the same species we are. And it was never known from a single jawbone either, but from more than 4,000 bones representing nearly 30 individuals found in one site alone, and there are still dozens more. Their evident descendants, the Neanderthals weren’t “just an old man with arthritis” either. We’ve found hundreds of Neanderthal men, women, and children, and even their DNA, which has provided proof that they were not part of our species!
One hoax cannot indicate the inferiority of conventional archeology, because creationists have several of their own, including Paluxy footprints, the Calaveras skull, Moab Man and Malachite Man, and others. More telling is how people deal with these hoaxes. When Piltdown was exposed, it stopped being used as evidence. The creationist hoaxes, however, can still be found cited as if they were real. Piltdown has been over and done with for decades, but the dishonesty of creationist hoaxes continues.
The Religion of Evolution
Ray wonders if there is no evidence for evolution, why is it vastly treated as it does? Ray then quotes Sir Arthur Keith, who wrote the Foreward to the Origin of Species, that “evolution is unproved and unprovable. We believe it only because the only alternative is special creation, and that is unthinkable.” Finally, Ray quotes physics Prof. H. S. Lispon “In fact, evolution became a sense a scientific religion; almost all scientists have accepted it and many are prepared to “bend” their observations to fit it.”
Ray agrees with Lispon that evolution is a religion. Ray explains how the acceptance of evolution happens: a believer tells it to a nonbeliever. The nonbeliever does not have to turn from sin, just drop the biblical creation, and thus believes evolution without a shred of evidence.
However, if evolution is a religion, then so is gravity. In all seriousness, evolution is not a religionat all, and creationists knows that. Evolution as religion has even been rejected by the courts: “Assuming for the purposes of argument, however, that evolution is a religion or religious tenet, the remedy is to stop the teaching of evolution, not establish another religion in opposition to it. Yet it is clearly established in the case law, and perhaps also in common sense, that evolution is not a religion and that teaching evolution does not violate the Establishment Clause.”– The court cases Epperson v. Arkansas, Willoughby v. Stever, and Wright v. Houston Indep. School Dist. are cited as precedent (McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education 1982)
Ray claims that believers in evolution accept there is a missing link out there somewhere, but to this day (according to Ray we have never found the missing link.
However, this is a huge lie. The “missing link” has not remained undiscovered. Hasn’t been for a long time now. There was a missing link in 1859 when there were only two species of humans yet known in the fossil record, and no intermediate fossils to link them with any of the other apes we knew of at that time. Since then, we’ve found the fossils of thousands of individuals of dozens of hominid species, many of which provide a definite link to the other apes. But there were two particular pieces predicted to complete the puzzle:
First, it was never supposed that we evolved from any ape species still alive today. Instead the theory held that chimpanzees and humans were sibling species, daughters of the same mother. So the first link we needed to find was an ancient ape apparently basal to either of us –to prove there was a potential progenitor of both groups. We had already found that link in Europe five years before Darwin went public. So we already had an evident “chain” of transitional species from which only one more “link” was needed.
The theory then required that another extinct hominid be found in strata chronologically between the Miocene Dryopithecus fontana and the earliest known human species, which from 1891 to 1961, was Homo erectus. We’ve found lots of candidates, as many as fifty species of apes which are now all extinct. But more than that, the theory also demanded that we find one “half-way” between humans and other apes in terms of morphology. We found exactly that too way back in 1974! Australopithecus afarensis proved to be a fully bi-pedal ape who’s hands, feet, teeth, pelvis, skull, and other physical details were exactly what creationists challenged us to find, yet they’re still pretending we never found it.
But worse than that, we didn’t just find that one. In 1977, three years after we discovered the no-longer-missing link in the human evolutionary lineage, Harvard paleontologist, Stephen J. Gould mentioned an “extreme rarity” of other clear transitions persistent in the fossil record until that time, and his comment, -taken out of context- remains a favorite of creationist quote-miners to this day. But in the more than 30 years since then, there has been a paleontological boom such that we now have way more transitional species in many more lineages than we ever needed or hoped for.
Now the problem for evolution is that there are too many contenders, while a compounding problem for creationists is that not even one of them should exist if their story was true. And yet they do –by the bushelful! Despite their complaints to the contrary, the intermediate gradations in the human evolutionary line are now so fine that paleoanthropologists can’t agree whether they’re all different species or merely mildly modified varieties of the same ones, such that there are no more links needed for human evolution anymore.
But creationists still say we’ve never found anything that was “half-ape and half-human”. Adhering always to black or white absolutes, and being thus unwilling to admit any degree of variance other than 100% or zero, they make sure to divide every find into one of two boxes even when they can’t make up their minds which side of that imaginary partition each one belongs to.
Demanding an “ape-man” is actually just as silly as asking to see a mammal-man, or a half-human, half-vertebrate. How about a half dachshund, half dog? It’s the same thing. One may as well insist on seeing a town half way between Los Angeles and California. Because the problem with bridging the gap between humans and apes is that there is no gap because humans ARE apes –definitely and definitively. The word, “ape” doesn’t refer to a species, but to a parent category of collective species, and we’re included. This is no arbitrary classification like the creationists use. It was first determined via meticulous physical analysis by Christian scientists a century before Darwin, and has been confirmed in recent years with new revelations in genetics. Furthermore, it is impossible to define all the characters exclusively indicative of every known member of the family of apes without describing our own genera as one among them. Consequently, we can and have proven that humans are apes in exactly the same way that lions are cats, and iguanas are lizards, and whales are mammals. So where is the proof that humans descend from apes? How about the fact that we’re still apes right now!
Ray ends this section with a brief explanation about the validity of Genesis. Ray claims that the theory of evolution came from the minds of people who do not know God and have conjured up something to explain human origins. Ray says that scientists speak “in the language of speculation”—— that is, they never speak with absolute certainty whereas the Genesis account does.
However, the reason for this is because science must remain falsifiable. As new data constantly comes in, theories and facts may change or be disproven. So scientists speak with caution and try at their best degree to be accurate. Simply speaking in absolute terms does not alter reality in favor of personal beliefs or wishful thinking. As already seen through the review of this book, the supposed “facts” in the Genesis account are not facts at all! For a book to speak in such absolute terms while claiming to be infallible and yet it is still demonstrably wrong.
Never-Changing Bible, Ever-Changing Science
Ray lists several vague news reports of scientists finding new discoveries that altered their previous views. For instance, NBC report of a discovery in Australia in August 1999 that life had originated there, but the date was a billion years earlier than scientists previously thought.
While this may seem as a jump, never once has science estimated the earth is anywhere close to 6,000 years old.
Another report on CBS News in October 1999 that a 40 million-year-old fossil was found in Asia that changed the scientist mind of where humans had originated. It was once believed that man came from Africa, but no longer.
However, this is a false reporting. The prediction that humans originated from Africa still remains true.
Finally, USA Today (March 21, 2001) reported, “Paleontologists have discovered a new skeleton in the closet of human ancestry that is likely to force science to revise, if not scrap, current theories of human origins.” Reuters reported that the discovery left “scientists of human evolution… confused,” saying, “Lucy may not even be a direct human ancestor after all.”
Nothing on the internet has revealed such a report. As for Lucy, she is and remains a direct human ancestor (along with a dozen or so discovered fossils).
Ray quote Charles Spurgeon in an attempt to make the claims of scientists seem foolish and faith-based.
“We are invited, brethren, most earnestly to go away from the old-fashioned belief of our forefathers because of the supposed discoveries of science. What is science? The method by which man tries to hide his ignorance. It should not be so, but so it is. You are not to be dogmatical in theology, my brethren, it is wicked; but for scientific men it is the correct thing. You are never to assert anything very strongly; but scientists may boldly assert what they cannot prove, and may demand a faith far more credulous than any we possess. Forsooth, you and I are to take our Bibles and shape and mould our belief according to the ever-shifting teachings of so-called scientific men. What folly is this! Why, the march of science, falsely so called, through the world may be traced by exploded fallacies and abandoned theories. Former explorers once adored are now ridiculed; the continual wreckings of false hypotheses is a matter of universal notoriety. You may tell where the supposed learned have encamped by the debris left behind of suppositions and theories as plentiful as broken bottles.”
Turns out Spurgeon is no more smarter than Ray Comfort. Spurgeon is factually wrong about many things. Going in order;
#Science is not a method to hide in ignorance. Rather, it is a method to overturn ignorance. Undiscovered knowledge is out there, and we have to find it. Science is a tool to help us discover the unknown, not to keep us from knowing.
#Science is not dogmatic, nor do scientists assert things things they cannot prove. Science, as Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron often love to cry about, science has been wrong before as new evidence is discovered and new models are developed. In science, everything must be falsifiable, because future data could reveal current models to be false. This is why scientists do not use absolute terms ”and Ray Comfort knows this.” Ray Comfort often loves to point out the lack of using absolute terms as what he calls the “language of speculation.” So even Ray knows that scientists are not dogmatic.
#Science does not demand faith. Evidence is always provided, everything is peer-reviewed carefully. A theory has to be tested indefinitely. It demands understanding instead of belief. So it must be based on verifiable evidence; It must explain related observations with a measurable degree of accuracy; It must withstand continuous critical analysis in peer review, and it must be falsifiable too. If it doesn’t fulfill all these conditions at once, then it isn’t science. If it meets none of them, it may be religion.
Chapter 13: Science and Evolution
Ray tells the reader if they still think there is evidence for evolution, they should go to Ray’s website (www.raycomfort.com) which links to Kent Hovind’s $250,000 prize to anyone who can prove evolution and that no one has claimed the prize.
Why hasn’t anyone got the prize? Because the challenge is deliberately set up to make it impossible to get. This challenge doesn’t care if evolution is true or not. Hovind requires proof that “evolution . . . is the only possible way the observed phenomena could have come into existence.” It is impossible to prove a universal negative. Not to mention the challenge demands evidence for evolution in completely different fields, like cosmology and abiogenesis, and all must be done while excluding the possibility of God. However, evolution does not overrule or refute God.
Plus, the judges are handpicked by Kent Hovind and are entirely unfair. Several people have tried to collect on his challenge, only to get a runaround or to be ignored.
James “the Amazing” Randi, a former Las Vegas illusionist well-versed in the angles used in supernatural pseduoscience -has for ten years- offered a million-dollar prize for anyone who can show testable evidence of the things we should expect would also be true if there were etherial entities influencing things with molecular structures. In that time, he has exposed a few frauds. But to date, no one has ever produced any actual evidence for faith-healing, telepaths, psionics, precognative psychic friends with astral bodies, past life remembrance, or spectral manifestations of any kind.
Ray then claims evolution is a religion. While using Funk & Wagnull dictionary, which defines religion as “a set of beliefs that concerned with explaining the origins and purposes of the universe.” Ray says that scientist even speak in a language of religion: we believe, perhaps, maybe, probably, could’ve, possibly. Ray says Charles Darwin is the founder of the faith and it’s god is “nature” (often referred to as ‘Mother Nature’).
Evolution is not a religion any more than gravity is. Simply finding a definition of religion in a dictionary does not prove a point. Religions have rituals, describe the place and role of humans within ultimate reality, include reverence for and/or belief in a supernatural power or powers, and much more. Evolution does not fulfill any of these.
Evolution as religion has been rejected by the courts: “Assuming for the purposes of argument, however, that evolution is a religion or religious tenet, the remedy is to stop the teaching of evolution, not establish another religion in opposition to it. Yet it is clearly established in the case law, and perhaps also in common sense, that evolution is not a religion and that teaching evolution does not violate the Establishment Clause.”
The court cases Epperson v. Arkansas, Willoughby v. Stever, and Wright v. Houston Indep. School Dist.
More Dictionary Definitions
Ray Comfort defines the following words: fact, evolution, and creation.
*Fact n. “Something that actually exists or has occurred.”
*Evolution n. “The theory that all forms of life originated by descent from earlier forms” (notice the word “theory”).
*Creation n. “God’s bringing of the universe into existence” (reread the definition of “fact”).
After giving these definitions, Ray Comfort immediately says, “According to the dictionary, evolution is merely a theory, while creation is a fact.”
Interestingly, Ray Comfort does not once define the word “theory.” Of course, it is obvious he interprets it as “speculation” or “belief” however if he understood what a ”scientific theory” means, he would shut up and forever hold his peace. The word theory, in the context of science, does not imply uncertainty. It means “a coherent group of general propositions used as principles of explanation for a class of phenomena.”
Evolution is both a scientific theory and a fact. Here are the facts: It is a fact that evolution happens; that biodiversity and complexity does increase, that both occur naturally only by evolutionary means.
It is a fact that alleles vary with increasing distinction in reproductive populations and that these are accelerated in genetically isolated groups.
It is a fact that natural selection, sexual selection, and genetic drift have all been proven to have predictable effect in guiding this variance, both in the scientific literature and in practical application.
It is a fact that significant beneficial mutations do occur and are inherited by descendant groups, and that multiple independent sets of biological markers exist to trace these lineages backwards over many generations.
It is a fact that birds are a subset of dinosaurs the same way humans are a subset of apes, primates, eutherian mammals, and vertebrate deuterostome animals.
It is a fact that the collective genome of all animals has been traced to its most basal form through reverse sequencing, and that those forms are also indicated by comparative morphology, physiology, and embryological development as well a chronologically correct placement of successive stages revealed in the geological column.
It is a fact that everything on earth has definite relatives either living nearby or evident in the fossil record.
It is a fact that the fossil record holds hundreds of definitely transitional species even according to it’s strictest definition of that term.
It is a fact that both microevolution and macroevolution have been directly-observed and document dozens of time both in the lab and in national controlled conditions in the field, and that instances have all withstood critical analysis and peer review.
It is also a fact that evolution is the only explanation of biodiversity with either evidential support or scientific validity and no would be alternative notion has ever met even one of the criteria of being a theory.
Evolution is a fact!
Despite the fact that creationists will lie about everything in this list, these are the FACTS of evolution, meaning of each of these points are demonstrably true and measurably accurate, thus it is a matter of knowledge rather than mere belief.
Are there any facts of creationism: ABSOLUTELY NONE. The instance Ray Comfort just provided in order to “prove” his position is a feeble and rather pathetic argument that no reasonable person should use. Imagine if a person defined ”
Ray Comfort says the theory of evolution is a belief, but belief in the Bible is not based on faith. He repeats his argument a building proves there was a builder and a painting proves there was a painter, therefore creation proves there is a creator. “couldn’t want better proof that a Creator exists than to have the “fact” of creation in front of me. I don’t need faith to believe in a Creator; all I need are eyes that can see and a brain that works” and he goes on to quote Romans 1:20.
However, Ray Comfort then says “If, however, I want the builder to do something for me, then I need to have faith in him.” Ray says nothing more, just moves on to say the same thing applies to God and quotes Hebrews 11:6.
What Ray is doing here is simply asserting and assuming that we live in a creation without any verification or justification. His only and best response to this is “common sense.” Common sense may suggest there is something inherently implausible about a loving God who allows hell and that’s just one example where Christianity goes against common sense. It looks like common sense applied only in ways that Ray Comfort likes and common sense should be disregarded whenever Ray and/or other fundamentalist Christians dislike the conclusions.
Equating man-made structures to nature is a false equivalence fallacy. There is no indication or reason to make that connection. Nature is capable of producing structures that look designed, but they are merely the results of natural physical laws and forces. For instance, has anyone ever seen “a bridge without a bridge maker?” Absolutely.
- Likewise, we have seen traps form on their own. Ever heard of the Venus Fly trap? It is a plant that traps flies, and we know how it evolved naturally without a creator.
- How about a motor that was made without a motor engineer? Absolutely, behold the bacterial flagellum. Despite this being the flag-ship of ID creationists, this biological motor has been shown to be reducible. The Matzke Model explains and demonstrates the steps to how the flagellum naturally evolved without a designer.
- How about artworks of lines and patterns. Take a look at these designs in sand dunes.
Have we ever seen a sculpture form without a sculpture?????
Look at the rock formation in Maui’s Iao Valley State Park that bears a striking resemblance to President John F. Kennedy in profile.
- The eroded mountain on Mars that under coarse-grained resolution looks like a face.
- Or the eagle rock off the 134 freeway in Southern California that overlooks the town Eaglerock.
Have we seen other human-like faces pop up naturally in nature? Sure, Christians love to cheer every time they see Jesus’ face appear of grilled cheese sandwiches. Same thing with Mother Teresa or the Virgin Mary.
Overall, ALL of these things occur naturally without invoking an intelligent designer. Since the human brain is hard-wired to detect patterns, we base nature as designed based on our experience of human artifacts. We see patterns in clouds, crystals, and snowflakes, but we already know that they all manifest naturally without a designer. We can test and prove that snowflakes, while having many geometrical patterns, form naturally in the clouds under certain conditions. We also know that evolution of living organisms can develop characteristics that give the illusion of design. The point is, all these things were made naturally without a designer. Comfort presupposes that everything around him is designed, particularly life. The issue here is that there Comfort does not distinguished between naturally made objects versus artificially made objects, rather he seems to insert they are all the same thing. This is why he compares man-made buildings with naturally living things that does not need a designer. This is going way beyond comparing apples and oranges (or perhaps bananas).
Not to mention, Ray’s logic fails when you ask certain questions; like if everything requires a creator, this begs the question who created God? Ray’s response to this question can be seen in his book School of Biblical Evangelism: “No person or thing created God. He created “time,” and because we dwell in the dimension of time, reason demands that all things have a beginning and an end. God, however, dwells outside of the dimension of time.” However, when Ray states that “reason” demands that everything had a beginning and end, and yet Ray presents something that does not have a beginning and end, then clearly reason never did demand such a thing, or that God is indeed a created being.
Next, Ray Comfort provides the following quotes,
Sir Isaac Newton once said, “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.”
Louis Pasteur said, “The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator.”
Evolutionist Stephen Hawking wrote, “It would be very difficult to explain why the universe should have begun in just this way, except as the act of a God who intended to create beings like us” (”A Brief History of Time”). He also stated: “Then we shall . . . be able to take part in the discussion of the question of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason—for then we would know the mind of God.”
Regarding the quote by Hawking, Ray Comfort is quote-mining him. As best as it can be “put in context”, Hawking is being mocking when he writes: “It would be very difficult to explain why the universe should have begun in just this way, except as the act of a God who intended to create beings like us.” Since this game is so much fun, anyone can play. From a few pages earlier in the same chapter: “These laws may have originally been decreed by God, but it appears that he has since left the universe to evolve according to them and does not now intervene in it.”
The Mind of God
Ray Comfort says “We can get a glimpse of the incredible mind of God simply by looking at His creation.” He uses the human mind as an example. He starts to provide various details about the human brain and all its networks. Right afterward, he starts sharing some of the details of the vast Andromeda and quotes Psalm 19:1.
Ray Comfort must think that simply just sharing these huge complicated numbers for the human brain and galaxy must be linked somehow. But just complicated numbers and such shows no link on its own.
The Bible Gives the Reason for Suffering
Ray Comfort shares all the bad that is included about this planet: most of it is uninhabitable; weeds; diseases; etc. According to Ray Comfort, all of this is at the fault of human beings when Adam and Eve sinned. None of these things that cause suffering (even death) existed before sin (he says it was heaven on earth). All of this is because we live in a “fallen creation.”
This is all based on the unsubstantiated blind-faith-based presupposition that the Bible is true without any empirical proof whatsoever to back it up.
The Bible Gives the Reason for Death
Ray Comfort begins with “The Scriptures answer questions that science cannot. It tells us why we die and how each of us can conquer the power of death.”
Science can tell us why we die, and it can also reveal that there is nothing to be “saved from” after death.
Before Ray Comfort shares the secret, he gives the statistics of how many murders there was in the United States and how many of the murderers were captured. The numbers show a lot of murders, but about half of the murderers were caught. Ray Comfort says we demand justice for all crimes, but Ray says that we all will face a day of judgment after we die and the wicked will be punished.
Ray Comfort ends this book by repeating his old are you a good person? tactic and a small prayer for the “skeptics” who wish to convert.
Read my blog in response to the “Are You Good Person?” argument, and see for yourself why it is a awful and dishonest snake-oil sell pitch.