Refutation of Ray Comfort’s book “Nothing Created Everything: The Scientific Impossibility of Atheistic Evolution”
This is my quick review and critical analysis of Ray Comfort’s book. On the back cover of this book, Ray Comfort says his goal is to, “He [Ray Comfort] demonstrates that when it comes to explaining how life began, atheists and evolutionists offer faith not facts. Ironically, atheists insist nothing created everything, a scientific impossibility. In a conversational tone, Comfort speaks to both atheists and believers and urges this discussion be based on hard evidence. And when it is, he insists, people will realize evolution is a theory that can’t be tested or measured and therefore can’t be scientific.”
Right off the bat, Ray Comfort demonstrates he is either a liar (most likely) or does not understand what atheism is (perhaps intentionally tries to misunderstand it). Atheism is simply the lack of belief in god(s), atheism does not say ANYTHING about how the origin of the universe came to be. That question of origins is completely ignored in atheism. Atheist individuals are free to think or believe however they want about how the universe came into being. Atheism by itself does not say or require atheists to believe the universe came from nothing or by any certain means.
Second of all, where is Ray Comfort’s evidence that “nothing created everything” is a “scientific impossibility”????
I find it rather ironic that a man with no scientific degree in any field or any scientific credibility thinks he knows more about science than actual scientists.
To get an understanding how bankrupt Ray Comfort’s understanding of science is, he thinks Banana’s are proof of a creator; he outright denies the theory of evolution and all its facts; he even thinks snails are not even animals.
Good grief. It should be obvious why atheists don’t take this man seriously. The only reason why we bother is because we actually value truth, and this man profits on lies. Despicable lies.
Anyway, moving on to the rest of the book, I will summarize bits of Ray’s material in his book, which will appear in Quotations while my response will appear in normal font color.
Comfort starts off by sharing his relationship with atheists as an unequal relationship: he loves atheists but atheists hate or at least deeply dislike him.
This is hard to imagine why, especially when Ray Comfort constantly calls atheist “fools,” who are “intellectually bankrupt,” “wicked,” and such.
Ray Comfort tries sharing that Christian love speech while distorting facts and deliberately being dishonest to his audience. When atheists point out his errors and lies, such as with his famous banana argument, Comfort later claimed it was a hoax set up by atheists to make him look bad. That’s right, blame the whole thing on the guys who called you on your bullshit, how nice and Christ-like of you.
Ray will do anything it takes to make atheists appear wicked or dumb. Ray Comfort obviously does not love atheists, his grudge against them makes that evident.
Ray Comfort, at least somewhere in his mind, probably thinks he is doing the right thing by telling people his God is real and everyone should accept Jesus or burn in Hell, but what he must understand to the of us non-believers, he is literally threatening us with hellfire if we don’t adopt his views and beliefs. No wonder he does not have a “unequal relationship” with atheists.
What if I went up to you or your child and tell them, “Hello, I just wanted to share that I have a very special friend named Jigsaw. He’s a real murderous psychopath who has inspired the creation of many movies who try to replicate his works. And I would like you to know that Jigsaw loves you, and to tell you that if you do not love him back and praise him for his moral authority that he is, there will be unspeakable consequences. Not only that, if you so much as not believe he is real, or even believe or love in someone else, then Jigsaw will take you into one of his abandoned warehouses and put you through the most horrendous forms of torture you could never imagine. It is going to be awful. But unlike most of his victims, he will keep you alive. You will not have any hope of being rescued, nor any opportunity to escape or even die. He is just going to keep you alive forever with his advanced medical technologies, and not a moment won’t go by when you are not in indescribable pain. So you better stop worshiping Jesus and get on your knees to praise Jigsaw with your whole heart an obey his every command. I speak for my friend Jigsaw, so I will tell you what the rules are that Jigsaw wants you to obey, I make them up as I go along but that is none of your business so do not question me.”
What would you think of me if I as a random stranger walked up to you and said that? Would you feel that I was doing you a service? Or would you think that I was threatening you with unsubstantiated claims? You would probably feel the latter, think of me as a jerk who was openly and gleefully saying that my friend was going to torture you if you did not believe the same stuff as me. You would be right, it would be an absolute dick thing to say, especially if I really thought it was true. And that is how atheists view Ray Comfort.
Throughout his whole ministry, Ray Comfort makes it is goal to drill the fear of Hell into his sermons and street preaching.
All Ray Comfort offers is unsubstantiated threats that Hell is real full of fire and torment, and people send themselves there. Nobody is choosing to go to a place they don’t believe exists. If Ray Comfort’s God happens to be real and he says “oh, no, you decided to go to Hell. I am not sending you there, you wanted to go there.” And we say, “what?! I did not even think it existed, because you never provided proof that was even real. Besides a bunch of scared superstitious groups screaming about Hell, you have never provided any evidence whatsoever.” And God will say, “sorry, no forgiveness for you. You had to be gullible, and you were too smart. Now BURN FOREVER and I am never going to let you out.” You really think that is something good, that is someone worth loving. If you love something so hideously evil, it makes you evil too, twisted at the least. If I were to go around as a Neo-Nazi, marching in public doing the Nazi salute while wearing a large swastika on my shirt, and openly declaring to all on how much I love Hitler and that I wish that we could kill more Jews, it makes me evil. That’s the nature of it, if you love someone for the psychopathic evil deeds they do, if you sincerely love them for it, it makes you evil. That’s the nature of evil. It is hopeless, you actually believe that people are going to burn in Hell for all eternity and you love it. You have to love it, because if you do not love it, then you disagree with God. God loves Hell, he created the system and left it the way it is, he refuses to change it, it’s the way he wants it according to Christianity. And Christians love him and love everything God does, so therefore Christians must love Hell too. They love that people are going through indescribable torment until the end of time. They think they are going to look down from Heaven, and see all those sinners burning in Hell, then turn to their God and worship him. Maybe their friends, family members and loved ones may be burning in Hell, their heroes and lots of people as young as children they’ve never met before, will be burning. And they are just going to, what? Be perfectly happy about that? Enjoy Heaven for all eternity? Not argue with God over Hell and punishing someone with an infinite punishment for a finite crime? Not tell God what a immoral monster he is? I guess so, that’s what Christianity is saying, every time a Christian praise their God as good, moral, and perfect. They agree with his decision to torture people in Hell forever, and they love him for it. If you ask me, that’s just sick, someone get them some psychiatric help.
Moving on, Comfort shares his experience giving meals and books to atheists. He points out that atheists love to ask for books and concludes perhaps they use them as doorsteps or find spiritual things interesting. His response from atheists have been cheerful.
While the exact reason is unknown, perhaps it is because atheists remain open-minded and are hopeful that Ray Comfort will provide something new rather than repeat his old arguments.
Or perhaps they read Comfort’s books for sources of entertainment. People often laugh at the stupidity of some people or the comments they make. Perhaps they buy it thinking, “is Ray Comfort going to say something more stupid that the Banana argument?” (and often times, yes he does).
I personally don’t find such things funny, rather I insist of doing the honest thing in life by correcting the errors of charlatans and calling out the lies of people like Ray Comfort.
Comfort then shares a story of a police officer who was upset with a minister because his wife stayed at church on Monday for too long so that she did not have a cooked meal ready for him at home. The pastor responded that he would cook for the policeman. During this time, they made a friendly bet on a football game. If the pastor won, the policeman would join them for Sunday church. The policeman lost, and as promised the policeman showed up. After several months of this, the police officer wanted to be born again.
Ray then addresses atheists (why does he keep calling them that? He already argued – and failed – that atheists do not exist, so why continue to call them that?). He wants to make a friendly bet with atheists, that if one should lose they must give up something. Ray says if he fails to prove the existence of God and the importance of Christianity, Ray will give up going to Heaven. However, if he succeeds, atheists must give up going to hell.
Although this is very promising, it is already clear that Ray has no intention of changing his mind. As shown in a debate with the Rational Response Squad, Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron already failed to prove the existence of God scientifically, and they knew that they had no case going in. So already, the bet is over Mr. Comfort. The bet is over long before Comfort wrote this book. Comfort failed then, and is not more likely to have a better case here since Comfort has a bad habit of just repeating himself over and over in different books and episodes. Give up going to heaven Ray. Of course, Comfort may not read this article or ignore it when presented to him from another source. Even from a critique from a third party, Comfort will never admit that he has failed to prove God. Regardless, this book will be reviewed and show why Ray Comfort has failed to make his case.
Only in Ray’s narrow definition and version of Hell is depicted as a fiery place of torment. Some Christians do not believe in a literal hell, some believe it is a place separated from God. As of yet, there is absolutely no proof of God, heaven, or hell. Hypothetically, perhaps there is some form of heaven, but it is only a realm for atheists and those brave enough to question or doubt God, whereas everyone else goes south. If there is a God, he does not believe in a higher power, making him an atheist as well.
Chapter 1: The Evolution Illusion
The chapter begins with Ray sharing his experience at the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle’s Grand Galerie de l’Évolution in Paris, in November 2008. After spending time searching for evidence for evolution, all he found was a stuffed monkey labeled “Lucy.” Based on this, he concluded that there was no evidence for evolution.
Given Ray’s track record of deliberately misrepresenting evolution, he either was not sharing with his readers what else he saw at the museum or he had no idea what were the facts presented before his eyes. The stuffed monkey in question is Australopithecus afarensis, one of the many intermediate fossils in human evolution. Australopithecus afarensis proved to be a fully bipedal ape whose 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.
Ray fallaciously concludes the entire theory of evolution is based on a single intermediate. However, scientists have discovered thousands of transitional fossils and the theory of evolution does not rest on a single intermediate, nor does it rest solely on fossils. This is a god of the gaps fallacy. In fact, every fossil is a transitional fossil, which has been pointed out to Ray in a debate with the Rational Response Squad. In 1999, National Academy of Sciences reported that the total number of transitional fossils were so large, lots of biologists and paleontologists now consider that list “innumerable” especially since the tally of definite transitionals keeps growing so fast! Several lineages are now virtually complete, including our own. Every species living today has definite relatives both extant and extinct, and evident in the fossil record. And in one sense, all of them, even the things still alive, count as transitional species.
Ray provides a quote from Berkley University that evolution is a testable, observable phenomenon and a fact. Ray then says scientists believe creatures like Archeopteryx is an intermediate fossil. Ray disagrees, calling it a full bird while providing a reference to an article from Answers in Genesis.
Answers in Genesis has a biased view and dismisses any evidence in all fields that contradicts scripture, which they make that very clear on their web page. Archeopteryx is indeed an intermediate, it has many avian features but has more dinosaurian traits than bird traits, such as: teeth on premaxilla and maxilla bones, neck attached to skull from the rear, claws on three unfused digits, and over 100 other differences from birds. (Source: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/archaeopteryx/info.html Archeopteryx)
Comfort says one of the main key tools in proving evolution is distraction. Ray provides a quote discussing the differences between elephant seals in different areas, and say evolutionists conclude based on this that man and apes have evolved.
All animals and organisms on the planet evolved, man is no exception. Evidence for common descent in seals is not a distraction, because the evidence of common descent of humans is complete on its own.
Perhaps creationist’s favorite topic, the eye. Unfortunately, this matter has been settled hundreds of times, and yet creationists are still pretending evolution has no evidence for the origin and development of the eye. Here, Comfort takes the opportunity to kick the dead horse.
Comfort provides a lecture from Berkley on the evolution of the eye. In it, it asks why do these eyes have similar characteristics? Ray inserts his own argument that planes have similar features, but they are all created by the same maker using similar blueprints.
What Ray does not provide is actual evidence or tests to support his claims.
Comfort then provides a quote from a Christian who once “believed in evolution” but he does not share who.
“We need to revisit (again and again) what Darwin said about eye evolution:
”Yet reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a perfect and complex eye to one very imperfect and simple, each grade being useful to its possessor, can be shown to exist; if further, the eye does vary ever so slightly, and the variations be inherited, which is certainly the case; and if any variation or modification in the organ be ever useful to an animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, can hardly be considered real. How a nerve comes to be sensitive to light, hardly concerns us more than how life itself first originated; but I may remark that several facts make me suspect that any sensitive nerve may be rendered sensitive to light, and likewise to those coarser vibrations of the air which produce sound.”
“If we like, we can continue to quote the next (and the next) paragraph but his case for evolution just gets weaker.
“Darwin is using the simplistic method of picking and choosing various eyes from various animals and ‘demonstrating’ gradations of eye development, all the while not showing the fossil evidence which actually and scientifically demonstrates this actually happened. ‘How a nerve comes to be sensitive to light, hardly concerns us…’ ‘…facts make me suspect that any sensitive nerve may be rendered sensitive to light.’
“What? Glossing over something like that is ridiculous. We have light-sensitive nerves (both rods and cones), a lens, focusing muscles, another nerve network to pick up that info, send it to the brain and invert the image, and Darwin explains the general principles of how it all came into being in one (excuse me, two) paragraphs? And that’s supposed to be convincing to us? Wow.
“Let’s be honest — all this really takes faith. A blind leap. I know because I used to believe it myself. Until I started to ask some REAL questions to my biology professor and he shut me down. Romans 1:25: ‘They exchanged the truth of God for a lie…
The theory of evolution is based on evidence that has been observed, and there is a great amount of evidence for this. Faith is believing in things not seen. Going though Darwin’s chapter of the eye, his arguments does not get weaker, in fact they become firmer. Darwin continues with three more pages describing a sequence of plausible intermediate stages between eyelessness and human eyes, giving examples from existing organisms to show that the intermediates are viable.
Lets Make an Eye
In this section Ray addresses the complexity of the eye. In a dramatic tone, Ray goes on about how complex the eye is that we do not have the technology to replicate one.
What Comfort does not include are the flaws and imperfection in the eye. However, Ray Comfort denies that there are any flaws in the eyes (like blind spots).
Russell D. Fernald, Professor of Biology at Stanford’s School of Humanities and Sciences, said:
“At present, we do not know whether eyes arose once or many times, and, in fact, many features of eye evolution are still puzzling. How did eyes evolve? Darwin, the great English naturalist who first brought the systematic explanatory power of evolution to bear on the bewildering biological complexity of our planet, felt that eyes offered a special challenge to evolutionary thinking because they are such ‘…organs of extreme perfection and complication…’ (1859). He was quite explicit on this point, saying ‘…that the eye….could have been formed by natural selection seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree’. More than a century later, with new insights that reach from molecular to macroscopic levels of analysis, new mysteries reinforce Darwin’s prescient writing. We still have much to learn from the evolution of eyes, both about the existing eyes as well as the processes of evolution that produced them….First was the production of simple eye spots which are found in nearly all the major animal groups and contain a small number of receptors in an open cup of screening pigment. Such detectors cannot play a role in recognizing patterns but are useful for distinguishing light from dark. The second stage in eye evolution is the addition of an optical system that can produce an image.” (Source: http://www.karger.com/gazette/64/fernald/index.htm)
Ray does not provide the entire lecture this quote is taken from. In the article it provides steps to how the eye evolved and such stages exist in nature. Even in the quote, the person does not hint that the evidence of the evolution of he eye is lacking. Rather, Fernald explains the gradual evolution of a system that does not work well, but well enough, and over time new modifications make a better eye. Evidence for natural selection and evolution can be see in organism that lost their eyes due to dwelling in dark environments.
Ray then uses a quote from Kenneth R. Miller, Professor of Biology at Brown University (a Catholic and staunch defender of evolution) adds:
“Critics might ask what good that first tiny step, perhaps only five percent of an eye, might be. As the saying goes, in the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king. Likewise, in a population with limited ability to sense light, every improvement in vision, no matter how slight, would be favored — and favored dramatically — by natural selection.” (Source: http://www.millerandlevine.com/km/evol/lgd/index.html)
Ray asks how could any sane person believe that the eye simply evolved? Comfort answers the necessary ingredient to believe, is “time.”
A more appropriate question is how can any sane person not accept the eye evolved??? To do so is to ignore and deny the evidence that supports the evolution of the eye.
Comfort goes on to provide a quote from Scientific America:
“Time is in fact the hero of the plot. The time with which we have to deal is of the order of two billion years. What we regard as impossible on the basis of human experience is meaningless here. Given so much time, the ‘impossible’ becomes possible, the possible probable, and the probable virtually certain. One has only to wait: time itself performs the miracles.”
Richard Dawkins said, “Given sufficient time, the non-random survival of hereditary entities (which occasionally miscopy) will generate complexity, diversity, beauty, and an illusion of design so persuasive that it is almost impossible to distinguish from deliberate intelligent design.” (Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2008/feb/09/darwin.dawkins1) This an argument from authority, and does not give special credit to intelligent design. What it does show is that natural selection can create patterns that can please the human perspective, giving it the appearance of design. However, if Ray wishes to provide a useful argument for intelligent design, then he must come up with model an collect actual data and perform tests to confirm unnatural interference. To this day, no intelligent design proponent/creationist has done so.
Ray concludes time performs miracles. Ray calls this “child-like faith” which “causes Professor Kenneth R. Miller to abandon all sense of reason”:
“Intelligent-Design advocates contend that evolution could not have produced such complex structures and processes because its instrument, natural selection, simply isn’t up to the task. Such advocates agree that natural selection does a splendid job of working on the variation that exists within a species. Given a range of sizes, shapes, and colors, those individuals whose characteristics give them the best chance to reproduce will pass on traits that will increase in frequency in the next generation. The real issue, therefore, is whether or not the ‘input’ into genetic variation, which is often said to be the result of random mutation, can provide the beneficial novelty that would be required to produce new structures, new systems, and even new species. Could the marvelous structures of the eye have been produced ‘just by chance?’ “The simple answer to that question is ‘no.’ The extraordinary number of physiological and structural changes that would have to appear at once to make a working, functioning eye is simply too much to leave to chance. The eye could not have evolved in a single event. That, however, is not the end of the story. The real test is whether or not the long-term combination of genetic variation and natural selection could indeed produce a structure as complex and well-adapted as the eye, and the answer to that question is a resounding ‘yes.’” (Source: http://www.millerandlevine.com/km/evol/lgd/index.html)
Kenneth Miller is correct that the eye could not evolve in a single moment, and that evidence shows that the eye can evolve over time. In fact, a study by Nilsson and Pelzer (Proc Biol Sci. 256:53-58, 1994. Available online in JSTOR archives) were able to perform a computer simulation of the evolution of the eye using tiny, non-overlapping steps. Despite using very conservative parameters, they found the modern eye could evolve in less than 400,000 generations – a blink of the eye in geological time.
Ray argues: “Long term” (time) performs the impossible miracle for the wide-eyed professor. When Richard Dawkins was asked how an eye could possibly have evolved, he simply said, “Audiences nevertheless appreciate an answer, and I have usually fallen back on the sheer magnitude of geological time.” No one was back in time to see the unseen do its impossible work, but those who believe don’t need to see. They simply believe, says Ray.
Unfortunately, they do not “believe” in this sense. Genetic and fossil evidence shows the eye can evolve naturally. Such developments take time, but so does the development of stars and such. Ray’s creationist beliefs holds that God created everything as they are instantly, which is why Ray ridicules any natural model that requires time. But as Nilsson and Pelzer showed us, it does not take that much time. The main difference between evolution of the eye and Ray’s personal beliefs is that scientific evidence supports the evolution of the eye.
Richard Dawkins, in A Devil’s Chaplain says:
“The evolution of the vertebrate eye must have been progressive. Ancient ancestors had a very simple eye, containing only a few features good for seeing. We don’t need evidence for this (although it is nice that it is there). It has to be true because the alternative—an initially complex eye, well-endowed with features good for seeing—pitches us right back to Hoyle country and the sheer cliff of improbability. There must be a ramp of step-by-step progress towards the modern, multifeatured descendant of that optical prototype.
“Of course, in this case, modern analogs of every step up the ramp can be found, working serviceably in dozens of eyes dotted independently around the animal kingdom. But even without these examples, we could be confident that there must have been a gradual, progressive increase in the number of features which an engineer would recognize as contributing towards optical quality. Without stirring from our armchair, we can see that it must be so.”
Ray argues that mutations only modify or eliminate existing structures, not create new ones and scientists have yet to find even a single mutation that increases genetic information. The fact is that there is no evidence showing that mutations have ever created any new features.
This is completely incorrect. There have been many mutations that add information.
- Kinfolk in the village of Limone Sul Garda in northern Italy have a mutation which gives them better tolerance of HDL serum cholesterol. Consequently this family has no history of heart attacks despite their high-risk dietary habits. This mutation was traced to a single common ancestor living in the 1700’s, but has now spread to dozens of descendants.
- The Glycophorin A somatic cell mutation which has been identified in some Tibetans, which allows them to endure prolonged periods at altitudes over 7,000 feet without succumbing to apoplexia, or “altitude sickness”. A different, but similar mutation was identified in high altitude natives in the Andes.(Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21030426)
- We’ve also identified an emerging population of tetrachromatic women who can see a bit of the normally invisible ultraviolet spectrum.
- The CCR5-delta 32 mutation. About 10% of whites of European origin now carry it. But the incidence is only 2% in central Asia, and is completely absent among East Asians, Africans, and tribal Americans. It appears to have suddenly become relatively common among white Europeans about 700 years ago, evidently as a result of the Black Plague, indicating another example of natural selection allowing one gene dominance in a changing environment. It is harmless or neutral in every respect other than its one clearly beneficial feature. According to Science-Frontiers.com, if one inherits this gene from both parents, they will be especially resistant, if not immune to AIDS.
- there’s a family in Connecticut who’ve been identified as having hyperdense, virtually unbreakable bones. A team of doctors at Yale traced the mutation to a gene that was the subject of an earlier study. In that study researchers showed that low bone density could be caused by a mutation that disrupts the function of a gene called LRP5. This clued them that a different mutation increased LRP5 function, leading to an opposite phenotype, that is, high bone density. According to their investigators, members of this family have bones so strong they rival those of a character in the Bruce Willis movie, ‘Unbreakable.’ (Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1180253/)
Comfort provides a quote from S. G. Scott, making it seem he doesn’t speculate.
“There are no examples of natural inorganic (non-living) materials ever forming themselves into living (organic) material, let alone organizing themselves to the level of being able to duplicate themselves; not to mention developing a system that could store and retrieve the information on how to do it so that their offspring could also duplicate themselves, and could also pass the information on to their offspring, and so on, and so on, and so on…”
“…mutations do not lead to an increase in information. Indeed, reducing the number of legs may alter the body plan, but it does not explain the origin of legs in the first place. Nor does it explain where the genetic information to produce wings came from.“…
“Successful macro-evolution requires the addition of new information and new genes that produce new organs and systems.”
We know that Spanish, Italian, French, and Portuguese all evolved from Latin, a vernacular which is now extinct. Each of these newer tongues emerged via a slow accumulation of their own unique slang lingo –thus diverging into new dialects, and eventually distinct forms of gibberish such that the new Romans could no longer communicate with either Parisians or Spaniards. Similarly, if we took an original Latin speaking population and divided them sequestered in complete isolation over several centuries, they might still be able to understand each other, or their jargon may have become unintelligible to foreigners. But they won’t start speaking Italian or Romanian because identical vocabularies aren’t going to occur twice. It works the same way in biology. Mutations are degrees of variation which are usually quite subtle but cumulative, normally harmless, and occasionally advantageous. Any change in information is different information, not already present, and therefore can only be considered “new”. But of the many types of mutations known to occur, there are additions and duplications as well as deletions and the rest. So yes, genetic material can be added or taken away. But as to whether “information” has been added as opposed to lost, we can’t really tell because creationists won’t tell us what they think “information” is or how to measure it. They’ll readily state (as if it had somehow been confirmed) that it takes more “information” to make a bird than it does a dinosaur, but if you ask ’em how much more, they’ll shut right up. And if you demand to see the data that justifies how they could even make that claim in the first place, they’ll to change the subject.
Finally, Comfort provides one last quote from Scientific American, March 2003 issue:
“Although evolutionary theory provides a robust explanation for the appearance of minor variations in the size and shape of creatures and their component parts, it does not yet give as much guidance for understanding the emergence of entirely new structures, including digits, limbs, eyes and feathers.” (Source: http://www.yale.edu/eeb/prum/pdf/Prum_n_Brush_2003.pdf)
Here is something Comfort did not show in this article: “Very recent contributions from several fields have put these traditional problems to rest…Together these advances have produced a highly detailed and revolutionary picture: feathers originated and diversified in carnivorous, bipedal theropod dinosaurs before the origin of birds or the origin of flight.” Studies have indeed shown how new structures like digits, limbs, eyes and feathers have merged. Ray tries to give the false impression no studies exist or have eve been done.”
Chapter 2: The Intellectual Embarrassment
Finally, at the end of the chapter, Ray addresses scientists who say the universe came from nothing. Ray says the scientists do not phrase it the same way Ray does, and they may protest on how he phrases it.
This is one of the rare moments when Ray is being honest, however it ends quickly.
Ray says, instead the scientists would phrase it that the universe came about by chance. Chance, according to Ray, is nothing. Ray ends the chapter by saying that the universe came from nothing is intellectual madness.
Of course Ray interpretation of the scientific consensus is far from what they actually say. (watch origin of the Universe by Lawrence Krauss here) Dr. Sten Odenwald (Raytheon STX) for NASA, Education and Public Outreach program, 2001 spelled out what scientists mean when they say “nothing:”
“How can ‘nothing’ do anything at all, let alone create an entire universe? When physicists say ‘nothing’ they are being playful with the english language, because we often think of the vacuum as being ’empty’ or ‘nothing’ when in fact physicists know full well that the vacuum is far from empty. The primordial ‘state’ at the Big Bang was far from being the kind of ‘nothingness’ you might have in mind. We don’t have a full mathematical theory for describing this ‘state’ yet, but it was probably ‘multi- dimensional’, it was probably a superposition of many different ‘fields’, and these fields, or whatever they were, were undergoing ‘quantum fluctuations’. Space and time were not the things we know them to be today because our world is a lot colder than the way it started out. Nothingness was not nothing, but it was not anything like the kinds of ‘somethings’ we know about today. We have no words to describe it, and the ones we borrow (that are listed in the Oxford English Dictionary) are based on the wrong physical insight.”
The irony is that the ones who claim that the universe was created from nothing is exactly what Ray and his fellow creationists argue for. According to the Book of Genesis, God spoke things into being and they were good. Basically an incantation (i.e. MAGIC) brought everything into being. Ray says we have never seen matter create itself. You know what we have never seen? We’ve never seen anything “created”. No one has ever seen a complex life-form (or anything else) magically pop out of thin air. But that’s what creationists are arguing for!
Chapter 3: How did life begin?
In this chapter, Ray addresses abiogenesis, but falsely equates it to evolution and the Big Bang Theory. He says evolutionists say that life evolved from something, like rocks.
Evolution makes no comment on the origin of life, evolution only matters once life forms and begins to diverge. Evolution says nothing about the origin of earth or the solar system.
Ray asks where did this come from all the way back to the singularity, and scientists cannot tell what came before that. Ray labels theses scientists Genesisophobics.
Asking what came before the Big Bang is like asking what is north of the North Pole?
Ray then addresses several “scientific” hypotheses how life could have evolved.
* Meteorites – we have found amino acids, molecular building blocks of nucleic acids, and water on meteorites.
* Organic soup and the heterotrohpic hypothesis –
* Cairns (and others) ideas of chemical determination from clay
* and finally “There are others. Of course the pseudoscience ideas are always thrown in by religious interests, but of course are not substantiated by scientific investigations.”
Ray says any notion or idea that claims God as the genesis of life is excluded as pseudoscience.
This is fairly accurate, since science is based on testing and empirical evidence, God cannot be used in the scientific method.
Ray then quotes Andrew Knoll, a Harvard professor, about the origin of life. Knolls said there are many explanations, but the thing is we just don’t know exactly how.
While Knolls is correct that many explanations exist and each provide evidence to support them, we are not sure which one is entirely responsible for the origin of life or if multiple, or all, of the explanations were responsible. However, since we do not have a concrete answer does not mean Ray Comfort’s beliefs and views win by default.
Comfort then includes a article from Times that perhaps life could be from alien forms. Using this, Ray quote-mines Richard Dawkins from the film Expelled to make it appear that Dawkins accepts the idea that life could have come from extraterrestrial life.
However, when put in context, Dawkins was putting for a hypothetical scenario of how intelligent design might be plausible, but he never said to believe in aliens. While it may appear far-fetched to most people, the alien scenario can be testable and is more likely then we are the products of a supernatural deity.
Ray goes on about life from comets. He asks were did these molecules come from? Who made them? Why are they on comets?
The question “who” is misleading. That mater in question is not who, but what and especially how.
Why must we presume that the thing responsible is a “who”? There can be no “who” at all in the first place, and we have no reason to assume that there should be a “who” in the equation.
Moving on to the Primordial soup, Ray asks where did these molecules come from and why were they there? Immediately, Comfort concludes that the Primordial Soup does not answer the questions at all. Comfort says scientists now believe it was not in a pond but actually the ocean, which he says is a problem because it is larger and deeper.
How can Comfort just turn from the issue so fast and come to a conclusion before examining the evidence? Life forming in the ocean is not a problem at all for the origin of life. Life can even form ”’below”’ the earth bed, under all the pressures of the oceans and atmosphere. Life can form naturally under very harsh conditions. Conventional wisdom has held that nothing smaller than 150 nanometers – 150 millionths of a meter – 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. That is until 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.
Ray says life did not originate in a “leisure” place Darwin envisioned. Comfort quotes German microbiologist Karl Stetter that life may not have formed in a warm pond, but a “hot pressured cooker.”
The bottom of the ocean contains many volcanic, hydrothermal vents. These provide a remarkable ecologic niche. The gas from the vents contains carbon dioxide and methane and can serve as a hot reducing environment for the synthesis of prebiotic compounds. These vents have been proposed as sites for the evolution of life itself. The high temperatures characteristic of these volcanic vents are especially suitable for the evolution of heat-loving, or thermophilic, Archaea.
Comfort says that scientists have come up with a lot of ideas, tossed out a few, but have not come to a general consensus of what they accept as the best hypothesis for the origin of life.
This does not mean that religious fables win by default.
Ray ends this section with a fraction of an article “How did Life Begin? New Research Suggests meteorites may have Helped” by Joel Kontinen.
“Since Charles Darwin’s day, theories about the birth of life have come and gone. Darwin famously speculated about life having begun in a warm pond. Researchers tested the idea in 2006 and found it wanting. They examined hot puddles in Kamchatka, Russia, and Mount Lassen in California and discovered that “hot acidic waters containing clay do not provide the right conditions for chemicals to assemble themselves into ‘pioneer organisms’. ”
Stanley Miller and Harold Urey conducted a famous experiment in 1953. While it has been used as a propaganda device for evolution, Jonathan Wells and other Darwin skeptics have pointed out its flaws. Wells said:
“The Miller-Urey experiment used a simulated atmosphere that geochemists now agree was incorrect, it was not the ‘first successful attempt to show how organic molecules might have been produced on the early Earth.’ When conditions are changed to reflect better knowledge of the Earth’s early atmosphere, the experiment doesn’t work.”
Others have looked to outer space as a potential source of life. Sir Fred Hoyle, convinced that life could not have originated on earth, suggested that it was brought here from space. While this panspermia view has its advocates, the naturalistic answer to how life began on Earth remains as elusive as ever.”
Joel Kontinen is a translator and novelist currently living in Finland. His background includes an MA in translation studies and a BA in Bible and Theology, but nothing in science or biology.
His representation of the evidence of abiogenesis is blatantly misleading. The Miller experiment is not and never was propaganda, nor have Johnathan Wells or other “Darwin skeptics” refuted it. The Miller experiment tried to prove spontaneous generation was possible, not prove how life first arose. Wells argument is 50 years out of date. What Wells does not share is that there have been more than 40 articles written since 1997 which cover nearly every imaginable prebiotic environment and still create certain types of organic material. The complaints of Wells and other creationists about the Miller-Urey experiments are without merit.
The question “How did life first evolve on earth?” is one of the most intriguing questions in biology. Examination of the wide range of modern organisms has provided a wealth of clues about some of the necessary chemicals and conditions required. While many models have been proposed, some are clearly better than others. One of the most likely is a protometabolism-transfer RNA model, consisting first of The Age of Chemicals providing the necessary organic compounds, followed by The Age of Information involving the co-evolution of polymers of RNA and protein. This model shows that the origin of life was not so intractable that only a divine creator could do it. Given the rapidity and apparent ease of the origin of life on earth, it is likely that many of the other planets in the universe also have intelligent life.
From Dust to Dust
Here Ray tries to present a case that if God created man we would expect many elements from the soil to be found in the human body. He lists six elements: potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and maganese. Comfort does not mention carbon. Instead, Comfort uses an article called “Did Life Begin in the “RNA World?” by L.J. Gibson of the Geoscience Research.
“For many years there has been a general dissatisfaction with the protein hypothesis of the origin of life. Proteins cannot replicate themselves, making them unsuitable as a starting point for the development of life. However, there seemed to be no naturalistic alternative available until recently. This newer hypothesis has been dubbed the “RNA World” (Gilbert 1986). The basis for this model is the discovery that certain RNA molecules have catalytic properties. Since RNA also serves as a carrier of information, it seemed reasonable to suggest that ancient RNA molecules might have acted as a starting point for the origin of life. The “RNA World” hypothesis for the origin of life seems a significant improvement over the protein hypothesis, and has been the subject of considerable discussion.”
His article concludes with:
“The “RNA World” hypothesis for the origin of life requires implausible events at each step in the sequence outlined. Small molecules are highly unlikely to have been available in any plausible model of a primordial earth. Even if small molecules were present, they would be highly unlikely to produce the large protein and nucleic-acid molecules useful for life. Even if the large molecules were present, there is no known mechanism whereby they might be organized into functional cellular or subcellular units. The “RNA World” hypothesis suffers from many of the same problems as the protein hypothesis, and has additional problems of its own. Considering the conditions necessary for the establishment of life, it appears that the most plausible explanation for the origin of life is an intelligent creator.”
Actually, if life did originate naturally from the Earth’s elements…. we would expect to see elements of the Earth in our bodies.
Chapter 4: Intellectual Degradation
Comfort begins by stressing the point that man cannot create anything from nothing. Ray says that belief the universe began from nothing is preposterous and “atheism is off the charts in human folly. By contrast, the flat-earther is a real genius.”
When properly put forward, replace “atheism” with “creationism” is folly and makes a flat-earther look like a genius. Atheism does not comment at all about origins, meaning Ray lied from the start.
Ray goes on explaining the functions of the moon, and says atheists mock Genesis 1:16 that says the moon “rules the night.” The verse says “The greater light [the sun] to rule the day, and the lesser light [the moon] to rule the night.”
But the moon is not a light; it only reflects light from the sun. And why, if God made the moon to “rule the night”, does it spend half of its time moving through the daytime sky?
It is clear that the Bible got this wrong: the moon does not produce it’s own light.
Ray makes it clear that when a person, no matter who, professes to be an atheist is thereby “immediately disqualifies himself to speak as a representative of science because his premise is a violation of the fundamental rule of science.” Ray then lists several scientists who believe (and loved) in God.
Ray has no degree in any scientific field, or even in theology or religion.
Furthermore, Ray is the only one here who believes everything came from nothing, not atheists, so the only one here that is excluded from commenting on science is Ray Comfort.
Ray says he and his Christian friends love science, but as he quotes Einstein, Ray says those who leave out God in the equations “are lame” and are disqualified because their premise of “nothing created everything” is a scientific impossibility.
Einstein said “science without religion is lame” not “science without God is lame.” Again, Ray is the one who is disqualified from commenting on science, not just for having no degree in science, that his creationist beliefs hods that Go magically created everything from nothing. So he goes beyond “everything from nothing” he invokes magic in the equation (a scientific impossibility).
Ray quotes Einstein again: “I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I wont to know His thoughts. The rest are details.” Ray says the Bible will reveal God’s thoughts.
Does it? There are over 30,000 denominations in Christianity. Then why can’t genuine Christians agree what god thinks or wants?
My “Dishonesty” and Evolution
Ray says that he is accused of not accepting evidence for specie-to-specie transitions and he does not understand the theory of evolution. Ray wants to “settle this once and for all.” He goes on to explain what a “missing link” is by citing an article and italicized parts of it.
“Discovered: the missing link that solves the mystery of evolution. Scientists have made one of the most important fossils in history: a missing link between fish and land animals [change from one species to another] showing how creatures first walked out of the water and on to dry land more than 375m years ago. Palaeontologists have said that the find, a crocodile-like animal called the ”Tiktaalik roseae” and described today in the journal Nature, could become an icon of evolution in action – like Archeopteryx, the famous fossil that bridged the gap between reptiles and birds [change from one species to another]. As such, it will be a blow to proponents of intelligent design, who claim that the many gaps in the fossil record show evidence of some higher power.” [http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2006/apr/06/evolution.fossils]
Ray says the above are not substantiated. He says Archeopteryx was a full bird and not a missing link. Ray ends this section with, “The missing link is still missing, and we’re still waiting for the first piece of genuine evidence for the theory of evolution.”
It is a mystery how Ray seemed to miss another transitional mentioned in the article: Tiktaalik. Archeopteryx is not a full bird. It has many Dinosaurian traits include the following:
- no bill
- teeth on premaxilla and maxilla bones
- nasal opening far forward, separated from the eye by a large preorbital fenestra (hole)
- neck attached to skull from the rear
- center of cervical vertebrae that have simple concave articular facets
- long bony tail; no pygostyle
- ribs slender, without joints or uncinate processes, and not articulated with the sternum
- sacrum that occupies six vertebrae
- small thoracic girdle
- metacarpals free (except third metacarpal), wrist hand joint flexible
- claws on three unfused digits
- pelvic girdle and femur joint shaped like those of archosaurs in many details
- bones of pelvis unfused
…and over 100 other differences from birds (Chiappe 2002; Norell and Clarke 2001). The missing link is no longer mising, and it hasn’t for a very long time. A decade ago, Kathleen Hunt, a zoologist with the University of Washington, produced a list of a few hundred of the more dramatic transitional species known so far, all of which definitely fit every criteria required of the most restrictive definition. Myriad transitional species have been, and still are being, discovered; so many in fact that lots of biologists and paleontologists now consider that list “innumerable” especially since the tally of definite transitionals keeps growing so fast! Several lineages are now virtually complete, including our own. 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!
Confessions of a Backsliden Atheist
Ray introduces a “backsliden atheist” A. N. Wilson, a friend of Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens who openly announced in 2009 he became a Christian. Comfort says that he became an Christian because of the fear of death.
The fear of death could have stimulated Wilson to become a Hindu. Simply because one man, or any man, turns to Christianity does not give Christianity any credulity.
Ray concludes this section by repeating his “creation requires a creator” argument. Comfort points out Wilson’s question: how do materialists think language evolved?
The Secret Plan
Ray begins by sharing a time when he and his wife watched a film adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of two Cities. Ray points out the film left out the main character converted to Christianity in the last few days of his life. Ray then addresses the characters role to give life for another, which he equates to what God did when he became Jesus.
Chapter 5: Ignorant knuckle-draggers
In this chapter, Ray tries to convince the reader that belief in evolution leads to many social evils because evolution teaches that we are just animals. Ray equates those who say we are animals as fact are like religious zealots.
Evolution does not teach that humans are animals; biology in general does. More specifically, 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.
This is a common creationist tactic with linking evolution to many wicked things, such as: homosexuality, abortion, bestiality, and others.
Ray says that accepting evolution leads people to lust and fornication.
What Ray fails to understand is that description does not imply promotion. Mistaking “is” for “ought” is the naturalistic fallacy. The theory of evolution no more promotes promiscuity and lust than germ theory promotes getting infectious diseases.
Ray quotes from an unidentified dictionary that animal is defined as “any such living thing other than a human being.”
Wherever Ray Comfort got this definition, his source is incorrect. Humans are animals, specifically apes.
In a section, Ray shares his experiences asking atheists about the origin of the universe. He says atheists ”choose” not to believe that the cause was God. He then says the Bible says atheists are blind (1 Corinthians 4:3-4). According to Ray, atheists make an absolute claim when they say “There is no God.” Ray says for one to make an absolute claim is to have absolute knowledge of the universe.
Turn the tables around, Ray makes an equally fallacious claim when he says “there is a God.” However, Ray dances around this and says Christians don’t need knowledge because they experience God through conversion. Ray never does provide any evidence for the authenticity of his conversion. If a Muslim is equally convinced Allah is real through conversion, what makes Ray’s point any more reliable? Ray also ignores that the brain can cause many intense feelings that seem real. Consuming mushrooms, such as entheogens, produce many spiritual feelings that have been used by shamans and other religious figures.
Ray then makes an argument that faith in God is not faith but trust. He then goes on to use his parachute analogy, that is that if you were in a plane that was going down and people offered you a variety of gifts, you would reject them. However, when someone offers you a parachute, you take it and put your trust in it to save your life. He compares this parachute with faith in Jesus Christ.
This however, is an flawed argument known as Pascal’s Wager. Ray Comfort says his parachute (provided by his invisible friend) is safe and harmless, but suddenly another passenger tells you “Don’t use his parachute, it has holes in it. Use mine provided by my invisible friend.” Then a third passenger announces “My invisible friend slashed all the parachutes on board. He takes care of his chosen people, and as none of you were born into the correct lineage, it’s too bad for you.” Some people refuse parachutes and urge others to do the same, because it would interfere with the master plan of the father of their invisible friend (these are the same people who refuse medical care in favor of prayer and faith healing). The drama goes on with the rest of the passengers, until you demand to actually see proof of a doomed plane and which parachute does work. Some say you must not demand for evidence and just have faith. Regardless, you inspect the plane and the parachutes. The plane is operating just fine in every way and each parachute has holes in them big enough you can fit your head through them. Some of the parachutes terribly constrict people, harming them. The plane reaches its destination safely, but the drama continues through the terminal, security, all the way out beyond the airport. You learn from airports around the world that many people have harmed many others and themselves due to their faith in their parachute provided by their particular invisible friend.}}
Chapter 6: The Dinosaur in the Bible
Skeptics have pointed out, says Comfort, that dinosaurs existed and therefore God does not. Ray tries to show that the God of the Bible mentioned such creatures in Job 40:15-24. Ray then quotes from a source at says most dinosaurs were plant eaters. In Job 40:18, which says that the bones must be a strong as bars of iron, Ray says that the bones of Argentinosaurus must have been strong to support its weight. Ray concludes, due to Job 40:20-23, that God slew the dinosaurs. In Job 40:24, Ray uses the dinosaur Argentinosaurus was so large it broke the branches with its nose.
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, and the cedar comparison referred to its virility.
Here, Ray tries to convince people to not believe everything their teachers tell them (especially regarding the theory of evolution). Ray quotes an anonymous person who says they have known from the fourth grade that the blue whale is the largest creature on the planet, then Ray shows that one such dinosaur was in fact larger.
Of course, he doesn’t realize that maybe this anonymous person could be talking about the blue whale being the largest creature on the planet ”right now”.
Ray ends this section with linking similarities with himself and Einstein.
Chapter 7: The Blind Faith in the Theory of Evolution
The chapter begins with Ray addressing evolution not having a mind guiding it to certain ends. He then falsely equates it to gravity, since evolution does not explain where gravity came from. He says are we just “fortunate” that gravity exists? When asking where it came from, he is not satisfied with answers like “chance” or accident.” He asks evolutionists to explain where such laws came from.
The problem with this is that biology says nothing about cosmology or physics, so he is asking the wrong people. This is similar to asking a geologist to provide proof where the laws of nature came from, and when they cannot provide an answer, Ray just throws his hands up and goes “AHA! See, you don;t know there it was done by magic.” But do physicists provide an answer for such questions? Physicist Victor J. Stenger in his book ”God: The Failed Hypothesis”, Chapter 4: Cosmic Evidence explains where the laws of physics came from. His conclusion, based on the evidence, is that the laws were not created and appear as we would expect if the universe formed under natural forces.
Ray goes on to question gravity. He says Newton explained gravity, but could not explain the nature of gravity. Ray says Newton answered that question with God, but Ray provides no reference to such a claim.
Ray is known to deliberately quote mine, and frequently says Newton was a smart man who believed in god, not evolution. The problem with this, of course, Newton died many years before the Origin of Species was published.
Next, Ray brings up Ben Stein, maker of the propaganda movie ”Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed”, why he made the movie, Stein replies “Well, if there is no intelligent design, where did gravity came from?”
Biology is not mean to explain away physics.
For that matter, WHERE IS ANY proof that there is an intelligent design Stein???????????
Ray admits he gets mocked by evolutionists for asking where gravity came from. Ray says evolutionists say it just is.
How can Ray find this unbelievable, but at the same time thinks that his God has no cause or beginning just because he says so?
Ray then examines the human hand. For a moment, he tells the reader to put aside evolution and intelligent design. He goes on to say the hand is wonderfully ”made”…
… not a good choice of words Ray, this shows us that you yourself did not put aside anything for this experiment. While humans have two hands, according to Ray, primates have four. This is false, primates only have two hands. Ray tries to compare the limbs of humans and primates to make it appear that they are fundamentally different and could not be the result of evolution.
Ray then tries to equate evolution as a form of religion by saying we should get down and praise our hands and limbs.
Evolution is NOT a religion. Even the US courts have ruled on this, concluding that it is not a religion.
Ray ends this chapter with a preachy ending. He goes on to say atheists and everyone should repent to be saved from hell. Unlike other “man-made religions” Ray says they do not acknowledge that God is perfect, and thus his law demands moral perfection. He repeats his usual guilt trip using his narrow selection of the Ten Commandments. Ray says that we all should become missionaries for God just as Ray did.
The problem with this Ray, it turned you into a uneducated lying hypocrite.
Chapter 8: The Straw Man
Ray addresses Epicurus famous work
Is God willing to prevent evil but not able? Then He is not omnipotent.
Is He able, but not willing? Then He is malevolent.
Is He both able and willing? Then hence cometh evil?
Is He neither willing nor able? Then why call him God?
Ray says that Epicurus makes a good case, but does not include the “long suffering of God.” Ray says God will punish evil, but we do not see ourselves as being evil. Ray then quotes the Bible what God thinks about humanity in Romans 3:10-18 (but this is not God’s words, they are Paul’s).
Overall, Ray does not address or answer the question. He just says be patient with God and do not think of him as evil.
However, this completely ignores the fact that if god exists, he is indeed evil. This is like saying “do not think Hitler as being evil, rather think of him as a ‘long suffering but loving ruler'” – sorry, but that does not work. Hitler was evil to his core, and so is the fictional god of Abraham.
Ray then talks about an atheist named Kat who comments on his blog “Atheist Central” claiming Ray is a hateful person. When he pressured Kat to find one example, and after a period of time, she wrote back saying that she found so many it broke her heart and would refuse to comment on Ray’s blog any further. Ray says that she failed to provide one example.
Ray Comfort has displayed numerous examples of hate. Comfort often times insult atheists intentionally with statements like “all I need are eyes to see and a brain that works” to know that God exists. Comfort even damages fellow believers who do not share his particular narrow view of God is correct and theirs is a form of idolatry. Ray admits in this book that mockery is a legitimate form of debate. Ray says he constantly mocks the theory of evolution (which he once proclaimed to believe), but he only mocks it in the most dishonest way possible because he would rather believe in an fantasy than accept a testable and verifiable reality. It is also clear he never accepted evolution, because he falsely compares it with cosmology and social ills.
Ray ends this chapter with addressing Kat one more time. He says Kat is tender-hearted and cannot handle a civil debate.
How can Ray say that he can have a civil debate when he was the one who just stated that mockery is legitimate in a debate?
How can Ray say that he engages in civil debates when he preys on people’s fears and emotions?
Finally, including deliberate misrepresentations of science and outright lying to deceive your audience (even when admitting it) is the very antithesis of a civil debate.
Chapter 9: Who killed JFK?
The chapter begins from a paragraph authored by an atheist. It mocks Ray for believing in a man who can fly in the air, and yet Ray has the gall to mock atheism.
Ray counters this paragraph if you examine what an atheist believes, (creation has no creator, no design in nature, etc.) it is more ridiculous.
Ray has failed to provide any evidence for such claims, so now it is not ridiculous not to believe in something without any proof.
Ray does not stop there, he says atheists DO have beliefs, they just do not what to admit it because it would show they have faith of some sorts. He says atheists ”believe” the earth is several millions of years old.
Wrong. People ”accept” the earth is old, not believe, because belief implies there is little evidence to support it. However, there are mountains of evidence to prove that the earth is indeed old.
Ray moves on to discuss the assassination of JFK. Since we do not know what happened several decades ago, how can we know what happened several million years ago? (It appears Ray does not examine the question, Since we do not know what happened to JFK several decades ago, how can we know what happened to Jesus two millennia ago?)
This is a fallacious argument. Just because we are not sure what happened in this one small period of history does not mean we throw out everything we know that happened in the past. Unlike the JFK incident, scientists have multiple ways of testing what happened in the past.
Ray goes on to explain miracles. Ray says he has no problem believing in miracles. He believes in the following: Creation; all animals brought onto Noah’s Ark; global flood; splitting of the Red Sea; stopping the lions from eating Daniel; God guiding the rock from David’s sling; feeding thousands with a few fishes and bread; and a man rising from the dead. Ray says it is easy to believe in such miracles every time he sees a bird fly, because he is witnessing God’s handiwork.
Even though Ray will not admit it, there is evidence for the evolution of feathers and flight.[http://www.sciohost.org/ncse/kvd/Padian/kpslides.html#birds Kitzmiller v. Dover: Padian demonstrative slides] [http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/biblio/flight.html]
Chapter 10: The Mirror
Comfort begins this chapter with saying it is easy for humans to use sin as an excuse for bad behavior, such as lying, stealing, and murder. Ray tries to portray his version of the Ten Commandments to make them appear as a “mirror” for us to look in and see our sins.
What Ray does not mentions is that sin AND obedience to god’s law both create bad behavior. Following God’s word often leads to more suffering than sin, history and modern times testify to this. Even Ray, who firmly believes in the absolute rule of never lying, constantly breaks this rule when he attacks evolution. It seems lying is okay, if you are lying for Jesus, but if this makes lying okay then would it also justify murder?
Comfort asks is it “unfair” to create rules that say don’t kill, seal, lie, or commit adultery? Ray says the First Commandment is reasonably justified.
Is it reasonably justified? “I am your Lord thy God, thou shall not have any other Gods before me.” Notice it says ‘before me’ does that imply that other gods do indeed exist? What about any gods after him? This was spoken by Elohim (ironically, a plural name for the god El), who is the “Lord” of the Israelites. This is the equivalent of establishing the nation of Israel, not the United States of America. It can be taken as either monotheistic (only one god) or henotheistic (only one supreme god), and in any case is contrary to the American constitutional guarantees of freedom of conscience and against an establishment of religion. In the United States, we are free to worship many gods, one god or no gods at all. Elohim does not appear in any of the growing documents on which our country was founded.
Ray mentions that a person emailed him, explaining that lust is involuntary, and is therefore unlawful to make something out of our control a crime. Ray tries to justify his beliefs by claiming lust, not sex, is an “unlawful” desire. Ray says sex should be confined within marriage. Ray blames the spread of STDs on the failure to keep the “rules” of marriage as instructed by the Bible.
Ray does not stop to think and blame the spread of STDs due to religion and its dogma to teach kids abstinence, a failed system that it appears to be no accident that states with the highest levels of religiosity teach abstinence only, but also have the highest rates of STDs, teen pregnancies, and abortions.
Ray says that lusting for someone in your mind is adultery, and using the “involuntary” excuse will not do with God.
Ray did not fully address or answer the question. Lusting is indeed involuntary, and that is know to anyone familiar with psychiatry. There are pathways inn our brains that stimulate pleasure from things that are required for our survival, such as eating. We must eat to survive, so our mind evolved to seek pleasure in eating. Same with lust an sex, since we must reproduce to survive, our minds have been programed to seek and desire sex.
Who is the Painter?
This section begins with an anonymous person addressing Ray’s favorite argument, the argument from design in the form of a painting. A painting is proof there was a painter says Ray.
This dead horse is taking a heavy beating.
Chapter 11: The Subject of Lying
This chapter begin with several quotes by atheists accusing Ray Comfort of lying. Here, Ray wants to address this by asking where do the atheists get their sense of right and wrong from.
He does not bother tying to defend himself or justify his lies, instead he tries to attack his critics as lacking a moral compass.
Ray says that atheists have no moral absolutes. Ray says that accusing him of lying is meaningless if here is no god.
How about accusing you of hypocrisy. Since Ray believes all lying is wrong, and yet he lies constantly – that makes him a hypocrite and a liar.
Ray then says atheists are without excuse Romans 1:10 and the evidence for God is axiomatic because “creation requires a creator.” Ray then quotes an article which he believes explains the justification for the damnation of atheists.
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.
While the laws of physics states that matter cannot be created, Ray continues to assert that matter must be the result of divine creation. After all his faith demands that his God must be responsible. Comfort goes a bit further into absurdity by reasoning since the smartest person in the world cannot make anything from nothing, then God must have been responsible for creating everything. Basically, since we cannot demonstrate that matter can come from nothing, then Ray says God made it magically out of thin air. Ray believes that if his God is not the creator, then there is only one default position: that everything came from nothing. Unfortunately, this is not true. Science has demonstrated that the universe does not require any creator or divine/supernatural entity to start the universe. The universe is made of matter and energy, and science reveals that energy and matter cannot be created, and this fact alone dismisses Ray’s presupposition that there must be a creator. The evidence thus far points to the Big Bang Theory which does not say that the universe was created from nothing ex nihilo —— that is a common straw man constructed by creationists like Ray Comfort.
Addressing the definition of atheists as having a lack of belief in God, Ray tries to counter this by saying “I lack a belief that my Ford had a maker” means that nothing made his Ford. He goes on to conclude that does not make the Ford maker disappear from reality.
What Ray misses is that the ones who propose a positive belief (I beleive that God exists) are the ones who have to provide the evidence for their deity. In the case of a car, we can demonstrate numerous ways to cars are man-made products. Call the engineer, visit a workshop, talk to a mechanic, see the blueprints for the car, etc etc etc. What Ray cannot do is present ANYTHING to prove a creator, and that said creator is his narrow-minded version of the Abrahamic Christian god.
Moving on, he addresses the definition of Homo Sapiens, which means “wise man.” Comfort argues that humans do not have the amazing abilities other animals do (such a sniff out drugs or catch a Frisbee in their mouth 6 feet in the air). Ray argues that scientists are still looking for a transitional fossil. He cites Archeopteryx, which scientists thought was more than just a bird because “it has large claws.” Ray says they are “‘theorizing.’ They are merely imagining.”
First of all, we actually have thousands of transitional fossils, including one that reveal human evolution.
Second of all, Archeoptryx was not considered a transitional fossil based entirely on its claws. It had many more dinosaurian traits than bird traits. Its main bird traits are
- long external nostrils.
- quadrate and quadratojugal (two jaw bones) not sutured together.
- palatine bones that have three extensions.
- all teeth lacking serrations.
- large lateral furrows in top rear body of the vertebrae.
Finally, a scientific theory is not the same as the word theory in popular language. Unless Ray thinks that scientists just “imagine” that atoms are real, germs cause diseases, and the earth orbiting around the sun rather vice-versa.
Children and their Propensity to do wrong
This section begins with an anonymous person taking note of Ray’s belief that everyone is born a sinner. By this view, why would people want to have children. Ray tries to answer that the ones who think they are sinners are the ones having children whereas the ones who think humanity is good are the ones having abortions.
Contrary, of all the Christian denominations, evangelicals have the highest abortion ratings. Second of all, it is still a valid question: if everyone is born a sinner, why bother having children at all? Do not respond by attacking an opposite view, you need to explain yourself and not dodge the question.
Ray says that children know how to lie and steal, because they are born in a sinful nature and the Scriptures say the heart of humanity is wicked to its core. Ray quotes 2 Peter 2:2-3 about Bible preachers who use faith to draw in money.
First of all, lying and stealing is no more of a sign of sin than thetans or bad karma. Second, you should not quote 2 Peter – especially when it was written by a forger.
Ray say he emailed a very famous atheist (not Richard Dawkins) once Christian the following email: “Judas lasted three and a half years. You managed to fake it for nineteen yeas. Amazing.” The atheist told him to never contact him again. Ray did not reply because the atheist was a lawsuit frenzy person. Ray calls hypocrites, like this atheist, a faker. A pretender who never understood the cross. Comfort labels this atheist as bitter and hates the God he supposedly loved.
You cannot hate something that does not exist. Atheists do not hate god, they have no belief in god.
For instance, I think Voldemort from the Harry Potter series is a evil wicked son-of-bitch, but I do not hate him because he does not exist. He is nothing but pure fiction. This would be like someone telling Ray Comfort that his [Ray] lack of belief in the Flying Spaghetti Monster is proof that Ray hates the FSM – the one true creator.
Chapter 12: The Missing Link Finally Found
Ray begins the chapter with the claim that creationists have been called liars for years, while providing a quote that points creationists and the public to a source of a wide library of transitional fossils. Moving on, he provides a article regarding Ida as if scientists have finally found the missing link. Next he provides a quote from CBS News “So while we don’t know exactly what Ida means to human origins, she’s proof we are endlessly fascinated by where we come from.” He includes another quote from Wall Street Journal. From this, Comfort concludes that the missing link is still missing.
The truth is the “missing link” is not missing. It 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.
Comfort goes on to examine the cause of human intelligence. He summarizes that the human intelligence must have a cause and the Creator must have a higher intelligence because we cannot create a grain of rice from nothing.
If this argument was valid, then the mind of God not being a random jumble of synapses would require a higher intelligent creator. Evolution does explain human intelligence. Intelligence has obvious advantages that can help with survival, so it is consistent with evolutionary theory.
Ray provides more articles about scientists and what they “believe.” Ray points out that science changes their “beliefs” as time goes by and new data is collected. Because science always changes, what we accept today may be wrong in a hundred years.
However, evolution and gravity will remain. We observe both in nature right now and will always be a part of nature. As more evidence accumulates, scientific findings become more and more certain. Theories that have withstood several decades of study may undergo more refinement of details, but it is almost inconceivable that they would be overturned completely.
Ray argues that because species have similarities is NOT proof of evolution, instead they have a common creator. Comfort also argues that disease is not proof of evolution because it proves the biblical notion we live in a “fallen” world.
Regarding the first part, evidence for a creation must begin by specifying (before the fact) what is expected from a creator. When do we expect similar forms, and when do we expect different forms? The difference is that evolution theory has made predictions, and the pattern of similarities and differences that we observe accords with what evolution predicts. Disease is not proof of a “fallen” world. Why would God create humans with immune systems if disease did not exist before the Fall?
Ray notes that the fossil record only shows changes ”within” a species, and never once shows evidence of specie-to-specie transition. Thus, the fossil record speaks of special creation.
Whenever Ray asks a scientist what is the evidence for evolution, the scientist replies “science” and “fossils,” but when asked specifically they say “I am not an expert.”
It is clear that whoever Ray was interviewing was not the person to be addressing the evidence for evolution, if he did interview them at all (it is hard to verify the credibility of an anonymous person) — but what should be the elephant in the room, the only person here who is “not an expert” is Ray Comfort!
If you want an expert opinion on evolutionary theory, then talk to an expert. Start with a university professor, a evolutionary scientist, and such. As for the fossil record, it does not provide any proof of creation. The fossil record shows a gradual change in taxa and arise of new species. Many transitional fossils exist. We’ve found millions of evolutionary intermediaries in the fossil record, much more than Darwin said he could reasonably hope for. There are three different types of transitional forms and we have ample examples of each. But creationists still insist that we’ve never found a single one, because what they usually ask us to present are impossible parodies which evolution would neither produce nor permit, such as Kirk Cameron and his Crocoduck. A decade ago, Kathleen Hunt, a zoologist with the University of Washington, produced a list of a few hundred of the more dramatic transitional species known so far, all of which definitely fit every criteria required of the most restrictive definition. Myriad transitional species have been, and still are being, discovered; so many in fact that lots of biologists and paleontologists now consider that list “innumerable” especially since the tally of definite transitionals keeps growing so fast! Several lineages are now virtually complete, including our own.
Comfort provides quotes by a Christians. The first says evolution is a theory, and theories are speculations. The Christian demands proof that archaeology and history does not support the Bible. He says the Bible’s history is very accurate and experts rely on it. The second says that they were brought up to accept evolution in school, but later when demanding for evidence and facts, nobody could explain what the “facts” are. He concludes that evolution is a worldview philosophy and not a science.
None of the above is accurate at all. Evolution is presented in schools because it is the only explanation for life’s diversity and the facts do exist. Whoever this anonymous Christian asked for evidence either was not an expert or did spell out the evidence for him, but this Christian did not know what he was seeing or choose not to accept it outright.
Charles Darwin Believed Man Evolved from Monkeys
Opens with comments explaining that humans and apes share a common ancestor. Ray says that there are 350 species of primate. In this short section, Ray provides a quote from Charles Darwin that compared the traits of monkeys and primates, and briefly included humans.
What Ray does not share is that Darwin was not the first to categorize humans are apes. The first was Charles Linnaeus, the father of taxonomy and a creationist, placed humans as primates many years before Darwin was even born.
It is irrelevant what the above people believed, even if Ray is quoting them correctly and honestly. It is what the evidence provides. Humans indeed share a common ancestor with other primates and we are without a doubt apes now.
The Catholic Church and Evolution
The Vatican recently released a notice the Christianity and evolution are compatible. Ray Comfort in response argued that they were not compatible at all. According to Ray, God made man “instantaneously” in his own image (what does that even mean? And how can he make humans in an instant?). Ray quotes Scripture to show that man’s flesh is different from other animals.
Unfortunately Ray, the Bible does not help you here. The Bible tries to make it appear humans are special. Of course our flesh is different from scales and such, but we are still mammals, vertebrates, and such which are all categories of animal.
At the end of the section, he includes a quote from William Donahue, president of the Catholic League responds to Ray Comforts pitiful arguments that the Vatican has chosen to believe Darwin over Jesus and not exercising “common sense.”
Ray does not prove any part of Donahue’s response or arguments to show why he thinks that way. Not revealing the rest of Donahue’s objections (and we can be sure he had some interesting things to say), Ray goes on to say that the diversity of the Vatican is encouraging atheism. Perhaps the diversity of Christianity alone (over 30,000 denominations) is driving people away from religion, since none can agree how to interpret the Bible correctly and often commit acts of violence against each other.
A girl asks her mother when did the human race appear? Her mother relied when God created Adam and Eve. The girl then asks her dad the same question, he replies the human race came about through evolution. The girl is confused, she goes back to her mom, who says that both parents have told her a story, now she had to decide which to believe.
Not really good parenting. They should at least teach their girl how to think critically. And why would you let the child decide? You are foregoing your intellect in favor of fanaticism and things that are not supported by any shred of evidence, and you are not just raising a nation that is utterly ignorant about science, but why would you let the children decide? Do you let your children decide on when to go to bed? Do you let your kids decide on when to drink beer? No, you are the adult, you are supposed to be educated enough to think and to use reason and make a fair judgment that is not based on fanaticism or anything like that. You owe it to the kids to not teach them that and to decide for them what I reasonable and what is not. To teach them creationism and things like that, you are utterly failing them.
Chapter 13: The Atheist’s Amazing Imagination
Ray mocks the idea science claims that things can be as old as 14 billion years. Such things to Ray are the products of imagination.
Only in Ray’s imagination are the evidence “imaginary.”
The Open mind of an Atheist
Here an atheist mocks Ray for believing that snakes can talk. Ray tries to counter this by pointing out that some species of primates know many human words. He points out some birds speak English words and pets seem to understand their masters and their master seem to understand them at times. Ray presumes the reader believes fish evolved into humans, so how hard can it be to imagine that an animal can communicate with humans.
However, this does not make Ray’s problem go away. We are dealing with a snake, a creature with no linguistic or vocal tools, and yet can speak perfectly with a woman. The problem is actual evidence. If someone you trusted told you they saw a cat speak Spanish to someone, you would demand proof. How about in the Gospel of Peter where a piece of wood actually speaks? “”When therefore those soldiers saw it, they awakened the centurion and the elders; for they too were hard by keeping guard. And, as they declared what things they had seen, again they see three men come forth from the tomb, and two of them supporting one, and a cross following them: and of the two the head reached unto the heaven, but the head of him that was led by them overpassed the heavens. And they heard a voice from the heavens, saying, Thou hast preached to them that sleep. And a response was heard from the cross, Yea.”” How would Ray try to respond to that. Possibly that the gospel of Peter is not included in the Bible, written much later than the other gospels, or it was not written by Peter himself. True it is not included in the modern Bible. The Council of Carthage met in 397 C.E. to determine what early Christian writings would make up the canon of the New Testament. They voted to exclude the Gospel of Peter. Some scholars argue that the Gospel of Peter predates other Gospel accounts, perhaps having been written as early as 45 CE. And was it written by Peter himself, who knows? But then again, we do not know who wrote the canonical gospels and we know many of the epistles (supposedly all written by Paul) are in fact forgeries.
Ray says atheists will not believe anything as long as its in the Bible.
This is a false accusation. The Bible is full of extraordinary tales, and thus require extraordinary evidence. The claims that are not proven or do not have enough evidence (if any at all) are what atheists and non-Christians decline to accept. Even the vast majority of Christians do not accept everything that happened in the Bible, such as God creating Adam and Eve in a garden 6,000 years ago. However, making a huge accusation that atheists will not accept anything no matter what is in the Bible is simply false. For instance all atheists accept Jerusalem existed in the time of Jesus. Atheists are not closed minded as Ray tries to paint them as.
Comfort then asks if you think fire existed before man discovered it. |Yes, it did. It existed on Earth probably as soon as the atmosphere contained enough oxygen to support combustion. He notes that fire needs fuel to burn. He then jumps into the “justice” of the Bible, noting that just because one cannot observe something does not mean it does not exist (asserting the argument from ignorance fallacy)
By this logic, a invisible gnome could be floating behind your back at all times, does that mean therefor they exist? No. The ones making the positive claim that such a thing does exist thus has the burden of proof. Ray has failed to meet that burden of proof.
Getting Things Humming
Ray says a group of evolutionists have gathered together to create a hummingbird from nothing, as in the genesis of life’s origins. They go over what parts are required for the male bird, including the ability to reproduce after its own “kind.” However, the scientists cannot get started because their first problem is creating something from nothing. They say that over time and better understanding will produce the answers. A small committee of scientists discuss the problem, making the same conclusion as found in Romans 1:20-21.
Ray demonstrates yet again his lack of understanding of evolution and science overall. Evolution, abiogenesis, the Big Bang Theory does not say that life forms (like birds) came about fully formed from nothing. Actually, Ray’s position of Biblical creationism says that such life forms sprung from nothing by magic. Can ray produce or test a hummingbird coming from nothing, whether through magic or prayer? Of course not, and thus he is really ridiculing himself in this section. And why must the scientists make a single male hummingbird? Here is one problem Ray has never understood and failed to understand (or willingly ignore) is that evolution does not take place with the individual, but the population. But why stick with using the male? Here is something to think about, why do all mammalian males have nipples? As any biologist would tell you is that the female is the foundation of the species, not the male. This is something that Christianity and the other Abrahamic religions got very wrong.
What does Ray mean by “kind?” Creationists have identified kinds with everything from species to entire kingdoms. By the narrower definitions, variation to new kinds has occurred. By the broader definitions, we would not expect to see it in historical time.
Finally, Romans 1:20-21 says “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” Basically, everyone is without excuse for ignoring the Christian god, but this is not more valid than the Islamic Primordial Covenant where we all were in the presence of Allah, testified that he is our creator, and thus when we die we are without excuse. Quoting Bible verses does not present any valid evidence for Ray’s case.
Tough Answers for Atheists
Ray shares he watched a video (assuming it was presented by an atheist) that proves a Christian dented his car and if they do not pay him he will burn them alive. He then compares that to Christianity, since that is its message. Ray then uses his own analogy with policemen found evidence that connects you to the murder of six girls. The evidence is very strong, and you thought it was funny. The judge, according to Ray, is utterly perfect and holy and will punish you. He says an God considers adultery to be rape and hatred to be murder.
Here, Ray is merely asserting all these things about his narrow-minded version of God without any empirical proof to substantiate his claims.
Ray says it is common sense that a creation has a creator, and theists are pretending to be atheists. When they deny this common sense, they discard all common sense.
However, Ray only labels this as common sense as a veil to hide all the problems behind this line of reasoning. When Comfort says creation requires a creator, this is an example of [[begging the question]], as the point which he’s attempting to prove is contained in his premise. Anything created must have a creator, but he hasn’t demonstrated that what he means by “creation” (the universe, everything, humans, etc.) is actually a creation. The appearance of design, purpose or complexity alone is not sufficient to posit an intelligent creator. When he asks questions like, “When you see a building, how do you know there was a builder?”, his answer is “The building is absolute proof of the builder.” This avoids the important question about how we recognize design. He’s relying on common sense and a lack of critical thinking, to support the idea that this is a natural, obvious and reliable assumption.
In truth, we recognize that the building is designed because we have an abundance of evidence that supports that conclusion and no evidence to support the idea that buildings are naturally occurring. We possess, or can attain by research, empirical evidence about the history of a given building; who designed it, who built it, what methods they used, etc. We can also learn about the general history of buildings and other structures, throughout recorded history. All of this evidence, and more, in conjunction with a lack of evidence supporting the idea that buildings occur naturally, lead us to the reliably supported conclusion that a given building had a builder. We’re not always consciously aware of this process, as we’ve come to trust our intuition without constantly analyzing why this trust is deserved. Additionally, when humans create things, they use pre-existing material. To compare the creation of the universe by a god to the creation of objects by humans is to imply that this god used pre-existing matter to do it. This, of course, still leads one to ask, “where did this matter come from?”
Then Ray address how the suns were made. Even though scientists explain how they were formed, Ray asks where did those materials come from. According to Ray, they cannot form themselves otherwise that would violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics. Ray concludes that theists have the answers, atheists don’t.
How does the 2nd law of thermodynamics prevent the formation of suns? The law 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. Entropy is not the same as disorder. Sometimes the two correspond, but sometimes order increases as entropy increases. (Aranda-Espinoza et al. 1999; Kestenbaum 1998) Entropy can even be used to produce order, such as in the sorting of molecules by size (Han and Craighead 2000). Even in a closed system, pockets of lower entropy can form if they are offset by increased entropy elsewhere in the system. In short, order from disorder happens on earth all the time, but where did the materials for the sun come from? The molecules required to form a sun are heavy elements such as carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen. Ray would ask where did these molecules come from, and of course Ray says theists have the answer (God) and when someone offers and answer or is honest and says they don’t know, Ray concludes his personal beliefs is confirmed by reality. Comfort offers no testing in this section, this book, or any of his materials. However, this belief is refuted by two things: Occam’s Razor and the first law of thermodynamics (matter cannot be created and thus always existent).
How Big is the Universe?
This section starts off with a question for Ray to answer how big the universe is, what light is, and what life is?
Ray later on discusses the cause of material. Ray says that atheists get “stumped” and cannot give a credible account for the cause of material for evolution to bring life into being.
This is another old straw-man, evolution has nothing to do with the Big Bang or abiogenesis. Ray concludes the cause for material must be immaterial. In summary, he concludes the ”Spirit” of God moved upon the face of the waters in Genesis 1:2. Why must the cause be immaterial? Did God have a cause? If not, then why not save a step and say matter had no cause. Note, at the quantum level, the laws of cause and effect disappear, meaning that a cause was not necessary for the universe to come about through the Big Bang. How can God exists as a “spirit” moving upon the waters before the earth was formed? Say God is a spirit does not add up, because it violates proper ontology, lacks empirical evidence and violates the very nature of existence. Saying God is a spirit is the same as saying a bed is made of sleep, you cannot exist or be made of a character trait.
Ray brings up the question “Who Created God?” Ray says atheists think this is a dilemma for Christians (it seems to be, since both Ray and Kirk choked when this was brought up in the debate with the Rational Response Squad), but Ray dodges the question and says this is not a problem for Christians. He says the real problem is that atheists cannot comprehend how God can exist eternally. Comfort asks how can any of us comprehend the infinitude of space? He uses an analogy of using a very powerful laser beam, shooting lasers off into space at great speeds and even after millions of years they will not hit an end.
However, the universe is made of energy and matter, and the laws of physics says that energy cannot be created or destroyed, thus making it eternal. So it is possible to comprehend something eternal, and this was brought up in the debate with the Rational Response Squad, who also used Occam’s Razor to prove that God is likely not to exist. Neither Ray or Kirk have anything to say or respond to this, except for when the moderator asked if they had anything else to say, Kirk in a low voice say “I think the people can figure it out.”
Chapter 14: The Power of the Imagination
Ray says atheists reject the Biblical Fall and its explanatory power for suffering, disease, and death. They often quote Monty Python that “Their thought is that if God did exist, He alone, not man, is responsible for the pains of this world.”
The reason why atheists and rational people reject the Biblical Fall is because it is strictly poetry and symbolic with no evidence whatsoever to validate it. It holds just as much weight as Monty Python, the Vedas, etc. In order to remain honest and truthful, one must accept the facts, and the fact is 1) there was no Adam and Eve in a garden, 2) the Earth is not young, and 3) death, suffering, and disease already existed way before man ever came into the picture. Anyone familiar with the explanation for the extinction of the dinosaurs via a massive meteorite knows that death already existed well before man came to be on Earth.
Comfort goes on to say many believers are “idolaters” for creating a God they are comfortable with. They “quote-mine” Scripture to make God all loving, kind and such, but leave out that God is holy and just. Comfort says the idolaters God does not exist. Atheists on the other hand do the opposite, they quote-mine Scripture to create a harsh and repulsive God. Ray says, same as the idolaters, this God projected by atheists only exist in their imagination.
The proper word would be “cherry-picking,” and Ray Comfort is just as guilty as those he accuses.
By the Light of the Silvery Moon
Comfort provides a quote from an atheist that says the Bible cannot be accurate, giving an example of the moon does not produce its own light (Genesis 1:16).
Ray’s first objection to is to the fools who included moonlight in the dictionary as noun – “the light of the moon.” They should also ban Shakespeare for saying “Thou has moonlight at her window sung…” in “Midsummer’s Night Dream.” Next, he brings up the “ignorant” scientists at NASA who are “deceived that moonlight exists.” He provides a quote from an article that explains the difference between sunlight and moonlight is its intensity (a difference by 400,000). Then there is country singer LeAnne Rimes for including moonlight in a song.
What first needs to be pointed out is that it says the sun and moon are “two great lights” (“great lamps” in the original Hebrew) created to “light” the earth, “for signs and seasons” on earth, to “rule the day and night” on earth. The Bible says only one moon was created, but Mars has two moons (raising her total of “great lamps” to “three,” obviously God felt that Mars needed lamps to brighten its nights too). Neptune has four moons, Uranus has eleven, Jupiter has sixteen, and Saturn has at least eighteen moons. The earth only gets one moon, which does not “rule the night” since 3 nights out of every 28 it abdicates its “rule,” and doesn’t “light” the earth at all.
Also, there is a difference from being a source of light and a source of reflection. The difference between the moon and sun is NOT light density, it is regarding light production. The Bible says the moon generates its own light, which is not accurate at all. Moonlight does exist regardless, in the context of being a reflection. The Dictionary may define it, but it does not say “light produced by the moon.”
An Important Question
An atheist argued, “Jesus did not abolish death. People still die and, as before his birth, people’s soul still live on forever.” Ray agrees Jesus abolished death by quoting 2 Timothy 1:10, and says that there are only two options: either those who believe death was abolished are mentally challenged, or there is something here not clearly understood.
The problem with using 2 Timothy as a reference or as evidence is that the vast majority of critical scholars agree that 2 Timothy is a forger, it was never written by Paul. Therefore, the Bible contains books of a deceiver.
According to Ray, sin was the result of capital punishment for humanity (Romans 6:23), but we can only be saved by repenting to Christ. He says God gave the saved a “light” and those who do not believe walk in darkness (John 8:12). It is easy and not surprising that a book which was obviously written with an agenda would label nonbelievers as people who “walk in darkness.”
However, with no valid proof for its extraordinary claims, it is irrational to accept a religion such as Christianity.
Berkeley Brainwashing – Trees Are Our Cousins
Here, Ray tries to argue that science professors are brainwashing students that humans are related to plants.
Tree’s are our cousins? Interesting choice of words. You share more traits in common with your siblings than you do with your cousins due to the recent ancestors you share with them, your parents. Deeper down, you share more in common with those in your extended family than you do with neighbors and classmates, etc., people you don’t recognize as part of your biological family. But you must realize that on some level you’re still related. Deeper down, one could likely recognize subtle indications of cultural demes which most people will still agree all descend from one common ancestral lineage –despite their current apparent diversity and unfamiliar ways. Deeper down, we’ve seen that new breeds of barnyard birds, domestic pets, livestock, corn, even bananas have to some degree been engineered by human intervention via artificial selection, and new sub-species have occurred in the wild via natural selection. In both cases, these stem from common ancestry, be that hundreds of breeds of dogs coming from one strain of wolves, or dozens of commercial bovines being derived from the now-extinct European Aurochs. Overall, we are all related, we are all part of and products of the Earth. We are all genetically linked, but Ray would have you believe that we are separate and only humans are special. This sort of thinking has led religious zealots to accept that different races within humanity is a deliberate act (or curse) from God, but as a biologist would tell you that “race” does not exist.
Ray defines biological evolution as descent with modification.
This leaves out a lot of details, but a more accurate description of evolution is: Evolution is a change in the gene pool of a population over time. A gene is a hereditary unit that can be passed on unaltered for many generations. The gene pool is the set of all genes in a species or population.
Ray says the result of the theory of relativity caused man to have no sense of right and wrong. How can this be? Comfort points out that men who are certain they are correct when claiming that no one can be right seems absolutely sure of himself. He argues fallen politicians draw the line of right and wrong on a relative line, but Ray argues that right and wrong is written on stone. Time, according to Ray, has shown that violators of God’s law meet justice. Ray summarizes that the fallen politician can only be tried by civil law, and the same will happen to us all on Judgment day since we are all criminals in God’s eyes and must be saved.
How does the theory of relativity have any impact on morality? Very commonly, Ray blames evolution and lack of faith on the ills of society, now the theory of relativity is also to blame?
So morality is absolute? Then why does Ray not keep slaves, castrate himself, or drink poison as instructed in his own Bible? Comfort cherry-picks those verses that he is morally comfortable with and ignores those that are morally repulsive. So Ray is living proof morality is not absolute. As far as we can gather, morality comes ”within” humanity, and thus it is dangerous to talk about cosmic moral absolutes. This sort of thinking, such as God hates heathens, has lead to the mass murder of countless people. Morality is flexible. We believe it is wrong to lie, but we can lie for a good purpose such as lying to a Nazi during the Third Reich that you were hiding a Jew in your basement. We believe theft is wrong, but don’t we consider Robin Hood a hero? Christianity says Pride is a sin, but anyone who wears more garments or jewelry that is not necessary to keep him/her warm displays pride.
Ray tries to defend Biblical reliability of the authors’ testimony. He uses an analogy that an investigator interviews four eye-witnesses about a bank robbery. Three of them say there were two robbers, but the last says there was a third. So the investigator must harmonized the conflicting accounts and settles with one of the bank employees played a part in the robbery. If the investigator concluded that the four eye-witnesses were liars he would not be an investigator. He must set aside all prejudices and harmonized the conflicting accounts. Ray argues one must do the same when examining the conflicting accounts in the gospel.
The difference between the above analogy and the gospels is that investigation shows that none of the four authors were eye-witnesses. We do not know who wrote the gospels, but we can verify that Luke and Matthew often copied verbatim from Mark. Mark may have been written as a fiction. The gospels contradict each other in fundamental ways that there is no way to rationally “harmonize” them. Read for instance Jesus’ bad weekend before he died here. We also know the four accounts have been meddled with, interpolated, and forged. We do not know if anyone in the 2nd century did any investigation to validate the claims made in any of the gospels. Any decent investigator would first account the problems with the accounts and little certainty can be drawn from their claims. External evidence is also lacking, such as we do not have any artifacts made by Jesus, no letters written by him, or anything.
Next Ray talks about fear, and he is thankful for fear. He says fear prevents him from walking over a cliff and say away from poisonous animals. Fear, according to Ray, has a bedfellow: common sense. Common sense tells you to not walk over a cliff and such. He argues that people should not become Christian over fear of Hell, they should “come to Christ out of fear of a God that can cast them into Hell.” He says the two are separated by “Moral Law.” The law shows Ray Comfort that the law is perfect and holy and he deserves Hell, which reveals to him God’s love and mercy. He then brings up polls that shows a steady increase of a minority of school students have stolen things, and a majority of religious school kids admit to lying to their parents. The polls say that they think they are alright and not the worst people in the world. However, Ray says they violated God’s law, no matter how small.
Of course Ray would be thankful for fear, he is well known to play with people’s fear to support his agenda. Fear by itself does not prevent you from walking off a cliff or handling poisonous animals, human experience presented knowledge of harmful activity that we should avoid. Fear is not always connected to common sense, some people have particular fears and phobias but that does not mean they rely on common sense. For instance, if a person is afraid of balloons, do they rely on common sense? (Not being disrespectful)
Common sense tells you to evaluate certain claims that fly in the face of logic and science. The Moral Law presented by Comfort do not prove God anymore than the 5 Pillars of Islam prove Allah or the Code of Hammurabi proves the god(s) of the Sumerians.
Painted Into A Corner
Starts off with a paragraph of an atheist addressing the evolution of sex. To this person, it seems irrelevant to him, but Ray should look at not what Darwin thought about the evolution of sex, but what modern data shows about it. Ray says it does not matter about solving all the questions of the theory, its just when you eliminate a Creator you are “stuck with the ramifications.” He says that “believers” in evolution accept that before their were two sexes, organisms reproduced asexually, until over time male and female evolved. Ray notes the Charles Darwin “went to meet his maker” in 1882. Darwin was planned to be buried in a churchyard in Downe, until the President of the Royal Society arranged Darwin to be buried in Westminster Abbey. Darwin talked about the mind of Newton, which Ray finds interesting because Newton (according to Ray) was a theist.
Ray does not mention that Newton also practiced alchemy or any of his other beliefs, but nevertheless his personal thoughts about theology and such were irrelevant to his scientific discoveries.
Ray asks how can all the species of animals evolve a female partner at just the right time? Ray provides a brief explanation for a anonymous “believer” in evolution.
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 1997). 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.
Ray flat out states that if evolution is true, then the Bible is a fallacy.
Well, unfortunately for Ray evolution is true and a fact, however evolution does not refute the Bible (just a literal interpretation of the Bible).
Ray says scientists have no idea why organisms changed from asexual to sexual.
What he does not share, willfully ignorant or not, many hypotheses have been proposed for the evolutionary advantage of sex (Barton and Charlesworth 1998). There is good experimental support for some of these, including resistance to deleterious mutation load (Davies et al. 1999; Paland and Lynch 2006) and more rapid adaptation in a rapidly changing environment, especially to acquire resistance to parasites (Sá Martins 2000).
Ray repeats the old creationist lie that “believers” in evolution are passionate, because if Darwin was right then man is just an animal with no moral accountability.
Darwin never proposed that man is an animal, biology in general does. Man is a category of mammal, vertebrate, and such. This knowledge has been known for thousands of years, even Aristotle called man a “rational animal.”
An Atheist’s Honest Question
An unknown atheist asks Ray if Christ makes you righteous as in compassion and loving, or righteousness in the sense of pure and saved? Or is it something else? Ray answers there are two types of righteousness. What Ray and Christians mean to live in righteousness is called “imputed” righteousness, that is the one that saves us from death and Hell. He explains by using an analogy. Your father tells you that your mom died because a drunk driver killed her, so you swear to never drink and drive (even though you already have no car or license), but one day you have to much to drink and take your friends on a joy ride, and you get into a huge accident and are in serious trouble. But at court, your dad pays your huge fine, saving you from prison time. This is what Christ did for humanity when he died on the cross. This is “imputed righteousness.” You could not justify yourself, you knew you were guilty, and your fathers payment made you right with the law. After the payment, you immediately call yourself righteous, even though you do not deserve it. Seems like good cop out for very violent criminals. As soon as your about to be charged and found guilty, a unknown person pays your fee and you are cleared.
The above message is the message of Christianity: we all violated God’s law and Christ can save us. Unfortunately, the “Law” (Ten Commandments) do not prove God anymore than the 5 Pillars of Islam prove Allah. Comfort plays with people’s emotions and sense of morality by setting up a scenario were no one is innocent and only his particular narrow version of God can save you without proving beforehand that his God really exists. Ray keep hammering that we will be accounted for on “Judgment Day” but fails to provide any evidence of such a day. In fact, history has shown that they are all wrong.
Ray asks the reader to set aside all questions, doubts and arguments (yeah right, you would like that Ray) and humble yourself to God. Comfort constantly pushes mortality upon the reader and should make a decision quickly. He ends this chapter that when you see the “truths of what I just told you” you should join the ranks of Christians.
Unfortunately, very little truth, or any at all can be found in this book. Ray has yet to make a convincing rational case.
Chapter 15: Bird Brain
Ray begins be observing the marvelous bird. Afterwards, he says it is tragic for atheists because they have no one to thank for this. They cannot see the intelligence of a mind behind all of this. He says Einstein and Newton saw it. He says atheists eat their meals, but choose not to taste it.
How can Ray Comfort say atheists are not thankful for XYZ? He already knows that not all atheists are the same. Atheists have a lot to be thankful for, for the very fact that they are alive and who they are. There are over a billion factors in our DNA that make us who we are, so the fact we are who we are is practically a miracle.
There is nothing to notice or be thankful for for something that does not exist. Imagine if Ray said anyone who lacks belief in the magical walrus on Pluto has nothing to be thankful for birds, food, music, and life.
The Unanswered Prayer of the Atheist
Ray talks about a boy being injured. A prayer is given to heal him, but the boy dies (some say God wanted him to go to Heaven). Atheists say this is an unanswered prayer. However, if the boy survived, atheists would conclude that the body would heal itself. Ray asks is this a miracle, who knows? He concludes only God knows, but prayer has nothing to do with gods existence. So he tries to explain why. If his wife’s car had a problem, and Ray concludes the car has no manufacturer because they will not return his calls. Comfort goes on to say that God’s existence has nothing to do with people who experience miracles, visions, or hear God’s voice. He says the sun does not exist because we see its light or feel its warmth, nor does it disappear when a blind man cannot see its light. The sun exists regardless. Ray does not stop there, he says God’s existence does not depend on the Bible or its authenticity. God existed before Scripture, before creation, and even if the Bible is proven fraudulent God would still exist.
Here Ray tries to weasel out of admitting that God is an unfalsifiable being. Each of the following” prayer, the Bible, miracles, etc. are all used to prove God exists, but when each are proven to be wrong Ray dances around it and say that does not mean God does not exist. By this logic, any infinite number of Gods can theoretically exist. In a debate with the Rational Response Squad Ray argued that the existence of God can be proven scientifically without invoking the Bible or faith. Spoiler, he failed and constantly used the Bible and faith to support his claims. Ray could not prove the existence of God, and he constantly tried with using the Bible. So how can he use the Bible to prove God, but when the Bible is shown to be incorrect he says that does not matter because God still exists. He provided three “irrefutable” evidence for a creator, but each was refuted at the debate. One of Ray’s proofs was creation. Although there are many flaws in Ray’s argument, Jainism has made great argument against creation. The second was conscience, but evolutionary theory already explains in detail how conscience could come about. Finally, the last evidence for a creator was conversion through Christ, but if it can be demonstrated (and it has) that conversion can produce spiritual experience that can be triggered by stimulating parts of the brain, does Ray dodge this and say this “irrefutable” evidence for a creator somehow does not disprove a creator?
Even without refuting miracles, the Bible, visions and such, many atheists, philosophers, and scientists have created models that show God cannot exist (such as Victor J. Stengers book God: The Failed Hypothesis).
Evolution and Beginnings
Ray lists the vast amount of animals discovered by zoologists. He then presents several questions: Which came first, the heart or blood? What was it that carried the blood to the heart if there were no vessels. Why would the heart beat if there was no blood to pump. When did blood evolve, was it before or after the vessels evolved? If before, what were the vessels for? If blood evolved before the heart, what kept it in circulation?
First thing to point out this is an god of the gaps fallacy in which if we do not have the answer then Ray gets to conclude his God is responsible. What is important to note is that some animals and organisms are alive without blood, such as the jellyfish and plants. Some animals have blood but no heart. But keep this in mind, blood has to change too. Not all blood has ever been the same as human blood. How did the blood transfer through the body? Every organism has some muscle-like functions to spread things inside the body, such as digestion. The first veins may not be as veins as we picture them, but as some form of muscle that would assist in blood flow. After many generations when the species grow in size, it makes sense that a device that would help move the flow of blood would be very advantageous than those without it.
Which Came First
Comfort provides some attempts to answer the question about the vessels, blood and the heart, but they are all very brief comments from non-experts. They all appear to be from people with little or no background in the required field because they provide no scientific studies or use their terms or examples of anatomy, but they are all honest and want to set Ray straight on what evolution actually presents. Some are speculation, or not even real attempts to answer, one says Ray will not listen regardless (definitely got that one right).
Ray concludes (without bothering to research into any scientific article) that the only answer is: Almighty God made it supernaturally. He then reads a biography of Abraham Lincoln (what? how is that relevant?). Ray is saddened by this story and is glad to know the man through his own words. He then says 150,000 die in 24 hours, and this should fire you up to spread the gospel.
Why just the gospel? Ray excludes all the other holy texts known to man because of his biased personal beliefs. The fact that many people die everyday shows that death is very common and can be prevented to a degree. Christianity (and many other religions) plays a role in the death of thousands of people everyday, such as witch hunts and genocide.
This affirms Rays continual use of the god of the gaps fallacy. Just because he provides quotes from nonexperts in the field, Ray thinks he can conclude that his narrow version of God is responsible. Ray never actually seeks to get a scientific explanation from an actual expert, or when he does he rudely does not let them finish or share the whole thing (giving the impression the “expert” had no evidence to present). Comfort admits that God did create the circulation system through magic (supernatural means). The part including Abraham Lincoln is completely irrelevant to the question about the circulation system. Comfort only uses it to learn about the person himself, but that says nothing about the evolution of blood or the heart. He uses this as an attempt to imply that reading the gospel can give you an emotional insight to the character of Jesus, but this is not evidence. People can feel an emotional attachment to the characters in Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, but that does not mean the characters in the stories actually exist. In summary, Ray Comfort appeals to emotion to push his faith upon people.
The God of the Old Testament
Starting off with Richard Dawkin’s description of Yahweh, Ray says God of the New Testament is just as offensive as the God of the Old Testament. Comfort says God never changes. He then presents several stories in the Old Testament when God kills people, such as a couple who told a lie (Acts 5:1-11) and condemns unbelievers and everyone because we have all violated God’s law. Ray defends the notion that God will punish unbelievers with several Bible verses (John 3:36, Ephesians 5:6, and Romans 2:8-9. Ray includes 2 Thessalonians 1:8). James 4:4 says God calls us his enemy and liars will be punished (Revelation 21:8) And yet this does not scare or bother Ray one bit. At the end, Ray says the two scenarios of God is fictional, and God really is all good and merciful. He defends that God is merciful because he became the flesh and paid the price for our sins.
Ray barely scratches the surface of the evils committed by God. Ignoring that God murdered all the lives of humans, plants, and animals (including infants and unborn babies) in the great flood, slaying the first-born of Egypt (from the royal prince to the small child of the salve at the mill. ALL of them), and many others. Here is a short example: In I Samuel 6:1-19, the ark of the Lord was being transported across country. Five farmers of Bethshemesh “rejoiced to see it.” They opened the box and made a burnt offering to the Lord, and for this terrible sin God “smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the Lord, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and the people lamented, because the Lord had smitten many of the people with great slaughter.” Is it moral to kill 50,000 people for a petty offense? He slew them all for the crimes of five other men? And exactly what was the crime? These men were trying to worship this very god, in their own way. Wouldn’t a God of mercy understand their innocent mistake? What if one of your children gave you a birthday card with the words “Daddy/Mommy, I luv you” and you punish them for spelling the word wrong? There are many many other stories that reveal God’s evils.
Ray ends the chapter with an encounter with a man named Joe on the plane. He asks him several questions, such as what were the highest mountains before Mt. Everest. Ray says it has always been Mt. Everest. He pulls the old are you a good person? tactic, but Joe does not believe in a Haven or Hell, so Ray says to Joe to try and pretend they do and then decide where you would rather go to.
Seriously, just pretend? Well, that is basically all that can be done. No evidence exists for an afterlife or a realm that matches the description of Hell or Heaven, so all Ray Comfort can do is pretend that they do in order to evangelize and make money.
Chapter 16: Right on the Money
Chapter 17: What Really Matters
The chapter begins with a question to Ray Comfort from a Christian. He asks Comfort how does he prove God exists to non-believers? Ray says he does not have to prove God exists, because they already know God exists. Every person has a “god-given” conscience. He also has the evidence of mere creation. Ray say he does no waste much time trying to prove God exists. Ray says people need to be shown instead that sin exists and they need a savior.
This is faulty and fallacious logic. A Muslim could argue Ray and everyone knows Allah exists with no further prof required. If Ray doe not bother wasting time and energy tying to prove God exists, then why publish over 60 books? Why go to debates to prove God exists?
The Absurdity of Christianity
Ray agrees that preaching of the cross is “absurd” even the Bible says so in 1 Corinthians 1:18.
On page 197, Ray says that God will forgive your sins, which is “confirmed by the fact that God had raised Jesus from dead.” This is not a confirmed fact. If it was, where is the evidence?
Ray then says that salvation cannot be achieved through works, but by grace (while citing Ephesians 2). Ray skips (willfully or not) verses like Matthew 16:27 which spells it out nicely “For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.” When Ray was asked why can’t God just forgive? Ray says God is bound by his holy character. Ray thus admits God is limited.
Ray says God’s law s perfect, and thus God is perfect.
The law is perfect? The law says nothing about rape, child molestation, torture, etc. How is that perfect? What is perfect?
P1) A perfect being is not subject to change.
P2) A perfect being knows everything.
P3) A being that knows everything always knows what time it is.
P4) A being that always knows what time it is, is subject to change.
P5) A perfect being is subject to change.
P6) A perfect being is not perfect being; Finally therefore;
C) There is no perfect being.
This is what you are saying…
Starts off with a quote from someone who is not sure what right or wrong is. The person would favor a pro-life world, but would vote pro-choice. Ray compares this to wanting a Germany who does not kill anyone, rather have them kill on how I vote. Ray points to that part of not being able to identify right and wrong and says atheism provides no moral anchor.
It is easy to have a grasp of what right and wrong is without any religion. The worry that a without religion or god we’ve no basis for on which to discuss morality, is without foundation. Plain empathy can trigger natural help responses to others distress and crate natural aversion to causing others harm. Likewise, the simple experience of living alongside others is a simple feedback about how our actions affect each other and how we might have to affect our conduct in response. The human brain contains “mirror neurons”; which mimic the activity of other parts of the brain or of other brains. This provides a literal biological foundation for empathy: individuals with mirror neurons, including humans and other primates, can actually feel what others feel.
The two prerequisites for reliable moral assessment are 1) reason and 2) accurate and relevant information. Sound reasoning won’t lead to valid assessments if we are operating under flawed information, nor with sound information if our reasoning is flawed. Without sound reasoning and information, we can’ determine how the universe works, how different life forms suffer or flourish, where responsibility lies, or would the short or long term consequences of actions are on an inter-personal or global scale. And these are considerations on which moral judgments depends.
Here, an anonymous person accuses Ray of lying about transitional fossils. Ray tries to counter this by trying to define species as “Biology: a major subdivision of a genus or subgenus, regarded as the basic category of biological classification, composed of related individuals that resemble one another, are able to breed among themselves, but are not able to breed with members of another species” using this dictionary. Ray says wolves, German Shepard, and coyotes are the same species (Canine family or “kind”), but cannot breed with cats or the tiger (the feline family or “kind”).
Ray chooses not to quote from a scientific definition. Has Ray ever seen an Aardwolf? It looks like a fox, but it is more related to cats.
One more thing, Ray Comfort doesn’t GIVE A DAMN about definitions. He uses the word “kind” to mean whatever he wants to at the time. Kind to Ray Comfort, can mean species at one moment, then Genus, and then Kingdom.
Here’s the proof.
Ray says when he is taking about a transitional species-to-species fossil, he do not see a skeleton of a cat evolving into a dog, or a chicken evolving into a fish, or a horse into a cow.
He thus further shows his incredibly misunderstanding of evolution. Evolution does not say chicken evolved not fish, fish far predate the time of chickens, and horses and cows are not in the same family. If you go back int the history of cat and dogs, the fossil record has shown that the family of cats, dogs, bears, and weasels once shared a common ancestor, that possibly looked like raccoons.
Ray concludes that the Biblical Creation is supported by the evidence and nature “screams intelligent design.” Ray ends is section with: “If you think that’s a lie, then so be it.”
If nature does scream evidence for biblical creation and intelligent deign, where is it? What is it? Because each of the arguments presented for “irreducible complexity” (the best arguments creationism ever had) were disproved scientifically and exposed in court. And apart from a series of frauds and falsehoods – the only arguments anti-science evangelists have ever had seem limited to nothing more than ignorant criticisms of dwindling and already irrelevant gaps in the ever-enveloping advancement of science. But vague criticisms against science still wouldn’t count as evidence for creationism even if those arguments weren’t all completely wrong. Even if there was evidence of gods, it might not be their god. Even if it was, that wouldn’t be evidence of creation either, because that still wouldn’t dismiss any of the evidence for evolution and against mythology; nor could it change the fact that humans are still apes. Creation relies on a false dichotomy –rejecting all other options and insisting that there can only be two alternatives; So they can imagine that criticizing the one will vindicate the other by default
The Game of Speculation
Here, Ray points out the often occurrence when scientist use the words like “maybe”, “possibly”, “perhaps” etc. Ray says he does not believe in fairy tales like a pumpkin turning into Cinderella’s coach or the “unscientific theory of evolution.” Ray does not believe reptiles turn into birds or chickens were not once dinosaurs billion of yeas ago.
Ray says he never said that evolutionists believe that cows turn into dogs (AND yet in the previous section, Ray said evolutionists haven’t provided any skeletons of cat evolving into a dog or a horse into a cow), it is just he sees no scientific evidence for any species “evolving” into another species. Ray says he asks people on the street how they define evolution, and they say that their great-great-great-grandfather was an ape. Ray says that evolutionists believe that we share a common ancestor with apes, but they [the public] believe we are direct descendants from apes. Ray say they are confused by the “speculation” of evolutionist like Richard Dawkins “We admit we are are all like apes – In truth, not only are we apes, we are African apes.”
Both the public and evolutionist are right, we are apes and we share a common ancestor with other apes. 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!
Using an article about Ida, Ray quotes Dr. Dr Jørn Hurum, the palaeontologist from Oslo University’s Natural History Museum who assembled the scientific team to study the fossil. “It tells a part of our evolution that’s been hidden so far. It’s been hidden because the only [other] specimens are so incomplete and so broken there’s nothing almost to study.” Ray says drop the “almost” and the truth is revealed. Carl Sagan said “We [scientists] are not afraid to speculate, but we will be careful to distinguish speculation from fact.” Ray says if you believe in evolution, you have failed that.
Ray tells us to drop the “almost” to match his views, but sorry Ray you cannot imagine away that the scientist said “almost.”
As for the Carl Sagan piece, if anyone is speculating, it is Ray Comfort and his magic-filled fantasy view of the world that is complete evidence-free.
Opens with a question from an anonymous person asking Ray if he label everyone who disagrees with him as an “atheist”?
Chapter 18: Bikers, an Atheist, and Vampires
Ray begins by sharing that he had a discussion with four pastors on the subject of atheism, that Ray pointed out one in four university professors were atheists/agnostic and atheism has doubled in the last two decades (and yet Ray stated in his material that atheism is a dying movement). Ray says that he knows how to make atheists backslide by asking them if they really believe everything came from nothing (he says he caught this on tape, but where is it?)
If the idea that everything came from nothing is absurd, and Ray seems to agree, then he has proven creationism is indeed comical and false. Atheism does not say anything about how everything came to be, it simply the lack of belief in God.
Ray then retells his story of going fishing with one of the pastors. He was told plenty of non-Christians ride bikes in the area. Ray saw them, all tough and wearing Nazi helmets. Ray introduced himself to them, telling them that their chances of getting in an accident is higher, and he wanted them to know about God. So Ray takes them through the old and dishonest are you a good person? routine and the court room analogy. Later when Ray arrived with his Christian friends at the lake, he was amazed by its beauty that he reasoned no atheist could be here -although they may be atheists in rat-infested, crime-ridden, overcrowded, smog-drenched city.
So atheists cannot appreciate nature as Ray Comfort can? They live in the same world as Ray, but Ray’s world is highly altered. Just like how a drunkard is more happy when he is intoxicated than a sober person, that does not mean the sober person lives in a miserable world.
Afterwards he meets a man named Abel, who that day became a Christian and is a fan of Way of the Master.
Ray Comfort has a history of telling his audience things about people that did not happen. For instance, on hid Way of the Master episode specifically on Atheism, Ray Comfort shows an interview he had with an atheist he met on the street. Before showing the debate, Ray Comfort asked his audience to watch for 3 things (none of them were legit) but the first one was this: “One, watch for the fact that he changes his mind about the existence of God when we reason with him” – but the atheist never changed his mind about such a thing. All Ray Comfort did was make the atheist, Chris, to say that his car had a maker. When Chriis said this, Ray Comfort jumped and latched onto it – going “AHA, see you said it had a creator, therefore because I say we live in a creation we must be created by a creator just like the car!” But the atheist did not say that he therefore thought since the car had a maker that the earth and life itself therefore was created. Chris did not once change his mind at any point int he debate, AND YET Ray Comfort went on and lied that he was able to change Chris.
Due to Ray Comfort’s habit of changing the truth of what happens during a chat (or even on an episode – when Ray lied when he said the banana argument was an entire hoax made up by atheists) or making up chats entirely, there is no reason to accept that this story with Abel actually happened – or at least as Ray Comfort recalls it.
Ray claims that God has a plan for use all by citing Romans 8:28. When Ray’s flight was delayed, he reasoned God wanted him to take the longer route so he could talk to a passenger. He meets a man named Nick reading a novel about vampires. Ray takes him through the old and dishonest are you a good person? routine. When Ray arrives home in Los Angeles, his wife tells him there was an earthquake. Several ornaments over the TV fell but did not break. Ray, appearing like a caring husband, tells her he put straps on the TV to prevent it from falling. When Ray shows her by shaking the TV, the ornaments fell and brake.
Ray thanks the reader for reading this book. He includes a comment on his blog,
“Imagine a scenario where you are suddenly presented with absolute proof that God exists. Not proof that you can reproduce in a lab or record in scientific journal, but experiential proof that is clear and undeniable…but only to you. I can’t tell you what that proof looks like, because it’s different for just about everybody. I can tell you what it looked like for me, and I’ll do so shortly. The mind of the Natural man (atheist) will buck against imagining such a thing, and resist even considering the scenario, but I’m asking you to try anyway. Take yourself, with all of your vast scientific knowledge of the universe, and imagine that the Christian God revealed himself to you in an undeniable way. How would such a thing change your life? What would happen to all the knowledge that seemed to so clearly disprove God just a minute ago? I can tell you exactly what would happen, because it happened to me (minus the vast scientific knowledge part). All that stuff stops mattering. You begin to realize that what we don’t know outweighs what we do know by an astronomical amount. You realize that What We Know is only an insignificant grain of sand on an unimaginable desert of ‘Things to Know.’ You begin to realize that in spite of the fact that we can’t agree on what happened throughout eternity, eternity still happened, and something happened inside of it. Lots of somethings. You begin to realize that sometimes both sides of an argument can claim the same piece of evidence. It’s all about perspective. So there you stand. Everything that you once KNEW laying shattered and broken at your feet, and the searchlight of your curiosity that drove you to become so knowledgeable about science and stuff is now focused on the Bible, the one and only source of knowledge about the magnificent creator of the universe. Can you imagine how it feels to suddenly know that such an awesome being actually exists? Have you ever stood in front of a powerful fan and tried to breath? Every breath you take in fills you up to bursting, and you feel wide open and a little afraid. That’s kind of how it feels on the day you start to believe God exists. It is an awesome day, let me tell you. I’ve got chills remembering when it happened to me. I was an atheist in an atheist chat room. One day someone came into the room and typed, ‘imagine a scenario where you are suddenly presented with absolute proof . . . As I imagined, I began to realize that God was POSSIBLE. Afterward, my natural curiosity took the wheel and it was all over for me. God had his revenge, and I became an anti-intellectual (or whatever it is you guys call us these days). The thing is, I read the posts in this blog, from all of your great minds that have such a clear love for learning, and I get excited because you guys are going to be strong soldiers in God’s army when you finally discover the one truth that can change your life. I’ll gladly call you my brothers and sisters on that day.” Jim
An atheist will not just be closed to such experiences. It has been tested an observed hundreds of times that the brain is capable for producing such experiences the feel so real it cannot be denied. Michael Harner, and anthropologist who lived among the Jivaro Indians of the Ecuadoran Amazon, described his experience with ayahuasca as follows:
“For several hours after drinking the brew, I found myself although awake, in a world literally beyond my wildest dreams. I met bird-like people, as well as a dragon-like creature who explained they were the true Gods of this world. I enlisted the services of other spirit helpers in attempting to fly through the far reaches of the Galaxy. Transported into a trance where the supernatural seemed natural, I realized that anthropologists, including myself, had profoundly underestimated the importance of the drug in affecting native ideology.”
Notice the blogger, Jim, says “minus the vast scientific knowledge part.” Someone unaware of neuroscience and such both before and after can fall for explaining away such terrific feelings with the supernatural. Both sides make claims about certain evidences, but only the scientific side tests them to verify their accuracy. Where is the proof that the Christian God is the same God of your Christian neighbor? There are over 30,000 different denominations in Christianity that have different views of God and the Bible. How does Jim know that the God who convinced him was real is not a trickster pretending to be God? Jim only accepts that God exists though blind faith.
Finally at he end of the book, Ray tells a story of his film crew and himself in Las Vegas outside the Bellagio Hotel. A song “Time to Say Goodbye” brought back memories and reminds the reader about death. Ray compares Christians as people in a village built by a dam. The Christian can see the dam losing control and this warns the villagers, but they refuse to listen. Ray says when he dies, he knows that he will see his family again. He urges the reader to carefully examine the Ten Commandments
Examine the Ten Commandments….which version Ray? Exodus 20 or Exodus 34?
Since these are the “real” Ten Commandments (the only time in the Old Testament that are actually called the Ten Commandments), Ray Comfort can forget about getting into Heaven, and not just for following the wrong Commandments throughout his ministry, but for preaching a false ministry — even if Jesus was real (which there is reasonable doubt), even his own beloved book says Jesus is not even the Messiah.