Comfort’s Creationist Ignorance

In his latest Worldnutdaily column, Ray Comfort takes dead aim at evolution and, predictably, completely misses the mark. It’s a weak effort even from a creationist, really. It’s nothing more than a bunch of ignorant blather and an attempt to shift the burden of proof.

Nothing is observable without the believer having to exercise faith. When hearing such a thought, the devout devotee rushes to his evolution site to cut and paste what he believes to be facts. Then he presents them en masse with the zeal of a fundamentalist religious zealot. He has faith in what he believes is evidence – what he hears about old bones, ideas and dating processes.

Isn’t it interesting how a fundamentalist religious zealot uses that very term as a criticism, indeed an insult? And yes, there are certainly plenty of people who accept evolution without really understanding it well and who cut and paste when arguing with a creationist without really knowing the evidence behind what they’re using. But so what? The same is true of the overwhelming majority of creationists participating in such arguments and that is not an argument for or against either evolution or creationism.

And this is also a rather anachronistic use of the term “faith.” Faith, as his Bible tells us, is believing without evidence. But the evidence for evolution is available for all to look at, analyze and evaluate. There are tens of thousands of scientists working in fields for which evolution is the single unifying theory that explains the data, and they publish their research for both their colleagues and laypeople to read and examine. One does not need faith to accept that evidence, one merely has to look at it and logically evaluate it.

Creationism on the other hand is observable. The Book of Genesis tells us that male and female were created in all the “kinds,” and in nature we see that except for a few hermaphroditic lowlifes, everything has male and female. Horses, cows, dogs, cats, elephants, giraffes, fleas, fish, kangaroos, polar bears and people all have male and female. That’s what the Bible says, and that’s what we observe in nature and in the fossil record.

A few hermaphroditic lowlifes? He’s making a moral judgment about animals he has likely never even heard of? There are, in fact, lots of species that are hermaphroditic in very fascinating ways. There are sequential hermaphrodites, which are born one gender and change to another later in life (several species of teleost fish and gastropods). Some of them change from male to female (clownfish, for instance), some from female to male, and some in both directions (different species of reef fish do both of those last two).

There are simultaneous hermaphrodites which are both male and female at the same time, like some species of snails, slugs and earthworms. And yes, there are human beings who are born intersex or with both male and female genitalia. Are those people “lowlifes” merely because they were born that way? They didn’t choose it. And if you really believe that your God is in control of everything, as Comfort does, then he created them that way.

But what we are told about evolution doesn’t line up with what we see in nature. While evolutionists would have us believe that everything evolved and is still evolving, there are no dogs or birds or plants that we can observe that are in the process of evolution. Everything is in a state of functional maturity.

According to a man who is as ignorant of the scientific literature as he is of Tibetan folk music. He really does seem to think that his ignorance defines all of reality. In fact, we have observed many new species evolve over the last few decades.

After it was made, everything was “finished,” as Genesis says. We don’t observe anything dying because it has half a mouth and can’t eat, or has a semi-evolved stomach and can’t digest, or flies in a circle because it has only one partly-evolved wing, or drowns because it has semi-evolved gills.

Imagine that. Nor do we see any half lizard/half humans. But only an ignoramus would think that this is evidence against evolution.

36 comments on this post.
  1. Jasper of Maine:

    My God… is he still using that “we don’t see half a _____” argument? I’m positive he’s had these things explained to him repeatedly.

  2. psweet:

    The male-female bit gets even worse once you get past animals. Many flowering plants have male and female parts on the same flower, fungi have + and – mating strains, and what bacteria do, well….

  3. Owlmirror:

    Comfort is proof positive that one can function successfully in modern society with only half a brain.

  4. dingojack:

    And then there are the species of lizard that are only female, the species of rodents that have three, and even five sexes.
    Seems nature is far, far more evolved than Ray’s (relatively primitive) brain can handle.
    Dingo

  5. anubisprime:

    Why is this functionally bankrupt idiot still being pandered to in the media…?

    If his memés were allowed to die where he posts them with no one paying them any attention, let alone reposting them then is it not likely him and his stultified brain would wither away to dust.
    I do realise they are entertainment in a sick kind of fascination way, but is it really worth the sniggers?
    There is nothing there to refute …it is mindless trash, let him go back into a playpen and make up all the tosh and bollix that pleases him, but do not make the mistake of taking them seriously enough to warrant a rebuttal!

    No one wants to bother debating the fraud and no one really cares about his self invented mission, it is debatable whether even the majority of wannabe creationists would hear of him if it were not for his effluent being smeared over the internets,

    Jus sayin’

  6. TGAP Dad:

    What happened? Did he run out of bananas?

  7. tuxedocartman:

    Of all the animals he could have picked, he picked DOGS as an example of something we can’t see evolving?!! Is he serious?! How else does he think a strain of powerful woodland predators got turned into little piggy-looking things that can’t breath on airplanes? (I know, I know… “Jeebus did it!” Sigh…)

  8. Barefoot Bree:

    I am convinced that most creationists’ rejection of evolution stems from their inability to comprehend the scale of it. Not only the vast and varied mountain of physical evidence, but the sheer number of scientists, experiments, scientific disciplines, bits of data, and years involved – both the entire timeline of the Earth, and the years we’ve been at it on this end. Creationists seem incapable of grasping large numbers – anything over 144,000. Or five.

    Additionally, I think many of them view what scientists do as no different from what theologians do – sitting in a cave (or office) and thinking up grandiose, exquisitely detailed castles in the clouds. with as much hard physical evidence to back them up as a supposedly empty mythical tomb or a splinter of wood supposedly from a particular single bronze-age torture and execution device.

  9. bificommander:

    Oh wow. Most animals are male or female, as is clearly deducable by people who lived in the time Genesis was written. The existence of hermaphrodite ‘lowlives’ is not as obvious without proper scientific examination, of the type the people in the time of writing Genesis mostly couldn’t do yet. So basically, Genesis reports a few things that would be immediately obvious to its writers, and misses things that mere humans of that time would likely miss. And this TOTALLY proves that everything in Genesis is true. How else could they have known that all, er, I mean most, animals have a male and female species?

  10. No One:

    Look Ray! Animals with gills and legs! They start as fish and then grow legs, crawl out of the water and breath air!
    And you can see it happen in our life time! Evolution is true * ! Now kindly fuck off!

    Photographic evidence:

    http://www.frogsnotcanetoads.com.au/images/gallery/tadpoles/tadpoles_1.jpg

    * Yes I understand that this is not really evidence for evolution but by the banana’s standards it is.

  11. raven:

    Look Ray! Animals with gills and legs!

    No big deal.

    There are animals that start as one celled organisms. They grow legs and arms and tails. Eventually they end up (sometimes) getting college degrees.

  12. raven:

    I am convinced that most creationists’ rejection of evolution stems from their inability to comprehend the scale of it

    More likely Ray Comfort is lying for jesus and mostly, money.

    He gets paid and likely well for his act. And what else could he do for a living? It’s not like he has any skills valuable in the real world.

  13. Phillip IV:

    We don’t observe anything dying because it has half a mouth and can’t eat, or has a semi-evolved stomach and can’t digest, or flies in a circle because it has only one partly-evolved wing, or drowns because it has semi-evolved gills.

    So, now Comfort is denying even the existence of congenital defects? Well, I guess he kinda has to, since that’s also a part of evolution in action. Still, it’s kinda short-legged as a argument…I bet you could easily find pictures of every single one of the conditions he lists.

  14. raven:

    Brace Yourselves: Rare Drug Resistant Superbug Found in L.A.: LAist
    laist. com/2013/03/06/ brace_yourselves_rare_drug_resistan.php

    Brace Yourselves: Rare Drug Resistant Superbug Found in L.A.. bacteria.jpg ‘Fighting … C.R.E. stands for “carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae,” notes USA Today. … By Lindsay William-Ross in News on March 6, 2013 2:30 PM. View …

    Contrary to Comfort’s lies, we see evolution in action all around us everyday.

    There are always emerging diseases evolving to fill the human pathogen niche. SARS, HIV, and a year or so ago, swine flu.

    These days multi-drug resistant bacteria are becoming a huge problem. Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae are starting to spread through the human population and the CDC has issued a warning.

    MRSA is a problem and I know several people who have and in some cases, still have this. We are also seeing MRSA resistant to vancomycin, one of the two main last line drugs.

    If responsible adults paid any attention to Ray Comfort’s lies, epidemics of newly evolved pathogens killing thousands or millions would be sweeping through the US population, while fundie xians chant, “Evolution is impossilbe.”

  15. Moggie:

    Creationism on the other hand is observable. The Book of Genesis tells us that male and female were created in all the “kinds,” and in nature we see that except for a few hermaphroditic lowlifes, everything has male and female.

    In other words: “Genesis is right! Except where it isn’t!”
    And this is supposed to be convincing?

  16. matty1:

    Does Ray live at 29 Acacia Road?

  17. caseloweraz:

    Shorter Comfort: “Creationism on the other hand is observable… in the Book of Genesis.”

    And as for “Nothing is observable without the believer having to exercise faith”, indeed observation depends on the messages conveyed by the senses — which, as “everyone” “knows”, are merely illusions. For, as “everyone knows”, we’re all the dreams of a green cat sleeping in a small barn behind the storefront at 137 DeKoven Street in Chicago. But it won’t be sleeping for long…

    /snark

    http://greatchicagofire.org/

  18. marcus:

    anubisprime @ 5 “I do realise they are entertainment in a sick kind of fascination way, but is it really worth the sniggers?
    Yes. Next question.

  19. Modusoperandi:

    …and in nature we see that except for a few hermaphroditic lowlifes…”

    Shorter Ray Comfort: “Earthworms are easy!”

  20. raven:

    Liz Szabo and Peter Eisler, USA TODAY5p.m. EST March 6, 2013

    Health officials are raising concerns that it may soon be too late to stop superbugs.

    Story Highlights
    Superbugs are extremely resistant to antibiotics
    CDC urges hospital workers to help prevent spread of these germs
    These germs have been linked to pneumonia, bloodstream infections

    A family of “nightmare” superbugs — untreatable and often deadly — is spreading through hospitals across the USA, and doctors fear that it may soon be too late to stop them, senior health officials said Tuesday.

    “These are nightmare bacteria that present a triple threat,” said Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “They’re resistant to nearly all antibiotics. They have high mortality rates, killing half of people with serious infections. And they can spread their resistance to other bacteria.”

    So far, this particular class of superbug, called carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, has been found only in hospitals or nursing homes, rather than in the community, Frieden said. But officials sounded the alarm partly because, if the bacteria’s spread isn’t contained soon, even common infections could become untreatable. continues

    FYI.

    You might think this doesn’t apply to you. Until it does. MRSA and Van(R) MRSA is becoming way too common.

    This is evolution in action.

  21. D. C. Sessions:

    Faith, as his Bible tells us, is believing without evidence.

    There are two different Latin words here. (Disclaimer: I am not a Latin scholar.) One is the root of words such as “fidelity” means loyal or faithful — as in the Marine Corps “semper fidelis.” It’s not that the Marines are big on belief, it’s that they’re loyal.

    The other is the root of words like “creed” or “credulous:” belief. Which seems much more what Comfort is talking about. For whatever reason, Christian theology seems to mix them up.

  22. peterh:

    ” For whatever reason….” “…seems to mix…”

    The reason is they’re trying to reason without any brains. I submit that a good deal of the mixing is quite deliberate – belief control of the sheeple.

  23. iknklast:

    His hermaphrodite argument is even more bogus than he realizes. Lots of plants are hermaphrodites. Lots of organisms are asexual, not male or female at all, and reproduce by splitting in two. The bible never mentions any of these creatures, because plants weren’t assumed to be sexual creatures in those days, and bacteria were totaly unknown. That’s the problem with Comfort; he does a poor job of explaining even what he does explain, getting it badly wrong, and manages to ignore the vast majority of life on earth in the process. Of course, for Comfort, life is probably divided into humans and not-humans, because humans are made in god’s image and everything else, persumably, is not.

    Like so many other ignorant people, he reduces life down to larger animals. Nothing else is relevant. Of course, recognizing these other creatures would be extremely inconvenient, since the argument that we don’t observe evolution would be hard to make even by the most ardent creationist if they were knowledgeable about these organisms.

  24. gopiballava:

    “drowns because it has semi-evolved gills.”

    I don’t know about all the fascinating varieties of semi-aquatic animals. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are some animals that have something close to half evolved gills that work in limited ways – and can drown if they get stuck entirely underwater.

    What about aquatic mammals? Whales must live in water but breathe air. That seems totally ridiculous from a creationist perspective. Cruel, even.

  25. reverendrodney:

    I like to argue with these nuts at the most basic level. Take Comfort’s statement for instance:

    “Nothing is observable without the believer having to exercise faith.”

    What faith is a baby exercising when, as it’s sight develops, it observes things around it?

  26. gopiballava:

    “What faith is a baby exercising when, as it’s sight develops, it observes things around it?”

    Remarkable, isn’t it? Surrounded by confusing things they don’t understand, barely able to communicate even their most basic needs, yet they still have trust and faith in their parents. It’s amazing what God helps them understand.

  27. slc1:

    Re gopiballava @ #24

    As I understand it, humans actually have the genes for making gills, although they are inactive. Theoretically, it might some day be possible to find a way to make them active again and result in a human with both lings and gills.

    There have also been cases reported of human hermaphrodites with the sex organs of both sexes. I once read about such a case where a boy started bleeding out of his anus once a month starting shortly after his 13th birthday. Physicians at the time could find nothing wrong with him (Xrays were not available at the time). This condition continued until the individual’s mid forties at which time it stopped. He was married and had children by his wife. After his death, an autopsy was performed and it was discovered that he had fully developed ovaries and a uterus with a birth canal that discharged into his large intestine, thus explaining the bleeding. Needless to say, this condition is exceedingly rare, but not unheard of.

  28. chrisho-stuart:

    Another example… the clownfish (the same that starred in “Finding Nemo”)

    All clownfish as born as males. In a school of clownfish, the largest and most dominant becomes female. If she dies, the strongest male moves up into her place, becoming female in the process.

    Clownfish are easy to keep and breed in an aquarium, and this little detail of their sex is basic information for hobbyists.

  29. Olav:

    Ed:

    A few hermaphroditic lowlifes? He’s making a moral judgment about animals he has likely never even heard of?

    In his defence (futile, I know…) I would say he wasn’t necessarily making a moral judgment, he is just a clumsy writer. He meant to use the phrase “lower lifeforms”. Or perhaps he did not, in which case I never said anything.

    Excuse me while I go puke.

  30. magistramarla:

    tuxedocartman @ 7
    Yeah, I laughed at that, too.
    My German Shepherd is a perfect example. His breed was “created” only a bit over one hundred years ago when a breeder bred wolves with other dogs to create “the perfect” shepherd.
    The breed has certainly evolved since then. My big boy is from a bloodline of those original “German” dogs.
    He is the size of a wolf and has a straight back. (Think RinTinTin)
    The American form of the breed has evolved to have a sloping back and shorter back legs.

  31. redmann:

    anubisprime@5

    Why is this functionally bankrupt idiot still being pandered to in the media…?

    Are you accusing WhirledNutDaily of being media?

  32. gardengnome:

    Even with my fairly basic standard in English I still baulk at “zeal of a … zealot”. Somebody get that man a Thesaurus (there must have been two on the Ark – with or without saddles).

  33. MarkNS:

    We see millions of human miscarriages caused by genetic mutations that are not viable.

  34. birgerjohansson:

    That translation of “semper fidelis.” is uncomfortably close to “mein ehre heisst truhe” (loyalty is my honour).
    — — — — — — —
    “the zeal of a zealot” -remember, this is Ray Comfort’s writing. He chose this profession since it was a profitable match for his talents. Dammit, I should have a job like that!
    — — — — — — —
    To watch evolution in action -to be precise, selection pressure- just dump Ray Comfort in the middle of the Outback and watch what happens. “Hmm, I wonder if those snakes are good eating”.*
    .
    * Australia has the greatest collection of uber-poisonous reptiles and spiders in the world.

  35. dingojack:

    birgerjohansson – you surely knew I’d get all Latin-anal, right?
    If I were translating ‘loyalty; in to Latin I would use ‘pietas‘ which Lewis and Short’s Latin Dictionary suggests can have the literal meaning of:
    “With respect to one’s parents, children, relatives, country, benefactors, etc., duty, dutifulness, affection, love, loyalty, patriotism, gratitude, etc.”
    rather than ‘fidelis‘ which has the sense of:
    “that may be trusted or relied upon, trusty, faithful, sincere, true ”
    The former has a sense of dependence, the latter has the sense of dependabilty. [/Latin pedant].
    Dingo

  36. lpetrich:

    Even worse for Ray Comfort is how the sexes of many protists and fungi are lookalikes (isogamy), and how they often have large numbers of “mating types” or sexes. However, only 2 different ones need to get together.

    He’s also known for claiming that, according to evolution, the sexes have to have evolved separately. What a load of dinosaur doo-doo.

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