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Mar 27 2014

Comfort vs Tyson: TKO

Ray Comfort took on Neil deGrasse Tyson and the new Cosmos on his show this week. Talk about trying to punch above your weight class. Even for a young earth creationist, his arguments are breathtakingly stupid. And he has absolutely no idea what science is:

“You know, the word ‘science,’ it’s kind of a magical word,” Comfort said. “‘I believe in science.’ It just means knowledge, that’s all it means. There’s different areas of science, different areas of knowledge. When you say the Bible is not a science book, you’re saying it’s not a knowledge book? It tells us how God created the Earth!”

Knowledge, of course, is not quite all that defines science, which is characterized by systematic methods of observation in pursuit of new understanding.

But Comfort insisted the Bible was a science book because it described the origins of the universe.

“It gives us the basis for all creation, and it passes the scientific method,” he said. “It’s observable – Genesis – and testable. Evolution is not. You can’t observe something 60 million years old, but you can observe what Genesis says.”

No, science does not just mean “knowledge.” And the idea that you can’t study an event scientifically if you weren’t there to observe it happening is simply moronic. I’d like to think that even in my early teenage years when I was a Christian I would not have found this argument anything less than ridiculous.

27 comments

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  1. 1
    cswella

    I wrote a book that describes the origins of Ray Comfort. It starts with a portapotty at a Chili & Beer festival, a few demonic incantations, and an empty coke bottle.

    And, it’s endorsed as science by the man himself.

  2. 2
    eric

    You can’t observe something 60 million years old, but you can observe what Genesis says.”

    Observe – I do not think it means what you think it means.

  3. 3
    John Pieret

    I’m a bit ashamed but, when I saw the headline, a part of me hoped it was Michael Tyson who had TKOed Comfort.

  4. 4
    naturalcynic

    Tell him Kenny:
    WERE YOU THERE to observe in the beginning? Or even to observe the writing?

  5. 5
    doublereed

    When you say the Bible is not a science book, you’re saying it’s not a knowledge book? It tells us how God created the Earth!

    No it doesn’t. It just says that God created the Earth. It doesn’t say how.

  6. 6
    thalwen

    Ray Comfort loves twisting words and meanings into things they are not. He’s not good at it, but he sure does love to do it, and most of the people who think he’s relevant either don’t know better or don’t care.
    Also, yes you can observe the words in books that doesn’t make them true. The fact that Valinor is described in the Silmarillion does not actually make it exist, sadly.

  7. 7
    laurentweppe

    You can’t observe something 60 million years old

    I live in Nice, France: I can see the Alps from my house: I can certify that you can observe something that’s more than 60 million years old.

  8. 8
    Artor

    Did Tyson bite his ear off? I hear he’s dangerous that way.

  9. 9
    bmiller

    Off topic personal aside:

    Damn am I jealous, laurentweppe. I am a major Nice-ophile. Especially after seeing the car chase scenes in Vieux Nice in RONIN. LOL.

    Although California isn’t a bad place at all.

  10. 10
    d.c.wilson

    Eric@2:

    Observe – I do not think it means what you think it means.

    That wasn’t the only word he got the definition wrong. He misused every word in those quotes with the possible of exceptions of “the” and “and.:

  11. 11
    dingojack

    Laurent – Is Nice, nice?
    Dingo

  12. 12
    Chiroptera

    “‘I believe in science.’ It just means knowledge, that’s all it means.

    You know, if conservatives would just learn the actual meanings of words, they wouldn’t have to make these half-assed guesses based on etymology.

  13. 13
    dingojack

    Can you get a TKO if your opponent repeatedly punches themselves in the head?
    Dingo
    ———
    bmiller – don’t tell me – ‘you hate Nice-es to pieces’ (sorry)

  14. 14
    abb3w

    Florida Benchmark SC.3.N.3.1: Recognize that words in science can have different or more specific meanings than their use in everyday language; for example, energy, cell, heat/cold, and evidence.

    This also applies to the word “science” itself.

  15. 15
    jd142

    “Were you there?”

    “Yes, yes, I was there 65 million years ago when the asteroid hit. i didn’t see you there though.” I’d love to know the response to that bit of snark.

  16. 16
    greg1466

    It tells us how God created the Earth!”

    No, it tells us that God created the Earth, not how. Unless you know of some appendix that details the experimental process used.

    It’s observable – Genesis – and testable.

    Yes, the Bible is observable and we can test that it is there. Congratulations! You just scientifically proved that the Bible exists. I love how someone periodically posts a picture of the Bible on Facebook with a “Like if you believe in this book!” I always want to comment, “Well of course I believe in it, right there it is.”

  17. 17
    fifthdentist

    Homicide investigator: “Sir, I have matched the bullet from the victim’s body to the suspect’s gun. Also, his bloody fingerprints were found on a refrigerator and the victim had the suspect’s DNA under her fingernails.”

    Prosecutor: “Damn! If only you were there to see him fire the gun, leave those fingerprints and watch the victim scratch his face, we’d have an open-and-shut case. But seeing as you weren’t, I guess we’ll have to drop the charges.”

  18. 18
    moarscienceplz

    I believe in science. It just means knowledge, that’s all it means

    .

    Ahhh, the creotard’s favorite weapon: redefining words to make it look like they have sensible arguments. Like “theory” means wild-ass guess. Or, dinosaurs couldn’t have evolved into birds because “bird” is a different word from “dinosaur”.

  19. 19
    Francisco Bacopa

    Neil Tyson was on his college wrestling team. I suspect he would win by submission rather than TKO.

  20. 20
    EnlightenmentLiberal

    You can’t observe something 60 million years old,

    Actually, you can. It’s called astronomy.

  21. 21
    Jeremy Shaffer

    jd142 at 15- When I replied that way to that question it was received with a confused look, followed by an angry look, and topped off with mumbled, stuttered accusations of being an arrogant ass as they walked away.

  22. 22
    Broken Things

    Can you get a TKO if your opponent repeatedly punches themselves in the head?

    +1

  23. 23
    caseloweraz

    @Dingojack (#11):

    I hear tell the mountains there are gneiss.

  24. 24
    sugarfrosted

    Funny that Ray Comfort thought he could take on Tyson, when one considers, that he can’t even take on UC Berkeley students without dishonestly editing his footage using multiple cameras to mix and match questions and answers.

  25. 25
    Raging Bee

    You can’t observe something 60 million years old, but you can observe what Genesis says.

    We can also observe what “Mein Kampf” says. That doesn’t make it a reliable source.

  26. 26
    dingojack

    caseloweraz (#23) – Was it your niece who told you?
    :D Dingo

  27. 27
    laurentweppe

    We can also observe what “Mein Kampf” says. That doesn’t make it a reliable source.

    Why? The book can be summarized as “I’llKillThemAllI’llKillThemAllI’llKillThemAllI’llKillThemAllI’llKillThemAllI’llKillThemAllI’llKillThemAllI’llKillThemAll
    I’llKillThemAllI’llKillThemAllI’llKillThemAllI’llKillThemAllI’llKillThemAllI’llKillThemAllI’llKillThemAllI’llKillThemAll
    I’llKillThemAllI’llKillThemAllI’llKillThemAllI’llKillThemAllI’llKillThemAllI’llKillThemAllI’llKillThemAllI’llKillThemAll
    I’llKillThemAllI’llKillThemAllI’llKillThemAllI’llKillThemAllI’llKillThemAllI’llKillThemAllI’llKillThemAllI’llKillThemAll
    I’llKillThemAllI’llKillThemAllI’llKillThemAllI’llKillThemAllI’llKillThemAllI’llKillThemAllI’llKillThemAllI’llKillThemAll
    I’llKillThemAll
    ” I’d say that it was a very reliable source when it comes to its author goals and ambitions.

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