Disappointment »« Mormon evolution

I can’t believe I watched the whole thing

Here’s Ray Comfort’s “movie”, all 40+ blah, repetitive minutes of it. It’s the standard schtick: Comfort sticks a microphone in somebody’s face, asks a leading question, and then edits their answers and splices them into an appalling gemische of Smug Ray vs. Ambushed Folk.



He loves to go after students — he can get lots of confusion and uncertainty from them that he can assemble into a long litany of doubt. And when he got four professors, who are confident and know their stuff, and he edits the heck out of them. He pretends here that we have no examples of evidence for evolution, but as you’ll see if you bother to watch the piece of crap, every time we offered strong evidence, he rejects it by assertion, insisting that we have to show him evidence that one “kind” transformed into another “kind”, where he gets to define whether something is a new “kind” or not. And if we mention the fossil evidence, he rejects that, too, because he wants evidence of a transformation he can see right in front of his eyes, and all that dead stuff was millions of years ago (we say).

The last bit of this monstrosity is a long commercial for Way of the Master and the Creation Museum, plus lots of Jesusy nonsense. It really isn’t a movie by any stretch of the imagination — it’s an overlong infomercial for Comfort’s clownish apologetics act.

Skip it unless you’re feeling deeply masochistic.

Comments

  1. Usernames are smart says

    So sice EVILoution is all a sham, why are whales and dolphins’ pectoral fins homologous to the bones of humans (and other mammals that creep around)?

    Did tricky ol’ god make it look like they were descended from animals that once lived on land (especially since they don’t have those gills thingamajigs)?

    Tricky ol’ god. Always tricking.

  2. trog69 says

    There will never be a time in my life where whatever I am doing is less interesting than watching scrambled nonsense and willful ignorance from Ray Comfort or his cohorts.

  3. Ichthyic says

    Tricky ol’ god. Always tricking.

    We hates it, my precious!

    Tricksy!

    False!

  4. says

    Right, observations involving past evidence involve “faith.” I guess if you just lie your ass off, no evidence is possible.

    I notice at the beginning there’s a lot of repetition of “belief in evolution,” which clearly is put there to make one think of belief as faith, instead of belief as justified statement.

    If you’re an ignorant essentialist, I suppose that “kinds” might matter to you. Then brush off all of the evidence predicted by evolution, from fossil evidence to genetic evidence, and you look like you’ve won, to the very ignorant.

    Glen Davidson

  5. says

    Oddly, dumbass Comfort isn’t bothered by the lack of any evidence for magic making life.

    Then lie as much as you can about the evolution being unobservable. Gets back to Ham’s “were you there?” basically what Meyer does as well.

    Oh yeah, the coccyx isn’t vestigial because it has use. Hey Liar Ray, why is something so stupid “designed” for attachments? Fuse a bunch of bones together, leaving weaknesses, and you have something that works for attachments, but hugely more complex than anything that one would actually design. Why? Because it’s a bunch of tail bones.

    Glen Davidson

  6. says

    I think it is time that creationists got a taste of their own medicine. A video should be produced with interviews of them trying to explain evolution and show how their arguments fail scientifically and logically.

  7. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Here’s a possibly stupid sugestion

    STOP FUCKING GIVING HIM MATERIAL

  8. says

    Jesus “paid your fine” on the cross. So Ray is dishonest even about that. Obviously he knows that substitutionary death makes no sense to modern people, so the whole blood atonement thing is abandoned and it’s treated as if it were a fine. But no, there’s no substitution for Ted Bundy’s punishment, it would make no sense at all to let him go because someone else was killed for him (or had a viciously bad afternoon, then was unconscious for a day and a half, and then was again free).

    So even the Gospel, Ray’s supposed raison d’etre, isn’t anything about which honesty is mandatory for Ray.

    Glen Davidson

  9. sbuh says

    #7

    Comfort isn’t bothered by the lack of any evidence for magic making life.

    Well yeah. That’s the point. He doesn’t have to try to prove his side correct. He just has to succeed in disparaging the scientific evidence in the eyes of the gullible and invoke sophistry to claim that his beliefs are just as legitimate as the scientist’s. Then he “wins.”

  10. John Morales says

    Ing, that would be about as futile as stopping giving trolls material.

    coreyschlueter, been done.

    (“Why Do People Laugh at Creationists” on YouTube)

  11. Holms says

    Ray clearly does his best work in the editing room. “Someone gave a zinger of an answer? Only if I leave it in the final cut! Allakazam, now he looks like a stuttering idiot!”

    Standard dishonest shit.

  12. hypatiasdaughter says

    #8 coreyschlueter
    There are lots of great ones on YouTube -but they all talk about SCIENCE, and you know how wrong science is and how it depends on faith…yadda, yadda, yadda.
    Ray depends on biased questions, dishonest editing and cheesy yucks (crockoducks anyone?). Unfortunately, scientists respect truth too much to engage in Ray’s most successful tactics.

  13. Menyambal --- Ooo, look! A garage sale ... says

    But we have changed something from one “kind” to another “kind”. We took some wolves, and we changed their descendants into dogs. Then we took dogs, and changed them into many kinds of dogs. We’ve taken kinds of dogs, and changed their descendants into other kinds of dogs.

    Thanks for saying I don’t have to watch that, PZ. Not that I was going to.

    Ray seems to be defining religion and science by popular consensus.Whatever is popular with Ray and his followers, at least.

    Is Ray running that camera? Is he holding it at his crotch? Is that symbolic?

  14. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Still no conclusive physical evidence for Ray’s imaginary deity, or that his babble isn’t a book of mythology/fiction…Why can’t they lead with evidence to show they are right…Oh yes, it doesn’t exist….

  15. says

    I have to ask PZ: What exactly was the point of consenting to be interviewed by this huckster? You knew you would be reduced to a few soundbites that made convenient hooks for him to hang his canned answers on. Yeah, *we* know it’s been edited to hell and otherwise twisted. But doesn’t the presence of Real True Scientists admitting whatever y’all are supposed to admit lend Comfort credibility in the eyes of his target audience?

  16. sbuh says

    #17

    I’d say his target audience is probably already on his side. Plus if PZ just decided to walk away and ignore the guy he could just spin it as “scientist too scared to submit to interview.” At least by being civil it lends credibility when he later points out how Ray mangled the whole thing.

  17. Lofty says

    Bananaman sure knows his target audience, who will accept any lying statement so long as it praises their favourite deity.

  18. Ichthyic says

    key here is contracts.

    Ray wants to use your interview in a film?

    waive all fees in lieu of a quick, but formal contract, giving you possession of the original copy of the interview in its entirety, and license to pull your material if you are not allowed to view the final edit before release.

    You win either way. if that’s not good enough for Ray, he ends up being the chicken who could not accept a simple and honest contract, even one that didn’t cost him a cent.

    If he accepts, then he doesn’t get to pull his fuckwitted editing scheme.

  19. iplon says

    I would love to see a Heart of Darkness type feature done on the process of him making a movie.

  20. ealloc says

    I would have pointed to genetic evidence for his ‘change of kind’ question. If he believes that DNA tests can tell you relatedness of siblings/parents/cousins, then the fact that 99.8%of human dna overlaps with chimp DNA is hard observable evidence you are related to a different ‘kind’, a chimp.

    I just looked up what he’s written on chimp DNA, and his argument is especially weak. He doesn’t deny that it’s true, he just tries to reframe it using misleading statistics. I know he’ll wriggle around whatever arguments you give, but I think the chimp argument would give him the toughest time here.

  21. says

    I’ve said it before, but Comfort’s movies need to be treated like the work of a troll. He gets a kick out of the ire and frustration he stirs up in the free-thought community, and there isn’t the slightest possibility of him ever engaging in a thoughtful discussion on the issue, especially when he knows he can make $20 a pop (seriously, that’s the price of the digital download) from the people who are cheering him on.

    Nobody who isn’t already a believer will be impressed by this stuff. It will be inflicted on a good number of young people, no doubt, but all the demographic information points to the fact that he and his kind are losing, badly, and if what’s happened in Western Europe is happening here, there is no turning back.

  22. grumpyoldfart says

    Creationists mention evolution for no other reason than to avoid the burden of proving god’s existence. While the atheist is defending evolution the creationist god is not under attack.

    As soon as they mention evolution I tell them I will go along with whatever they say or think about the subject – so now the ball is back in their court and they must first describe their god (or we won’t know what we’re talking about) and then prove it exists.

    The beg and plead and demand that I must defend evolution but I always refuse. “Whatever you say about it is OK by me – now back to proof for your god’s existence.” Sometimes they even accuse me of cheating!

  23. timanthony says

    I personally find it hard to believe that Ray Comfort is knowingly be a total fraud. Rather, I believe he believes in what he is doing. Even if he knows he “lies”, I suspect he has a justification that works for him – perhaps only for him. As for how he could believe such drivel, I’m inclined to concur with Canadian psychiatrist Dr. Leo Gann who suggests that such people are mentally ill. I’m not excusing RC, just trying to explain the phenomenon of people like him. Further, I think that ppl like RC are more often personality disordered than delusional/psychotic, which implies they should not be excused. But this does not mean that the RCs of this world shouldn’t be better understood. We don’t necessarily all have to feel sorry for him.

    Another interesting perspective was supplied by astronaut Buzz Aldrin when he was asked about the time he publicly punched Bart Sibrel in the head*. Buzz Aldrin said he figured that what motivated conspiracy theorists and their ilk was simply to gain attention for themselves. That, for once, actually made a bit of sense.

    I find it helpful to understand why people like Ray Comfort do what they do. It makes it a little easier easier to ignore them.

    * Sibrel sued and lost.

  24. timanthony says

    I think Ray Comfort must be mentally ill. I had typed a longer comment with 2 links to references but it didn’t appear after submitting. If this works, I’ll try again…

  25. timanthony says

    WHAT???

    My comments are not being posted if they contain links???

    Oh well, I give up. I was going to save the text before Submitting the 2nd time so I could try a third time, but I forgot to.

  26. some bastard on the net says

    @ #31

    Right, because the same Depeche Mode song posted over and over again makes us quake in our boots.

    /sarcasm

  27. some bastard on the net says

    Whoa, now I’m being an ass to my future self!

    How did you DO that, PZ?!

  28. says

    But you didn’t post any Depeche Mode song. You’ve created a time paradox! Universal disintegration is imminent.

    Any moment now.

  29. Charlie Foxtrot says

    For some reason the word ‘Gonzo’ keeps springing to mind – I can’t handle that camera angle… I keep expecting something… to happen.

  30. ck says

    Menyambal — Ooo, look! A garage sale … wrote:

    But we have changed something from one “kind” to another “kind”. We took some wolves, and we changed their descendants into dogs. Then we took dogs, and changed them into many kinds of dogs. We’ve taken kinds of dogs, and changed their descendants into other kinds of dogs.

    They’ll just argue that Canine is their kind. You see, they disbelieve in “macro-evolution”, but must believe in hyper-evolution. There was clearly not sufficient room on Noah’s Ark for every species in existence today, so it must just have been “kinds” that were on the boat. Hyper-evolution is what happened to convert the “kinds” back into the myriad species we have today. Then through the magic of flood fossil ordering, they just happen to all lay down in an order that strongly suggests that the species existed long before the boat was supposed to have exist.

  31. randay says

    Here is another film where I can’t believe I watched the whole thing. This one is about physics.

    The title “The Privileged Planet” shows the bias of the authors. The director is Lan Allen, maker of Jesus Freak horror films. Gotta be kidding. Pure garbage. There was thanks to faith head crackpot William Lane Craig & a Robert Collins of Messiah College. I’m not making that up. It’s in the credits. Illustra Media: “specializing in the production of video documentaries that examine the scientific evidence for intelligent design.” No science in it. “Working closely with the Discovery Institute”. Nuff said.

    As to Comfort, he claims that there are no mistakes in the Bible. He cites Paul in saying that works will not save you but ONLY faith in Jesus as your savior. However, as a nice poster in a another thread here pointed out, James says that faith without works will not save you & vice versa. No, there is no mistake there, is there? “God knows the moment you are dead.”(part 3). Big deal, so do the woman’s family & friends. No miracle there.

  32. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    I watched the first one. I am utterly confused as to why Ray thinks “Can you make me a rose?” is somehow a gotcha question. “Everything’s not intelligently designed, but you can’t even make a rose?” is not a good quesion. He’s managed to misunderstand the word “intelligent” in the context which his own team are using it. What a fucking moron.

    I love the mischevious smile on PZ’s face when he tells Ray that humans are fish :)

  33. foliage says

    Okay fellers I’ve packed up my bindle and I’m off to greener pastures. This atheism jaunt has been fun but it’s clear the writing is on the wall for folks like us. That man Comfort, with his fancy words, has I fear cast us irredeemably foolish in the eyes of this world.

    Good luck to ya’ll and may peace find you where it may.

  34. peptron says

    PZ Myers:
    [...]he wants evidence of a transformation he can see right in front of his eyes[...]

    By this logic, there is no such thing as an analog clock with a working hour hand. Seriously, have you EVER seen the hour hand moving on an analog clock?
    Or for that matter, have you ever seen a baby become an adult right in front of your eyes? I once spent a good 5 minutes staring at a baby, and it was clear that he wasn’t going to turn into an adult within my attention span.

  35. says

    Is editing someones statement to make it appear to be something that it’s not technically lying? And if it is, what does Ray’s god think about him lying for Jesus?

  36. says

    @foliage Ray’s goal isn’t to convince atheists that evolution is false. He wants to convince christians that there’s nothing to evolution so they won’t bother questioning the nonsense in the bible. As such he is doing an incredibly good job convincing my wife.

  37. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    I watched the first one. I am utterly confused as to why Ray thinks “Can you make me a rose?” is somehow a gotcha question.

    Because Ray is a simple dumbass and the people this targets are also simple dumbasses.

  38. Gumpy Gus says

    I try to use a numerical argument with these folks. I ask them: Do you think it’s possible for, say, any random inherited characteristic, say a toe length, to change by 0.1%, going from parent to child? They will almost always concede that yes, that is very reasonable. Aha, there you have them. Even if they think they world is only 6000 years old, point out that 6000 years is about 30,000 mouse generations, or 160,000,000 bacteria generations. If those changes are inherited, that’s still an awful lot of change. At the very least, it starts them thinking.

  39. Tyrant says

    As such he is doing an incredibly good job convincing my wife.

    I’m truly sorry.

  40. =8)-DX says

    Skip it unless you’re feeling deeply masochistic.

    *raises hand
    I watched it! It *was* terrible. The thing that actually made it worthwhile was every time PZ came on =D. I’d have preferred to have seen just that whole interview, as well as the other interviews with scientists. This cut-paste nonsense just made my head hurt. That or the extra bottle of wine I had last night =8).

  41. CaitieCat says

    If you were up for it, PZ, I think the best way to come back at this dude would be countertechnology.

    That is, “Sure, I’ll let you interview me, let me just set up my own camera here, okay there’s the mike, and we’re golden. Yes?”

    Either that, or carry a large stopwatch on a headband, and hit “go” when he starts asking questions. Film’s gonna look hilarious with visibly jumping minute and second hands…

  42. says

    This @40: He wants to convince christians that there’s nothing to evolution so they won’t bother questioning the nonsense in the bible. As such he is doing an incredibly good job convincing my wife.

    Contra #18, Comfort isn’t preaching to the already-converted. He’s not stupid that way; he’s recruiting new souls for Jesus donors to Living Waters. His target is people who are in the mushy middle — uncommitted and persuadable; who don’t have the necessary cynicism to call out arguments from authority, to ask themselves what got left on the cutting room floor, to demand that the missing steps in the argument get filled in.

    That’s why it’s less important to teach atheism per se, and more important to teach critical thinking, and the ethic of questioning everything — including your own most entrenched beliefs.

  43. george gonzalez says

    Kinda Ironic, but Ray’s movie is an example of “survival of the fittest”. The only clips that survived to be pasted together into his movie are those that “fit” his views. The other 99%, where the person interviewed said something like “Why would you ask such a stupid, loaded, meaningless question?” were naturally, ruthlessly, selected out, by Ray. One of the pillars of Evolution in action.

  44. belzerbru says

    I didn’t manage more then the first 21 minutes today.. I had low expectation.. and, it was worse then I could have imagined.. Ray used “Kinds” which he or as far as I know no YEC ever defines, and says species have 14 different definisions so it’s useless as a term…

    Only positive thing is that according to ray there are almost no “True Scotsmen” in Europe, would guess ther percent here in norway is sisngle digit, or maybe even 0.x% christians .. Way to go

  45. peptron says

    belzerbru:
    Ray used “Kinds” which he or as far as I know no YEC ever defines, and says species have 14 different definisions so it’s useless as a term…

    I once had somebody argue that since he wasn’t fertile, he didn’t fit in the definition of specie (being able to have offsprings with others of the same specie), and was therefore not human. Though he was not a creationist, it’s just that he seemed to get a kick out of seeing humans as “the lesser ones”.
    Of course, there was no point in trying to explain that this was a rather silly way of defining a specie, and that infertility really is a common problem that does not grand super powers.

  46. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    My mantra during such an interview would be “Define X”.

    “Have you ever seen one kind turn into another?”

    “Define “kind”.”

    “Is evolution a belief?”

    “Define “belief”.”

    “Are you accepting that on faith?”

    “Define “faith”.”

    … You get the idea.

  47. peptron says

    So, there you have it, “Thumper; Atheist mate” proving it for ALL of us to see, that atheists try to deflect questions because they are TOO SCARED to answer directly!
    At least, that’s what the devil’s advocate in me would say.

  48. David Marjanović says

    WHAT???

    My comments are not being posted if they contain links???

    No, you can post up to 5 or 6 links. Links to certain places aren’t allowed, though – but I’d be surprised if Comfort’s sites were among those!

    and says species have 14 different definisions so it’s useless as a term…

    The term “species” has about 150 different definitions. Several of them describe interesting entities that really exist in nature.

    The confusing part is simply that these entities have nothing in common except the word “species”. Depending on the definition, there are from 101 to 249 endemic bird species in Mexico…

    a specie

    A species. It makes sense in Latin.

  49. =8)-DX says

    There’s actually no real problem with words that have multiple definitions. I think some time in secondary school was when we were taught the basic rule of clarifying one’s definitions – it doesn’t matter how many other definitions there if the participants in the conversation know which definition is being used.

  50. stevem says

    re Caitie @42:

    Either that, or carry a large stopwatch on a headband, and hit “go” when he starts asking questions. Film’s gonna look hilarious with visibly jumping minute and second hands…

    Nice suggestion but I’m convinced that someone like SleezyRay wouldn’t let him do it. And even if he did, it would be too easy to “blur” (or “pixelate”) the stopwatch during the ‘cut-n-paste’ processing. Video is so easy to manipulate.

    Re wolves->dogs->breeds:

    but dogs ARE wolves (domesticated wolves), they can interbreed and not produce “mule”-like (infertile) puppies. Ray has no issue with “micro”-evolution only “macro”-evolution. Show me a wolf that can give birth to a coyote or some other significantly distinct species. I think Ray’s point is that man has never produced any new species, only bred minor modifications to existing species and the root species still exist (checkmate!evilutionists!).
    ‘Micro-‘ vs ‘macro-‘ evolution is such a distinction only the crea-lutionists make. Totally misrepresenting how evolution really works. How often does the argument, that ‘macro-‘ is just many ‘micro-s’ over many generations, just sail over their heads? One species doesn’t just “give birth” to the next species, just a small variant, that is still fertile with the existant. Only when one group becomes separated for a long period of time from the other that the two can “evolve” into different species (adding small variations over a long period of time, errr many generations).

  51. Rich Woods says

    @peptron #51:

    I once had somebody argue that since he wasn’t fertile, he didn’t fit in the definition of specie (being able to have offsprings with others of the same specie), and was therefore not human. Though he was not a creationist, it’s just that he seemed to get a kick out of seeing humans as “the lesser ones”.

    I choose not to be fertile, therefore I look down on your feeble associate and all his mewling “kind”.

    Gah, no, can’t do it. I was going to go further than that but it’s just wrong. Painfully wrong.

  52. Rich Woods says

    @Eric Elliot #58:

    Maybe we could create some sort of drinking game out of this.

    One shot per mention of “kind”, “macroevolution” or “transitional”? Sorry, but even my liver would baulk at that!

  53. Rich Woods says

    @billvernon #61:

    Please don’t take this personally, but what do you now believe your current IQ to be?

    Oh, gods below, what a sacrifice Bill has made! Brothers and sisters, we should learn from <continues in semi-biblical vein for far too long>

  54. says

    @61,62: Things like Ray Comfort videos are why brains need a “checkpoint” function like computers (or a “save” function like games). Then if you accidentally wreck things by exposing yourself to brain-damaging toxins, you can just revert to the last known-sane state.

  55. No One says

    “video has been removed by the user”

    Must say… the You Tube comments where brutal…

  56. ohplease says

    PZ, I tried to check out the videos that you posted, but they appear to have been removed already. Did YouTube catch you with your pants down? It’s pretty stupid to unlawfully make copies of and redistribute copyrighted material. But of course, with your world view, their can be no such thing as right and wrong. Tell that to the judge and see how far it gets you. Is up to 5 years and $250,000 worth it just to run your mouth?

  57. says

    Ray Comfort’s complaining about this post on his blog, saying your violating his copyright. I don’t know copyright laws very well myself, but I’m pretty sure that’s bullshit.

  58. says

    If the video camera is placed low, perhaps that’s an attempt to make the interviewees look “arrogant”?

    I like the idea of asking for all terms to be defined but don’t imagine that the interview would get very far. I also like starting with “define God and explain why anyone should believe in one.”

    You could also use analogies. “So, you’re saying that I can walk across a room but I can’t hike up a mountain?” “If that’s your definition of evolution, then I get to define Christian: and you aren’t a real Christian because real Christians worship donkeys on sticks.” That’s more accurate than your concept of evolution.

  59. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    PZ, I tried to check out the videos that you posted, but they appear to have been removed already. Did YouTube catch you with your pants down? It’s pretty stupid to unlawfully make copies of and redistribute copyrighted material. But of course, with your world view, their can be no such thing as right and wrong. Tell that to the judge and see how far it gets you. Is up to 5 years and $250,000 worth it just to run your mouth?

    Oh FFS.

  60. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Ray Comfort’s complaining about this post on his blog, saying your violating his copyright.

    But he was SO nice and sent a care basket!

  61. says

    PZ, I tried to check out the videos that you posted, but they appear to have been removed already. Did YouTube catch you with your pants down? It’s pretty stupid to unlawfully make copies of and redistribute copyrighted material. But of course, with your world view, their can be no such thing as right and wrong. Tell that to the judge and see how far it gets you. Is up to 5 years and $250,000 worth it just to run your mouth?

    Today, you learned that linking to someone else’s youtube videos is not, and never will be, copyright infringement. Hopefully, you will also learn that being right and being legal are not synonymous, but I suspect I would have to allude to myths Christians perpetrate for you to get it.

  62. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @Rutee Katreya

    Possibly the best take down EVAR!!!11ELEVENTY!!

    @Markita Lynda

    I wouldn’t ask that he define the terms, I’d insist. You can’t have a conversation with someone if you don’t know what either of you are talking about. For example, what the fuck does he mean by “kind”?

    I can imagine his answer now; it would involve a lot of stuttering and no real answer, because to him the answer’s obvious. Canines are a “kind”, felines are a “kind” etc. (so I guess they would be analogous to the taxonomic class “family” but there’s no way in hell he’d ever be able to articulate that). The result could be really funny :)

  63. says

    In my experience, the best you can hope for is that they give some examples; just like “cats and dogs are different kinds”. They don’t seem to understand the difference between an example and a definition.

    Occasionally, they simply refuse to answer outright. I get the impression that they think it’s some kind of trick. In a way, I suppose it is, since clear communication is definitely not in their interest.