I could only get two paragraphs into that sleazebag’s reply in the debate about his Origin giveaway before I had to close the window and throw him away.
A major concern of Genie Scott was that the copy of On the Origin of Species sent to her by my publisher was missing “four crucial chapters,” as well as Darwin’s introduction. She will be pleased to know that the second printing of 170,000 copies (the one that we will give to students) is the entire book. Not one word will be omitted.
Then perhaps Comfort should have acknowledged that it was a dishonest move on his part in the first place?
Most troubling to me, though, is the fact that an ignoramus like Comfort can raise the kind of money to publish that many copies of a book on such short notice. Who is his sugar daddy? Or can you really tap into that much free-flowing cash by appealing to the ignorant masses of America? It’s rather disturbing.
And then, of course, there’s the fact that Ray Comfort is an idiot, putting his name on science books. I do not use the word “idiot” lightly here, either — the man is demonstrably ignorant and obtuse. Here’s his first argument for his cause:
Scott quoted a famous geneticist, who said, “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” I would like to drop one word, so that the quote is true. It should read, “Nothing in biology makes sense in the light of evolution.” For example, evolution has no explanation as to why and how around 1.4 million species of animals evolved as male and female. No one even goes near explaining how and why each species managed to reproduce (during the millions of years the female was supposedly evolving to maturity) without the right reproductive machinery.
I have explained this stuff to him repeatedly. I first covered it almost a year ago, when he misrepresented Darwin and claimed that women evolved millions of years after men. Comfort is the kook who claimed that Darwin believed that humans initially reproduced by asexual fission…and now he’s putting out an edition of the Origin?
I know he has seen my explanation, because he responded to it in the august pages of Whirled Nut Daily. Of course, what he did was acknowledge this explanation:
This has been explained to him multiple times: evolution does explain this stuff trivially. Populations evolve, not individuals, and male and female elephants evolved from populations of pre-elephants that contained males and females. Species do not arise from single new mutant males that then have to find a corresponding mutant female – they arise by the diffusion of variation through a whole population, male and female.
I also wrote a lengthy explanation of elephant evolution that points out that no species of elephant ever had to re-evolve sex. I am now amused to note that the first comment on that post is a one-liner: “He won’t get it.” How true.
He’s still repeating his argument that speciation occurred by a male (it’s always a male to him, I don’t know why) evolving first and having to go on a quest to find a female of the same species. He has a remarkably discontinuous view of the nature of evolutionary change, and seems either utterly unwilling or incapable of thinking of species evolving as populations.
I’m also rather amazed that the media, in this case US News & World Report, will freely grant space to such a dishonest loon. I know they’re relying on Genie Scott to come back with a rebuttal, but there ought to be a moment where the people publishing his nonsense stop a moment and say, “Wait a minute—this guy is writing pure drivel, and we’re publishing it!” Come on, US News, a little self-awareness and responsibility would be a welcome change.