Tired creationist arguments, again


Oh god no, not another Ray Comfort special. He (or rather, some outfit called Genesis Apologetics, which for some unfathomable reason thinks Ray Comfort’s narration is a selling point) has a new movie out, titled “Genesis Impact”, and of course it’s a wretched pile of incoherent nonsense. Here’s the trailer.

It starts off with the patented Ray Comfort trolling technique of hitting random lay people with rapid fire questions of the creationist flavor, which they are not prepared to answer with substantive evidence. They aren’t scientists, Ray. We know that if they were scientists, you’d chop out their answers on the editing room floor, because that’s how you roll.

But then, there’s a difference: this movie has a premise, beyond just Ray bleating out questions at random strangers, like most of his “movies”. In this one, a woman is reminiscing about the time she studied “both sides” of the evolution question, and confronted a science guy at a museum and peppered him with questions he couldn’t answer. I guess if you don’t have a confused civilian handy, you just script up a confused scientist and have a young girl crush him with creationist dogma. This is also a familiar genre; it’s basically “Big Daddy” in movie form, where the adorable Christian confronts a professor with imaginary problems in evolution, and he goes staggering back, trounced and questioning his life choices.

In this one, our Christian teenager troops up on the podium and says, “Sir, I have a question.” The “sir” is a giveaway. I’ve never been addressed as “sir”, ever — it’s practically archaic, calculated to make you think this is a respectful approach, when it’s anything but. She says, “Isn’t that an unusually long time without any transitions between apes and humans?” What does that even mean? What is the expected time? How do you judge an appropriate length of time when you are simply refusing to believe in any transitions at all?

“It looks like a lot of speculation, even exaggeration,” she declares, this random uninformed Christian. How would she know? Is she reading the scientific literature? “The earth is billions of years old, which allows evolution to take place,” answers the scientist, which isn’t even a reply to the statement she made. Cut to rapt audience, who look surprised that someone has confronted a scientist with these “difficult” questions. Right. I can tell already there’s going to be a lot of scripted stupidity in this movie, with the creationist making absurd claims and getting no pushback from the scientist…because the scientist’s answers are all written by a creationist know-nothing.

“I don’t mean any disrespect, but I believe that the theory of evolution is the most fluid, ever-changing theory on the face of the planet,” she says with a smile and a shrug beneath her weird shaggy wig. That certainly sounds like a Comfortism to me, the constant pretense of being respectful, because when you’ve got no meat to your answers, you think you can substitute for it with tone.

Fuck that noise, little girl. We’re not going to let you Gish gallop through a dozen ill-formed questions for the next hour and 7 minutes, we’re going to drill down through one and I’ll show you why it’s a stupid question, and we’ll go into the science behind what real paleontologists and geologists and evolutionary biologists say, and then you can go back to your Bible.

The whole godawful movie is on Amazon Prime, and I’ll probably watch the whole thing this weekend. Fortunately, it’s only 67 minutes long. Unfortunately, creationists can pack an awful lot of bullshit into an hour. Here’s the blurb:

Secular museum docent (Reggie McGuire) presents his best case for evolution at the natural history museum, but Christina (Hannah Bradley) has a few questions at the end of his talk that turn the tables… Christina’s questions dismantle evolution and her presentation of the Bible’s account of origins awaken many to the truth.

<snort> Yeah, right. She’s going to “dismantle evolution” with stupid questions. I’ll probably live-tweet the experience. Who knows? Maybe at the end I’ll emerge believing in the literal truth of Genesis I. (No, I won’t. I’ve attended this rodeo many times before, and it’s going to be an hour of garbage.)

Comments

  1. PaulBC says

    It starts off with the patented Ray Comfort trolling technique of hitting random lay people with rapid fire questions of the creationist flavor, which they are not prepared to answer with substantive evidence. They aren’t scientists, Ray. We know that if they were scientists, you’d chop out their answers on the editing room floor, because that’s how you roll.

    Sounds like the technique used by Folgers to prove that their instant coffee crystals were indistinguishable from the fine gourmet coffee normally served at Tavern on the Green.

  2. nomadiq says

    If you’re going to live tweet, announce a start time so we can all stream and chortle at the nonsense in unison.

  3. PaulBC says

    Secular museum docent (Reggie McGuire) presents his best case for evolution at the natural history museum, but Christina (Hannah Bradley) has a few questions at the end of his talk that turn the tables…

    Getting desperate for new porn plots… Rule 34 applies here I’m sure.

  4. raven says

    This is just the common creationist fallacy, The Burning of the Strawpeople.

    Comfort sets up strawpeople and then torches them and burns them to death.
    There should be a hell where all the murdered strawpeople get to set Ray Comfort on fire over and over again.

    If their kooky religion was true then,
    they wouldn’t have to lie all the time!!!

  5. christoph says

    Oh, I don’t know-the inspiring music as she questioned the lecturer made the trailer seem quite sincere and believable.

  6. Bruce says

    I guess not everyone gets it that museums have docents talk individually to the public because professional scientists have stuff to do. Why would anyone expect experts to stroll the halls for chats? Silly Christians.

  7. Bruce says

    This movie would be like interviewing people walking out of a church service and demanding an explanation of why the difference between transubstantiation and consubstantiation is so important to Christian salvation.

  8. Bruce says

    Most of us have ancestors who murdered people on both sides of the cracker wars of the 1500s. Fortunately, PZ proved in this century that the cracker lost.

  9. PaulBC says

    RobG@10 Hahahahahahaha. I should quiz my kids to make sure, but I hope they get this one right. I admit it was not until reading enough Arthur C. Clarke as a teen that I got the point that weightlessness in orbit was a consequence of freefall and not distance from the earth.

  10. JoeBuddha says

    Ah. The old, “Throw a lot of videos asking random questions and remove the mistakes where they got owned” gambit.

  11. bcwebb says

    “and confronted a science guy at a museum and peppered him with questions he couldn’t answer. ”
    …the “science guy:”
    “How old is that t-rex skeleton? ”
    “That skeleton is 66 Million, 8 years and 4 days old.”
    “How do you know it so precisely?”
    “Well, they hired me as a guard 8 years and 4 days ago and they told me it was 66 Million years old then.”

    </Ka ching, I’ll be here all week.>

  12. Dunc says

    Rob @ 10 and Paul @ 11: one of my high school geography teachers told the class that the reason there’s no gravity in space is because there’s no air pressure, and I got sent to the Rector (Scottish headmaster) for contradicting her.

  13. jrkrideau says

    @ 14 Dunc
    Oh dear and the Scottish education system is supposed to be better that the English. Come to think of it, Bojo is English.

  14. bcwebb says

    why is it that fossil humanoid skulls seem to exist only as giant death-star like objects floating in front of galaxies in creationist videos?

  15. DanDare says

    This must be why I’m seeing repeated gish gallops of concentrated stupid on facebook right now.
    Let me know if the movie has the appallingly stupid “science says things are either random or guided by a higher power” nonsense.

  16. Dunc says

    jrkrideau @16: Well, I wouldn’t judge the entire country, or the entire education system, on one old woman. Some of my other teachers were excellent. I think she’d just been there so long, and was so close to retirement, that nobody wanted to pull her up.

  17. birgerjohansson says

    Akira MacKenzie @8:
    Yes! Another listener of “God Awful Movies” at Youtube!
    (Much recommended. Their film discussions are comedy gold)

  18. Jazzlet says

    To demonstrate that there were equivilent teachers in the English education system, I was sent to the Deputy Head for insisting that our form teacher was wrong in her insistence that “all pupils are more stupid than their teachers”. I did give her the out of accepting that “all pupils are more ignorant than their teachers” but she refused to take it and said I was being rude as well as disrespectful in insisting she was wrong. I even explicitly said “But that would mean the human race was getting progressively more stupid over time” and she still insisted she was correct – yes I am still bitter. The DH ranted at me, in a classroom which my friends could see into, without letting me defend myself until I cried, not bcause I thought I had done anything wrong, but because I was so angry! The sad thing was had I been sent to the Head I would have been fine, she was a rational fair woman who didn’t expect automatic respect because of position or title.

  19. rietpluim says

    Re: the Big Daddy cartoon

    First time I saw this cartoon, someone wrote a response like “Why are atheists always so angry, while Christians treat them with so much love?”
    Under a cartoon made by a christian that makes a stereotype of atheists.

    How can someone miss the irony of that?

  20. lumipuna says

    PaulBC:

    Getting desperate for new porn plots… Rule 34 applies here I’m sure.

    I presume Christina will turn out to be in a dubiously consensual submissive relationship with a highly influential male dom named Anastasius (from Greek anastasis, “resurrection”).

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