Wretched: Ray Comfort responds to atheist accusations.
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04-10-2013, 11:12 PM
RE: Wretched: Ray Comfort responds to atheist accusations.
(04-10-2013 06:26 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Does he preach about anti gay, anti women stuff?

He's done at least one stupid video interviewing naive college students and basically brow-beating them into saying that abortion is evil. At one stage saw it being posted on FB repeatedly.

He also in that video interviewed an obviously middle-Eastern guy who didn't speak good English and kinda made him out to be the devil. I think that's all in the trailer, I watched about 30 seconds of the actual thing and decided if I carried on I'd become a very angry chap, so I ducked out.
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04-10-2013, 11:23 PM
RE: Wretched: Ray Comfort responds to atheist accusations.
(04-10-2013 11:42 AM)Vulpix Wrote:  Thoughts on this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYnzu26ifYA

Sine comments have been disabled, feel free to send the video a flurry of downvotes.

There is no one that actually understood evolution by natural selection, watched/read Ray Comfort and then abandoned it in favour of YEC or OEC. Ray Comfort is not speaking to atheists he is speaking to his flock, he is preaching to the choir. There is no point in engaging Ray Comfort. Comfort and his ilk are low hanging fruit because what he produces is intended for the consumption of YEC/OEC Christians, its function is to reinforce faith. Treating Comfort as a serious critic of evolution is culturally naive, it is like a tourist completely misunderstanding the etiquette, mores and norms of a foreign culture. Comfort's constituency is comprised of people with a very peculiar worldview that they arrived at independently of any consideration of speciation. Comfort is concerned with evolution simply because his constituents will encounter it on TV documentaries and perhaps in the textbooks of their children (that are likely homeschooled and evolution will be presented as just one view amongst others) and he is just reassuring these people (there is apun there but I won't make it) on the soundness of their worldview.

Would you argue with the members of a cargo cult? Are their beliefs worth debunking? Do the Melanesian cargo cults represent a serious and credible threat to science and technology? The cargo cultists are waiting for freight planes, Comfort's constituency is waiting for Jesus.

Also why is everyone bothered by Chrstian literalists but uncocerned with Jewish literalists? Orthodox Jews also believe in the literal truth of Genesis.
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04-10-2013, 11:31 PM (This post was last modified: 04-10-2013 11:34 PM by Heywood Jahblome.)
RE: Wretched: Ray Comfort responds to atheist accusations.
(04-10-2013 10:48 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(04-10-2013 10:17 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  I would be very hard pressed to say the Lenski long term evolution experiment is an example of one kind evolving into another. Is there something better?
The iguanas of the Galapagos are a great example.
There are several islands seperated by water and distance. The Iguanas on each island are different from each other, with features suitable for their own special island. These are examples of "micro' evolution, where animals have adapted to suit their environment. But then one of the groups have become marine iguanas rather than land iguanas, they differ the most from the others and have difficulty breeding with the land iguanas. If they do breed then their offspring is often sterile. This means that they are considered a different species. One could counter argue - "But they are all still Iguanas are they not?". The answer is yes they go by the loose name of "Iguana" but they are different species. So what is meant by "kind"?

There are also examples of closely related animal groups which are each seperated by time and distance. These are called ring species. These exist today. Imagine taking a journey over a geological land space, that takes a very long time. When you begin your journey, not everyone wants to come with you, some stay behind. But you and some others migrate to a different area. After several generations, some of this new group decide to migrate to new lands but some stay behind. This happens time and time again, until eventually the very newest group meets up with the very oldest group. What we have found is that each neighboring group can breed with each other, showing that each group is of the same species as their neighbor, but the newest group and the oldest group can't interbreed, showing that they are of different species. This is pretty conclusive proof of macro evolution.

There is also strong DNA evidence that humans are primates, that we are closely related to Chimpanzees and Bonobos and as a group we are the Great African Apes. Chimpanzees are more closely related to Humans than they are to Orangatangs. We share many protogenes (disfunctional genes, genes with common flaws) that prove we have common ancestry.
There is a type of fish that is more closely related to humans than they are to the other fish.

The DNA evidence, the real life examples (ring species), the fossil record, the example of how animals have spread geologically (accounting for continental shift), of why Australia was dominated by Marsupials rather than placental mammals, of why NZ didn't have either marsupials nor placental mammals other than birds and bats.

The Theory of Evolution goes a long way to explain all the facts. Is there any other falsifiable theory that gives a plausible explanation of these facts?

I thought about ring species, but rejected it because in my mind all the ring species in a ring are all essentially the same kind. DNA isn't really what Comfort is looking for. Fossil record is kind of scant. Suppose in the Lenski long term evolution experiment that line of prokaryotes evolved into eukaryotes, I think Comfort or anyone else with a rudimentary understanding of biology would be hard pressed to deny evolution.

The way evolutionist should respond to Comfort is by saying that human beings have not been around long enough to observe one kind evolving into another kind. In fact if someone produced an observation of one kind changing into another today, we should suspect massive genetic manipulation before even considering natural evolution. The evidence Comfort is looking for isn't going to be available nor should he expect it to be available if he understands the theory correctly. Remember Comfort went to the experts and the experts should just come out and say that human science needs to be around for at least a million years before we see such observations. A couple of hundred simply isn't enough. They should go on and tell Comfort that if he expects to see such an observation he really doesn't understand the theory and then suggests to Comfort he takes the time to educate himself.

Comfort asking to see an observation of one kind evolving into another as proof evolution isn't false is like Dawkins asking to see an observation of the resurrection or the last judgement as proof the bible isn't false. Both requests for this kind of evidence is tough to provide on the timescales of anyone alive today.
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04-10-2013, 11:31 PM
RE: Wretched: Ray Comfort responds to atheist accusations.
I'm going to answer your last question. The reason we are concerned with THESE literalists is that they are the ones who drive the movement to denegrate science and scientific education in this country. This is partially because they are so numerous and partially because their faith requires them to impose their beliefs on others. This is not so with other fundamentalist faiths which are incredibly xenophobic and isolationist.
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04-10-2013, 11:37 PM
RE: Wretched: Ray Comfort responds to atheist accusations.
I'll be honest, I started watching the video, but I was already watching Ghost Dog. Then Ghost Dog kept drawing my attention in & next thing I know I can't pay attention anymore
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04-10-2013, 11:38 PM
RE: Wretched: Ray Comfort responds to atheist accusations.
(04-10-2013 04:59 PM)Chopdoc Wrote:  I understand your point, but aren't you just a little angry when you see propagandists like Comfort and others using such underhanded techniques to deceive the unwitting masses and spread their memes in such a disingenuous way? The blatant hypocrisy evident here--truly evil and horrible people clothing themselves in righteousness while being purposefully dishonest--makes me furious. And if I start talking about that pompous ass Freil, I'll have a stroke. So I won't.

I don't think Comfort is being dishonest, I think he genuinely believes in what he preaches and he genuinely believes that evolutionary biologists are misguided. Try and step into his worldview. He is trying to preserve the safety of the souls of his constituents. Comfort believes he is spreading "The Truth".

Also I don't think anyone will be deceived by Comfort, the people that listen to him and take him seriously already have a Christian Creationist worldview. At worst he is filling in the content of a pre-existing cognitive "slot".

Do you seriously believe that someone that actually understands evolution by natural selection or that at least is open to understanding it would abandon it after hearing or reading Comfort and would instead accept Genesis as literally true? I've yet to meet anyone like that.
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04-10-2013, 11:45 PM
RE: Wretched: Ray Comfort responds to atheist accusations.
(04-10-2013 11:31 PM)natachan Wrote:  I'm going to answer your last question. The reason we are concerned with THESE literalists is that they are the ones who drive the movement to denegrate science and scientific education in this country. This is partially because they are so numerous and partially because their faith requires them to impose their beliefs on others. This is not so with other fundamentalist faiths which are incredibly xenophobic and isolationist.

I'm not from the USA so I can't comment directly on that matter. Is it really that bad in the USA? In Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District the court did decide in favour of the plaintiffs after all and I don't think that was because of the Rational Response Squad.
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04-10-2013, 11:50 PM
RE: Wretched: Ray Comfort responds to atheist accusations.
(04-10-2013 06:20 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Ray Comfort is very good at this. He plays ignorant, but he does seem quite smart to

Comfort isn't a good debater and your description of good debating technique is alien to me (and I would suggest anyone that has actually engaged in a formal debate).

Comfort isn't speaking to you or I, we aren't the people that buy his books and DVDs.
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04-10-2013, 11:56 PM (This post was last modified: 05-10-2013 12:44 AM by Stevil.)
RE: Wretched: Ray Comfort responds to atheist accusations.
(04-10-2013 11:31 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  I thought about ring species, but rejected it because in my mind all the ring species in a ring are all essentially the same kind.
What definition of "kind" is being used to come to that conclusion?

(04-10-2013 11:31 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  DNA isn't really what Comfort is looking for.
Is Ray allowed to pick and choose to ignore valid observable evidence?

(04-10-2013 11:31 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Fossil record is kind of scant.
The fossil record is far from scant.
We can see that there are no human skeletons during the time of the dinosaur or the time before that. We can see that most of the animals that existed 100 million years ago, no longer exist today. We can see that there are human-ape like creatures such as neanderthals that are clearly neither human nor monkey, that various creation groups have disagreed with each other when classifying these as either human or ape.
The fossil record could quite easily be used to falsify evolution, but instead it is consistent with evolution.

(04-10-2013 11:31 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Suppose in the Lenski long term evolution experiment that line of prokaryotes evolved into eukaryotes, I think Comfort or anyone else with a rudimentary understanding of biology would be hard pressed to deny evolution.
The problem with bacteria is that we aren't talking about sexual reproduction. If it is not sexual reproduction then how can we draw the line at species? With Ray's undefined definition of kind, he will simply state that bacteria becomes bacteria.

(04-10-2013 11:31 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  The way evolutionist should respond to Comfort is by saying that human beings have not been around long enough to observe one kind evolving into another kind.
But that would be untrue.
We have many diverse observations that support evolutionary theory of common ancestry amongst animals of different species.

(04-10-2013 11:31 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  In fact if someone produced an observation of one kind changing into another today, we should suspect massive genetic manipulation before even considering natural evolution.
If a cat gave birth to a dog, or a horse gave birth to a bat then this would prove evolution is incorrect.

(04-10-2013 11:31 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Remember Comfort went to the experts and the experts should just come out and say that human science needs to be around for at least a million years before we see such observations.
If this is true then Ray wins. Evolution wouldn't be a theory supported by observation. Evolution would instead be a faith based belief.
But, as we know, there is plenty of observation based fact supporting evolution from one species to another.

(04-10-2013 11:31 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Comfort asking to see an observation of one kind evolving into another as proof evolution isn't false is like Dawkins asking to see an observation of the resurrection or the last judgement as proof the bible isn't false. Both requests for this kind of evidence is tough to provide on the timescales of anyone alive today.
The claim is that Evolution is a theory based on observable fact according to the stringent scientific method, that Evolution is not a faith nor a belief.
This is what Ray is challenging and this is what the scientists should be able to prove.
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05-10-2013, 12:07 AM
RE: Wretched: Ray Comfort responds to atheist accusations.
(04-10-2013 11:31 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  The way evolutionist should respond to Comfort is by saying that human beings have not been around long enough to observe one kind evolving into another kind.

He's been told that already and that to him serves as confirmation that there is no "solid evidence" for speciation via evolution and that evolution is the product of scientific speculation. It won't make any difference whatever you tell Comfort about evolution because the fundamental divergence extends well beyond the issue of evolution.
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