Wretched: Ray Comfort responds to atheist accusations.
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05-10-2013, 12:13 AM
RE: Wretched: Ray Comfort responds to atheist accusations.
(04-10-2013 11:38 PM)Chippy Wrote:  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".

Comfort is either being dishonest by demanding evidence which he knows does not exist and should not exist, or is honest and simply doesn't understand evolution.

I think he is dishonest.
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05-10-2013, 12:19 AM
RE: Wretched: Ray Comfort responds to atheist accusations.
My thoughts

"Idiots be crazy"

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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05-10-2013, 12:24 AM
RE: Wretched: Ray Comfort responds to atheist accusations.
(04-10-2013 11:56 PM)Stevil Wrote:  But that would be untrue.
We have many diverse observations that support evolutionary theory of common ancestry amongst animals of different species.

Comfort wants to actually see for himself a case of speciation that is equivalent--in gross anatomical terms--to that between theropods and birds. It won't work to tell him that speciation of that sort takes thousands of years because he believes that the physical universe is only ~4K years old. Comfort also wants to see particular "transitional forms" as he understands evolution. So for example he wants to see the skeleton of some sort of cat-bird hybrid and whatever else his imagination can conjure up. Comfort has a priori decided what constitues evidence and since no such evidence exists he is incapable of being persuaded.
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05-10-2013, 12:43 AM
RE: Wretched: Ray Comfort responds to atheist accusations.
(05-10-2013 12:13 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  
(04-10-2013 11:38 PM)Chippy Wrote:  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".

Comfort is either being dishonest by demanding evidence which he knows does not exist and should not exist, or is honest and simply doesn't understand evolution.

I think he is dishonest.

He doesn't understand evolution, he doesn't even fully appreciate that staple crops and domesticated animals are artefacts. He has no clue even of selective breeding or hybridization let alone evolution. I look at a banana and think "humans are clever"; Comfort looks at a banana and thinks "God loves us". Comfort exhibits a very strong confirmation bias. No one would knowingly argue that Cavendish banana's are as they are because God cares for us when he knew they were the product of selective breeding.
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05-10-2013, 12:55 AM
RE: Wretched: Ray Comfort responds to atheist accusations.
(05-10-2013 12:43 AM)Chippy Wrote:  
(05-10-2013 12:13 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Comfort is either being dishonest by demanding evidence which he knows does not exist and should not exist, or is honest and simply doesn't understand evolution.

I think he is dishonest.

He doesn't understand evolution, he doesn't even fully appreciate that staple crops and domesticated animals are artefacts. He has no clue even of selective breeding or hybridization let alone evolution. I look at a banana and think "humans are clever"; Comfort looks at a banana and thinks "God loves us". Comfort exhibits a very strong confirmation bias. No one would knowingly argue that Cavendish banana's are as they are because God cares for us when he knew they were the product of selective breeding.

I think he is dishonest because there is no way I would debate someone without investigating and understanding their position before hand so I assume he would do the same.

I'll admit that Comfort doesn't have to think the way I do when it comes to debate prep but this is common sense stuff and not some intricate or unintuitive concepts. I think Comfort is being dishonest, but not so strongly that I would start wagering money on it.
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05-10-2013, 01:26 AM
RE: Wretched: Ray Comfort responds to atheist accusations.
I do live in the U.S. and have to deal with the ramifications of Christian fundamentalism daily. You're right that he's preaching to the choir, but here the choir contains millions of members, and consists of over 50% of the population. As an educator, it causes me concern when hucksters make millions promoting the peddling of superstitious fear and unscientific gibberish to students. Fundamentalist parents, school board members, and administrators wreak havoc on legitimate science education and then claim to be highly offended when ID gets struck down in our courts every time. This is the face of ignorance, and Comfort, Hovind, McDowell, and their kind perpetuate it and prosper from it. American now ranks something like 37th in the world in student proficiency in math and the hard sciences! Most adults in this country do not have any idea what evolution is because it is such a hot button topic to teach in schools. People like Comfort exploit this general level of American ignorance and rational people here are trying to push back against that. He's well aware of evidence that refutes his rubbish, but he's counting on his choir members not doing any fact-checking. I understand perfectly well Ray's mindset. I lived it for about 30 years, and I understand his mandate and his compulsion to do what he does. I take exception to his methods and his character. By any human moral standard it is wrong to intentionally deceive others for profit, especially when it does such damage.

And if you think Ray Comfort just doesn't understand scientific theory, then he's incredibly incompetent and has no business or place in the public forum. Hell, I'm no scientist. Don't claim to be. I went to public school and got a terrible education in science by awful teachers, but I can work a search engine and read a book. I learned more about evolution at the public library than Comfort has apparently bothered to explore, even though he's an "expert" in Christian circles! It doesn't matter what he believes is truth. Nonsense is still nonsense. He is trying to do an end-around the academic process of peer review and examination and get his bullshit taught in schools, by appealing to some sense of sacred duty. And I call bullshit. You're right about him having a pre-existing audience. That's the very problem here. Too many ignorant people will hear him and believe him.
Wretched indeed.

(04-10-2013 11:38 PM)Chippy Wrote:  
(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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05-10-2013, 02:19 AM
RE: Wretched: Ray Comfort responds to atheist accusations.
(05-10-2013 01:26 AM)Chopdoc Wrote:  American now ranks something like 37th in the world in student proficiency in math and the hard sciences!

Statistics like this are meaningless unless we know the spread between 1st and 2nd, 2nd and 3rd, etc. For instance suppose 1st scored 99.9 on the test and 37th scored 98.3 on the test. I'm not going to be too worried. Now if 1st scored 99.9 and 19th scored 80.2 and 37th scored 65.7 then we gots something to worry about.
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05-10-2013, 03:10 AM
RE: Wretched: Ray Comfort responds to atheist accusations.
Can't find the exact study, but here's the first one I found with a quick G-search from 2009:

A 2009 study found that U.S. students ranked 25th among 34 countries in math and science, behind nations like China, Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong and Finland. Figures like these have groups like StudentsFirst, headed by former D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee, concerned and calling for reforms to "our education system [that] can't compete with the rest of the world."

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/23...95516.html

I think this at least supports my point. I'll look for the particular one I was recalling tomorrow.

(05-10-2013 02:19 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  
(05-10-2013 01:26 AM)Chopdoc Wrote:  American now ranks something like 37th in the world in student proficiency in math and the hard sciences!

Statistics like this are meaningless unless we know the spread between 1st and 2nd, 2nd and 3rd, etc. For instance suppose 1st scored 99.9 on the test and 37th scored 98.3 on the test. I'm not going to be too worried. Now if 1st scored 99.9 and 19th scored 80.2 and 37th scored 65.7 then we gots something to worry about.
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05-10-2013, 03:16 AM
RE: Wretched: Ray Comfort responds to atheist accusations.
(05-10-2013 01:26 AM)Chopdoc Wrote:  This is the face of ignorance, and Comfort, Hovind, McDowell, and their kind perpetuate it and prosper from it. American now ranks something like 37th in the world in student proficiency in math and the hard sciences!

According to the 2009 PISA report the USA is 30th in mathematics and 15th in reading.

China is numero uno in both.

That isn't due to Comfort et al that is due to a combination of factors the most salient being:
--the modernisation/industrialisation of China
--the relatively recent participation of China in these surveys
--the dysgenic secular trend produced by the inverse correlation between IQ and the fertility rate
--the compounding of the dysgenic secular trend from the post-war increase in the female participation rate in employment


Quote:Most adults in this country do not have any idea what evolution is because it is such a hot button topic to teach in schools.

And because they have no interest in finding out. Today's highschool graduate is spoilt informationally; that they refuse to educate themselves when their formal education ends is symptomatic of deeper problems that Comfort and co. have nothing to do with.

I would suggest that Comfort is an effect rather than a cause of these factors.

Quote:People like Comfort exploit this general level of American ignorance and rational people here are trying to push back against that. He's well aware of evidence that refutes his rubbish, but he's counting on his choir members not doing any fact-checking.

Yes that is a manifestation of confirmation bias and that isn't caused by Ray Comfort. If the USA educational system fails to impart clear-thinking skills to students then that is a major systemic failing that will also express itelf in the popularity of such things as TV psychics (yes we have them here also, thanks USA) and pseudoscience. The rational people aren't the ones with the problem so posting diatribes here and on Youtube isn't going to help anyone. It might feel good and you might be able to convince yourself that you are helping but I don't think it will make any difference.

Quote:I understand perfectly well Ray's mindset. I lived it for about 30 years, and I understand his mandate and his compulsion to do what he does. I take exception to his methods and his character. By any human moral standard it is wrong to intentionally deceive others for profit, especially when it does such damage.

Ray Comfort isn't that powerful, the people that buy his books and DVDs have already disengaged themselves from any sort of intellectual culture.

Quote:And if you think Ray Comfort just doesn't understand scientific theory, then he's incredibly incompetent and has no business or place in the public forum. Hell, I'm no scientist. Don't claim to be. I went to public school and got a terrible education in science by awful teachers, but I can work a search engine and read a book. I learned more about evolution at the public library than Comfort has apparently bothered to explore, even though he's an "expert" in Christian circles!

What is Comfort's forum? The web, his books and DVDs and any privately owned TV or radio station that is stupid enough to invite him. It isn't as if Comfort commands the public square and he can't be avoided. He actually has to be sought out and if you are seeking him out then you already share his worldview.

You can't deprive him of his right to sell crappy books and DVDs and to have an online presence. If he is making regular appearances on USA radio and TV then send those broadcasters letters of complaint and if they are private entities then refuse to buy the advertised products. That will actually make a difference.

Quote:It doesn't matter what he believes is truth. Nonsense is still nonsense.

No in that regard it is irrelevant but in terms of defaming him it is relevant. If he believes what he preaches then he isn't being dishonest.

Quote:He is trying to do an end-around the academic process of peer review and examination and get his bullshit taught in schools, by appealing to some sense of sacred duty. And I call bullshit. You're right about him having a pre-existing audience. That's the very problem here. Too many ignorant people will hear him and believe him.
Wretched indeed.

Yes but those efforts have been defeated in the past and they will continue to be defeated and that isn't because a bunch of people on an atheist forum have downvoted a Ray Comfort video or because the "Rational Response Squad" got people to say they deny the Holy Ghost.

Comfort didn't create the flock of ignorant people that you refer to. He found them that way and that is the nub of the problem and that can't be simply attributed to the difficulty of teaching evolution in USA highschools.
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05-10-2013, 03:25 AM
RE: Wretched: Ray Comfort responds to atheist accusations.
Here's another study with graphs of test results/scores:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worl...-and-math/

Just part of the reason I take exception to R. C., Creation Today and other org's that promote junk science and try to politicize it. We see the results of their "efforts" in the declining intellectual landscape of our country.
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