Ray Comfort’s Latest Attempt to Deceive is Online

As several bloggers have already noted, Ray Comfort’s new movie, which deceitfully edits what scientists and even random bystanders have to say in order to deceive people about science, is now on YouTube:

YouTube Preview Image

Use the comments section to discuss the lies, errors, and anything else that is wrong with the contents!

I’ll get the ball rolling: when even the blog Uncommon Descent thinks you’re unfairly editing, it is really bad.

Your turn.

  • John Pieret

    Torely’s review at UD reveals as much about the IDists as it does about Comfort: “Fairness of editing: C-minus”? Since when does dishonesty ever deserve a passing grade? Oh, wait a minute … it does when dishonesty is your stock in trade.

  • http://historical-jesus.info/ Bernard Muller

    Watched only the very beginning, when atheists were asked about proof of evolution and were told they did not witness it personally in their own time (therefore believing in evolution through faith!).
    I wonder if that Comfort was an eyewitness, during his lifetime, of the Creation in six days, the other (out of sequence) Creation in Genesis 2:4b-7, the making by God of Adam and Eve, the great flood, Noah’s ark, etc.
    Cordially, Bernard

    • David_Evans

      “I wonder if that Comfort was an eyewitness..”

      No, but his Best Friend was.

      • beau_quilter

        Kirk Cameron?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

          That comment made my day. :-)

      • Ignorantia Nescia

        Ah, but who is his best friend? As there might have been two witnesses, the question is valid. I’m not suggesting that it could be either God or Jesus, but instead God or Rahab. Because of Comfort’s obsession with monstrous critters, Rahab the sea monster seem the most likely option. After all, we know that Comfort is intimately familiar with another marine monster. Yes, I propose to identify Rahab as none other than Crocoduck, representing the primordial chaos of “evilution”. So Comfort’s eyewitness of a six-day creation must be Crocoduck.

  • Paul Timothy

    What’s the harm of little blaspheming idi*ts?


  • David L Rattigan

    He made people pay $20 to download that piece of crap and then puts it up free on YouTube a few weeks later? Ouch.

  • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

    Dear Ray Comfort, observable evidence…it does not mean what you think it means.

  • verysimple

    Evolution is a Religion….. nothing else….
    Takes a lot of faith to believe that we cam from a rock!
    Ohh..hold on a rock that was rained on that form a chemical soup…sorry.
    You got to be delusional to believe in Macro Evolution…. That’s just the truth

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      That is a really good imitation of Comfort, and a good list of the sorts of false claims he makes.

      • verysimple

        Where did we come from? How do you know that to be true?
        …….. Do I hear silence…….

        • aar9n
        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

          It depends what you mean by the question. The immediate answer involves a conversation that your parents really ought to have had with you by now, if they have set you loose on the internet. The more distant answer involves an evolutionary process for which we have extensive genetic evidence as well as copious amounts of evidence of other sorts. If you are asking a more metaphysical question, why does anything exist at all, then the answer to that is not about biology but something else.

          Is there any chance that you can ask a clear question? When you don’t ask a coherently-worded and precise question, you may indeed be met with silence. But if you think that says something about those who do not respond, rather than about your own clarity, you are mistaken.

          • verysimple

            As expected,
            He has no clue….. as far as the evidence.
            It doesn’t exists. Everything does point to a common creator… not a common ancestor. The real question is: Are you open to the possibility of a God that created you and will hold you accountable for your actions or do you just want to hide behind evolution?

            • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

              I used to be a young-earth creationist, and so I have made claims similar to yours. Your positing of two alternatives: a creator or evolution, and your view that those who accept evolution must deny the existence of God, shows that you either understand as little as Ray Comfort, or are as dishonest.

              What was the last scientific journal article you read about the evidence for evolution? How did you determine that the evidence presented in that peer-reviewed publication does not exist, despite the documentation provided in it?

              • veryinterested

                James F,
                Do you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?
                God Bless,

                • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                  Yes. I’m a born-again Christian.

            • TomS

              If you want to talk about where “you” came from, the scientific explanation is found in reproductive biology. Not in evolutionary biology. If you find that reproductive biology is incompatible with your standing in a special relationship with your Creator and Redeemer, or with your being responsible for your actions, that is one thing.
              Evolutionary biology treats the changes in populations, that is collectives: species, genera, phyla. Those are what evolve.

              • verysimple

                The word of God:

                The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

                21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

                24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

                Romans 1:18…

                • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                  That is a key passage that undermines young-earth creationism, since young-earth creationists have to tell lies about the creation in order to maintain their beliefs, while Paul’s words here would rather encourage the honest study thereof.

                  • verysimple

                    How does the bible disagree with young earth creationists?

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      (1) The Bible teaches us that God is truthful. The young-earth creationist God is a deceiver.

                      (2) The Bible teaches us to be honest. Young-earth creationists are charlatans, or those deceived by charlatans.

                      (3) The Bible teaches us that the created order can be looked to to testify honestly about the Creator. Young-earth creationists do not even accept creation’s testimony about itself.

                      (4) The Bible includes details which indicate that it is not offering science: the references to the dome over the Earth, the heart rather than brain as the locus of human cognition, and so on and so on. Young-earth creationists ignore such things while claiming that the Bible teaches scientifically-accurate information, engaging in deceptive selective literalism.

                      Shall I go on? The list is far from done.

                    • TomS

                      I’d like to return to the subject of how reproductive biology, rather than evolutionary biology, poses problems.

                      “As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.” Ecclesiastes 11:5

  • Ryan Hite

    Ray Comfort is a deceiver and he clearly does not know how evolution works, what a theory is, and how the scientific method works.

    • Glenn Hanson

      Ryan. Do you clearly know how evolution works? Can you answer the questions that the people in this film could not? With the benefit of sitting at the computer without a microphone in your face?

      • TomS

        Does anybody know how “intelligent design” works? Or when or where it works? Or what it would look like if we were present when it was happening? Or what it does not produce? Anything positive and substantive about “intelligent design”, rather than “something, somehow must be wrong with evolutionary biology”?

        • Glenn Hanson

          Well, I have faith that someone can provide the answer, but lets put you in the “No” column for now, TomS.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

        Perhaps you should try reading a book about evolution, written by a professional biologist, and not edited for the purpose of deception by a notorious charlatan? Try something by Ken Miller, Francisco Ayala, or Francis Collins, if you like, since they are Christians – Christians who are also experts in biology.

        • Glenn Hanson

          Okay, James. We’ll add you to the “No” column as well, as that is not an answer.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

            Sorry, perhaps I have misunderstood what you are asking. Are you asking for people who are not professional biologists to repeat to you the conclusions of mainstream biology? If so, then why? To what end? I can obviously do so, and have in the past, but if you have questions about evolution, why would you ask a religion professor rather than a biologist?

            • Glenn Hanson

              Listen, James. I don’t know who you are, and I am not interested in your credentials. This guy Comfort sticks a microphone in the face of people with varying credentials, and asks them a question that they can’t answer. Perhaps there were folks who did provide an acceptable answer, and Comfort, obvious liar and trickster that he is, left that out of the short film. My question is this…..I’ll copy and paste: Do you clearly know how evolution works? Can you answer the questions that the people in this film could not? With the benefit of sitting at the computer without a microphone in your face?

              • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                First, you are assuming that the people in the film could not answer questions, and not acknowledging the selective editing that even the folks at Uncommon Descent could spot.

                Second, why not actually ask biologists any questions you have? Those who were misrepresented in the “movie” are particularly eager to have their voices heard in their entirety, and not just in a distorted manner.

                • Glenn Hanson

                  I’m not assuming that at all James. I observed that they could not answer the question by watching the film. I saw them use their own words as they fumbled around for an answer. And my computer allows me to go back and read what I just typed. I did acknowledge the selective editing….. Here: “Perhaps there were folks who did provide an acceptable answer, and Comfort, obvious liar and trickster that he is, left that out of the short film.” TomS answered my question with more questions, and you’ll have to remain solidly in the “No” column until you can provide a coherent reply. This is how these discussions go. They are philosophical in nature having, nothing to do with “Science.” Now I’ll grant that the ones who were “Misrepresented,” your word’s, not mine, were put on the spot by a very up your nose interviewer. One might imagine that they gave articulate responses to the questions thrown at them, and they were edited out. But that is only speculation, as I have not yet seen the “Evidence.” Do you have videos of THEM answering the questions? Did YOU ask them?

                  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                    Can you give me an example of a question that you think they not only did not have opportunity to answer, but could not answer?

                    • Glenn Hanson

                      Did you watch the film?

                    • Glenn Hanson

                      Never mind. It is pointless to go on with this. Have you ever seen “Who’s Line Is It Anyway?” where every response has to be a question? That’s what this is like. Very entertaining, but that’s all it is. You, James, are still in the “No” column. Thanks for playing.

                    • http://irrco.wordpress.com/ Ian

                      Yes, I understand how evolution works, and I could answer those questions. So could just about every one of the people interviewed. The video is maliciously and deceptively edited. You are seeing reactions to questions that aren’t being asked, or that are being asked in different words to the VO, you are seeing responses to misunderstanding presented as if it were answers to the questions, and you’re not seeing the actual substantive answers.

                      Some of the questions have direct and simple answers that any of the intreviewees know full well (as does Comfort, since he has been told them repeatedly). Some have very long and complicated answers that aren’t easily summarised in a verbal answer or a 500 word blog comment. Some of the questions require responses that reject the premise of the question, because the question is designed to be unanswerable (but the discussion of why can be fruitful), or because the question presupposes something that isn’t true. Some of the questions rely on misuse, ambiguity or redefinition of words, and so cannot be answered before a foundation of concepts is agreed.

                      I’m happy to talk through the answers to any one, with ample citations to the literature, if you want to chose a place to start.

                      Comfort obviously thought he was being terribly clever here, but the result is pathetic. This is the guy of “a Banana is the atheists worst nightmare” quality biological common sense.

                      If you think the video is evidence that most of those scientists interviewed couldn’t answer the questions, then you’ve fallen for Comfort’s trick. I have a bridge you might like to buy.

                    • Glenn Hanson

                      To be fair, James, I think the video is kind of obnoxious, and that it is not useful, except to generate discussion. I have studied and studied and I don’t think anyone could answer some of those questions, because there are no answers. Evolution is a broad topic, not as cut and dried as presented in a quick video, but certainly not “Science” as presented in the public platform. I reject the premise that those who deny the existence of God because of evolution are smarter than everyone else. I reject that notion that “Scientists” have the monopoly on truth, while they don’t know squat about other disciplines. And if you want to sell me a bridge with the intent to deceive me for your gain, then you are not a good man. Not assuming that being good is important to you, but it is to me.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      But why do you treat this as a game, in the manner of the anti-God apologists on the one side, and the Christian fundamentalists with no expertise on the other, rather than accepting the testimony of Christians who work in the field of biology and who are persuaded that one does not have to choose between their faith and following the scientific evidence where it leads?

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      This is not a game. Ray Comfort treats it as one, and I find his approach objectionable. Being concerned with truth is more appropriate than being concerned with scoring points through dishonest means.

                    • Glenn Hanson

                      This is not a game at all, James. I believe I am correct in saying that how one responds to God has eternal consequences. That is not a game at all. In fact, I can think of absolutely nothing more important than the topic at hand. People want to spout off about their beliefs about reality, and when I ask them to defend those beliefs, I get no answers, but more questions, indicating that that person does not know what they profess to know. Nothing comes from nothing. Evolution is as an explanation of origins is irrelevant when it comes to modern biology. Whatever…… The belief in God or not is not an matter of intellect, it is a matter of the will. No amount of evidence will convince someone if they don’t have the will. I just don’t have the faith to be an atheist. This film shows it that the average man on the street, or the average college biology prof doesn’t either.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      Since evolution is not an explanation of origins, and you think that this is about atheism vs. belief in God rather than about scientific evidence that is the same regardless of one’s faith or lack thereof, the root problem is that you don’t even know enough about evolution to be able to talk about it accurately, and yet you are opposed to it. It sounds like you’ve fed your mind with propaganda instead of science, and that is indeed sad. Being gullible is not the same thing as being a person of faith.

                    • Glenn Hanson

                      You know a lot that isn’t so, professor. Good bye.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      If you choose to respond to your ignorance becoming clear by leaving, that is your choice. But it remains the case that biological evolution is about how life develops once it exists, not about how life began, much less how matter came to exist. And please do keep in mind that when you present yourself as a promoter of the Christian faith, and then get basic facts wrong, you give the impression that Christians are ignoramuses and/or deceivers. That does more harm to the Christian faith than any atheist’s comments ever could. I hope that you will consider this, and repent!

                    • Glenn Hanson

                      Right. Thanks James, for the input. Much can be said that doesn’t come across in print. I feel you are assuming too much about me, and that’s why I say that you know what isn’t so, and I really don’t have the time today to put much more into this. I agree with what you just said, but that’s now how you started out. Repentance practiced, and I apologize….well, no I don’t. Like I said, in print, there is a lot that doesn’t come across. Have a wonderful day.

                    • StriderMTB

                      I agree with Glenn Hanson that the video is too slick and edited to be of much use beyond a discussion starter. But I’m also surprised none of the “wise men” here attempt to answer the most basic of questions Glenn asked that the video also asked. I’m no young earther but his questions don’t assume that controversy. Are Glenn’s questions really that difficult or complicated? You either provide an example or you shut up. Simply offering rhetoric to evade the questions is concerning to say the least!

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      Glenn seemed to share the confusion many young-earth creationists have about evolution, thinking it has something to do with cosmology. If you have a clear, relevant, specific question to ask, please do so. I am a Biblical scholar, not a scientist, but even so I will either do my best to answer, or will try to direct you to someone with relevant expertise that it would be more appropriate and useful to ask,

                    • StriderMTB

                      Hi James, I’m on the other side of the world so I’ll have to look at your response in the morning. I don’t see where Glenn’s questions were about cosmological origins. Rather they stemmed from the rather simple question repeated over and over in the video: “Can you provide an example of one kind evolving into another kind?” Like in the video my science textbooks only put forward micro-evolution owing to adaptations within kinds–not kinds crossing over into completely different kinds. For evolution to remain credible it should have at its disposal numerous examples of macro-evolution. But all too often I only hear about bacteria, finch beaks and horse hoof adaptations, etc. That is hardly sufficient evidence for evolution’s grand narrative of all life.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      It is challenging to address the topic in terms of “kinds” since that word is intentionally left vague by the top baraminologists of young-earth creationism, allowing it to be expanded or retracted when convenient to dodge evidence for evolution. But if one is looking for evidence of transitional forms not merely between species (since even in our day we can simply observe how species blend into one another over geographic stretches), then Tiktaalik is a particularly useful example to point to, not only because it clearly is a transitional form but because it was found by digging where mainstream paleontology and evolutionary biology predicted that such forms ought to be found. But since paleontological evidence is of secondary importance in our time due to the advent of genetics, we can look at examples like the evidence from human chromosome 2 – as well as the rest of our genome – of our relatedness to other primates.

                    • StriderMTB

                      Thanks James. Yes–when I spoke of “kinds” I was using the term of the video but was referring to the critical evidence for innumerable transitional forms we ought to see in the fossil record. We seem to have no problem unearthing thousands of fossils of extinct dinosaur species that predate what should be countless more alleged transitional forms–so we can’t say the lack of transitional fossils is due to the rarity of fragile variables coming together to preserve such alleged fossils.

                      Evolutionists themselves will concede that the most critical aspect of their theory–which should be the easiest to document–is largely missing. If macro-evolution really is the tell-all of how life evolved on the earth than we should see a gradual transformation occurring with innumerable numbers of uncontroversial, transitional forms documenting the transformation of one major group/species into another major group.

                      Your example Tiktaalik may well be an example of a transitional form–but it is not without major in-house controversy among evolutionists themselves. According to “Nature”–a stalwart ally to evolution and no friend to my view– it is glaringly out of sequence in the fossil record and it’s now being called into question as a true transition between fish and tetrapods. “Nature” qualified the emerging evidence that it is totally out of order in the fossil record as “lobbing a grenade into that picture” (the picture being what you assert). (“Muddy Tetrapod Origin”, Nature Vol. 463:40-41 Jan. 7, 2010)

                      So at minimum it is greatly controversial, whereas we should have on hand countless un-controversial fossils documenting the large scope of evolutionary explanation. I am convinced that sometime in our century a new theory will develop seeking to account for why we do not see the evidence in the fossil record we ought to see–such as an increasing embrace of the unexplainable theory of “punctuated equalibrium.”

                      Have a great day!

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      It sounds as though you may have gotten your information distilled through an Intelligent Design propaganda site. The status of Tiktaalik is clear. It is obvious to anyone who understands evolution that transitional forms do not always disappear, much less disappear instantaneously. Evolution is not linear. What we find may at times be actual transitional forms, in other cases the latest descendants of their cousins. I suspect that is why many of those who try to spin mainstream science for ideological purposes continue to focus on paleontology when genetics provides a much clearer picture.

                    • StriderMTB

                      It sounds as if we both have our own water trough we are drinking from. The status of Tiktaalik is hardly clear given the recent “stunning discovery of tetrapod trackways with distinct digit imprints…predating Tiktaalik by 10 millions years.” (Nature article cited above) If true tetrapods were already walking around 10 million years before Tiktaalik it is hardly “clear” that Tiktaalik is the much sought after transitional form between fish and tetrapods. All the best James.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      Either you did not read the entirety of my comment, or you do not understand evolution well enough to understand the point, which is a very basic one. It is not as though evolutionary changes happen in a short time span, and as soon as new features – let’s say more highly developed limbs – are in evidence, all trace of the precursor characteristics instantly disappear.

                      This is part of the problem addressing this issue with the opponents of mainstream science. When one doesn’t grasp even the basics of a field of study, one is going to misunderstand or simply not understand most discussions.

                      I think you may also be misunderstanding the nature of scientific publication as well.

                    • StriderMTB

                      I do understand your point James. I’m sorry if you feel otherwise. I guess if tetrapods were in existence 10 million years before the earliest Tiktaalik fossil found then your ASSUMPTION is that Tiktaalik must have been a true transitional form from fish to tetrapod way in the past and it’s species just happened to continue on for another 10 million plus years right alongside tetrapods that it “fathered.” I get it.

                      My point is simply to say evolutions thrives on such assumptions. And as I earlier stated the most critical piece of evidence proving alleged evolutionary pathways is largely absent. We ought to see an extended series of innumerable, small gradual structural changes laid down in the fossil record and reinforcing the alleged evolutionary pathways so arrogantly asserted as if it is unquestionable and unfalsifiable. Lastly you feel apt to cling to mainstream science and perhaps you are right to do so James. Yet I believe that many of the greatest of scientific discoveries and advancements have occurred when individuals were willing to break away from the mainstream and question it anew. I’m not here to pick a fight. I’m just saying I remain unconvinced and it is not because of theological reasons. I simply see far too much speculation and assumption laid over huge swaths of missing evidence in places where it really matters.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      Evolution thrives on following the evidence where it leads, as I keep emphasizing and you would choose to ignore for obvious reasons, the genetic data, not available when the theory of evolution was first formulated, provides spectacular confirmation of the theory, while also revolutionizing it and taking it in directions that no one in the 19th century envisaged, not having as much data available to them as we do not.

                      We probably will continue to make progress as new ideas are not merely proposed, but also tested by the scientific community, as is currently done. Science promotes innovation, but also testing and evaluation. It amuses me that anyone finds it plausible that those groups which advocate going back to older views are in fact the scientific pioneers.

                      The theological reasons for not rejecting the conclusions of mainsteam science are also manifold. I recommend reading Kenneth Miller’s book Finding Darwin’s God if you are not familiar with just how problematic the YEC and ID positions are theologically, and not only scientifically.

                    • StriderMTB

                      Thanks for the plug on the book. As I said my concerns are not principally theological in nature but evidentiary– which I have already mentioned. I’m not confident genetics can speak convincingly to substantial problems in the fossil record–where macro-evolution should be at its zenith of explanatory power. It really is a problem with paleontology and they would need to be at the forefront of any answer of true explanatory scope. If I may here is a book I would suggest by the preeminent chemist Henry Schaefer “Dissent from Darwin.” Take care James and God bless.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      I understand why science denialists like to appeal to scientists in other fields to give themselves an aura of being scientific, just as I understand why you would prefer to try to make this about paleontology, where the evidence being piecemeal allows you to distort the extent of our knowledge. But no one actually familiar with the releant scientific fields will be fooled by this.

                    • StriderMTB

                      Ah yes… thank you James. I didn’t know my problem was that I was a science denier all this time. Given your comments I guess I’ll have to surrender my belief in God at the feet of mainstream science too because the majority who are “familiar with the relevant scientific fields” deny God’s existence and deny that Big Bang cosmology is a signature of divine, creative power. I could also offer you biochemists and geneticists who raise serious doubts about macro-evolution but I’m sure you’ll just dismiss them as anti-science fools and go about your merry way.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      Oh, are you one of those people who finds secular meteorology incompatible with their faith in the God who sends the rains, and so appeals to a handful of meteorologists who you hope can give those nasty secularists a run for their money? I am sorry to hear that your faith is so poorly informed with respect to the history of Christianity that you feel you have to choose between it and the acceptance of scientific developments. But it is nothing that a bit of theological education won’t be able to resolve.

                    • StriderMTB

                      Goodbye James. I’ve never said anything of the sort. The arrogance of your ad hominem has become too stifling to warrant continuing this dialogue.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      Despite what many promoters of pseudoscience seem to think, ad hominem is not a Latin term meaning “your caricature and criticisms are hitting so close to home that it is painful and I had better leave before I am made to look any more foolish.”

                      I hope that you will devote more time to learning the history and theology of the religion you think you are defending, and of the science which you criticize in ignorance, bringing our faith into disrepute in the process for no good reason.

                    • http://irrco.wordpress.com/ Ian

                      That question is akin to “have you stopped beating your wife?” – the question itself has no answer, because it presupposes things that aren’t true.

                      a) There is no such thing as a kind. Or at least, no creationist has ever said what one is or how to tell where one kind ends and another begins. It is a movable term, you make it small one minute to pretend that no evolution happened (so chimps and orang-utans are different kinds), then you make it broad as hell another moment (so all the half-million or so beetle species came from a small number of ‘kinds’). So you may as well ask “can you provide an example of one blurflurgh evolving into another blurflugh”.

                      b) were the question about species, then the answers are myriad. But one has to again clarify what you’re looking for because there is a common bait-and-switch. We can give examples of transitional fossil lines, for example, but those are often rejected because the questioner meant “can we see one thing evolving into another”, but because of the time scales of that, we’d have to go to bacterial evolution for that, but those are rejected on the fact that bacteria are all one kind, and can we see a cat becoming a fish, please. Erm, no, if a fish became a cat or vice versa that would disprove evolution. If you don’t understand why, then you don’t understand what evolution is.

                      c) there are many thousands of examples of macro-evolution, as any textbook on macro-evolution would give you. We call creationists who claim to have never come across this despite looking “willfully ignorant”, because a trip to any local library will give you tends of thousands of pages of detailed examples. Or simply search for the “evolution of [insert species name here]” and follow the references back to the detailed scholarship that’s been done. This willful ignorance is often compounded because creationists are generally scientifically ignorant, and they read scientific research with a general derision, so it is *very* difficult for them to understand what scientists are doing. I have never met a creationist who could honestly and accurately describe what scientists claim about evolution and why. Not agreeing with it, just understanding what they are arguing against well enough to even describe it in broad terms.

                      So the reason you’ll get flapping mouths and befuddled looks when you ask a scientist a question like that is not because the scientist has got through decades of thinking about this, doing detailed research and written probably millions of words of analysis on it without thinking about such an obvious question. But more because your question is stupid.

                    • StriderMTB

                      For those interested in considering the case for the viability of ID to have a place at the table, the following video is worth your time. The entire debate is available online, and all the segments simply reconfirm the inherent inadequacy of darwinian mechanisms to explain the vast array of life on the earth.


                    • http://irrco.wordpress.com/ Ian

                      Well thanks for replying to my comment without engaging it at any level.

                      That’s a very typical creationist response. You claim some nonsense, are responded to, then ignore the response and claim some other nonsense.

                      So sure, go watch William Lane Craig reflect your indoctrination back to you. And don’t, whatever you do, actually go and take a class in biology or read a textbook. Because all you need to know, to know that the tens of thousands of scientists working on this field full time are deluded idiots can be found in a video by a Christian apologist.

                    • StriderMTB

                      If you weren’t so offhandedly dismissive of people’s questions as being “stupid” perhaps I would have responded personally to you Ian. You now state I claim nonsense…making the arrogance still too thick for thoughtful discussion. But the video wasn’t for you Ian. It is for inquiring minds that still enjoy being challenged and stretched rather than remain passively entrenched in a school of thought that rejects alternative considerations a-priori and consigns objectors as stupid, anti-science, ignorant and nonsensical.

                      For any others who may come across this thread know that William Lane Craig pretty much wipes the floor with the most sought after, stalwart defender and scientist writing in the field of evolution today. Fransico Ayala had little to nothing to say in defense of a view he has written over a dozen books on…and which Ian’s “tens of thousands of scientists” affirm. Craig gave him ample opportunity to rebut the arguments of ID theory and offer a positive case that showcases the explanatory power of Darwinian mechanisms like random mutation and natural selection to explain how a whale and a sea urchin evolved from a common ancestor, or even more implausible how it accounts for all three phylogenetic domains of life: eukaryota, bacteria and archaea. But no–all this was too much for the great scientist. He contented himself with the classic examples of finch beaks, peppered moths, and resistant bacteria…all of which Craig decisively rebuts.

                      The first 4 minutes alone are worth anyone’s time. The principle reason ID theory continues to gain adherents and woo an increasing number of scientists to its side is because of the all too common dismissive display of arrogance from the opposition that would rather attack caricatures than meet ID on its own merits. When it is challenged on its own merits it allows for a stimulating discussion that promotes growth on both sides. Most would agree that is when science leaps forward to new horizons.

                      Now I’ll let Ian…or James have the last word and tell us all again how questioning evolution’s enormous extrapolations with scant evidence is to capitulate to stupidity and nonsense.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      The fact that debate skills are not the same as scientific research skills is obviously relevant here. Debates are simply not a substitute for scientific research. And hopefully you are aware of Craig’s recent statements about evolution, which he accepts, although he does not think that a neo-Darwinian and purely naturalistic approach is adequate.

                    • http://irrco.wordpress.com/ Ian

                      Not sure its offhand, since I’ve had 25 years of people telling me I’m an idiot or ideologically compromised for not seeing that evolution is obviously bunk, despite me having studied it for 8 years and done a PhD in it. But yet, when pressed not one of them can actually point out the problem. Lots of handwaving, lots of claims to know information theory and that it shows I’m mistaken, but no actual skills in the field. So offhand, no.

                      And you did respond to me, at least to my comment. I got that you weren’t talking to me, which was rather rude.

                      Anyway I’ve seen enough WLC debates to know he wipes the floor with anyone, no matter how rubbish his points. It is a distinct skill to play to the crowd and reinforce their biases while denigrating scholarship. You might want to witness James defending the existance of Jesus against those who think there was no such person. They do the same things WLC does. And accuse biblical scholars of the same kind of mouth-flapping non-responses. As I pointed out in the comment you replied to and yet didn’t engage with: asking questions that get the basic fundamentals wrong is a good way to wrong-foot anyone. Then pressing into that with a massacreing of facts, no falsifiability and general sense of derision is common enough.

                      But fortunately that’s not how science or scholarship is done.

                      Which is why, if you stopped amusing yourself reinforcing your indoctrination and actually take a class or learn some science, you might see things the same way the vast majority of everybody who have actually taken the time to understand the science thoroughly.

                      But the vast majority of creationists can’t be bothered to do that. They’ve listened to apologists, pastors, tele-evangelists and other pundits, and their sharp and witty rhetoric is all they need to know that the entire field is intellectually bankrupt. And besides, these scientists can never give a simple and reasonable answer every time they’re asked a stupid question. So they can’t possibly know what they’re talking about.

                    • Nathan

                      Don’t have the faith to be an atheist? What rubbish!

                      Atheism simply means the lack of a belief in god. It does not require faith, it is the absence of faith.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      Perhaps you should try reading a book about evolution, written by a professional biologist, and not edited for the purpose of deception by a notorious charlatan?