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Rebuttals to Ray Comfort

Hemant Mehta recently shared this video response to Ray Comfort’s deceitful movie about evolution. It makes some excellent points, including highlighting the irony of Comfort saying “Just look at this banana! Proof of God!” and yet complaining, when scientists have so much evidence for evolution they can point to, “Sorry, that’s not good enough!”

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Mehta will also apparently be interviewing Comfort on his blog, and has asked for readers of his blog to suggest questions!

  • Stephen J. Bedard

    I hope you know that many conservative evangelicals also have issues with Ray Comfort. I love that he wants to introduce people to Jesus but his apologetics leave much to be desired. Even those who question aspects of evolution have been critical of his video on evolution. I don’t know of any evangelical apologists that hold Ray Comfort up as a good example to follow.

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

      Indeed I do, and I would love to see more rebuttals of his claims and actions coming from Christians. Otherwise, the responses from atheists just reinforce the claims he makes in the movie, depicting a false antithesis.

      • Melody

        Yep. I would like to see the question asked, why did he only interview atheists? And is he aware that there are thousands of scientists who are Christians who accept evolution?

        • Melody

          Also, I would like an answer to this question: What on earth is a “kind”? If kinds are discrete categories of organisms, we should be able to clearly delineate what is and is not in the same kind. But beyond that, I would like a definition, not simply examples, of what a kind actually is.

          • David_Evans

            You probably won’t get one. If the number of kinds is small enough to fit in the Ark, it will be too small to evolve into all the species we know to exist today, without a ridiculously high rate of evolution.

            • TomS

              I’d like to hear from an expert in Biblical Hebrew about this.
              It seems to be that the word “min” is used only in a very limited context, “according to his/their kind”. Is there any reason to believe that there is such a thing as a Biblical concept of a fixed category of living things called a “kind”? The concept of “species” only arose in Western culture somewhere around AD 1500, so I’d say that the concept would be an anachronism in the Bible.

              • Dr Joseph

                TomS, I’m responding to your “hear from” request. MIN in Hebrew means “kind”, “variety”, “type” in very non-technical ways. So, MIN is similar in meaning to what you see in the following phrases: “all varieties of animals”, “every sort of animal”, “every kind of critter”, or “various types of animals”. The ancient Hebrews did NOT use MIN as a taxonomic term. And just as in English, they used MIN to refer to “every sort of sheep”, “every kind of livestock”, “every kind of fruit”, and “every variety of plant”. So when “baraminologists” try to define MIN (kind), you won’t see a consistent “genus” or “family” or “class” designation.

                The BARAMIN concept is simply another kind of ANACHRONISM FALLACY.

                Think of Noah’s ark and “every kind of animal”. It wasn’t a statement of 100% complete inclusion of a catalog of the world’s KINDS. No, think of it like this. An observer watches Noah loading animals and then take a tour of the ark with Noah. Once he has toured the floating barge, he says to Noah, “Wow, man! You’ve got yourself every kind of animal here!” There is no sense of it being a complete checklist of animals, nor is it like a zoologist’s “rescue every possible NEPESH animal on the planet” census. No, it would be more akin to the observer adding to his statement: “Ya got big ones and little ones. You’ve got beautiful animals and ugly ones. Docile animals and unruly ones. And swift animals and slow ones.” It is simply a statement of “rich variety”. Animals of every kind!

                So in this case, the Hebrew use of MIN is just as casual and “generic” as using the kind/sort/type/variety phrases in English illustrated above. They are informal categories.

                Moreover, if someone wants to insist that words like “all” and “every” MUST mean 100% completeness, the English language is much more casual than that and so is Biblical Hebrew. (I could cite many examples. When people from every nation went to Egypt to buy food from Joseph during the famine or to Jerusalem to hear Peter preach on the day of Pentecost, did “every” and “all” include visitors from China, Fiji, Madagascar, and Chile?

          • John

            The Bible defines a kind as the ability to make babies. So for example, Noah would have only needed two wolves and not every type of dog, 2 horses (no zebras etc…), and etc… I figured I’ll keep my examples short since you didn’t want any, but yeah, if they can reproduce (my addition is without the help of man) then they are of a kind. Of course this statement has a few obvious exceptions like a chihuahua and a great dane, but we all know they are both dogs.

            And it’s absolutely possible to have this many variety within the kinds in the say 4000 or so years since the flood.

            If you believe in Evolution look at how many races, types, nationalities, etc… we’ve made of humanity in just 10,000 or so years. I’m a creationist so I happen this think we got all these nationalities within 4000 years, but hey what’s 6000 years when compared to millions of years of history!

            • Dr Joseph

              No. Nowhere in the Bible does it define the Hebrew word MIN. Moreover, your claim is a TRADITION very recently imposed upon the Bible by traditionalists. (You clearly have no fluency in Hebrew.)

              And if you are going to claim that all of the earth’s species could come about from the “kinds” which were aboard the ark from 4500 years ago, then you join Ken Ham in believing in a HYPER-SPEED EVOLUTION that is far faster in evolving than anything which The Theory of Evolution describes! Indeed, Ken Ham on his Creation Museum poster claims that each ark kind diversified into all of its “kind varieties” in about 200 years!

      • x x

        Yes indeed. If conservatives really have significant issues with Comfort, where are the conservative rebuttals of the man and his devious methods? Once again, the silence from conservatives is ear-splitting.

        • Rachel Berwick Hodges

          I think a lot of conservatives are silent, because they’re embarrassed by the guy. Some of my conservative Christian friends sat in on a “teaching” by this guy, and most of them thought he was pretty wacky.

          • John

            I’m a conservative and I think Ray can be a bit simplistic, but not necessarily wacky. Although to be truthful I haven’t seen the famous “banana video”.

            What I have seen is in his witnessing style. Argue what you want about his tactics but he has an amazing gift for showing people that they are in need of a savior. We are all sinners, but that is such a cliched phrase that gets thrown around so much it falls on deaf ears. Show people they are a sinner and wow, the world opens up for them. And that is why I think it’s hard to find conservative rebuttals about Ray Comfort. He isn’t doing anything that can be biblically argued with, he is just simply showing people their sin and them showing them Jesus Christ.

            Don’t know about you but I can’t ask for much more than that. And I think it’s a lot better than what churches are doing to “get people in the door”.

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

              If you get people in the door by lying to them about science, they may leave and never return when they realize they have been lied to.

          • x x

            Time for them to get beyond embarrassment and speak out.

  • http://lotharson.wordpress.com/ Lothars Sohn

    The basic problem of “Hemant Mehta” is that he piles up many examples of dumb fundamentalists, and draws the general conclusion that ALL (or the large majority of) religious believers are hopelessly dumb.

    Lovely greetings from Germany.
    Liebe Grüsse aus Deutschland.

    Lothars Sohn – Lothar’s son
    http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com

  • Rachel Berwick Hodges

    I’m a Christian and I think Ray Comfort is embarrassing. Hemant, I am very glad you will be debating him, but please don’t take him as a sampling of all theists. I’m a Christian who happens to believe in evolution.

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

      I appreciate your comment, but if you want Hemant to see it, you might want to leave it on his blog…. :-)

  • Ryan Hite

    While I love the rebuttals, I would have liked to see people besides Atheists do the rebuttals.

  • Daniel

    Whatever your perception of Ray Comfort’s video, & the way it is edited, ridicule does not negate the validity of many of the points he makes.
    It should be evident to any person with an imagination what he is trying to illustrate, for instance when he asks if someone can make a rose.
    You completely miss his point about ‘kinds’, & instead use a definition he doesn’t use; so your bird illustration is irrelevant. The bird is still a bird, as are Darwin’s finches.
    Talking about ‘mountains of evidence’ might sound impressive, but it’s just talk…..no doubt you would need hours & hours to present such a great body of proof?
    Having studied the theory of evolution at university level, I find your claim to be a gross misrepresentation of the truth, & the ‘evidence’ to be sadly lacking.
    There are plenty of well respected scholars who don’t find evolution satisfactory as an explanation for the origin of life, some are Christians some are not.
    The notion that belief in a creator is only for the uneducated or simpletons is utter nonsense…….so to any thinking person out there: do not be shamed into believing a theory just because you are being told modern ‘science’ says it must be so.

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

      I find your comment unhelpful, for multiple reasons. First, whatever you may or may not have studied, plenty of people have studied a subject while determined not to be changed by the evidence presented – I teach Biblical studies, and it happens in that area too. Second, saying “it is still just an X” is pure deception. It actually makes the opposite case. One could say “human beings are dtill just apes – look at the evidence of shared genetic history, particularly with respect to the fusion of two chromosomes to make our chromosome 2, not to mention other shared structural features that are very apparent.” This is the very point, i.e. that species blend into one another, so that you can say “That is still just a reptile” and “that is still just a bird” even when there is a gradation of change between them in the fossil record.

      When people only read older materials, because they are engaging in apologetics rather than science, they may miss not only how many transitional forms have been found, but also the fact that genetic evidence, which was not available to Darwin, now means that there are no more gaps in our evidence about the relatedness of all living things on this planet. And when I put it that way, I am paraphrasing the renowned Christian geneticist Francisco Ayala.

      • Daniel

        Yes indeed, ‘Plenty of people have studied a subject while determined not to be changed by the evidence presented’……& yet, many HAVE been changed. Some well known self-proclaimed atheists fall into that category; so thankfully bias is not immutable.
        Interesting that you see a gradation of change in the fossil record, that bolsters your beliefs. Personally, I see plenty of glaring gaps.
        We all have access to the same information if we’re willing to look beyond the high school text book, so to anyone reading this: do your own due diligence, & maybe you’ll find popular ‘science’ is not quite as accurate as you thought.
        As to the relatedness of all organisms on planet earth, I wouldn’t dispute it. But, what does it really mean? I see organisms designed & created by the same person, from the same raw materials, operating in the same system & subject to the same laws of nature….I EXPECT similarity & continuity, but I don’t see it demonstrating much else.
        To my mind, the more succinct question when watching Jaclyn Glenn’s video is ‘what is her agenda…..subconscious or otherwise?’
        Is she trying to provide a genuinely scientific argument to disprove Ray Comfort’s views?
        Is it to stir up theistic evolutionists & get them mad with ‘simplistic’ & ‘uneducated’ creationists who are making Christians look silly?
        Personally, I think it goes beyond all of that.
        Behind the scornfulness, there seems to be a deeper antipathy, directed not so much towards Ray Comfort, but towards Christianity & Jesus in particular.
        Talk about preconceptions & bias. The story of a man called Jesus nailed to a cross says it all. The natural reaction is to say as Jaclyn Glenn does that it is utter foolishness……& yet, thankfully, somehow that bias can be reversed & so called ‘foolishness’ is now recognised as WISDOM.

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

          Anyone who thinks that gaps in the paleontological record are surprising or a problem for evolution clearly do not understand this subject well enough, or are deliberately misrepresenting it. Fossils do not form every time organisms die, and so we will not find an unbroken chain of evidence. We would expect to find what we do find, namely a clear sequence of change and development over time. Every time we find a piece of evidence, someone can say that there are now two gaps, one on either side of that new piece, where before there was only one – but doing so would be very silly indeed.

          Treating human chromosome 2, for instance, as evidence of common design, with the designer making it look as though humans share common ancestry with other primates, even to the extent of putting telomeres in the midst of this large chromosome, makes the Designer out to be a deceiver. This sort of nonsense is not just antithetical to science, it turns God into the Devil and brings the Christian faith into disrepute.

          It would indeed be better if foolish and ignorant Christians listened to the theologians and scientists in our tradition and stopped opposing science, leading to people pointing out their foolishness and doing so in the name of atheism. That is why it is so important for Christians who understand these topics to take the lead in criticizing those within their own tradition who pose a false antithesis between Christianity and science.

          • Daniel

            Maybe it’s not your intention, but most people reading your comments would get the impression that , unless a person has the same belief system you hold to, they must have certain characteristics:
            1. They lack the depth of understanding you claim to have of the subject.
            2. They are deliberately deceiving others if the 1st is not true.
            3. They are a ‘silly’ person propagating nonsense
            4. They are foolish enough to oppose certain aspects of what you call ‘science’.
            Sorry, but it really does look like a classic case of closed mindedness.

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

              No, you clearly have not been reading this blog for long. There are lots of scholars in my field, and we do not all agree, but there is often a great amount of mutual respect, beause each of us is trying to make sense of the evidence and to offer a persuasive case for our conclusions.

              That is different from what one finds in young-earth creationism and other sorts of pseudoscience. I used to be one, and so I speak from experience. I was lied to, and am ashamed that I in turn passed those lies on to others.

              Scientists can disagree and respect one another. Young-earth creationists misrepresent and reject science and offer false claims in their place, and have the nerve to call themselves Christians while spouting lies. That is something very different, and despicable, wouldn’t you agree?

  • KeiClark

    Yeah, I like this. :) Thanks for making it.


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