Odious Ray Comfort movie (watch it below) to be distributed in public schools

August 11, 2013 • 12:36 pm

The following information comes from PR Newswire, so it’s just a press release from Ray Comfort’s “Living Waters” organization; but according to that, kids at Hollywood High School are about to get a free creationist e-treat:

On August 13, students entering Hollywood High School will be given a DVD that shows top evolutionary scientists unable to give any scientific evidence for Darwinian evolution.

In “Evolution vs. God,” a 36-minute movie, producer Ray Comfort interviewed scientists at UCLA and USC, pressing them for observable scientific evidence for evolution. “They couldn’t give a lick of evidence,” Comfort said, “because it doesn’t exist.”

Ron Love, a spokesperson for the producers, added, “Public schools do not allow honest discussion and debate when it comes to the evidence against evolution, on the grounds of separation of church and state and an erroneous stance that creationism and Intelligent Design are unscientific and based on faith. ‘Evolution vs. God’ lifts the mask off this fallacy by showing that it is actually Darwinian evolution that is founded on a lack of observable science and based on blind faith. We want the young people of this nation to consider this, and ask why they’re not being given all the evidence—for and against evolution.

What’s not clear from the release is whether the school itself would distribute the video. I doubt that, as it would violate the First Amendment, for the movie, as you’ll see below, includes not only creationist nonsense, but pure unadulterated proselytizing for Jesus.

Comfort said his goal is to distribute a million “Evolution vs. God” DVDs, especially to students in learning institutions around the world. The best-selling author and TV co-host added, “There are millions who have been duped into blindly believing this unscientific theory, and they need to know the truth.” In 2008 his organization gave away 200,000 copies of Darwin’s famous book, Origin of Species, containing a special Foreword, to 100 U.S. universities in one day.

Well, have a look at the 39-minute movie below, which is now free online.  I recommend that you watch the whole thing, not only to see what you’re up against if you accept evolution, but to see how clever and unscrupulous editing can make acceptance of evolution look silly.

Here are Comfort’s tactics:

  • Define “Darwinian evolution” as “observable change among kinds,” so that evidence for it can’t be gotten. To Comfort, “observable change” means “change in real time,” so he’s asking his subjects to give evidence that scientists have actually watched a dinosaur evolve into a bird, or a reptile to a mammal. Of course that’s stupid, because those changes take millions of years, and nobody’s around long enough to see it happen. To Comfort, the fossil record doesn’t count.
  • Don’t define “kinds,” and hope that the people interviewed won’t ask Comfort what he means by that term.
  • Make people agree that “evolution, like religion, requires faith,” when the young people interviewed use “faith” as a synonym for “acceptance of scientific authorities.”
  • Ask people to name famous atheists, and, correcting only those who make mistakes (like answering “Isaac Newton”), imply that there are no famous atheists.
  • Ask people if they’d rescue their dog or their neighbor if both were drowning, and show only those people who both admit that they’re atheists and would also save their dog.  Show, thereby, that atheism erodes morality.
  • Get people to admit that they’ve lied or stolen something in their lives, and thereby force them to admit that they’re liars and thieves. If they’ve used the name of the lord in vain (who hasn’t?), tell them that they’re blasphemers, and that God doesn’t like that. Then tell them that all of this violates the Ten Commandments and that therefore they’re doomed to hell by the law of the merciful God.
  • Tell these people, when the unashamed proselytizing begins (about 25 min in), that they have to repent and accept Jesus.  Then get them to say that they’ll think about what Comfort is telling them, making the viewer think that he’s really made them reconsider not only their acceptance of evolution, but their rejection of Jesus.

It’s mendacious, duplicitious, and obnoxious.  But you need to watch it.  At least it features someone you know beside Comfort: P. Z. Myers (who should not have agreed to be filmed).

169 thoughts on “Odious Ray Comfort movie (watch it below) to be distributed in public schools

  1. I watched this a couple of days ago when a friend of mine (one of only two Christian friends of mine with whom I enjoy talking about religion and atheism) asked me to watch it and share my thoughts with her. I had to stop several times and resume later because Comfort is so hard for me to stomach. I can only hope they’ve already [naively] assumed Louisiana to be in their winning circle and won’t bother to come down to my university.

  2. “■Don’t define “kinds,” and hope …”
    In addition: if scientists actually do ask what Comfort means with “kinds” then just cut it. Thanks, I need to see this propaganda as little as I need to see North-Korean clips on politics.

    1. The title of Darwin’s book is, ‘On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.’ I can’t recall him ever talking abouts kinds and his references to races seem to represent populations of organisms. The evidence for the change in animal populations can be found everywhere. Jerry Coyne I’m sure could give us some examples using his research on fruit flys.

  3. Aaaaaaargh!

    The dishonest out of context quoting of Einstein was the last straw! He takes a quote of Einstein saying he doesn’t like it when his views are used to support religion, and pretends it is the opposite.

    I’m barely past half way through and I already feel like punching Ray Comfort in the face for being such a dishonest sleaze. And this complete lack of integrity is supposed to represent the goodness of religion? I just wish somebody could get ahold of all of his footage and produce a video that shows the deceptive editing at work.

    1. I kept fantasizing about throwing the microphone away and saying, “I don’t like your questions & this is what I’m going to do about it!”

      That would definitely make the cut!

    2. I’ve not even made it more than a quarter of the way through before wanting to shake him and cry “Adaptation *is* Darwinian evolution, you muppet! Stop expecting sensible people to answer nonsensical questions about kinds!”

      I am guessing that anyone who challenged his actual questions got cut – and given that there are many hints of this remaining in the first 10 minutes, it must have been a lot! Jerry has nailed the adjective for Ray Comfort: odious. :Shudder:

  4. Notice that he always films people from a low camera angle with them seated and him standing so they are always looking up at him and he is looking down at them. Lighting people from below also makes them look much more sinister. It’s like telling ghost stories holding a flashlight under your chin.

    1. Plus he keeps shoving the mic in their face, but he speaks off camera.

      There were times he engaged in a question or explanation while cutting from one face to another. We don’t know what he actually said to people as they are shown listening, or before they responded. By not appearing on film as he asks questions, he leaves it open to change the questions with audio editing.

      1. Yeah, you know a lot of the people had good answers that didn’t make the cut. I did like that Peter blasphemed in his answer about blasphemy. It looks like the obvious joke, but I would have done the same or asked which god he thought was bad to blaspheme against (which wouldn’t have made the cut).

        1. He gave an inordinate amount of time to students who had not thought a lot about these questions.

          Of course in the Einstein quote we know for sure Comfort lied. I guess he’s going to burn in hell unless he repents for bearing false witness. Hehe.

  5. I’ve never been able to decide whether Comfort is a raving idiot, or cunning like Gollum. One thing does seem obvious regardless, and that is that he is extremely dishonest. The morals he displays are pretty much like the stereotypical classic Hollywood mafia boss. In place of money and power justifying anything goes, for Comfort it is god that justifies anything goes. Or is it money power with him too?

    1. Darrelle:
      I think the term you’re looking for is “slimy, anti-intellectual, Elmer Gantry-channeling, creepy, sleazy liar for Jeebus.”

      Always happy to help…

    2. You gotta give it to him, though, he spares no effort to emulate his god’s ruthless deception. When will he graduate to mass slaughter of the unbelievers? I guess there’s not enough money in that, though.

  6. Watching Comfort’s short movie reminded me of Ben Stein’s absurd 2008 film ‘Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed’.

    I’d like to see the unedited footage to see Comfort’s response to those who asked for “observable evidence” of his god.

    The laughs almost made it worthwhile to watch Comfort’s nonsense.

    I’m unable to add to your list of Comfort’s tactics but it seems likely that others will have seen some that I missed.

  7. “On August 13, students entering Hollywood High School will be given a DVD that shows top evolutionary scientists unable to give any scientific evidence for Darwinian evolution.”

    Too bad there couldn’t be an opposing set of information handed out at the same time – something debunking the film at least. American Atheists handed out secular/atheist materials at a school to supplement Christian ones a few months ago.

    1. If Comfort is just handing them out on the nearest patch of legally accessible sidewalk, then sure, other groups could do the same.

  8. Good old Lying for Jesus. It astonishes me that people who believe that there is a lake of fire prepared for liars to burn in eternally can be so caviler with the truth.

    In any case, take cheer. It can backfire. More than the facts of evolution, more than the silliness of the claims of religion, more than anything else, probably, it was the lying that finally broke the bubble for me. I had my doubts about religion all through high school, but it was actually an apologetics class I went to in college that pushed me over the edge. That’s right, a class meant to “strengthen my faith” turned me into an atheist. While I was having my doubts about religion now and then I consoled myself that surely the people teaching the class, members of the church who happened to be faculty at a large state university nearby, must have good reasons to believe. And then they stand up and start lying. I watched an engineering professor, who had to know better, tell the audience that the 2nd law prohibited evolution. What? I was stunned. And on it went. One blatant falsehood after another. Almost all of their arguments were easily falsified lies. Among them, of course, was the old Einstein lie.

    It was a revealing moment for me. It was in that class that I realized, truly, that they didn’t have a leg to stand on. Not one. What belief I had going in I didn’t last more than a few days after that class whose purpose was to “strengthen my faith”. Ha!

    So maybe these lies and deception work on a lot of people, or even most people, I don’t know, but for some people they can be the clear proof that the Emperor has no clothes. I became an atheist in large part because I got tired of being lied to and I just couldn’t bring myself to lie in turn.

  9. I’ve made $10 from Ray Comfort. On a Facebook post of his he was complaining how his books always get negative reviews from atheists, obviously a conspiracy. At the end he said that 5 atheists could get a free signed copy of his “You can lead an atheist to evidence but you can’t make him think.” if we emailed living waters admitting to being an atheist and gave our address. Which I did.

    A few weeks later I got a little package, with a sticker on it showing it cost about $18 to send from California to here in UK and inside the book was a $10 bill. I saw this an an attempt to bribe for a good review. Fortunately for him I can’t get through the first few pages without heaving, opens with a quote from Stephen Hawking and then goes onto Pascal’s wager. Maybe when he’s dead the signed copy will be worth something too.

      1. I use it as a bookmark. There’s not much I can buy for $10 in England. Comfort makes a nice addition to books. Comfort is next to Brian Cox and Coyne on a shelf with Dawkins and Darwin close by. When it’s quiet during the night and the seagulls have gone to sleep I can hear them whispering to each other.

  10. I’m interpreting that press release to mean he’ll have some people handing them out to hapless students outside of the school.

  11. Hey Ray:

    If you’re reading this, here’s some evidence for you to consider:

    1) Carl Sagan “The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark” (how science works).
    2) Jerry Coyne “Why Evolution is True”
    3) Richard Dawkins “The Greatest Show on Earth” (two overviews of the convergent multiple lines of evidence for evolution).
    4) Donald Prothero “Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters” (the fossil evidence).
    5) Sean B. Carroll “The Making of the Fittest” (the DNA evidence).
    6) Jonathan Weiner “The Beak of the Finch” (experimental evidence; real-time evolution).
    7) Neil Shubin “Your Inner Fish” (evidence of evolution as seen in the human body)
    8) Matt Ridley “The Red Queen” (evolutionary “arms races”)

    And don’t forget to check out this extended essay:
    29+ Evidences for Macroevolution: The Scientific Case for Common Descent at http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/

    1. Humorous. As if Comfort is interested in evidence. He’s a propaganda machine. He’s only interested in reading to find sentences he can string together to make straw men with.

      But maybe someone who say the video is here, and maybe they are actually interested in evidence and true things, so always good to point them to some. Here’s another, if you’re wanting to take a skeptical look at religion: http://godisimaginary.com

      1. Yes, what you say, “But maybe someone who say the video is here, and maybe they are actually interested in evidence and true things, so always good to point them to some” is exactly the reason why I post this list.

        And thank you for the website reference; it looks like a keeper!

  12. I’ve unfortunately seen this whole movie, and it is atrocious.

    I also came upon it on youtube when someone had uploaded it all for free. I then mirrored that upload because the comments were closed. I thought the upload was from Ray Comfort’s group, and didn’t realize until later that they were still waiting to sell this 30 minute video for ~20 dollars.

    In the end youtube forced me to take it down (I still have a copy on my desktop), but not before Way Of The Master (Cameron’s company) called me a professional thief in the comments.

    Which, is at least 50% a compliment.

  13. You should watch the one he made about abortion as well, I think it’s called 180 or something. Same thuggish, bullish tactics and attitude and asks one asinine question after another. Christ, it’s painful! Good for a laugh though if you know what to expect from him

  14. Barf! I won’t watch it.

    Sad that PZ repeated the mistake of appearing in a creationist movie.

    1. I dunno. I don’t think PZ came off that badly. I liked his quiet amusement at Ray’s expense. Even his prima face bizarre insistence that we are fish will lead some believers who view this from “Surely this kook can’t be serious… ?” to Neil Shubin’s book, which can’t be a bad thing.


  15. Amazing….this will get lapped up by the belief starved masses. Fortunately, there are dissenters with the gravitas to derail most of this tripe and the best way it seems is to get it out there and call it for what it is…trash. He is no Leni Riefenstahl and this is no Triumph of the Will. What kind of film would Chaplin make about these Evangimongers? This will just make thinking Christians even more cognitively dissonant when trying to equilibrate this insanity. Good job Ray. Some of your flock will further abandon Belief. But,I worry about the the rest deeply.

    1. It has only happened once, the 21st Amendment repealed the 18th Amendment, which had mandated a nationwide prohibition on alcohol.

  16. I cannot, for the life of me, understand why PZ Myers and the rest of the atheists agreed to be interviewed by this charlatan. What on earth were they hoping to achieve ???

    1. I think they suffer from a similar misconception to that described by James “Amazing” Randi. He and other magicians are capable of spotting the tricks of the trade used by fraudsters:

      “Scientists are easily fooled,” explained Randi, “because they think they know.” But only skeptics really know.

      Similarly, scientists probably think, ‘Hey, Ray Comfort is a moron and it will be child’s play to demonstrate that he’s a moron.’ – and it would be if the rules were fair. But Ray is a thoroughly dishonest SOB, an all-out Liar for Jesus, and he’ll cut the movie any way that suits him.

      1. Scientists are also generally working in a social system which works (however imperfectly at times) to remove dishonesty and such. If the system is *attacked*, however, rather than simply ignored (as is the case with many pseudoscientists who are sincere but deluded), it requires different sorts of defense.

    2. Sometimes, it can work, even with the deck stacked. A good interview and some poor editing can let the bullshit shine through.

      For example, if you’ve watched Expelled, Stein asks Dawkins what he would consider a plausible ID explanation, and Dawkins mentions aliens. Stein then starts acting like Dawkins believes aliens designed life on Earth. However, Stein failed to edit out the part where Dawkins was clearly responding to a hypothetical, and it makes Stein look like an idiot.

      Still, it’s never worth the risk. If the clip can’t be edited to favor the creationist, they’ll just not use it at all. So in order to get a clip in, you have to rely on the creationist engaging in bad editing. And given that lying and misrepresenting is their trade, it’s not a good bet.

      I don’t read Pharyngula (I find PZ to be an extremist asshole outside of science and atheism), but I can guess as to why he might have agreed. He simply wanted a chance to talk with Ray and have some fun, and possibly talk first hand about the dishonest editing. If he didn’t agree to the interview, Comfort would have gotten someone else, so he might as well have his fun.

      Could be wrong there, just a guess.

      1. Re the last para: it’s okay to express opinions of others (though the reference to Pharyngula is a bit gratuitious here), but PLEASE–no name calling of other atheist bloggers if you don’t mind. The points can be made without that.


  17. Given Ray Comfort’s kindergarten level definition of science and observable evinced, Ray would not be able to give us one lick of evidence that gravity exists. Why? Because it don’t exist, obvious??????

  18. I think I lost several IQ points watching that. I’m pretty sure I’m stupider. I’m going to stay away from electricity for a while in case I’ve forgotten basic safety.

    I also think it brought back the migraine I just got rid of.

    I do however, think it would be great if the teachers in those schools used Ray’s video to teach critical thinking skills.

  19. I like it when Ray does this stuff. Not only does it show what an unprincipled, devious person he is, but also it prepares people to deal with preachers and car salesmen. I had a JW come to my house recently using this tactic, with “change of kinds”. I now see where they may have got the idea. Among other responses, I asked her, when exactly did Bill Gates become rich? Once he was poorish, now he is rich. When, to the penny, did he cross over from poorish to moderately well off, then to rich. She said, “a million dollars”. So when he had $999,999.99 he was not rich? It was that extra penny? Then I explained how the transition to “Homo sapien” was the same, no definitive demarcation to separate species, etc. etc. She left confused.

    It’s good practice for thinking on your feet. Even if you can’t answer, you can think about it and come up with something for the next time and there will be a next time.

    1. Like the Sand People, they are easily startled but they’ll soon be back, and in greater numbers.

      1. HaHa. So true. Although the religious avoided my previous house like the plaque. I just haven’t established my rep with them in my new locale…yet.

        1. Wow! That’s a typo I didn’t even notice by proofreading…I’ve got to mind my p’s and q’s and g’s.

            1. A representative of the Historic Places Trust knocked at Einstein’s door and to her surprise it was answered by Enrico Fermi.

              “That’s a surprise!” she said. “I can kill two birds with one stone. The Trust wants to commemorate your birth places.”

              “You mean – ?” said Einstein.

              “Yes! A plaque on both your houses!”

    2. There’s the old joke about what happens when a Hell’s Angel becomes a Jehovah’s Witness: when they come to your door THET tell YOU to

    3. Nice analogy. In the future though, you might want to use someone other than Bill Gates if you want to refer to that person as having been “poorish”. Bill Gates attended Lakeside high school with Paul Allen – not a place where you find many poorish students. He went from well-off to super rich.

  20. I’ve been subjected to the penultimate tactic of Ray’s listed here (getting people to admit they are liars and blasphemers) in person when I asked him about the bible at USC.

    I wanted to know what he knew/thought about so-called ‘higher criticism’ — things like the multiple authors of the books of Moses (not written by Moses), the fact the Exodus likely never happened, etc.

    He didn’t seem to have much knowledge about the subject (he didn’t know the term higher criticism), and found it ludicrous I could suggest the Exodus wasn’t historical, and instead tried to return to his script about my being a liar and blasphemer.

    He didn’t get very far because I wouldn’t agree the 10 commandments were any kind of authority, or that hell was a real place.

        1. Re: Hel or Hell, however you spell it. A daft cyclist cycled there in Autumn, and stayed for months; in order merely to say that he had been there until Hell froze over.

          He is also the loon who did a tour from the town of A to B; which apparently do exist.

          1. Must be nice having nothing better to do with your life than act out bad puns.

            Now, if he was doing something interesting there — say, a photojournalistic essay of small-town Norwegian life, or the like — and its natural course of affairs took a few months, then, yeah, that’s a great punchline to use.

            But to go there just for the gag?



    1. I think the key is to get him off his well-rehearsed script…he’s not actually that bright. He does talk fast, which is an old conman’s trick.

      1. You could certainly try telling him, sincerely and with absolute confidence, that he doesn’t believe any of it whatsoever. When he proudly protests that he does, remind him that the Bible opens with a story about an enchanted garden with talking animals and an angry wizard; that it features a talking plant (on fire!) that gives magic wand lessons to the reluctant hero, and that the grand finale is this utterly bizarre and disgusting zombie cannibal snuff pr0n fantasy where this guy gets his rocks off by having his thralls thrust their hands into his gaping chest wound.

        He’ll probably accuse you of mocking him, but I really doubt he’ll be able to recover the offensive — let alone his dignity — after a round like that.

        Just make sure there aren’t any handy supplies of poles, feathers, and tar for the locals to use when they escort you out of town….



    2. Sam,

      You could also have got him out of his comfort zone by pointing out the very observable evolution of Hell. From the OT’s Hades-like Sheol (Psalms) to Revelations’ roasting round an open fire – a sort of eternal Perry Como Christmas Special.

      Both can’t be right, and maybe neither is.

  21. I don’t find it necessary to eat a kitty-cat’s upchuck to be confident a hairball is not suitable human nutrition. Observing liars for religion, or any other totalitarian ideology/belief, is sorta like reading 1984 cover to cover, and upon finishing immediately returning to page 1 and repeating the process in a ground-hog day endless time loop. Things are just too spooky on Ray Comfort’s side of the looking glass.

  22. PZ has lost the plot as far as I am concerned. He talks an awful lot of nonsense and appearances like this do no favours to anyone except these weirdo Christian cult freaks.

  23. PZ damned well should be embarrassed for having agreed to give an interview to Comfort, and especially for having failed to record it on his own and clearly retained copyright privileges.

    Especially after his role in Expelled, PZ has no excuse other than gross incompetence.

    That’s not to excuse Comfort, of course. But it’s as stupid and as inexcusable as an herpetologist who just recently lost a finger to a rattlesnake bite blindly sticking an un-gloved hand into a sack with a just-captured writhing wild coral snake so he can show it off to a bunch of kids.

    With fronds like these, who needs enemas?


    1. Are you saying that a frond can substitute for an enema? Oh Dear. Sounds about as pleasant as watching that Comfort propaganda film.

      1. Whenever I’ve heard the pun told, the primitive herbal remedy in question has always been an oral laxative. However, given the actors in this particular vignette — namely, the Squid’s Comfortable pal — I suppose that your…ah…suppositional variant may well be more suitable.


            1. Guess I don’t hear either word all that often…

              And I haven’t even had any fiddleheads this year. Maybe if Creationists ate more ferns they’d be less full o’ it….Or does this follow the logic in Monty Python’s Holy Grail that if she weighs the same as a duck she must be a witch ( following from wood burning, and floating, and ducks also floating etc. etc…)

              1. Yes the perfect smart ass line to ask Ray, “who are you, who are wise in the ways of science?”

      2. If that’s the punchline, the joke begins:

        A man was terribly constipated, and he was just about to make an appointment at a colonic irrigation clinic*, when an acquaintance* said, “Have you tried chewing on fern leaves*?” ….

        (* Never give away any word of the punchline.)

        The middle part I leave to your imagination.

        1. Completely off-topic, but irresistible:
          Did you hear about the constipated mathematician? He worked it out with a pencil.

              1. Careful Ant. I think this kind of natural log isn’t invertable…or at least I hope not.

  24. It’s beyond my comprehension why any non-believer would interact with this Woo Woo advocate – especially with out having an independent and entire recording of the conversation. Tell me it ain’t so!

  25. If, for Comfort, faith is wrong per se, then presumably he is a good deeds kind of a Christian, Matthew rather than Paul, Pelagius before Augustine.

    So what good deeds has he done?

    1. I can’t watch either. I don’t even wish I could and I (respectfully) disagree with our host that we “should” watch him. I’m sure that I would get angry/depressed, so why should Ray (dis)Comfort even that much satisfaction?

    2. I can only watch a few seconds at a time. I grew up with ignorant bullies like. Watching him is like reliving part of an abusive childhood.

    1. Very nice. I will be using these responses, though I must admit my usual response now to the question “Do you believe in evolution?” is “No, I understand why evolution is true.” Either answer gets one to the same place.

  26. Someone needs to ask ol’ Ray what a “kind” is.

    It’s begging the question.

    And of course he won’t answer the question, because this is all he can do– move goal posts and move them again!

    1. Creationists have a whole “science” devoted to that – “baraminology” the study of “baramins” or Biblical “kinds”. What they do with all the work that’s been done in taxonomy since Linneus is a bit of a mystery.

      1. You beat me to it.

        Everyone should know about “baramins” so they’re not left speechless when some creationist brings them up.

  27. P Z could have thrown the rape question back in Comfort’s face: Why is there no Commandment against it? and Why does the Bible so narrowly define it as to throw the onus of proof on to the woman?

    Comfort’s line of questioning is very similar to the Gish Gallop. Change the subject early and often and keep your opponent off their balance.

    1. Or anyone could have asked why there are 5 commandments that talk about how god is jealous & we shouldn’t speak about him badly or talk to other gods or make statues of gods before it talks about being nice to our parents and not stealing, etc.

  28. Nobody should talk to any of these people on camera without their own camera and sound crew shooting as well to set the record straight.

    1. Don’t have to. And, if asked how you can criticize it when you didn’t even watch it, you can reply with Dawkins’ line, “I don’t have to read Mein Kampf to know that Nazism was evil.”

    1. Has any Creationist defined what a “kind” is?
      Have they categorised species into “kinds”?
      Where would they place the likes of the Hyena?
      Has any creationist ever explained the super evolution required to get from a single pair of cats to lynxes, cheetahs, tigers etc in just a few centuries?
      Don’t hold your breath on any of these questions because when you make up BS, it’s very difficult to go to the next level and provide any evidence.

  29. I didn’t watch the video – life’s too short.

    I don’t know why PZ gives oxygen to people like Comfort. Hasn’t he learned from past experience?

    1. Apparently not. I sparked up the video, but immediately grabbed the slider and looked for the bits with PZed in it. Watched two segments, apart from Comforts’ connecting drivel.

      I thought it presented very poorly, in terms of how the snippets “play in Peoria”. Only members of the choir understand where the given answers are coming from – it will essentially play well to its intended audience (morons). It’s just dumb not to have the exchange recorded in its entirety and use it to undermine what Comfort is trying to do. Right now is when you put out your “rebuttal” movie, if you were so dumb as to agree to help them make their stupid movie. But no…

      To put it kindly, PR has not really been a strong suit lately in the skill set of many in the so-called free thought movement.

  30. Comfort was offended when someone called him a bibliophile. He thought the word meant a phedophile who reads the bible. That banana is still stuck up his ass.

  31. Let this guy try his questions with me. However, he has the microphone and the recording which he can manipulate. So, he’s holding the aces. This is what is shown in this video. Midway, he is already preaching. If I did the questioning on his faith, his pants would go down. Just shows how he has given his faith a bad name. He is a manipulator.

  32. Whenever Ray asks if the amphibians that came out of the oceans had lungs or gills I’m sure some people must point out the lungfish. But I’m also sure Ray would never include those people in his videos.

  33. Propaganda is what religious use:
    Congregatio de Propaganda Fide (1622)

    I think the atheist argument will have to get used to the techniques used by their opponents. Religious arguments are always at base false (IMHO) since they propose the undemonstrable and can only be ‘propagated’ using dishonest arguments. That’s the nature of the beast. Don’t expect them to fight ‘clean’, since the scientific method is alien to them. Its just not what they are about.

      1. I was just thinking that I was glad that pretty much everyone picked their dog. 🙂 Although, I would have argued that typically people who try to rescue their dogs, die themselves and the dog survives as dogs are usually great swimmers so the question is somewhat silly. 🙂 This is why pedants are good for getting the religious off track.

  34. In my view, the most compelling way to phrase the evolution/creationism debate is as follows: is it more reasonable to (a) accept the objective findings derived from the life’s work of tens of thousands of the smartest people who have ever lived over the last 154 years (evolutionary theory), or (b) accept a story from a 2,500 year old book written by unknown authors, that says the Sun revolves around the Earth and that sprinkling bird’s blood on you and your house will cure leprosy (biblical creationism). I would submit that no rational person in the 21st Century could possibly pick “(b)”.

    1. Nevertheless, it appears that they do.

      Or rather, perhaps, that to large a proportion of the population are irrational.

      We have seen before polls that show a significant percentage of people would reject any evidence that conflicts with their faith. I don’t see (a) having much sway with them.

      I really think that we have to go after the irrationality, inconsistence, incoherence, … of religion in itself in the first place. Just pointing out that science is clearly the more credible pov, however much weight appears to be on the side of science, only forces them to stick resolutely to their faith.

      So any reason-based tactics should focus on things like the Outsider Test. And we still have ridicule (queue Ben’s fairy-tale garden).

      (Reasoned presentation of science can still work with rational believers and fence-sitters, of course!)


      1. I guess what I was suggesting is consistent with JOhn Loftus’ “outsider test.” Unfortunately, I don’t disagree that it’s difficult to reason someone out of something they were never “reasoned into” in the first place.

  35. The video yanks me out of my comfort zone because it deceptively preys upon those unable to respond to his nonsense.

    Comfort is an intelligent man who has heard his ramblings debunked many times, and yet he clings to his beliefs. Why is it that, in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence, he clings to superstition? He must have a terrifying fear of hell and an insecurity in his personal life that forces him to reject the reality of science. He is desperately searching for the favor of a non existent deity who he hopes will insure him of a mindless eternity in an imaginary place. Ray, be a man, face up to reality. You will eventually die like the rest of us.

    1. Craig:

      While I would agree that there are a large number of people in the fundagelical churches who fit the description you provided (“terrifying fear … imaginary place”), I am reasonably confident from what I’ve seen of Comfort and the analysis of his activities in this thread that he is rather a charlatan, who peddles nonsense (and does not care if it is nonsense, and would change his message tomorrow if he found something more profitable to peddle) with the sociopathic lack of concern for others evinced by any other reasonably successful con man. One thing’s for diatom sure (can’t really use “damn sure” as an atheist, can I?), and that is that Comfort does not believe what is written in the bible, especially not in Rev. 21.8: “…all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” or in Luke 14.33: “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.”

  36. Jerry and other prominent scientists who publicly identify as atheist need to ignore the bait. Doesn’t it ever occur to you that such obvious b.s., like this film, is obvious for a reason? He wants YouTube hits so he can impress his followers. Jerry’s advice here, “I recommend that you watch the whole thing” will probably be quoted by him. Sometime I think academics should spend a little more time out on the streets and educate themselves on cons and grifters.

    I’ve been following Comfort’s shenanigans for a few years. Comfort is all about selling material to budding evangelists. He “wins” when enough of the already convinced buy yet even more of his DVDs, tracts, gimmicks, attend his how-to-be-a-street-preacher conferences, etc. He will take a blog post, like this one, crow to his followers that he’s got the famous atheist evolutionist, Jerry Coyne, all hot and bothered. He’s a Fagan through and through. All the negative publicity is pennies from heaven.

  37. Ray Comfort believes that the Cavendish banana, entirely genetically engineered by Man, was instead created by his deity. By fiat.


    Since this is entirely incorrect, it proves that Comfort is incapable of even the most rudimentary research.

    The man is addicted to his own brand of tribal Jewish mythology. He is dangerous.

  38. So PZ, next time you’re invited to appear in a creationist propaganda piece please agree only if they will immediately after ther interview give you the full unedited clip of the interview so that you are at least in a position to share with the world what you really said.

  39. Junk ideas are no different than junk food; made to be appealing and deceptively advertised but ultimately adding no significant nutrition and possible debilitation with use. There comes a point where one knows that junk food doesn’t add to ones wellbeing and sampling the latest and greatest ‘junk’ does not offer a balanced perspective. This film is junk; ‘I feel sullied and unusual’.

  40. When Ray Comfort doesn’t have editorial control in the face of knowledgeable and educated interviewers.

    1. Loved the crockaduck of language – a Latin speaking mother giving birth to a Spanish speaking child. That is such a good way to put it.

  41. If you want to know why anyone with half a brain is suspicious of religious fundamentalists, watch this video. Forget about the massive editing that must have followed taping; the way this guy ambushes these people must have had the academics involved regretting ever having agreed to be interviewed. And this douche bag is drubbing these dorkie kids for being sinners! What a fucking hypocrite!

    Sent from my iPhone

  42. Sorry but I’ve accidentally been sending several of these back to you (with comments) while my intention had been to forward them to friends. Have to be more careful!

    Sent from my iPhone

  43. Ray Comfort begs the question that he has turned logic around to put the burden of proof on random people (other than Meyers) for the same questions he should ask himself on proof of God. Isn’t he the guy that thought a banana for developed by evolution for the fit in a human hand. All Comfort has to do is jump off a cliff to prove gravity is just a theory.

    1. That’s why he gives me a headache. He must know full well that his methods are illogical when he applies one set of rules to people who accept evolution and another to those who believe in creationism. He somehow thinks it is redeeming that he proclaims that nothing could convince him that his god is not real, otherwise he would have edited that part out.

      That should’ve been the first question his interviewees asked him & when he answered “no” the their response should have been, “okay, I think we’re done here”.

  44. I don’t really feel the way that most commenter’s on this page do. When I watched this movie I was interested to see Ray Comfort reveal that the so called scientists have to exercise faith to believe in evolution because of a lack of evidence. I know that politicians lie to me all the time, corporations lie to me all the time, and I suspect that teachers in schools are lying too. I never did relate to the idea that I’m just an animal, something inside just told me it’s wrong to think that.

    1. “I was interested to see Ray Comfort reveal that the so called scientists have to exercise faith to believe in evolution because of a lack of evidence.”

      Except that 1) Ray Comfort didn’t reveal that scientists need faith because they don’t need faith, they have evidence. 2) The scientists are not “so called” the ARE scientists. 3) There are mountains of evidence for evolution.

      “I know that politicians lie to me all the time, corporations lie to me all the time, and I suspect that teachers in schools are lying too.”

      That is a fallacy in logic. If a public figure or institution lies, it does not mean that all public figures or institutions lie; moreover, putting aside the transparency of science and its evidence, are you really suggesting that every scientist in all the world is engaged in a conspiratorial lie? Think of the magnitude of this lie, passed through the generations of scientists for hundreds of years. What is the likelihood of that happening.

      “I never did relate to the idea that I’m just an animal, something inside just told me it’s wrong to think that.”

      Sorry you can’t relate to being an animal but the truth doesn’t require you to relate to it.

    2. When I watched this movie I was interested to see Ray Comfort reveal that the so called scientists have to exercise faith to believe in evolution because of a lack of evidence.

      That might be interesting if Ray Comfort had done anything of the kind. He did not. In fact he lied to you to give you the impression you have.

      Most of the people ansering questions on that video were not scientists, they were undergrad students, people very early in the learning process who don’t necessarily know all the details.

      The few knowledgable people in the video did not get adequate chance to answer the questions fully. The evidence for evolution can fill entire libraries, and is very complex and technical, so it doesn’t easily fit into a sound bite. There is a big difference between faith, which is belief without evidence, and a confident belief based on very strong and undeniable evidence.

      One of the major questions that Comfort thought was very clever was “Have you ever seen one kind evolving into another kind?”

      This question avoids the evidence of evolution that we can see in laboratories when fruit flies or bacteria or other species undergo evolutionary changes. To see one species (“kind”) evolve into another would require a minimum of thousands of years and usually millions, tens of millions of years or more. So of course it is true from the outset that nobody can “see” that happening, and Comfort knows that. This is why he thinks it’s a clever gotcha question, and it’s one most people don’t bother thinking much about.

      The answer is that we can’t see this directly, but we can see it indirectly by painstakingly analyzing mountains of data. We also can’t see the gravity that holds the moon in earth’s orbit, we can only see the effect of that gravity, and the same holds true for much of science, including the theory of evolution.

      The fossil record and DNA analysis are rich with evidence that fits hand-in-glove with the predictions of the theory of evolution. So nobody need accept it on faith, they can do the work to see for themselves. It requires some work though, and many people aren’t willing to do that work. Such people have to decide what to believe, the scientific method that reliably transports us, handles our communications, our medical treatments, and a large host of other practical successes, or to believe the religious dogmas that have turned out to be wrong every single time their doctrines have come into conflict with scientific findings.

      I promise you, if you did the work to truly study the evidence, which can’t be presented to you in a sound bite, you will find that Ray Comfort is the one lying to you with slick editing techniques, and by controlling every aspect of the interviews. He has decided what you are allowed to see, and what you are not allowed to see.

      1. When someone believes that “something inside just told me,” it’s tough to convince them otherwise with mere evidence. That something inside usually trumps the evidence.

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