EDIT: Since I posted this blog, the copy of the documentary that I linked has been removed. I will do my best to find a mirror, but The Way Of The Master (Kirk Cameron’s Ministry) is trying hard to keep it off the internet.
I wasn’t going to blog today, I really didn’t see a need to. Then I saw a link in my stream. Ray Comfort released his new Youtube documentary:
Now if you don’t know who Ray Comfort is, you should look up ‘Ray Comfort Banana’ in youtube and see what you get. He is, to put is simply, the low hanging fruit of the creationist community. His particular brand of proselytizing is the sickening sort that makes you want to wear a cross around in hopes he might pass you by.
In this video, Ray Comfort takes several stabs at a few concepts, the worst of which is documentary making. The video is better labeled ‘propaganda’, and not in the sense that “This video is about things I don’t like, so I’ll call it propaganda” but in the sense that it calls everyone it disagrees with idiots, and ends with a rallying cry to join his cause.
Anyone who knows the facts of evolution can see through his tricks here, which is what makes this movie so disgusting. It isn’t an attempt to gain converts from an educated community, but an attempt to win over the ignorant who will be swayed by petty tricks of wordage.
For example, Ray Comfort begins the movie by identifying several people who are 1) atheists and 2) scientists. I should note that 90% of his scientists in this are students, who are still in the process of learning this information, many probably no older than 20, but Ray Comfort wants the viewer to see them as fresh experts on the subject.
Then he establishes that the English language indeed uses the word ‘believe’ to mean having a faithful belief in something (I believe in god) and to mean that we are fairly sure that something is true (I believe the bus comes in 10 minutes). This word flip is something that is utterly convincing for someone who does believe, like Ray Comfort, but the word use is different for those who aren’t as absolutely sure about the existence of a god. To believe in god is a ‘strong’ belief, it should really be capitalized, to represent not just a passing ‘I think this is probably true but I’m willing to be wrong’ and instead represent an absolute faith in the statement.
Ray Comfort then performs a trick that would make Michael Moore proud. He asks for ‘observable evidence’ of evolution. This is another word trick, as what Comfort means is ‘give me something I can hold’. Instead, when presented with some examples of evolution research he can look up, based on records, which are based on found fossils, living creatures, and scientific findings, Ray Comfort says “No that was millions of years ago.” This trick stumps the students, but doesn’t do much to stop most of the actual experts, who dismiss his word play.
Near the end, Comfort goes into full christian mode, and attacks moral relativism. Anyone who has taken a simple class or read up on sociology can see what his plan is here, but once again those who are ignorant on the subject would be shocked at what they are hearing. Asking a group of people who have claimed their are atheists if they are liars, thieves, and if they have lusted after women, only to hear them confirm all of the above; it paints a nasty picture of atheists and serves as Comforts spring board into trying to ‘save’ them.
You can tell how low a view Comfort has of atheists based on a segment about Hemingway in the middle of the video. He identifies several people on an atheist poster as non-atheists (quoting Einstein and Lincoln when they mention a creator) and says that the only true atheist among them is Hemingway. Then he notes how Hemingway died, by blowing his own brains out with his shotgun (lets just ignore the mental disorders he was suffering at the time, it doesn’t help Comfort’s point).
The sad part is that Comfort doesn’t understand the concept of moral relativism, or atheists. To him, it is a gateway for people to act as if they are animals. When P.Z. Myers gives a long response to the question, “Is rape wrong”, it isn’t because he doesn’t know if rape is wrong or not, and it isn’t because he condones rape for some people. P.Z. Myers understands that in a cultural context, rape has been allowed, and is allowed to this day. Myers knows that even in christian communities, some believers hold the view that ‘it isn’t rape if you are married’, or that in some communities in other countries rape is used as a punishment against women. Is that rape still wrong? Yes, but those communities and cultures see it differently because of how they were raised to see that specific act. It is only with education on the subject that even Ray Comfort sees rape as something wrong, or surely most christians would have a biblical view that you cannot rape your spouse.
In fact, P.Z. Myers is the real star of this little shitfest, excuse my French. Even with all of Comforts tricks, he manages to give consistent and educated answers to every question, which those who know enough will see as informed. Comfort’s attempt at debunking evolution based on his own ignorance on the subject, can’t even make it past one guy with a scraggly beard.
I invite you to watch it, since it is pretty short. Overall it will bring a bit of bile to the back of your throat, but it is good to know how others view the subject, and where their confusion on evolution may come from.