The infamous Ray Comfort (“Bananaman”) is a fellow Kiwi, but one that we’ve persuaded to leave and inflict himself on the rest of the world – after all, if he’d stayed he would have been a big fish in a rather small and derisive pond. At the ICR’s Your Origins Matter blog there’s a post up today called “Ray Comfort Answers Atheists, Part 1,” one of a number of guest posts that have appeared there in the last few months.
Readers of the Sensuous Curmudgeon blog should be familiar with Comfort’s “atheists ask” series, which is only new to YOM. Indeed even today’s specific questions should be familiar, as the most recent SC post is about a Comfort article on World Net Daily that includes both of those at YOM and a number of others. WND claims that this series is “exclusive,” but it doesn’t look like this is the case.
The true origin of the material seems to be Comfort’s highly active facebook page – you might remember a recent story going around about his misunderstanding the word “bibliophile,” which also took place on said page. At the SC it has been suggested that Comfort may be making the questions that he claims to have been asked by atheists up out of whole cloth. I don’t think this is the case – looking at the following question (which is direct from the page, and not in the YOM or WND articles) I think we are talking about real questions coming from real people trying to bait and ensnare Comfort. Also, Comfort may well possess a sense of humour, though that’s neither here nor there.
“Ray, have you quit beating your wife yet?” Lori L[redacted]
No I haven’t. Scrabble is such a great game. Speaking of games and wives, Sue and I enjoy watching rugby. However, we don’t like it when a particular rival team plays our home team in New Zealand. Those games are too stressful. So we record them, check the results, and if we lose we don’t watch it. We only watch the games we win. That deals with the stress.
Read the Book of Revelation and see why Christians never stress.
Comfort dodges the immortal question-without-a-good-answer surprisingly well, but unfortunately he chooses to dodge many more legitimate queries. The first YOM answer isn’t quite that bad, however:
“Why did God give me an appendix? Why are my wind and food pipes too close together to avoid choking easily? Why do women have to go through such severe childbirth in order for our pelvis’ to be shaped in such a way we can walk upright?” Patricia B
The appendix is said to be vestigial. But it’s not. Duke University said: “Appendix Isn’t Useless at All: It’s a Safe House for Bacteria, By Duke Medicine News and Communications. Long denigrated as vestigial or useless, the appendix now appears to have a reason to be — as a ‘safe house’ for the beneficial bacteria living in the human gut.” Eat slower and it will fix your choking problem. Plenty of women who have never had children walk just fine.
Comfort is quoting the introduction to this press release from 2007. The trouble here is that “vestigial” doesn’t mean that the organ is entirely useless. Another example of a vestigial organ is the tailbone in humans: any creationist should be quick to tell you that it serves as an important muscle anchoring point (which it does). But if the tailbone was intelligently designed from scratch, without being reliant on any pre-existing structure, then why does this muscle anchoring point look just like the fused vertebrae of the stump of a tail, rather than something uniquely designed for its purpose?
The same goes for the appendix. Sure, it probably provides a home for bacteria in case of diarrhoea, but was it necessary to use for this the withered (and occasionally deadly) remnant of an organ used by other animals to digest plant matter?
I don’t know about the choking business – Comfort may have a point there – but Garnetstar at the SC blog took a closer look at the Pelvis issue for you.
The other question at YOM is a bit more of a dodge:
“I think Jesus of Nazareth would be saddened by the actions of those who worship his name.” Grant M R.
The Bible gives a list of those who will not enter the Kingdom of God: “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10) The word “revilers” means foulmouthed abusive slanderous people. Revilers are rooted in disobedience to the Gospel, often denying the reality of His existence and abusing those who love Him. So instead of making up thoughts about Jesus being sad, we should base our theology on Holy Scripture to see what it sees about how He feels: “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power…” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).
To be fair, “Grant M R” did not provide much in the way of specifics, but Comfort’s “answer” doesn’t even try to address the issue – which is that there are plenty of “extortioners” and the like who profess to be Christian. I’ll add that neither of those quotes are from Jesus, but instead are supposed to be from Paul’s letters.
YOM claims to be about “conversations,” but looking at their page they don’t seem to be very good at it. Also starting this week is a series called “Dorm Conversation.” They ask “How can science put “evolution” to the test?” – the sole response answers:
To answer the question at the end, I suspect many in science would claim evolution has repeatedly been tested since Darwin published his Origin of Species. One simple test though I feel should be done. We should be able to observe non-living matter via spontaneous generation evolve into life on earth, somewhere and likely in numerous locations. Seems like a simple enough test.
That’s not evolution, that’s “spontaneous generation” – the creationists’ idea of abiogenesis. Has anyone here got a better idea?