Thursday, April 17, 2008

Ray Comfort's new book

Ray's new book says:
“I don’t claim to be a great expert on the subject of evolution, but I have quoted well-known evolutionists, who reveal in their own words, the unscientific nature of that in which they have so blindly placed their faith."

Not only is Ray not a great expert on Evolution, but he is also not a great expert on conducting simply high-school level research. As others have already shown, the quotes provided are not taken from their sources, but rather, filtered through several layers of Creationist editors, who removed the context of the quotes, removed words or phrases, or cut the sentence off before it concluded. Such quote-mining and editing is poor journalism, dishonest, and well, flat out LAZY. But hey, Ray has a ministry with it's own publicity department, and he will get followers of his ministry and other people who are already true believers to buy it, and that's what's really important to people running a ministry -- cash flow.

Ray continues:
"So it’s now up to you to make a choice as to whether you are a believer or not, and then to follow the implications. When you read this book, keep in mind the wise words of Richard Dawkins: ‘And, next time somebody tells you that something is true, why not say to them: ‘What kind of evidence is there for that?’ And if they can't give you a good answer, I hope you'll think very carefully before you believe a word they say.’”

As we shall see, Ray hasn't even followed the advice of Dawkins, which he is endorsing by quoting him and asking us to follow the advice. See, Ray doesn't know what a good answer is with respect to scientific issues -- remember, he's an admitted non-expert, and not only doesn't provide any technical documentation to back up any claims of creationism, but he simply accepted that these people he quotes actually said what they said without actually researching the quotes in their original context.

Now the quotes!

“I would rather believe in fairy tales than in such wild speculation.” —Ernst Chain, Nobel Prize winner

Interesting. But the guy was not even talking about evolution. He was talking about abiogenesis, which, at the time, was just a speculation. Here is the entire quote:

"I have said for years that speculations about the origins of life lead to no purpose as even the simplest living system is far too complex to be understood in terms of the extremely primitive chemistry scientists have used in their attempts to explain the unexplainable that happened billions of years ago. God cannot explained away by such naive thoughts" - Ernst Chain"

Chain made this quote in 1945, before Stanley Miller's 1956 experiments which synthesized amino acids from basic elements.

“The Darwinian theory of evolution is no more nor less than the great cosmogenic myth of the twentieth century.” — Michael Denton, Molecular Biologist

This is a true quote from Denton, but guess what? He no longer believes it. This quote comes from his book "Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (1986)". It was used by the Discovery Institute and other creationist organizations for years, until Denton had a serious reversal of opinion. After accepting microevolution as a fact, and carefully examining the evidence in the field of biology in support of evolution, he later accepted evolution. He also sent a letter to the Discovery Institute asking them to please stop using the quotes from his older book, and to remove references of him from their website.

His later book, "Nature's Destiny: How the Laws of Biology reveal Purpose in the Universe", reveals that he fully accepts the Theory of Evolution, and he even goes on to explain it in terms of "fine tuning -- that the universe was fine tuned for life, and that life evolved because the universe was designed for it. He never has advocated biblical literalism, and is not a Christian. He is more of a Diest.

“Darwin’s evolutionary explanation of the origins of man has been transformed into a modern myth, to the detriment of scientific and social progress.” —Dr. Colin Patterson, Senior Paleontologist of the British Museum Of Natural History

Here is the whole quote:
"There have been an awful lot of stories, some more imaginative than others, about what the nature of that history [of life] really is. The most famous example, still on exhibit downstairs, is the exhibit on horse evolution prepared perhaps fifty years ago. That has been presented as the literal truth in textbook after textbook. Now I think that that is lamentable, particularly when the people who propose those kinds of stories may themselves be aware of the speculative nature of some of that stuff." "The Horse Story", Harper's, p. 60, 1984.

Patterson is not an advocate of Intelligent Design or Creationism. His quote was specifically about the horse evolution exhibit, which he said is out of order, and needs revision, because it's now inaccurate in light of new evidence. The exhibit is popular, and the museum decided to keep it as is, in spite of his protests. But he does not discredit evolution at all.

Next comes perhaps the biggest joke I've seen from Ray yet. He refers to gonzo journalist Malcolm Muggeridge as a "philosopher", which I find Hilarious!

"Philosopher Malcolm Muggeridge warned that evolution will be “one of the great jokes in the history books of the future.” Millions are convinced that the theory of evolution is a proven scientific fact, which is a sad testimony to human ignorance and naivety. Hopefully, you will “think very carefully” after hearing evidence from leading evolutionists and scientists, as they reveal the baseless and unscientific nature of the theory of evolution. "

Well, not only is Muggeridge not a scientist, or qualified to comment on science, he is kind of insane, actually. To call him a "philosopher" would be akin to calling George W. Bush a "war hero".

When he was writing about Mother Theresa, he was accompanied by a photographer, who was armed with some new Kodak 1000 speed film, which was, at the time, a major breakthough for Kodak. It was a film that was designed to get brighter pictures in low light conditions. When pictures were taken with it, Muggeridge saw the developed photos, and concluded that since they were filmed in low light, that Mother Teresa was "bathed in divine light", and concluded that he witnessed a miracle! The Photographer said that it was no miracle. He just used the right film for low light conditions, and Muggeridge was unaware of the film's existence. Nonetheless, even after being told about the film, Muggeridge kept claiming that the miracle of Heaven's light illuminating Mother Teresa was real.

So once again, we have sloppy research, mined and carefully edited quotes, and the assertion of questionable titles to people. Ray Comfort's book is nothing that will convince anyone but the true believers.

5 comments:

Jason said...

David,

I see that when you supply the quote Ray gives, followed by the whole quote, that the whole quote doesn't contain what Ray gives. I'm a little curious as to why. Does your quoted section immediately follow or precede Ray's quoted section? Could you explain it for me?

Brain Dead Atheist said...

Your blog is a WASTE of space! Your 'conjectures' and 'theories' are baseless.

Otherwise, they would be evidence. Stop spreading your propaganda across the internet. SHT for brains! Get a Job, go to church, and change your Pathetic 'geek' life.

CUTTING what you want from a quote is immature and gutless... Punk!

Brain Dead Atheist said...

Go to HELL, where you BELONG!

Jason said...

Hi Terry Burton!

David W. Irish said...

Hey Brain Dead Atheist,

Welcome to my blog. Your post adds a level of dignity and maturity that will only improve things.

Thank you!