Saturday, October 9, 2010

#79: Ray Comfort

A.k.a The Banana Man

Quite possibly the densest man on earth, and at the very least the guy behind the famous banana argument (probably the stupidest argument on the Internet, and the competition is pretty fierce). Watch it here in all its glory (the sound isn’t the best – maybe there’s a better version around).

Subject to a thorough (and hilarious) analysis here.

One curiosity, though: As other commenters have pointed out, since the main thrust of the argument is that the banana is clearly designed for its purpose (being eaten) by fitting perfectly in the human hand and mouth, the argument should also be extendable to other, roughly banana-shaped items that also fit well in various human orifices or hands (but which fundies tend to claim should be kept out of these). Keeping that in mind, pay attention to (roughly) 0.39–0.42, where Comfort says: “when you pull the tab [of the banana] the contents don’t squirt in your face”. Why does Comfort fear or think that a banana would squirt in his face? What is really going on here?

Comfort is New Zealand-born, but operates in the US, and as such qualifies for inclusion in our Encyclopedia (OK, real reason: he’s got to be in here, come on). Other sources, e.g. Rationalwiki, suspects that Comfort may be a deep-cover atheist out to destroy the creationist movement from the inside. He works closely with the equally dim Kirk Cameron to produce the Way of the Master series, TV and radio shows, and Internet articles (and the ID board game: brilliant). His blog seems to have mainly atheist readers. Do visit it. It’s hilarious.

A couple of Comfort highlights:

Comfort claiming that the Bible is a science textbook.

The debacle concerning his knock-down argument against evolution, the point that there would be a cosmic coincidence for a male to evolve and a suitable female to evolve in the exact right manner at the same time, discussed here and here (this one is priceless).

Concocted his own edition of the Origin of Species to hand out to students at various universities, with a fifty pages long foreword written by himself (repeating the usual creationist drivel, not understanding a word of the science, partially copied and pasted off the Internet and with subsequent legal action being considered) Part of the situation is summed up here (the male/female argument makes a reappearance).

Comfort on atheists, Muslims and chickens.

Apparently he also runs an Agony Aunt column.

Comfort on the swineflu “showing how useless and sometimes deadly a mutation can be”. So because the swineflu is detrimental to humans, it is evidence that all mutations are detrimental to survival and so undermines evolution. That’s seriously the argument.

Then there is the electricity argument against atheism.

And the usual Godwin stuff.

And so on, and so forth.

Has written books as well (something like 60 of them), such as “You can lead an atheist to evidence, but you can’t make him think”. Several of his more famous arguments were first presented there.

Diagnosis: Possibly the densest person alive. He does make the world a more entertaining place and can hardly be claimed to boost the popularity of ID. I’ll nominate him for the Templeton Prize anytime. He really should get it (and thereby hopefully put an end to that institution).

9 comments:

  1. At least his abortion "documentary" has stirred up some controversy (although it has been endorsed by several rightwing fundamentalist groups.

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  2. Btw, here is a fair and balanced review of said "documentary".

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  3. Here's Ray Comfort vs. Debbie Goddard. Comfort doesn't win.

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  4. Poor Ray, you almost have to feel bad for the guy. Almost.

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  5. Here is Comfort disproving evolution again, and it is just as compelling as always.

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  6. More creationist ignorance from Comfort's column at the WND, if anyone cares.

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  7. Comfort joins forces with Ken Ham to comprehensively fail to understand science. And he still seems to see design in fruits.

    He also has a new collection of quote-mines out.

    And btw - Skepdics Comfort page is pretty comprehensive and worth visiting.

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