How to Know God Exists: Scientific Proof of God is a book authored by Ray Comfort.
Ray Comfort hopes to provide a case that the existence of God can be proven, scientifically he says. Throughout the book, he provides many of his old arguments that are known to be flawed. He further displays a great lack of understanding of science. He bashes and targets atheism and evolution, as if disproving one position makes his win by default. Evolution does not disprove God, many Christians accept evolution and believe in God. Evolution, however, does contradict a literal interpretation of the book of Genesis, and this is precisely why Ray Comfort is defending; creationism. Creationism is the position everything was created by God out of thin air from nothing. The book of Genesis has God saying "Let there be..." and there was and it was good. This is a form of an incantation (i.e. MAGIC), and thus Ray is arguing for a supernatural position with science, but it is clear science cannot prove the supernatural.
Anyway, on with the review...
Chapter 1: Are Atheists Smarter than Most?
Ray starts off by telling a story of his wife and a series of events in his life. One of these includes accidentally walking into a room with a couple in their underwear. Based on this, Ray calls himself a klutz, but could a klutz make an case against evolution?
Actually, Ray, the correct question would be can a scientific-illiterate make any case against the strongest scientific theory that is a proven fact.
Ray outlines that if there is no God, then the only purpose in life is pleasure. However, if there is a God, then we are morally obliged to him.
This is incorrect. As Christopher Hitches, and many secular dissents discuss, why should we be morally obliged to some incorporeal entity?
Mr. Joe Average
Ray creates a character Joe Average, a typical atheist or agnostic.
With this, Ray creates a character whose intellect and knowledge is limited and restricted by Ray, and will likely give the type of responses that Ray will easily break down.
Joe does not think about creation (perhaps, Ray, is because he knows there is no creation), but Comfort says Joe's body is a miracle machine. Ray compares it to a robot built in Japan. The differences between the two is that Joe has certain senses and can walk upright without someone holding it up. Ray goes into detail of the human anatomy and concludes this could only be the work of a designer. Mankind has given robots certain senses, such as light-sensitivity, movement sensors, and such. Recent robots have been manufactured to walk, dance, and perform tricks without a human holding it.
Ray goes on to look closely at Joe's life at breakfast, and how everything he eats came from a living creature. Joe then examines his environment with his senses, which Ray always calls "God-given." When asked to provide proof that God created the cow that produced the butter for Joe's toast, Ray challenges anyone to create a cow from nothing.
Comfort knows what he is demanding is completely wrong. Comfort is the one who is defending magical creation, thus he has to provide empirical proof of creation and present that some material can be created from nothing.
Ray provides a poll from 2007 that 91 percent of the American population believes in God. However, the recent poll shows it is close to 80. Ray questions if this minority is smarter than the majority. Ray defines an atheist as "someone who believes there is no God."
This is also incorrect, and atheist is someone who lacks a belief in God. Just as a person lacks a belief in the Flying Spaghetti Monster, no one would argue they believe he does not exist, they are just unconvinced that he does exist. Rays argument that atheists are a minority is fallacious. In much of the world, even people who accept evolution and a natural origin for stars and worlds are a minority. How likely is it that non-creationists are right when so much of the world is wrong? Of course, this argument has its problems: four hundred years ago, heliocentrists were a minority. Evidence, not mere numbers giving uninformed assent, is relevant here. Ray varies the appeal to the wisdom of the masses with an appeal to the wisdom of geniuses: Einstein, he assures us, believed in God. Not necessarily a personal God, not a God Who inspired an inerrant Holy Bible, and especially not a God Who judged and forgave us, but Something that Einstein thought was not quite the same as the universe itself (Einstein did not want to call himself a pantheist). Oddly, Ray doesn't present us with Einstein's arguments for God (or perhaps this is not so odd, as Einstein didn't actually present such arguments), but appeals to the authority of cosmologists as he appeals to the authority of popular opinion.
Ray ends this section that there is proof of God and his existence God can be proven, and this book will explain how.
We have heard that one before Ray, even many times from you. Ray Comfort proposed that he could prove the existence of God on Nightline with a debate with the Rational Response Squad without invoking faith or the Bible (spoiler: that did not happen and Ray failed to prove God).
Ray first notes that the reader should keep an open mind throughout the book.
This is coming from a guy who refuses to even consider the actual evidence science presents. Ray says that no theory claims to have absolute truth, which is actually correct. However, this honesty is short-lived. Ray says science is constantly refining what a theory is. The more appropriate word is update when new data is collected, but if a model no longer provides a provable explanation for things, a new model replaces it. This has not happened in the past 150 years in regards to evolution, we continue to find evidence that support evolution and we observe speciation today.
Ray says God's existence can be proven in the following fields of science,
- Physical sciences (physics)
- Earth sciences (the structure and compositions of earth)
- Life sciences (biology)
Ray says the origin of the word "science" comes from the Latin word scientificus which means "producing knowledge."
This is incorrect. Science actually comes from the Latin word scientia, meaning "knowledge." What he does not understand is that science makes no comment on the supernatural, and thus all of Comforts "sciences" above will be futile in proving the existence of God.
Ray's first proposed evidence for the existence of God is the Anthropic principle.
This principle is defeated simply because it is a tautology, weakened by the fact of quantum mechanics and the multiverse. The Copernican Principle is more accurate. The Copernican Principle is the opposite of the Anthropic Principle and states that humans do not occupy a privileged place in the universe. Successive astronomical discoveries seem to support this principle. The Anthropic Principle emphasizes the rarity of life and consciousness while the Copernican Principle forces us to realize it was not all done just so we could exist.
According to Comfort, there are three types of knowledge that each can prove the existence of God,
- Intellectual knowledge
- Subconscious knowledge
- Experiential knowledge
The first evidence for God Ray will examine is "creation."
Millions of Years
Ray begins this section with his Coca-cola can analogy (which is a straw-man of the Big Bang Theory. Comfort's analogy is not even a hypothesis.) This is how it goes: there was nothing, which exploded and produced everything. Over billions of years, a big rock forms. On top of this rock forms a muddy puddle, from which metal arises. Then red and white paints fall from the sky and land on the metal, so accurately it forms words and pattens. And thus, the modern Coke can is formed. The response Ray provides is that his analogy is ridiculous. Ray tries to turns the table by saying: we know the coke can had a maker, to believe it formed on its own by random chance is too move into an intellectual-free zone.
By this logic, does lightning have a lightning maker? What about the patterns we see in snowflakes and crystals, and yet we know for a fact they form from natural forces. If we accept the idea that everything must have a creator, Ray fails to provide any proof that the creator is his narrow concept of God, or if it is even his God or multiple Gods, or even aliens, gnomes, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Ray calls this analogy a "parody of evolution." However, this is not a parody, it is a straw man, and it is not even about evolution. As explained to Ray many times, evolution is not connected to Cosmology or the earlier stages of Abiogenesis before self=replicating molecules emerged. Whenever the term 'evolution is applied in these fields it simply means "change over time." At all times, everything is subject to change. The Big Bang Theory does not say everything came from nothing, creationism does.
Ray moves on from the Coke can and mentions on his show Way of the Master that Ray used this argument along with another analogy using the banana.
Comfort appeals to authority by quoting Sir Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein as men who believed there was a Creator. While Ray admits that Einstein did not believe in a personal God, Ray tries to portray him in that sort of life, such as by quoting friends of Einstein who viewed Einstein as a "disguised theologian." The reason why they accepted a creator, according to Ray, was because they could see order and design in the universe.
Neither of these point to a creator. We may seen design in the universe, but that does not mean the universe as a whole was designed. We also see massive amounts of non-design and disorder.
Ray uses his old arguments that a building had a builder and a painting had a painter, similarly creation proves there is a creator. Ray says you do not need faith to believe in a creator, you just need eyes that can see and a brain that works.
As already pointed out to him, by the Rational Response Squad and many others, we can prove that a building had a builder. We can contact the engineer, cities parking structure, the electrician, and others. We can do the same with a painting, we can contact the canvas maker, the paint maker, the artist, etc. however, we cannot contact God to take us to his "creation factory."
The reason why his creation requires a creator argument fails is that Ray, basing his views on a presupposition, is merely assume everything as a creation and labeling it so. Simply labeling something does not change its character or its origin. Ray says that accepting his "creation requires a creator" argument is "logical, reasonable, and scientific."
First of all, this argument begs the question of which creator? Ray cannot provide any tests to point that the creator is his narrow version of a creator and not some invisible sky pixie, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or multiple creators. The reason why his argument is not reasonable or logical is because it has no evidence to support itself, contains several logical fallacies, and it breaks down the moment you bring God into question. Ray says God did not have a creator, so then why can't energy have no creator? The law of physics already states that energy cannot be created, and matter is composed of energy, so therefore the universe does not require a creator nor did it come from "nothing." The reason why Ray's argument is not scientific is because he has not and cannot provide any empirical data or falsifiable tests to prove that there is a creator(s). During a debate with the Atheist Experience, Ray admitted that all the testing that is requires is "common sense." This, of course, is ludicrous. Common sense at one point told us that the earth was fixed and stationary and all other objects orbited around our planet. However, as new data was collected and tests were done, we learned that what we previously once believed was not true. Everything we have learned about our universe does not hint or provide any reason that our universe was the product of some divine creation. Science has proven that our universe can arise naturally without any supernatural intervention.
Chapter 2: Absurd in the Highest Degree
This chapter mainly addresses intelligent design and the human eye. Ray has used this argument many times, and it is still unconvincing as ever. He goes into detail about how marvelous the eye is, how fast blinking is, the light sensitive cells, sight, etc.
What he does not include is that there are flaws in the human eye, such as a blind spot, or that images are sent to our brains backwards and upside down.
Ray includes several quote mines, most notable is the one from Charles Darwin.
To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree.
The quote is taken out of context and is a common piece of creationist dishonest propaganda. Here is the full paragraph with the omitted section in bold
To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree. Yet reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a perfect and complex eye to one very imperfect and simple, each grade being useful to its possessor, can be shown to exist; if further, the eye does vary ever so slightly, and the variations be inherited, which is certainly the case; and if any variation or modification in the organ be ever useful to an animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, can hardly be considered real. How a nerve comes to be sensitive to light, hardly concerns us more than how life itself first originated; but I may remark that several facts make me suspect that any sensitive nerve may be rendered sensitive to light, and likewise to those coarser vibrations of the air which produce sound.
Darwin continues with three more pages describing a sequence of plausible intermediate stages between eyelessness and human eyes, giving examples from existing organisms to show that the intermediates are viable. Scientists have shown that these stages did indeed happen through natural selection.
Besides the eye, Ray focuses special attention on the ear and the nose.
Both bear vestiges of an evolutionary history, supported by the fossil record (as seen in the transition from reptile to mammal). Not much complexity is needed for a functional ear. All that is necessary is a nerve connected to something that can vibrate. Insects have evolved "ears" on at least eleven different parts of their bodies, from antennae to legs (Hoy and Robert 1996). Even humans detect very low frequencies via tactile sensation, not through their ears.
Comfort ends the chapter by arguing that we don't need faith to know that God exists, because the Bible declares that God's existence is obvious from evidence.
This is obviously not true. If the evidence for God was obvious, then the matter would have been settled way before the Greek philosophers. God, as described by theists, keeps changing over the years as new data is collected. Presently, God as described by theists does not agree with the current data.
- A God who is responsible for the complex structure of the world, especially living things, fails to agree with empirical fact that this structure can be understood to arise from simple natural processes and shows none of the expected signs of design. Indeed, the universe looks as it should look in the absence of design.
- A God who has given humans immortal souls fails to agree with the empirical facts that human memories and personalities are determined by physical processes, that no nonphysical or extraphysical powers of the mind can be found, and that no evidence exists for an afterlife.
- A God who miraculously and supernaturally created the universe fails to agree with the empirical fact that no violations of physical law were required to produce the universe, its laws, or its existence rather than nonexistence. It also fails to agree with established theories, based on empirical facts, which indicate that the universe began with maximum entropy and so bears no imprint of a creator.
- A God who communicates directly with humans by means of revelation fails to agree with the fact that no claimed revelation has ever been confirmed empirically, while many have been falsified. No claimed revelation contains information that could not have been already in the head of the person making the claim.
Chapter 3: Is Evolution Scientific?
The first line of this chapter says "The foundation of atheism is the theory of evolution."
Ray is wrong, and he knows it. Atheism does not require acceptance of evolution, or vice-versa. Many Christians accept evolution, and some atheists do not. Evolution does not refute God.
This chapter focuses on whether evolution is not only a fact, but also scientific. Ray includes a quote that explains evolution is a historical science and we search for fossils to fit the theory. It also states evolution cannot be directly tested. Ray argues that none of the scientists were there at the beginning, but if we want to prove evolution is true with historical evidence, we should find evidence for the following:
- How the universe began
- How life began
- How we have such diversity of life
All of these, according to Ray, should have evidence of random causes and natural explanations.
It has been pointed out to Ray many times that evolution does not comment or even try to prove the origin of the universe or life, yet he refuses to accept this fact otherwise he would become honest. This is an old creationist straw man of what evolution actually explains. Evolution is not random as Comfort constantly tries to label it. Evolution can be and has been tested countless times. Also, the "were you there?" argument fails, because we have visual images of then (fossils) and evolution continues to this day (speciation). However, we were not there to witness creation or the birth of Jesus.
Origin of the Universe
Ray argues that people do not accept God because they cannot comprehend an eternal being, but they will accept what scientists tell them that the universe is eternal. Ray says if you accept an eternal universe, it is "logically" possible to accept an eternal being like God.
What Ray is careful not to include is Occam's Razor that refutes the concept of an eternal being who created the universe. This has been pointed out to him during a debate with the Rational Response Squad, which left him and Kirk Cameron speechless with no counter argument and hesitant to reply with only "I think the people can figure it out" (in a low voice). Also, just merely conceiving an eternal thing does not mean all eternal concepts exist in reality. It is possible to conceive a unicorn, but that does not mean they exist in reality.
Ray goes on to explain scientists have proven the universe had a beginning (but he does not go any further than that to explain how). Ray brings up the question "Who created God?" but dances around it and does not answer it. Next he addresses the Big Bang Theory, which Ray claims it says everything came from nothing.
This dead horse is taking a hefty beating. The Big Bang does not say the universe came from nothing; creationism does. The Big Bang does not prove the universe had a beginning, just the start of time in this universe, but the theory does not hold that everything had a beginning.
Comfort firmly believes the evidence (which he does not source) says the universe is not eternal and must have had a beginning. The two dilemmas set forth by Comfort are 1) where did matter come from and 2) what caused it to go "bang"?
However, these are not dilemmas at all. Matter is made of energy, which did not have to come from anywhere because the law says energy cannot be created. What caused it to go bang? Simple, it became unstable.
Comfort quotes cosmologist Andrei Linde, professor of physics and Standford University,
The first, the main, problem is the very existence of the big bang. One may wonder, what came before? If space-time did not exist then, how could everything appear from nothing? What arose first? The universe or the laws determining its evolution? Explaining this initial singularity—where and when it all began—still remains the most intractable problem of modern cosmology.
Comfort does not provide anything further from Andrei Linde, nor does he offer any other explanation from any other scientist whose expert field is in cosmology, physics, etc.
Comfort uses his coke can argument, arguing that if people find it nonsense then how is the Big Bang any more scientific?
The difference is that the Big Bang has evidence to support it and it has provided powerful predictions that have been proven true. Comfort's coke can argument has none of the above, it is rather a straw man argument of what the Big Bang Theory actually proposes.
However, Comfort concludes that no matter what, we all must accept the "logical, reasonable, and scientific" conclusion: a uncaused cause. Comfort argues that there has never been an instance when something has come from nothing; such an occurrence is un-scientific.
Comfort has it completely back-asswards. Not once in this section (or entire chapter) has Comfort provided studies, peer reviewed work, or predictions that can be falsified so this is not scientific. It is not logical or reasonable since there is no evidence to support it and its foundation breaks apart from what we have actually discovered about the universe and when you compare the same logic to God. Once the same arguments and logic is used for God, then it just vanishes. If God can be uncaused, then so could the universe. What Comfort is aiming for is a god of the gaps fallacy.
Comfort provides a quote from Charles Darwin seeming to agree that there must have been a first cause and that cause was God.
The impossibility of conceiving that this grand an wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God...I am aware that if we admit a first cause, the mind still craves to know whence it came and how it arose.
Charles Darwin was in his younger years a theist, however this does not prove anything. This is an appeal to authority. Many great men and women believe in God (or any other diety) and many don't. Charles Darwin himself later on accepted there was no God: he changed his mind. Based on Ray's logic, even a smart man like Darwin can see through the fallacy and irrationality of believing in a higher power of some sort.
Next, Comfort quote-mines Stephen Hawking to give the appearance that he and Einstein agreed that the universe appears fine-tuned.
In conclusion, Comfort argues that evolution cannot account for the origin or complexity of the universe and the only options are 1) no one created everything out of nothing or 2) someone (an intelligent, omnipotent, eternal First Cause) created everything from nothing.
However, Comfort's points are not just fallacious; they are dishonest. Evolution, by its nature, plays no role whatsoever in cosmology, chemistry, physics, or any other field outside of biology. When evolution is used in the context of explaining things in space, it simple means "change over time," not the biological definition of explaining diversity and speciation. Evolution only kicks in after the development of genes, nothing before that.
For the sake of argument, if Comfort's position and presupposition of a first cause is examined, it turns out to be incorrect. First, it begs the question because it does not name or identify who the creator is, so it could not be the Christian God but instead an invisible sky pixie or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Ignoring the Christian god is not powerful enough to stop chariots of iron in Judges 1:19, the cosmos encompasses all the mass/energy available anywhere. If God possesses energy that not only created but also interacts with the material world, then, by definition, he is part of the natural universe or the universe is part of him (which is the same thing). Whatsoever God’s source of energy might be, it exists somewhere, adding to the size of the cosmos. An omnipotent God would make the cosmos infinitely massive, a fact that is contradicted by the expansion of the universe (or, if God is outside our own pocket universe, by the uniformity of such expansion), or by the fact that we are not all instantly compressed by the gravity of infinite matter or incinerated with heat by being in the presence of such a grotesquely massive black hole out there. Whenever God, who must be infinitely massive, interacts with the universe or reaches into this pocket universe) and performs miracles, by the law of gravity and attraction, all the finite matter in the universe would be sucked in by this infinite mass. This means that it is impossible for God to perform miracles such as virgin births or parting the sea.
Origin of Life
Comfort argues that evolutionists must explain the origin of life because evolution requires non-life becoming life.
However, this is incorrect. Evolution only explains the diversity of life, not the origin of life itself. How life started is irrelevant to evolution, because once life formed evolution kicks in.
Comfort argues Louis Pasteur's Law of Biogenesis which disproves "spontaneous generation" that life can come from non-life.
However, Pasteur's Law does not disprove evolution, it disproves a form of creationism. The spontaneous generation that Pasteur and others disproved was the idea that life forms such as mice, maggots, and bacteria can appear fully formed. This disproves a deity creating fully-formed creatures similarly described in a literal translation in Genesis. There is no law of biogenesis saying that very primitive life cannot form from increasingly complex molecules.
Comfort says scientists have tried for years to build even the most simple building block of life, but all have failed.
However, this is very inaccurate. Multiple studies have shown that organic material and certain materials given in certain conditions can produce the first building blocks of life. The Human Genome Project has cracked many secrets of life, we have even created a living cell from a computer - that is, all it's information and formation was created by a computer, and successfully reproduced on its own. So Ray, we have created life, and we have done it for a while. Someone needs to do their homework.
Comfort quotes Sir Frederick Hoyle on the probability of "spontaneous generation."
Apart from appealing to authority, Comfort continues to assume everything must be "spontaneous" and be fully formed based on his personal presuppositions obtained from a literal translation of the book of Genesis.
On examining the complexity of the cell, Comfort introduces Michael Denton, a intelligent design proponent. Comfort says that there is no evidence of how life could have come into being (which is absolutely not true) but instead are finding examples of complexity that can only be the result of divine intervention.
What Comfort and Michael Denton continue to fail to realize is that the first cell was not as complex as our modern cells (which had billions of years to evolve and modify new parts); in fact they were incredibly simple. The fact that life began with incredibly simple cells and became the complex cells we have today is testament to the reality of evolution.
Chapter 4: The Origin of Species
Comfort brings up several exposed frauds that supposedly proved evolution.
One hoax cannot indicate the inferiority of conventional archeology, because creationists have several of their own, including the Inca Stones, Paluxy footprints, the Calaveras skull, Moab and Malachite Man, and others. More telling is how people deal with these hoaxes. When something is exposed, it stopped being used as evidence. The creationist hoaxes, however, can still be found cited as if they were real.
Ray brings up Archaeorapture. Comfort provides a quote from Storrs L. Olson (Curator of Birds at the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian Museum),
National Geographic has reached an all-time low for engaging in sensationalistic, unsubstantiated, tabloid journalism.... The idea of feathered dinosaurs ... is now fast becoming one of the grander scientific hoaxes of our age.
Only a handful of scientists ever saw Archaeoraptor, but every one who did noted that it was composite piece, and the artistic amateurs who paid for the fossil were repeatedly warned that some parts of it might not even belong to the whole. Popular press foolishly scooped the story prior to peer review, where it was instantly exposed as a fake by multiple experts, and each submission to scientific journals was immediately rejected. Archaeoraptor therefore fooled no one in the scientific community at all. The irony there is that the tail of the alleged Archaeoraptor turned out to belong to the as-yet undiscovered Microraptor, a four-winged and apparently gliding feathered dinosaur which turned out to be even more compelling proof of avian evolution from dinosaurs than Archaeopteryx was in Darwin’s day. The scientific process of peer-review seeks out and exposes fraud by design. But antievolutionist arguments are withheld from peer-review because they are driven entirely by frauds including misstatements, out-of-context quote-mining, and contrived or distorted falsehoods, and terms erroneously redefined into instigative reactionary nonsense unintelligible as anything other than propaganda. In short, if creationists knew how to expose a fraud, they wouldn’t be creationists anymore. It's rather mind-boggling that people can still deny in their minds the existence of feathered dinosaurs. You can walk into any one of many Natural History museums all over the world and see one for yourself! Comfort Comfort claimed to have visited a museum in Paris, but saw no such creatures, meaning he choose not to see or did see but either did not know what he was looking at or decided not to tell his readers. Comfort also mistakes disagreement in science for a crisis. Disagreement is what makes science interesting. Science is progressive.
Ray moves on to address whale evolution. The first fossil he mentions is Pakicetus, and argues that all the evidence drawn from this a single skull and tells the reader that not a single bone in its body has ever been found. Later discoveries showed Pakicetus looked nothing like the original sketched by paleontologists.
This however, does nothing to counter the fact that Pakicetus still fits the link between land mammals and whales. Pakicetus rear limbs resemble flippers, but still walked upright.  Examining its skull alone tells us much about it. The shape of its skull was definitely cetacean, and its teeth were between the ancestral and modern states. Ray does not include any of the following links between land mammals and whales: Ambulocetus natans, Indocetus ramani, Dorudon, Basilosaurus, etc.
Comfort argues that same features proves same creator.
However, Comfort provides zero proof of this, nor does he even attempt to show that this creator is his particular god or a bunch of invisible sky pixies. Natural selection is a form of creator and builds up on pre-existing traits, so it is not surprising that later evolved animals will share similar features. Comfort's claim of a common-feature-common-designer cannot be tested and has no predictive power.
Next, he brings up Piltdown Man.
The British museum touted the “Piltdown man” as authentic, but the American Museum of Natural History displayed it only as a “mixture of ape and man fossils”, which is what it eventually turned out to be. There was no way to adequately examine such things back in 1915. Chemical tests –common today- didn’t yet exist and we didn’t yet have a practical understanding of radiation. And before the first australopiths were discovered, we didn’t know exactly what to expect of the links that were then still missing between humans and the other apes known at that time. But as we began filling in the gaps in human evolution with thousands of legitimate fossils, a pattern emerged which left Piltdown an increasingly obvious anomaly. Consequently it was taken off display and stored away almost continuously for decades. It lost importance in most discussions because, in light of everything else we discovered over the next few decades, it just never fit, and was eventually dismissed from the list of potential human ancestors for that reason.
As the years wore on, criticism arose against everyone who ever promoted the Piltdown collection because there seemed to be so much wrong with it. Finally, in the 1950s, it was taken back out of the box and scrutinized via more modern means. First fluorine dating revealed that it was much too recent, and it was shown to have been chemically-treated to give a false impression of its age and mineral composition. Then it was finally determined that the jaw must have come from an orangutan, and that it had been deliberately reshaped with modern tools in a well-crafted and deliberate forgery. No one knows who did it either. And more importantly, why? Errors were already known and previously reported, but few ever suspected fraud because, what would be the motive? Nearly everyone who stood accused was a man of high reputation and credentials. Maybe that was the motive. Maybe Piltdown man was just a joke that had gone too far. But no one was laughing, and they weren’t going to let it happen again.
Comfort even says the horse evolution is entirely fictional. He uses a quote from Boyce Rensberger addressing the fossil record and horses,
The popularly-told example of horse evolution, suggesting a gradual sequence of changes from four-toed fox-sized creatures living nearly 50 million years ago to today’s much larger one-toed horse, has long been known to be wrong. Instead of gradual change, fossils of each intermediate species appear fully distinct, persist unchanged, and then become extinct. Transitional forms are unknown.
This is completely incorrect. Comfort's dishonesty may know no bounds. This quote, taken out of context, is from a 1980 article about a four-day meeting at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago attended, so the article says, by 150 scientists and a very few observers. The mechanisms of evolution were discussed at the meeting, but the article focuses on Punctuated equilibrium.
Transitional fossils for horse evolution do exist. As Kathleen Hunt points out in her article "Horse Evolution",
As new fossils were discovered, though, it became clear that the old model of horse evolution was a serious oversimplification. The ancestors of the modern horse were roughly what that series showed, and were clear evidence that evolution had occurred. But it was misleading to portComfort horse evolution in that smooth straight line, for two reasons:
- First, horse evolution didn't proceed in a straight line. We now know of many other branches of horse evolution. Our familiar Equus is merely one twig on a once-flourishing bush of equine species. We only have the illusion of straight-line evolution because Equus is the only twig that survived. (See Gould's essay "Life's Little Joke" in Bully for Brontosaurus for more on this topic.)
- Second, horse evolution was not smooth and gradual. Different traits evolved at different rates, didn't always evolve together, and occasionally reversed "direction". Also, horse species did not always come into being by gradual transformation ("anagenesis") of their ancestors; instead, sometimes new species "split off" from ancestors ("cladogenesis") and then co-existed with those ancestors for some time. Some species arose gradually, others suddenly.
Overall, the horse family demonstrates the diversity of evolutionary mechanisms, and it would be misleading -- and would be a real pity -- to reduce it to an oversimplified straight-line diagram.
Near the end, Ray returns to his apologetic preaching tactics and playing with peoples fears instead of relying on actual empirical proof (so much for being scientific Ray). He uses his tactic are you a good person? and using the Ten Commandments. After questioning, based on God's standards if you will be guilty or not, Ray brings up recent polls that a majority of Americans think Hell is real.
However, reality is not altered by popular vote. There still remains not a shred of proof of such a place like hell.
Ray says Hell is a rightful place for people like Hitler. Comfort warns us that God also judges our thought life (greed, selflessness, pride, lust, hatred, etc.) Ray asks if the reader is concerned about their fate and are probably trying to figure out which religion to choose. Ray says he will explain why you should pick Christianity in the next chapter.
The problem with this line of thinking, Ray first sets up a scenario that traps everyone that makes nobody innocent, and provides a method of salvation that only his narrow version of God can help. Basically, he is just providing the readers with snake oil.
Chapter 5: Mutant Turtles
This chapter is mostly about mutants with very little to do with turtles. The only time Comfort mentions turtles is to question where are the transitional fossils for turtles.
He claims there are none, but this is not true. There is Odontochelys semistestacea, a toothed (unlike toothless modern turtles) proto-turtle with a plastron (belly armor) but no shell on its back (to be sure, it is possible that this represents the secondary loss of an already-evolved upper shell), but transitional fossils leading up to true turtles are still rare. This does not, of course, make those australopiths and early hominines, whales with hind legs and small heads, feathered theropods, genetics, ERVs, etc. go away. Remember, gaps are expected to be in the fossil record, but already the fossil record is very rich and transitional fossils are still being uncovered by the bush full.
Ray also briefly discusses vestigial organs, dismissing them as evidence for evolution on the grounds that they represent a loss rather than a gain of information, and because it can never be demonstrated conclusively that a vestige has no function.
However, "Vestigial" does not mean an organ is useless. A vestige is a "trace or visible sign left by something lost or vanished."
Most of the chapter is about why mutations do not enable one "kind" to evolve into another. Ray spends a surprising number of lines and quote-mines to argue that mutations are random (this is in connection with a misunderstanding of punctuated equilibria, which Ray apparently thinks means that environmental pressures can cause a lizard to lay an egg that hatches out into a robin).
That's not how he puts it; he argues that mutations exist before the environmental conditions that select for or against them, and do not arise in response to need, but then, that's more or less what "random mutations" means. He offers no dissent from the view that mutations occur, that they occur frequently, and that a few of them are beneficial, and that different mutations are beneficial in different environments. So we may take Ray as conceding that mutations occur and can be, on rare occasions, beneficial.
Ray argues that mutations do not "add information."
For the sake of argument, he says even if they do, this added information cannot accumulate to produce novel organs, structures, and abilities. Ray is not nearly so clear on what "added information" actually would be, or how one would determine or compare the information content of a gene as he is that whatever information is, mutations cannot create it. We have seen mutations give rise to new abilities. For example we’ve identified an emerging population of tetrachromatic women who can see a bit of the normally invisible ultraviolet spectrum. Another example is the CCR5-delta 32 mutation. About 10% of whites of European origin now carry it. But the incidence is only 2% in central Asia, and is completely absent among East Asians, Africans, and tribal Americans. It appears to have suddenly become relatively common among white Europeans about 700 years ago, evidently as a result of the Black Plague, indicating another example of natural selection allowing one gene dominance in a changing environment. It is harmless or neutral in every respect other than its one clearly beneficial feature. According to Science-Frontiers.com, if one inherits this gene from both parents, they will be especially resistant, if not immune to AIDS.
Mutations are degrees of variation which are usually quite subtle but cumulative, normally harmless, and occasionally advantageous. Any change in information is different information, not already present, and therefore can only be considered “new”. But of the many types of mutations known to occur, there are additions and duplications as well as deletions and the rest. So yes, genetic material can be added or taken away. But as to whether “information” has been added as opposed to lost, we can’t really tell because creationists won’t tell us what they think “information” is or how to measure it. They’ll readily state (as if it had somehow been confirmed) that it takes more "information" to make a bird than it does a dinosaur, but if you ask 'em how much more, they’ll shut right up.
Ray goes on but provides several quote mines, including one from Francisco Ayala (a strong a critic of creationism and the intelligent design movement) to make the appearance Ayala thinks that mutations cannot accumulate into new structures. Ray concludes that even if mutations add information, this added information can't keep accumulating into a new structure. What use, Comfort asks (quoting Stephen Gould) would two percent of a wing be?
Scientific-illiterate Ray describes a 2% wing as a tiny, useless stub sticking out of the side of a bird that provides zero help for flight.
What is 2% of a wing? One might be inclined to start with coelurosaurs, and see that 2% wing in the arm of something like the down-covered forelimb of Sinosauropteryx: in this case, that two percent would be an insulated, grasping or climbing arm. It would not work as a wing, but it would work as a forelimb suitable for a warm-blooded predator. A 20% arm would be something with more complete feathers, used for display, to look larger and more threatening or to impress potential mates, and a 50% wing (say, something like the fore- and hind limbs of Microraptor) would be useful for gliding (analogous to the "half-formed wings" of flying squirrels).
Chapter 6: Science and Atheism
Comfort repeats the fallacious fine-tuning argument, abiogenesis and evolution is impossible.
Ray asserts that there is no evidence to support evolution.
He may be right, if the following did not exist: transitional fossils, comparative anatomy, comparative genomics, ERVs, pseudogenes, biogeography, ontology, phylogeny, and so on and so on. Ray goes on to use the Law of Biogenesis to counter evolution, which permits Brussels sprouts and cauliflower to be bred from the same species, somehow prevents changes from accumulating enough to transgress the nebulous boundaries around "created kinds."
Comfort quote mines Stephen J. Gould that Homo sapiens is a "glorious accident."
Ray goes on to question the chances of evolution, that is that everything had to have happened at the right times.
The rest of the chapter consists of bringing up smart people who believed in God.
This is a fallacy known as appeal to authority.
Ray asserts that science cannot contradict Christianity, since science arose in a Christian culture, and that faith itself cannot be a problem, since since we all have faith in something, whether God or human reason.
Lets address both parts,
1) As many scholars and historians would point out, Christianity was not responsible for the blossom of science. Science predates Christianity, back to the ancient Greeks (who were pagans). If science did arise in Christian Western culture, then why did it take centuries for it to come into being? Also, after the fall of the western half of the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire (a Christian Empire) remained for many years, and yet science did not arise in that time - nor did it rise under Charlemagne, inside the Vatican, or any other church. Rather, new scientific discoveries were forced to be silenced because it contradicted Christian theology.
2) Faith" in the working of your computer or your car or your logic is not the same thing as "faith" that some collection of ancient writings simply must be self-consistent and inerrant, and that any evidence to the contrary must be fake or misunderstood. Ray tries to ask us to give up faith in mere humans for faith in humans' infallible Creator, but he must end up asking us to keep that faith in mere humans, and add to it faith in a set of ideas compiled and interpreted by more mere humans.
Chapter 7: Evolution's Strange Dilemma
Ray begins by pointing out that humans are widely religious; the overwhelming majority of humans today and historically accept not only that they were designed but that the Designer has (or designers have) a personal interest in them. If, Ray asks, evolution is supposed to have shaped our minds to grasp and deal with reality, why is there such widespread acceptance of Something that atheists insist is not real and has no real evidence? If evolution has shaped our faculties for purposes -- if we hunger because we need food, and food exists, and we feel thirsty because we need water and water exists, and we feel sexual desire because we need sex to reproduce (and it exists), then ought we not consider, indeed embrace, the idea that we (many of us, anyway) feel a need for God because God exists and we really need Him?
This is not much a dilemma at all, since evolutionists have proposed various explanations for religion.  Religions themselves evolve.
Ray notes that even surviving stone-age tribes accept that murder and theft and adultery are bad. Why, he asks, are humans uniquely and (almost) universally moral animals? He argues that without a Creator, we have no basis for absolute morals, so a moral nature is further evidence for a Creator.
However, morality comes from within humanity through evolution. A moral sense is something shaped by natural selection to enable us to live in groups and cooperate for mutual benefit. How does a Creator provide a basis for absolute morality? Here is a real dilemma Ray: Euthyphro dilemma. Does God say something is evil because he says so, or does he say it is evil simply because it is evil? Plus, if the Bible does provide an absolute objective moral system, where is it? Why cant genuine Christians agree on certain issues or agree what God thinks and what he wants?
Ray ends the chapter with his classic "are you a good person?"
Chapter 8: The Four Gifts
Ray begins this chapter presuming the reader believes in God and know that they will be judged. Ray then uses his parachute analogy, that is that if you were in a plane that was going down and people offered you a variety of gifts, you would reject them. However, when someone offers you a parachute, you take it and put your trust in it to save your life. He compares this parachute with faith in Jesus Christ.
This however, is an flawed argument known as Pascal's Wager. Ray Comfort says his parachute (provided by his invisible friend) is safe and harmless, but suddenly another passenger tells you "Don't use his parachute, it has holes in it. Use mine provided by my invisible friend." Then a third passenger announces “My invisible friend slashed all the parachutes on board. He takes care of his chosen people, and as none of you were born into the correct lineage, it’s too bad for you.” Some people refuse parachutes and urge others to do the same, because it would interfere with the master plan of the father of their invisible friend (these are the same people who refuse medical care in favor of prayer and faith healing). The drama goes on with the rest of the passengers, until you demand to actually see proof of a doomed plane and which parachute does work. Some say you must not demand for evidence and just have faith. Regardless, you inspect the plane and the parachutes. The plane is operating just fine in every way and each parachute has holes in them big enough you can fit your head through them. Some of the parachutes terribly constrict people, harming them. The plane reaches its destination safely, but the drama continues through the terminal, security, all the way out beyond the airport. You learn from airports around the world that many people have harmed many others and themselves due to their faith in their parachute provided by their particular invisible friend.
Chapter 9: Three Wise Fools
If you were expecting this chapter to include names of humans greatest thinkers, too bad. Instead, Ray creates three skeptics just like Ray created Mr. Joe Average in the first chapter.
These three skeptics are on their way to see a test of electricity. These skeptics do not "believe" in electric power because they cannot observe it. Even when they see a switched turned and a light bulb turned on, they still do not accept it because they find some apparent errors in a biographical sketch of Thomas Edison provided by the power company, and because electricity has been used to kill animals and people. They will not make the simple test to see if electricity is real.
What Ray is doing here is saying that skeptics will not "test" Christianity by actually believing and repenting. How does he know many skeptics have already done that? It seems the only way to impress Ray Comfort is that we have to "know" God. How do we know what we experience is not just a product of our minds. Michael Harner, and anthropologist who lived among the Jivaro Indians of the Ecuadoran Amazon, described his experience with ayahuasca as follows:
“For several hours after drinking the brew, I found myself although awake, in a world literally beyond my wildest dreams. I met bird-like people, as well as a dragon-like creature who explained they were the true Gods of this world. I enlisted the services of other spirit helpers in attempting to fly through the far reaches of the Galaxy.”
There a literally hundreds or thousands of these reported events that certain drugs, seizures, stimulations, rituals, etc. all can produce feelings and connections with higher powers.
Also, about the electric company, there's the fact that the power company makes no claims that using electricity will make you a kinder, gentler person, or that "true electricity" can never be used for bad ends, or even that its brochures are completely inerrant. If electricity can be used to murder and to execute murderers, that has no bearing whatsoever on the reality of electricity or the truth of the power company's claims. But if Christianity does not change believers' lives -- or if it does, but there are so few true believers that they get lost in the masses of false converts -- that has rather more bearing on the claims Christianity makes for itself.
Ray ends this chapter with a repeat of Pascal's Wager, reminding us that 10 out of 10 people die and we should embrace our fear of death and accept Christ.
Ray still hasn't demonstrated that his parachutes work and rival electric company's don't, or that the Bible's threats of Hell are more credible than the Koran's.
Chapter 10: This Day Was Different
In this chapter, Ray tries to argue that the Bible is clearly of supernatural origin, and hence further proof of God, and that the Bible is not actually necessary in order to know God and be saved.
Ray offers two main lines of evidence for the supernatural inspiration of the scriptural text, knowledge of creation (nature) and knowledge of the future (prophecies).
Ray insists, in the section of this chapter, that "the scriptures tell us that the Earth is round ... not flat or square."
But it obviously didn't tell Josephus, or the author of Enoch, or Lactantius Firmianus, or Theophilus of Antioch, that the Earth was a sphere. Ray says science of the day taught the earth was flat, but this is demonstrably false. Ancient Greeks calculated that the earth was spherical, such as Pythagoras in the fifth century BCE. He figured out that the Earth is a sphere without divine inspiration and with no technology not available centuries earlier; even if the Bible did clearly state that the Earth was a sphere, it would not be knowledge that proved supernatural inspiration.
Ray also interprets Hebrews 11:3 as referring to atoms.
While this would not, in itself, be astonishing (the pagan philosopher Democritus had proposed atomism four centuries earlier, and it was part of the Epicurean philosophy that is mentioned in the Bible), Ray's interpretation would imply that Christians knew by faith what Epicureans believed by human reason or speculation, which seems an odd interpretation, especially in light of the Church's long suspicion of atomism.
As for prophecies, none of the ones presented are accurate or true.
Many of them are fake/imaginary prophecies or unfulfilled prophecies There are several mundane ways in which a prediction of the future can be fulfilled:
- Retrodiction. The "prophecy" can be written or modified after the events fulfilling it have already occurred.
- Vagueness. The prophecy can be worded in such a way that people can interpret any outcome as a fulfillment. Nostradomus's prophecies are all of this type. Vagueness works particularly well when people are religiously motivated to believe the prophecies.
- Inevitability. The prophecy can predict something that is almost sure to happen, such as the collapse of a city. Since nothing lasts forever, the city is sure to fall someday. If it has not, it can be said that according to prophecy, it will.
- Denial. One can claim that the fulfilling events occurred even if they have not. Or, more commonly, one can forget that the prophecy was ever made.
- Self-fulfillment. A person can act deliberately to satisfy a known prophecy.
There are no prophecies in the Bible that cannot easily fit into one or more of those categories.
In conclusion, Ray Argues that we all have seen the evidence of Gods existence through creation, conscience, and conversion. Ray notes the Bible is not the whole source of conversion, since the early Christians did not have a complete form of the New Testament.
Chapter 11: Alleged Mistakes in the Bible
In this chapter, Ray tries to explain away the seeming contradictions in the Bible and counter claims by non-believers why the Bible should not be trusted. He says that God put is these contradictions to "snare" non-believers.
As we will see, Ray desperately pulled this feeble excuse out of the air.
Ray says that all Christians believe Scripture is God inspired, citing 2 Timothy 3:16. What Ray does not share with the reader is that 2 Timothy, along with many other NT books, is considered by a vast majority of critical scholars to be pseudepigraphical, that is it was not written by Paul but by a forger. That is right, forgers have made it into the word of God.
Comfort explains the creation of Adam, consisting of three parts: the boy, soul, and spirit. Ray claims atheists have a soul, but no spirit and thus cannot understand God. He compares them to fish in the ocean who do not know they are surrounded by water.
Ray ignores the vast amount of study that shows the evolution of the conscious. Ray says our soul is the part of our bodies that produces emotions, will, and conscience. Actually, our emotions are produced in the limbic system of our brains, not a trace of a supernatural immaterial being required for it to function. Nobody has a soul, not even Christians like Ray Comfort.
Ray says that Adam died spiritually when he sinned and God removed his Spirit from Adam. And thus, all of Adam's descendants would be spiritually dead, because according to Ray, everything produces after its own "kind" - but he never explains what kind means.
Deuteronomy 25:11, 12. Ray cites this as proof brought forth by atheists to show the Bible cannot be trusted. It tells of a woman defending her husband, and if she should touch the attackers genitals then her hand must be cut off. Ray says this type of incident has not been found anywhere is Scripture.
It may not have happened in Scripture but actually happened in real life, otherwise there would be no point of including this rule if it did not happen.
Ray says that the Bible does not literally men cut off your arm. Mark 5:30 says the same, but Ray says it is not to be taken literally.
The early christian fathers would disagree. Some actually cut off their hand and demanded their subjects to do the same, Origen was one example and several of his followers did the same. So, by what criteria does Ray use to determine which verses are literal or not? It seems the ones that are morally gruesome are not literal - all this shows is that humans can determine for themselves what is right or wrong without a higher being telling them.
Next, Ray includes the story of Lot handing his own daughters to a crowd so they can rape them. Ray says the Scriptures are instructions, so he says do not offer your daughters up to a crowd.
Ray avoided the issue at hand, the fact Lot did offer his daughters, and if the Scripture is a set of instructions, then indeed the Bible promotes giving away your daughters.
Finally, Ray points out atheists objections to the food laws in Leviticus. Ray says the purpose of this was to separate the Israelites apart from their neighbors to keep the Israelites "pure."
Comfort provides no reference of the practices and beliefs of the pagans.
Ray admits things may seem contradictory, when taken out of context.
These verses are not taken out of context, they are there for all to read. Ray settles that if such a confusion is found, he must decide to doubt or trust in God. Of course, he chooses trust, or have blind faith in a book of contradictions. If we quote a horrific verse in the Bible, Ray shouts at the top of his lungs "OUT OF CONTEXT!" but if a person quotes a verse of love in the Bible, he lets it slide unquestioned and unchallenged. If a person takes one single horrific verse from the Koran (and not a word more), Ray automatically concludes that the entire Koran is evil and should not be taken seriously. The double standard is clearly shown in this chapter the moment ray claims that each of these verses pointed out by skeptics are 'out of context.'
A Nearsighted View
Comfort compares atheists to a nearsighted person looking at the Mona Lisa, that they cannot see the beauty and meaning of the whole picture. Here, he provides 12 examples of biblical contradictions presented by atheists to distrust the Bible.
Only 12? Of course, Ray is Cherry picking the simplest contradictions. People have written novels of confirmed contradictions and discrepancies in the Bible (like The Bible Against Itself by Randel McCraw Helms), the total number is difficult to pin down - but many have counted to near A THOUSAND.
2) Proverbs 3:13;4:7-10;19:8 and 1 Corinthians 1:19-21. Ray says Proverbs speak of wisdom coming from God, whereas Corinthians compares wisdom from God and wisdom from the "foolish world."
3) Numbers 15:24-28 and Hebrews 10:11. Ray says that the sacrifices in Numbers cannot provide perfect atonement, whereas Hebrews tells of the sacrifice of Jesus makes believers perfect in the eyes of God.
4) Exodus 20:8-11;31:15-17;35:1-3 and Romans 14:5; Colossians 2:14-16
5) Matthew 5:43,44;22:39 and Matthew 10:5
8) Deuteronomy 23:1 and Matthew 19:12
11) Psalm 30:5; Jeremiah 3:12; Micah 7:18 and Jeremiah 17:4; Matthew 25:46
12) Psalm 78:69; Ecclesiastics 1:4;3:14 and Psalm 102:25; Matthew 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33; Hebrews 1:10,11; 2 Peter 3:10.
What Ray does not share is that 2 Peter is unanimously considered to be pseudonymous (that is, written by a forger).
Chapter 12: Common Objections to Christianity
What about suffering - doesn't that prove there isn't a loving God?
Ray addresses this by telling the reader to examine the soil producing weeds.
How can you love the God when the Bible encourages slavery?
Ray says the Bible only "acknowledges" slavery.
No it does more than that, Exodus 21 goes into great detail of how to treat your slave and how to sell them. Jesus Christ, the perfect moral savior, never denounced slavery once.
Ray goes on to argue that slaves back then were like modern day servants.
He does not say what type of servant, like a housekeeper? Comfort says slave in the New Testament meant "bondservant" but does not provide any reference or scholar work about this.
Comfort says that the Laws of the Old Testament was not confined to slaves but to Israel, the Law for death was for blasphemers, adultery, homosexuality, rape, etc.
Finally, Ray says people obey the law when "there is a bite to it." He says murderers get free lunch, TV, gym hours, and such for many years. Ray says no wonder there were several hundred thousand murders in America in the 1990's.
The Bible says children should be stoned to death.
Ray says that the law says parents of a drunk, rebellious youth had the option to take them to the elders to decide to stone them or not. Ray concludes this never happened because it is not mentioned again in Scripture.
Comfort just dances around the problem: the Bible says children should be stoned to death. This is the perfect moral system of God? If your child is caught sneaking several brews from the kitchen, do you take him to a non-family stranger with a holy book to decide your child's fate for you? Of course not. There is nothing moral about this law.
This is similar to a story that happened in Africa: a mother locked up her own daughter in a closet for nine years without food or water because her pastor told her that her child was a witch. Honestly, if none of these people were religious or superstitious, this pain and suffering could have been completely avoided. And there is the problem of death. Why kill these youths just for being drunk or rebellious? Why not a program to get them sober? No, the God of the Bible demands death.
What kind of God would tell Joshua to kill the Canaanites - every man, woman, and child?
Ray tries to counter this with a story about his father leaving him each day to fend for himself while his father went to kill animals to provide food and shelter for them.
The problem with this is, we are not comparing God to a mortal man. God is God, and does not have to leave to make money. Ray's response does not answer the question at all. Ray acknowledges that bits of the bible can portray God as a tyrant, but Ray implored the readers to think about what God has done for you (gave you life and your senses, etc). Sorry Ray, but this argument does not work. for instance, Hitler gave so much back to the German people, he loved his family and his dog, but that does not make him a good person nor does it excuse him for committing crimes against humanity.
Hitler was a Christian!
Here, Ray says that Hitler was brought up in a Roman Catholic background, but Ray says he later developed an anti-Christian worldview and believed in evolution. Ray cites Hitlers Table talk as proof Hitler was not a Christian.
This is a lie. Hitler was baptized and lived a life as a Roman Catholic.
The site nobeliefs.com provides a full article refuting Hitler's table talk 
Hitler was not an anti-Christian. He supported and encourage the production of Christian churches and programs. He was clearly no an evolutionist. The only time he ever mentioned Darwin in his books or speeches is to slam Darwin and promote creationism.
Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord (Hitler 1943, 65).
The Nazi Party in general rejected Darwinism and supported Christianity. In 1935, Die Bücherei, the official Nazi journal for lending libraries, published a list of guidelines of works to reject, including: Writings of a philosophical and social nature whose content deals with the false scientific enlightenment of primitive Darwinism and Monism (Häckel). (Die Bücherei 1935, 279)
What about Galileo - didn't the church persecute him?
Ray says Galileo had the audacity to question what science believed of the day: geocentrism. Ray says that Galileo's scientific beliefs did not contradiction scripture, but contradicted the Roman Catholic Church and science of the day.
This is a flat out lie, Ray is trying to rewrite history. Science did not teach the earth was flat at all, scripture did. Also, Galileo's scientific discoveries were not mere beliefs, but observable fact.
The Church is full of hypocrites.
Ray says hypocrites may show up in church every Sunday, but there are no hypocrites in the church of Christ's body (what does that mean?).
Basically, Ray is repeating the No True Scotsman fallacy.
Jesus Christ never existed.
Ray says the entire New Testament is a historical record that confirms his existence and there is proof that a man named Jesus of Nazareth existed in the first century.
Ray say that over 25,000 archaeological discoveries show the accuracy of the Bible. Ray then lists several secular sources: Josephus, the Babylonian Talmud, Pliny the Younger, Tacticus, etc.
However, all of these supposed evidences have been critically examined by many scholars. None of the above evidences provide sufficient evidence for the [historicity of Jesus]. None of the given sources were even alive during the time of jesus, all the historians of the time who were alive never mention jesus once.
The archaeological evidences do not have a leg to stand on. To the those who are not familiar with history would fall for the huge number, but here is the problem: Simply because a location is mentioned in a story does not make it true. For instance, Homer's Odyssey mentions several islands and locations that existed then as they exist today, but that does not mean cyclopes and Greek deities exist too. Prior to the 1970s one can be forgiven for thinking that archeology is the handmaid of the bible—for one archeological dig after another seemed to confirm it. But this is no longer true. Scholars are questioning the whole paradigm of “biblical archaeology,” which starts with the assumption that the Bible is a reliable guide for field research. Indeed, there is now so much contrary evidence against the historical accuracy of the Bible that the term “biblical archaeology” has been discarded by professional archaeologists and Syro-Palestinian archaeology has been suggested by some practicing in the field as a more appropriate term.
Chapter 13: Confessions of a Rocket Scientist
Comfort passes the pen to a scientist, an engineer who makes the claim that everything must be created, because scientists discover that which exists while engineers create that which never did. He believes God is an engineer.
However, engineers do not create new things from nothing, and this "rocket science" will be unable to prove it.
Before allowing the scientist to make a case, Comfort argues for three "evidences for the existence of God."
- Creation. Using a coca-cola can as an example, Ray "theorizes" the origin of the can came from billions of years ago, when there was an unexplainable massive explosion in space, and from it came a rock and on the rock was a brown bubbling pool where after millions of years, aluminum came forth and created itself a tab on the top. Millions of years later, red and white paint fell from the sky and formed the words on the coca-cola can. Ray Comfort claims that if you find something that was created, there must be a creator. He claims that a building must have a builder and a painting must have a painter, even though you cannot see, touch, smell, hear, or taste him. This to Comfort is scientific proof of a creator and does not require faith to believe in a creator. According to Ray, all you need is eyes that can see and a brain works. Ray asks himself "can we scientifically prove that a painting had a painter?" He replies if we put a dozen scientists in a room with a painting, they will all answer that it indeed had a painter. Ray includes nothing more. He then says the human body is a very complex machine and the eye is perfect so there must be a designer. He then addresses those who are not convinced by his arguments as people who put themselves on an "intellectual pedestal."
Ray simply does not understand the word "theory," misleading the audience. His argument is of course a logical fallacy: anything that exists, simply because it exists, must have been deliberately created by an intelligent being for an intended purpose. By his logic, does lightning have a lightning maker? His argument also includes an argument from design fallacy. We see design and beauty in snowflakes and crystals, but we also know they form under natural causes without invoking the supernatural. As Brian will point out, we can actually test if a painting had a painter and we could verify who it is and how they did it, but we cannot do so with God. And that is where Ray fails, who claimed that he would be able to prove the existence of God scientifically. Also, Ray builds an absurd straw man of the Big Bang Theory, abiogenesis, and evolution and falsely thinks that disproving them makes creation win by default. He also tries to mock the intellect and present an ad hominem towards those who don't believe in God by implying that their eyes and brains must not be functional. He insults skeptics as putting themselves on a pedestal, basically Ray's arguments are so feeble that they are simply comical and do not require a lot of thought to see through it, and that is why Ray attacks the intellectual and trying to prevent the audience from thinking to deeply into things.
- Conscience. According to Ray, God put within each of us conscience when God made us in his image. This separates us from the other animals since we have the ability to know right from wrong. But, according to Ray, our conscience has "lost its life on the outside" and each of us are "self-admitted blaspheming, lying, thieving, adulterers at heart" and could only be restored by the Ten Commandments. He then goes on using his old tactic of are you a good person? In this speech, Ray very briefly tells the audience that he may sound preachy, but the gospel is the greatest evidence for God anyone could have.
This of course is based on ignorance of science (zoology, sociology, evolution). All societal species (including humans) have a sense of compassion and community amongst their kinsmen, friends and fellows which - in many species - leads to acts of devotion, defense, and even self-sacrifice on their behalf.
- Conversion According to Ray, if you believe in God and seek him out, you will find him and you will experience Jesus. "That is the ultimate proof" -Ray Comfort.
What Comfort failed to understand was the same result can be achieved for those who seek out ghosts, aliens, Bigfoot, or any deity "with their whole heart", meaning they have already assumed these things exist without question or prior evidence that they exist in the first place.
The scientist addresses the Big Bang Theory. He argues if the Big Bang were true, basing it on his assumption that the Big Bang says everything was spinning and then separated, that all planets and galaxies should be spinning the same direction, not in different directions. He claims that this theory is ridiculous, and yet scientific people have the gal to ridicule those who believe in God.
However, this is a big straw-man of the Big Bang theory. The theory does not claim that everything was spinning. This is a old creationist argument originating with creationist charlatan Mr. Kent Hovind, who misread a middle-school textbook about the formation of a star and confusing the process with the Big Bang theory. The big bang is quite a different subject from the formation of solar systems. Rotations within the universe are not expected to be related to any rotation of the cosmos. Galaxies probably arose from slightly denser regions of the early universe, which coalesced and combined due to gravitational and viscous interactions. Since these early density fluctuations were apparently random, we expect galaxies to have random orientations. Solar systems within galaxies have still different origins and additional random influences on their orientations. Conservation of angular momentum doesn't require that everything spin the same way. It requires that a change in spin in one object be compensated for by an opposite change in spin in one or more other objects. Retrograde planets are not a violation of angular momentum because other bodies in the early solar system could account for the compensating spin.
In a section, the scientists says "Despite the fact that the Bible was apparently written by mere men, so were all of my science texts."
Here, he admits the the Bible was written by man, he does not mention God. The difference is that the science texts are written by people who test and proved their claims, unlike the authors of the Bible who relied on superstition and blind faith to make up stories. All the scientists in the past have made breakthroughs based on the scientific method, not biblical revelation.
Next, he claims that the scientific method cannot invalidate the claims made in the Bible, it is perfect because it is written by a perfect being.
Very wrong mate. The Bible is far from perfect, and thus making God imperfect.
The scientist says that he received a Masters of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering, and came to the conclusion that creation requires a creator. He claimed to be seeking out truth, and found it in scripture.
Lets stop kidding ourselves. This "scientist" is merely repeating all of the same nonsense used by Way of the Master, practically verbatim. This engineer claims to have a Masters degree, well since we do not know who this scientist is or where he obtained this degree, we cannot verify it. It is just as valid as saying the author of this article/review of this book holds a Masters degree in Religious Studies of the New Testament, and claiming that every bit Ray makes regarding the New Testament is wrong.
This is more likely, this scientist is just one of the few scientific-illiterate members of Way of the Master writing this section for Ray (merely lying about hsi identity and credentials), or maybe it is Ray Comfort himself just lying to us and coming up with a phony case to deceive his readers. Either of these is more likely, since Ray has a habit of avoiding talking to actual scientists - for instance, on his program episode on evolution, he does not once talk to any scientist or professor, rather he asks big questions about the theory to random people in public or a few college students not trained in the field of biology.
Chapter 14: Why Bother?
Ray does not repeat the "evidences" for God, he just warns the readers how important their decision of where they would spend eternity is. Ray says the Bible provides an accurate warning and reason why we all deserve hell.
Ray deals with the passage in Deuteronomy 25:11-12, which prescribes that if a wife tries to rescue her husband from someone he's fighting by squeezing the other man's testicles, her hand must be cut off. Ray suggests that this passage is, like Jesus' command to pluck out our eyes if they tempt us to sin, is hyperbole, not literal prescription. And of course on his blog, if not in this book, Ray has insisted that, e.g. biblical references to the "windows of the sky" are purely figurative.
So technically, he's suggesting that not only is our only safe course to assume that the Bible is literally accurate, but to assume that "Hell" refers to an eternal conscious existence in an eternal lake of fire, even when it might speak figuratively.
Here are the "proofs" Ray provided throughout this book, (with refutations in the comments section.)
1. First Cause argument: the Universe cannot come from nothing, and hence must come from an Intelligent Creator.
If something cannot come from nothing, then where did the Intelligent Creator come from. Ignoring that Ray cannot empirically prove the Creator is his narrow version of God, if the answer to the previous question is "he is eternal" then why can't the universe be eternal? Occam's Razor would favor the non-created universe.
2. Design argument: no explanation exists or is possible for the mechanisms of life or the diversity and complexity of living things, except an Intelligent Designer.
Simply wrong. Natural selection is the only explanation with evidence for the complexity and diversity of life. There is no evidence, however, for an Intelligent Designer. In fact, this argument can be turned on its head when you examine nature and see how unintelligently designed it has.
3. Argument from General Human Experience: human beings agree that some things are right and others wrong, that human beings don't live up to their own moral standards, and that human beings want something that can't be found in this world.
Not all humans agree what is exactly right or wrong. Human beings do indeed live up to their moral standards, most likely they reflect that of the laws of their culture. The last bit is an absolute claim with zero proof, there can always be a single to a million human beings who don't seek something beyond this world.
4. Argument from specific Christian experience: True Christians know God personally, and you can too if you believe.
Ray and other Christians do not know anything if their God exists or not. Knowledge can be measured and demonstrated. If you cannot demonstrate it, then you do not know it. Ray provides no model or method to show how accurate or truthful Jesus was in comparison with other biblical, pagan, or mythological figures. Ray did not provide any proof or supporting evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus, but it does not seem to matter to Ray. What seems to really matter is personal experience, which dictates what religion he will believe.
5. Argument from Biblical Information: The Bible contains facts about nature and about future events that was not naturally accessible to humans at the time it was written.
Simply incorrect. As already shown in this book review, his "facts" found in the Bible are not facts at all.
6. Pascal's Wager: Ten out of ten people die, and most of them don't want to. Let your fear of death humble your pride so that you can believe and repent.
Pascal's Wager is a flawed argument. If Ray is worried about the afterlife, then theoretically there are an infinite number of deities and Ray's chances of being right are near absolute zero.
There includes a dialogue between Todd Friel and a person named Jess.
Basically, it is the very same old Way of the Master material, ending with the old are you a good person? routine. Nothing new here, still dishonest as always.
Ray is glad we picked up this book and read it.
Why, thank you, Ray. We were overjoyed having to smell the crap you were spewing throughout every page. But Ray does not stop there, he encourages us to read the Bible and get to know God. The problem is, not even Ray Comforts knows God. He multiply claims he does, but the only thing he knows of his what he imagines.
Ray ends this chapter with sharing his experience with Kirk Cameron filming an episode. After the filming, Ray decided to ride a bull. He held onto the bull by the horns. Ray calls himself an "intelligent, clear-thinking human being" however as we have seen throughout this book review that is certainly not true. He compares being "gored" by the bull and confronting atheists. Ray retells his motivation for spreading the gospel: Hell is real and people are going there. He encourages Christians to take the bull by the horns, confront the lost and sinned with Christian love and spread the gospel.
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