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Nothing Created Everything: The Scientific Impossibility of Atheistic Evolution

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The divine comedy
Creationism
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Running gags
Jokes aside
Blooper reel

Nothing Created Everything: The Scientific Impossibility of Atheistic Evolution is a book authored by Ray Comfort. The book was published in 2009.

Contents

Preface[edit]

Comfort's Nothing Created EverythingRationalWiki Responses
Ray Comfort says of atheists, "I love them and many hate or at least deeply dislike me." It is not hard to imagine why atheists might dislike Ray Comfort - he calls them fools, intellectually bankrupt, and wicked. For example, when atheists debunked his famous banana fallacy, Comfort claimed it was a hoax set up by atheists to make him look bad.

Comfort shares his experience giving meals and books to atheists. He says atheists love to ask for books and concludes perhaps they use them as doorstops or find spiritual things interesting. Perhaps atheists are open-minded, or are hopeful that Comfort will provide something new rather than repeat his old arguments. Or perhaps they read Comfort's books for entertainment.

Comfort wants to make a friendly bet. He says if he loses the argument about the existence of God he will give up going to Heaven. However, if he is right, atheists must give up going to Hell. Although this sounds promising, it is clear that Comfort has no intention of opening his mind. As shown in a debate with the Rational Response Squad, Comfort and Kirk Cameron have already failed to prove the existence of God scientifically, and they knew that they had no case going in. Besides, his promise is empty since if Christianity is right, God, not the individual, decides who goes to heaven. And the other side, that atheists "must give up going to Hell", sounds like a veiled requirement to convert to Ray's brand of Christianity.

Comfort says, "My goal with this book isn't to win an argument. It's to win you." Comfort now proceeds to lie for Jesus.

Chapter 1: The Evolution Illusion[edit]

Comfort's Nothing Created EverythingRationalWiki Responses
Comfort shares his experience at the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle's Grande Galerie de l'Évolution in Paris, in November 2008. After spending time searching for evidence for evolution, all he found was a stuffed monkey called "Lucy." He concludes that there was no evidence for evolution. Comfort either was not sharing with his readers what else he saw at the museum, or he had no idea what he was looking at. The stuffed "monkey" in question is Australopithecus afarensis, one of the many intermediate fossils in human evolution. We now have many more transitional species in many more lineages.

Verbal Magic[edit]

Comfort says "the theory of evolution is scientific only if it can be observably tested." He then denies that the fossil record provides testable proof of evolution. For example, he says that Archaeopteryx is not an intermediate fossil, but a full bird, citing an article from Answers in Genesis. Answers in Genesis has a biased view and dismisses any evidence in any field that contradicts scripture, a fact they make clear on their web page. Archaeopteryx is indeed an intermediate; it has many avian features but has more dinosaur traits than bird traits, such as: Teeth on premaxilla and maxilla bones, neck attached to skull from the rear, claws on three unfused digits, and over 100 other differences from birds. And now evolution has been witnessed in real time, by Peter and Rosemary Grant in the Galapagos Islands, by Yoel Stuart and Todd Campbell in Florida, and by Dr.Richard Lenski at Michigan State University.

[1] [2] [3]

[4]

Comfort says one of the main tools used to prove evolution is distraction. He provides an example discussing the differences between elephant seals in different areas, and says evolutionists conclude based on this that man and apes have evolved. All animals and organisms on the planet evolved, man is no exception. Evidence for common descent in seals is not a distraction, because the evidence for common descent of humans is complete on its own.

The Eye[edit]

Comfort provides a lecture from UC Berkeley on the evolution of the eye that asks why various eyes have similar characteristics. He inserts his own argument that planes have similar features, but they are all created by the same maker using similar blueprints. Comfort does not explain why eyes must be designed just because planes are. We know that planes are created because we create them; not so for living beings.

Comfort then quotes an unnamed Christian who "once believed in the theory of evolution," on Darwin's chapter on the eye in 'Origin of Species'.

Darwin is using the simplistic method of picking and choosing various eyes from various animals and "demonstrating" gradations of eye development, all the while not showing the fossil evidence which actually and scientifically demonstrates this actually happened. "How a nerve comes to be sensitive to light, hardly concerns us..." "[F]acts make me suspect that any sensitive nerve may be rendered sensitive to light." What? Glossing over something like that is ridiculous....

Let's be honest - all this really takes faith. A blind leap. I know because I used to believe it myself. Until I started to ask some real questions to my biology professor and he shut me down. Romans 1:25: "They exchanged the truth of God for a lie..."

The theory of evolution is based on evidence, and there is a huge amount of it. Faith is belief without evidence. In Darwin's chapter on the eye, the argument does not get weaker. 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.

Let's Make an Eye[edit]

Comfort calls the eye a "nightmare of complexity beyond words for those who hope to imitate it." Comfort does not mention the flaws and imperfections in the eye (like blind spots) or explain why a perfect designer would slap together parts so haphazardly. The eye is not irreducibly complex.

Comfort quotes scientists describing the evolution of the human eye. He claims scientists have a "childlike faith in time" that causes them "to abandon all sense of reason." He says time "performs the impossible miracle for the wide-eyed professor." Comfort argues that mutations only modify or eliminate existing structures, not create new ones, and "scientists have yet to find even a single mutation that increases genetic information." There have been many mutations that add information.[5] The steps involved in the evolution of the eye are well understood and reasonable within the time frame involved.[6] Like many (most?) creationists, Ray appears to have trouble with the concept of deep time, and just how much things can change over a period of millions of years. This is hardly surprising though, as our primate brains evolved to cope with timescales along the lines of a human lifespan, not hundreds of generations.

Comfort provides a quote from a March 2003 article in Scientific America [sic]:

Although evolutionary theory provides a robust explanation for the appearance of minor variations in the size and shape of creatures and their component parts, it does not yet give as much guidance for understanding the emergence of entirely new structures, including digits, limbs, eyes and feathers.[7]

Here is a part of the article that Comfort did not quote:
Very recent contributions from several fields have put these traditional problems to rest...Together these advances have produced a highly detailed and revolutionary picture: feathers originated and diversified in carnivorous, bipedal theropod dinosaurs before the origin of birds or the origin of flight.
Studies have indeed shown how new structures like digits, limbs, eyes and feathers have evolved. Comfort tries to give the false impression that no such studies exist.

Chapter 2: The Intellectual Embarrassment[edit]

Comfort's Nothing Created EverythingRationalWiki Responses
Comfort addresses scientists who say that the universe came from nothing. He says that scientists do not phrase it that way and may protest how he phrases it. Comfort says that scientists would say that the universe came about by chance. Chance, according to Comfort, is nothing. He says that saying the universe came from nothing is intellectual madness. The big bang theory describes the history of the universe since it began, but it does not try to explain how the universe came into being. Since time is thought to have begun at the beginning of the universe, it is not scientifically meaningful to describe what happened "before" the existence of the universe. (Stephen Hawking compared it to "What is north of the North Pole".[8] But scientists do deny a recent creation of the universe because the evidence points conclusively to a very old universe. The irony is that Comfort and his fellow creationists are the ones who claim that the universe came from nothing. According to the Book of Genesis, God spoke things into being and they were good. Comfort says we have never seen matter create itself, ignoring that we have never seen anything created by supernatural means. No one has ever seen a complex life form (or anything else) appear out of thin air. But that’s what creationists are arguing for!

Chapter 3: How did life begin?[edit]

Comfort's Nothing Created EverythingRationalWiki Responses
In this chapter, Comfort addresses abiogenesis, but falsely conflates it with evolution and the Big Bang Theory. He says evolutionists say that life evolved from something like rocks. The theory of evolution does not address the origin of life; evolution only matters once life forms and begins to diverge. Evolution says nothing about the origin of Earth or the solar system. Besides, ridiculing the naturalistic explanations for saying that life came from rocks hardly works in his favor, since his own religion holds that man was created from "the dust of the ground".[9]

Comfort asks where everything came from, and says scientists cannot tell what came before the singularity of the Big Bang. He labels scientists Genesisophobics. Ray doesn't know this either, since the Bible says nothing about it. Apart from the fact that this is a spurious criticism of science, the fact that it applies equally to Ray Comfort's revelation-based epistemology makes it a tu quoque fallacy irrelevant to his own argument.

Comfort then addresses several scientific hypotheses about how life could have evolved (meaning originated), including:
  • Life came to Earth on meteorites - we have found amino acids, molecular building blocks of nucleic acids, and water on meteorites.
  • Life formed in a primordial Organic Soup
  • Cairns-Smith's (and others) ideas concerning chemical formation in clays
  • and he says "There are others. Of course the pseudoscience ideas are always thrown in by religious interests, but of course are not substantiated by scientific investigations."

Comfort says any idea that claims God is the genesis of life is excluded as pseudoscience.

It's true that science ignores or discounts supernatural explanations, but it doesn't do so on principle—it ignores them because they aren't testable or, when they do make testable claims, they haven't panned out. Claims that aren't testable, or that fail testing, aren't useful to science; it can't do anything with them. That's not a failing of science, but of supernatural explanations. (You'd think the "not substantiated" bit that Comfort mentions would be a clue.)

Comfort then quotes Andrew Knoll, a Harvard professor, about the origin of life. Knoll said there are many possible explanations, but we just don't know exactly how it happened. Knoll is correct that many explanations exist, and there is some evidence in support of each of them, and we don't know which, if any, may be the correct explanation. However that does not mean Ray Comfort's (or anyone else's) personal beliefs win by default.

Comfort then includes an article from the Times that suggests life on Earth could have originated from alien life forms. He quote-mines Richard Dawkins from the film Expelled to make it appear that Dawkins accepts the idea that life could have come from extraterrestrial life. In context, Dawkins was describing a hypothetical scenario of how intelligent design might be plausible, but he never said he believed in aliens. While it may sound far-fetched, the alien scenario is at least testable and is therefore a more scientific hypothesis than the assertion that we are the product of a supernatural deity.

Comfort discusses the hypothesis that life originated from molecules carried to Earth by comets. He asks, where did these molecules come from? Who made them? Why are they on comets? The question "who" is misleading. The scientific question is "how." Also, the almost certain answer is that such life originated and evolved on another planet ages ago.

Moving on to the Primordial Soup hypothesis, Comfort asks where these organic molecules came from. He concludes that the Primordial Soup hypothesis does not answer the question at all. Comfort says scientists now believe life originated not in a pond but actually the ocean, which he says is a problem because the ocean is larger and deeper. Comfort does not address any of the scientific evidence. Life forming in the ocean is not a "problem." Conventional wisdom used to hold that nothing smaller than 150 nanometers - 150 billionths of a meter - can survive independently as an autonomous life form, because that is the minimum size needed to contain the necessary genetic and other life support material. Then nanobes were discovered by Dr Uwins. Nanobes are only 20-150nm in diameter - remarkable considering that the size of a single ribosome (site of protein synthesis) is roughly the same as the smallest nanobes. Equally as amazing, the nanobes most likely came from a sandstone rock sample retrieved from 3-5km below the ocean bed, where the pressure is around 2,000 atmospheres and the temperature ranges from 115-170°C.

Comfort says life did not originate in a place of "leisure" as envisioned by Darwin. Comfort quotes German microbiologist Karl Stetter, who says that life may not have formed in a warm pond, but a "hot pressured cooker." On the ocean floor there are many volcanic, hydrothermal vents that provide remarkable ecologic niches teeming with life. The gas from the vents contains carbon dioxide and methane and can serve as a hot reducing environment for the synthesis of prebiotic compounds. These vents have been proposed as sites for the origin of life itself. The high temperatures characteristic of these volcanic vents are especially suitable for the evolution of heat-loving, or thermophilic, Archaea.

Comfort says that scientists have come up with a lot of ideas, tossed out a few, but have not come to a general consensus of what they accept as the best hypothesis for the origin of life. This is in no way related to the theory of evolution (much like the entire topic of abiogenesis). It's also spurious because the form of the argument leads to a result which, while clearly true, Ray certainly wouldn't agree with: "Apologists have come up with a lot of ideas, tossed out a few, but have not come to a general consensus of what they accept as the best hypothesis for how the Bible should be interpreted." Would Ray consider this parallel a legitimate attack on Christianity?

Comfort ends this section with a fraction of an article titled "How did Life Begin? New Research Suggests meteorites may have Helped" by Joel Kontinen.

Since Charles Darwin's day, theories about the birth of life have come and gone. Darwin famously speculated about life having begun in a warm pond. Researchers tested the idea in 2006 and found it wanting. They examined hot puddles in Kamchatka, Russia, and Mount Lassen in California and discovered that "hot acidic waters containing clay do not provide the right conditions for chemicals to assemble themselves into 'pioneer organisms'. "

Stanley Miller and Harold Urey conducted a famous experiment in 1953. While it has been used as a propaganda device for evolution, Jonathan Wells and other Darwin skeptics have pointed out its flaws. Wells said:

"The Miller-Urey experiment used a simulated atmosphere that geochemists now agree was incorrect, it was not the 'first successful attempt to show how organic molecules might have been produced on the early Earth.' When conditions are changed to reflect better knowledge of the Earth's early atmosphere, the experiment doesn't work."

Others have looked to outer space as a potential source of life. Sir Fred Hoyle, convinced that life could not have originated on earth, suggested that it was brought here from space. While this panspermia view has its advocates, the naturalistic answer to how life began on Earth remains as elusive as ever.

Joel Kontinen is a translator and novelist currently living in Finland. His background includes an MA in translation studies and a BA in Bible and Theology, but nothing in science or biology.

His representation of the evidence of abiogenesis is blatantly misleading. The Miller experiment is not and never was propaganda, nor have Johnathan Wells or other "Darwin skeptics" refuted it. The Miller experiment tried to prove spontaneous generation was possible, not prove how life first arose. Wells's argument is 50 years out of date. What Wells does not share is that there have been more than 40 articles written since 1997 that cover nearly every imaginable prebiotic environment, showing that each allows the formation of organic material. The complaints of Wells and other creationists about the Miller-Urey experiments are without merit.

The question “How did life first appear on earth?” is one of the most intriguing questions in biology. Examination of the wide range of modern organisms has provided a wealth of clues about some of the necessary chemicals and conditions required. While many models have been proposed, some are clearly better than others. One is a protometabolism-transfer RNA model, consisting first of The Age of Chemicals providing the necessary organic compounds, followed by The Age of Information involving the co-evolution of polymers of RNA and protein. This model shows that the origin of life was not so intractable that only a divine creator could do it. Given the rapidity and apparent ease of the origin of life on earth, it is likely that many of the other planets in the universe also have life.

From Dust to Dust[edit]

Comfort asserts that if God created man we would expect many elements from the soil to be found in the human body. He lists six elements: potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and manganese. Alas Comfort forgets to mention carbon. He then quotes an article called "Did Life Begin in the "RNA World?" by L.J. Gibson of the Geoscience Research.

For many years there has been a general dissatisfaction with the protein hypothesis of the origin of life. Proteins cannot replicate themselves, making them unsuitable as a starting point for the development of life. However, there seemed to be no naturalistic alternative available until recently. This newer hypothesis has been dubbed the “RNA World” (Gilbert 1986). The basis for this model is the discovery that certain RNA molecules have catalytic properties. Since RNA also serves as a carrier of information, it seemed reasonable to suggest that ancient RNA molecules might have acted as a starting point for the origin of life. The “RNA World” hypothesis for the origin of life seems a significant improvement over the protein hypothesis, and has been the subject of considerable discussion.

His article concludes with:

The “RNA World” hypothesis for the origin of life requires implausible events at each step in the sequence outlined. Small molecules are highly unlikely to have been available in any plausible model of a primordial earth. Even if small molecules were present, they would be highly unlikely to produce the large protein and nucleic-acid molecules useful for life. Even if the large molecules were present, there is no known mechanism whereby they might be organized into functional cellular or subcellular units. The “RNA World” hypothesis suffers from many of the same problems as the protein hypothesis, and has additional problems of its own. Considering the conditions necessary for the establishment of life, it appears that the most plausible explanation for the origin of life is an intelligent creator.”

Ironically, all of the elements that he mentions are necessary for life. He fails to mention the most common element (silicon) which is actually not used in the body. Potassium is necessary for cardiac muscle, calcium is necessary for bones and intercellular interaction, magnesium is necessary for enzymes to function, phosphorus is necessary for DNA, iron is necessary for oxygen transport via hemoglobin (other animals happen to use nickel) and manganese is necessary for breathing oxygen[10]. The Geoscience Research Institute is an official body of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. According to its website, "The Institute uses both science and revelation to study the question of origins because it considers the exclusive use of science as too narrow an approach."[11] L. J. Gibson presents no statistical data or model to back his assertion that the development of life in the primordial world would be "highly unlikely," and he writes for an institute that rejects any part of science perceived to be in conflict with its uncompromising creationist religious viewpoint.

Chapter 4: Intellectual Degradation[edit]

Comfort's Nothing Created EverythingRationalWiki Responses
Comfort begins by stressing the point that man cannot create anything from nothing. He says the belief that the universe began from nothing is preposterous and "atheism is off the charts in human folly. By contrast, the flat-earther is a real genius." "Atheism" is not a theory about the beginning of the universe. Someone who can't tell the difference between atheism and the Big Bang Theory makes a flat-earther look like a real genius. Not to mention the hypocrisy is off the charts: the religion and creationism myth Ray endorses are the one that really claim that a deity made an entire universe (time and space included) in a complete void, using nothing as base material.

Comfort then explains what he considers the function of the moon to be, and says atheists mock Genesis 1:16 which says the moon "rules the night." The moon is not a light; it only reflects light from the sun. And why, if God made the moon to "rule the night", does it spend half of its time moving through the daytime sky? Just try looking for the moon at night when it's in its crescent stages.

Comfort says that any person who professes to be an atheist "immediately disqualifies himself to speak as a representative of science because his premise is a violation of the fundamental rule of science." He then lists several scientists who believe in God. Comfort has no degree in any scientific field, or even in theology or religion. Since he is the one who believes everything came from nothing (in an act of creation), he, not atheists, is excluded from speaking as a representative of science, according to his own standard.

Comfort says he and his Christian friends love science. Misquoting Einstein, Comfort says those who leave out God in the equations are "lame" and are disqualified because their premise that "nothing created everything" is a scientific impossibility. Einstein said "science without religion is lame" not "science without God is lame." Again, Comfort is the one who is disqualified from commenting on science (by his own standard), not just for having no degree in science, but also because his creationist beliefs hold that God magically created everything from nothing.

Comfort quotes Einstein again: "I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts. The rest are details." Comfort says the Bible reveals God's thoughts. There are over 30,000 denominations in Christianity. To which of these have God's thoughts been accurately revealed?

My "Dishonesty" and Evolution[edit]

Comfort says he has been accused of not accepting evidence for species-to-species transitions and of not understanding the theory of evolution. Comfort wants to "settle this once and for all." He explains what a "missing link" is by citing an article and italicized parts of it.

Discovered: the missing link that solves the mystery of evolution. Scientists have made one of the most important fossils in history: a missing link between fish and land animals [change from one species to another] showing how creatures first walked out of the water and on to dry land more than 375m years ago. Palaeontologists have said that the find, a crocodile-like animal called the Tiktaalik roseae and described today in the journal Nature, could become an icon of evolution in action - like Archeopteryx, the famous fossil that bridged the gap between reptiles and birds [change from one species to another]. As such, it will be a blow to proponents of intelligent design, who claim that the many gaps in the fossil record show evidence of some higher power.[12]

Comfort says the assertions in the quoted article are not substantiated. He says Archeopteryx was a full bird and not a missing link. He ends this section with, "The missing link is still missing, and we're still waiting for the first piece of genuine evidence for the theory of evolution."

Comfort fails to address the main focus of the article: Tiktaalik. Archeopteryx is not a full bird. It has many dinosaur traits, including the following:
  • no bill
  • teeth on premaxilla and maxilla bones
  • nasal opening far forward, separated from the eye by a large preorbital fenestra (hole)
  • neck attached to skull from the rear
  • center of cervical vertebrae that have simple concave articular facets
  • long bony tail; no pygostyle
  • ribs slender, without joints or uncinate processes, and not articulated with the sternum
  • sacrum that occupies six vertebrae
  • small thoracic girdle
  • metacarpals free (except third metacarpal), wrist hand joint flexible
  • claws on three unfused digits
  • pelvic girdle and femur joint shaped like those of archosaurs in many details
  • bones of pelvis unfused

...and over 100 other differences from birds (Chiappe 2002; Norell and Clarke 2001).

A decade ago, Kathleen Hunt, a zoologist with the University of Washington, produced a list of a few hundred of the more dramatic transitional species known so far[13], all of which definitely fit the criteria required of the most restrictive definition of "missing link." Myriad transitional species have been, and still are being, discovered. 

But creationists still say we’ve never found anything that was “half-ape and half-human,” categorizing each find as one or the other even when they can’t make up their minds which side of that imaginary partition each one belongs to. 

Demanding an “ape-man” is actually just as silly as asking to see a mammal-man, or a half-human, half-vertebrate - humans ARE apes – definitely and definitively. The word “ape” doesn’t refer to a species, but to a parent category of collective species, and we’re included. This is no arbitrary classification. It was first determined via meticulous physical analysis by scientists a century before Darwin, and has been confirmed in recent years with new discoveries in genetics. Furthermore, it is impossible to define all the characteristics exclusively indicative of every known member of the family of apes without describing our own genera as one among them. So where is the proof that humans descend from apes? How about this: we’re still apes right now!

Confessions of a Backsliden Atheist[edit]

Comfort introduces a "backsliden atheist," A. N. Wilson, a friend of Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens who announced in 2009 he had become a Christian. Comfort says that Wilson became a Christian because of the fear of death. The fear of death could have stimulated Wilson to become a Hindu. One person turning to Christianity does not give Christianity special credibility, and Wilson's motivation for turning to Christianity was hardly a scientific one.

Comfort concludes this section by repeating his "creation requires a creator" argument. Comfort points out Wilson's question: how do materialists think language evolved? Language evolved the same way other human traits evolved. And that evolution did not begin at Babel.[14][15] Language is an unfortunate example for Ray to choose, given that languages evolve not only into different dialects, but into new languages (as species evolve into other species with time).

Chapter 5: Ignorant knuckle-draggers[edit]

Comfort's Nothing Created EverythingRationalWiki Responses
In this chapter, Comfort argues that belief in evolution leads to many social evils, because evolution teaches that we are just animals. He compares those who say humans are animals to religious zealots. Evolution does not teach that humans are animals; biology does. More specifically, humans are a species of primate, which is a category of mammal, which is a category of vertebrate, which is a category of animal. This was known more than 2000 years ago. It is a common creationist tactic to link evolution to many supposed evils, such as homosexuality, abortion, bestiality, and so on. Even if all that were true, it wouldn't affect the truth of the observation that humans are a form of animal.

Comfort says that accepting evolution leads people to lust and fornication. Description does not equal promotion. The theory of evolution no more promotes promiscuity and lust than germ theory promotes infectious disease.

Comfort, quoting an unnamed dictionary, defines "animal" as "any such living thing other than a human being." Wherever Comfort got this definition, his source is incorrect. Humans are animals, specifically apes. Now "animal" is often used as a word to distinguish nonhuman animals from humans, but that's strictly a day-to-day use of the term, not a scientific definition. Moreover, plants and mushrooms too are living things, but obviously they are not animals.

Comfort shares his experiences asking atheists about the origin of the universe. He says atheists choose not to believe that the universe was created by God. He says the Bible calls atheists blind (1 Corinthians 4:3-4). According to Comfort, atheists make an absolute claim when they say "There is no God," and to make an absolute claim is to claim absolute knowledge of the universe. Comfort makes an equally absolute claim when he says "there is a God." However, he dances around this and says Christians don't need knowledge because they experience God through "conversion". Comfort never does provide any evidence for the authenticity of his "conversion". If a Muslim is equally convinced Allah is real through "conversion" what makes that less true than Comfort's belief? He also ignores the human brain's capacity to experience intense feelings that seem real but are unfounded.

Comfort then says that faith in God is not "faith" but "trust". He then presents a parachute analogy: 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 offered you a parachute, you would take it and put your trust in it to save your life. He compares this parachute to faith in Jesus Christ. Comfort says his parachute (provided by his invisible friend) offers salvation, but suddenly another passenger tells you "Don't use his parachute, it has holes in it. Use one 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.” Confusion and fighting ensue, and it continues even after the plane lands safely.

Chapter 6: The Dinosaur in the Bible[edit]

Comfort's Nothing Created EverythingRationalWiki Responses
Skeptics claim, says Comfort, that dinosaurs existed and therefore God does not. Comfort tries to show that the Bible describes a dinosaur (the behemoth) in Job 40:15-24, that had a "tail like a cedar." Job 40:18 says that the behemoth's bones are as strong as bars of iron, and Comfort says that the bones of Argentinosaurus must have been strong to support its weight. He concludes, citing Job 40:20-23, that God slew the dinosaurs. Holy non sequitur, Batman! The existence of dinosaurs is completely separate from the existence of God; skeptics don't claim that one disproves the other. The "tail like a cedar," which creationists think indicates a large dinosaur, is not even a real tail. "Tail" was used as a euphemism in the King James version. A more likely translation for the phrase is, "His penis stiffens like a cedar" (Mitchell 1987). The behemoth was probably a bull or an elephant, and the cedar comparison referred to its virility. The strength of its bones, of course, was overstated for effect.

The Whale[edit]

Comfort tries to convince people to not believe everything their teachers tell them (especially regarding the theory of evolution). He quotes an anonymous person who says they have known from the fourth grade that the blue whale is the largest creature on the planet, then Comfort shows that one dinosaur was in fact larger. Comfort is completely wrong; evidence indicates the blue whale is the largest creature to have existed on the planet.[16] This would make sense because large land creatures must support their own weight while sea creatures do not. Some very large dinosaurs (and dinosaur-like reptiles) did exist once upon a time, but they didn't measure up to the blue whale.

Comfort ends this section by comparing himself to Albert Einstein. Nothing shows true humility like comparing oneself to Albert Einstein.

Chapter 7: The Blind Faith in the Theory of Evolution[edit]

Comfort's Nothing Created EverythingRationalWiki Responses
Comfort says that evolution has no mind guiding it to certain ends. He then complains that evolution doesn't explain where gravity came from. Comfort is not satisfied with answers like "chance" or accident." Comfort is conflating biology and physics because he understands neither. Physicist Victor J. Stenger, in his book God: The Failed Hypothesis, explains where the laws of physics came from. His conclusion, based on the evidence, is that the laws were not created, and appear as we would expect if the universe formed under natural forces.

Comfort goes on to question gravity. He says Newton explained gravity, but could not explain the nature of gravity. He says Newton answered that question with God. Newton died many years before relativity or quantum physics arose to explain much of what underlies physics. He lived at a time when God was the universally accepted (and expected) answer to anything we didn't have an explanation for. It should also be mentioned that Newton believed in alchemy.

Comfort quotes Ben Stein, maker of the propaganda movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, on why he made the movie: "Well, if there is no intelligent design, where did gravity came from?" Comfort admits he gets mocked by evolutionists for asking where gravity came from. They tell him gravity just is. If God created gravity, then who created God? If God just is, why can't the universe just be? The thing about Goddidit is that it doesn't ultimately answer the question; it merely puts it back a step. In any case, cosmologists are working on unraveling the actual origins of gravity.

Comfort then examines the human hand. He tells the reader to put aside evolution and intelligent design, and says the hand is wonderfully made. He says humans have two hands while primates have four. Comfort claims the limbs of humans and primates are fundamentally different and could not be the result of evolution. Comfort's phrasing shows that he did not put aside his own bias. Primates, including humans, have only two hands, and are the product of evolution. That chimpanzees have more dexterity in the digits of their feet than humans do counts for nothing against the overwhelming genetic and physiological evidence of their common descent. The gene that controls how many fingers we have is the same one that controls how many rays a fish fin has.[17]

Comfort claims evolution is a form of religion and we should get down on our hands and limbs in praise. There follows some preaching: Atheists should repent to be saved from Hell. He says other "man-made religions" do not acknowledge that God is perfect and therefore His moral law demands perfection. He adds that we all should become missionaries for God just as Comfort did. Sigh. For the umpteenth time, evolution is a scientific explanation for the current diversity of species on Earth. It's no more a religion than gravity or the periodic table—it has no holy books or articles of faith, and follows the path of the evidence; in fact faith is considered a bad thing in science because it gets in the way of examining evidence. Does that sound like a religion to you? Also Muslims might take exception to the idea that they think God isn't perfect.

Chapter 8: The Straw Man[edit]

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Comfort addresses Epicurus' famous work
Is God willing to prevent evil but not able? Then He is not omnipotent.

Is He able, but not willing? Then He is malevolent. Is He both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is He neither willing nor able? Then why call him God?

Comfort says that Epicurus makes a good case, but does not consider the "longsuffering of God." Comfort says God will punish evil, but we do not see ourselves as being evil. He then quotes the Bible on what God thinks about humanity in Romans 3:10-18.

Comfort does not address or answer the question. He just says be patient with God and do not think of him as evil. The Problem of Evil is still a problem even to those who would rather sidestep it.

Comfort then talks about an atheist named Kat who comments on his blog "Atheist Central" and who called him a hateful person. He pressured Kat to find one example, and she wrote back saying that she found so many it broke her heart and she would refuse to comment on Comfort's blog any further. Comfort says that she failed to provide one example. He says Kat is tender-hearted and cannot handle a civil debate. Comfort admits in this book that he believes mockery is a legitimate form of debate; he says he constantly mocks the theory of evolution. He tells atheists that they are going to Hell. He accuses scientists of dishonesty. He preys on people's fears. And he deliberately misrepresents scientific ideas, deceiving his audiences to make his point. This user "Kat" may have had trouble coming up with specific examples, but others don't.

Chapter 9: Who killed JFK?[edit]

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Comfort begins the chapter by quoting an atheist who mocks Comfort for believing in a man who can fly in the air. Comfort counters that if you examine what atheists believe, (creation has no creator, no design in nature, etc.) you find they DO have faith-based beliefs, they just do not want to admit it. He says atheists believe the earth is several millions of years old. People accept that the earth is old because there are mountains (no pun intended) of evidence that proves that the earth is indeed old. Also they would likely offer the correction that the Earth is several billion years old—but again, this is a question of geology, not biology or evolution specifically.

Referring to the assassination of JFK, Comfort asks since we do not know what happened several decades ago, how can we know what happened several million years ago? [18] Comfort is refusing to understand how science works. We know what we know because of evidence and the scientific method. The thing about Comfort's analogy is that working out the Earth's development through deep time is a matter of following the trail of evidence it's left in its rocks and so on, whereas sorting out the JFK assassination means trying to follow a trail of evidence that's allegedly been tampered with or deliberately hidden.

Comfort says he has no problem believing in miracles. He believes in the following: Creation; all animals brought onto Noah's Ark; global flood; splitting of the Red Sea; stopping the lions from eating Daniel; God guiding the rock from David's sling; feeding thousands with a few fishes and bread; and a man rising from the dead. He says it is easy to believe in such miracles every time he sees a bird fly, because he is witnessing God's handiwork. Birds evolved to fly, and there is plenty of evidence for the evolution of feathers and flight.[19] [20] By contrast there is no evidence for any of Comfort's miracles other than ancient hearsay.

Chapter 10: The Mirror[edit]

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Comfort begins this chapter by saying it is easy for humans to use sin as an excuse for bad behavior, like lying, stealing, and murder. He compares the Ten Commandments to a "mirror" in which to see our sins. Indeed, but atheists typically don't use that as an excuse because they don't believe in sin—bad behavior and bad people are just that and should not be condoned, unlike many sects of Christianity which believe a person's bad behavior can be forgiven and overlooked if they beg forgiveness of the right God. Even Comfort has been known to lie for Jesus.

Comfort asks if it is "unfair" to create rules that say don't kill, steal, lie, or commit adultery. He says the First Commandment is reasonably justified. "I am your Lord thy God, thou shall not have any other Gods before me.” (Does that imply that other gods exist?) This Commandment has nothing to do with the morality-related Commandments against killing, stealing, etc. It's certainly going out on a limb to claim that a Commandment that condemns freedom of religion is "reasonably justified."

Comfort responds to an email in which someone posits that lust is involuntary and therefore should not be a crime. Comfort says lust is an "unlawful" desire, and sex should be confined within marriage. He blames the spread of STDs on a failure to keep the "rules" of marriage as instructed by the Bible. Most of the marriages described in the Bible are polygamous, so the idea of a Biblically based marriage is problematic. The fight against the spread of STDs is only hindered by a certain church's condemnation of condoms and by ineffective abstinence-only sex ed programs.

Comfort says that lusting for someone in your mind is adultery, and using the "involuntary" excuse will not do with God. Lust is indeed involuntary. There are pathways in the brain that stimulate pleasure from things that are required for our survival and procreation, such as eating, and sex. Not acting on our impulses is something we do all the time as part of civilized society, and while it can sometimes be difficult, it's manageable. But taking that a step further by shaming people for feeling those emotions in the first place doesn't make those "sins" go away; what it does is make them feel guilty for something that they can't control.

Chapter 11: The Subject of Lying[edit]

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This chapter begins with several quotes by atheists accusing Ray Comfort of lying. Comfort asks where atheists get their sense of right and wrong from.

He says that atheists have no moral absolutes, and accusing him of lying is meaningless if there is no god.

Comfort claims he doesn't have to answer his critics because God. And to the extent that he fails to apply God's moral standards to God's actions, Ray doesn't have moral absolutes either. Would he, for instance, insist that a rape victim must marry her attacker, as stated in Deuteronomy 22:28-29?

Comfort says the evidence for God is axiomatic because "creation requires a creator," and quotes an article which he believes explains the justification for the damnation of atheists. This is begging the question. Calling the universe a creation doesn't make it one; it only assumes that it exists because it was deliberately created by an intelligent being. If everything that exists requires a creator, and God exists, doesn't he require a creator? And if not, why not? If God doesn't in fact require a creator, why does the universe?

He uses a car analogy, saying "I lack a belief that my Ford had a maker" means that nothing made his Ford; but that does not make the Ford maker disappear from reality. The difference: we know where Fords are made. We have seen Fords being made. We have many Fords traceable back to where they were made that tell us how. We've never seen God, nor how he created the universe—all we have are two just-so stories (books 1 & 2 of Genesis) which contradict each other on important points.

Moving on, Comfort addresses the definition of Homo Sapiens, which means "wise man." He argues that humans do not have the amazing abilities other animals do (such as sniff out drugs or catch a Frisbee in their mouth 6 feet in the air). He claims that scientists are still looking for a transitional fossil. He cites Archeopteryx, which scientists thought was more than just a bird because "it has large claws." He says scientists are "'theorizing.' They are merely imagining." Archeopteryx was addressed above. Fossils of transitional animals abound. It is not known how many of them could catch Frisbees. And while designating ourselves as "wise" might be overly optimistic, this is just nitpicking after a name, which doesn't discount the science of biology or the evidence behind it. Certainly humans are more intelligent than other animals (though "wiser" might be a stretch), but that's our survival advantage—whereas other animals rely more on their speed, alertness, ability to hide, or what have you.

Children and their Propensity to do wrong[edit]

Comfort responds to an anonymous person's question about his belief that everyone is born a sinner. If true, why would people want to have children? Comfort says that the ones who think they are sinners are the ones having children whereas the ones who think humanity is good are the ones having abortions.

He says that children know how to lie and steal, because they are born in a sinful nature and the Scriptures say the heart of humanity is wicked to its core.

Let's leave aside the bizarre suggestion that people who have abortions are those who are optimistic about the potential of humanity. Human culture defines, with some help from biology, what is good and what is wicked. In general, societies with rules that foster cooperation and mutual respect tend to be more successful. Lying, stealing, and murder are contrary to moral codes all over the world, including the non-Christian parts.

Comfort says he emailed a very famous atheist (not Richard Dawkins) who was once Christian, telling him: "Judas lasted three and a half years. You managed to fake it for nineteen years. Amazing." The atheist told him to never contact him again. Comfort says this atheist is a faker and a bitter hypocrite who never understood the cross, and who hates God. Maybe God won't take it as personally (or as smugly) as Mr. Comfort does. Certainly many Christians would have taken similar umbrage at being compared to Judas and accused of faking the sincerity of their faith.

Chapter 12: The Missing Link Finally Found[edit]

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Comfort says that creationists have been called liars for years, while scientists lie about the missing link having been found, citing news articles in the popular press about Ida. He says the missing link is still missing. The concept of a missing link reflects misunderstandings about evolution. All fossils are transitional unless they represent a form that is the end of a line. Species branch, and many fossils represent "cousins" that have a common ancestor with a given form even if they are not direct ancestors. There are many known transitional fossils leading from primates to human. Calling common misunderstandings of science "lies" on the part of those actually doing the science is misleading, especially when you've had the actual science explained to you multiple times. Not too big on observing the Ninth Commandment, are you Ray?

Comfort examines the origin of human intelligence, claiming that human intelligence must have a cause and the Creator must have a higher intelligence because we cannot create a grain of rice from nothing. Evolution does explain human intelligence; intelligence has obvious advantages that can help with survival, so it is consistent with evolutionary theory.[21]

Citing various scientific articles, Comfort says that scientists change their "beliefs" over time as new data is collected. Because science always changes, he says, what we accept today may be wrong in a hundred years. Scientists use the scientific method to improve theories and test new ones. Scientists have used massive amounts of new data to improve the theory of evolution. What exactly is wrong with a discipline that corrects itself when it makes mistakes? Would it be better if science hunkered down and refused to admit when it was wrong, as the world's religions have at various times?

Comfort argues that similarities between species is NOT proof of evolution; instead they have a common creator. Comfort also argues that disease is not proof of evolution but instead proves the biblical notion we live in a "fallen" world. Evidence for a creation must begin by specifying what is expected from a creator. When do we expect similar forms, and when do we expect different forms? The theory of evolution has made predictions, and the pattern of similarities and differences that we observe accords with what it predicts. Disease is not proof of a "fallen" world. Why would God create humans with immune systems if disease didn't exist before the Fall? And why such feeble immune systems, if the idea was go give them protection against the diseases that were to come? And in any case, what did other living things do to deserve living in a world that is often trying to kill them?

Comfort claims that the fossil record only shows changes within species, and never shows evidence of species-to-species transition. Thus, the fossil record speaks of special creation. The fossil record does not provide any proof of creation. It shows a gradual change in taxa and the rise of new species. Many transitional fossils exist.

Comfort quotes some anonymous Christians. The first says evolution is a theory, and theories are speculations, and demands proof that archaeology and history do not support the Bible. The second claims to have been brought up to accept evolution in school, but later when demanding evidence and facts, nobody could explain what the "facts" are. Comfort concludes that evolution is a worldview philosophy and not a science. Scientific theories are not speculations, they are testable explanations for natural phenomena, and they're roughly the equivalent of what people call "facts" in everyday speech. Evolution is taught in schools because it is the only scientific explanation for the diversity of life that the evidence supports. As to archeology, there is no archaeological evidence for many Biblical stories: for instance, no evidence of any kind has been found for the Exodus, whereas a million plus people wandering an area for 40 years would have left copious evidence of campsites, trash dumps, gravesites, etc.

Charles Darwin Believed Man Evolved from Monkeys[edit]

Comfort says that there are 350 species of primate, and provides a quote from Charles Darwin that compares the traits of monkeys and other primates, including humans.Darwin was not the first to categorize humans as apes. Charles Linnaeus, the father of taxonomy and a creationist, placed humans as primates many years before Darwin was born. Humans did not evolve from monkeys; humans and monkeys have a common ancestor. This is like saying turtles evolved from lizards.

The Catholic Church and Evolution[edit]

Pope John Paul II endorsed Evolution as compatible with Christian faith. Comfort argues that it is not compatible, that God made man "instantaneously" in his own image. Comfort quotes Scripture to show that man's flesh is different from other animals. The Bible portrays humans as special, but we are animals physiologically. That's why we can eat other animals, and also why sharks, lions, and other predators sometimes eat humans. We're just better than other species at setting things up so we're unlikely to get eaten. Also as a group we make pretty good apex predators.

Smile Test[edit]

Comfort tells the following story: A girl asks her mother, when did the human race appear? Her mother replied, when God created Adam and Eve. The girl then asks her dad the same question, and he replies the human race came about through evolution. The girl is confused, she goes back to her mom, who says that both parents have told her a story, now she had to decide which to believe. And if she examines the evidence without any preconceptions nor biases, the girl will agree with her father.

Chapter 13: The Atheist's Amazing Imagination[edit]

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Comfort expresses doubt that things can be 14 billion years old, calling this assertion a product of imagination. The 14 billion year old age of the universe is supported by the evidence. The number is probably too big to fit into Comfort's worldview. In fairness, deep time is hard for anyone to wrap their head around; our brains just don't lend themselves to thinking on those kinds of timescales.

The Open mind of an Atheist[edit]

An atheist mocks Ray for believing that snakes can talk. Comfort says that some species of primates know many human words, and some birds speak English words, and pets seem to understand their masters and their masters seem to understand them at times. Comfort asks if atheists believe fish evolved into humans, how hard can it be to imagine that an animal can communicate with humans. A snake has no vocal chords or oral structures with which to speak, and no language processing structures in the brain with which to understand human speech. The Biblical serpent would have to have been magical or a metaphor (or lost much more than its ability to walk).

Comfort says atheists do not believe anything if it's in the Bible. The Bible is full of extraordinary claims that require extraordinary evidence. Claims that are not proven, or which lack evidence, are what non-Christians decline to accept. Even most Christians don't accept everything depicted in the Bible literally. But Atheists believe claims that are supported by evidence - for example, that Jerusalem existed. Atheists aren't as closed-minded as Comfort tries to paint them.

Comfort asks if you think fire existed before man discovered it. He says that just because one cannot observe something doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Fire probably existed on Earth as soon as the atmosphere contained enough oxygen to support combustion. The one making a positive claim has the burden of proof. Comfort has failed to meet that burden of proof for his extraordinary Biblical claims. Even more interestingly, this idea is an example of special pleading as he bashes science on the (absolutely false) grounds that there is no evidence, but then asks that we accept his God without evidence.

Getting Things Humming[edit]

Comfort tells a story about a group of evolutionists who decide to create a hummingbird from nothing. They go over what parts are required for the male bird, including the ability to reproduce after its own kind. But the scientists cannot get started because their first problem is creating something from nothing. They say that over time, better understanding will produce the answers. A small committee of them discusses the problem, making the same conclusion as found in Romans 1:20-21. Comfort again demonstrates his lack of understanding of evolution and science overall. Neither evolution, abiogenesis, or the Big Bang Theory say that life forms (including birds) came about fully formed from nothing. It is Comfort's position that they did, magically, during creation week.

Tough Answers for Atheists[edit]

Comfort says it is common sense that a creation has a creator. When atheists deny this common sense, they discard all common sense. This is an example of begging the question, as the point which he's attempting to prove is contained in his premise. He asserts instead of proves that the universe is a "creation." The appearance of design, purpose or complexity alone is not sufficient to posit an intelligent creator. When Comfort asks, "When you see a building, how do you know there was a builder?", his answer is "The building is absolute proof of the builder." This avoids the important question about how we recognize design.

Comfort asks where the materials that suns are made of come from. He says suns cannot form themselves because that would violate the second law of thermodynamics. The second law of thermodynamics does not prevent the formation of suns. But while we're on the subject, the existence of suns millions or billions of light years away poses serious problems for Ray's assertion of a young Earth.

How Big is the Universe?[edit]

Comfort says that atheists get "stumped" and cannot give a credible account for the cause of material for evolution to bring life into being. Comfort concludes the cause of material must be immaterial, that the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters in Genesis 1:2. Comfort brings up the question "Who Created God?" He says atheists think this is a dilemma for Christians (it seems to be, since both Comfort and Kirk Cameron choked when this was brought up in the debate with the Rational Response Squad), but he dodges the question and says this is not a problem for Christians. He says the real problem is that atheists cannot comprehend how God can exist eternally. Evolution has nothing to do with the Big Bang or abiogenesis. Why must the cause of material be immaterial? Did God have a cause? If not, then why not save a step and say matter had no cause? The Big Bang Theory describes the universe since around 10-43 seconds after time began. It doesn't attempt to explain why the universe exists. Humans may feel a psychological need to know why the universe exists, but Ray Comfort's contribution makes no more sense than any other ancient creation story. Most religions have them, after all, and they all differ from one another, so even if we were to accept a special creation, why should we accept Ray's over all the others?

Chapter 14: The Power of the Imagination[edit]

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Comfort says atheists reject the Biblical Fall and its explanatory power for suffering, disease, and death. Rational people reject a literal interpretation of the Biblical story of the Fall because there is no evidence for it. An honest examination of the evidence leads to the following conclusions: There was no Adam and Eve in a garden; the Earth is not young; and death, suffering, and disease existed long before Homo sapiens came into being.

Comfort says many believers are "idolaters," creating a God they are comfortable with. They "quote-mine" Scripture to make God all-loving, but leave out that God is holy and just. Comfort says the idolaters' God does not exist. Comfort says that Atheists do the opposite - they quote-mine Scripture to create a harsh and repulsive God. Comfort says this God projected by atheists only exists in their imagination. Ray Comfort is as guilty as those he accuses. Everyone quotes the Bible selectively because so many parts of it contradict other parts. For instance Genesis 1 says that man and woman were created at the same time, after the animals, whereas Genesis 2 says that man was created, then the animals, then woman. YECs such as Ray happily cite Genesis 2 but ignore Genesis 1 on this question.

By the Light of the Silvery Moon[edit]

Comfort provides a quote from an atheist that says the Bible cannot be accurate, because the moon does not produce its own light (Genesis 1:16).

Comfort sarcastically criticizes the fools who included moonlight in the dictionary as "Noun, the light of the moon." He says they should also ban Shakespeare for saying "Thou hast by moonlight at her window sung..." in "Midsummer's Night Dream." Next, he brings up the "ignorant" scientists at NASA who are "deceived that moonlight exists," quoting from an article that explains the difference between sunlight and moonlight is its intensity (a difference of 400,000). Then there is country singer LeAnne Rimes for including moonlight in a song.

The Bible says the sun and moon are "two great lights" created to "light" the earth, "for signs and seasons" on earth, to "rule the day and night" on earth. The Bible says only one moon was created, but there are many moons in the solar system.[22] The earth's moon does not "rule the night," since 3 nights out of every 28 it abdicates its "rule," and doesn't "light" the earth at all, and it is on the wrong (daylit) side of the earth half the time anyway.

An Important Question[edit]

According to Comfort, an atheist argued, "Jesus did not abolish death. People still die and, as before his birth, people's soul still live on forever." Ray agrees Jesus abolished death by quoting 2 Timothy 1:10, and says that there are only two options: either those who believe death was abolished are mentally challenged, or there is something here not clearly understood. The problem with using 2 Timothy as a reference or as evidence is that the vast majority of critical scholars agree that 2 Timothy is a forgery, it was never written by Paul. Therefore, the Bible contains books written by a deceiver. Also, if Ray wants to make an unqualified assertion that Jesus abolished death, there are hundreds of modern cemeteries that beg to differ.

According to Ray, the result of sin is capital punishment for humanity (Romans 6:23), but we can only be saved by repenting to Christ. He says God gave the saved a "light" and those who do not believe walk in darkness (John 8:12). It is easy and not surprising that a book which was obviously written with an agenda would label nonbelievers as people who "walk in darkness." However, with no real evidence for its extraordinary claims, it is irrational to accept any given religion, including Christianity.

Berkeley Brainwashing - Trees Are Our Cousins[edit]

Here, Ray tries to argue that science professors are brainwashing students that humans are related to plants. Trees are our cousins? Interesting choice of words. You share more traits in common with your siblings than you do with your cousins due to the recent ancestors you share with them, your parents. Deeper down, you share more in common with those in your extended family than you do with neighbors and classmates, etc., people you don’t recognize as part of your biological family. But you must realize that on some level you’re still related; even young-Earth creationists would agree with that. Deeper down, one could likely recognize subtle indications of culture which most people will still agree all descend from one common ancestral lineage –despite their current apparent diversity and unfamiliar ways. Deeper down, we've seen that new breeds of barnyard birds, domestic pets, livestock, corn, even bananas have to some degree been engineered by human intervention via artificial selection, and new sub-species have occurred in the wild via natural selection. In both cases, these stem from common ancestry, be that hundreds of breeds of dogs coming from one strain of wolves, or dozens of commercial bovines being derived from the now-extinct European Aurochs. Overall, we are all related, we are all part of and products of the Earth. We are all genetically linked, but Ray would have you believe that we are separate and only humans are special. This sort of thinking has led religious zealots to accept that different races within humanity is a deliberate act (or curse) from God, but a biologist would tell you that "race" doesn't have any basis in biology—it's a social construct.

Ray defines biological evolution as descent with modification. This leaves out a lot of details, but a more accurate description of evolution is: Evolution is a change in the gene pool of a population over time. A gene is a hereditary unit that can be passed on unaltered for many generations. The gene pool is the set of all genes in a species or population.[23]

Ray says the result of the theory of relativity caused man to have no sense of right and wrong. How can this be? Comfort points out that men who are certain they are correct when claiming that no one can be right seems absolutely sure of himself. He argues fallen politicians draw the line of right and wrong on a relative line, but Ray argues that right and wrong is written on stone. Time, according to Ray, has shown that violators of God's law meet justice. Ray summarizes that the fallen politician can only be tried by civil law, and the same will happen to us all on Judgment day since we are all criminals in God's eyes and must be saved. How does the theory of relativity have any impact on morality? Relativity is a description of physics and has nothing to do with morals. Very typically, Ray blames evolution and lack of faith on the ills of society; now the theory of relativity is also to blame? So morality is absolute? Then why does Ray not keep slaves, castrate himself, or drink poison as instructed in his own Bible? Comfort cherry-picks those verses that he is morally comfortable with and ignores those that are morally repulsive. So Ray is living proof morality is not absolute. As far as we can gather, morality comes from within humanity, and thus it is dangerous to talk about cosmic moral absolutes. This sort of thinking, such as that God hates heathens, has led to the murder of countless people. Morality is flexible (though not completely relative). We believe it is wrong to lie, but we can lie for a good purpose such as lying to a Nazi during the Third Reich about hiding a Jew in your basement. We believe theft is wrong, but don't we consider Robin Hood a hero? Christianity says Pride is a sin, but anyone who wears more garments or jewelry that is not necessary to keep him/her warm could be said to display pride.

The Investigator[edit]

Ray tries to defend the reliability of the Biblical authors' testimony. He uses an analogy that an investigator interviews four eyewitnesses about a bank robbery. Three of them say there were two robbers, but the last says there was a third. So the investigator must harmonize the conflicting accounts and settles with one of the bank employees played a part in the robbery. If the investigator concluded that the four eyewitnesses were liars he would not be an investigator. He must set aside all prejudices and harmonize the conflicting accounts. Ray argues one must do the same when examining the conflicting accounts in the gospel. The difference between the above analogy and the gospels is that investigation shows that none of the four authors were eyewitnesses. We do not know who wrote the gospels, but we can verify that Luke and Matthew often copied verbatim from Mark. The gospels contradict each other in fundamental ways enough that there is no way to rationally "harmonize" them. Read for instance Jesus' bad weekend before he died here. We also know the four accounts have been meddled with, interpolated, and forged. We do not know if anyone in the 2nd century did any investigation to validate the claims made in any of the gospels. Any decent investigator would first account the problems with the accounts and little certainty can be drawn from their claims. External evidence is also lacking, such as we do not have any artifacts made by Jesus, no letters written by him, no third-party contemporary records of him, or anything. Read the historicity of Jesus to see the lack of historical evidence to support Jesus of Nazareth. This is also clearly a false analogy, because in the instance Ray gives there was clearly a robbery, so proclaiming the eyewitnesses to be liars based on differing testimony would contradict the evidence that exists to prove that there was a robbery (i.e. the fact that money is missing from the bank). Because of the lack of evidence for Jesus' existence, outside of the four "eyewitnesses" in question (and the fact that their testimony is written second-hand), a closer analogy would be if four people saw Bigfoot, then told other people about it, who then wrote down their testimony and gave it to the investigator. There is no evidence that Bigfoot exists, so none can be provided, and the information does not come directly from the people who claimed to witness the creature. Given the lack of evidence, the contradictions between the stories, and the fact that the testimony cannot be gleaned directly from the "witnesses", a competent investigator would conclude that there is no veracity to the story, and correctly surmise that the authors either assisted in perpetrating a hoax, or at least were taken in by one.

Next Ray talks about fear, and he is thankful for fear. He says fear prevents him from walking over a cliff and induces him to stay away from poisonous animals. Fear, according to Ray, has a bedfellow: common sense. Common sense tells you to not walk over a cliff and such. He argues that people should not become Christian over fear of Hell, they should "come to Christ out of fear of a God that can cast them into Hell." He says the two are separated by "Moral Law." The law shows Ray Comfort that the law is perfect and holy and he deserves Hell, which reveals to him God's love and mercy. He then brings up polls that shows a steady increase of a minority of school students have stolen things, and a majority of religious school kids admit to lying to their parents. The polls say that they think they are all right and not the worst people in the world. However, Ray says they violated God's law, no matter how small. Of course Ray would be thankful for fear, he is well known to exploit people's fear to support his agenda. Fear by itself doesn't keep you safe; learned experience does. Very small children often fear things they shouldn't (e.g., monsters under the bed) and don't fear things they should (e.g., hot fireplaces), but with experience they learn what to stay away from. Fear is not always connected to common sense; some people have particular fears and phobias but that does not mean they rely on common sense. For instance, if a person is afraid of balloons, do they rely on common sense? (Not being disrespectful) Common sense tells you to evaluate certain claims that fly in the face of logic and science—much of science is counterintuitive. The Moral Law presented by Comfort does not prove God any more than the 5 Pillars of Islam prove Allah or the Code of Hammurabi proves the god(s) of the Sumerians.

Painted Into A Corner[edit]

Starts off with a paragraph of an atheist addressing the evolution of sex. To this person, it seems irrelevant to him, but Ray should look not at what Darwin thought about the evolution of sex, but what modern data shows about it. Ray says it does not matter about solving all the questions of the theory, it's just when you eliminate a Creator you are "stuck with the ramifications." He says that "believers" in evolution accept that before there were two sexes, organisms reproduced asexually, until over time male and female evolved. Ray notes the Charles Darwin "went to meet his maker" in 1882. Darwin was planned to be buried in a churchyard in Downe, until the President of the Royal Society arranged Darwin to be buried in Westminster Abbey. Darwin talked about the mind of Newton, which Ray finds interesting because Newton was a theist. Ray doesn't mention that Newton also practiced alchemy, or any of his other beliefs, but nevertheless his personal thoughts about theology and such were irrelevant to his scientific discoveries.

Ray asks how can all the species of animals evolve a female partner at just the right time? Ray provides a brief explanation for a anonymous "believer" in evolution. It's not simply a matter of being sexual or asexual. There are many intermediate stages. A gradual origin, with each step favored by natural selection, is possible (Kondrashov 1997). The earliest steps involve single-celled organisms exchanging genetic information; they need not be distinct sexes. (Even today bacteria exchange DNA with each other, even though they're asexual.) Males and females most emphatically would not evolve independently. Sex, by definition, depends on both male and female acting together. As sex evolved, there would have been some incompatibilities causing sterility (just as there are today), but these would affect individuals, not whole populations, and the genes that cause such incompatibility would rapidly be selected against.

Ray flat out states that if evolution is true, then the Bible is a fallacy. Well, unfortunately for Ray evolution is true and a fact (in the scientific meaning of the word); however evolution does not refute the Bible—just a literal interpretation of it. Worldwide, most Christians accept evolution because they understand this.

Ray says scientists have no idea why organisms changed from asexual to sexual. What he does not share, intentionally or not, is that many hypotheses have been proposed for the evolutionary advantage of sex (Barton and Charlesworth 1998). There is good experimental support for some of these, including resistance to deleterious mutation load (Davies et al. 1999; Paland and Lynch 2006) and more rapid adaptation in a rapidly changing environment, especially to acquire resistance to parasites (Sá Martins 2000).

Ray repeats the old creationist lie that "believers" in evolution are passionate, because if Darwin was right then man is just an animal with no moral accountability. Darwin never proposed that man is an animal, biology in general does. Man is a category of mammal, vertebrate, and such. This knowledge has been known for thousands of years: even Aristotle called man a "rational animal."

An Atheist's Honest Question[edit]

An unknown atheist asks Ray if Christ makes you righteous as in compassion and loving, or righteousness in the sense of pure and saved? Or is it something else? Ray answers there are two types of righteousness. What Ray and Christians mean to live in righteousness is called "imputed" righteousness, that is the one that saves us from death and Hell. He explains by using an analogy. Your father tells you that your mom died because a drunk driver killed her, so you swear to never drink and drive (even though you already have no car or license), but one day you have too much to drink and take your friends on a joy ride, and you get into a huge accident and are in serious trouble. But at court, your dad pays your huge fine, saving you from prison time. This is what Christ did for humanity when he died on the cross. This is "imputed righteousness." You could not justify yourself, you knew you were guilty, and your father's payment made you right with the law. After the payment, you immediately call yourself righteous, even though you do not deserve it. Seems like good cop-out for very violent criminals. As soon as you're about to be charged and found guilty, a unknown person pays your fee and you are cleared. Now would any of us consider this right in any sense of the word? The above message is the message of Christianity: we all violated God's law and Christ can save us. Unfortunately, the "Law" (Ten Commandments) do not prove God any more than the 5 Pillars of Islam prove Allah. Comfort plays with people's emotions and sense of morality by setting up a scenario were no one is innocent and only his particular narrow version of God can save you without proving beforehand that his God really exists. Ray keeps hammering that we will be accounted for on "Judgment Day" but fails to provide any evidence of such a day. In fact, every prediction of the End Times (and Christians have predicted it hundreds of times) has been wrong (obviously, or we wouldn't be here).[24]

Ray asks the reader to set aside all questions, doubts and arguments and humble himself to God. Comfort pushes mortality on the reader and insists he should make a decision quickly. He ends this chapter saying that when you see the "truths of what I just told you" you should join the ranks of Christians. Unfortunately, very little truth, or any at all, can be found in this book—there are plenty of bald assertions in it, but that doesn't constitute solid evidence. Ray has yet to make a convincing rational case. Pleading with his audience to set aside all questions, doubts and arguments is simply a way to try to convince your opponents to not question your arguments.

Chapter 15: Bird Brain[edit]

Comfort's Nothing Created EverythingRationalWiki Responses
Ray begins by observing the marvelous bird. Afterwards, he says it is tragic for atheists because they have no one to thank for this. They cannot see the intelligence of a mind behind all of this. He says Einstein and Newton saw it. He says atheists eat their meals, but choose not to taste it. David Attenborough's response to this sort of argument probably puts it best: in these sorts of challenges, "They always mean beautiful things like hummingbirds. I always reply by saying that I think of a little child in east Africa with a worm burrowing through his eyeball. The worm cannot live in any other way, except by burrowing through eyeballs. I find that hard to reconcile with the notion of a divine and benevolent creator."[25]

The Unanswered Prayer of the Atheist[edit]

Ray talks about a boy being injured. A prayer is given to heal him, but the boy dies (some say God wanted him to go to Heaven). Atheists say this is an unanswered prayer. However, if the boy survived, atheists would conclude that the body would heal itself. Ray asks is this a miracle, who knows? He concludes only God knows, but prayer has nothing to do with God's existence. So he tries to explain why. Say his wife's car had a problem, and Ray concludes the car has no manufacturer because they will not return his calls. Comfort goes on to say that God's existence has nothing to do with people who experience miracles, visions, or hear God's voice. He says the Sun does not exist because we see its light or feel its warmth, nor does it disappear when a blind man cannot see its light. The Sun exists regardless. Ray does not stop there: he says God's existence does not depend on the Bible or its authenticity. God existed before Scripture, before creation, and even if the Bible is proven fraudulent God would still exist. Here Ray tries to weasel out of admitting that God is unfalsifiable. Each of the following: prayer, the Bible, miracles, etc. are all used to prove God exists, but when each is shown to not be evidence for God, he dances around it and says that doesn't mean God doesn't exist. By this logic, any infinite number of Gods can theoretically exist. In a debate with the Rational Response Squad Ray argued that the existence of God can be proven scientifically without invoking the Bible or faith. Spoiler: he failed and constantly used the Bible and faith to support his claims. Ray could not prove the existence of God, and he constantly tried to do so using the Bible. So how can he use the Bible to prove God, but when the Bible is shown to be incorrect he says that doesn't matter because God still exists? He provided three "irrefutable" evidences for a creator, but each was refuted at the debate. One of Ray's proofs was creation. Although there are many flaws in Ray's argument, Jainism has made a great argument against creation[26]. The second was conscience, but evolutionary theory already explains in detail how conscience could come about. Finally, the last evidence for a creator was conversion through Christ, but if it can be demonstrated (and it has) that conversion can produce spiritual experience that can be triggered by stimulating parts of the brain, does Ray dodge this and say this "irrefutable" evidence for a creator doesn't count when it's refuted? Even without refuting miracles, the Bible, visions and such, many atheists, philosophers, and scientists have created models that show God cannot exist (such as Victor J. Stenger's book God: The Failed Hypothesis).

Evolution and Beginnings[edit]

Ray lists the vast number of animals discovered by zoologists. He then presents several questions. Which came first, the heart or blood? What was it that carried the blood to the heart if there were no vessels? Why would the heart beat if there was no blood to pump? When did blood evolve, was it before or after the vessels evolved? If before, what were the vessels for? If blood evolved before the heart, what kept it in circulation? First thing to point out: this is a god of the gaps fallacy in which if we do not have the answer then Ray gets to conclude his God is responsible. What is important to note is that some animals and organisms are alive without blood, such as the jellyfish and plants. Some animals have blood but no heart. Some have a heart but no blood vessels. But keep this in mind, blood has to change too. Not all blood has ever been the same as human blood. How did the blood transfer through the body? Every organism has some muscle-like functions to spread things inside the body, such as digestion. The first veins may not be veins as we picture them, but some form of muscle that would assist in blood flow. After many generations when the species grow in size, it makes sense that a device that would help move the flow of blood would be very advantageous than those without it.

Which Came First[edit]

Comfort provides some attempts to answer the question about the vessels, blood and the heart, but they are all very brief comments from non-experts. They all appear to be from people with little or no background in the required field because they provide no scientific studies or use their terms or examples of anatomy, but they are all honest and want to set Ray straight on what evolution actually presents. Some are speculation, or not even real attempts to answer; one says Ray will not listen regardless. The interviewee seems to have gotten that last one right. Ray concludes, without bothering to research any of the scientific literature, that the only answer is: Almighty God made it supernaturally. This affirms Ray's continual use of the god of the gaps fallacy. Just because he provides quotes from nonexperts in the field, he thinks he can conclude that his narrow version of God is responsible. Ray never actually seeks to get a scientific explanation from an actual expert, or when he does he rudely does not let them finish or share the whole thing (giving the impression the "expert" had no evidence to present)[27]. Comfort admits that God did create the circulation system through supernatural means.

He then reads a biography of Abraham Lincoln. Ray is saddened by this story and is glad to know the man through his own words. He then says 150,000 die in 24 hours, and this should fire you up to spread the gospel. Why just the Christian gospel? Ray excludes all other holy texts known to man simply because he thinks his beliefs are true and others' aren't. The fact that many people die every day shows that death is very common and can be prevented to a degree. Christianity (along with other religions) plays a role in the death of thousands of people everyday, such as witch hunts and genocide.[28] The bit about Lincoln is completely irrelevant to the question about the circulation system. Comfort uses it to learn about the person himself, but that says nothing about the evolution of blood or the heart. He uses this as an attempt to imply that reading the gospel can give you an emotional insight to the character of Jesus, but this isn't evidence for Christianity. People can feel an emotional attachment to the characters in Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, but that doesn't mean the characters in the stories actually exist. In summary, Ray Comfort appeals to emotion to push his faith upon people.

The God of the Old Testament[edit]

Starting off with Richard Dawkins's description of Yahweh, Ray says the God of the New Testament is just as offensive as the God of the Old Testament. Comfort says God never changes. He then presents several stories in the Old Testament when God kills people, such as a couple who told a lie (Acts 5:1-11) and condemns unbelievers and everyone because we have all violated God's law. Ray defends the notion that God will punish unbelievers with several Bible verses (John 3:36, Ephesians 5:6, and Romans 2:8-9. Ray includes 2 Thessalonians 1:8). James 4:4 says God calls us his enemy and liars will be punished (Revelation 21:8) And yet this does not scare or bother Ray one bit. At the end, Ray says the two scenarios of God is fictional, and God really is all good and merciful. He defends that God is merciful because he became the flesh and paid the price for our sins. Ray barely scratches the surface of the evils committed by God. Ignoring that God murdered virtually all humans, plants, and animals (including infants and unborn babies) in the great flood, slaying the first-born of Egypt (from the royal prince to the small child of the slave at the mill—ALL of them), and many others. Here is a short example: In I Samuel 6:1-19, the ark of the Lord was being transported across country. Five farmers of Bethshemesh “rejoiced to see it.” They opened the box and made a burnt offering to the Lord, and for this terrible sin God “smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the Lord, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and the people lamented, because the Lord had smitten many of the people with great slaughter.” Is it moral to kill 50,000 people for a petty offense? He slew them all for the crimes of five other men? And exactly what was the crime? These men were trying to worship this very god, in their own way. Wouldn’t a God of mercy understand their innocent mistake? What if one of your children gave you a birthday card with the words “Daddy/Mommy, I luv you” and you punish them for spelling the word wrong? There are many many other stories that reveal God's evils.

Ray ends the chapter with an encounter with a man named Joe on the plane. He asks him several questions, such as what were the highest mountains before Mt. Everest. Ray says it has always been Mt. Everest. He pulls the old are you a good person? tactic, but Joe does not believe in a Heaven or Hell, so Ray says to Joe to try and pretend they do and then decide where you would rather go.Seriously, just pretend? God won't spot the deception, or will reward it the same as he would sincere devotion? That's really reaching, Ray.

Chapter 16: Right on the Money[edit]

Chapter 17: What Really Matters[edit]

Comfort's Nothing Created EverythingRationalWiki Responses
The chapter begins with a question to Ray Comfort from a Christian. He asks Comfort how does he prove God exists to non-believers? Ray says he does not have to prove God exists, because they already know God exists. Every person has a "god-given" conscience. He also has the evidence of mere creation. Ray says he does not waste much time trying to prove God exists. Ray says people need to be shown instead that sin exists and they need a savior. This is faulty and fallacious logic, not to mention presuppositionalism. A Muslim could argue Ray and everyone knows Allah exists with no further proof required, or a Hindu could argue everyone knows the Vedic gods exist because they gave us a conscience. If Ray doesn't bother wasting time and energy tying to prove God exists, then why publish over 60 books? Why go to debates to prove God exists?

The Absurdity of Christianity[edit]

Ray agrees that preaching of the cross is "absurd" even the Bible says so in 1 Corinthians 1:18.

On page 197, Ray says that God will forgive your sins, which is: "confirmed by the fact that God had raised Jesus from dead." This is not a confirmed fact. If it was, where is the evidence? He then says that salvation cannot be achieved through works, but by grace (while citing Ephesians 2).

Ray skips (willfully or not) verses like Matthew 16:27 which spell it out nicely "For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works." When Ray was asked why God can't just forgive, Ray says God is bound by his holy character. He thus admits that God is limited.

Ray says God's law is perfect, and thus God is perfect. The law is perfect? The law says nothing about child molestation, torture, etc. It does mention rape, but mainly to mention laws such as that a rape victim must marry her attacker. How is any of that perfect? What is perfect?

P1) A perfect being is not subject to change. P2) A perfect being knows everything. P3) A being that knows everything always knows what time it is. P4) A being that always knows what time it is, is subject to change. P5) A perfect being is subject to change. P6) A perfect being is not perfect being; Finally therefore;

C) There is no perfect being.

This is what you are saying...[edit]

Starts off with a quote from someone who is not sure what right or wrong is. The person would favor a pro-life world, but would vote pro-choice. Ray compares this to wanting a Germany who does not kill anyone, rather have them kill on how I vote. Ray points to that part of not being able to identify right and wrong and says atheism provides no moral anchor. It's easy to have a grasp of what right and wrong is without any religion (ask the Scandinavians!). The worry that a without religion or god we've no basis on which to discuss morality is without foundation. Plain empathy can trigger natural help responses to others' distress and create natural aversion to causing others harm. Likewise, the experience of living alongside others is a simple feedback about how our actions affect each other and how we might have to affect our conduct in response. The human brain contains "mirror neurons", which mimic the activity of other parts of the brain or of other brains. This provides a literal biological foundation for empathy: individuals with mirror neurons, including humans and other primates, can actually feel what others feel.[29] The two prerequisites for reliable moral assessment are 1) reason and 2) accurate and relevant information. Sound reasoning won't lead to valid assessments if we are operating under flawed information, nor with sound information if our reasoning is flawed. Without sound reasoning and information, we can't determine how the universe works, how different life forms suffer or flourish, where responsibility lies, or what the short or long term consequences of actions would be on an inter-personal or global scale. And these are considerations on which moral judgments depend.

Species-to-species definition[edit]

Here, an anonymous person accuses Ray of lying about transitional fossils. Ray tries to counter this by trying to define species as "Biology: a major subdivision of a genus or subgenus, regarded as the basic category of biological classification, composed of related individuals that resemble one another, are able to breed among themselves, but are not able to breed with members of another species."[30] Ray says wolves, German Shepard, and coyotes are the same species (Canine family or "kind"), but cannot breed with cats or the tiger (the feline family or"kind"). Ray chooses not to quote from a scientific definition. Has Ray ever seen an Aardwolf? It looks like a fox, but it is more related to cats.

Ray says when he is talking about a transitional species-to-species fossil, he do not see a skeleton of a cat evolving into a dog, or a chicken evolving into a fish, or a horse into a cow. He thus further shows his incredible misunderstanding of evolution. Modern species don't evolve into other modern species. Evolution does not say chickens evolved into fish: fish far predate the time of chickens, and horses and cows are not in the same family. If you go back into the history of cats and dogs, the fossil record has shown that the family of cats, dogs, bears, and weasels once shared a common ancestor, which possibly looked like raccoons.[31]

Ray concludes that the Biblical Creation is supported by the evidence and nature "screams intelligent design." Ray ends the section with: "If you think that's a lie, then so be it." If nature does scream evidence for biblical creation and intelligent deign, where is it? What is it?  Because each of the arguments presented for “irreducible complexity” (the best arguments creationism ever had) were disproved scientifically and exposed in court. Apart from a series of frauds and falsehoods, the only arguments anti-science evangelists make seem limited to ignorant criticisms of dwindling and already irrelevant gaps in the ever-enveloping advancement of science. But vague criticisms against science still wouldn’t count as evidence for young-earth creationism even if those arguments were valid. Even if there were evidence of god(s), it might not be evidence for their particular god. Even if it were, that wouldn’t be evidence of special creation either, because it still wouldn’t dismiss any of the evidence for evolution, nor could it change the fact that humans are still apes. Young-Earth Creationism relies on a false dichotomy – rejecting all other options and insisting that there can only be two alternatives, so they merely imagine that criticizing the one will vindicate the other by default. That's not how science works, nor is it how scientific theories are replaced. 

The Game of Speculation[edit]

Here, Ray points out the frequent occurrence of scientists using words like "maybe", "possibly", "perhaps", etc. Ray says he does not believe in fairy tales like a pumpkin turning into Cinderella's coach or the "unscientific theory of evolution." Ray does not believe reptiles turn into birds or that chickens were once dinosaurs millions of years ago.

Ray says he never said that evolutionists believe that cows turn into dogs (AND yet in the previous section, Ray said evolutionists haven't provided any skeletons of cats evolving into dogs or a horse into a cow), it is just that he sees no scientific evidence for any species "evolving" into another species. Ray says he asks people on the street how they define evolution, and they say that their great-great-great-grandfather was an ape. Ray says that evolutionists believe that we share a common ancestor with apes, but they [the public] believes we are direct descendants from apes. Ray say they are confused by the "speculation" of evolutionists like Richard Dawkins: "We admit we are are all like apes - In truth, not only are we apes, we are African apes."

Both the public and evolutionist are right, we are apes and we share a common ancestor with other apes. (If laypeople seem confused on some of the details of evolution, that doesn't invalidate the science.) The problem with bridging the gap between humans and apes is that there is no gap because humans ARE apes. The word “ape” doesn’t refer to a species, but to a parent category of collective species, and we’re included. This is no arbitrary classification like the creationists use. It was first determined via meticulous physical analysis by Christian scientists a century before Darwin, and has been confirmed in recent years with new revelations in genetics. Furthermore, it is impossible to define all the characteristics exclusively indicative of every known member of the family of apes without describing us as one among them. Consequently, we can and have proven that humans are apes in the same way that lions are cats, and iguanas are lizards, and whales are mammals. We're rather special apes, with much greater intelligence than the others, but apes just the same. It's not a slur against us, merely an observation.

Using an article about Ida, Ray quotes Dr. Dr Jørn Hurum, the palaeontologist from Oslo University's Natural History Museum who assembled the scientific team to study the fossil. "It tells a part of our evolution that's been hidden so far. It's been hidden because the only [other] specimens are so incomplete and so broken there's nothing almost to study." Ray says drop the "almost" and the truth is revealed. Carl Sagan said "We [scientists] are not afraid to speculate, but we will be careful to distinguish speculation from fact." Ray says if you believe in evolution, you have failed that. If you claim to follow the evidence, yet in fact you cherry-pick it to find things that support your preexisting beliefs and ignore anything that doesn't, you've failed that.

Open-Minded Evolutionist[edit]

Opens with a question from an anonymous person asking Ray if he labels everyone who disagrees with him as an "atheist".

Chapter 18: Bikers, an Atheist, and Vampires[edit]

Comfort's Nothing Created EverythingRationalWiki Responses
Ray begins by sharing that he had a discussion with four pastors on the subject of atheism, that Ray pointed out one in four university professors were atheists/agnostic and atheism has doubled in the last two decades (and yet Ray stated in his material that atheism is a dying movement[32]). Ray says that he knows how to make atheists backslide by asking them if they really believe everything came from nothing (he says he caught this on tape). If he caught this on tape, where is it? Just sayin'. Now if the idea that everything came from nothing is absurd, and Ray seems to agree, then he has proven creationism is indeed comical and false. Atheism doesn't say anything about how everything came to be, it's simply the lack of belief in God. Now the Big Bang does suggest that the universe may have come from nothing (though that's unsettled), but that's separate from atheism. Not that Young-Earth Creationists are liable to grasp the difference.


Ray then retells his story of going fishing with one of the pastors. He was told plenty of non-Christians ride bikes in the area. Ray saw them, all tough and wearing Nazi helmets. Ray introduced himself to them, telling them that their chances of getting in an accident is higher, and he wanted them to know about God. So Ray takes them through the old and dishonest are you a good person? routine and the court room analogy. Later when Ray arrived with his Christian friends at the lake, he was amazed by its beauty that he reasoned no atheist could be here -although they may be atheists in rat-infested, crime-ridden, overcrowded, smog-drenched city. Afterwards he meets a man named Abel, who that day became a Christian and is a fan of Way of the Master.This whole story sounds very pat, doesn't it? Almost like one of those atheist professor stories. Still, "all tough and wearing Nazi helmets" doesn't sound like typical atheists (nerdy and carrying thick books would be a closer stereotype), but ok. How would their chances of getting in an accident be higher? Ray doesn't give us any indication of that (he even mentions they're wearing helmets, which would give them some protection in an accident); is he suggesting that not being religious increases their statistical likelihood of getting into an accident? If so, citation seriously needed.

Ray claims that God has a plan for us all by citing Romans 8:28. When Ray's flight was delayed, he reasoned God wanted him to take the longer route so he could talk to a passenger. He meets a man named Nick reading a novel about vampires. Ray takes him through the old and dishonest are you a good person? routine. When Ray arrives home in Los Angeles, his wife tells him there was an earthquake. Several ornaments over the TV fell but did not break. Ray, appearing like a caring husband, tells her he put straps on the TV to prevent it from falling. When Ray shows her by shaking the TV, the ornaments fell and broke.Um, is he saying that God was protecting his ornaments by keeping them from breaking when they fell? If so, that's a really shaky argument.

Conclusion[edit]

Comfort's Nothing Created EverythingRationalWiki Responses
Ray thanks the reader for reading this book. He includes a comment on his blog [33]:

"Imagine a scenario where you are suddenly presented with absolute proof that God exists. Not proof that you can reproduce in a lab or record in scientific journal, but experiential proof that is clear and undeniable...but only to you. I can’t tell you what that proof looks like, because it’s different for just about everybody. I can tell you what it looked like for me, and I’ll do so shortly. The mind of the Natural man (atheist) will buck against imagining such a thing, and resist even considering the scenario, but I’m asking you to try anyway. Take yourself, with all of your vast scientific knowledge of the universe, and imagine that the Christian God revealed himself to you in an undeniable way. How would such a thing change your life? What would happen to all the knowledge that seemed to so clearly disprove God just a minute ago? I can tell you exactly what would happen, because it happened to me (minus the vast scientific knowledge part). All that stuff stops mattering. You begin to realize that what we don’t know outweighs what we do know by an astronomical amount. You realize that What We Know is only an insignificant grain of sand on an unimaginable desert of 'Things to Know.' You begin to realize that in spite of the fact that we can’t agree on what happened throughout eternity, eternity still happened, and something happened inside of it. Lots of somethings. You begin to realize that sometimes both sides of an argument can claim the same piece of evidence. It’s all about perspective. So there you stand. Everything that you once KNEW laying shattered and broken at your feet, and the searchlight of your curiosity that drove you to become so knowledgeable about science and stuff is now focused on the Bible, the one and only source of knowledge about the magnificent creator of the universe. Can you imagine how it feels to suddenly know that such an awesome being actually exists? Have you ever stood in front of a powerful fan and tried to breath[e]? Every breath you take in fills you up to bursting, and you feel wide open and a little afraid. That’s kind of how it feels on the day you start to believe God exists. It is an awesome day, let me tell you. I’ve got chills remembering when it happened to me. I was an atheist in an atheist chat room. One day someone came into the room and typed, 'imagine a scenario where you are suddenly presented with absolute proof . . . As I imagined, I began to realize that God was POSSIBLE. Afterward, my natural curiosity took the wheel and it was all over for me. God had his revenge, and I became an anti-intellectual (or whatever it is you guys call us these days). The thing is, I read the posts in this blog, from all of your great minds that have such a clear love for learning, and I get excited because you guys are going to be strong soldiers in God’s army when you finally discover the one truth that can change your life. I’ll gladly call you my brothers and sisters on that day." Jim

An atheist will not just be closed to such experiences. It has been tested and observed hundreds of times that the brain is capable of producing such experiences that feel so real it cannot be denied. 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. Transported into a trance where the supernatural seemed natural, I realized that anthropologists, including myself, had profoundly underestimated the importance of the drug in affecting native ideology.”

Notice the blogger, Jim, says "minus the vast scientific knowledge part." Someone unaware of neuroscience and such both before and after can fall for explaining away such terrific feelings with the supernatural. Both sides make claims about certain evidences, but only the scientific side tests them to verify their accuracy. Where is the evidence that the Christian God is the same God as your Christian neighbor's? There are over 30,000 different denominations in Christianity that have different views of God and the Bible. How does Jim know that the God who convinced him was real is not a trickster pretending to be God? Jim only accepts that God exists though blind faith.


It's also curious that Jim claims to have been converted to Christianity when someone in a chatroom asked him to imagine being presented with proof of God's existence, and that turned him around 180° to an evangelical Christian. This sounds like a lot of stories told by Christians who claim to have once been atheists (though judging by their descriptions, their definition of "atheist" was someone who didn't think much about religion, or didn't follow the "right" sect of Christianity, or who indulged in things like drugs or porn) and claim they were converted suddenly by one particular encounter or experience. Even if that's not quite the case here, the question he responded to is a pathetically weak argument for Christianity: imagine being presented with absolute proof? Sure, where is it? And whose God is it evidence for? Or am I supposed to fill in the blanks and assume this imagined proof is real proof of the Christian (specifically, Protestant) God because that happens to be popular where I live?

Finally at he end of the book, Ray tells a story of his film crew and himself in Las Vegas outside the Bellagio Hotel. A song "Time to Say Goodbye" brought back memories and reminds the reader about death. Ray compares Christians as people in a village built by a dam. The Christian can see the dam losing control and this warns the villagers, but they refuse to listen. Ray says when he dies, he knows that he will see his family again. He urges the reader to carefully examine the Ten Commandments. Sure, which set of Commandments? The one in Exodus 20:1 and Deuteronomy 5:1, or the other set in Exodus 34:1 (the one that includes odd commandments such as not to boil a kid in its mother's milk, which is the only one the Bible actually specifically calls the Ten Commandments)? Or do we only need to worry about six of them, as Jesus said in Matthew 19:18 and Mark 10:19 (or even just five, as he said in Luke 18:20)?

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/archaeopteryx/info.html Archaeopteryx
  2. http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/41309/title/Rapid-Evolution-in-Real-Time/ Galapagos
  3. http://www.wired.com/2009/11/speciation-in-action/ Florida
  4. https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14094-bacteria-make-major-evolutionary-shift-in-the-lab/ Michigan State University
  5. http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB102.html
  6. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/01/1/l_011_01.html
  7. Richard O. Prum and Alan H. Brush, "Which Came First, the Feather or the Bird? Scientific American, March 2003
  8. http://apologiabyhendrikvanderbreggen.blogspot.com/2009/11/stephen-hawking-big-bang-and-north-pole.html
  9. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%202&version=NIV
  10. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dietary_element
  11. http://www.grisda.org/ Geoscience Research Institute
  12. http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2006/apr/06/evolution.fossils
  13. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-transitional.html
  14. http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB402.html
  15. http://hem.hj.se/~lsj/langevod.pdf
  16. http://animals.howstuffworks.com/animal-facts/question687.htm
  17. Your Inner Fish, A Journey Into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body JNeil Shubin
  18. It appears the author does not examine the question. Since we do not know what happened to JFK several decades ago, how can we know what happened to Jesus two millennia ago?
  19. Kitzmiller v. Dover: Padian demonstrative slides
  20. http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/biblio/flight.html
  21. http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/krigbaum/proseminar/kaplan_etal_2000_EA.pdf
  22. http://www.universetoday.com/15516/how-many-moons-are-in-the-solar-system/
  23. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-intro-to-biology.html
  24. http://www.randi.org/encyclopedia/appendix3.html
  25. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/jan/27/david-attenborough-science
  26. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jainism_and_non-creationism#Jain_opposition_to_Creationism
  27. http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Evolution_%28Way_of_the_Master%29#A_real_expert
  28. http://www.christianaggression.org/tactics_violence.php
  29. Thomas S. May, "Terms of Empathy: Your Pain in My Pain——If You Play Fair Game," Brain Work 16 (May—June 2006): 3
  30. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/species
  31. http://webh01.ua.ac.be/funmorph/raoul/fylsyst/Flynn2005.pdf
  32. http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/God_Doesn%27t_Believe_in_Atheists:_Proof_That_the_Atheist_Doesn%27t_Exist#Chapter_2:_Banana_in_hand
  33. https://books.google.com/books?id=1wqMdLiV970C&pg=PA217&lpg=PA217&dq=%22something+happened+inside+of+it.+Lots+of+somethings.+You+begin+to+realize+that+sometimes+both+sides+of+an+argument+can+claim+the+same+piece+of+evidence%22&source=bl&ots=n-Q8k0CJl9&sig=Emi_mh3f6T8eMz94phYknAhmNXI&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjE7pnZq9TJAhUCLmMKHeH9CUMQ6AEIHTAA#v=onepage&q=%22something%20happened%20inside%20of%20it.%20Lots%20of%20somethings.%20You%20begin%20to%20realize%20that%20sometimes%20both%20sides%20of%20an%20argument%20can%20claim%20the%20same%20piece%20of%20evidence%22&f=false