Friday, May 30, 2008

Why Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron are Ccomplete Morons

The American form of Evangelical Fundamentalist Biblical Literalist Christianity (can you say that in one breath?) that Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron preach is arguably the most insipidly childish form that the Christian faith can take. It preaches internal elitism, or the idea that followers are automatically superior in some way to non-followers, just because they have faith placed in the proper form of Christianity (allegedly). It promotes the idea that no matter how ridiculous any passage from the Bible is, it should be taken literally. They are proponents of what William Jennings Bryan once said, when asked if he believed that Jonah was literally swallowed by a whale, "If the Bible said that Jonah swallowed the whale, I'd believe it!" They promote an anti-science and anti-intellectual agenda, and will readily admit to shoddy journalism (because they don't even know what good journalism is).

Take Ray Comfort's latest book, "Evolution, a Fairy Tale for Grownups" as an example. Ray is forthcoming in admitting that he knows in advance that people will criticise him of quote-mining, where a writer removes a quote from it's original context to deliberately distort the meaning of what the quoted person was saying. Well, he wasn't predicting this because he had great foresight. As anyone who reads his blog knows, he test-fired many passages from his book months in advance, and we had to explain to him what quote mining was. The phrase "quote mining" became his favorite word for a while, and he was quick to attempt to ridicule people who used it, saying that they were mindlessly chanting it like a mantra. From the forward of his book, it's clear that he has absolutely no idea why quote mining is a terrible journalistic practice, or what good and proper journalism is. He says:

No doubt you will accuse me of "quote mining" (for those who don't know what that is, it's the practice of taking a quote--often out of its context, and using it in a way that was never intended by the author). However, every gold nugget is legitimately mined out of its context. No one seriously values the earth that encases the gold. So, when I uncover an evolutionary expert quietly admitting that he has no evidence to back up his theory, I don’t see any value in the soil of his surrounding words. I merely extract what I believe is of value for those who want to discover the truth about the theory of evolution.

From this quote, it's quite clear that Ray simply is clueless that the process that he just described is a dishonest process, condemned by journalists world-wide, and the tool of propagandists for ages. He openly admits to mining quotes out of context, because he apparently believes that the context that the quotes were pulled out of is irrelevent. As we shall see, his research into these quotes was practically non-existant. He got his quotes from other creationists, and did not bother to check the original quotes to see if they were, in fact, correct. Some may ask "why should Ray have done that? Do other creationists lie?" Well, unfortunately, for Ray, and other practitioners of America's dumbest sect, the answer is a very strong YES. The creationist movement in America is all about lies, deceptions, half-truths, shoddy-research, and willful cluelessness.

By making such an admission, he's literally telling those in the educated world that he has no concept of journalistic integrity, and that his book will be full of examples of misquotes. That's not quite what you want to tell people as they start readign your book, but then again, his audience are the pathetically clueless Evangelicals who are just as inept and intellectually absent as he is.

Ray's blog is a modern wonder of contradictions and arrogant ignorance. Ray makes lots of brainless statements in his blog, and when people point out his mistakes and contradictions, he defends himself -- with even dumber mistakes and contradictions. Take for example, his conversation with an atheist. Ray Claimed:

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to look at this amazing creation and see the genius of the amazing Creator. A child can know that. Your stumbling-block isn't intellectual as you maintain. . . it's moral. (Ray Comfort, 12:57 PM May 26, 2008)

But he had previously given us this contradiction:

However, the reason your conscience has nothing to say about your atheism is that atheism is not a moral issue. It’s an intellectual issue. (Ray Comfort, 3:46 PM May 18, 2008)

Apparently, Ray didn't seem to realize that there is a problem with such contradictory statements. The atheists pointed out his contradiction a few times, and it didn't phase him at all!

Then he throws out this zinger:

It is pathetic. I want genuine science. Not theories.

These nine words practically demonstrate the complete scientific illiteracy that Ray has. He obviously doesn't understand that science is inseparable from theories, because theories tie science together. Theories are explanatory conceptual frameworks that help answer questions or explain how things work. Real science is theories. Ray doesn't like one particular theory, that of evolution, therefore, he has latched onto the idiotic concept that a theory is just a guess.

Perhaps the most hilarious display of unbridled ignorance and stupidity from the Way Of the Master people, is Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort's series of videos on evolution, which offers arguments against Evolution that make Kent Hovind look like Stephen Hawking by comparison!

In the video, Comfort and Cameron insist that their arguments against evolution are strictly intellectual in nature, but around every corner, they whip out Bible verses. One way they allegedly prove that evolution is false, is to rely heavily on interviews on the street with tenagers who openly admit that they don't know what the evidence for evolution is, or what the answer to various science questions are. It never did occur to them to go to the National science Foundation, or even a local university to ask those questions from people who actually profess to know the answers!

Next, they move on to prove that we couldn't possibly have evolved from apes, by interviewing an Orangutan! Yes, because the Orangutan can't speak English, and doesn't use science and cannot converse about intellectual topics, this is their proof that we could not possibly be related to them. Never mind the genetic evidence in our DNA, or the similarities in Brain structure, or the fact that many apes have been tested and can easily solve technological puzzles that scientists have put to them. Never mind the fact that our DNA is more closely related to Chimps than to any other creature on earth. Never mind that DNA sequencing, which is used to settle identity and paternity questions, has shown how related we are.

Cameron then comes on and says "There are no missing links between Ape and man", and also that "All the fossils claimed to be human ancestors were found to be just apes."

Cameron completely ignores the 20 or so hominid species, nearly all of which walked upright like you and me, and most of which have been found with stone tools and other artifacts.

If that's not enough, they completely ignore the entire fossil record itself, by claiming that there are no transitional fossils, and that none have ever been found. Never mind that transitional fossils are actually very plentiful, and that several whole taxonomic groups of fossils are strictly transitional in nature.

If you don't piss your pants laughing at this video, they have a whole other bunch of them to choose from. I've watched about 12 of their videos this week, on various topics, but mostly science, and these guys, when put together, are actually less intelligent than a lot of 4th graders. They parade out shoddy reasoning, and plain retarded statements, which of course, they haven't checked. The result is a religious ministry that caters to extremely dumb, uneducated, possibly insane people.

And that, in short, is the reason why I consider Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron to be a couple of morons.


Pocket Nerd said...

Scientific illiteracy no longer startles me, since it's so damned common these days. But it never ceases to amaze me when people don't even bother to be internally consistent in their arguments! Ray Comfort's mutually contradictory statements about atheism as a moral or intellectual issue are a great example, but I've seen lots of others over the years...

1a) Order cannot come from chaos through unintelligent processes.
1b) The fossil record can be explained through hydrodynamic sorting.

2a) There is no such thing as separation of Church and State, so there is no barrier to teaching creationism in schools.
2b) Teaching evolution in schools violates the separation of Church and State.

3a) Acceptance of the theory of evolution caused the evils of Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia.
3b) The evils of Christians like Martin Luther or Fred Phelps, or Christian organizations like the Army of God or the Inquisition, cannot be blamed on Christianity in general.

I'm sure you could pick out a few of your own...

David W. Irish said...

Trully, there's far too many things to point out in Ray's case. I think that nearly everything he writes has something idiotic for us to laugh at.

GamingAsshole said...

How do his books ever get published?

GamingAsshole said...