[ weird things ] | … and a bullhorn for every maniac

… and a bullhorn for every maniac

Of all the places to have a good faith debate about evolution, a forum hosted by a religion reporter against Ray "Banana Man" Comfort is not one.
megaphone shouting match

Right now, somewhere, Ray Comfort and his designated former child star stalker are handing out a mangled copy of Charles Darwin’s Origin of the Species at some hapless college. Lacking important chapters where a number of crucial questions about natural selection are answered in detail and desecrated with the kind of intellectually lazy introduction that should merit a D in any philosophy or theology class, this it not the copy you would want on your bookshelf if you consider yourself a scientifically minded person. So now, what’s a big time religious reporter like U.S. News & World Report’s Dan Gilgoff to do? Why give him a platform to debate with Dr. Eugene Scott of the NCSE about the merits to slandering and sliming a theory he adamantly refuses to understand, but fears as if Darwin’s ghost was coming at him with a bloody chainsaw buzzing with malice.

The late George Carlin liked to joke around that some crazy people shouldn’t be removed from society and put in mental sanitariums, but should be given their own shows instead for the entertainment value they provide. I will point out again that this was only a joke since it seems like today’s mainstream media took his advice to heart and gives anybody loud and obnoxious enough a show of their own. Same applies to Comfort who uses his religion as a moneymaking device and a foot in the doors that would otherwise be slammed shut. And we should also remember that Gilgoff was marginalizing and dismissing atheists after a recent report about the growth of non-theism in the United States. His motivations to host this farce of a debate seem questionable at best and I wouldn’t encourage you for a moment to think that anything beneficial will come of it.

Yes, Ray certainly has a right to his beliefs and if he wants to start a cult around bananas he thinks are living testaments to the power of God, (despite actually being testaments to thousands of years of agriculture) he’s more than welcome to do so. However, the problem with him and every other vocal creationist out there is that they also insist that their beliefs must be your beliefs. Otherwise you’re going to Hell. And no, you can’t show a fossil in a science classroom because you’ll be dooming kids to Hell too. They’re like epistemological bullies who tell you that should you fail to obey them, their dad will come and beat you up. Yes, I’m sure this is the way Jesus would’ve wanted to be remembered. Not as a philosopher, not as the Ghandi of Judea, but as a threat for the heathens who won’t fall in line with those who claim to worship him. If we want to debate that, or tackle theological questions with a mix of anthropology thrown in for good measure, by all means let’s get Ray along with his airheaded celebrity escort on stage and ask them some questions.

But when it comes to science, debating with the likes of Comfort is an exercise in futility. Nothing Dr. Scott will ever say will make him let go of his hysterical phobia of science. I’m sure she’s well aware of that and is only doing this to defend the work of Charles Darwin from being so obnoxiously mangled. On his side, Ray will be throwing out the same inanities disproven so many times, an accurate count would need to be expressed by scientific notation. His intellect barely rivals that of the banana he used as his proof of intelligent design. And for crying out loud, the man doesn’t even know how gravity works! Why are we giving this ditz a bullhorn and a national stage? What does he possibly have to say that we haven’t heard before? How do we expect him to provide a reasonable rebuttal to an accomplished biologist? The only reason why there will even be a debate is because there are plenty of people who are grossly uneducated about biology either on purpose or through the callous efforts of others, cheering him on and thinking their faith gives them some sort of support.

# evolution // evolution / ncse / popular science / ray comfort / religion

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