10.10.2009

Ow! the willful ignorance

I saw this video and it's so entertaining I can't help but respond to it:



I've commented on it play by play below [click the "read more"]. (The football game's on and Illinois isn't doing too well.)

The arguments are just so bad. His biggest error is saying that god and evolution are mutually exclusive. On top of that, he's arguing against his version of evolution which is not the theory that biology has confirmed and strengthened repeatedly over the last 150 years.

Towards the end, Ray even plainly says that the reason he believes is because he can't accept that he's just an animal. It's like Buzz in Toy Story not being able to accept he's only a toy; Ray Comfort get over yourself, you're an animal, your species arose through natural selection.



0'41: "When we lived under the water, do you think we had lungs or gills" Wow, is he asking that fully formed people lived in the ocean and then came onto land? Of course that's stupid.

0'52: See lungfish or amphibians.

1'07: Was [the first land animal] male or female? He's trying to make evolution to seem highly improbable by suggesting both a male and female would happen to have to develop the same unlikely ability of living on land at the same time to propagate it. Unfortunately, that's not how species evolve. A water species would probably develop the ability to make short trips onto land and then it could take off from there or it could have been like amphibians where part of their life cycle starts happening on land, maybe egg laying because there wouldn't be predators up there to eliminate the ones that started doing that. Of course the whole process takes thousands or tens or hundreds of thousands of generations to occur. The difference from one generation to the next is so small it's be like trying to tell when your hair has grown.

2'03: Notice the clapping. My old midi keyboard makes that same fake sound.

2'14: "Darwin was a very bitter man who went into the ministry, fell away..." Argument ad hominem. So what about Darwin? That has no role in whether or not his evidence based theory is correct.

2'19: "lost his daughter at the age of 12" Oh no! Clearly Darwin has a bone to pick with god. There are perfectly non-tragic reasons for not believing in a deity.

Something that doesn't quite compute is the false dichotomy he keeps on harping on: either god exists or evolution is true. THEY ARE NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE! Although "creation" is one easy spot of mystery in most people's minds that he can exploit to wiggle a certain god in.

2'27 "fairy tale for grown-ups" ha ha ha

2'31 "it's basically idolatry, creating a god in your own image..." He's confused about what a god is apparently. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he means it in a Nietzschian sense that "god" represents a universal objectivity. In that case, it's still a twist to say that because there are no objective morals, I become my own moral god. Morals are not defined by gods; society makes morals, or I should say "morals" that don't improve or help society are weeded out and not advanced to the next generation (natural selection!).

2'55 "God gave us 6 senses, the 6th sense is common sense" I too can turn phrases and pull words out of my ass. Senses are the means by which you receive input from the world, ie sensors. Like a computer has a keyboard, mouse, microphone, etc. we have touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing. Oh yes, how could I forget the sense of common sense and common sense receptacles.

3'09 "a dog evolves, it's the first dog..." No, it doesn't work like that. There are no black and white species boundaries. The "first dog" would have had parents that looked a whole lot like it and so on back to the beginning. Either he's being intellectually dishonest by arguing against an "evolution" no one is proposing (that animals suddenly pop into a new form) or he is incredibly ignorant.

3'21 Does he think males and females are different species? It's the full version of that question he asked at the beginning (1'07). And then he's still on the thing about an offspring animal being totally different from it's parents. No, it's not like that.

3'51 "People don't think very deeply" he says on a religious show. Yes, because it's deep thoughts that lead to "god did it".

3'55 "bad atheists" Oh no! They're trying to enforce the Constitution.

4'07 "people praying in public, hate nativity scenes" Depends. If the government's paying for the event, time, or location, then yes that should be stopped.

4'26 "disprove evolution and prove god's existence" Here's that false dichotomy again. What if a god is steering natural selection? The Catholic Church accepts evolution. Also the other thing I don't get about a lot of these philosophical technicalities like 'creation' or Pascal's wager (you have nothing to lose by believing) is that they work like this: there's something that necessitates a deity, which could be any of them from Allah to Zeus, therefore Jesus. I can't imagine how life could evolve, therefore Jesus did it. There's no evidence a god doesn't exist, therefore that god that doesn't doesn't exist is Jesus.

4'33 "1 in 4 of university professors is atheistic or agnostic" Seems like it'd be higher than that. Over my 4+ years in college, I've only had one professor that I've known was religious and several I've known that were atheists. If anything that speaks more to professionalism. Is this point anti-intellectualism? Wouldn't you think that the most educated people in society would likely have more skill at interpreting evidence than the average person?

4'38 Hmm...educated people don't believe in your religion anymore? We must stop education!

4'44-5'00 "What do you do when...fairy tales...gay marriage" What?!? Yes, as soon as you stop believing you always turn (evolve?) into a the worst thing ever, a gay-communist-atheist-witch-abortioning-immigrant-minority, in short a liberal.

5'21 "missing female" ha ha, Pat's two minutes behind.

5'26 "to have things made, you have to have a maker...building without a builder" So he's proving god exists by declaring a things to have arbitrary properties which necessitate a god. Firstly, even if this were a good argument, it still wouldn't specify which god. Secondly, it's so dumb. It's a language trick, of course calling the universe "creation" implies it was created by a creator.

5'36-6'05 "nothing created everything" NO NO NO. Things aren't created. As matter and energy interact over time, things develop naturally. A similar statement is "everything came from nothing". All matter-energy has always been around and the big bang was when it 'unzipped' into the state which after billions of years of development lead to the reality we see today. Moreover, the Earth and Milky Way, whatever you can name, table, your house, dogs, these things aren't meant to be created by the universe. The big bang didn't happen with the intention that the these things should arise 14 billion years later in a certain part of the universe. Stuff happened and they came about as a result of other things happening.

5'48 "Ford truck..." The only created things in the universe are man-made objects. Inanimate objects are fundamentally different from living organisms and if he can't grasp that, then perhaps his lack of understanding is just stupidity.

6'10 "the reason it's so promoted is because evolution deals with moral accountability to god, if we're just animals...that evolved..." OK he basically gives it away, his whole shtick is because he can't accept a godless universe. I was like this for about a year after I stopped believing in a particular religion. You grasp to belief because you are too afraid to accept the meaninglessness and pointlessness of the alternative. I got over it when I realized that just because I want something to be true, doesn't make it true.

6'47 "bible says they're fools" duh, of course.

6'51-7'51 "answer isn't to argue with them...mind [reason?] isn't subject to god...do what Jesus did and speak to the conscious" You can't win a debate because there's no evidence for your religion so you have resort to scaring people about sinning, which is arbitrary, into believing (8'02).

7'44 The Jesus story is funny when you think about it. God made his mother pregnant with himself so he could sacrifice himself to himself in order to change his mind about things which he made knowing what would happen.

8'02-8'22 "I don't want to die" Religion is a mind-virus that feeds off of several things, mainly our fear of death. There's nothing to fear about being dead. You'll never know or feel you're dead when you're dead. Naturally, I too want to live as long as possible.

8'25 Yes, you know your brand of superstition is correct when you have to scare people into believing in it. Hey, isn't that how terrorism works?