The Comfort of untruth

By Phil Plait | November 27, 2009 8:00 am

By now, the whole system of tubes knows that creationist Ray Comfort is little more than a laughing stock, a buffoon who spews out more noisome, awful, contaminated bilge than a Soho water pump in 1854*.

I deal with creationism a lot, and even so I am still capable of being a bit stunned when one of them gets a chance to "explain" themselves. On his blog The Friendly Atheist, Hemant Mehta interviewed Crocoduck/Bananaman Ray Comfort, and reading it is like taking a long, gurgling drink from the Broad Street water pump. His arguments boil down to two things:

1) Atheeeiiiisssmmmm issss eeeeeevvvvvillllllll! (and therefore everything in science is wrong),

and

2) LALALALALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOU!

For example;

Hemant: The arguments you make in the introduction to the Darwin book have been stated before — and refuted repeatedly by scientists. So why repeat them? Are you interested in hearing atheists’ responses to your questions?

Ray: I don’t deny that the arguments I have used have been addressed many times. However, it’s only atheists that believe that they have been “refuted.”

"Only atheists?" Really? Because, y’know, a lot of scientists aren’t atheists. And I don’t think Pope John Paul II was, either.

I’m not sure if that little falsehood he uttered there (some might call it a lie) falls more under category 1 or 2, but I’m still pretty sure it’s laughably wrong. And it fits right in with all the other ridiculous things he says in that interview.

My favorite is this one:

Hemant: The banana. Do you stand by the argument in your video? Do you regret saying what you did? […]

Ray: I deeply regret doing the banana routine on television without a live audience. I have been doing it for live audiences for more than 20 years, and it’s never failed to get a lot of laughs.

Note his evasion: he doesn’t regret doing it, he regrets not doing in front of an audience to get laughs. Because using a ridiculous, fallacious, and clearly plain old wrong claim is OK as long as it gets a laugh.

I think Mr. Comfort needs, as most creationist mouthpieces do, to reacquaint himself with that pesky part of the Bible that talks about bearing false witness.

As it happens, he did one thing correctly. I’ll certainly agree that handing out all the bowdlerized copies of Darwin’s Origin of Species was a good move for publicity, and I know a lot of people would agree with Comfort — various polls indicate that half the population of the US has doubts about the old age of the Earth. And we won’t win over a lot of these folks with facts, since facts won’t get in the way of their belief in a young Earth. For that reason, in many cases reciting the facts over and over again won’t help (though with some, of course it will). Calling them stupid won’t help either.

That’s why I like Hemant’s blog. He’s polite, but firm. As skeptic Daniel Loxton points out, it was the reaction to Comfort’s baloney that gave him whatever spotlight he now has. While true, we can’t ignore nonsense, especially dangerous nonsense, when we see it. We should try to avoid giving antiscientists more publicity than they deserve, but we must also be ready to fight it when we can. And when we do, we need to be upbeat, and positive.

I know, in this post I’ve just taken Comfort down, and not lifted up science. The purpose of this post, however, wasn’t to give the evidence that the Universe is old– we have plenty of that. No, I wrote this to point out that the forces of ignorance are always there, 24 hours a day. They never rest, they never tire, and they never go away. Neither should we, nor will we.

That’s my point.

Which leaves me torn over which graphic to post, so you know what? I’ll do both:

The stupid, it burns

and



* Yes! A biology reference! It’s still science, even I’ll admit.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Antiscience, Science

Comments (66)

  1. I commend you for actually making it through the entire interview. It didn’t take long for complete nausea to set in when I tried to read it yesterday. Maybe I’ll try it again today on an empty stomach.

  2. IVAN3MAN AT LARGE
  3. My mother is a creationists. One of her favourite arguments is that farmers just don’t plant seeds. I know I could point out some plants just drop seeds and then grow but them I just shut up.
    When I was in high school one my best friends was a creationists, we had several discussions over the issue. One time we did so in middle of a class, the teacher just asked as to stop.

  4. TheBlackCat

    This was absolutely terrible. He refused to actually answer practically any of the questions directed at him. He did a decent job at least at answering questions that were on a similar general topic to the question asked, but only in maybe 1 or 2 cases did he actually answer the question he was really asked.

    Paraphrased:
    Q: “Can you explain evolution in your own words”
    A: “Evolution says life evolved. Evolution hasn’t been proven.”

    Q: “Do you think scientists are a) liars or b) stupid? Pick one or the other.”
    A: “I don’t have faith in the same stuff scientists do”

    Q: “Can you explain why less religious countries are generally happier, safer, and have less crime than more religious ones?”
    A: “Communism was evil”

    Q: “What are the last four books on evolution you read?”
    A: “Evolution For Dummies and another book not on evolution”

    Q: “You say it is impossible for a Christian to convert to atheism. Were the people who claim to have done so not Christians originally or not atheists now?”
    A: “They were upset by the problems with modern Christianity?”

    Seriously? How can he possibly be that evasive? I thought he was just stupid, now I know for a fact he is just blatantly dishonest. He knows he can’t actually address pretty much any of the criticisms of his position and his claims and instead is content to just ignore them totally and try to change the subject. At least we know that if anyone is going to do an interview with him in the future it must have the rule that he actually has to answer the question before moving on.

  5. IVAN3MAN AT LARGE

    @ TheBlackCat,

    It’s the same with those “Electric Universe” nutters on the Universe Today comments section!

  6. TheBlackCat

    @ Ivan: But this isn’t a comments section, this is an interview. Why would you agree to do an interview if you didn’t actually intend to answer any of the questions the interviewer asked you?

  7. If you click on the link where he brags about paying for the lunch of the 40 atheists he met, it will take you to his blog, where he brags about buying them lunch, and how kind it was of him to buy these evil atheists lunch. Reading the comments that follow is mind boggling. These people believe that atheists are pure evil, and that Rays action of buying lunch will somehow magically make these people want to believe in their God.

  8. As Einstein said, only two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity—and the first one isn’t certain.

    (Technical note: Cosmologists still don’t know whether or not the universe is infinite.
    Assuming a simple topology, it is infinite if the sign of the curvature is zero or negative. We
    know the curvature is pretty close to zer0, but we don’t know its sign.)

  9. DrFlimmer

    “The stupid, it burns!”

    I love this picture. In fact, I’ve printed it out and put on my office door. Everyone who steps in can think about it, now! ;)

  10. Mr. Comfort sounds like The Terminator:

    “They never rest, they never tire, and they never go away. ”

    and Mr. Terminator:

    “Listen, and understand! That Terminator is out there! It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.”

  11. It never surprises me how there’s around five blogs I read, and they all link back to each other. It’s like all the awesome on the internet works together – Friendly Atheist and WWDN and Bad Astronomy.

    I’ll say the same thing here as I did on FA – I could only read halfway through before my head just shut down with the stupid. How hard is it to get a straight answer out of these people!

  12. @ BlackCat:

    Why would you agree to do an interview if you didn’t actually intend to answer any of the questions the interviewer asked you?

    P-U-B-L-I-C-I-T-Y.

    These people are nobodies without their stupid ideas and the stupid people who follow them. They belong to that large class of people who cannot deal with the fact that the real world is too complicated for their own feeble brains to manage. In order to get around that handicap, they have to demonize those around them who can manage reality. And once they get going, they realize that they can quickly build quite a following.

    It’s the classic case of the schoolyard dunce who has to tease the “brainy kid” in order to draw attention away from his own ignorance. If he can get others to do the same, everyone’s attention is diverted away from his faults.

    People like this are just way too common. The more people like themselves they surround themselves with, the more empowered — and less disenfranchised — they feel. “See…I can’t be stupid, ’cause there’s so many others just like me.”

  13. Darren Garrison

    “Which leaves me torn over which graphic to post, so you know what? I’ll do both”

    Or you could combine them into one superawesome image:

    http://img694.imageshack.us/img694/1570/demostupid.jpg

  14. I predict someone will bring up the hacked email accounts proving global warming by man does not exist.

  15. “I deeply regret doing the banana routine on television without a live audience. I have been doing it for live audiences for more than 20 years, and it’s never failed to get a lot of laughs.”

    One image immediately came to mind:

    http://lintbox.com/graphics/prtscn/video/gob.jpg

    “They’re laughing with me, Michael! They’re laughing with me!”

  16. ChuckP

    Ray said: I don’t deny that the arguments I have used have been addressed many times. However, it’s only atheists that believe that they have been “refuted.”

    Phil countered: “Only atheists?” Really? Because, y’know, a lot of scientists aren’t atheists. And I don’t think Pope John Paul II was, either.

    Ray Comfort doesn’t consider Catholics to be ‘False Christians’, and lumps the Pope into the same group as atheists, agnostics, and everyone else who doesn’t believe the exact same things he believes.

  17. rob

    “I deeply regret doing the banana routine on television without a live audience. I have been doing it for live audiences for more than 20 years, and it’s never failed to get a lot of laughs.”

    Note the present tense; he’s *still* using it. I thought he’d acknowledged a couple of years ago that his banana argument was flawed? Foolishly I assumed he’d then have stopped using it.

  18. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    He he! Creationists – if they did not exist, they would have to be created.

    the evidence that the Universe is old– we have plenty of that.

    13.72 +/- .12 Gy?!

    The last arxiv paper I saw integrating this and much more data (with some South Pole sky measurements thrown in, IIRC) come out as something like 13.66 Gy +/- 0.10 Gy. Proof that science is wrong and doesn’t wor… huh, didn’t see that previous imprecision estimate.

    Proof that Comfort is wrong, but unfortunately not proof that his “method” doesn’t work. I agree with BA, vigilance, no more publicity than deserved and positive messages.

    Except that it is useful to call them out on what they are, and as many are incompetents they are observably functionally stupid (but fixable so). It is useful to understand them, and it is useful to vent instead of accepting introversion damage. It’s a win-win stupidity. :-D

  19. Keith (the first one)

    There was a fanstastic article on evolution in the Gibraltar Chronicle this week. I thought it was well written because it presented the facts in a very understandable way and it didn’t resort to making fun of creationists. I had hoped to link you to it but unfortunately it isn’t posted on their website.

  20. MPG

    He keeps changing his story about the legendary banana argument. First it was outright surprise, admitting he didn’t know the modern bananas we know and love are infertile cultivars that wouldn’t exist at all without close human supervision. Then it became “you’ve taken it out of context” (said context being that it followed an almost identical argument about how it’d be stupid to believe a Coca Cola can could form by itself, comparing the ring-pull with the banana’s stalk, the writing on the can with the banana’s changing colours as it ripens, etc). Now it was apparently never meant to be taken seriously in the first place. Well, he’s right about one thing – the argument hasn’t failed to get a lot of laughs this time either.

  21. TheBlackCat

    @ kuhnigget: Does he really think that giving a bunch of non-answers to a blog by an atheist is really going to win him converts? I could understand if it was a more neutral venue, but you would expect the blog’s target audience would already be suspicious of Ray and would not be impressed by the non-answers he provides.

  22. gypkap

    From what I know about the creationists I know (including some relatives), their attitude about information counter to their beliefs is to ignore that information because it doesn’t fit their beliefs. That circular logic is OK with them.

  23. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    Though

    it was the reaction to Comfort’s baloney that gave him whatever spotlight he now has.

    and “He focuses on atheists because our reaction created him” is accommodationist talk. Where is the evidence for that?

    It is actually problematic to find anything on Comfort’s history, but a decidedly partial account (“Statemaster Encyclopedia”) claims that Comfort has found inspiration in the UK priest Charles Spurgeon and christian texts to write religious texts and sell them, often in the streets. In 1989 he was invited to a US evangelical ministry (Calvary Chapel) in California. And in 2001-2 he paired up with actor Kirk Cameron and started a television show.

    If true, it seems that religion, salesmanship and showmanship is to blame for current Comfort noise, not atheism nor atheists.

    It is quite another matter that one should be careful around that toxic combination, it tends to be messy and get all over the place.

  24. TheBlackCat

    @ Torbjörn: don’t forget his connection to a former child star-turned fundy disciple of his probably also helped his publicity considerably.

  25. Nomen Publicus

    Comfort cannot be corrected, converted or deterred. He has a world view and will stick to it no matter what. If he had charisma he would be a danger.

    Fortunately he will quite likely crash and burn in a fight with other fundies over some tiny doctrinal difference.

  26. Dan I.

    Phil;

    You just don’t get it do you? Of course John Paul II was an atheist. Comfort believes anyone who doesn’t believe his exact beliefs in an atheist (or the equivalent).

    It’s like in the Simpsons episode when Rev. Lovejoy is trying to get Bart to stop being Catholic

    “We’re here to bring you back to the one true faith. The Western Branch of American Presbelutheranism”

  27. @ BlackCat:

    Does he really think that giving a bunch of non-answers to a blog by an atheist is really going to win him converts?

    Honestly, I don’t think it matters to these people. Attention is what they want.

    He knows that by pissing off a bunch of skeptics he’s going to get attention. He’ll spin that amongst his followers into the lame old “David vs. Goliath” angle. The result: the wrath of the fundies is focused even more tightly on the evil smart people, and not their own stupidity.

  28. @gypkap,

    From the creationists I know, your assessment is correct. I would also add, though, that they regard the unchanging nature of their “theory” and “evidence” to be a strength versus the changing nature of science.

    If we discover a new fossil tomorrow that changes the timetable of human evolution by 100,000 years, science regards updating the theory as a strength. After all, the evidence available to us has changed and the theory might need to be tweaked to fit the evidence.

    Creationists, however, see the change as bad. They’d say “See? Science admitted it was wrong in their Evolution theory before. Why should we trust that they’re right now?” Then they’ll declare “Our God Did It theory has never changed. It was our theory a hundred years ago and it will be our theory a hundred years from now.” That constancy is reassuring to some people and they cling to it.

    In addition, creationists see everything through the lens of faith. You believe in this theory versus that theory solely because of faith. Perhaps you support your faith with some “holy writings.” Thus, evolution “believers” have Darwin’s Origin of the Species as their “holy book” instead of the Bible. They just don’t get a worldview where you take things based on peer reviewed theories and evidence instead of faith.

    That’s why you get statements from Ray Comfort like “Those who believe it’s 4.5 billion years old have to have faith in radioisotope dating techniques. I don’t have that sort of faith.” He seriously believes that radioisotope dating theories are purely a matter of faith. To him it makes no difference if a scientist does a test which has been peer reviewed a dozen times or puts a sample on a machine, bows his head and prays that the correct age will appear on the screen. Everything is faith in his world. And, of course, since his faith is the right one (otherwise why would he believe in it?), everyone else is wrong. Any evidence to the contrary is flawed and/or put there by God to test the faithful.

  29. tacitus

    It’s clear from those so-called answers Comfort gives that he really doesn’t have much interest in engaging in a real dialog with atheists. All he wants to do is preach at them and make other Christians feel warm and fuzzy by feeding them his own personal caricatures of atheism and evolution.

    I listened to part of the radio show he and Kirk Cameron often appear on last weekend, after the Origin give away and the only way to describe the way the host talked about the fact that they had distributed the books early is with the word “gloating.” It was pretty ugly stuff.

  30. tacitus

    One useful way to keep people like Ray Comfort in perspective is to illustrate the difference between the ramblings of a few dozen “creation scientists” and the tens of thousands of scientific papers (at least) and the uncountable millions of hours of research that has been done on evolution over the last 100 years.

    It’s like trying to attack Mount Everest with a toothbrush. As they scrub away at a tiny spot of rock face they may discover a tiny crack or two where scientists got it wrong, or had to change their theory a little in light of new evidence, but in reality Mount Everest is still there and completely unfazed by a tiny bunch of people armed with plastic tooth cleaning equipment at its based.

  31. M. Schriver

    There is an element to this that I think people just keep missing. Does it matter that Comfort has written a really bad forward to Origin? The net result is that many more copies of Darwin’s book have been circulated, quite often into homes that would not otherwise accept a copy of the book. Does the forward so poison the volume that the science, thought and truth of Darwin’s work does not stand on its own? While it is said that a chapter is missing there has been no statement so far that the actual copy of Origin in Comfort’s volume was edited or changed. Osiander wrote a horrible forward to Copernicus and we remember Copernicus not Osiander. We have to believe in Science that truth is revealed in the long run. As I said on another blog, Dawkins needs to come out with a free copy of the Bible where he writes a forward from an atheists perspective. The Christians would immediately recognize the value of having a true copy of the Bible on every atheists shelf even if it had an atheistic forward. If there is something to celebrate here is that Creationists will have to engage the actual words of Darwin not the straw Darwin of their own creation. Think of Comfort’s volume as a literary Trojan Horse.

  32. Jeremy

    You have to admit though… the banana video IS funny.

  33. kebsis

    His banana arguments are mind-boggling. If he had simply told the truth about it, that he was simply in error about the origins of the modern banana, he wouldn’t look so bad. I mean, it would imply that he doesn’t do any research before he speaks, but really I would be willing to buy the argument that he made the banana thing up on the spot because he had to pad out his video or whatever.

    But if you look at the PDF he refers to…first of all, it’s just a short page with a few pictures that was written by him (despite his obvious attempt to make it look like he was referencing some kind of scientific article in the interview), and it doesn’t really say anything, other than that he believes modern bananas look like ancient ones except they are a slightly different color. The links he provides are nonsensical in terms of his argument. Here we have a man who will mentally try to rewrite the history of the banana instead of simply admitting that he was wrong on one small, really insignificant thing. That’s a little bit crazy in my book.

  34. @ Tacitus:

    It’s like trying to attack Mount Everest with a toothbrush. As they scrub away at a tiny spot of rock face they may discover a tiny crack or two where scientists got it wrong, or had to change their theory a little in light of new evidence, but in reality Mount Everest is still there and completely unfazed by a tiny bunch of people armed with plastic tooth cleaning equipment at its based.

    Yes, but…as has often been stated here, these handfuls of morons can have a huge effect on the non-scientific public, by intimidating school boards, textbook manufacturers and the like, their idiotic ramblings can be cloaked with the mantel of respectable science.

    A pox on them all. Take away their science-based tools, their technology (anything above the level of ox cart and wax tablet), their humanistic laws, and everything else their creed doesn’t stand for. See how long the naked apes would stay in their own camp before crawling back to the modern world.

    Hm…

    Gosh. I seem to be betraying a little bit of bitterness here. Could it be that many decades ago, some “brainy kid” was tormented by these self-same anti-intellectual baboons?

  35. Tim G

    Ray Comfort on TV

    I am somewhat amused by what he says at the 3:00 and 4:37 marks.

  36. tacitus

    Yes, but…as has often been stated here, these handfuls of morons can have a huge effect on the non-scientific public, by intimidating school boards, textbook manufacturers and the like, their idiotic ramblings can be cloaked with the mantel of respectable science.

    Oh, I agree there is much potential for mischief, even from a few toothbrush wielding idiots, and we should actively oppose them whenever possible. But in the long run, no matter how many small victories they win, creationists are doomed to failure. It may take decades, science and evolution will win out in the end.

  37. aspentroll.myid.net

    Time has a way of healing everything. If we wait long enough we may be delighted to know that
    he and his side kick will have followed the path of the great Ted Haggard and they will then STFU.

  38. alfaniner

    Larry King should do an interview with C&C. Now, there’s a guy with some probing questions that won’t let them get away with anything!

  39. MadScientist

    “However, it’s only atheists that believe that they have been “refuted.””

    Ray is unaware (by accident or by choice) of the prevailing views of contemporary theologians. Some of the major sects of christianity (for example roman catholic, anglican, and lutheran) have accepted (at least at the official level – what the individuals believe is another matter) that the earth is ancient and that evolution is true. Many religious people (including priests and lay persons) over the past 150 years have even made significant contributions to geology, evolution, and many other scientific endeavors. While biblical scholars had struggled with issues of biblical literal truth for close to 2000 years, biblical scholars over 100 years ago had already worked out that there is little literal truth to anything in the bible. Mr. Comfort has yet to catch onto what biblical scholars knew over 100 years ago.

    @alphaniner: nah, I’m not impressed by Larry King; he’s far too accommodating and really does his best to avoid significant questions. Whether that is King’s typical behavior or something forced upon him by the network, I don’t know.

  40. tacitus

    Ray is unaware (by accident or by choice) of the prevailing views of contemporary theologians.

    Oh, I am certain that he is fully aware of what those (liberal) contemporary theologians think. He simply believes that anyone who accepts evolution is either a dupe or a liar. It’s as simple as that. That is the prevailing tactic amongst creationist activists because it allows them to presupposes that there are no other viewpoints worth listening to but their own narrow interpretation of the Bible.

    I have been discussing what it means to be a Christian with a creationist over the last couple of days, and it’s clear that for people like them, the very definition of what if means to be a Christian includes a strict adherence to the belief that the Bible is inerrant and an accurate retelling of history from beginning to end. This is what Ray Comfort believes which means that any theological viewpoint that allows for evolution to be true is, at best dangerously misguided and at worst a Satanic deception.

    You cannot use rational debate with these people. It simply cannot work.

    As for Larry King, that’s just the way he is. CNN is not forcing him to be a softball interviewer, but I am sure they like it since it ensures that he gets all the guests he wants because they know they’re not going to be asked any tough questions.

  41. StevoR

    @ 10. CafeenMan Says:

    Mr. Comfort sounds like The Terminator:

    “They never rest, they never tire, and they never go away. ”

    and Mr. Terminator:

    “Listen, and understand! That Terminator is out there! It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.”

    Actually, I think that was Kyle Reese, John Connor’s father & teenage Sarah Connor’s rescuer who said those lines in the first Terminator movie. ;-)

    In that one, the Terminator – T-1000 to be precise – played by Arnie Schwarzenegger was the bad guy out to kill Sarah and prevent her having her kid and Kyle was sent back by John Connor to save his Mum from retroactive assassination!

    Great quote & movie choice but! 8)

    Of course, I could be wrong ..

    ****
    See : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Terminator

    BTW. Apparently O. J. Simpson was on the shortlist to play the evil Terminator but Cameron did not think that “such a nice guy could be a ruthless killer”. Hah! ;-)

    PS. Terminators are actually entirely real – there’s one on every planet and moon! The terminator is the line between darkness and light itseparates the illuminated and shadowed parts of each planet aka day and night. We see and pass across a terminator with every sunrise and sunset! ;-)

  42. That was CafeenMan’s point, wasn’t it? That Phil Plait’s description of Ray Comfort (actually, “the forces of ignorance” in general) sounds quite like Kyle Reese’s description of the Terminator.

  43. Petrolonfire

    You cannot use rational debate with these people. It simply cannot work.

    Or “Never try to teach a pig to sing. It only wastes your time and annoys the pig.” ;-)

    O. J. Simpson was on the shortlist to play the evil Terminator but Cameron did not think that “such a nice guy could be a ruthless killer”.

    [Comic Book Guy voice on] Worst character misjudgement ever! ;-) [/Comic Book Guy voice off.]

    Has Ray Comfort slipped on his banana peel yet? ;-)

    I don’t know what’s sillier the fact that this nutjob thought banana’s disprove evolution in the first place or the fact that he still thinks people are laughing *with* him not *at* him and keeps defedning the indefensible. Also dunno whether its more comical or tragic that a … tosspot … like Comfort can exist in this day & age & get even such a small and foolish following.

  44. StevoR

    @ 43. Carl Says:

    That was CafeenMan’s point, wasn’t it? That Phil Plait’s description of Ray Comfort (actually, “the forces of ignorance” in general) sounds quite like Kyle Reese’s description of the Terminator.

    Sure. No dispute from me there. :-)

    I was just pointing out that CafeenMan was saying “the Terminator said it” when it was really Kyle Reese (played by Michael Biehn) he was quoting that’s all.

    One of my favourite movies that I grew up with so .. just thought I’d chip in with that.

  45. TheBlackCat

    In that one, the Terminator – T-1000 to be precise – played by Arnie Schwarzenegger was the bad guy out to kill Sarah and prevent her having her kid and Kyle was sent back by John Connor to save his Mum from retroactive assassination!

    The T-1000 was the liquid metal one from Terminator 2, the Schwarzenegger type is the T-101, I believe.

    Edit: I was wrong, he was a T-800 model 101.

  46. TheBlackCat

    I guess they used the name inconsistently, so T-101 was used at some points.

  47. Chet Twarog

    Concerning this and religion, try out the satirical and fun (and sometimes annoying) website http://www.mrdeity.com.

  48. @ 43. Carl Says:

    I didn’t remember the quote exactly so I looked it up. I didn’t post Kyle Reese because I thought it would be too obscure (nobody would know who it was). So I just use “The Terminator” meaning a quote from the movie.

  49. Oops. Yes, I said, “Mr. Terminator” so yeah, I screwed up. Sorry if I ruined anyone’s day or life. :)

  50. Steve in Dublin

    @TechyDad #29

    Excellent deconstruction of the situation we find ourselves in :-

    @ChuckP #16

    Ray Comfort doesn’t considers Catholics to be ‘False Christians’, and lumps the Pope into the same group as atheists, agnostics, and everyone else who doesn’t believe the exact same things he believes.

    Fixed that for you.

  51. ChuckP

    @ Steve in Dublin.

    Thanks.

    I guess I had a brain fart when I posted. I meant to say ‘True Christians’.

  52. Jermaine

    if anyone is really interested in this kind of discussion, Stefan Molyneaux does a great job going through it in detail with amazing discussions in podcast form over at freedomainradio.com

    I don’t have any specific podcasts in mind, but he has a category filter for his podcasts I’m sure they’re all winners.

  53. Jeff

    Nice reference to Dr. John Snow’s pioneering efforts in epidemiology.

  54. It’s true that “Calling them stupid won’t help either.”

    So perhaps you should re-think that “The Stupid, it burns!” graphic?

  55. Grizzly

    Remember that wonderful speech about the difference between nerds and geeks? I think the discussion about the model of Terminator kind of proves his point doesn’t it. Rock on!

  56. Nigel Depledge

    StevoR (42) said:

    In that one, the Terminator – T-1000 to be precise – played by Arnie Schwarzenegger was the bad guy out to kill Sarah and prevent her having her kid and Kyle was sent back by John Connor to save his Mum from retroactive assassination!

    On my DVDs, Arnie was a Cyberdyne Systems model T-101 in that film and Terminator 2. The T-1000 was the mimetic polyalloy terminator in T-2. For some strange reason, in the latest film and in the TV series, the Arnie-style terminators (i.e. those with no special schticks like the T-1000 or the T-X from the third film) were described as T-888s.

  57. Daffy

    Having worked in the religious broadcasting industry (when I was VERY hungry), I think it likely you are all misunderstanding this man. I would bet money he is no more a believing Christian than you or I; what I suspect he really is is a man who has found out how easy it is to bilk money out of the faithful.

    I knew a LOT of these people, and, to a man, they were (privately), utterly without any sort of religious faith at all. But they were very good at entertaining the sheep; they could generate massive “love offerings.”

  58. Gary Ansorge

    59. daffy.

    Good point. Sociopaths milk the uninformed as much as they can. Is it any wonder there are so many of the latter who have little in the way of resources? It appalls me when I think of how much money is given to these wankers. I just wish we had some way to hold them accountable for their actions/lies/deceit.

    As far as arguing with these fecal ejects, I expect a troll, with evidence links attached, might be all we really need to put out there. Trolls have infinite patience,,,(Hey. Trolls can also be good. Not all of them eat children.)

    Gary 7

  59. Yes, Daffy. That is it, exactly.

    Attention, money, followers who put you on a pedestal like some idiot hero….that’s what’s all about. If it weren’t religion, it would be UFOs or space alien abductions or crop circles or homeopathic medicine or…pick an idiocy. Religion just happens to be a profitable market in this country.

    And they cannot be disgraced or taken down, because they’ll just spin their downfall into yet another opportunity to rise and fleece the marching morons. Witness Ted Haggard, Peter Popoff, or any in an endless devolutionary line of amoral amoeboids leaching blood off the masses.

  60. StevoR

    @ 58. Nigel Depledge Says:

    On my DVDs, Arnie was a Cyberdyne Systems model T-101 in that film and Terminator 2. The T-1000 was the mimetic polyalloy terminator in T-2. For some strange reason, in the latest film and in the TV series, the Arnie-style terminators (i.e. those with no special schticks like the T-1000 or the T-X from the third film) were described as T-888s.

    Okay – thanks for clearing that up for us. :-)

  61. Buzz Parsec

    @daffy –

    To update Dr. Johnson, “Televangelism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”

  62. Nigel Depledge

    I’m actually a little bit surprised that this thread hasn’t attracted one of the reality-denying trolls (yet).

    Phil, are you losing your touch?

  63. Gus Snarp

    I have two questions:

    1. The “The Stupid, it Burns” graphic appears to be a number 2. Is this pareidolia, or is there a whole series of matching number graphics?

    2. What polls? I can’t stand when people say things like: “various polls indicate” without telling me what polls, or better yet, linking to them. Now you’ve told me that half of America is monumentally stupid, which may be true, but I need to see the evidence. It’s one thing to believe in Christianity, or to vote a certain way, but quite another to actually believe that the Earth is only 6,000 years old.

  64. Nitpick:

    The part of the Bible that talks about bearing false witness is essentially referring to lying on the witness stand in a trial. (Biblical scholars, can you back me up on this one?) There is no Commandment against plain old everyday lying in general.

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