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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Uh, Ray, I think you're missing something...

A while back I wrote a post dealing with a rather weird new approach to preaching to atheists: trying to convince us god exists through the miracle of the grocery store. No, I'm not kidding. I particularly drew attention to Ray Comfort's delightful explanation that the banana is an atheist's worst nightmare.* Nope, not joking:

Now, one would think that after a misunderstanding of biology this disastrous, a man would slink away and try to live a quiet, humble life. Yeah, one would think that, but one would be wrong. Turns out, Mr. Comfort has come out with a book about atheists. A book with the charming title, "You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence, But You Can't Make Him Think: Answers to Questions from Angry Skeptics." I haven't read the book, I concede, but that is due in no small part to the fact that he thinks bananas are a powerful refutation of my religion. Nonetheless, a number of others have been castigating him on in the comments. So much that World Net Daily**, the only newspaper that actually wants to sell you products for the end times- an irony*** so great it boggles the mind- has produced an article on his heart-wrenching experiences. And that's where Comfort manages to embarrass himself with biology yet again. Specifically, he observes the following:

"I simply expose atheistic evolution for the unscientific fairy tale that it is, and I do it with common logic. I ask questions about where the female came from for each species. Every male dog, cat, horse, elephant, giraffe, fish and bird had to have coincidentally evolved with a female alongside it (over billions of years) with fully evolved compatible reproductive parts and a desire to mate, otherwise the species couldn't keep going. Evolution has no explanation for the female for every species in creation," he said. [emphasis added]

Where to begin? Okay, first, not all species have males and females. In fact, given that the numerical majority of species are bacteria, I'll go out on a limb and suggest that most species don't have males and females.

Next we get to the issue of males and females needing to evolve simultaneously. Never mind that in the animal kingdom there exist a number of intermediate states that work just fine. Is explaining the evolution of sex a problem? Yes. Is it an insurmountable obstacle? Hardly.

But then we get to the real winner, that bit about wondering "where the female came from." Yeah. Ray? Here's a question that will just boggle your cramped little brain: what makes you think that the female came from anywhere? Or, put differently, why do you make it sound as though males appeared first and females were some sort of late comers? Is it possibly because you're so bound up in ancient sexist supersitions that suggest that women are nothing more than helpful subordinates to men- a perspective that is all too prominent among your co-religionists- to actually note the obvious alternative? Maybe earlier forms of reproduction were more similar to females and males are the relatively new additions? I admit, I find that argument more compelling given that for most species males are quite clearly more expendable than females. If such a revolutionary notion- that men aren't obviously the most important things around- had occurred to you then you might have at least phrased your lousy argument in a way that did not immediately reveal your shoddy grasp of biology and evolution.

I tell you, Ray: with enemies like you, we atheists hardly need friends.

* Of late I have been eating a lot of bananas and have been considering referring to them as "nightmares" but I think it might annoy my wife after a while.

** I see it as weirdly appropriate that the initials "WND" only miss "WMD" by one letter.

*** See, if you really believed the end times were coming, what would you want with all that currency?

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Blogger Sarahliz said...

Hmmm... technically speaking I'm not exactly an athiest. But I still like the concept that I had a nightmare for breakfast.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 2:19:00 PM  
Blogger Marf said...

He seems to not understand that males and females can be of the same species.

Friday, March 13, 2009 4:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to hook this douche up with my mother-in-law. When I invited her to my pre-wedding lingerie shower, she sent the book, "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands" by Dr. Laura...

Saturday, March 14, 2009 2:11:00 PM  

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