Christian review of ‘Evolution vs. God’: Ray Comfort is the world’s worst scientist

"Evolution vs. God" does indeed shake the foundations of faith, but not in the way Ray Comfort intends.

It’s official. If “we are all scientists,” as T.H. Huxley once argued, then Ray Comfort is the world’s worst scientist. I can conclude nothing else after watching the New Zealand-born street evangelist’s latest movie, “Evolution vs. God.”

In it, Comfort approaches several evolutionary scientists and university educators (along with a bunch of undergrads and people on the street — we’ll get to them in a bit), namely P.Z. Myers, Gail Kennedy, Peter Nonacs and Craig Stanford, and demands they provide evidence for evolution. And they do, even in the highly edited version that was released for public consumption (we can only guess what support for evolution they offered in the portions that were cut out, since RayCo has refused to release the raw footage). Myers, for example, suggests Comfort check out Lenski’s experiments with bacteria or look up the significant changes that have been observed in isolated populations of sticklebacks.

Not good enough, RayCo claims. “They’re still fish,” he says. “There’s no change in kinds.”

“What do the bacteria become?” he wants to know.

And this is why Comfort is a terrible scientist. While a real scientist analyzes the results of an experiment or a finding in the field to see what conclusions may be drawn from it, Comfort waves away historical evidence as irrelevant and contemporary evidence as meaningless. He, in fact, demands evidence that the theory in question never predicted would be found.

I’d hate for a laboratory seeking new medical breakthroughs to ever have someone like RayCo in charge. I can see it now: “Well yeah, the patient has been cured of cancer, but he’s still going to die at some point, for some reason or another. There’s no real change here. Back to the drawing board.”

Real scientists relish the task of hunting the subtle nuances in raw data. Indeed, they search out Higgs bosons and electromagnetic fields — the mysterious, invisible things of the universe that most of us never would have imagined were there at all. Their work is not easy or sexy, and folks like Comfort would dismiss it as worthless, and yet their results have doubled your expected lifespan, sent men and women into space and made it possible for you to read these words, instantaneously, on the other side of the world.

OK, back to the film. First of all, its stated premise is a lie. Its goal is not really to show us wayward, misguided evolutionists the error of our ways, as the filmmakers claim. How do I know this? Well, ask yourself: If you wanted to make a documentary that convinced its viewers that a scientific claim accepted by most people is, in fact, incorrect, how would you go about it?

You would probably do a ton of research, gathering all of the relevant, canonical materials on the subject, while also locating a handful of accomplished experts in the field who support (or are, at least, sympathetic to) your view and who will agree to appear in your documentary. Then you would make a film that explains, in detail, where the prevailing theory fails to explain the available evidence and why an alternative scientific theory better fits the observable universe.

Of the many, many possible ways to make an effective documentary, perhaps the last one you would choose would be to go up to random people, put a camera in their faces and ask them a series of leading questions about an incredibly complex topic (interspersed with non sequiturs like “Are you a good person?”), until you get at least a few of them to arrive at your preconceived conclusion.

You wouldn’t use this technique, because it’s not very convincing. And it’s dishonest and unfair and fallacious and other even more colorful words. Unfortunately, this sums up the basis of “Evolution vs. God.”

So, no, after suffering through Comfort’s pet project, I was not convinced that there is no truth to the theory of evolution, in the same way that watching a video of ignorant folks on the beach who have no idea what country American colonials broke away from in 1776 does not cause me to question the existence of the United States or the value of the academic discipline of history.

Even if Comfort’s chosen method of argumentation wasn’t completely useless, the film would have no credibility because of who made it. Disregarding for the moment the fact that Comfort has absolutely no formal academic training or degrees, and that his most well-known scientific achievement was his attempt to advance the theory of banana-ism, RayCo’s view of evolution is no secret. And, in my humble opinion, good documentaries don’t generally come from those who are so extremely and unapologetically biased about the topic in question. I wouldn’t expect, for example, to get particularly reliable information about the Affordable Care Act from a video made by John Boehner, Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz (if you happened to be among the people who appeared in the clip I posted earlier, you probably don’t know who any of those guys are, so let’s just say they’re three of our founding fathers).

The whole thing just doesn’t make much sense. I seriously doubt Comfort arrived at his belief in God by watching a series of “people on the street” interviews conducted by an atheist, so why would he think the same format would be a great way to analyze the theory of evolution?

I only wish that “Evolution vs. God” were nothing more than a bad movie. That wouldn’t be all that big deal of a deal. It would just mean 30 more minutes of crap had been uploaded onto YouTube, which is a crime roughly equivalent to littering in a landfill. But, unfortunately, I cannot dismiss “EvG” as simply an innocuous Internet curiosity, however much I might like to. Because I’m afraid the film, which has already been viewed more than half-a-million times on YouTube alone, stands to do real harm to the gospel message.

You see, Comfort — after pointing out that scientists have never provided video footage of a fish evolving into an entirely different creature the way a pokémon does, which somehow means evolution is not scientific (even though such a video, if it existed, would actually falsify Darwin’s theory) — turns his attention to spiritual matters.

Yes, he spends the entire second cringe-worthy half of his thoroughly cringe-worthy video walking his interviewees through the steps of his standard Way of the Master evangelism routine, wherein he attempts to rhetorically back people into a corner such that they are either forced to become Christians or admit that they want to spend the rest of eternity in hell.

And this is why I, as a Christian, hate this movie. Because guess what? The gospel message (that we are all sinners, offered new life by the grace of God) does not proceed from the logical consequences of any scientific discussion. The supposed weaknesses of the theory of evolution, even if the ones Comfort espouses were actually legitimate, does not serve as the basis for explaining mankind’s need for redemption in Christ. And I don’t know about RayCo, but as far as I’m concerned, we are in need of the grace and forgiveness of God regardless of whether we evolved from an apelike ancestor or not.

Comfort’s message, therefore, is not truly a “God of the gaps” argument. He preaches a “Jesus of the gaps.” And this is far more sinister, because the same fate that awaits the God of the gaps — that he becomes smaller and smaller every time a “gap” in our knowledge gets filled in — will also befall the Jesus of the gaps.

Thus, the tagline of Comfort’s film, “Shaking the foundations of faith,” is surprisingly accurate. Except, ironically, it’s the foundations of his own faith (and mine as well) that he risks shaking.

I do believe a day is coming soon in which anti-evolutionary ideas will be mercifully swept into the dustbin of history, along with flat-earthism and geocentric cosmology. But every Christian is at fault if we let Banana Ray, K-Ham and the like drag the precious good news of Jesus down with them.

Dear reader, please take a moment and Like us on Facebook. Why? Because every time we get a new fan on social media, an angel evolves new wings! (That’s what we believe anyway, and you have no way to prove us wrong.)

Tyler Francke

  • Derpington_The_Third

    Religious people are inherently dishonest, as per their belief system.

    • I think people in general are inclined toward dishonesty when it benefits them, not just religious people. And I certainly don’t think there’s anything inherent in religious belief systems that necessitate dishonesty in their adherents. In fact, the holy book of the religion this post is discussing (Christianity), expressly forbids dishonesty. E.g., Colossians 3:9-10 says, “Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”

      • ContraBullshit

        My cock, my cock, why hast thou forsaken me!!?

        ——Jesus Christ, after failing to get it up with Mary Magdalene

  • Spearwolf

    Most men would kill the truth if truth would kill their religion. — Lemuel K Washburn

    • That’s an interesting quote that I hadn’t heard before. Thanks for sharing! Speaking as a religious person myself, I am not afraid of a truth ever “killing” my faith. I believe Christ is before all things, and in him all things hold together (Col. 1:17), so I see no need to suppress science or any other means of discovering truth. I only wished all Christians felt the same way.

      • Amen brother.

      • John Heininger

        So, its evolution and mainstream science, plus Jesus. Has it ever dawned on you that mainstream science functions on metaphysical naturalism and godless materialism, by definition. And that Jesus and God are neither welcome nor tolerated. None-the-less, it’s good to see you putting Christ in His right place, for a change. Tell me, how do you integrate theism and Biblical revelation with the godless naturalism/materialism/atheism of mainstream science.

        • Hey John. I understand that you think you are a brave defender of orthodoxy, here to correct the poor misguided evolutionist on the ways of faith and scripture (arrogance is a Christian virtue, right?), but I want you to know that your tone is neither welcome nor appreciated. I preach Jesus as the only way, the truth and the life. As far as I’m concerned, his life, death and resurrection is the most important truth in the history of the world, and nothing I’ve ever written, on this site or anywhere else, would imply that I think differently. Just because I interpret a few parts of the Old Testament differently than you does not make me a less faithful Christian, and for you to think otherwise is, frankly, a completely unbiblical view.

          Integrating faith and science is not that hard, as long as you have the correct view of science. Yours is entirely incorrect, because you’ve accepted the definition of a handful of outspoken atheists who wish to bend science to their own ends. At its true core, science is nothing more or less than the search for truth in the natural world. And as God is the author of the natural world, science is no more capable of disproving him than a study of “Romeo and Juliet” could disprove Shakespeare.

          • Jkross

            Tyler, wow! You are the one coming off as arrogant in your response to a very genuine and straightforward question from John. I didn’t read any of that tone you read into it. Nowhere did he call you poor or misguided. Honestly, I just found this website through a google search curious to hear views on this video and I enjoyed your perspective and I am a Christian and don’t know much about Ray Comfort but even in your article you definitely came off as unloving. It is by your grace and love that your heart and faith will be known and you aren’t coming off as loving in your article or in your response to John. I fear your tone and unloving writing style are doing far more damage to your own testimony than good. We are to serve one another in love (Gal.5:13,14) regardless of where one stands on science.

          • Hey Jkross, you honestly don’t see why I thought the “it’s good to see you putting Christ in His right place, for a change” comment was offensive and inappropriate? I think this was my last interaction with Mr. Heininger, but it was not my only one. If you do a search on this page you’ll find plenty of our other discussions in which I attempted to patiently address his many questions. Predictably, he gave up on that front and went straight for the “no true Scotsman” fallacy.

          • Tyler, my apologies for neglecting you, But I haven’t seen anything . I asked you for testable and verifiable science that substantiates your imagined evolutionary historical hypothesis but received nothing worth responding to as yet . Lots of subjective opinion based assertions, generalizations and inferences, but no real science. I have seen nothing on your site, or in any statement you have made based on experimentation and observation to support theistic evolution, or any evolutionary continuum. So here’s an experimental and observational reality.

            The most repeated experiment on planet earth is that everything reproduces after its own kind within reproductive limits or boundaries, including hybrids. Just as the Bible affirms, And every breeder and horticulturist who has ever lived knows what these reproductive limits are. Pigeon breeders know that If you attempt to extend natural breeding boundaries you get deformed pigeons, Breeder and horticulturist also know that it is possible to breed a wide variation of off spring or sub species from genetic rich parents, but the more distant sub species are from the genetic rich parent the more difficult it is to cross breed. A reality to prevents any further deviation. Thus, preventing any evolutionary continuum from taking place, and preventing change into something different. In short, dog in, dog out; bacteria in, bacteria out. End of story!

            So, what empirically testable and “verifiable scientific answer” do you actually have to substantiate evolutionary “historical theory” . Which scientifically substantiate each and every stage of theistic evolution, and the evolutionary continuum.

          • Hey John, no evolutionary scientist says a bacteria will ever give birth to a dog. I know you guys think that is what is required to somehow prove evolution, but it would actually falsify the theory once and for all. The theory of evolution states that nature selects those individuals of a species best able to survive and pass on their genes, working on naturally arising diversity within the species. We know for a fact that species change over time, even within a few generations. Given billions of years and hundreds of billions of generations, it only makes sense that we would see lots of change. Given a fossil record that stretches back over billions of years and shows less-developed and less-complex forms gradually being replaced by new and more complex forms, and the vast evidence for common ancestry that exists in the DNA, anatomy and biology of all life we’ve ever studied, evolution by common descent is the theory that makes better sense of all available evidence than the idea that everything poofed into existence out of nothing 6,000 years ago. If you don’t want to believe it, that’s fine with me. But saying there’s no evidence for it is simply blinding yourself to the truth.

          • Yes, Tyler we all know that we have natural selection, or “naturally arising diversity WITHIN the species”, And we also know that the most repeated experiment on earth has established that there are natural reproduction or cross breeding LIMITS. Which puts an end to any continual ongoing transition from one life-form to a different life form, making it impossible. Meaning, you theistic evolutionary “presuppositions” are nothing more than a SUBJECTIVE opinion as to what evolutionists naively “believe” SUPPOSEDLY happened in unobserved distant past history. With no possible way of you ever empirically verifying that events happened one way, and not another way, or even whether the supposed evolutionary continuum happened at all. As for evolution by common decent existing in DNA, anatomy and biology I suggest you extend your reading beyond evolutionary misconceptions and propaganda. You might start here; http://creation.com/geneticist-evolution-impossible Moreover, how can it make “better sense” if there is no verifiable scientific answer for ANY of the essential stages of the evolutionary continuum myth. But thanks for sparing your unverifiable evolutionary beliefs and opinion.

          • we all know that we have natural selection, or “naturally arising diversity WITHIN the species”,

            That’s right. Populations can change in observable ways over even very small periods of time (a handful of generations). Given a very long period of time (and, say, millions of generations), there’s no reason to think there would not be very large-scale changes in those populations.

            And we also know that the most repeated experiment on earth has established that there are natural reproduction or cross breeding LIMITS.

            That’s right. Species do not change in one generation. No one is saying otherwise. Evolution suggests that species change and diverge over very long periods of time and many generations.

            As for evolution by common decent existing in DNA, anatomy and biology

            The more you talk, the more you make it clear that you don’t have the slightest clue what you’re talking about. There is evidence for common descent in DNA, anatomy and biology. Common descent does not “exist” in DNA, anatomy and biology.

            You might start here; http://creation.com/geneticist

            Yeah, thanks, I’ve read plenty of young-earth creationist propaganda in my days, from all the various organizations, including this one. I know the work of Don Batten very well. It’s all the same unscientific nonsense, negative arguments, God of the gaps arguments, conspiracy theories, poor theology and bad biblical hermenuetics.

          • “That’s right. Species do not change in one generation. No one is saying otherwise.”

            Good that you recognize this reality. But you have failed to grasp what every breeder and horticulturist in history can affirm. That every form of life has NATURAL IN BUILT cross breeding or reproductive LIMITS. Which is why your SUBJECTIVE unverifiable evolution “suggests” blind faith beliefs are more imagined than real.

            “Evolution suggests that species change and diverge over very long periods of time and many generations.”

            Good that you also concede that you have NO TESTABLE or VERIFIABLE experimental or observational science to support this “evolution suggests” blind faith assumptions. Nor any scripture that SUGGESTS that you flawed evolutionary theology has any basis in scripture.

            I note you operate on unsupported subjective “assertions” and “generalizations” rather than presenting real verifiable experimental and observational science to support your misguided evolutionary and theological assumptions.

            Thus, can you give us all TESTABLE and VERIFIABLE scientific references for anatomical, biological and DNA experimentation and observational data which AFFIRMS that common ancestry has a real evidential basis. And does not merely “suggest”, “infer” or assume what SUPPOSEDLY happened.

            So, let’s all see what REAL verifiable science you have to support your many assertions and generalizations. For starters, could you provide testable and verifiable science based on experimentation and observation to show why Don Batten’s claims are “unscientific”, And why other creationist scientists views are not scientific or Biblical.

          • Good that you recognize this reality. But you have failed to grasp what every breeder and horticulturist in history can affirm. That every form of life has NATURAL IN BUILT cross breeding or reproductive LIMITS. Which is why your SUBJECTIVE unverifiable “evolution suggests” blind faith beliefs are more imagined than real.

            Repeating the same words over and over again is not how you engage in a conversation, and writing some of the words in all caps doesn’t change that. Reproductive limits has nothing to do with the theory of evolution, because it doesn’t suggest that species change in the course of one generation or in a single reproductive union. The process takes millions of years and millions of generations.

            Good that you also concede that you have NO TESTABLE or VERIFIABLE experimental or observational science to support this “evolution suggests” blind faith assumptions.

            The evidence in the fossil record, DNA, comparative anatomy and so on is a record of the history of life. It provides evidence of the unobserved past, much like the evidence of a crime scene. Using this evidence, scientists develop theories that strive to make the best sense of the evidence. Then, scientists make predictions based on the theories and test the predictions. If the predictions fail, the theory must be altered or tossed out altogether.

            The theory of evolution fits the available evidence and has been tested countless times over the past 150 years. Has it been “proven”? No, just as nothing in science can ever really be “proven.” But is there really, really, really strong evidence that it’s true? Absolutely.

            I note you operate on unsupported subjective “assertions” and “generalizations” rather than presenting real verifiable experimental and observational science to support your misguided evolutionary and theological assumptions.

            You seem to be asking for the ability to “observe” a natural process that takes millions of years. You realize that makes you sound like an insane person, right?

          • Donmichael

            To back you up a tad here Tyler. There are certain breads of dog that never existed about 100-200 years ago, if not longer. Certain dogs were bread with others to use their naturally inherent traits with each other to make the perfect (or close enough to) hunting dog. To say that is not evolution is being blind to the obvious. It might have been forced evolution but it supports evolution in it self. To further my point of evolution, if you have to mate 2 dogs of the same parent, the genetic material is weakened & thus the process of devolution get set into play. In time nature notices the subject isn’t as “strong” as it’s predecessor & thus making the subject less desirable… Meaning the animal won’t find a mate, in turn not passing it’s genetic code on for further use.

            To throw childish mentality into the picture, if our cells replace themselves every 7 or so years, then wouldn’t that mean that we in ourselves change every 7 years? Are you the same person you were 10 years ago, no, you have changed & those changes are? Evolution.

            I am no scientist & yes I’m one of those cursed atheists.

            Science has proven quite a lot of theories to be true… Gravity, the atom, DNA, the universe, so forth. Religion has done what? Nothing but sensor itself & take what is apparently dangerous knowledge out of what most take to be factual. Funny how if you go as the Vatican to see the first true bible, they refuse point blank, let alone asking them to do research about the inquisition. The question I put forward is why remove the apocrypha books from bible? Anyway, I’m starting to get worked up here, I think I’ll leave it at that.

          • Hey, thanks, Don! I appreciate the support. I strongly disagree with your apparent assertion that nothing positive has ever been by people operating on faith and/or religious ideals, though I certainly agree the church has not always been the force for good that I believe it should be and was meant to be. Thanks again for your comment.

          • Thisguywhoreads

            So, I’m not much of a scientist.. But here is how things appear to me. All living things are made up by their genetic code. Everything you are born with was put there based on how that DNA was interpreted, and reacted with the natural laws of the world. Do you want evidence of this? Look at any genetic science involving cloning, addition of or deletion of genes. Basically, think of your genes as the blue prints for how a living thing is built.

            As far as the limits of cross-breeding go: If you take the blueprints to build a house, and the blueprints to build a car… what are you going to end up with? Nothing… a hunk of metal and wood that accomplishes absolutely nothing and gets tossed in the trash. Who didn’t see that coming? However, if you take the blueprints of, lets say a wooden crate.. You increase the size and it becomes a bigger crate. Increase the size some more and suddenly it’s too big to reach over to get things in and out of, so you tilt it on it’s side. You make it a little bigger and suddenly your things are getting too valuable to leave unsecured, so you add a door with a lock. Soon you’re making a roof, and rooms, and adding plumbing, and all sorts of other things that don’t seem to be very big changes at all when you examine them individually. When you look at the bigger picture, it isn’t very hard to see how how different a small wooden crate is from a fully furnished house.

            The great scientists out there aren’t the ones saying “this is true, I know it is! Please let this be true!”. They’re saying something a little bit different. “Based on what I can observe, this is the most probably answer that I can come up with.” However, when presented with scientific evidence that their answer is untrue… the great scientist incorporates the new knowledge into his understanding, and calculates a new best guess. From the movie Dogma, “I think it’s better to have ideas. You can change an idea. Changing a belief is trickier…” Humans have a tendency towards cognitive bias.

            We have cars and planes and cell phones and computers and all this marvelous technology that could hardly be dreamed of just a few hundred years ago. They got here in no small part due to the imagination of people who were willing to test the boundaries of human knowledge.

            As I said before, I’m no scientist… and I’m not christian. I’m about as agnostic as they come. I like to have ideas and not set-in-stone beliefs based on what I observe. Is there a god? There could be. But there is an ever-increasing amount of evidence to say that bible may not be as reliable of a source as our ancestors once thought. Please remember, the bible was written by men. The only evidence of it being the word of God is the word of man. Perhaps religion is just part of the scientific process. Maybe it was our best guess based on what we could see at the time. But, we’ve discovered a whole lot since then. Then again, there’s the possibility that a higher being exists that has nothing to do with the bible at all. Or maybe science is the work of the devil and the end times are coming and this is the last great test to see who in mankind is worthy – a trial by faith. Personally, I’m content to just live and be happy and do good for myself and others. As a distant wish, I’d like to see the only intelligent species, that is known to exist, continue to exist.

          • It requires a lot of research to figure out the timeline of the dinosaur ended and when the era of the mammal to start. I started by looking back at some of my old research for a supernatural shark story I did when I was 27 about to turn 28, as that brought me back full circle with my knowledge of evolution as they predated the dinosaur.

      • Has Ray Comfort’s followers drank the kool-aid?

  • Vin Rohm

    RayCo isn’t even an educated preacher. I believe this is one of the major problems Christianity faces today….there are too many lay preachers out there preaching a corrupted and false gospel. The denominations need to take this problem by the horns and deal with it now or suffer the consequences later down the road.

    • I think “corrupted” is a good word for the gospel Ray Comfort preaches. What he says about God and man is true to scripture, the problem is the extra bits he adds onto it. There are plenty of good and well-trained teachers out there who are sharing biblical messages; unfortunately the average evangelical seems more interested in the guys who can put together a slick YouTube video.

      • Miranda Flemming

        I grew up in a judgemental environment with Ray’s toxic doctrines. I am now atheist (and not a murderer etc like Ray insists all atheists are). My family believe I am the devil’s spawn – they cannot comprehend how someone can live honestly without a belief in god(s)

        • You are not devil’s spawn, because you are a human being who is a treasured creature of God. Jesus often used people “outside of the faith” as paragons of faith. We’d be good to remember that!

        • John Heininger

          It seems you love living in an “indifferent” atheistic wilderness that has no ultimate meaning or purpose, and no hope beyond the grave. Lucky, you! So, explain to us all how “undirected” cosmic events and “unguided” chance mutations and “blind” natural selection produced you and the fully integrated and superbly coordinated environment we all live in.

          It all happened by itself, they said. http://thegodreality.com/tomato.htm

          • “It seems you love living in an “indifferent” atheistic wilderness” Stopped reading here. Only so much passive-aggressive strawmanning I can take.

          • Tyler Nieuwendorp

            Just because science doesn’t have an answer yet doesn’t mean there isn’t one to be found. If we were to accept that everything was created by God, then we would have another big question to answer: What created God. If we can accept that an infinite complex being can just exist, then there is no reason to assume that nothing else can’t just exist.

  • Sofian Tlili

    If you believe in evolution (As Darwin saw it), what do you say about the creation? Genesis tells us a very different account of how God made us!

    “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Genesis 2:7

    • “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Genesis 2:7

      Yes, it’s beautiful, isn’t it? Beautiful, deeply symbolic language.

      If you believe in evolution (As Darwin saw it), what do you say about the creation? Genesis tells us a very different account of how God made us!

      Actually, Genesis tells two very different accounts of how God made us. See for yourself.

      • Sofian Tlili

        Sir, I mean this with love and sincerity but I urge you, one blood washed born-again believer to another, to pray about whether or not the bible is literal or “deeply symbolic”. God makes it clear in the scriptures that we are not to add or take away from them, if we could then the whole Bible would be open for interpretation! We must test all things from the scriptures.

        “Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.” Proverbs 30:6

        “I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.” Revelation 22:19

        • Dear Sofian, I appreciate the sentiment. Really, I do. Thanks. But I have prayed and thought about this issue a lot. There is nothing un-Christian about interpreting parts of the Bible as symbolic rather than literal history. It is what I imagine you do any time you read the prophets or the parables of Jesus. It is what some of the New Testament writers themselves did, like Paul in Galatians 4:24 and Matthew, when he interpreted Hosea 11:1 (“Out of Israel I called my son”) as a reference to Christ even though the context explicitly refers to the nation of Israel.

          Jesus did not say, “Read the scriptures”; he said, “Search the scriptures.” That implies that there is wisdom and deep truth in God’s word that requires more than a cursory read-through to discover. As Proverbs 25:2 says, ” It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.”

          Sofian, there are, literally, dozens of posts on this site explaining the theological reasons I interpret the Bible the way I do (including the one I linked to in my previous response). So, rather than urging me to pray until I come around to your view, I would suggest you consider reading some of my thoughts and detailing where you believe I’m mistaken. You can also feel free to email me here.

        • decathelite

          The thing about proverbs 30:6 is that it goes both ways. There are quite a few people who insist that creation means humans and dinosaurs living together as vegetarians before the fall, 6000 years ago, and a flood literally covering the whole earth, and offer intricate apologetics with details about how an ark could fit all the kinds of animals needed to repopulate it.

          You can’t take Genesis literally without adding a whole bunch of stuff to it to make it consistent not just with itself, but with reality.

    • jethom33545

      Genesis is mythology at best. If you accept as science then you’re very gullible and ignorant of science. In fact you may just be stupid.

  • Warren Collier

    From the Dust is powerful documentary to discusses the Theistic Evolutionary perspective. The quality of video is also magnitudes better than Comfort’s. http://youtu.be/DAc3Pa97V38

  • Seamus Ruah

    Thank you, Ray has been a joke ever since he claimed the banana is proof that evolution is false.

  • Guest

    Tyler Francke, I’m about as anti-theist as you can get, and while I’m sure you and I will likely always disagree on the merits of Christianity, I like you. You are awesome. 🙂

    • Thanks so much! It’s great to hear from you! Glad you liked it.

  • Neil

    Tyler Francke, I’m about as anti-theist as you can get, and while I’m sure you and I will always disagree on the merits of Christianity, I like you anyway. You are awesome. 🙂

    • EJR2

      I’m with Neil lol.

      • Chris Saunders

        Me, too…I’m an atheist as well and thoroughly enjoyed this article…

    • Acey

      LOL Same here I am also an Atheist and I really enjoyed this review. Just goes to show you that not all Religious people are close minded and arrogant. They to, like any group of people, have intelligent rational people. Tyler is a good dude I can just tell by his writing. And that is something I respect, if he is religious then good for him, but I dont think he will try to pursuade us to think his way, instead I think he is a man of truth and will seek the truth, but still carry his faith. That is a Christian I can respect!!! But at the end of the day I will still be an Atheist and he will still be a Christian, BUT PEOPLE!!! That does not mean we cant still be friends!!!!

      • Thanks, Acey! I appreciate it. The Bible calls believers to live in peace with everyone, not just those with whom we agree with theologically.

  • EJR2

    Great review. Even as an Atheist, I enjoyed looking thru your site.

  • Josh Powell

    No bananas were harmed in the making of this film.

  • LesterBallard

    Ray Comfort is not a terrible scientist. Ray Comfort is a liar.

    • Miranda Flemming

      Ray comfort cannot be a ‘terrible scientist’. He doesn’t even have the first clue what science is, so cannot be considered to be any ‘kind’ of scientist – terrible or otherwise.

      • John Heininger

        I think you are referring to scientists he interviewed, not Ray, None of them had first clue that their hypothetical evolutionary “historical theory” had no observational or experimental verifiable scientific basis. None of them could produce any scientific evidence for the evolutionary continuum. None of them had any verifiable science to show that evolution has happened, or could happen. If you think I’m wrong, what specific verifiable scientific evidence did they have, or you have.

        • Chris Mankey

          ” None of them had first clue that their hypothetical evolutionary “historical theory” had no observational or experimental verifiable scientific basis”

          I know that evolution has a “observational or experimental verifiable scientific basis” and I’m not a scientist.

          “None of them could produce any scientific evidence for the evolutionary continuum.”

          You mean the existence of transition forms. Ray simply discounts this because he thinks fossils don’t count as evidence. What Ray did was to deny evidence for major evolutionary changes because he does accept fossils of transitional forms as evidence and then demanded that people show he millions of years of change in real time. He might as well of denied the existence of dinosaurs by pointing out that nobody has seen on and we only have their fossils and then demand that a scientist produce a living breathing Triceratops or T-rex to examine. And he likes to selectively edit videos. Dishonestly.

          • “I know that evolution has a
            “observational or experimental verifiable scientific basis” and I’m
            not a scientist”, you say.

            Really! So, tell us all which specific “experimental” scientific evidence exists to empirically verify that the evolutionary continuum, from lifeless earth to Einstein, is experimentally testable, repeatable, and publicly ” observable”

            All you have is “subjective” assumptions, inferences, conjecture, tautologies, and “contrived opinion based explanations”. You need to understand that historical constructs as to what “supposedly” happened in the unobserved past, and what the unlabeled fossils supposedly means, affirms nothing. And does not qualify as experimental or observational science. Sorry about that!

            As I said, “None of them could produce any scientific evidence for the evolutionary continuum.” Here’s the reality! Evolutionary story telling regarding unobserved historical events in the distant past cannot be tested, repeated, publicly observed, or empirically verified by the scientific method. As the scientific method has no role to play in testing or verifying historical events in the unobserved distant past. Sorry about that!

            Operational science operates on “methodological” naturalism using the Empirical & Scientific Method. Not on the unverifiable assumptions of “metaphysical”naturalism of evolutionary “historical theories”, founded on “contrived”historical explanations and unverifiable assumptions.

            Unlike archaeological tablets and inscriptions, fossils carry NO
            INSCRIPTIONS and NO MESSAGES. As such, fossil remains have to be “subjectively” interpreted.And all such interpretations, of necessity, involve “presuppositional assumptions”. None of which can be empirically verified by the scientific method.

            The problem is, Chris, that your comments reveal that are out of your depth. So, believe what you like, but don’t waste my time with subjective hypothetical evolutionary constructs that cannot be empirically verified.

            As for your “supposed” transitional forms I suggest you visit creation.com, and discover precisely why all the supposed transitional forms are more imagined than real. So, I’ll leave it at that – Cheers

          • Chris Mankey

            ‘Really! So, tell us all which specific “experimental” scientific evidence exists to empirically verify that the evolutionary continuum, from lifeless earth to Einstein, is experimentally testable, repeatable, and publicly ” observable””

            Evolution doesn’t explain abiogenesis . The evidence for evolution includes Transitional forms, making specific predictions about what should be found where and the fact all live things found thus far have a specific place on the tree of life.

            “All you have is “subjective” assumptions, inferences, conjecture, tautologies, and “contrived opinion based explanations”. You need to understand that historical constructs as to what “supposedly” happened in the unobserved past, and what the unlabeled fossils supposedly means, affirms nothing. And does not qualify as experimental or observational science. Sorry about that!”

            No, I have actual evidence. Despite your angry sputtering about the subjectivity of interpreting evidence, evolution makes specific predictions about what should be found if it’s wrong.

            “Operational science operates on “methodological” naturalism using the Empirical & Scientific Method. Not on the unverifiable assumptions of “metaphysical”naturalism of evolutionary “historical theories”, founded on “contrived”historical explanations and unverifiable assumptions.”

            There’s no such thing as “operational science.” Ken ham made up a false distinction to pretend that no one can understand the past.

            “”metaphysical”naturalism of evolutionary “historical theories”, founded on “contrived”historical explanations and unverifiable assumptions.””

            No, it’s based on specific predictions about what should be found about the fossil record if the theory is incorrect. Again. Do you need it explained to you if simpler terms so your unsophisticated mind can understand?

            “The problem is, Chris, that your comments reveal that are out of your depth.”

            Said johnheno the man drowning in ignorance and subjectivity .

            “As for your “supposed” transitional forms I suggest you visit creation.com, and discover precisely why all the supposed transitional forms are more imagined than real. So, I’ll leave it at that – Cheers”

            Here you go
            http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/faqs-index.html

            Yeah, there really are transitional species. You don’t like that, but they don’t go away because of that. CHEERS!

          • From your comments I can see that your visit to creation .com never happened, or was very brief. Otherwise you would know that all the supposed “transitional forms” could never ever be anything more than were “supposed”. Because, as I keep pointing out, every breeder, horticulturist, scientist and person who has ever lived knows there are reproductive and cross breeding limits for every form of life, without exception. A reality even Darwin as a pigeon breeder admitted he had trouble with in terms of his evolutionary continuum. Which in and of itself makes the supposed gradual continual evolution of life from simple to complex life more imagined than real.

            So, if you know of any form of life that has the capability to overcome those natural boundaries, and the ability to transform itself into something different, tell us all what
            it is. And inform Nature magazine as they would like to hear from you.

            Let me suggest it is time you extended your knowledge beyond talkorigins propaganda. Those of us familiar with talkorigion.com and other hard-core
            evolution and atheist sites have long known that there is not a shred of
            testable or empirically verifiable science anywhere to be seen on any of these
            sites. Because experimental and observational science and the scientific method
            has no role in testing or verifying unobserved and unrepeatable historical
            events in the distant past. None! Such sites are fully committed the unprovable
            “blind faith” assumption that “metaphysical” Naturalism is true, And that evolution “Is a fact” until proved wrong (Ritchie).

            You need to know mainstream science is an ocean removed from ever empirically establishing that these assumptions of philosophical naturalism and scientism are true. And that the term “metaphysical” means “beyond science and physics”. Thus
            everything on talkorigins is nothing more than subjectively contrived “explanations”
            and collective “opinions” based on assumptions, inference, circular reasoning, tautologies, and circular reasoning based interpretations and predictions. I remind you again that fossils carry not messages, and thus all interpretations are purely subjective and worldview based. Indeed, in my public presentations, I can construct an entire hypothetical evolutionary tree involving interpretations and predictions from lifeforms “still living” in my immediate region.

            In fact, Australian Museum paleontologists have attended my public presentations, at which people laughed when I showed what Darwinians believe, and why they believe the unbelievable. At the time I turned towards from the Australian Museum people and their fellow travelers and noted that they too were smiling, and said, “But you people all believe this, don’t you?” One of the key Australian Museum paleontologists attending later falsely told a leading newspaper correspondent that I had misquoted him during my presentation. I reminded him in writing that is difficult to misquote someone when they are sitting in the audience, and I was reading directly from his article, word for word, as affirmed by the event organizers. I subsequently received a letter of apology from this Australian Museum paleontologists admitting that I had NOT misrepresented his statements.

            “Evolution doesn’t explain abiogenesis.”, you say. True!

            Nor does it have any testable or verifiable scientific answer for the origin and
            existence of the DNA double helix.

            Nor does it have any testable or verifiable scientific answer for the origin and
            existence of the breathtaking complexity of the genetic coding, of even the
            simplest life-form.

            Nor does it have any testable or verifiable scientific answer for the origin and existence of mind and consciousness.

            Nor does it have any testable or verifiable scientific answer for the origin and
            existence of conscience, reason or intelligence, language or music.

            Nor does it have any testable or verifiable scientific answer for the origin and
            existence of the sense of good and evil; right and wrong; just or unjust.

            Nor can evolutionary theory provide any testable or verifiable scientific answer as
            to why a “godless” evolutionary process would ultimately produce a
            life-form of the highest biological and intellectual order (such as humans) to be
            largely intuitively “religious”, and intuitively believe in gods and God, if
            there was no basis for this in reality.

            In fact, there is no testable or verifiable scientific answer for ANY of the essential
            element of the imaginary evolutionary continuum. None!

            Moreover. as pointed by Dawkins, the cosmic and biological evolutionary process and Natural Selection is blind and unguided: Having no “overall perspective” and no “predictive power”. Making it impossible for the evolution to ever know that oxygen, light, sound, smell, taste, or any other aspect of the broader environment even existed in order to evolve, lungs, eyes, ears, taste buds, sense of smell, to utilize these aspects of the environment. So, tell us. how this undirected blind process produced a vast highly coordinated biological matrix of interdependent and co-dependent lifeforms to produce a workable whole. Let’s see what you science you really have to bring this about. Off you all go!

          • Chris Mankey

            “From your comments I can see that your visit to creation .com never happened, or was very brief.”

            Yeah, I already know creationist arguments inside and out.

            “Otherwise you would know that all the supposed “transitional forms” could never ever be anything more than were “supposed”.”

            I know that’s false because I understand paleontology .

            “”. Because, as I keep pointing out, every breeder, horticulturist, scientist and person who has ever lived knows there are reproductive and cross breeding limits for every form of life, without exception.”

            Speciation is the opposite of crossbreeding . It’s the divergence of one population into two populations that can’t interbreed.

            “Let me suggest it is time you extended your knowledge beyond talkorigins propaganda. Those of us familiar with talkorigion.com and other hard-coreevolution and atheist sites have long known that there is not a shred of
            testable or empirically verifiable science anywhere to be seen on any of these
            sites.”

            That’s simply a giant lie. Next.

            “You need to know mainstream science is an ocean removed from ever empirically establishing that these assumptions of philosophical naturalism and scientism are true”

            I know you’re stupid.

            “”Evolution doesn’t explain abiogenesis.”, you say. True!”

            No I’m saying “Evolution isn’t MEANT to explain it” Work on the reading comprehension.

            “In fact, there is no testable or verifiable scientific answer for ANY of the essential
            element of the imaginary evolutionary continuum. None!”

            And it’s not meant to. Next!

            “Making it impossible for the evolution to ever know that oxygen, light, sound, smell, taste, or any other aspect of the broader environment even existed in order to evolve, lungs, eyes, ears, taste buds, sense of smell, to utilize these aspects of the environment.”

            Let me explain this in terms that even a moron like you can understand. Organism adapt to there environments. Not the other way around. And certain things like taste only exist because of the existence of living things.

          • I suggest you read the comments on “Dr.” Kent Hovind’s google plus page as he pulls his knowledge of science from his prolapsed rectum. (Ty is that crack allowed?) I pulled out a bunch of science articles including the Tully Monster and when Native Americans appeared in North America; if you’re a King James Onlyist and claim dinosaurs-human coexistence that’s cartoon theology as the Independent Baptist denomination is a caricature of the teachings of Peter [f-bleep-k]man. I will use 1 John 2:21 (AMP) to refute [f-bleep-k]man, ‘I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie [nothing false, no deception] is of the truth.’ A good number of King James Onlyists are known to toilet fish as Jack T. Chick drinks water from a [s-bleep-t] filled toilet.

          • Chris Mankey

            “Let’s see what science you really have to bring all this about. Off you all go!”

            Coming from a terminal ignoramus like you, that’s a laugh! Off you go!

          • Chris Mankey

            “one of the key Australian Museum paleontologists attending later falsely told a leading newspaper correspondent that I had misquoted him during my presentation.”

            Well you are a creation. You’re whole business is lying

          • Supermeerkat

            You’re just parroting Ray Comfort’s hackneyed, laughable and thoroughly debunked arguments

          • Headless Unicorn Guy

            Throwing around the buzzwords “Darwinist” and “Darwinian” is an identifying characteristic of YEC Uber Alles True Believers.

          • Look up God and Science as I was showing these sites to Dave Mustaine of twitter as he was exploring ideas from science and history. I pointed out scientific errors in the LDS logic as I looked up Pre-Columbia North America and South America then looked up the Americas in the Helonistic era and the era of Christ; I revealed the Book of Mormon is pseudsohistory as Joseph Smith practiced folk magic. Google History of North America as you will find the First Nations People being there as far back as the stone age but I found on wikipedia where they talk about North America during the era when the Genesis Creation Narrative and flood narrative were first introduced (both of these should be interpreted a allegorical.) Back when the Bible was conceived — the writers had no knowledge of North America, the land down under, or even Russia as references to Europe were mentioned in the Epistles (Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome in the Common Era.)

      • BludBaut

        Why don’t you define “science,” genius.

    • Yankee Girl

      Ray Comfort is not a liar, he simply is asking for ONE proof evolution. Which is NOT science as is not based on fact. Definition of Science-” A branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of FACTS or TRUTHS systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws.” As a seasoned former-evolutionist, trained by a empassioned evolutionist, I asked for extensive proof of all he presented. I got only circular reasoning. I was presented with “Lucy” as fact that it was the missing link-only to be proven a hoax later down the road. Gills on babies in the womb, again presented as fact, later to be proven false. If we used to have tails, why do we not have them now? I could certainly still use one! I did not find ONE shred of evidence for evolution. NOT ONE! Though I wanted to find it. I once thought the Bible was a hoax. But as I looked at ITS historical accuracy, and the Martyrs who were supposedly dying for this ‘hoax’. I got facts, historical accuracy and actual evidence of the events it told. Though I am now a Christian, I do not hold to a young earth or old earth view. I do not KNOW because I and everyone else was not there! But I know who created me, and who created it, because he PROVED it to me, a former Wiccan and die hard evolutionist.

      • LesterBallard

        Yawn.

        • Yankee girl

          *Yawn* CREATED because the body needs more oxygen. Or did we get that when we were still fish swimming in water that appeared out of nowhere, created out of nothing by nobody on accident 😉

          • LesterBallard

            Poe or troll; if you’re serious, just sad.

          • Chris Mankey

            “Or did we get that when we were still fish”

            I was never a fish. Though my 100 billionth ancestor was.

            “. Or did we get that when we were still fish swimming in water that appeared out of nowhere”

            Fish didn’t appear out of no where. They evolved from earlier life forms.

            “created out of nothing by nobody on accident ;)”

            Your arguments are created by nobody out of nothing by accident . And vast ignorance.

      • Tyler Nieuwendorp

        Ray Comfort is a liar. When he created his banana argument, he was met with much criticism, particularly in regards to the fact that the “intelligently designed” banana was in fact result of thousands of years of domestication. The banana we see in the market today is nothing like a wild banana, which is much smaller, very seedy, and lacks that so called “color indicator” to show how ripe it is. He later admitted his argument was a bad one precisely because of the domestication reasons. So no big deal right? Everyone get’s their facts wrong every once in a while and at least he had the strength of character to admit he was wrong right? Well later in an interview he tries to argue again that the banana hasn’t changed in the past 2000 years! I mean really? He just apologized his ridiculous argument and now he’s trying to say he was never wrong? If that doesn’t constitute a liar, then I don’t know what does. Christianity does teach us that lying is a sin right? So if he’s being deliberately disingenuous wouldn’t that mean he’s a bad role model for Christianity. Just a thought.

      • Alex Jones

        Actually, humans do have tails, just on most they are so small that they do not protrude from our backs. However, some humans are born with tails that do extend as far as to be able to be seen.

        • This is not a tail, but a an anchor point for the muscles. So, before you make any more poorly informed comments I suggest that you too visit creation .com, And simple type did humans have tails. Off you go!

      • I presented Megalodon in my laying into Eric Hovind and his followers as I was uncensored on CSE — Ray Comfort has no college education as he has the “don’t think and love the Lord” mentality.

    • BludBaut

      He’ll never make it to your level of lying however, as you’re a pathological liar, as is *every* atheist.

      • Hey pal, blanket statements like this add nothing to the discussion and have no place here. Oh, also this is completely untrue. Cut it out, or I’m banning you.

        • Anthony Neilsen

          Actually, every atheist is a fool, according to the Bible. Is that worse than being a liar?

          • The Old Testament, at some point, calls everyone fools, both “God’s people” (the Jews) and everyone else. Compared to God, we are all fools, and if you believe you are smarter than an atheist because of your misinterpretation of Psalm 14, then you’re guilty of both arrogance and foolishness.

            To answer your question, I think being a liar is worse than being a fool. A fool’s foolishness often stems, at least partially, from factors outside his or her control, whereas lying requires a willful act.

          • Such as this blogger who spoke about “Question Darwin Day” as she is one of Eric Hovind’s co-horts. You not only have to refute these jokers but Henry M. Morris as you can google Archaic age North America as that puts ancient Native Americans in the discussion. I found this speaking of Pat Robertson when he revealed that young earth creationism is a joke. When I found this I was asking him in my blog, “Why the hell didn’t he speak up for this in the 1990s?” This article refutes many young earth claims such as human-dinosaur coexistence.

      • LesterBallard

        “Blood Bath”? Aren’t you cute.

    • He’s just high school educated. And pulled his knowledge of science from out of his [bleep]. His knowledge of philosophy is next to none either as I read some about Pascal’s Wager. A Skeptic weighed in on the argument. I had seen it used in Lucifer Dethroned (a book published by Chick Publications as there is a lot of wingnuttery and [f-bleeped-ry] with their outlandish claims such as calling H. P. Lovecraft a Satanist as he’s an atheist bordline agnostic. Stryper cleared the names of the heavy metal bands that Independent Baptists coined as “Satanic.”

      I pointed out to them that Lovecraft was my chief influence as a Gothic Horror author; I would been the one if Lovecraft wasn’t racist and understood other religions and nationalities. Patheos blogger busts him as a plagiarist when he did the introduction to Darwin’s book Origin of Species. Not only that he also fabricated this psuedoscience book. I suggest looking into this one instead. Ray Comfort needs to spend more time with real science books so he can understand other forms of evolution as in marine biology and sharks (they emerged before dinosaurs.)

  • Jeremy Holovacs

    Ugh. Ray Comfort has no intellectual integrity at all.

    • Miranda Flemming

      I don’t see Ray as having any integrity at all

  • TK

    Great! Another “Christian” who relies on unaided human reason to misinterpret plain words in Genesis 1 and 2. Hard to imagine the original audience understanding those chapters the way you do, “brother.”

    • Ah, yes, “unaided human reason” — the literalist’s worst nightmare. Because, obviously God gave us intelligence and reason in the hope that we would completely forego their use in favor of an exegesis that contradicts itself almost immediately.

      You know what’s even harder to imagine than the original audiences understanding the chapters the way I do? The idea that the original audiences interpreted the chapters as textbook history whose literal meaning should be clinged to even if irrefutable evidence in God’s creation clearly demonstrates that the literal interpretation is incorrect.

      And the quotation marks? Seriously? I interpret Genesis 1 and 2 as symbolic accounts of real events and theological truths (the same way I imagine you read the parables of Jesus), and that calls my faith into such question that you have to put it in scare quotes?

      • John Heininger

        “even if irrefutable evidence in God’s creation clearly demonstrates that the literal interpretation is incorrect.” What irrefutable evidence are you talking about? So, we can all see how irrefutable it really is. By the way, Christ regarded Genesis 1 and 2 as real history, not symbolic. Christ specifically states that humans were created as male and female human from the beginning of creation, As stated by Christ in Mark 10:6 “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ Moreover, that Adam and his sons Cain and Abel were real historical humans, rather than symbolic, is likewise affirmed by Christ, As stated, “from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held responsible for it all. Luke 11:50-52

        Time to throw you misguided symbolism out, along with the evolutionary mythology. I know it would be very difficult for you, but, hey, you have to leave fairy stories behind as you mature, even that fairy story for adults – evolution.

    • decathelite

      By calling him “Christian” and “brother”, it seems like you are insinuating he isn’t a Christian? It reminds me of my favorite Bible verse, Acts 16 30-31:

      He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and eschew evolution, and you will be saved—you and your household. Because, let’s be honest, if you believe in evolution, you aren’t really saved.”

      • Love it! 🙂 I must confess my temptation to steal that for a meme at some point.

    • Miranda Flemming

      oh, a judgemental, “true” christian – the type I despise most

  • Mike De Fleuriot

    You guys are allowing RayRay too much. He is only in this for the coin that he can make from his followers. It is so blatant that most of you know this, yet refuse to accept the fact that he is using religion to support his lifestyle. And he knows that it would be very difficult for us to prove this. Besides he only kills one or two sheep per year, so what real harm does he do to the flock, am I right?

    • Miranda Flemming

      It’s the bigotry, hatred and abuse that bothers me most about Ray’s doctrines – more than the money he fleeces from gullible sheepies. How many suicides? How many children psychologically abused? How many people rejected by their families because they are gay and/or came to question their rigid beliefs?

  • Paper4482

    Tyler – very nicely written, and so honest for a Christian! don’t pay too much heed to those employing the `no true scotsman` fallacy when they respond to you. – Ray Comfort, along with the likes of Eric Hovind and his father are clearly in it for the money, sadly there are a lot of less critical people out in the world to fleece.

    • Thank you very much 🙂 Yeah, it can get bothersome, but I wouldn’t have started doing this if I couldn’t take a little fallacy-laced chiding from the young earthers and the literalists. They have to paint me as an outsider in some way to preserve their worldview; never mind that their interpretation of scripture takes about as much faith as reading a driver’s manual, since they claim the scientific evidence actually supports their views (evidence that’s suppressed by the “Darwinists,” of course)!

    • How very sad that many no longer associate the word Christian with being concerned about honesty. It is indeed damaging to our witness if we continue to lie intentional or otherwise.

      • Agreed. As I’ve said before, lying for the cause of Christ makes about as much sense as committing genocides in the name of peace.

    • I made it habit to mock greedy preachers as they take advantage of the undereducated, as Ken Ham made the claim that a public school is an Atheist church. If it wasn’t for a public school I wouldn’t had known about Anthem by Ayn Rand or Robert Cormier with The Chocolate War.

  • makemyday

    Emerica emerica emerica. Fu$k yeah!

  • Miranda Flemming

    wow, a christian that is intelligent and has a decent argument – I like you

    • Thank you for reading and for your comments, Miranda. Glad you liked it!

  • EXCELLENT point about “Jesus of the gaps”!

    • Thanks! I just wish more Christians would see the harm this film stands to do. Our message should be that the world needs to hear the gospel — regardless of whether we evolved from apelike ancestors or not!

      • John Heininger

        The second Adam, Christ and his redemptive work, is dependent on the historical existence of the first Adam, who, as stated by scripture, was created as a fully functioning human being made in God image. With Adam’s sin and humanities subsequent fallen state being central to the redemptive work of Christ and message of the Gospel. So, what gospel are you talking about Tyler, and what is its message.

        • This gospel: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified by his grace as a gift through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith” (Romans 3:23-25).

  • Warrior of God’s Army

    Thanks for your input. Your sharing enlightens the wars between Scientific Vs. Believers of the almighty God and with that being said we need to continue to stand strong to what we learn and the faith that we hold. Indeed this is the time of Spiritual Warfare…….

  • Colin Robinson

    Interesting. You reject creationism including, presumably, the story of Adam and Eve and original sin, which means there was no need whatsoever for the human sacrifice of Jesus to atone for that sin. But you are still a christian?
    You’ve rejected the entire point of jesus’ sacrifice, which is the crux of the christian faith, but you haven’t rejected christianity?
    I find your beliefs even more weird than creationism, creationism is complete nonsense as it completely contradicts reality but at least it is sort of internally consistent. Ignore all the evidence and it makes a kind of sense. But rejecting the christian creationist myth and still accepting the human sacrifice of Jesus as necessary is like having a one sided coin. Makes no sense at all.

    • Hello Colin! Thanks so much for your thoughts. Yes, I do reject the idea of original guilt (that humans are born guilty before God because of their ancestors’ actions) and I don’t believe the first Homo sapiens were named Adam and Eve. And no, I don’t think this has anything to do with “the entire point of Jesus’ sacrifice.” I don’t need to know the exact identity of the “first sinners” in order to recognize the undeniable fact that, from a Christian perspective, sin is obviously in the world now. I recognize it in my own life and in the world around me. Adam and Eve or no Adam and Eve, I believe it is clear that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith” (Romans 3:23-25).

      Imagine you came home to find your house on fire. Would you immediately call the fire department, or would you immediately begin investigating to discover the source of the fire? Obviously, how the fire started doesn’t matter in that moment. You don’t in any way need that information in order to recognize that the fire is there now, and it requires your immediate attention. I don’t believe the problem of sin is any different.

      This is something I’ve written about on this site before, if you’re interested in reading more.

      • John Heininger

        Time to get back to the real world Tyler, and the clearly stated meaning of scripture. Try to “imagine” that scripture means what it says, and not make it conforms to your evolutionary mythology. .

        • Thanks for your thoughts, John! I really appreciate it. Of course, I gather that in your view, the “real world” means the Creation Museum and “The Flinstones,” and “the clearly stated meaning of scripture” means two creation accounts that are completely contradictory, so I’m not really that interested in joining you there. Thanks for the invite, though.

          • John Heininger

            The real world is were real science happens, based on experimentation and observation, using the Empirical & Scientific Method. As distinct from your imaginary theistic evolution world founded on subjective evolutionary presuppositions, An imaginary world that has no verifiable scientific answer for any aspect of the evolutionary continuum.

            So, if you have any verifiable empirical science substantiating the “evolution” of life from lifeless matter, and every stage in the gradual evolution from simple to complex life this is your big moment. .Of course, this would involve providing testable and “verifiable” scientific proof for the origin and evolution of life, the DNA double helix, mind, consciousness, reason, intelligence and every other attribute. Let’s see what verifiable science you have to substantiate that your imaginary evolutionary world is real. And is not just based on subjective presuppositions and hypothetical inferences and assumptions as to what supposedly happened in the unobserved distant past.

            The real world is also were people take Genesis in its proper context. People who do that know there is no contradiction between the Genesis 1 and 2 accounts, because there is no such thing as Genesis 1 & 2. As the text is all part of the same ongoing manuscript that flows on, giving additional in-depth information on the preceding creation events. This additional information further details the day six creation of mankind. As there is no mention of the creation of the land, seas, skies, sea creatures, etc. Thus, it is not another creation account but more insights into the overall creation account. Different words are used for the plants, animals etc. Words for domesticated and cultivated organisms etc are used. These words are not the
            same as those mentioned in the earlier broad creation account. creation.com/genesis-contradictions

            p.s. If you ever venture from your imaginary world into the real world you would also discover that “The Flintstones” have no relevance to the Creation museum.

          • Hey John, guess what? Assertion is real cheap around here. You can assert whatever you want — no evidence for evolution, Genesis 1 and 2 don’t contradict, unicorns are real, etc. — but I’m not going to accept what you’re saying since it simply isn’t true (at least, you haven’t proven it to be true, anyway). Apparently, you think repeatedly insisting that I live in an “imaginary world” exempts you from having to address any of the arguments or evidence I’ve presented, but that isn’t how it works.

            First, Genesis. I’m just going to guess you didn’t read my article, since it addresses all of the attempts to explain away the contradictions, including the one you used about the words for plants (not animals, though — you were wrong about that point) being used. Basically, neither of the two common arguments for explaining away the contradictions are actually faithful to the text. Here’s the link again. Please read it this time, then we’ll actually have something to talk about.

            Now, evolution. You’ve already ignored evidence I’ve presented, like human chromosome 2, but here’s more. The evidence for evolution is all around us today,as observable, empirical and testable as can be. Much like a crime scene, the evidence can be used to reconstruct events we didn’t see firsthand. It’s an undeniable fact that life changes and adapts to new environments, and that mutations occur frequently and can be beneficial (see Lenski’s experiments with E. coli, Japanese “nylon-eating” bacteria, the Milano mutation and Tibetan high-altitude genes). Evolution is the reason you have to get a new flu shot every year, the reason farmers have to repeatedly change their pesticides as crop-damaging bugs develop resistance, and the reason the medical community is now grappling with the specter of antibiotic-resistant diseases.

            It’s also an undeniable fact that life in the past looked different than it does today, and that life looks even more different, and in many ways simpler, the further back into the past one goes. We know this from the fossil record.

            Those are facts. The “theory” part of evolution comes into play when scientists attempt to tie these facts together and explain how and why life changes. Since the theory first began being developed, we’ve discovered DNA and mapped the genomes of humans and other animals. This provides yet another line of evidence that has completely vindicated the theory. We can now trace the ancestral lines of various species, because those animals that are closely related (like humans and chimps, e.g.) are virtually identical in their genome, even including noncoding lines of their DNA and the marks of endogenous retroviruses. Again, like human chromosome 2, the genomic evidence proves that we either share a common ancestor, or God just wanted us to think we did.

            Macroevolution takes a very long time. But all the evidence we’ve ever uncovered indicates that it happened.

            You demand a natural explanation for the origin of life. That has absolutely nothing to do with evolution. That is like demanding a conclusive explanation for the origin of the universe before you’ll accept Newtonian physics. Newton explained the way the laws of the universe work after the universe had been formed, and in the same way, Darwin explained how life evolved after life began.

            Some of the other things you ask, like the origin of DNA and intelligence are indeed difficult to explain. Perhaps some of my readers with scientific backgrounds can offer better answers, but the obvious one to me is that they don’t leave fossil evidence. We can’t tell from the bones when our ancestors developed consciousness. This, of course, does nothing to weaken the theory of evolution. We know we have consciousness now, and we see in other animals varying degrees of intelligence. There’s absolutely no evidence that would suggest intelligence and consciousness can’t develop through a natural process.

            As another commenter has already pointed out, the theory of evolution would be incredibly easy to falsify. Just show us a rabbit fossil in Pre-Cambrian rock, or a single human tooth that dates to the Devonian period.

          • John Heininger

            Tyler, Its good that you set your case out. Of course, nothing new, and no testable and verifiable scientific evidence for the evolutionary continuum anywhere to be seen, as I will show. We are away looking after 4 grand-kids at the moment, but look forward to responding to each aspect point by point. However, I may still find time to get something off. There is a fair bit to cover so I would like to properly deal with each issue.

            Firstly, good that you mentioned evidence relating to a crime scene, as I majored in criminal law at law school, and even won an award. So, i will have a a few comments to make on this in terms of reconstructed events, verifiable science and unobserved and unrepeatable past historical events. For starters, how do you reconstruct a crime from subjective inferences and assumptions as to what supposedly happened in the distant past, with no possible way of establishing that events happened one way, and not another way. Especially when the interpretation options are many, and varied.
            I know what a judges response to this type of evidence would be. You would be had up for contempt of court. More on this later..

            As for Lenski’s experiments with E. coli. They contribute nothing in terms of the evolutionary continuum. Lenski started with E coli, and finished with E coli. Showing that E coli will metabolizes and consume anything to survive as E coli, Just as the Japanese bacteria do, even eat plastic to survive and preserving themselves as bacteria. Which happens to be also true of every form of life, including virus’. Which metabolizes to preserve itself as such, and not evolve into something different.
            Thus, evolution is not the reason we get a new flue shot every year, as the virus is intent on surviving as a virus, and does not evolve into something else. As I said, E coli in, E coli out; bacteria in, bacteria out, virus in, virus out. So, nothing here to support the evolutionary continuum. Or any grand transformation taking place from one form of life into a different form of life.

            This holds true for every form of life. Bugs develop a resistance to pesticide, to preserve themselves as such, And bacteria the AIDS virus etc develop resistance to antibiotics. to preserve themselves as such. Thus, we have everything metabolizing to ensure its preservation rather than its transformation into something different.. To make things more difficult for the evolutionary continuum, every breeder and horticulturist is confronted with the reality of cross breeding limits. Knowing that the greater the variation and genetic distance between sub-species the more likely hood of deformities, and interbreeding. Putting an end to further variation, and thus the evolutionary continuum. All of which means that the evidence in support of the evolutionary continuum is conspicuous by it’s absence, .

            Anyway, enough for the moment. More about DNA and related issues later. Until then I will give you all some links on human chromosome 2

            creation.com/chromosome 2-fusion-1
            creation.com/chromosome-2-fusion-2
            creation.com/human-ape-fused-chromosomes-paradigm
            creation.com/great-chromosome-fiasco
            creation.com/y-chromosome-extinction
            creation.com/changing-chromosome-numbers
            creation.com/chimp-y-chromosome
            creation.com/genesis-correctly-predicts-y-chromosome-pattern

            This is just for starters, There are at least another 70 articles on the issue

          • For starters, how do you reconstruct a crime from subjective inferences and assumptions as to what supposedly happened in the distant past,

            Well, you seem to be well-acquainted with Creation.com and the like, so you should already know how this is possible, since this is all that they do. But scientists do not reconstruct the past using “subjective inferences and assumptions”; they use evidence.

            with no possible way of establishing that events happened one way, and not another way. Especially when the interpretation options are many, and varied.

            This is entirely your opinion. More unevidenced assertion.

            I know what a judges response to this type of evidence would be. You would be had up for contempt of court. More on this later..

            I must admit, I am looking forward to your explaining this. I’ve never been “had up for contempt of court” in an online comment thread before.

            To adapt your own statement, your comments regarding Lenski’s experiment, insects, viruses, etc., are “nothing new, and no testable and verifiable scientific evidence against evolution anywhere to be seen.” It’s more of the ridiculous micro-macro distinction, which says that even though microevolution happens, and we see it changing creatures in small ways all the time, these changes could somehow never add up to large-scale changes using a fundamentally identical process over a much larger time scale. Your argument here is the equivalent of saying that because we’ve never seen a boy go to bed as a boy and wake up an old man, it’s impossible for a boy to age into an old man. Aging takes time, and so does macroevolution. Just because we can’t see it happen before our eyes, though, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, and it doesn’t mean we can’t reconstruct it using evidence.

            If you were expecting Lenski’s E. coli to evolve into humans, I’m afraid you were the only one. No one with even a child’s understanding of the theory of evolution would have predicted that, since those kind of changes take roughly a couple billion years to achieve.

            Thanks for posting the articles about human chromosome 2 from the good folks at Creation.com. I’m not a scientist myself, so I rely on the self-correcting scientific method, which involves peer review by credentialed experts. Can you please provide any papers critical of the human-chimp chromosomal connection that come from a peer-reviewed scientific journal? If the evidence is really as bad as the creationists claim, there must be tons of peer-reviewed articles out there by ambitious scientists who are eager to make a name for themselves.

          • some dude

            Hi Tyler, I am a biologist, and find your article awesome. I myself do not believe in God, but as you’ve pointed out, this Ray Comfy has absolutely no clue about what the theory of evolution IS, or that ”Darwinian evolution” merely laid the foundation to an incredibly complex and fascinating field of biology. It may interest you that the modern theory of evolution has ”evolved” so to say, to include evolution within an organism at the genetic, cellular, inter-cellular, inter- and intra-species levels, as well as being able to explain seemingly altruistic behavior exhibited, for example, in social insects.
            Most importantly however, the scientific method does not allow for disproving anything. According to the finite possiblities to scientifically describe anything, it is impossible to disprove anything. I cannot disprove that my butt controls the weather, because it cannot be scientifically proven that it does not. Science is only one language, one tool for describing the observable world around us, and as so, is a tool to understand and describe what admittedly could be Gods work, although I myself do not believe this to be true. Lots of Christians say ”The Lord works in mysterious ways”, and I would be one to say that science, specifically evolution, could be a way to gain a meager glimpse into these mysterious ways, if that is what one believes in. Maybe God thinks it’s cool, and is amused at our attempts to understand. May science be with you, some dude in Germany

          • Hey some dude! Thanks for your comment. I really appreciate your thoughtful, respectful and nuanced perspective. Best regards to you 🙂

          • some dude

            Best regards to you as well, Tyler. I was just reading about creationist arguments and working to inform myself of the more typical, well I think arguments would be an overstatement; let’s say rather poorly informed but whole-heartedly meant assertions many creationists use to validate their views. My hope was, of course, to gain some kind of understanding for these adamandant opinions to be more equipped for possible and/or eventual debate, in order to prepare myself for my inevitable return to the US.
            To my dismay, I found nothing which would even warrant a serious debate grounded on any kind of scientific reasoning nor hypothesizing, rendering any attempt from myself effectively useless, as I (typically) choose not to digress into senseless banter unless I am alone at a bar in a futile attempt at impressing a woman. You can probably guess how that ends, and realize the analogy i mean. ( I think as a religous man you must have a good deal of understanding for analogy and metaphor)
            Anyway, my reason for writing in the first place was your refreshing article -restoring some hope in me that there are Christians out there who also find such bigoted and naive refusal to even look at the mounting evidence of evolution theorie absurd. Accordingly, I also see absolutely no contradiction between evolution and the statements of several faiths, as long as one is willing to see that such a Book cannot be taken absolutely literally.

            It would be, in my OPINION, incredibly arrogant for anyone to say that they literally understand the Word of God as handed down to them. To even have the gall to use the Word of God to advance their selfish prideful motive unto others (and not feel a bit of shame in the process) seems like that which one would certainly call a sin if one were Christian. I think it could only get worse if one was killing his neighbor while lusting for his neighbor’s wife and quoting scripture to justify his feeling of being right. Oh, sorry, I think I should’ve sent this last paragraph to Tarantino.

            All opinions aside, I appreciate honest ,respectful discussion. That is why I decided to comment on your site and felt that it would be appropriate to give you a compliment. I hope I got the capitalization of Christian stuff right. May science be with you..some dude in germany

          • Hey some dude, thanks again for your thoughts. I appreciate your desire to better understand the young-earth creationist position and seek dialogue, and I’m sorry that it resulted in such futility, though I can understand why. I don’t know if you paid any attention to the Bill Nye-Ken Ham “debate” last week, but I think it illustrated quite clearly the difficulty that comes when the science community attempts to dialogue with someone like a young-earth creationist. On one side, you have people who accept what the evidence says; on the other side, you have people who simply don’t care what the evidence says if it contradicts their presupposed beliefs.

            Answers in Genesis’ “statement of faith” contains the following clause: “By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the scriptural record.” There simply is no common ground to be found there, not on this particular issue.

    • John Heininger

      Spot on Colin. We have a group of theistic evolutionist in town who parrot Christian doctrine, but when pressed to disclose their specific view on fundamental Christian beliefs and doctrines it turns out that they stand for anything, and everything, and therefore stand for nothing. Adam turns out to be a derivative from goo to you, via the zoo. And Christ’s statement linking Himself to Adam are ignored. Along with every other Old Testament connection, including the genealogies linking Christ to Adam . The evening and mornings of each day of creation are stretch to billions of years. Causing me to wonder how animals and plant life survived nights lasting billions of years. The whole evolutionary scenario is philosophical naturalism and godless materialism gone mad. The issue of our time is not “is it science”, but whether mainstream science itself now represents reality. Or whether mainstream science lives in a surreal metaphysical world of its own making, far removed from reality. The attachment says it all.

      • Colin Robinson

        John, although I agree with you that evolution and christianity are fundamentally incompatible and one or the other has to be rejected I reject, without hesitation, christianity. Same as I reject all the other religions that you also reject.

        You say you wonder how plants and animals can survive billions of years of night, I say how can there be night all over the world when it is a sphere lit by the sun? It can’t, that means that the writers of Gen 1 believed the earth was flat.

        That alone is reason to reject Gen 1 as an authoritive source.

        Then there is the, literally, mountains of evidence backing evolutionary theory. And the fact that our evolution is written into our DNA.

        And, regarding christianity in particular as opposed to the thousands of other religions, there is no proof that anybody like jesus even existed.

        Think about what christians actually claim to believe:
        An almighty creator and steward of 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars manifested itself as a man and walked the earth declaring he wanted everyone to know of him and absolutely nobody noticed.

        Personally, I consider the myth of Santa Claus to be more believable than the myth of Jesus Christ.

        • John Heininger

          Thanks for giving me your position Colin. I made the reverse decision, and became a Christian and rejected evolution because there was no sustainable science involved. And all the philosophical, logical, historical, scientific, prophetic, and existential evidence pointed to Christianity.

          “I say how can there be night all over the world when it is a sphere lit by the sun? It can’t, that means that the writers of Gen 1 believed the earth was flat.” Isaiah states that the earth is round and hangs on nothing. And Genesis, exodus and Jesus state that for everything on planet earth each day had an evening and morning. So, not sure where you got the flat earth from.

          “Then there is the, literally, mountains of evidence backing evolutionary theory. And the fact that our evolution is written into our DNA.” Not true! There are mountains of presuppositional assumptions and inference underlying evolution. None of which has any verifiable scientific basis. So, if you know of any of these hypothetical evolutionary assumptions that is based on experimental or observational science let me know. Moreover, evolution is not written in our DNA, In fact the supposed evolutionary junk DNA is now known to have a specific use. And as scientists now acknowledge that the DNA is largely a mysterious black hole, scientists are not in a position to assert anything about evolution being “written in out DNA”. Check out Creation.com.

          No proof that Jesus ever existed, you say. In fact there is more historical evidence for the historical Jesus than any other person of historical antiquity. Here: thegodreality.com/manuscripts.htm People not only noticed, but his life had an impact to change the Roman empire, the world, and the calendar.

          Why do think it is impossible for God to manifest himself within a finite human being, while at the same time being the infinite eternal self existing creator God. After all, the universe is made of individual things, that make up the whole. You are part of the universe, and the universe is part of you. There is no logical inconsistency, or philosophical contradiction.

          No informed historical scholar regards Jesus as a myth, while everyone knows Santa Clause to be an invention.

          • Colin Robinson

            Sorry, what evidence pointed to christianity specifically?
            Isaiah states the world is a circle, which is by definition, a flat disc. Interestingly, the hebrew can be translated as circle or sphere as its best translation is ’round’. But absolutely none of that passage makes sense if it is not a flat disc. How can you have a tent over a sphere?
            Irrelevant anyway, we’re talking about the authoritativeness of Gen 1 and that is definitely referring to a flat earth as the night and day are applied to the whole planet at once, and therefore has no credibility on that basis alone.

            There are LITERALLY mountains containing fossils where you can SEE the progress of evolution. You can see them with your own eyes but that is not ‘verifiable’?
            You know, if you’re right and evolution is wrong then it would be very, very easy to show it. All you’d have to do is show, for example, a rabbit fossil in Cambrian era rocks.
            If you were right and evolution were wrong we’d be seeing things like all the time. But it’s never been seen once.
            And our evolution is in our DNA because there are thousands of mutations that exist in chimp and human DNA and in no other species. And the odds of that happening by chance instead of evolution is trillions upon trillions against. We can trace our evolutionary history using such techniques.

            The BELIEF in jesus changed rome, the calendar etc. Jesus himself affected absolutely zero. There is absolutely no record of any kind for jesus existing from the time he supposedly lived. Absolutely nothing, zero, zilch! The earliest references are in the bible and were written decades after the supposed events of the gospels.
            There are no non-biblical references to jesus, or even his believers, from the first century. This almighty god walked the earth spreading his news and no one noticed.

            Have you heard of President Obama? Most people on earth have. Yet nobody that we know of heard of Jesus during his lifetime. Does this make Obama massively more powerful than your god?
            1,500 years after your almighty god stated he wanted everyone to know of his news europeans reached the americas. And no one there had heard of him.

            Your almighty god, in charge of a universe of a 100 billion galaxies, couldn’t even get across the Atlantic.

            Many informed historical scholars think of jesus as a myth, and the majority of the human race consider that he was no more than a man even if he existed. And many people believe in Santa Claus. But some people grow up and stop believing in imaginary friends like Santa Claus and Jesus, others are ‘born again’ and never stop believing in imaginary friends.

          • Colin, while I, of course, agree with your statements regarding the vast amount of evidence for an ancient earth and evolution by common descent, I do challenge your statements about the historical nature of Jesus, especially that “many informed scholars think of Jesus as a myth.”

            Here’s what Bart Ehrman, author and agnostic New Testament scholar has to say on the matter:

            Few of these mythicists are actually scholars trained in ancient history, religion, biblical studies or any cognate field, let alone in the ancient languages generally thought to matter for those who want to say something with any degree of authority about a Jewish teacher who (allegedly) lived in first-century Palestine. There are a couple of exceptions: of the hundreds — thousands? — of mythicists, two (to my knowledge) actually have Ph.D. credentials in relevant fields of study. But even taking these into account, there is not a single mythicist who teaches New Testament or Early Christianity or even Classics at any accredited institution of higher learning in the Western world. And it is no wonder why. These views are so extreme and so unconvincing to 99.99 percent of the real experts that anyone holding them is as likely to get a teaching job in an established department of religion as a six-day creationist is likely to land on in a bona fide department of biology.

            And here’s more:

            It is true that Jesus is not mentioned in any Roman sources of his day. That should hardly count against his existence, however, since these same sources mention scarcely anyone from his time and place. Not even the famous Jewish historian, Josephus, or even more notably, the most powerful and important figure of his day, Pontius Pilate.

            It is also true that our best sources about Jesus, the early Gospels, are riddled with problems. These were written decades after Jesus’ life by biased authors who are at odds with one another on details up and down the line. But historians can never dismiss sources simply because they are biased. You may not trust Rush Limbaugh’s views of Sandra Fluke, but he certainly provides evidence that she exists.

            The question is not whether sources are biased but whether biased sources can be used to yield historically reliable information, once their biased chaff is separated from the historical kernel. And historians have devised ways of doing just that.

            With respect to Jesus, we have numerous, independent accounts of his life in the sources lying behind the Gospels (and the writings of Paul) — sources that originated in Jesus’ native tongue Aramaic and that can be dated to within just a year or two of his life (before the religion moved to convert pagans in droves). Historical sources like that are is pretty astounding for an ancient figure of any kind. Moreover, we have relatively extensive writings from one first-century author, Paul, who acquired his information within a couple of years of Jesus’ life and who actually knew, first hand, Jesus’ closest disciple Peter and his own brother James. If Jesus did not exist, you would think his brother would know it.

            Link to the full article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bart-d-ehrman/did-jesus-exist_b_1349544.html

          • Colin Robinson

            “With respect to Jesus, we have numerous, independent accounts of his life in the sources lying behind the Gospels (and the writings of Paul) — sources that originated in Jesus’ native tongue Aramaic and that can be dated to within just a year or two of his life”
            I am not aware of any of these! The existence of earlier sources have been inferred from the gospels but there is no way to establish anything about them apart from their likely content. We have no copies of them that I am aware of.

            As to the sacrificial messiah concept, the argument can also be raised that if jesus existed he wouldn’t have acted in the way he the gospels describe because, obviously, the jewish messiah was not a sacrificial lamb and anyone who believed he was the messiah wouldn’t think of himself in that way.

            The best evidence, IMO, that jesus existed is where Luke has him going to pray with closest disciples and tells them to ready for battle by buying swords. This, along with the location of his ‘vigil’, indicates that he was attempting to invoke the prophecy of Zech 14, as someone who believed himself to be the messiah would do. Definitely not the action of the christian version of the messiah which indicates that there was a real person behind the myth, or maybe quite a few different people.

            But a jesus that entered jerusalem at the head of an adoring crowd and basically took control without it being mentioned by any contemporary source is not a viable claim. If there was a historical jesus then he did and said very little of what was attributed to him in the gospels. (‘he who has no sin cast the first stone’ was actually written in the 3rd century for example.)

          • Well, now you seem to be changing the subject a bit. We’re not discussing whether the triumphal entry ever happened or whether Jesus actually said, “Let he who is without sin be the first to throw a stone.” Your assertion was that an actual man named Jesus of Nazareth never existed, and you went on to say that “many informed scholars” would agree with you. It was that claim that I was responding to, because that claim certainly does not appear to be true.

          • Colin Robinson

            You don’t have the “numerous, independent accounts of his life in the sources lying behind the Gospels”?

            There is no independent reference to the existence of a town called Nazareth in until the 3rd century BTW, and I acknowledge it is probable that the stories were based upon someone, or many people. But is that person anything like the jesus of the gospels?

            It is certainly beyond dispute that there was no almighty god, creator and steward of a billion trillion stars, walking the earth declaring he wanted everyone to know him. If that had happened then there would be no dispute whatsoever about it, and all people would believe in the one god. Just as all americans believe in the existence of Obama. To claim it happened with no evidence to show it is akin to claiming that a herd of elephants have just come through your kitchen although it looks like it has just been cleaned.

            Whether or not there was a person upon which these stories are based is a different question, an unanswerable one in my view. Bear in mind that the virgin birth was made up because the writer of matthew read a mistranslated copy of Isaiah 7 and decided that the messiah was prophecised to be born to a virgin, so he made it up. Along with herod’s massacre of the babies so jesus could come out of Egypt to fulfill something else that Matthew wrongly believed was a messianic prophecy.

            If the gospel writers are capable of making up stuff like that, and we know for a fact they made it up, then it is illogical to claim that any part of it is truth. Some may be, but there is no way of knowing what, if any, is true as there is zero supporting evidence for any of it. Plenty we know isn’t true, but there’s nothing we can know is true.

          • You don’t have the “numerous, independent accounts of his life in the sources lying behind the Gospels”?

            I’m not sure exactly what he means there. I presume he is referring to historical analyses that indicate that the Gospels are amalgamations of a variety of different texts and sources.

            I don’t understand why you think the president of a first-world country in today’s modern digital world is an appropriate analogy for a poor religious teacher who lived in first-century Palestine. The records we do have from Jesus’ time and place are notoriously sparse and far from comprehensive.

            And the Gospels do not portray Jesus as “creator and steward of a billion trillion stars, walking the earth declaring he wanted everyone to know him,” so it should be no surprise that people have trouble believing that. The Gospels, in fact, portray Jesus as repeatedly discouraging his disciples and others from telling people about who he really was or the miracles he did. See Matthew 8:4, 16:20 and 17:9.

            I think you make a valid point about the virgin birth. I have not studied it in depth, but I do understand that it is possible that the Hebrew in Isaiah could refer to a maiden rather than a virgin. However, I do not see that just because it’s possible that the author of Matthew could have made the whole thing up means it is proven that the author of Matthew made the whole thing up.

            Same thing with the massacre of the innocents. We do not have a corroborating source for the specific event, but we do know from other information about Herod that such an act would be consistent with other things he was documented to have done. Bethlehem was a small town; the amount of infants killed would have probably been fewer than 20 — not exactly something that would have been discussed on every street corner in Rome. I’m not saying you have to accept the biblical account, but the simple fact that its record wasn’t preserved elsewhere doesn’t seem to be enough evidence to prove beyond any doubt that it did not occur.

          • Colin Robinson

            That’s my guess regarding the ‘numerous, independent accounts’. We don’t have them, we can infer that some existed, but there is no way we can make the claims for these sources regarding language, timing etc that he made.

            And the analogy is very simple, thanks to technology Obama FAR surpasses jesus in his ability to be known across the world. If an all powerful god, which jesus is supposed to be the manifestation of if you believe the christian doctrine, needs to use human technology to spread his word then ‘all powerful’ means ‘powerless’ doesn’t it?

            The gospels portray jesus as wanting everyone to know of him, the Nicene creed states that jesus is the manifestation of yahweh, “of one Being with the Father”, the almighty creator god. Taken both together then the christian doctrine is that jesus is the manifestation of yahweh, the creator and steward of a billion trillion stars.

            Regarding the virgin birth, if you use blueletterbible.org you can see that Isaiah 7 used the hebrew for ‘young woman’, not ‘virgin’. The writer of Isaiah 1-40, (the later chapters were written much later), used the actual hebrew word for ‘virgin’ three times. There is no reasonable possibility that he meant ‘virgin’ in Isa 7.

            We know of a greek translation of Isaiah translating it as ‘virgin’ that was around from about 50BCE in Greece, we are pretty certain that the writer of Matthew was greek.
            And the writer of Matthew explicitly states:
            22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”
            We KNOW there was no such no prophecy so we KNOW he was making this up. And we KNOW he made up the census, (the census was 11 years after Herod died), that meant that Joseph had to, for some reason, register in the town of his ancestors and take his heavily pregnant wife with him although she had no authority to sign anything, so that jesus could fulfill an actual messianic prophecy that he was born in Bethlehem.

            We know as fact of many things that the writer of Matthew made up. There could be a possibility that in this case he was telling the truth and jesus was born to a virgin although there was no messianic requirement for him to be but I’d be more likely to win the jackpot on the lottery 5 times in a row in my opinion.

            IMO, the writers of Luke and Matthew made up everything about Jesus’ early life as filler. The oldest gospel we know of, the precursor to Mark, although we don’t have any copies, presumably says nothing of the early life of Jesus as Mark says nothing. This had to be filled in to add credibility. And so were made up, explaining the two wildly different versions.

            I find it telling that the earliest copies of Mark have no reference to the resurrection either, this also seems to have been tagged on later. IOW, made up.

          • If an all powerful god, which jesus is supposed to be the manifestation of if you believe the christian doctrine, needs to use human technology to spread his word then ‘all powerful’ means ‘powerless’ doesn’t it?

            Nowhere in the Bible does it say God needs human technology to spread his word. I believe he calls us to be part of his work, like in the great commission, but he could make the rocks cry out about him if he wanted to.

            The gospels portray jesus as wanting everyone to know of him,

            No, they portray quite the opposite, unless you’re talking about the portions of the gospel accounts that concern his commands after the Resurrection (like the aforementioned great commission). Please refer to the verses I cited before (Matthew 8:4, 16:20 and 17:9) if you’re still confused on this point.

            the Nicene creed states that jesus is the manifestation of yahweh, “of one Being with the Father”, the almighty creator god. Taken both together then the christian doctrine is that jesus is the manifestation of yahweh, the creator and steward of a billion trillion stars.

            Yes, this is not the portion of your statement I was taking issue with. It was your assertion that Jesus wanted to reach the entire world in his lifetime, which (if true) would obviously imply that he failed. But there’s nothing in the Gospels that would indicate that that was really his intended goal.

            There is no reasonable possibility that he meant ‘virgin’ in Isa 7.

            The Hebrew word used in Isaiah 7:14, “almah,” has no direct English equivalent. It probably meant a young, unmarried or newly married woman who had not yet born a child. The word neither requires nor rules out the possibility that the woman is a virgin, but there is no place the word is used in the Bible where it can be proven that the word does not refer to a virgin.

            At any rate, the context of Isaiah certainly seems to imply that the author is talking about a virgin. The text refers to “a sign” from God that will demonstrate that the prophesy is trustworthy. A young woman conceiving a child through natural means is hardly a miraculous sign.

            Your point about the census is a challenging one for me. I have studied the matter in the past, but I can’t explain it.

            I do think a lot of this comes down to a matter of opinion, whether you trust the authors — believe they were divinely inspired — or not. I do, you don’t, and that’s fine with me. That said, I don’t think there would be much value in the two of us walking down every verse in the Bible that’s objectionable in some way. My main goal here was to correct you on two issues about which I believe you were mistaken: that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross is unnecessary without a literal Adam and Eve, and that “many informed scholars” think Jesus is a myth.

          • Colin Robinson

            Nowhere in the bible does it have yahweh using anything other than human technology to spread his message so it is a safe assumption he relies on it.
            This is my issue with christianity, if your god was anywhere near as all powerful as christians claim he is then there would be no dispute, there would be one god.
            The only way you have thousands of different gods is if the gods are made up by mankind, if any one of them were real he would eclipse all others.

            Don’t forget that, according to christian mythology, your god was captured in battle and was so mad he made a statue fall over. Now you can call that metaphor or whatever you want but anyone with even a glimpse of the power of a god that modern day christians believe in would never have used that as a metaphor.

            I’m not confused about Jesus wanting to spread his message at all, the NT is confused as it gives several different versions of what he wanted but Acts 17 is very clear, and the fact that jesus performed miracles in order to persuade people to follow him, and the commandments to spread the word that you refer to. Referencing back to Acts 17, all those who don’t know of jesus are condemned, therefore it is reasonable to assume that he wants all people to know of him. And yet he never traveled further than a few hundred miles from home!

            If you believe that Paul spoke for jesus, and if you don’t you have rejected 90% of christianity, then that states that he wanted to reach all people in THEIR lifetimes.
            Acts 17: 30
            In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.
            That very explicitly states that the message of jesus/yahweh is for absolutely everyone does it not? And surely an all powerful god in charge of a billion trillion stars could manage to get his message to all people couldn’t he?
            In reality, he has been completely outclassed by coca cola.

            “but there is no place the word is used in the Bible where it can be proven that the word does not refer to a virgin.”
            In the same way as ‘girl’ doesn’t specify if a person is a virgin or not. But that is obviously irrelevant, there is a specific word for ‘virgin’ that the writer of Isaiah used three times. It is obvious that if he intended to convey that the woman was a virgin he would have used the specific word for virgin, particularly if it is crucial to the statement he was making. The use of the word ‘almeh’ means he never intended the woman giving birth to be regarded as a virgin.
            This is totally self evident!

            “The text refers to “a sign” from God that will demonstrate that the prophesy is trustworthy. A young woman conceiving a child through natural means is hardly a miraculous sign.”
            If that were correct he would have specifically used the word for ‘virgin’.
            In reality, the ‘prophecy’ is merely stating that if the judeans put their trust in egypt then by the time “a child born to a young woman”, (AKA a newborn baby), comes to know right from wrong then Judea will have fallen. It was a poetic means of expressing a short span of years. Nothing to do with any messiah.

            “Your point about the census is a challenging one for me. I have studied the matter in the past, but I can’t explain it.”
            It is very easy to explain, the writer of matthew wanted jesus to have fulfilled as many ‘messianic prophecies’ as he could manage. By the same token, his misunderstanding of ‘an ass, the colt of an ass’, merely a means of emphasis when referring to a single animal, has him describing jesus riding into jerusalem astride two donkeys.
            I advise you to get Isaac Asimov’s ‘Guide to the Bible’. It will help massively in your understanding of how the bible came to be written in the way it was.

            “I do think a lot of this comes down to a matter of opinion, whether you trust the authors — believe they were divinely inspired — or not. I do, you don’t, and that’s fine with me. ”
            It’s simpler than that, do the authors make sense, do they speak the truth? Obviously they don’t, the gospels contradict each massively. And surely you don’t believe the writer of Matthew’s claim that the dead rose and walked the streets when jesus died?! When nobody else, not even the other gospel writers, noticed.
            You either accept that the writer of Matthew made that up, in which case you accept that you cannot trust the author of Matthew, or you believe it happened.

            There’s no other options. Which do you choose?

            And I invite you to consider the meaning of the word ‘many’. As I understand it a small proportion of learned biblical scholars are leaning that way and, although still a minority, they number sufficient to be called ‘many’.

            Don’t forget that the source you used to diss my statement was found seriously lacking on his claim of the aramaic sources that we have that were written within a couple of years of the death of jesus. Sources neither you or I know anything about.

            BTW, thanks for the civil debate, I’d have been called all sorts of names by now by most people I attempt to engage in debate on this subject.

          • Hey, Colin, you’re welcome! I have no problem with people disagreeing with me (which is good, since it happens a lot), so long as they are respectful and polite as you have been.

            This is my issue with christianity, if your god was anywhere near as all powerful as christians claim he is then there would be no dispute, there would be one god.

            An interesting argument. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone articulate it in that way before. I think there are basically two ways Christians can answer this. Those who come from the Reformed perspective would probably say that God is all-powerful, and that he created some for life (these he predestines) and some for destruction. That’s why you see some people who believe and some who don’t.

            I disagree. I tend to think the reason is that our free will is very important to God, and our free will choice to obey his call for repentance or not would be meaningless if he stepped out of the clouds and said, “Hey, guys, I’m here. The Christians were right. Do what I say, OK?”

            Non-theists and agnostics disagree with me on this point, of course, but I don’t believe the fact that there are many different religions is proof that they’re all bunk. Quite the opposite. I think the fact that there are many different religions is evidence that there is something beyond the natural world. I don’t believe all religions are right, of course, that makes no sense, so at the point, it becomes a matter of determining what view makes the most sense to the seeker.

            That’s just my opinion, of course. But it’s also how I understand another point you and I have been discussing about Jesus wanting people to know about him. The Jesus of the NT certainly did not fit the conquering king Messiah mold that some — even his own disciples — expected. Instead of demanding each person’s allegiance by a show of incredible might and power, he asked for simple expressions of faith and trust. Most of the people he did miracles for and in front of were poor farmers and villagers of little consequence. And, yes, he specifically asked his disciples to not preach him as the Messiah or Son of God until after he left this world.

            I do believe he wants the entire world to hear the gospel, to have the opportunity to repent. I do not believe, however, that he wants the entire world to be forced to repent, to see a miracle before their eyes and thus have no other choice to trust in Jesus. I believe he does “want all people to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). But he is meek and humble of heart. He wants to draw us to repentance by his kindness, not by force.

            That’s how I understand it, anyway.

            Don’t forget that, according to christian mythology, your god was captured in battle and was so mad he made a statue fall over.

            I must confess I don’t get the reference. Is this something in the Bible or Christian tradition?

            There’s no other options. Which do you choose?

            I don’t know why it’s not mentioned in any of the other gospels, but no, I don’t believe Matthew just made it up. People claim to see things like ghosts all the time, and it’s not exactly headline news. Even back then, people who heard the stories probably would have just thought the witnesses were crazy. So it’s no surprise that it wouldn’t be recorded in outside sources. Like I said, I don’t know why it’s not in the other gospels, though. All I can guess is that the other authors hadn’t been aware of this or didn’t choose to include it for whatever reason (even John wrote that his gospel wasn’t complete in Jn 21:25).

          • Colin Robinson

            “Those who come from the Reformed perspective would probably say that God is all-powerful, and that he created some for life (these he predestines) and some for destruction. That’s why you see some people who believe and some who don’t.”

            Flatly contradicted by Acts 17, and the fact that the gospels have jesus performing miracles to persuade them he was the messiah/god. If belief was predestined then there would be no need for jesus to perform miracles to persuade those he has predetermined would never believe.

            But, according to the gospels, he issued dire threats to those who were not persuaded by his miracles. The fate of Sodom would be nothing compared to the fate of those who rejected him despite those miracles he performed.

            “But he is meek and humble of heart. He wants to draw us to repentance by his kindness, not by force.”

            “worship me or suffer eternal torment!” is meek and humble?!

          • I think I made it quite clear that the Reformed perspective in this matter is not my personal view. I offered it only for contrast.

            Jesus never said “Worship me or suffer eternal torment.” His “threats” against the cities in Matthew 11 were warnings about the fate of those who don’t turn from their sins, not a command to worship him.

          • Colin Robinson

            To be clear, the threats, or rather ‘promises’, were directed at people who did not ‘repent’. (Actually, they were not directed at people at all, but entire towns and cities as if all peoples were defined by the town/city of their residence.)
            But as Acts 17 makes clear, ‘repenting’ without accepting jesus as lord and master is not an option.
            But, to cut to the chase, do you believe that those who reject jesus as lord and master can enter heaven? (I know the majority of christians don’t but christian beliefs vary massively.)
            Referencing that chapter I find it instructive that John the Baptist was recorded in history but jesus was not. There are several appeals to the authority of JtB in the gospels, this is, IMO, because JtB was recognised as a great prophet by the jews of the time and his endorsement, whether it happened or not, would be considered essential to the credibility of another claimant to messiah hood. Especially when the claimant, jesus, fulfilled none of the main prophecies ascribed to a messiah.

          • But, to cut to the chase, do you believe that those who reject jesus as lord and master can enter heaven?

            I do believe Jesus and the authors of the New Testament are pretty clear and consistent in their teaching that those who are preached an accurate message of the gospel and willfully choose to reject it will not be accepted by the Father into eternal life. I think scripture is more nuanced regarding those who never have the opportunity in this life to hear the gospel (either because of the country or religion they are born into) or who receive a poor witness (like from someone who expresses to be a Christian but behaves wickedly, or someone who has been abused by a church or religious group). I believe that, in cases like these, God would be willing to “forgive their ignorance,” as the chapter you’re so fond of alluding to, Acts 17, mentions. I do believe those who have done wickedness and evil in this life will be punished, i.e. hell — that much appears to be pretty clear in the Bible. I’m not sure the teaching is as clear regarding those who willfully reject the gospel but otherwise strive to obey their consciences and live righteously. In other words, I don’t believe these people would be welcomed into eternal life, but I’m not sure the Bible really teaches that they will be punished forever either.

            It’s not an easy question to answer. I think the majority of the New Testament is about instructing us how to try to live as people and followers of Christ, rather than teaching what will happen to those who reject the gospel, and so it’s the former that I try to focus on in my personal life. However, I wanted to answer your question as honestly as possible.

            Referencing that chapter I find it instructive that John the Baptist was recorded in history but jesus was not.

            What contemporary historical sources record the existence of John the Baptist? I know he is mentioned by Josephus and appears in the Quran, but so does Jesus. Since you obviously don’t believe Josephus’ or the Quran’s account of Jesus is enough to establish his existence, surely they are not enough to establish John the Baptist’s.

          • Colin Robinson

            Acts 17 makes clear that yahweh will forgive ignorance no longer but you are saying he will?
            “In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. ”

            Jospehus mentions John the Baptist but his mention of Jesus has long been dismissed as a forgery from several centuries later. It is not in earlier copies as preserved by the arabs and is out of keeping with the rest of his work.

            The qu’ran is centuries later as well and is also classed as mythology.

          • Acts 17 makes clear that yahweh will forgive ignorance no longer but you are saying he will?

            I think the passage makes it clear that he is now calling all people to repent, and I believe he does have some standard by which he will judge everyone, whether they’ve heard the gospel or not. However, I do not believe he would condemn someone to hell simply because of a quirk of the time or place of their birth in which they never had the opportunity to hear about Jesus, nor do I believe he would outright condemn someone who rejected faith because they were abused in some way at the hands of someone who represented a church. I believe that he can judge the world however he likes, but I do not see in scripture the idea that he will judge the world that way. It would go against his rich kindness and mercy, which are qualities of God discussed all throughout the Old and New Testaments.

            Romans 2 expresses the idea that, under the Jewish law, “when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.” I think it’s reasonable that a similar principle could be at work with those who do not have the chance to really hear the gospel. God will have some standard by which he will judge their hearts and their lives.

            Jospehus mentions John the Baptist but his mention of Jesus has long been dismissed as a forgery from several centuries later. It is not in earlier copies as preserved by the arabs and is out of keeping with the rest of his work.

            Oh, so Josephus’ writings do count as history, even though they were recorded nearly 100 years after the events in question? Interesting, but OK — now that I understand your views on what counts as history and what doesn’t, I think we can wrap up that little matter about Jesus’ historicity quite quickly. You see, Jesus is actually mentioned twice in Josephus’ “Antiquities of the Jews.”

            Once is the so-called “Testimonium Flavianum,” the authenticity of which, as you mention, has been questioned by scholars. I’d be welcome to correction, but my understanding is that the scholarly consensus of this particular passage is that it is partially authentic — basically that Josephus made some reference to Jesus and it was later “touched up” by someone, probably a misguided Christian, who wanted to make the account more impressive. But, for the sake of this hypothetical argument, let’s throw it out.

            However, like I said, Josephus mentions Jesus twice. The second is in Book 20 and reads thus: “the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James.” This passage is widely considered to be authentic by expert scholars in the field. For example, Louis H. Feldman, a professor at Yeshiva and celebrated expert on Josephus, wrote in his book “Josephus, Judaism and Christianity” that the authenticity of the James passage has been “almost universally acknowledged.” (For the record, it is the existence of this second, later passage, which has led most scholars to believe that there was some authentic mention of Jesus in Book 18’s Testimonium Flavianum before it was corrupted. My understanding is that the Greek of the Book 20 passage can imply “the brother of Jesus, the aforementioned Christ…”)

            As far as I know, there is also little question regarding the authenticity of Josephus’ sole mention of John the Baptist. So, now, by your own standards, we know that both John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth were real historical figures.

          • I find it telling that the earliest copies of Mark have no reference to the resurrection either, this also seems to have been tagged on later. IOW, made up.

            I forgot to respond to this earlier. This is not true, unless you know of some early copy of Mark that I’m not aware of. The earliest copies of Mark do not include Mark 16:9-20, which involves Jesus appearing to Mary, two disciples and later, all of the disciples, when he gives them the great commission. However, the earliest copies of Mark do include references to the Resurrection. This is how the earliest copies of Mark end (italics mine):

            And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.” And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

          • Colin Robinson

            Granted, there is vague mention that he is ‘risen’, somebody said something to that effect, but no ‘eye witness’ accounts of it. Which were added later.

            Incidentally, do you believe that the dead rose from their graves and walked the streets of jersualem without anyone noticing?
            Matt 27:
            The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and[e]went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

          • You asked me this in another part of the thread, and I answered it, but you may not have seen it. This thread has gotten quite long. Here is my copied and pasted response:

            “I don’t know why it’s not mentioned in any of the other gospels, but no, I don’t believe Matthew just made it up. People claim to see things like ghosts all the time, and it’s not exactly headline news. Even back then, people who heard the stories probably would have just thought the witnesses were crazy. So it’s no surprise that it wouldn’t be recorded in outside sources. Like I said, I don’t know why it’s not in the other gospels, though. All I can guess is that the other authors hadn’t been aware of this or didn’t choose to include it for whatever reason (even John wrote that his gospel wasn’t complete in Jn 21:25).”

            It’s probably worth mentioning at this point, if I haven’t already made it obvious, that I’m not an inerrantist, not in the strictest sense anyway. I do believe the biblical authors were inspired by the Holy Spirit and that their writings are infallible in matters of theology and the spiritual nature of mankind. At the same time, the Gospels are ancient histories and I do believe it’s obvious that their authors were (in some ways at least) subject to limitations of their time, training (or lack thereof) and position.

          • Colin Robinson

            If you believe that the writer of Matthew didn’t make that up then there really is no reason to continue this debate. That, to me, is the absolute proof that the writer of Matthew made stuff up, I just don’t understand how anyone could claim different when such a remarkable event is not actually remarked upon by anyone else. Even the other gospel writers who would be massively motivated to include it if it had happened.

            The evidence overwhelmingly states that the writer of Matthew simply made up most of his gospel, the rest he took from the gospel of Mark. But if you don’t consider the dead rising and walking the streets to be obviously made up then you will never accept that jesus riding into jerusalem astride two donkeys to be made up. Or anything else that, to me, is obviously made up.

            You WANT to believe it is true, so it doesn’t matter how nonsensical it is you WILL believe it is true.

          • If you’re not interested in continuing the discussion, that’s fine with me, but I don’t in any way see how the author of Matthew’s inclusion of that in his gospel is “absolute proof” that it’s made up. There is no evidence that such an incident didn’t happen that week, other than the fact that such things don’t normally happen, and I certainly don’t dispute that point. If it did occur, then it was a miracle of God.

            I just don’t understand how anyone could claim different when such a remarkable event is not actually remarked upon by anyone else.

            There are only a handful of events that are mentioned in ALL of the gospels, and many of the events that are left out of at least one of the gospels are remarkable, including the virgin birth, a number of miracles, the transfiguration and so on.

            I don’t deny that your theory (that most of it is just made up) is possible, but you can’t deny that it’s also possible that some of the writers of the gospel simply weren’t aware of some of the events or chose not to include them in order to highlight other things. The authors were different people after all, with different backgrounds and different intended audiences.

            “Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” — John 21:25

            And I know what you’re getting at with the two donkeys thing, and I don’t think your interpretation of the passage is valid. Matthew 21:7 (ESV) says, “They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them.” You and others suggest that by “sat on them” the author of Matthew means Jesus sat on both the donkey and the colt. I think it’s perfectly obvious that the intended meaning is that he sat on the cloaks.

          • Colin Robinson

            There is proof it didn’t happen. It is not that ‘it doesn’t normally happen’, it is that it is impossible by all laws of reality. And, as such, is exceptionally remarkable. And yet no one remarked upon it apart from one writer. So on the one hand assume that we have an impossible occurrence that would be the talk of the nation which wasn’t mentioned by anyone, on the other hand we assume that we have a liar.
            There are so many impossibilities that simply melt away when we assume that the writer of Matthew is a liar. And we know for an absolute fact that there were a great many people at the time were blatant liars on such subjects.
            Or do you believe all the other stories from the time? Even the ones that contradict your beliefs?
            Either the writer of Matthew is a blatant liar or something that is absolutely impossible happened in full view of everyone without anyone else noticing.

            The conclusion is obvious.

            John 21:25
            I read that and laugh, the brevity of John’s descriptions of the events of the ministry of jesus, (over three years according to John, one according to the other gospel writers), would fill a very small book if all the events were described.

            As for the donkeys, it is stated that he obtains two donkeys so that he can fulfill the prophecy that he ‘rode in on two donkeys’. The prophecy referred to doesn’t say he sat on cloaks does it?

            Yes, he sat on the cloaks, the cloaks that it explicitly states were on the donkeys.

          • There is proof it didn’t happen. It is not that ‘it doesn’t normally happen’, it is that it is impossible by all laws of reality.

            I agree. The only evidence that it didn’t happen is that it couldn’t happen without some sort of miraculous intervention.

            So on the one hand assume that we have an impossible occurrence that would be the talk of the nation which wasn’t mentioned by anyone

            Like I’ve said before, this doesn’t really seem that surprising to me. Even today, people claim to have seen or experienced seemingly impossible things — ghosts, the Loch Ness monster, out of body experiences, alien abductions, etc. — and their stories are not “the talk of the nation.” I imagine anyone who claimed to have seen a resurrected saint in the days after Jesus died would have been treated exactly the same way, and thus, their stories would not appear in the few historical records we have from the period.

            As for the donkeys, it is stated that he obtains two donkeys so that he can fulfill the prophecy that he ‘rode in on two donkeys’. The prophecy referred to doesn’t say he sat on cloaks does it?

            No, but it also doesn’t say the king would ride in on two donkeys; it says he would ride in on one: “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’” Donkey, colt, foal — they all refer to the same animal, and this animal (the colt) is the one Jesus rode in on, as attested by the other gospel authors Mark, Luke and John.

            Yes, he sat on the cloaks, the cloaks that it explicitly states were on the donkeys.

            The backseat of my car has three seats. Yesterday, my wife and I and went swimming with a friend. When we were finished, we spread some towels in the backseat and my friend sat on the towels.

            After reading that, do you have the impression that my friend sat on all three seats at once? Of course not. You are reading the text of Matthew and insisting that it says something that it does not necessarily say.

          • Colin Robinson

            “I agree. The only evidence that it didn’t happen is that it couldn’t happen without some sort of miraculous intervention.”
            NOT what I said at all! The proof that it didn’t happen is that no one noticed it happened. There is no proof that a herd of elephants didn’t charge down Oxford Street last night by your reckoning.

            Would you do me a favour and read the passage regarding the dead walking the streets again? This is not something that would have been witnessed by one or two people who could be dismissed as crazies.
            “The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and[e]went into the holy city and appeared to many people.”
            MANY people.

            “You are reading the text of Matthew and insisting that it says something that it does not necessarily say.”
            Because any other meaning does not fulfill the ‘prophecy’ that the writer of Matthew insists it fulfills.

          • The proof that it didn’t happen is that no one noticed it happened.

            As you mention, the text specifically says that “many people” noticed it happened. The problem you have is that Matthew’s gospel is the only source we have that recorded it happening.

            This is not something that would have been witnessed by one or two people who could be dismissed as crazies.

            The number has nothing to do with it. Thousands of people claim to have seen UFOs, but I doubt you have much trouble dismissing them.

            Because any other meaning does not fulfill the ‘prophecy’ that the writer of Matthew insists it fulfills.

            The prophecy says the king would ride in on a donkey/colt/foal, and the author of Matthew (and the three other gospels) record Jesus riding in on a donkey/colt/foal.

          • Colin Robinson

            The problem I have is that when only one person ‘records’ an event that would have had 1,000s abuzz about it then it is obvious to everyone that that one person made it up.

            Please name me ONE event that had 1,000s of witnesses that is not generally accepted as having happened. (I can actually think of at least one, but can you?)

            The writer of Matthew made it clear that there were two animals, and that this fulfilled the prophecy. I literally cannot understand how anyone could think it says any different.

            The problem you have is that you want to believe that the bible is ‘true’. Or is it just the NT that is true in your eyes? For example, do you believe that your god was defeated by iron chariots, captured, and was so angry he made a statue fall over? Frightening the philistines so much that they released him?

            That’s also in your bible, do you believe that happened as you believe the dead walked the streets?

            At what level does the biblical account become so ridiculous that you decide you reject it?

          • The problem I have is that when only one person ‘records’ an event that would have had 1,000s abuzz about it then it is obvious to everyone that that one person made it up.

            “Thousands” is highly questionable. The account in Matthew says it was witnessed by “many,” which, as you’ve already said, is a relative term. It was probably a few dozen.

            Please name me ONE event that had 1,000s of witnesses that is not generally accepted as having happened. (I can actually think of at least one, but can you?)

            It seems sort of dishonest to demand that I provide something that you yourself know exists. I’ve already pointed out that there are thousands of reports of witnesses of UFOs, cryptids like the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot, ghosts, etc. But if it must be thousands of witness of a single event in time, there’s always the Miracle of the Sun.

            The writer of Matthew made it clear that there were two animals,

            No, he didn’t. The author’s quotation of Zechariah’s prophecy can be translated “on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden’” or “on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden,’” as the ESV and NKJV render it.

            Like I said before, “donkey,” “colt” and “foal” all refer to the same animal, just as you are both a “man” and a “son.” “Colt” and “foal” is further description, like me saying, “I’m wearing pants” AND “I’m wearing blue jeans.”

            The problem you have is that you want to believe that the bible is ‘true’. Or is it just the NT that is true in your eyes? For example, do you believe that your god was defeated by iron chariots, captured, and was so angry he made a statue fall over? Frightening the philistines so much that they released him?

            Again, I don’t know what you’re talking about here. Is it 1 Samuel 4-5? Because that has nothing to do with God being captured; it’s the ark of the covenant.

          • Colin Robinson

            “Thousands” is highly questionable. The account in Matthew says it was witnessed by “many,” which, as you’ve already said, is a relative term. It was probably a few dozen.

            And the few dozen scream and suddenly it is thousands.

            “But if it must be thousands of witness of a single event in time, there’s always the Miracle of the Sun.”

            It was dishonest, that was the example I was thinking of. But we know for an absolute fact that the sun did not fall to earth, we’re still here, so this is absolute proof that mass delusion occurs.

            But that is nothing like the accounts of jesus which were exceptionally few, and decades after he supposedly lived.

            Which is incomprehensible if he actually were the embodiment of an all powerful god in charge of a billion, trillion stars.

            “Like I said before, “donkey,” “colt” and “foal” all refer to the same animal, just as you are both a “man” and a “son.” “Colt” and “foal” is further description, like me saying, “I’m wearing pants” AND “I’m wearing blue jeans.””

            Actually, that’s what I said. That is the meaning of the original ‘prophecy’, but it is not, by any stretch of the imagination, the meaning of the writer of matthew’s interpretation.

            “Again, I don’t know what you’re talking about here. Is it 1 Samuel 4-5? Because that has nothing to do with God being captured; it’s the ark of the covenant.”

            Read it again, but pretend it is not your god they are talking about but one of the other gods. It is very clear.

          • And the few dozen scream and suddenly it is thousands.

            You watch too many horror movies. I seriously doubt screaming was involved.

            Actually, that’s what I said. That is the meaning of the original ‘prophecy’, but it is not, by any stretch of the imagination, the meaning of the writer of matthew’s interpretation.

            No, actually that’s what I said. Here’s a direct quote of what I said before:

            No, but it also doesn’t say the king would ride in on two donkeys; it says he would ride in on one: “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’” Donkey, colt, foal — they all refer to the same animal, and this animal (the colt) is the one Jesus rode in on, as attested by the other gospel authors Mark, Luke and John.

            The quoted translations above (ESV and NKJV) are from the Gospel of Matthew. I understand why you want the text to look ridiculous, but you are simply incorrect in insisting it can only be read or interpreted the way you want it to be.

            Read it again, but pretend it is not your god they are talking about but one of the other gods. It is very clear.

            You’re right. It is very clear that they are talking about the ark of the covenant, not God himself. Here are some quotes:

            “The ark of God was captured, and Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, died.” (1 Sam 4:11)

            “The man who brought the news replied, “Israel fled before the Philistines, and the army has suffered heavy losses. Also your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God has been captured.” When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell backward off his chair by the side of the gate. His neck was broken and he died, for he was an old man, and he was heavy. He had led Israel forty years.” (1 Sam 4:17-18)

            “When she heard the news that the ark of God had been captured and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she went into labor and gave birth, but was overcome by her labor pains.” (1 Sam 4:19)

            “She named the boy Ichabod,[c] saying, “The Glory has departed from Israel”—because of the capture of the ark of God and the deaths of her father-in-law and her husband. 22 She said, “The Glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.”” (1 Sam 4:21)

            “After the Philistines had captured the ark of God, they took it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. Then they carried the ark into Dagon’s temple and set it beside Dagon. When the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the Lord! They took Dagon and put him back in his place.” (1 Sam 5:1-3)

            “So they sent the ark of God to Ekron. As the ark of God was entering Ekron, the people of Ekron cried out, “They have brought the ark of the god of Israel around to us to kill us and our people.” So they called together all the rulers of the Philistines and said, “Send the ark of the god of Israel away; let it go back to its own place, or it will kill us and our people.” For death had filled the city with panic; God’s hand was very heavy on it.” (1 Sam 5:10-11)

            I only quoted a few. The ark is actually mentioned 26 times in these two chapters. Good enough?

          • Colin Robinson

            People see the dead walking the streets and just stand quietly and watch?! Or just go about their business as if it was completely normal?

            You don’t need to watch horror movies to understand that that aint gonna happen.

            “I understand why you want the text to look ridiculous, but you are simply incorrect in insisting it can only be read or interpreted the way you want it to be.”
            (Quick technical question; how do you define quotes with the highlighted indent as you do BTW?)

            Again, I’m really not getting your view upon this. The text explicitly states that two animals were fetched:
            saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me.
            So there are two animals. You agree on this?

            It is explicitly stated that the two animals were fetched in order to fulfill the prophecy, which we both agree refers to just one animal, so that tells us that the writer of Matthew did not understand the prophecy. You agree on this?

            So when he wrote:
            They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on.

            Then he must be thinking that this is fulfilling the prophecy that he believes requires two animals.

            You remind me of a clip that I saw today with an atheist asking questions of a believer.
            Your god created heaven and hell?
            Yes
            Your god created the rules as to who goes to heaven and hell?
            Yes
            Nothing happens that your god does not control?
            Yes
            So it is your god that sends people to eternal hell
            That is just so screwed up!

            You agree with every individual point but absolutely deny the only logical conclusion that those points lead to because you don’t WANT to believe it.

            “The ark is actually mentioned 26 times in these two chapters, but I only quoted a few. Good enough?”
            You do realise that the ark was created as the residence of yahweh don’t you?
            Exo 25 8 “Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them.

            This is why they took the ark into battle, so that yahweh would be with them.

            I realise that the current christian view of yahweh is that he is an almighty god that is omnipresent but this viewpoint only became the belief of the israelites during the exile. At the time of Samuel he was defined as a henotheistic god, a tribal or national god. In 2 Kings this is emphasised by the fact that a visiting Asyrian king was converted to belief in yahweh and took home two donkey loads of israeli earth so he could worship yahweh in his own country.

            When you view yahweh from that POV there is no contradiction to the idea that the ark was created for the purpose stated in the bible, as a dwelling place for yahweh. In fact, there is only contradictions to the scenario described in 1 Sam if you regard yahweh to be omnipresent. If he were omnipresent then why would the philistines and israelites consider that bringing the ark into battle would bring the god into battle?
            “Why did the Lord bring defeat on us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the Lord’s covenant from Shiloh, so that he may go with us and save us from the hand of our enemies.”

          • (Quick technical question; how do you define quotes with the highlighted indent as you do BTW?)

            It’s HTML tags. Just bookend whatever you want to quote with

            (remove the spaces) at the beginning and

            (again, remove spaces) at the end. Here’s a Web page that explains it a bit more and other stuff you can do: http://help.disqus.com/customer/portal/articles/466253-what-html-tags-are-allowed-within-comments

            People see the dead walking the streets and just stand quietly and watch?! Or just go about their business as if it was completely normal?

            First of all, we know very little about what the risen saints did, other than that they “appeared to many people.” If we can guess anything from the resurrected Jesus, as he is described in the Gospels, than I would imagine the risen saints behaved as he did, and he 1) appeared only to people who knew him, and 2) seemed to be capable of appearing and vanishing at will, even once appearing in a closed and locked room (John 20:19) and 3) seemed to be capable of altering his appearance. So there’s no indication that the risen saints would have just been “walking the streets” in front of strangers. But even if they did, they would have had restored bodies, as Jesus apparently had. I.E., we’re not talking about “The Walking Dead” zombies here. I would guess that, unless you recognized the person, you would have no idea that they had died and been raised.

            Again, I’m really not getting your view upon this. The text explicitly states that two animals were fetched.

            Let me try to explain. I think both the original prophecy in Zechariah and Matthew’s quotation of it say that the king would ride in on one animal, the donkey/colt/foal. However, the text does mention two animals. It mentions the donkey/colt/foal that is being ridden, and it also mentions the foal’s mother, when it says, “a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.” Unless I’m mistaken, this is the Hebrew word for a female donkey.

            Anyway, the author of Matthew does list two animals being brought to Jesus. You are right about that. You are also probably right that the author believed Jesus’ involving of two animals in the triumphal entry was a fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy, since it mentions two animals. However, by no means does the text say or necessarily imply that Jesus was a stunt rider who mounted two donkeys as he rode into Jerusalem.

            That is my view.

            I realise that the current christian view of yahweh is that he is an almighty god that is omnipresent but this viewpoint only became the belief of the israelites during the exile. At the time of Samuel he was defined as a henotheistic god, a tribal or national god.

            I don’t know if you are right about that, but even if you are, obviously, I do not have to adapt my views of God to suit those the ancient Hebrews may or may not have had at a given time in history. I believe the ark of the covenant was always a divine symbol of Yahweh’s presence with his chosen people, but I in no way believe it was actually a place where the God who created the universe was or ever even could be contained.

          • Colin Robinson

            It’s HTML tags. Just bookend whatever you want to quote with

            (remove the spaces) at the beginning and

            (again, remove spaces) at the end.

            Thanks 🙂

            But even if they did, they would have had restored bodies, as Jesus apparently had. I.E., we’re not talking about “The Walking Dead” zombies here. I would guess that, unless you recognized the person, you would have no idea that they had died and been raised.

            Jesus did not have a restored body, hence the tale of doubting Thomas. He just hadn’t been ‘dead’ very long. He was, according to the gospels, ‘the walking dead’ as he still had the spear wound in his side.

            Anyway, the author of Matthew does list two animals being brought to Jesus. You are right about that. You are also probably right that the author believed Jesus’ involving of two animals in the triumphal entry was a fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy, since it mentions two animals. However, by no means does the text say or necessarily imply that Jesus was a stunt rider who mounted two donkeys as he rode into Jerusalem.

            If the writer of Matthew believed, as he clearly did, that the messiah would have to enter jerusalem riding astride two animals then he would have had the messiah riding into jerusalem astride two animals.

            This is actually LESS ludicrous than joseph taking his heavily pregnant wife on an arduous journey she would never have had to make even if joseph WAS required to register in the town of his ancestors for some weird reason in a census that took place 11 years after the latest possible date for the birth of jesus.

            Once you accept that the writer Matthew made things up everything is a lot clearer. You have to have a very powerful reason to believe that he didn’t when so much of what he says makes no sense.

            I don’t know if you are right about that, but even if you are, obviously, I do not have to adapt my views of God to suit those the ancient Hebrews may or may not have had at a given time in history. I believe the ark of the covenant was always a divine symbol of Yahweh’s presence with his chosen people, but I in no way believe it was actually a place where the God who created the universe was or ever even could be contained.

            Interesting. So you believe that the dead rose and walked the streets of jerusalem although no one else noticed because you believe the bible is divinely inspired but you reject the views of the ancient hebrews because the bible is divinely inspired?
            The entire story of the ark and tabernacle can only be reasonably understood in terms of a small god that had a physical presence/location. It was a ‘sanctuary so that he could dwell among them’.

          • Jesus did not have a restored body, hence the tale of doubting Thomas. He just hadn’t been ‘dead’ very long. He was, according to the gospels, ‘the walking dead’ as he still had the spear wound in his side.

            The Gospels aren’t entirely clear on this matter, but I believe he did have a restored body with healed, but visible scars. The “suffering servant” passage in Isaiah, which I believe to be messianic, says he would be “marred beyond human likeness,” and the Gospels do portray him being severely beaten and flogged nearly to death. I seriously doubt that was the form in which he appeared to his disciples.

            If the writer of Matthew believed, as he clearly did, that the messiah would have to enter jerusalem riding astride two animals then he would have had the messiah riding into jerusalem astride two animals.

            You can think whatever you like, but you have not proved this point to me. The prophecy says the king would ride in one animal, and Matthew says Jesus sat on the cloaks.

            Interesting. So you believe that the dead rose and walked the streets of jerusalem although no one else noticed because you believe the bible is divinely inspired but you reject the views of the ancient hebrews because the bible is divinely inspired?

            The entire story of the ark and tabernacle can only be reasonably understood in terms of a small god that had a physical presence/location. It was a ‘sanctuary so that he could dwell among them’.

            Here are a few Old Testament verses that say God is very large and/or omnipresent:

            “Am I only a God nearby, declares the Lord, and not a God far away? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord.” — Jeremiah 23:23-24

            “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.” — Proverbs 15:3

            “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” — Psalm 139:7-10

            “His eyes are on the ways of mortals; he sees their every step. There is no deep shadow, no utter darkness, where evildoers can hide.” — Job 34:21-22 (probably the oldest book in the Bible, btw)

            “Can you find out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limit of the Almighty? It is higher than heaven — what can you do? Deeper than Sheol — what can you know? Its measure is longer than the earth and broader than the sea.” — Job 11:7-9

            “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” — Isaiah 43:2

            In other words, the ancient Hebrews’ views of God were clearly more nuanced than you suggest.

          • Alex

            Such a great review! By the way, you really should check the debate between Ray and Aronra on youtube

          • Hey, thanks! But, you actually want me to watch more of Ray Comfort speaking on behalf of my faith? How strong do you think I am? 😉

      • Spot on Colin.

        No, he wasn’t.

        it turns out that they stand for anything, and everything, and therefore stand for nothing.

        I don’t think this really makes sense, but it’s certainly not true that I stand for “for anything and everything.”

        Adam turns out to be a derivative from goo to you, via the zoo.

        Ooh, the mutated goo argument! Always a classic. And no, that’s not even close to what I think Adam is about.

        And Christ’s statement linking Himself to Adam are ignored.

        And what statement might that be? When did Jesus ever say something that linked himself to Adam, Mr. Bible?

        The evening and mornings of each day of creation are stretch to billions of years. Causing me to wonder how animals and plant life survived nights lasting billions of years.

        Yes, that would have been difficult for them. Good thing that’s not what I think happened.

        The whole evolutionary scenario is philosophical naturalism and godless materialism gone mad.

        No, it isn’t. It’s based on a lot of evidence. To give one example, humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes. The other great apes from whom the theory of evolution posits we descended from all have 24. If the theory were correct, then we should find in our genome evidence of a relatively recent fusion event. And guess what? That’s exactly what we find. The attached photo illustrates how our chromosome 2 patches up almost exactly with two unattached chromosomes in the chimpanzee genome. There are really only a couple of ways to interpret this evidence: Either we evolved from a common ancestor, or God just wanted us to think that we did.

        And the Lewontin quote? Completely irrelevant to whether evolution is valid or not. Lewontin is a materialist, so of course, he refuses to entertain the possibility that God exists. Notice that he specifically says, “It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world.” In other words, science does not force us to be materialists; Lewontin chose it on his own. So all that makes me think is that I’m not interested in Lewontin’s philosophical conclusions about science.

    • “creationism is complete nonsense as it completely contradicts reality but at least it is sort of internally consistent.” It really isn’t. Reading the bible entirely literally provides a far less internally consistent picture (because there are so many contradictions) than a more nuanced view of textual criticism, let alone external reality.

      • Colin Robinson

        I did say ‘sort of consistent’. Obviously it is packed full of errors but the overall concept of some magical fairy waving a wand and it was all made as is makes a vague sort of sense if you want to believe in such fantasy, (if there was any evidence for intelligence in a ‘creator’ that makes fish out of birds and crabs that can’t swim that have to breed in the sea).
        If you read the bible entirely literally you are left with a concept of a flat earth covered by a dome of plate metal with endless water beneath the earth and above the sky. (I have actually debated creationists who sort of adhered to this viewpoint, “the reason pterodactyls could fly was because the enclosing water that surrounded the earth weighed down the atmosphere and made it denser”!)

        • Creationism isn’t “internally consistent” at all. They can’t get event get to the third chapter of Genesis without their literalist exegesis falling apart: http://www.godofevolution.com/as-different-as-morning-and-evening-genesis-1-and-2-contradictions/

          • Colin Robinson

            I was talking about ‘creationism’ as a concept, the bible itself is internally consistent right throughout.

          • I’m guessing you meant to say “the Bible is internally inconsistent right throughout.” My opinion, of course, is that it isn’t, unless one reads the parts literally that weren’t meant to be read literally. The theological teachings are entirely consistent from beginning to end. But you and I have already been around and around on this matter, haven’t we? 🙂

  • Glenn Mulcahy

    Nice work Tyler, and that’s from another non-believer. Your reasonable approach to these matters can’t help but upset them “true bleevers”. When I see how thinkers like you respond to Ray Comfort I get a strong sense that people like him are inadvertantly assisting a growing movement in which believers and non-believers are opening up common ground together. Thanks Ray for doing your bit to reduce the tensions across the divide!

    • Thanks, Glenn 🙂 Well, he certainly allows for a nice contrast with those of us who take a more nuanced view, doesn’t he? Glad you liked the article!

  • John Heininger

    This review only reaffirms that Ray Comfort is spot on. Namely, that Darwinism has no verifiable empirical scientific basis. It shows that Tyler Francke and the advocates of theistic evolution live in the surreal metaphysical world of their own making, far removed from reality. Both in scientific terms and in terms of Biblical revelation. In scientific terms because Darwinians have no “verifiable” scientific answer for any of the stages essential to the evolutionary continuum. None! There is no verifiable scientific answer for the origin of life, the origin of the DNA double helix, the origin of consciousness, or of any other evolutionary stage.

    In reality, the entire evolutionary worldview is founded on “subjective” hypothetical presuppositions, interpretations, inferences, assumptions, highly elastic explanations, conjecture and sheer speculation as to what the historical data SUPPOSEDLY represents, and what SUPPOSEDLY happened in the unobserved distant past .With no possible way of ever empirically verifying that historical events happened one way, and not another way, or even whether the evolutionary continuum happened as all.

    Which is precisely why the Nobel Committee does not regard evolutionary “historical theories” about the unobserved distant past as prize worthy science. Primarily because evolutionary historical theories are not empirically verifiable by experimentation or observation. Meaning, evolutionary historical theories based on “metaphysical” naturalism are an ocean removed from empirical science founded on “methodological” naturalism and the scientific method. Simply stated, evolutionary historical theories are not regarded as being prize worthy science, and thus can never be regarded as scientific “fact”. There is no experimental or observational basis for the evolutionary continuum, and no verifiable empirical science involved. The reality is that no one in all of human history has ever observed any form of life evolves into a different life form, either in the wild or in any world laboratory. And every breeder and horticulturist who has ever lived knows there are natural reproductive limits and boundaries. In short, fish in, fish out; bacteria in bacteria out; human in, human out. End of story.

    In Biblical terms the theology of theistic evolutionists is all over the place, and has no sustainable Biblical basis. As Richard Dawkins stated, it is the Young-Earth creationists who are the realists, and the theistic evolutionists who are deluded. Creationists well understand the far reaching implication of evolution and naturalism. Indeed, Dawkins well knows that mainstream science now operates on godless naturalism and materialism. And has no place for either God or theistic evolution, in any way, at any point. Thus, the theistic evolutionists are naively accompanying atheists and humanists to their own funeral. In the delusion that theism can be integrated with philosophical naturalism and godless materialism. One humanist leader I know called them “useful idiots”, As they are aiding and abetting the openly stated Humanist agenda. Which is the eradication of Christianity, theism, the supernatural and religion.

    Tyler Francke’s many false assumptions and misguided notions warrant further comment. As this review is as bad as it gets. Evolution vs God has indeed shaken the foundation of the evolutionary myth, exactly as Ray Comfort intended. As I will further show!

    • Eric Goberman

      Sadly, you haven’t read much, if anything, of evolution. I know this because of statements like this:

      No one in all of human history has ever observed any form of life evolves into a different life form, either in the wild or in any world laboratory

      This is meaningless in science. What is a “different life form” ? Do you expect a bird to give birth to a cat ? Or should a kitten grow up to be a pig ? What does your statement mean, in terms of science ?

      / it is the Young-Earth creationists who are the realists//

      And the sun revolves around the earth.

      • This is meaningless in science. What is a “different life form” ? Do you expect a bird to give birth to a cat ? Or should a kitten grow up to be a pig ? What does your statement mean, in terms of science ?

        Eric is quite right. If a bird gave birth to a cat or a kitten grew into a pig, it would disprove the theory of evolution as we know it. However, it would lend a lot of credence to the theory that evolution works like it does in the video game “Pokemon.”

  • Sally Hawksworth

    Good on you, Tyler. I’ve enjoyed your articles before and this one is another humdinger. A creationist linked to this hideous video on the Creation/Evolution debate site I’ve been hanging out at.I admit I only lasted as far as the first point when the interviewer cut off some person trying to provide evidence as requested and told him that if he didn’t see it himself then it wasn’t evidence. 🙁 But we need people who go through the whole wretched thing and point out its stupidities and dishonesties, and it comes best from Christians like yourself who can prove that one of the most significent falsehoods promulgated by Ray Comfort and his ilk is that the majority of Christians have the same attitude to evolution, and science generally, as he does. I’m bookmarking your website right now. Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks for reading, Sally! Glad you liked the review.

  • Cory Blackshear

    As an atheist I have to say it’s really nice to see that there are reasonable and honest people on the other side of the discussion.

    • Thanks, Cory! A very kind thing to say. I think that the more respect we have for one another, the more we can learn from one another.

  • John Heininger

    Says Tyler, “But scientists do not reconstruct the past using “subjective inferences and assumptions”; they use evidence.” No they don’t. And that’s precisely the difference between science based on experimentation and observation, and hypothetical evolutionary “historical theories” based on subjective inferences and assumptions. As to what supposedly happened in the unobserved distant past.

    So, if you really want to show otherwise all you have to do is provide us all with testable and verifiable empirical science for the evolutionary continuum. Namely, the origin life, the DNA double helix, the unguided assembly of complex genetic codes, the origin of consciousness, reason from non-reason, intelligence from no intelligence, the concurrent origin of complementary male and female sexual and every other human attribute. Providing real science for even these few issues would cause us to conclude that evolution was based on more than inferences and assumptions.

    The first thing I would do if I had you up in court would be to ask you to show the court evolution in action. A bacteria turned into something other than a bacteria. A dog into something other than a dog. Or a cat into something other than at cat. So that everyone could see that the hypothetical historical evolutionary theory actually had an observable scientific basis. I would then ask you to produce any biologist,breeder or horticulturist who had managed to overcome the natural breeding limits that all lifeforms experienced. If you weren’t able to do any of the above I would keep making the point that you had no observable verifiable basis for any of your evolutionary inferences and assumptions as to what supposedly happened in the distant past, other than “subjective” presuppositions. If you appealed to the fact that all these evolutionary presuppositions had been “peer reviewed” I would get you to produce witnesses who had done the peer reviews. And likewise ask them to produce verifiable scientific evidence for evolution, that was not based on subjective evolutionary presuppositions. If they insisted that evolution was a scientific fact, I would remind them that the Nobel Committee does not regard evolutionary “historical theories” as prize worthy science. And if it is not considered prize worthy science, it could hardly be scientific fact, in spite of being peer reviewed by those who share the same view of origins. Of course, I would do the same for the whole Chromosome 2 issue. To determine what was verifiable science, and what amounted to purely hypothetical assumptions, that were in real terms ultimately unverifiable.

    Of course, the mental gymnastics involved in interfacing scripture with theistic evolution and the mainstream godless evolutionary continuum begs belief. One can see from the statements made by theistic evolutionists like yourself that endless inferences and imagination are called for. It takes a sizable imagination to conjure up explanations that make scripture mean the exact opposite to what the text actually says. All to affirm that the first humans evolved from apelike ancestors. And not “specially created” by God in His image scripture clearly states:

    “Then God said, let us MAKE MAN in our Our image, according to Our likeness….So, God CREATED MAN
    in His Own image; in the image of God He CREATED HIM; male and female He CREATED THEM.”

    “And the Lord FORMED MAN of the dust of the ground, and breathed into HIS NOSTRILS the breath of LIFE, and MAN became a living being.”

    No mention of evolution here. Nor is theistic evolution even inferred. For why would God need to “create” or “breathe life” into a descendent of an apelike creature that was ALREADY living. And if both male and female were NOT created as such, why would God specifically state that He Himself created and formed humans and “breathed life into them”.

    Of course, as we shall progressively see, the scriptural problems for theistic evolutionists only multiply. Ultimately calling for more hypothetical assumptions and inferences than evolutionary theory itself has.

    Anyway, these are early days. When I have the spare time to respond we can get into all this.

    • Hey John. More unevidenced assertion, I see, as if your skepticism were really all it took to undo more than 100 years of scientific research and experimentation.

      Says Tyler, “But scientists do not reconstruct the past using “subjective inferences and assumptions”; they use evidence.” No they don’t.

      Yes, they do. We know life evolved because we see that life changes and adapts to new environments. The fossil record shows us, undeniably, that life in the past looked similar to life today, but also different — and that life gets more and more different the deeper one looks into the past. This leads to the perfectly reasonable inference that modern life evolved from the ancestral and now mostly extinct forms we see in the fossil record. And everything we know about biology — including cross-species genomic comparisons, homologous and vestigial structures and organs, phylogenetic studies, atavisms, genetics (the universal biochemical organisation and molecular variance patterns, DNA sequencing, endogenous retroviruses, pseudogenes) and so on — has confirmed this inference in every possible way.

      So, if you really want to show otherwise all you have to do is provide us all with testable and verifiable empirical science for the evolutionary continuum. Namely, the origin life, the DNA double helix, the unguided assembly of complex genetic codes, the origin of consciousness, reason from non-reason, intelligence from no intelligence, the concurrent origin of complementary male and female sexual and every other human attribute. Providing real science for even these few issues would cause us to conclude that evolution was based on more than inferences and assumptions.

      Actually, I don’t need to provide you with any of that. We have enough evidence that life evolved (see above summary) that we don’t have to be able to explain every little step of the evolutionary process. We know that evolution produced DNA, for example, because we know evolution happened (see above summary) and we have DNA now. Let’s say a bank was robbed one night. The cameras recorded nothing and none of the alarms were tripped. You have no idea how the theft was committed, and yet, you know that it happened. The results speak for themselves.

      Now, if your alternative “theory” of all life being created in a single week can better explain the fossil record (why have we never found a single human bone in Devonian strata?), cross-species genomic comparisons, homologous and vestigial structures and organs, phylogenetic studies, atavisms, the universal biochemical organisation and molecular variance patterns, DNA sequencing, endogenous retroviruses, pseudogenes and so on, then we’ll talk.

      The first thing I would do if I had you up in court would be to ask you to show the court evolution in action. A bacteria turned into something other than a bacteria.

      Yes, and so on and so on and so on. All the evidence we have points to macroevolution taking millions of years. Hear me on this, John: If I could “show you” a “dog turning into something other than a dog,” it would disprove the theory of evolution. We have absolutely no precedent for that level of macroevolution occurring on a time scale that would be anywhere close to observable to human eyes.

      On the other hand, the false barrier that you and others try to place between macroevolution and microevolution is totally bunk. There is no magic “boundary” in animal kinds that would prevent small-scale changes from accumulating into large-scale changes, given enough time and the right environmental pressures. Your argument is the logical equivalent of saying, because you can’t show me a little boy aging into an old man before my eyes, aging is impossible. It’s a ridiculous argument. Aging takes time, and so does evolution.

      “Then God said, let us MAKE MAN in our Our image, according to Our likeness….So, God CREATED MAN

      in His Own image; in the image of God He CREATED HIM; male and female He CREATED THEM.”

      Christian theologians have posited since before Thomas Aquinas that this verse refers to our spiritual essences and not our physical bodies. God has no physical body after all (that’s why he appears in burning bushes and pillars of fire and cyclones; John 4:24: “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth”), so we cannot be made in the physical image of a being that has no physical body, can we?

      As far as this verse’s implications that God was directly involved in our creation, let’s look elsewhere in scripture. Where does the Bible say the rain come from? Why, it proceeds directly from God. As even Jesus himself said in Matthew 5:45, “God sends the rain.” Also see See Deuteronomy 28:12, Job 38:22-30 and Psalm 147:8. The problem is that rain happens all the time, and since the Bible was written, we’ve discovered that rain is actually the product of natural processes — primarily evaporation and condensation. No scientist sees the clear hand of God when he or she studies the water cycle. So was the Bible wrong? Of course not. God works in natural processes.

      We also now understand the natural process of how a baby develops, from conception to birth. We have even seen many of the various stages with our own eyes. So we know that, despite the Psalmist’s exclamation to God, “You knit me together in my mother’s womb,” there is no point at which invisible hands bearing a needle and thread assemble an unborn baby’s parts in utero. In the same way, the meiotic process that produced your genetic makeup from the distinct ones of your parents also appears utterly random, but I doubt you think it so, and the prophet Jeremiah, for one, would agree with you: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” These beautiful words were obviously not meant to be taken literally, but to convey a far more profound truth.

      The question then is, why must we presume that the God who uses a natural process to send the rain on the earth, and a natural process to knit each one of us together in our mothers’ wombs, would use a supernatural process when he said, “Let us make man in our image”?

      No mention of evolution here.

      Also no mention of many things you probably believe in — like dinosaurs coexisting with man, the earth being only 6000 years old, living things being INCAPABLE of death before the fall of man, carnivores being vegetarians — so I guess we’re even.

      Of course, as we shall progressively see, the scriptural problems for theistic evolutionists only multiply.

      Well, you’re not off to a very good start, but I’ll try to be patient. Thanks.

      • Says Tyler, ” I see, as if your skepticism were really all it took to undo more than 100 years of scientific research and experimentation

        Really! If the evidence presented for over 100 years was compelling and empirically based the dispute would not have been going on for over 100 years. So, what definitive “scientific research and experimentation” do you have that empirically verifies the “evolutionary continuum”. Other than mere subjective “inferences”, that is.

        Says Tyler: . “We know life evolved because we see that life changes and adapts to new environments. The fossil record shows us, undeniably, that life in the past looked similar to life today, but also different — and that life gets more and more different the deeper one looks into the past.”

        No! Not true! We DONT KNOW life evolved in any evolutionary continuum. As that assumption is based on unverifiable SUBJECTIVE evolutionary inferences. Nothing more!
        What we do KNOW is that all life-forms vary and adapt “within” reproductive LIMITS. And that genetically “distant” sub-species CANNOT reproduce: For example, a horse can be cross bred with a donkey to produce a mule, but the mule cannot reproduce. This is true of every form of life, bacteria, dogs, or cats. All of which makes any further deviation towards an ongoing evolutionary continuum “impossible”. As I stated earlier, Nature magazine and the Nobel Academy would like to hear from you if you can prove that your evolutionary continuum myth are based on anything more than mere subjective “inferences” and unverifiable “assumptions’ as to what SUPPOSEDLY happened in the unobserved distant
        past.

        Says Tyler, “This leads to the perfectly reasonable inference that modern life evolved from the ancestral and now mostly extinct forms we see in the fossil record.”

        Testable and verifiable empirical science does NOT operate on “inferences”, but on experimentation and observation. Nor does it operate on “inferences” regarding the fossil record. Not only do all early life-forms in the fossil record “suddenly appear” in the fossil
        record as fully formed and fully functional, without definitive ancestors. but they
        were suddenly buried, just as Genesis states. Nor is the fossil evidence demonstrate a gradual evolution from the simple to complex life. In the Cambrian strata fully functioning brains, consciousness, and complex eyes existed. Along with body structures comparable to modern life forms. And as noted by Stephen J Gould, this was followed by stasis or stability. Moreover, the fossil record is not only full of abnormalities and “out of sequence” fossils, but also contains hundreds of supposed ancestral fossils that are “still living” today, unchanged.
        As stated by Graham Lawton, Features Editor, of New Scientist (January 2009) “The tree of life, one of the iconic concepts of evolution, has turned out to be a figment of our
        imagination.” Meaning, it is all an “unreasonable figment” of Tyler’s imagination.

        Says Tyler, “And everything we know about biology — including cross-species genomic comparisons, homologous and vestigial structures and organs, phylogenetic studies, atavisms, genetics (the universal biochemical organisation and molecular variance
        patterns, DNA sequencing, endogenous retroviruses, pseudogenes) and so on — has
        confirmed this inference in every possible way.”

        Here we have more of Tyler’s unverifiable imaginative “inferences”. Nothing mentioned has “confirmed” any of his evolutionary “inferences”. As Tyler admits, the “above
        summary” are nothing more than “inferences”. , More “imagined” than real.
        None have any verifiable empirical basis. It seems that Tyler is unaware that widespread conflict exists between the conclusions in these various fields. Along with disagreements as to how the data represents, and how it should be interpreted. All that exists is evolutionary “inferences”regarding cross-species genomic comparisons, homologous and vestigial structures and organs do not tell the same story. And are thus no longer considered valid proof of evolution, even by informed evolutionists. For example, Phylogenetic studies are in a state of evidential crisis. As stated by Wikipedia, “Ultimately, there is no way to measure whether a particular phylogenetic hypothesis is accurate or not .” As again affirmed by About Evolution.”It was a very controversial topic. Many scientists rejected this type of grouping based on morphology and biochemical similarities. There is room to be subjective in placement of some species in relation to common ancestors. This leads to arguments and
        disagreements about the evolutionary path of some species.” Nor has atavisms, genetics (the universal biochemical organisation and molecular variance patterns, DNA sequencing, endogenous retroviruses, pseudogenes) fared any better. As all these fields are likewise based merely on interpretative evolutionary “inferences” and circular reasoning. In short, none of the above imaginative “inferences” has “confirmed” any of the evolutionary claims.

        Says Tyler, ” Actually, I don’t need to provide you with any of that.” [That is, testable and verifiable empirical science for the evolutionary continuum. Namely, the origin life, the DNA double helix, the unguided assembly of complex genetic codes, the origin of consciousness, reason from non-reason, intelligence from no intelligence, the concurrent origin of complementary male and female sexual and every other human attribute] . ” We have enough evidence that life evolved (see above summary)”, says Tyler.

        No Tyler! You have no verifiable scientific evidence. Zilch! As there exists no verifiable scientific answer for ANY of the “above summary”. Nor is there any verifiable scientific answer for ANY of the necessary stages of the evolutionary continuum. All of which are founded on nothing more than disputed subjective evolutionary “inferences”. Nothing more! Thus, if you have anything NOT based on unverifiable subjective inferences, you should forward your information to the Nobel Committee. As evolutionary “historical theories” are not regarded as “prize-worthy” science. And if evolutionary “historical theories” are not regarded as “prize-worthy” science, they cannot be regarded as scientific “fact”. Do you see your problem?

        Says Tyler, ” Let’s say a bank was robbed one night. The cameras recorded nothing and none of the alarms were tripped. You have no idea how the theft was committed, and yet, you know that it happened. The results speak for themselves.”

        Wrong yet again. As someone who has been to Law School and studied Criminal law, I can assure you that your scenario is “hypothetical nonsense”. Detectives and Forensic scientists CAN determine how the crime was committed, and CAN determine what happened. More important, judicial decisions in regard to unobserved events in the near past are based on data that can be empirically tested. With judicial decisions based on experimentation and
        observation,, and the degree of “subjectivity” involved in a particular forensic analysis. And the extent to which forensic “observations” and data can be tested and verified in the present. Similarly, we can determine the past position of celestial bodies, because we “observe” their current position, and “observe” the regularity and movement of these bodies over time. None of this has any bearing on the mythical theory of evolution.

        NO ONE in all of human history has ever OBSERVED the supposed “evolutionary continuum”. taking place. Nor has anyone ever “observed” any
        form of life change into something different. (Macro evolution). On the contrary, every breeder and horticulturist who has ever lived has discovered that this DOES NOT happen.
        They have all observed that every form of life has natural “in built” reproduction limits. And that every form of life acts to “preserve” itself as such. In short, bacteria in,bacteria out; dog in, do out – End of story.

        Says Tyler, “why have we never found a single human bone in Devonian strata.”

        Tyler, the reason that human bones would be difficult to detect in the Devonian strata is because it has been often dubbed the “Age of Fish”. I don’t know of any human culture that has lived alongside marine life under the sea, do you. (This also explains why no rabbit fossils are found in the Cambrian marine strata). For example, we all know that the herds of buffalo roamed the American continent, but the fossils are absent. .

        Says Tyler, “Now, if your alternative “theory” of all life being created in a single week can better explain the fossil record ?), cross-species genomic comparisons, homologous and
        vestigial structures and organs, phylogenetic studies, atavisms, the universal
        biochemical organisation and molecular variance patterns, DNA sequencing, endogenous
        retroviruses, pseudogenes and so on, then we’ll talk.”

        I have already shown that Tyler’s “inferences” regarding the “above summary” is questionable and inconsistent. As well as being subject to disputed claims and conflicting
        interpretations. I have also demonstrated that NONE of those areas of investigation have ANY experimental or observational basis. Meaning, Tyler has his feet planted firmly in mid air.

        My next post will demonstrate WHY the divinely revealed creationist “alternative” of “special creation, by God, in six literal days. (As the Bible clearly and repeatedly affirms). And that the Genesis account does in fact provide a better explanation for life and existence. Moreover, an alternative based on “universally accepted” scientific realities; every day observations, and experimental and observational facts. Cheers!

        • My next post will address other issues raised by Tyler, and demonstrate WHY the divinely revealed creationist “alternative” of “special creation, by God, in six literal days.

          Your devoted fans wait in breathless anticipation. Do hurry.

  • John Heininger

    Yes, evolution is meaningless science. Cats don’t gradually turn into dogs. Dogs produce dogs, cats produce cats, and bacteria produce bacteria. No basis for any evolutionary continuum in any of this. However, if you still want to believe that dead matter brought itself to life, and gradually changed goo into the zoo, and mud into mind, then so be it.

  • Atheist here. Marvelous article.

  • Richy Wilson

    If you don’t think he’s a moron, I’ll disprove his documentary using his own logic.

    Darwin said a change of species not “Kinds”

    There is no such thing as a change of kinds

    Even Ray Comfort couldn’t define the term (Thus the confusion)

    He says all Humans are a kind (Species)

    He Says All Canidae (All Dogs) are a kind (Family)

    He Says Bacteria are a kind (Kingdom)

    The 6 Kingdoms are Animalia, Plantae, Fungi, Protista, Archaea, & Bacteria

    By calling Bacteria a “Kind” he’s called humans the same kind as spiders

    So does he think evolution is a change of kingdom? (It’s not)

    Evolution is a change of inheritable traits over generations

    Drug resistance in evolved strains of Bacteria fit this perfectly.

    A change of species eg. Speciation has also been observed

    Example: Helianthus Anomalus

    • Great points! I especially liked Comfort’s ever-changing definition of “kind.” I personally think it means, “whatever definition helps the creationist argument the most at any given moment.” Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    • Acey

      This was great. Logic is logic for a reason, Ray like to use circular logic but he does not realize his own logic can and well get the best of him.

    • Thanks for you grand deliberation on what is a species, kind and family. Let me make it easy for you! All you have to do is check with breeders and horticulturists. As they will tell you where the cross breeding and natural reproduction LIMITS are. And you can call anything WITHIN these LIMITS species, sub-species, family, kind or whatever you like. Perhaps you should start with pigeon breeders, like Darwin was. All of whom have attempted to extend the breeding boundaries of pigeons, Only to finish up with “deformed” pigeons that cannot reproduce. More important, if you every find any breeder or horticulturists who has found a natural or experimental way around these NATURAL reproduction LIMITS or boundaries then you have a verifiable and observable scientific case for Tyler’s imagined “evolutionary continuum” – from goo to you via the zoo. Also, Nature magazine and the Nobel Academy would love to hear from you, . As there will be a certain Nobel Prize waiting for you to collect.

      In which case, Ray Comfort, myself and every other creationist will need to give you an apology.

      So, off you go! Let us all know what testable and verifiable science you come up with.

      • Richy Wilson

        “As they will tell you where the cross breeding and natural reproduction LIMITS are” No one is talking about cross breeding. Of course cross breeding has its limits as one can only mate with a member within it’s own genus.

        Evolution however does not have these limitations at all, To propose so shows a complete lack of understanding of the subject matter. Mutations over time DO breed new species. Speciation is a observed witnessed event. Anyone suggesting that evolution creates a change of family has no idea what they’re talking about. Evolution is a branching process, A cat will never be a dog for example, Dogs already exist and evolution is bottom up, At no point will something inside a cat ever think oh well how about we go back millions of years and become an entirely different family. The limits you propse are not relevant to the evolutionary tree at all. “Goo To You Via the zoo” I’m sorry what? Life from non life has absolutely nothing to do with evolution. As far as the zoo reference is concerned, You will never find an ancestor of ours in the zoo, Other apes are our cousins not our ancestors unless he’s referencing all animals as the zoo in which the title still doesn’t make sense as humans are just another species of animal. Ray comfort and con artists like him owe everyone in science and everyone who watches his poor excuse for a documentary an apology.

        Please, If you’re going to respond to me again, Make it an intelligent response. Not one filled with ignorance.

  • Acey

    I am an Atheist but I truly respect ur review and opinion on the matter. I do not hate Christians nor ppl of of faith, never have never will. I just wanted to say I completely respect your mind and your attitude on the subject. I will not try to convince people of my beliefs nor will I be convinced of any others. But I want to say I appreciate seeing a review by a christian who respects the fundamentals of science. Good read, thank you for the nice read. I truly enjoyed it. And For Ray Banana Man Comfort, well he is not a true Christian he is a scam artist who preys on Christians for money – the worst kind there is. I am glad to see smart and intelligent people in the religious community (you the author of this review) 🙂

    • Thanks, Acey! Appreciate your perspective and support 🙂

  • Acey

    Why was my first comment deleted? It did not say anything bad, disrespectful hurtful or and other vulgar thing. I stated I was an atheist and I also stated I thoroughly enjoyed this review/article. And that I repsected the Author of it, and I am glad to see religious people who can respect science. I did not use any swear words or anything of the sorts. I dont understand why it was removed. All in all, I still enjoyed this read and I thank the author for writing it. I also stated that I do not hate religious people and that I never have or never will. And I respected others beliefs. I am just curious to why it was removed?

    • Hey, relax, man. Nothing was deleted; your last comment was just held in moderation for a while because you used the “a-word,” and this site has a profanity filter. I was fine with the way you used it, so I let it through.

  • Acey

    I noticed other comments I wrote were also deleted…. hmmm…. I never once was offensive nor rude to anyone. Well I might have called Ray Comfort a swindler and a liar and a thief, who preys on Christians for their money, but lets keep it real. He does do all those things. I dont understand why my comments have been removed, I am a very respectful person, however, I have absolutely no respect for Ray Comfort because he is dishonest, not because he is an Evangelical Christian, but they way he goes about it. And the way he treats his followers (lies steals from them) I dont think he is a Christian at all, he does not follow the real teachings of Jesus. Besides that I am an Atheist I am very much a good person with good morals. I might not be a person of faith, but I think I deserve the right to speak my opinion and not be censored. Anyways I thought this was an open minded Christian blog where peoples opinions are respected. I feel very disrespected for having my comments removed when I did, or said nothing wrong to anyone. Anyways thank you for your time, and I still have a ton of respect for Tyler Francke its relieving to see a Christian who repsects and has a good understanding of Science. Just because we have different world views does not mean we cant be friends and respect one another. Its about empathy, we need to empathize with difference instead of thinking of them as our enemy. I am very much for learning about new cultures and ideas. I was hoping to learn a little bit more about Christians (my main purpose of coming to this website) not so I can mock them or change anyone’s opinions but so I can have a better understanding of why. And maybe learn a thing or two. But with my comments deleted for no apparent reason I might have to try somewhere else. I was happy when I found this website because it looked like the perfect place (open minded enough) to learn and meet some nice people who can teach me. I hope it still is, what I originally thought it would be 🙂

    • Hey Acey. As I explained in a different part of this comment thread, nothing was deleted; your last comment was just held in moderation for a while because you used the “a-word,” and this site has a profanity filter. I was fine with the way you used it, so I let it through. None of your other comments were held in moderation, and everything should be visible now. We’d love for you to hang around; just be aware of the profanity filter 🙂

      • Acey

        Awesome, I kind of jumped the gun on it, and for that I apologize!! I would love to hang around. I appreciate your time and I feel really bad now. I totally jumped to conclusions, something I need to work on myself about. Thank you for commenting and taking the time to address it. I have been trying to research different cultures and I have had bad luck with other websites, but this is the website to learn and make new friends. Thank you and sorry again for jumping to conclusions 🙂 🙂

  • Acey

    Also I noticed when I come here it shows the “best” comments and I have to click on “newest” to see mine, so they were never deleted. I jumped the gun on it, and jumped to conclusions. I cam admit when I was wrong, and in this case I was wrong. My comments are not deleted, I made an error of judgement. I really like this site and I will be visiting it a lot and reading your other articles/blogs. I am learning so much, i love it!! Thank you for your time and patience with me. I am terribly sorry for misunderstanding the comment guidelines per say. Anyways great site. I can already tell I will make some great relationships here 🙂 🙂

    • Glad to hear it! I look forward to seeing your contributions around the site 🙂 And yeah, sorry for the confusion. Usually, the threads aren’t so hard to navigate, but the really long ones (like this one) can be tricky. You can always email me if you have questions, though!

  • Yankee girl

    Tyler, when I went on this site, I was hoping for a professional critque or praise from one brother-in-Christ to another. All I saw was slander. Clearly, you don’t read your Bible, as you can’t believe in Evolution AND the Bible. 1. It teaches that God is the creator(young earth or old earth is not specified) 2. Adam and Eve did NOT come from a monkey or from the sea, but they were created from the dirt. 3. It is against what Jesus teaches to slander another brother. I am respectfully asking you to be careful how you use Jesus’ name as you will be held accountable for your actions one day before him. Brother Ray was respectful and let the truth stand on its own. He did not insult or slander. But the truth is not popular, and neither was Jesus, who invented it.

    • Slander is spoken defamation, so technically, this would be libel. Also, for this to be considered slander or libel, I would have had to write something about Mr. Comfort that isn’t true. I agree that we Christians should be very careful in how we treat and share the gospel message. I do wish you’d share this concern with your friend, Ray Comfort.

  • BludBaut

    “then Ray Comfort is the world’s worst scientist”
    Clearly, you’ve already excluded every atheist because there isn’t an honest one on the planet and they will lie about *every fact* in an effort to try to win any point.

    • Well that sounds like a perfectly rational and defensible position.

  • BludBaut

    “And, in my humble opinion, good documentaries don’t generally
    come from those who are so extremely and unapologetically biased about
    the topic in question.”

    Thank you for acknowledging that *it is virtually impossible for atheists to make an honest documentary on anything related to science, history, religion, evolution or life*.

    • Except that not every atheist is remotely as biased against religion as Ray Comfort is against evolution.

  • I… I don’t really like bananas… does that mean I am going to hell?

    • Yep. Incidentally, one of my favorite snacks is bananas and peanut butter, so I’m extra holy.

      • Oh, good. I guess my dislike of bananas (I mean, they are ok. I don’t really HATE them) is balanced out by my love of peanut butter. So, I guess I’m Purgatory-bound in the end.

  • You know, something I never thought about is that YEC peeps shoot themselves in the foot when they say that bacterial evolution is not a change in kind but Human evolution is. The reason being that Bacteria is a Domain. Domain is the classification above Kingdom, which is where all animals on earth eventually meet up via the Kingdom known as Animala. Which means that by their logic that evolution within bacteria shows no change in kind, evolution within the animal kingdom certainly shows no change in kind.

    So, basically, what I get out of Evolution vs. God is that in a way… Ray Comfort has confirmed that Human evolution is completely possible since that it is not actually a change in kind since, at worst, it is a change from one form of Primate (Which is an order, approximately 3 tiers lower than Domain) to another form of Primate. I wonder what his E-mail address is… I kinda want to thank him for making his documentary and clearing this up for me.

    • LOL. I’ve seen other people note this same inconsistency, but it’s a very good point to reiterate.

  • robert v bowden

    why don’t we find the fossils of the animals we have living on our planet today .Surely this proofs evolution,and that we all evolved from the animals that are found in the fossil record.

    • Well, now you’re just trying to force logic where it doesn’t belong. It’s like trying to think logically about “Harry Potter.” Just enjoy the story, man 😉

  • robert v bowden

    The grate flood the bible talks about, and the ark that took the animals to safety that landed in a mountain in turkey.Can any one tell me how they all returned to there right full place.And did the kangaroo swim all the way back to Australia. Or how the many thousands of animals get back to the islands spread around the world.Or did evolution take place.

    • Two words: log rafts. I’m not joking. YECs actually believe that the trees uprooted by the flood formed a kind of “carpet” that animals used to walk across the oceans from the ark landing site to the continents on which they presently reside. I saw a display explaining it at the Creation Museum.

  • Andy

    My friend, you didn’t answer the points either – rather than defending the biblical facts about no change in kinds, you revert to rhetoric and Ad Hominem on Ray Comfort. Can’t accept how you take issue with the gospel either. Mans word – changing. Gods word – unchanging. God bless.

    • Hey friend, to be clear: I don’t take issue with the gospel. I love the gospel. What I take issue with is how Ray Comfort muddles the gospel message by trying to yoke it to a scientific issue. Don’t remember Jesus, Paul or anyone else in scripture saying denying evolution is particularly essential to the Christian faith. Or a particular interpretation of Genesis for that matter. Be honest with me, Andy: You really think “Evolution vs. God” presented the gospel and the Christian faith accurately, biblically and effectively?

  • Paul

    The biggest issue with this is that Ray Comfort gives a ton of ammunition to people who want to say “religion is anti-science!” when he makes these stupid claims.

  • Jimpithecus

    The other principle problem is that he is a huge influence on popular, high profile people like Kirk Cameron (oh he of crocoduck fame), who continues to spout this nonsense

    • Poor, impressionable Kirk 😉 Hey, Jimpithecus, thanks for the B4 It’s News post!

  • Jay Martyr

    I know im late lol but yeah, yall missing the point, Ray is approaching this as a christian apologist to a scientific specialist, rather than scientist to scientist…hence the lack of Darwinian jargon…Darwinian Evolution states that all species comes from a common ancestor (Darwins tree of life)…Ray is simply asking questions directed at the core theory, in a Layman approach in order for every person to understand, if he sent in christian biologist Dr. Georgia Purdom (PhD in molecular genetics) to interview these professors, the jargon would fly over most heads…simple questions for the viewers to chew on, if we come from monkeys, wheres the proof? how can we prove the common ancestor if theres no change in kinds? it is truth isnt it? sticklebacks remain fish, bacteria remains bacteria, Darwins Finches just get pimped out beaks, NOTHING MORE! LOL…but now that evolution cant answer simple questions, you attack the man? lol typical…christians et attacked with the “God of the gaps” excuse, its about time Evolutionists get attacked with the “oh it takes millions of years” excuse.

    By the way, this “christian review” is hardly christian lol

    • Jay, we’re not “missing the point” at all. What you say here is precisely the point: That Ray Comfort is not a scientist, has absolutely no background or training or even any particular depth of knowledge in the subject he is doing a film on, and yet, he approaches actual experts in the field and claims to know more about their subject than they do. The fact that you, apparently, cannot see this arrogant and decidedly un-Christian tactic for what it is, is very telling.

      • Jay Martyr

        Are you a scientist?…by the way, given the previous character bashing comment of yours, are you a Christian?

        • No, I am not a scientist. However, I am also not claiming to understand science better than scientists, which is more than can be said for Ray Comfort.

          Yes, I am a Christian. Calling out those who present a false picture of the gospel message is an important part of what Christians are instructed to do. See Paul, Peter, James, et al.

          • Calling out those who present a false picture of the gospel message is an important part of what Christians are instructed to do.

            Thank you for this reminder!

          • You’re welcome! 🙂

      • Jay Martyr

        By the way, he didnt claim anything, he asked questions, i dont know where you got it that he was claiming to be a scientist, he was asking questions, im sure thats what human beings have the right to do…If a scientist (perhaps geologist in this case) tells me that they have calculated that Jesus will be arrive in approximately 3 years, 5 months and 10 days from now on Mt Ararat, Jesus tells me I should question the man (Matthew 24:23-27), theres nothing wrong with being a christian skeptic of secular work, I believe thats what testing every spirit is (1 John 4:1)…you also speak of arrogance, with that last comment and the way you have been throwing bombs at Comfort, you should be the last to speak…attacking fellow christians more than atheists scientists who blaspheme God consistently? wow

        • By the way, he didnt claim anything, he asked questions, i dont know where you got it that he was claiming to be a scientist, he was asking questions, im sure thats what human beings have the right to do…

          If you really believe Ray Comfort made no claims in his little movie, then you weren’t paying attention.

          If a scientist (perhaps geologist in this case) tells me that they have calculated that Jesus will be arrive in approximately 3 years, 5 months and 10 days from now on Mt Ararat, Jesus tells me I should question the man (Matthew 24:23-27),

          I believe the appropriate response here is, “OK…….”

          you also speak of arrogance, with that last comment and the way you have been throwing bombs at Comfort, you should be the last to speak

          Pretty sure that a layman going to an expert in her scientific field and telling her that he understands her field better than she does better fits the definition of arrogance than anything I’ve said here, but that’s just me.

  • Jay Martyr

    Oh wait, Tyler, you are theistic evolutionist right? makes sense on the Ray attack

    • Oh wait, Jay, you are a young-earth creationist, right? Makes sense on the mindless, fawning, party-line-toeing support of Ray Comfort.

  • oh dear I’m on a “christian” page who thinks that God wasn’t specific enough when he used the word kind

    • Actually, I just think God was quite specific when he said what the gospel was.

  • Bailey Nix

    It’s funny the authors statements about source, Ad hominem, as usual.Using his logic, why would we trust evolutionists, because they as well reject conclusive evidence that contradict their theories because it contradicts their apologetic predetermined outcome, that evolutionary theory is the only way possible for life to have developed, despite no observable evidence to show it.They have proven adaptation, they have not proven evolution.
    So based on this authors own arguments, when the source believes in a theory, they are not to be trusted.Only scientists that either through nativity or deception have promoted one missing link after another, only to be proven wrong, are the only ones to be trusted.Only the scientists that believe climate change is strictly human caused are to be trusted, despite the fact their research grants specifically state they can only research for human causes, and cannot factor in any possible natural causes, such as solar cycles.
    We are only supposed to trust scientists that as of January 2015 were stating Texas was to remain in a drought and we’re expecting one of the driest springs in recent times in Texas.We can only trust scientists for information, not recorded facts, no one can question science, because apparently science is God, even though science has been proven wrong before.
    I am not anti-science, but I do question it’s complete reliability and conclusions as the only trusted source of all knowledge and unquestionable reliability, because many times it’s conclusions are later shown to be wrong.If I not being a scientist was to find a 300 million year old skeleton of a human proven to be true by later testing, am I then an unreliable source to speak of what I found, is the find invalidated because I am not a scientist?
    Are politicians and political parties invalidated because they are not scientists? Is a judge invalid in his rulings because he is not a scientist? Is your boss not an authority over you at work because he is not a scientist, therefore not a trusted source of information? Are historical scholars wrong about their dissertations on ancient documents because they are not scientists?Is an Asian unable to understand the culture of Hispanics because they are not Hispanics, therefore anything written by the Asian is invalid?
    The video has flaws, is not a scientific documentary, but neither is any of Michael Moore’s, or anyone elses.
    It is a documentary that shows that yes there are reasons to doubt, and yes scientists do contradict themselves, yet scientists are supposed to be perfect according to their own claims , science cannot be wrong, even when it is wrong , it is right.No the scientific method is a valid proven way of science, but not the results always promoted through it, as the results have later been shown flawed or wrong as more information has been made available.
    Conclusions of theories have been proven wrong time and time again.Science refusing to be questioned, becomes flawed, science refusing to be questioned becomes Deity.

  • Paul Cummings

    Sir, if you truly are a Christian man, why are you speaking with a deviled tongue towards a brother. Your backhanded comments towards Ray is shameful and not a good representation of a true believer. While we all fall short, you had the time to sit back and edit your comments assuring not to come off as a hater of men. While you may not agree with his material… his goal is to get lost souls to look towards Heaven. You should know that our battles are not of flesh and blood, they are of spirit. The spirit of darkness has consumed our universities with a liberal agenda designed to keep young adults confused. If none seek God, then the devil has the upper hand to begin with. It’s much easier for him to use deception on people who don’t want to seek the Creator in the first place! My point is simply this, even as Christians we can disagree about certain things, but our God is even bigger than your understanding. We are saved by Grace through faith not science. Science is very effective in explaining certain things, but I believe that God also uses science to trip up the prideful know-it-alls just like he used language at the Tower of Babel. I don’t see you attacking the reason we have different languages if we all came for the same genetic code. Maybe, just maybe… God is using Ray with this evolution non-sense that is far beyond even your understanding. God bless.

    • I speak the way I do about Ray Comfort because I dislike false teachers and those who misrepresent the precious gospel of Jesus. Thanks for asking.

  • Says Chris Mankey: “I’m not a scientist, I know that evolution has a “observational or experimental verifiable scientific basis” Yes! You are not a scientist as no scientist would make such a statement.

    So, tell us all what “observational” and “experimental” evidence you have to empirically verify that evolution has a “verifiable” scientific basis Because if you have any we can close down the dispute. Off you go! Let’s see what you come up with.

  • OpenDebate

    Hi Tyler. Thank you for your article. As a Christian, Ray Comfort makes me… well… uncomfortable to say the least.
    I would like to ask your opinion on one thing regarding the narrative of evolution / old earth theory vs. young-earth theory: if Dinosaurs indeed existed millions of years before Adam and Eve’s creation – which, according to the Bible timeline, should have been approx. 6000 years ago – why did the animals kill each other or even died in the first place? Was death not a consequence of Adam and Eve’s original sin, which then resulted in the cursing of the earth in its entirety? Your thoughts will be much appreciated.

    • Hey, thanks for your question. Actually, the idea that animal death began as a consequence of human sin is not taught in Christian scripture. It’s a notion young-earth creationism proponents adopted in an effort to make their theology make sense, but there’s not a single verse in the Bible that explicitly says that: that animals were originally incapable of death, and only began dying after Adam and Eve supposedly sinned in the garden.

      The passages that do teach of “death” being a consequence of human sin are 1) in context, explicitly limited to humans only and 2) again, in context, clearly not referring to physical death as we know it, but rather, spiritual death (cf. Romans 7:9, James 1:13-15, etc.) or what I call “eternal death” (referred to as the “second death” in Revelation 20:12-15), as contrasted with the eternal life offered to the faithful in Christ.

  • Nelson Banuchi

    Interesting point you made when you stated, “…we are in need of the grace and forgiveness of God regardless of whether we evolved from an apelike ancestor or not.”

    I have not paid any attention at all to the evolution-creation debate except maybe dabble on a few paragraphs and a youtube here-and-there on my very limited free-time. I did see Ray’s video and thought is quite interesting. Out of curiosity, I went to see if anyone castigated it and, surprisingly (for me), found you as a Christian doing it.

    I hoped you would be a bit more explanatory in your criticism of the video offering, at least, one example of scientific evidence for it incurring your disfavor. But, like the making of a video, time is of the essence and too much science jargon directed to the common man will most likely mean that you will lose him…so generalities and brevity is of the essence.

    While I might agree that the evolution-creationist debate is irrelevant as far as man’s need for redemption is concerned, I admit a bit of biased for creationism. Two reasons (and my apologies if from a simpleton’s perspective):

    1. It seems as if the Genesis creation account is being, for all intents and purposes, dismissed as a metaphor for God’s act of creating man rather than a true historical account of divine creation If that is the case, it does’t seem out of the quest to dismiss Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection as a fable, a metaphor, to teach us God’s (if he does exist) concern for mankind.

    2. Here’s why I said I *might* agree that the debate is irrelevant when it comes to man’s need for redemption. To me, it makes sin not an issue of rebellion and disobedience, but an issue of a passing evolutionary stage in man’s development towards a “perfect” man and, if God is to be evoked, puts a new spin on the meaning of “new creature”/”new creation” (1 Cor 5:17).

    Of course, all this is my unlearned opinion. If it seems I have misunderstood this “Christian” understanding of evolution (it is a mere theory, no?), feel free to advise. Thanks!

    • 1. It seems as if the Genesis creation account is being, for all intents and purposes, dismissed as a metaphor for God’s act of creating man rather than a true historical account of divine creation If that is the case, it does’t seem out of the quest to dismiss Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection as a fable, a metaphor, to teach us God’s (if he does exist) concern for mankind.

      It’s a fair question, but there is a very important distinction between the gospels and Genesis. In his chapter 1 intro, the author of Luke explicitly describes the purpose and nature of his writing and those of the other gospels. And he describes these writings as “orderly accounts” of “the things that have been fulfilled among us,” passed down by “eyewitnesses.” In other words, the gospels are self-described as historical accounts, to be accepted or rejected on the basis of their accurate description of real events.

      Genesis 1-3, on the other hand, contains no disclaimer in which the purpose or nature of the text is clearly described, and it certainly is nowhere in scripture purported to be an “eyewitness account” (contrary to the claims of Ken Ham and the like). Therefore, I believe it is and should be open to reasonable interpretation, and I think that many of its elements — such as its indeterminate place and time, the contradictory nature of Genesis 1 and 2, and clear metaphors like talking snakes and trees with magical properties — point to it being a symbolic text.

      2. Here’s why I said I *might* agree that the debate is irrelevant when it comes to man’s need for redemption. To me, it makes sin not an issue of rebellion and disobedience, but an issue of a passing evolutionary stage in man’s development towards a “perfect” man and, if God is to be evoked, puts a new spin on the meaning of “new creature”/”new creation” (1 Cor 5:17).

      Well, I don’t agree with your understanding of evolution, and thoroughly reject that accepting the scientific theory in any way changes the biblical definition of human sin and its consequences.

      • Nelson Banuchi

        Hi, Tyler, again, thanks for your thoughts.

        I would have to disagree with your assessment that, essentially, “the gospels are self-described as historical accounts,” while Genesis is not and I see no basis to cast the narrative, even as a whole, as merely symbolic constructs that need to be demythologized in order to apprehend meaning.

        First, that Genesis is not “self-described”narrative as historical is argument from silence. Of course I disagree that, at least, the Creation account was provided by an eye-witness (that’s a silly notion), nevertheless, silence does not justify taking it as metaphorical.

        Second, again, if you take out the snakes and trees as having, what you term, “magical properties,” by the same token, one might be justified in ruling out the Flood or the Burning Bush – both “magical” – narratives as historical. And, even with these stories there is no “self-description” as their being historical.

        As far as my “understanding of evolution,” I have not given it serious thought and this is my first real inquiry/discussion on the issue, so I leave myself open to other views. nevertheless, until I’m better informed, we’ll remain in disagreement here whether evolution changes the Biblical view of sin and it’s consequences as well as holiness and it’s attainment.

        • Hey Nelson, thanks for the response. I appreciate the dialogue!

          I would have to disagree with your assessment that, essentially, “the gospels are self-described as historical accounts,” while Genesis is not

          I’m not sure I understand your thinking here. I can see you disagreeing that the gospels are history and Genesis (though, really, we are just talking about the first few chapters) is not, but I can’t understand how you could disagree that the gospels are self-described history and Genesis is not.

          It is a simple fact that the introduction of Luke describes itself and the other gospels as eyewitness historical accounts, while Genesis contains no such self-referential description.

          and I see no basis to cast the narrative, even as a whole, as merely symbolic constructs that need to be demythologized in order to apprehend meaning.

          I would like to correct you on a couple of things I believe you are implying in your statement here. If I am incorrect in my interpretation of your thinking, I apologize in advance.

          First of all, your comment about Genesis being “merely symbolic.” I see this kind of language all the time: “just an allegory,” “only a story,” etc., always used in contrast to history, which is implied to be synonymous with “truth.”

          I think this minimization of symbolism, metaphor and allegory is really a disservice to the whole testimony of scripture, considering how astoundingly common these devices are within its pages.

          Parables — simple, figurative and not remotely historically accurate stories — were Jesus’ favorite teaching tool, after all. In fact, some verses record that he said nothing to the crowds except in the form of parables (Matthew 13:34, Mark 4:34). In other words (geddit?), when God spoke, it was symbolism, metaphor and allegory that came out.

          Yet, I can’t imagine you would ever say of Jesus’ stories that they were “merely symbolic.” They contained vital truth, about himself, the kingdom of heaven, God and his nature, sin and its consequences, salvation and how to obtain it, mankind and our moral and eternal state.

          It would be quite easy to argue that they were the most important stories ever told, the most important words ever spoken and put to paper. I would much rather have Christ’s parables than some dry, historically accurate record of his comings and goings, what he wore, what he ate for lunch, etc.

          So I reject from the outset your seeming assertion that reading the Genesis creation accounts symbolically in any way reduces them or makes them “less than.” Quite the contrary, I think we get far more out of them through digging into the text with a spirit of “What does this mean?” rather than a matter-of-fact “Oh, so that’s how that happened,” as though one were reading a news story or a history textbook.

          As I alluded to earlier, I also reject the implication that God’s inspiration of the Genesis creation accounts as allegorical accounts would be somehow unusual for him or out-of-step with the rest of scripture. The argument would be much stronger if this were the case, but of course, it is not.

          It would be a tragic day if the church were ever to disregard symbolism, metaphor and allegory. We would have to disregard Psalms, Proverbs, the best parts of Job and most of the prophetic books, including Revelation, not to mention virtually everything Jesus ever said.

          First, that Genesis is not “self-described”narrative as historical is argument from silence. Of course I disagree that, at least, the Creation account was provided by an eye-witness (that’s a silly notion), nevertheless, silence does not justify taking it as metaphorical.

          This is true. My only response is that the lack of a “disclaimer” as contained in Luke is certainly not the only reason to not interpret Genesis as history, nor even the primary one.

          It was not presented as such, only to demonstrate the fallaciousness of the “slippery slope” argument you put forth in your original comment, that if we interpret the creation accounts as non-historical, “it does’t seem out of the quest(ion)” to regard the gospels likewise.

          Clearly, if someone wished to interpret the gospels as symbolic and not historical, they would first have to completely ignore what the gospels say about themselves. This is not the case with Genesis.

          Second, again, if you take out the snakes and trees as having, what you term, “magical properties,” by the same token, one might be justified in ruling out the Flood or the Burning Bush – both “magical” – narratives as historical. And, even with these stories there is no “self-description” as their being historical.

          Again, there are fairly significant departures from the story in Genesis 2 and 3 and the ones you mention. Let me say that I have no qualms with God performing miracles. I believe the God of the Bible is the omnipotent creator of the universe and all things within; the miracles scripture subscribes to him are by no means outside his reach.

          However, the talking serpent and magical trees are not described as miracles; by all appearances, the text takes their supernatural characteristics as inherent parts of their nature, not something they are doing through the power of God.

          Look how scripture describes the serpent: “Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made” (Gen. 3:1 ESV). It is not presented as the devil, or a demonically possessed animal. It is presented as an ordinary animal.

          Its ability to speak is so unremarkable that the author saw no reason to explain it, just like the author of Aesop’s Fables saw no reason to explain his animal characters’ ability to speak.

          I can’t stress enough that there is no other story in the Bible like this. Even Balaam’s donkey, which also speaks, is explicitly described as a miracle of God (Num. 22:28): “Then the LORD opened the donkey’s mouth…”

          Also, the magical trees. Unlike all of God’s “other” miracles described in scripture, their properties are inherent to the tree and the fruit, i.e., not something that God is doing through them. This is made clear from the fact that the trees’ supernatural properties can be unlocked outside of God’s will, which is why the Lord has to station guards outside the tree of life (Gen. 3:23-24).

          As far as my “understanding of evolution,” I have not given it serious thought and this is my first real inquiry/discussion on the issue, so I leave myself open to other views. nevertheless, until I’m better informed, we’ll remain in disagreement here whether evolution changes the Biblical view of sin and it’s consequences as well as holiness and it’s attainment.

          That’s your prerogative. If I can be of any further assistance in explaining my position, let me know.

          • Nelson Banuchi

            Hi Tyler,

            Unfortunately, this will most likely be my last responses other issues are taking priority. But let me briefly respond.

            1. I apologize if I’m not clear. But I do firmly believe that the Gospels and Genesis are actual historical narratives. I can’t see how a “lack of a disclaimer” can be any reason not to take Genesis as actual history, especially since I do not see any disclaimers in any of the other Gospel accounts or OT historical books, e.g. from Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, etc.

            If Genesis is not interpreted as actual history and is understood to be read only symbolically then yes, I believe it diminishes the value, significance of the Bible as a whole, and damages and endangers the integrity of the Bible as divinely inspired revelation.

            Jesus’ parables were obviously just that, parables and not history; lessons taken for imaginative stories and not historical accounts. And the NT makes that abundantly clear. Not so with Genesis. There is nothing stated, if silence is to be the argument, that Genesis is either a parable or to be taken symbolically. While Luke may have an introduction claiming it as historical accounts, Genesis says nothing to deny it as an historical nor to affirm it as (what I can only suggest your position concludes it as) pseudo-history to be interpreted symbolically.

            I only have time to say that your argument is not convincing.

            Please forgive my abrupt departure from the conversation. Maybe when I read up more on “Christian” evolution I can respond from a more informative base; however, as it stands in my mind on the basis of your arguments, I do not see it as a legitimate Christian alternative of the Creation account described in Genesis.

            Again, thanks for your patience with my ignorance on the subject and for being gracious to respond.

          • Hey Nelson, I understand that you won’t be commenting further on the discussion you started, but there are a couple things in your last comment I must address.

            I can’t see how a “lack of a disclaimer” can be any reason not to take Genesis as actual history

            Did you miss this part in my last comment: “the lack of a ‘disclaimer’ as contained in Luke is certainly not the only reason to not interpret Genesis as history, nor even the primary one”? Because it really seems like you missed that part.

            If Genesis is not interpreted as actual history and is understood to be read only symbolically then yes, I believe it diminishes the value, significance of the Bible as a whole, and damages and endangers the integrity of the Bible as divinely inspired revelation.

            Well, you can believe anything you like, but your opinion makes nonsense of the fact that Jesus and the Holy Spirit working through the authors of scripture, used symbolism constantly to convey truth. This was demonstrated quite clearly in my earlier response.

            Jesus’ parables were obviously just that, parables and not history; lessons taken for imaginative stories and not historical accounts.

            How are stories about farmers and vineyard workers more “obviously” fiction than a story about a talking snake and trees with magical fruit and angels with fiery swords? That’s a rhetorical question. I understand that you won’t be commenting further.

            I only have time to say that your argument is not convincing.

            Well, I think the idea that God intended us to take a story about talking animals and magic trees as literal history is completely ridiculous, so I guess we’re even.

            however, as it stands in my mind on the basis of your arguments, I do not see it as a legitimate Christian alternative of the Creation account described in Genesis.

            First of all, you did not ask for my arguments for why I believe Genesis is not historical, and I have not provided them to you. As I explained above, I offered one simple answer to your “slippery slope” argument that taking Genesis as allegory would ultimately result in taking the gospels as such.

            Secondly, no one needs your approval for whether an interpretation is “legitimate.”

  • Doug Bradley

    Apparently the atheists don’t agree with you:

    “Evolution destroys utterly and finally the very reason Jesus’ earthly life was supposedly made necessary. Destroy Adam and Eve and original sin, and in
    the rubble you will find the sorry remains of the son of God…and if Jesus was
    not the redeemer who dies for our sins, and this is what evolution means, then
    Christianity is nothing.” Bozarth, G. R. (1978). The meaning of evolution. American Athiest, September, p. 30.

    • I have no doubt that “the atheists” would disagree with me about a number of things. Exactly why is that supposed to be persuasive to me?

      Of course I don’t agree with an atheistic view of the Christian faith or the gospel. Do you agree with the view this quote presents? If not, then why should I?

    • Isn’t the fact that atheists disagree with Tyler a good thing?

      It’s sociologically interesting to me that atheists and Christian fundamentalists both interpret the Bible the same way, but this seems to raise no questions for either group.

  • Nat the Brat

    This.