Skeptic » eSkeptic » July 31, 2013

The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine

Talking to the Dead
James Van Praagh Tested

James Van Praagh and other practitioners of so-called “channeling”—communicating with deceased people—have consistently avoided James Randi’s Million Dollar Challenge test to prove their psychic abilities. In this video, Miklos Jako, a knowledgeable layman, tests Van Praagh’s ability simply by having a session with him and analyzing what went on. The results, though not strictly scientific, are pretty conclusive, as well as entertaining.

Miklos Jako is a retired teacher, who has investigated religion and related topics all his life. He is the author of Confronting Believers (Infinity Publishing). He graduated from Phillips Academy, Andover, MA, and Colby College, ME.

Watch the video


$5 each. Limited quantities!

We are closing out the last of our audio CD recordings of our Distinguished Lecture Series at Caltech. We have very limited quantities of 90 lectures. Take advantage of this closeout sale now! Once all the CDs are gone, we won’t be producing them anymore. DVD recordings will still be available for most lectures.

  • $5 each, or
  • $15 for any 5 CDs*

*Discounts on 5 or more CDs will be processed manually, and you order total will be adjusted before your credit card is charged.

Browse Lecture CDs

Daniel Loxton (left) and Donald Prothero (right) at The Amazing Meeting 2013 (Photo by David Patton)

Daniel Loxton (left) and Donald Prothero (right) at The Amazing Meeting 2013
(Photo by David Patton)

Return of the Revenge of the Son of the Bride of MonsterTalk

MonsterTalk returns from its break with guests Donald Prothero and Daniel Loxton who introduce their long-awaited book Abominable Science!: Origins of the Yeti, Nessie, and Other Famous Cryptids.

LISTEN to this episode

READ the episode notes

Listen to MonsterTalk on your iOS and Android Devices!

Get the MonsterTalk Podcast App (presented by Skeptic Magazine) and enjoy the science show about monsters on your handheld devices! Available for Android, iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. To listen to Monstertalk on your iPhone, iPad or iPod, download the free Podcast Box App on iTunes and search for MonsterTalk in the app.

MonsterTalk Podcast App (presented by Skeptic Magazine) is available on the App Store
MonsterTalk Podcast App (presented by Skeptic Magazine) is available at Amazon for Android

About this week’s eSkeptic

Could it be that geneticists, biochemists, zoologists, biologists, geologists, paleontologists, ecologists, comparative anatomists, physiologists, and cosmologists are all wrong about evolution? In this week’s eSkeptic, Ingrid Hansen Smythe reviews a documentary film by Ray Comfort called Evolution vs. God: Shaking the Foundations of Faith. The film makes the audacious claim that “there is no evidence for Darwinian evolution; that it’s not scientific.” Watch the trailer and then read the review.

Ingrid Hansen Smythe (BMus, BA, MA) is a freelance writer, playwright, and the author of three books—Dwynwen’s Feast, Stories for Animals, and Poetry for Animals. Visit her at

Guess Who Wins

a film review by Ingrid Hansen Smythe

“I believe it’s going to take down evolution. It exposes it as bogus science. That sounds like a bold claim, but it’s true.”1

—Ray Comfort

“There is no refutation of Darwinian evolution in existence. If a refutation ever were to come about it would come from a serious scientist—not an idiot.”2

—Richard Dawkins

Ray Comfort, the professional preacher and proselytizer best known for his unwitting invention of the banana fallacy, is on the attack once again with his latest film Evolution vs. God. According to one reviewer this is a powerful film that leaves evolutionists “clutching at straws,”3 and Ray Comfort himself has issued a warning, saying, “I would say not to watch it if you are someone who believes in evolution, but you are weak in the faith.”4 Creationists claim that ever since the film’s release evolutionists have been in “damage control”5 and most significant of all, there’s been “an eerie silence from Professor Dawkins.”6 One imagines the beleaguered Dr. Dawkins sweating and grimacing in his underground biology bunker, surrounded by troll-like Darwinians all frantically trying to get their stories straight. “All right, people, next on the agenda is the doctrine of speciation. Who has faith in that godless heresy? Can I see a show of hands, please?”

Evolution vs. God (DVD cover in 3D)

It is astonishing to think that, of all people, Ray Comfort (now commonly known as Banana Man) has discovered, through his own tireless research, that the geneticists, the biochemists, the zoologists, the biologists, the geologists, the paleontologists, the ecologists, the comparative anatomists and physiologists, the cosmologists—the whole lot of them—have been entirely mistaken all this time. And if Ray’s film does what it claims, it will mean a scientific revolution on a scale the like of which has never been seen in the history of humanity. Note too that, in this film, Ray doesn’t interview any “creation scientists” as they rather comically call themselves,7 but only experts in the relevant disciplines, finally letting the godless Darwinians speak for themselves. How amazing that the Everest-like mountain of hard evidence for evolution might be razed to the ground in one brief 38-minute film by a man with only a high school education and a reputation for being, as Dawkins says, an idiot.8 Truly this is the mother of all David-and-Goliath tales, and so it was with great expectations that I settled in with my peanut butter and banana crackers and watched Evolution vs. God: Shaking the Foundations of Faith.


If you haven’t seen Evolution vs. God, you’ll just have to believe me when I tell you that this is a truly excellent film—if by “film” you mean a thin haze, blur, mist, cloud or veil—i.e., something that’s abnormally opaque, as in “a film of horseshit.” However, if by “film” you mean “movie”—or, in particular, “documentary” (i.e. a work of nonfiction)—then I’m afraid you might be a trifle disappointed with what Ray has to offer. Of course there’s the obvious point that evolution vs. God is a false dichotomy to begin with, and that millions of people are perfectly capable of believing in God and simultaneously accepting evolution as a fact. Trouble only arises for fundamentalists like Ray, but all other believers accept both ideas to be true without their heads exploding from the pressure. Even the Pope’s on board with this one and believes that the process of evolution brought all life into existence, except human souls of course, which the Church believes are specially created by God—and who are we to argue with the claim that an insensible agent manufactures an insensible product? That’s just hilarious, not necessarily an immediate threat to the scientific endeavour.

So besides the whole enterprise being hopelessly flawed from the get-go, what else is wrong with Evolution vs. God? It’s not that the production values are so terrible—the lighting is good, for example, and the music sets the right emotional tone of looming hellfire—but the shooting angle is bizarre as the camera is often set very low and pointed upwards (toward heaven, presumably) and so most of the movie is shot up people’s noses, presumably by a dwarf. Thankfully the four experts that Ray interviews had no unruly nose hair, but that’s about all Gail Kennedy, Craig Stanford, Peter Nonacs, and especially P.Z. Myers have to be thankful for.

That’s because Ray’s idea of consulting with the experts is to give them fewer than five minutes of total airtime between them and to keep them occupied the entire time with asinine questions that—due to his use of voice-overs and selective editing—may, or may not, have been the asinine questions he actually asked.9 Dr. Peter Nonacs, for example, gets a grand total of 53 seconds to summarize his vast storehouse of knowledge—but, of course, he’s not actually given a chance to talk about anything meaningful at all. All of his time, and everyone else’s, is taken up answering Ray’s fruitless questions—“Have you ever stolen anything?” “How would you make a rose?” “Is rape wrong?”—at which point Ray captures the scientist’s bewildered expressions on camera as they apparently ruminate on Ray’s brilliant gotcha questions (though in reality they’re probably thinking that Ray’s brain is a great example of a vestigial organ. It might have been good for something once, but…).

Ray’s habit of asking leading questions in conjunction with close-up headshots is also disturbing, and poor Dr. Gail Kennedy gets the worst of it as she appears to be pinned against a wall in an interrogation room. Dr. Craig Stanford is literally cornered as Ray shoves a microphone in his face (his interviewing technique with all his subjects)—a microphone that simply screams “phallic symbol” and reminds one of the Latin word irrumo (i.e. “mouth-rape”). “Here,” Ray seems to be saying, “I’ve got some words to put in your mouth.” Yuck! It’s all kind of creepy, especially when Ray asks questions like, “Have you ever looked at a guy with lust?” (“Not recently,” Gail quips drily.)

Stylistically, Ray is careful to keep his scenes short, snappy, and pointless.

Begin scene.
Ray Comfort: You think you’re a primate?
P.Z. Myers: Yes I am.
Ray: Are you a talking primate?
P.Z.: I am.
Ray: Are you a cousin of bananas?
P.Z.: Why yes.
End scene.

This is what Ray understands to be plumbing the depths of the expert’s knowledge. Another example:

Begin scene:
P.Z.: Human beings are still fish.
Ray: Human beings are fish?
P.Z.: Why yes of course they are.
End scene.

Something tells me that Ray has never heard of Sarcopterygii (the clade that includes both the bony fish and terrestrial vertebrates). But even if a sarcopterygian snuck up behind him and bit him on the bum, I have a feeling that Ray wouldn’t give a toss because his obsession, from which he cannot be diverted, is asking the question, “Can you think of any observable evidence for Darwinian evolution where there’s a change of kind?” He asks this question repeatedly, but note that by “kind” Ray doesn’t mean “species” because, as he patiently explains to the dumbfounded Dr. Stanford, there are 14 different definitions of the word species. (Who knew?)

No, Ray wants to see a change of kind, a weasel word that he uses to mean kingdom, genera, species, or whatever suggests itself in the moment. Essentially what Ray wants to see is a magic trick where a dog changes into a cat before his very eyes. He wants a couple of twigs at the tips of a cladogram to bring forth each other, rather than tracing both species back to a common ancestor. Peter Nonacs explains that what Ray is describing is macroevolution, which necessarily takes millions of years, but this just confirms Ray’s boneheaded understanding that if we can’t observe it directly, it’s not science. Ray doesn’t understand that science involves more than just observation. It involves logical inference and collecting data to support one model or another, but even when the scientists try to explain that we can observe changes in bacteria, in fish, in birds (and that any mutation makes evolution impossible to ignore, because the difference between micro and macroevolution is simply one of scale), Ray turns a resolutely deaf ear.

When he isn’t busy asking the experts pointed questions like, “How do you spell shop?”10, Ray is preying on fresh-faced college students who are even more easily stumped by his irrelevant and misleading questions, most of which have nothing to do with evolution. That’s because, perhaps surprisingly, Ray Comfort doesn’t give a monkey’s uncle about evolution. He’s interested in using the word “evolution” without the meaning behind it and then promoting a cartoonish, slapstick, knock-off version, as in this highly amusing example taken from his blog:

All animals, all fish and reptiles have the ability to reproduce of their own kind because they have females within the species. No male can reproduce and keep its kind alive without a female of the same species. Dogs, cats, horses, cattle, elephants, humans, giraffes, lions, tigers, birds, fish, and reptiles all came into being having both male and female. If any species came into existence without a mature female present (with complimentary female components), that one male would have remained alone and in time died. The species could not have survived without a female. Why did hundreds of thousands of animals, fish, reptiles and birds (over millions of years) evolve a female partner (that coincidentally matured at just the right time) with each species?”11

Here we see Ray’s preschool education paying off royally as he refuses to be taken in by such malarkey. Who in their right mind would believe that a mature female (we’ll call her Eve) just happened coincidentally to evolve at precisely the same time as the male (we’ll call him Adam) in order to keep the species going? This kooky vision in which distinct species arise one at a time, rather than emerging from breeding groups that eventually diverge, is a preposterous one, as Ray has cleverly deduced. Of course nobody does believe it given that this scenario bears as much resemblance to evolution as the laws of nature in a Roadrunner cartoon resemble the laws of physics in real life. In fact, one can easily imagine that Ray might have made a film called Physics vs. God in which we see the coyote suspended in the air for a full three seconds after the rocky overhang gives way, and the voice over saying, “Gravity? There’s your gravity! Now that takes faith!”12

No, Ray Comfort isn’t interested in evolution. The following quote indicates what’s really on his mind:

Today, atheists are pushing Darwin’s little theory and it has opened the floodgates to abortion, fornication, pornography, homosexuality and adultery. If there is no God and we are just primates, then there’s no ultimate right and wrong. Anything goes as long as it gets society’s smile.13

Ah ha! It’s the age-old, muddled, morbid fascination with sex that’s plagued Christianity ever since Mary said, “Well, all right, as long as I’m still a virgin afterwards.” Essentially, creationism is holy; evolution is skanky. The thinking goes like this:

I choose to believe blindly in evolution because I’m hellbent on denying the existence of a God who demands that I NOT THINK ABOUT SEX. Fornication, homosexuality, adultery, pornography, and abortion—these are all very bad things and God says I mustn’t have anything to do with them. Sadly, however, I’ve either participated in all these things or they’re on my bucket list. A couple of them I’m even hoping to do at the same time. And that’s why I believe in evolution.

That’s a fair representation of the argument, and if it makes no sense to you that’s your problem and you’re going to hell. Ray seems to honestly believe that the reason people think evolution is true is not because of the evidence found in, say, our genome or the fossil record; no, people choose to espouse evolution wilfully in order to kick that Giant Celestial Funsucker out of the equation (even though they know in their hearts He’s real), thereby temporarily relieving the need to be accountable to Almighty Him. In one of the only decent complete thoughts that wasn’t edited out of the video, Craig Stanford says, “What Darwin showed in his work on evolution and natural selection is that we don’t need to invoke any supernatural force or power to account for the development of life through time on Earth.” That’s why Ray’s knickers are in a twist. No need for God means we make our own morality and this leads directly to what Ray calls the sins of the flesh, and the rest of us call a normal life.14

Ray Comfort is possibly the best example ever of the phenomenon Michael Shermer describes in his book The Believing Brain—that a person arrives at a belief first and only then (in Ray’s case in particular) bumbles about looking for all the evidence to back it up, no matter how nutty the belief may be.15 For example, “We are not animals”16—this is one of Ray’s claims and it’s an excellent example of just what you’d expect from a person picking a position, in the same way a person picks a sports team, and then sticking with that position dogmatically, even in the face of the evidence (not to mention the face in the mirror). And because he utterly ignores the evidence, Ray mistakenly thinks this is what we all do—but no matter how many times it’s pointed out that the scientific method is the great corrective to this pitfall, and we have to be aware of our biases and properly agnostic about that which we cannot know, Ray doesn’t get it, as evidenced by the following exchange:

Ray Comfort: Peter, could you be wrong about God’s existence?
Peter Nonacs: Yes. And could you be wrong about God’s existence?
Ray Comfort: No.

Ray’s cognitive style includes a childlike trust in authority, an intolerance of ambiguity, a tendency to be convinced by easy answers and suspicious of answers that are complicated, an inability to draw a straight line from cause to effect, and binary thinking on a truly grand scale.17 For Ray there are no continuums, no gradations or sliding scales. Everything is good or bad, right or wrong, my way or the highway. Understanding evolution by imagining his mother holding hands with her mother, who is holding hands with her mother, and so on back down the ancestral line until the hands aren’t hands anymore but something like paws, and then something like fins, and then something else entirely, is an exercise that’s impossible for a guy like Ray. Imagining that we’re all transitional species—we’re all intermediaries—is not something Ray can do. It’s undoubtedly what Dr. Kennedy was getting at when she said, “The problem with those who are unable to see evolution, I think, is they don’t have imaginations.” Ray thinks he’s scored a victory here, equating the imaginative person with the fantasist, but only a man who lacked imagination would think so.

And speaking of imagination, I conclude by envisaging an alternate account of the creation story in the book of Genesis. Suppose for a moment that the Bible said something like this:

Genesis 1. In the beginning was a BANG, and lo it was big, and it was called the Big Bang. And all things proceedeth out of the mouth of the bang, except the Lord thy God, who awoke saying, “Whence cometh that bang?”; and the wife of God answered, saying, “What bang? Quit asking about bangs already”; and the Lord rolleth over and snoreth much, so that the drapes wafteth in the breeze and the dresser drawers goeth in and out. And the Lord thy God sleepeth heavily through the ages with many zzzees shooting from His lips, while the stars formeth in the heavens, and life evolveth on the Earth; from the creeping things, to the flying things, to the typing things. And yet God slept, waking only once to flood the Earth, which was better than the night before when God had gotten up at least five times.

2. And when God awoke He looked upon the Earth and shaketh His head, saying, “Intelligent design, my arse.” And the Lord flew down to Earth and asketh Mankind, “What giveth thou the idea that the Lord thy God had anything to do with this giant turd?” And Mankind did point to a book, saying, “But thou said—”; and God picketh up the book and swatteth Mankind over the head, saying, “Thou callest this journalism? I never said any of this stuff!” And Mankind did scuff its foot, and mutter “Aw shucks,” and stare embarrassed at the ground.

3. And the evening and the morning was the first day.

If that was the Biblical account, Banana Ray would be the captain of Team Evolution and his latest film would have been called Evolution vs. Satan—but, no luck. We’re stuck with the Bible as written with its damaging origin myth, which not only gets evolution wrong but, worse still, imagines women created as an afterthought out of a rib, thereby giving the nod to several thousand years of sexism, patriarchy, and its inherent abuse.18 And we’re also stuck with God’s representative on Earth, Ray Comfort, who believes that creationism is scientific because it can be observed (every animal bringing forth after its own kind) and therefore doesn’t require faith—but that evolution is unscientific because it can’t be observed (at least, he can’t see it) and is therefore the faith-based stance. It’s a hopelessly twisted position, born of ignorance, inflamed by fear, and perpetuated by a man so clueless, he thinks his pathetic, wandering argument is actually significant. It’s silly, it’s virulent and, most unfortunately, it’s dangerous. In fact—you might even call it bananas. END

  2. Richard Dawkins discussing Ray Comfort in an interview with CNN. November 25, 2009.
  4. Ray’s Facebook page, 28 June 2013.
  6. Ray’s Facebook page, Saturday 13 July 2013.
  7. One wonders what creation scientists do in their labs all day, besides rereading Genesis and waiting for God to plop a new species on their lab bench.
  8. Dawkins’ claim is backed up by an unusual amount of evidence. See the original banana video here:
  9. Ray often uses voice-overs so it’s impossible to tell if the respondent is replying to the question asked or a different question entirely. For an egregious example of Ray’s editing style, see:
  10. Seriously. Ray asks Peter Nonacs to spell “shop” and then asks him what he does at a green light. When Nonacs replies “Stop” Ray couldn’t be more delighted, his reasoning being that scoring small, pointless victories will somehow add up to one big victory. Sadly for Ray, however, the only thing that piling up stupid little arguments ever resulted in was a bigger pile of Stupid.
  12. Ray should know better because he claims to be a lover of science. And he did read The Origin of Species, apparently, but he wasn’t impressed. This tells you nothing about The Origin of Species, but it does tell you a thing or two about Ray. In fact, he calls The Origin of Speciesthe world’s most boring book,” which seems ironic considering the Bible’s reputation, even among the faithful, as a “2,000 year old sleeping pill.” (Reverend Lovejoy, The Simpsons, Season 13, episode 6.)
  14. Ray’s biggest concern is lust, which he understands to be morally wrong and punishable by eternal hellfire. The trouble with this position is that to be anti-lust is to be anti-life. Every one of us, without exception, is here because Dad got a boner. Seriously, how does Ray think he got here? Special creation? Oh, please. Just look at that face. Ray clearly belongs to the great Family Hominidae, just like the chimps, the bonobos, the orangutans, the gorillas, and your mom.
  15. Michael Shermer, The Believing Brain (New York: Henry Holt and Co., 2011), p. 5.
  16. Ray’s Facebook page, 27 June, 2013.
  17. Ray falls into every intellectual black hole possible, as listed in Stephen Law’s book Believing Bullshit (New York: Prometheus Books, 2011). These include, but are not limited to, moving the semantic goalposts, claiming “I just know!”, relying on pseudoprofundity (i.e. sounding profound while actually babbling about nothing), and playing the mystery card.
  18. Not to mention mankind being given “dominion” over the other animals, thereby validating speciesism and resulting in thousands of years of unspeakable misery for countless trillions of our sentient cousins.


  1. P K Narayanan(Dr) says:

    Yes, it is the theory of evolution that resulted in the formation of the Universe. It is held that evolution is an unending process. If that be the case, what would be the next specie after humans?

    Creationists claim that the earth and all the living organisms on the earth are given birth by an omnipotent power called god. Science does not recognize the creationist theories. Leaving aside the belief of creationism, scientists are of one voice that different species comprising the living organisms have evolved through natural selection and genetic mutation. Basing the theory of evolution, scientists are perplexed as to who or what would be the next specie after the humans in the ladder of evolution. That question continues to be an intriguing parody: From monkeys came the humans, – that was Evolution.

    What would, then, be the next specie after the humans? What would be the size of that specie to be evolved after the humans? How would that specie look like?

    It is true that humans did not replace monkeys in the process of evolution. Monkeys still continue to exist with all their biological features. Humans also survive with all that is of humans. It confirms that evolution does not replace one specie over the other. The latter would be an advanced transformation over the former.

    The question what next after the homo sapiens in the path of evolution, has raised a certain level of controversy:

    We know that the forces of evolution basically are natural selection and genetic mutation. These processes take place in environs where the species exist. The context demands that the fittest of the existing specie gets advanced for its survival in the environs. The parody over what next after humans has arisen in the back ground of the ‘environs.’

    Human race has advanced to such an extent where humans change the environs rather than environs changing the humans. A section of the scientists therefore, came up with the suggestion that there would be no further evolution after humans because genetic mutation that creates traits and causes natural selection for survival in the changed environs, does not relate to the present where humans are concerned. Steve Johns, head of the Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environments, University College, London, and Chris Stringer, research leader at National History Museum, London were among the scientists who strongly opined that there would be no further evolution after human.

    However the fact remains that the very principle of evolution still remains. Genetic experts like John Wilkins of University of Melbourne, argue that evolution is ‘non-stop’ process and the process will continue as genes do not stay in one place for infinite period of time.

    Even among homogenous population, randomness and mutation will have to happen and new species will have to evolve. May be, this will happen after millions of trillions of years in the depth of time, if by that time, earth and the organisms still survive to exist. Such being the situation, no guess work would be feasible even to imagine the shape, calibre, size and look of the specie to be evolved after the humans.

    There could be no time frame for the researchers to come up with reliable evidence for the truth. Let us be cool: Better not to bother about a situation that may or may not arise even after trillions of years in the depth of time. No specie shall evolve after the humans, in the next hundreds of generations, to degrade or to overtake the humans.

    • Bad Boy Scientist says:

      The next species – the evolutionary successor to homo sapiens will be
      homo badboyious

      This species will be denoted by the inability/unwillingness to mate with
      people who ask stupid questions.

  2. Richard says:

    I wonder whether there is any point in wasting time and effort responding to someone who is clearly just a dishonest nutter? What would be the implications of just ignoring such piffle?
    The analogy thay springs to mind is a business one: One can be obsessed with fighting competitors to such an extent that one self distructs…it is far better to be aware of competitors and beat them by putting all ones effort into being better than they are rather than fighting them.
    Of course in this case Comfort is not a competitor… its like calling the differences between creationism and evolution or between astrology and astronomy ‘controversies’.
    I think it would be better to just ignore such nonsense than give it credibilty by bothering to try and refute it. Its impossible to argue against entrenched prejudice.

    • Zteve says:

      I think it’s important to hold nutty beliefs and their proponents to account. Although in one way Comfort is merely a victim of a meme that keeps him ignorant, he’s going out of his way to try to spread it, and that makes it necessary to do battle with him.

    • Ian MacKenzie says:

      I agree completely. It is a waste of productive time to engage such idiots. The best comment is simply to say that Ray Comfort is a textbook example of the Dunning-Kruger effect.

  3. John says:

    The only edit I would suggest in the text of this article would be to change

    “…best known for his unwitting invention of the banana fallacy…”


    “…best known for his witless invention of the banana fallacy…”

  4. Terry Smith says:

    Hey all,

    I’m not sure about the film itself, nor it’s approach (I’m a filmmaker myself – so know the tricks we use to get a point across), but this flick is obviously slanted and probably best to be ignored, unless the smell is blocking a fire exit or something… :)

    However, I am a little disappointed that Ingrid spent significantly more effort in slamming the ‘idiot’ and the production value, than simply showing the grotesque holes in the logic, or the ‘shell game’ the producers used.

    This Ray Comfort fellow may indeed by the fool she feels he is (and it sounds like it), but the ad hominem nature of this review becomes a little less valuable for it.

    Please, I know it’s easy and often times fun to smack these folks hard – but we skeptics need to try and be true to more positive humanist values; attack the film, not the people.

    • David Woodruff says:

      Agreed. I was hoping to pass this review along to some of my creationist friends, but the pointless personal attacks of the reviewer would render them deaf to the message. It seems that both Ingrid Hansen Smythe and Ray Comfort are simply interested in preaching to their respective choirs.

      • Bad Boy Scientist says:

        Agreed. Also, it raises the question: “If he’s such an idiot why are you spending this much time addressing the crap that comes out of his (metaphorical) mouth?”

  5. Terry Smith says:

    But the dude does sound like a machiavellian douchebag.

    Ok… will try to be the nicer version of myself now. :)

  6. Phil says:

    There are two stories of creation in Genesis; the first is a beautiful description of creation which closely follows the understanding we have today. The second is the story made up when women were cast into the subservient position to men. It arose when the creation figure was changed from a female goddess to the male patriarch. We should always give the second story the ridicule it deserves and not co-mingle it with the first. Creationists like to say that the two stories are one and that the second is an amplification of the first. If one actually reads both you see that this is not even close to true.

    • Bad Boy Scientist says:

      Mormons hold that one creation story is the “spiritual creation” and the other is the “physical creation.”

      Mormonism is particularly demeaning to women so I guess that trick or rhetoric didn’t make a difference where it counts…

  7. Mephisto says:

    Perhaps some of you may be interested to look at a different angle concerning the Evolution vs God subject.

    Here it as for starters;

    It seems preposterous to expound on the generally accepted believe that humankind, as we know it to exist in present times, has evolved in its current physical form including its corresponding mental capacity, because some Deity created us, alternatively has come in to being from an unexplained nor understood mystical ‘big bang’, not to mention publicized discoveries announced by ‘Eureka’ calls, whilst discovered and found in broken petrified human bone pieces on evolution tracks.

    Leaving the afore going postures, if meaningful posture indeed can be found in it, removed from my prognosis how humankind could have evolved into its present form and shape, interested parties might be interested to look at the following alternate possibilities put forward by me concerning the subject.

    Eons have passed since creatures and plants came about, from the oceans, or from wherever they came into existence, and populated Earth, the Planet we, then as now, call our home. Earth, a tiny physical body on which we mysteriously appeared and which was, in early religious believes, called the centre of the Universe, created by some unseen Godly power. This believe stemmed mainly, or perhaps exclusively, from fear of the unknown, from ignorance demonstrating our limited knowledge, and greed from exploitation of the believers by the manipulators of those times, as now.

    Without deliberating the pros and cons of that what is said here, I wish to enlarge on the subject, ’where did we come from’ at a different tangent. At an angle not much debated or even heard of, nor could be read much about in literature or other media. In other words, starting to look, with keen interest, at the controvertible subject, with a fresh rational eye.

    Looking at the controversy from an arbitrary starting point I shall attempt to present some opening examples, hopefully able to illuminate my train of thought to the interested reader somewhat. The Examples must not, it should be clear and understood, be seen in any particular geological order. I start, experimentally, with a definition of “what constitutes a composition.”


    The Thesaurus seems hesitant and Google appears only commercial in my search for suggestions, leave alone answers, on what precisely means ‘composition’.
    Perhaps the word mixture, conglomerate, amalgam, come somewhat closer.

    Allow me to try:

    Most plastic materials, for instance an Epoxy, are formulated from more then one component, a plural position one could say, in order to be successful in what it is supposed to achieve. Take one part out of the mix (the composition) and it will fail its intended purpose.
    This goes for all composites like, for instance, the copper alloy brass, most paints, steel, to mention only a few man-made composition substances.

    Natural compositions, such as fungi, roses, potatoes and ultimately blood and flesh creatures such as animals and humans are likewise compositions. In the latter we are of course confronted with the problem that we have to deal with huge numbers of components coming together in creating a specific object randomly selectable from millions. Remove or subtract even one single vital component part from the selected object, thus disturbing the equation, and a original intended function thereof will surely be followed by failure. For that matter add one single inapt component to the intended object and that too may lead to performance fatality of the particular selected objective composition.

    From this, one may logically come to the reasonable conclusion that a composition is a substance with a minimum of two component ingredients. A Plural Position of Matter, may seem to be an acceptable answer for a reasonable definition of a material composition.

    However a composition can also be a sound and/or lyric combination, composed by artist composers. But this is a different angle to the subject, I feel. Sound can be anything, all the way from beautiful music to a death scream, and lyrics, could be exclaimed as poetic verse to utter profanity. It can, however, only be produced by a functioning living object. And, for all practical purposes, it can only be, as far as humans can, be observed by a living object.

    I now return to the new angle I am aiming the realistic fresh eye on.

    It seems that there is little or no controversy on our knowledge that, to maintain life for anything on earth, Water and Oxygen are two main and absolute vital ingredients. Without either nay both, life as we know it is impossible. That on its own should be sufficient proof that to withdraw a vital component from the Composition of a living form, would eradicate it. It is, for the sake of support of the validity of this essay, not necessary, nor important to mention other essential ingredients needed to be part of any particular substance. Fact is that clean water and oxygen separately are pure, single ingredients; however, they are both needed to create life.

    A plant, for instance, could not grow without the required fertile soil conditions to exist in order to feed it to its natural genetic age limit. The same applies to animals in the widest possible scope. A mosquito needs blood. A buck needs grass. A lion needs the buck. Samples like this could be brought forth, ad infinitum.

    Composition or Substance covers very wide fields of applications. For instance the definition is applicable to the production all the way from Aspirin as a medicine to Zymurgy, a substance used in fermentation processes, as well as to lyrics and sounds in musical areas. The samples given below will further illustrate my contention that Homo Sapiens and its many stages of assumed evolutionary development before Humanity, happens to be a complex mixture of interacting components, ultimately leading to yet new creatures of forms we can only ponder on, at present, and for eternal time to come.

    Body and Soul, its unproved mystical combination, surpassing human apprehension, is of course the greater part of the miracle, fungus, plant, animal and Homo seem to be. Looking objectively and without preconceived opinions at the mystery we seem to be, it is necessary to wash clear one’s indoctrinated mind. Shun the myriads of believes which, under the weight of time has grown mental roots in us. Shun the myriads of believes which the efflux of time has metamorphosed into facts and truth, albeit of a great and unbelievable variety.

    If you care to revisit the line “we happen to be a complex mixture of interacting components” in this essay, it is known to all of us, consciously or not, that the interacting components making us physically into what we currently have become, and have no choice but have to remain throughout our entire life, a certain delicate equilibrium. If it does, we feel well, happy, energetic, motivated, contented, productive. In case the equilibrium is however disturbed, even in the smallest way, our brain tells us; attention please!

    Assume you suffer a mild disturbance and have a headache. Aspirin comes to the rescue and if other, perhaps life threatening illness or accident threatens your well being, medical practitioners and even surgeons do what they can to correct the physical imbalance. Should the problem be of a different nature and one becomes depressed or otherwise mentally disturbed or unbalanced, Psychiatrist put you on the couch and start digging into the unknown. You are now in the valley of the medical make believe of course, because most of what Humanity at large would need is as yet not understood or misinterpreted.

    Staying with Homo Sapiens for the moment, we can clearly see that the smallest disturbance in the physical composition of our body can, under extreme circumstances, lead to instant death. We also know that the particular chemical composition of Homo Sapiens is a very delicately balanced mixture. One little clot here or there and puff, you are gone. Medical dead means being brain dead and if you happen to be in that condition, gone is your soul, to the extend that we perceive soul to exist, as well. And as samples above illustrate, this happens to everything, from fungus upwards. Mortality rate remains, despite medicine, muti or prayer, as always, 100%. Our so called Soul, and our ability to reason, flows from that delicate finely tuned mechanism presently called Homo Sapiens. If practical comparison would be needed here I venture to say that a well presented piano recital, superbly played by a pianist, may stay in the memory of the audience, even after the destruction of the instrument and after the demise of the Player. But his Soul? Why harp on the unlikely. Rather spend time and effort to refine the possible. And for a start, ruminate over the disappearance of the fragrance of the beautiful rose and the malodor of a decaying cadaver.

    What this essay attempts to open up is wide pro-active and constructive debate on the subject under discussion.

    However I purport that all living matter, on our globe and potentially elsewhere, took millions and millions of years, measured against our current perception of time, to mould into what we have become. A most Remarkable Chemical Composition. At least remarkable to our mentally limited perception.

    It may well be that it takes many more millions of years to reach the end. When however our sun dims into oblivion we shall also go, n’emporte pas, big bangs, deities or whatever horrible calamities may still disturb the existence of Homo Sapiens. As we know it today. 2013.

    • Boz says:

      Really? A less determined attempt to write using words of only nine-or-more letters may be a good first step!

  8. Jon Otterson says:

    When all is said and done, or as the current popular expression goes “at the end of the day…”, it seems to me that we all are just preaching to our own choirs…that this discussion, nay argument, will continue as long as mankind exists. I posit that few, if any, beliefs are changed by these discussions. Many, if not all of us, are frustrated by our inability to convert our counterparts…so what’s the use of trying? [Why can’t we all just get along?] Perhaps some great event in the future may conclude this issue once and for all, but I fear it won’t be in my lifetime. p.s. I am a Bright…Google it.

    • Bob Pease says:

      you have some interesting ideas here but your presentation to this blog
      is so compact as to verge on illucid.
      Can you supply some urls or supporting literature ??


  9. Bad Boy Scientist says:

    After reading the latest book by Pratchett, Stewart & Cohen, I think a key difference between the “Science Camp” and the “Religion Camp” is scientists think in a ‘universe-centric’ manner, but the other camp thinks in a ‘human-centric’ manner.

    [BTW: The arts & humanities also think human-centrically, and that is fine because they are studying things which _define humanity_. But this commonality can create strange bedfellows what with creationists borrowing from post-modernist deconstructions of scientific endeavors & stuff like that.]

    I am thinking that these different ways of thinking cause most of the trouble and provide the best way to make peace. The Non-overlapping magisteria view may help with an armistice: science is not about giving meaning to human existence anymore than building motorcycles is. Science is all about “How does it work?” – the human role is as a by-stander or maybe as one of many participants. When scientists describe various biological processes it isn’t about defining man – it is about describing how those processes work.

    The religionists, noting that man is not in the center of the description feel threatened that the scientific view is trying to take away all meaning for man (intentionally or otherwise – BTW: Dawkins really fuels this fire!). The religionists seem to attack only the scientific fields for which they see the connection with human purpose & meaning & all that. e.g. as an astronomy instructor, I have never had religious students complain about Supernovas (‘ae’ if you’re that sort ;) but the Big Bang gets their dander up. Because they *see* the connection between their existence and the Big Bang (almost all H & He were created by it) but they miss the connection with Supernovas (almost all other atoms were created by these).

    This also comes back to why Intelligent Design is such a perfect way for them to think about things – it puts humans back in the center of things by extending the Anthropic Principle to absurd lengths.

  10. Dave T says:

    If we agree that Biblical literalists believe first and then search for evidence, why provide them with evidence that logical and analytical minds are here to insult them? Why bother giving them more facts to ignore? I don’t understand the insistence to continue to attack them from a position that can easily be dismissed as arrogant and mocking? We can do better and we need to do better.

    The philosophy inherent in Biblical literalism is easily disproven, and more likely to be pondered by literalists, by using their own assumptions against them. For example, illustrate the difference between faith and fact. Since they believe in the Bible as fact we can simply point out the importance of faith (Hebrews 11:1-39) and ask them if they believe the Bible is a book of facts or a book of faith. Since it cannot be both, they are more likely (still a long shot) to see that Biblical literalism contradicts itself and will hopefully see it must be taken as parable, metaphor, and allegory at best. While there is little doubt that most of them will claim that the Bible is a book of both faith and fact, those with minds capable of reasoning might be rescued (yes, I mean rescued) from a world that confuses the difference between fact and faith.

    Further, since science deals with what is testable, it seems pointless to argue that God does not exist, since the entire concept is not testable, and simply accept victory in that there is no empirical evidence of the existence or non-existence of God.

    Let them have the realm of faith, while science accepts the realm of facts. Since Hebrews 11:1 says “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hopefully they will see that faith and fact cannot both be given to the same beliefs. Once a thing is fact, faith in it is no longer required.

    • sam says:

      Dave the problem is that these people can vote and they can vote for people who are equally uneducated and who want to force their miseducation and morals on everyone else.

      Idiots of Ray’s caliber probably can’t be educated out of their ignorance (the man has interviewed some of the greatest evolutionary biologists on the planet and still doesn’t understand evolution) but by laughing at him hopefully some of the people who might have thought he had a valid point will really see him for the charlatan he really is.

      • Bad Boy Scientist says:

        Yes. The fundamentalists vote for people who want to impose fundamentalism on all of us – but insulting them will not change their minds. In fact, it is likely to get them to double-down on their beliefs if hey feel persecuted.

        I note that my snark earlier in this thread probably didn’t change anyone’s mind…

      • Dave T says:

        How sad that you think mocking someone will weaken their argument. You miss the point entirely.

        Your insistence on mocking him undermines our arguments and strengthens their resolve. You seem to be saying that since the current strategy has failed, it’s obviously the listener’s fault for being an idiot.

        This is simple human psychology and yet you see so determined to mock them that you have lost interest in educating those who can learn.

        I was raised a literalist and yet I have learned the errors of that philosophy and while you may be correct that Ray may not be interested in changing his views, I would argue that his reasons have more to do with profit and power than education. His listeners will feel you are calling them idiots as well and will not be interested in listening further. Give them, at least, a shot at changing as I have.

        We can either adjust tactics or accept defeat due to a stubborn and childish attachment to name calling.

        • Sean says:

          The only thing that will change a person’s mind is their own willingness to weigh the evidence, to look beyond their “programming” and accept challenges to their paradigm of beliefs. I for one welcome all challenges to everything that I believe, when I find something better, it strengthens my paradigm of thinking. I even look forward to the day my child challenges what I tell her. Why? Because I want her to own what she believes, to make up her own mind and not just blindly accept everything that she is told, even from me. Within reason of course. Before some idiot challenges me … If I tell her not to run out in front of cars, I hope with all my heart that she doesn’t. That’s a safety concern, not a belief.

          You present well reasoned arguments here, without mocking others, and I can respect that. But reason doesn’t always sway people, no matter how factual or well presented, and, even in the scientific community, people must sometimes die off and take their beliefs with them before there is a paradigm shift. Some people will never accept changes to their convictions.

      • Dave T says:

        I wrote the above before seeing some of the comments added below mine. Therefore I feel the need to clarify that I understand the need for humor in dealing with these comments and completely empathize with the desire to resort name calling when faced with comments made by people that have so clearly missed the concept of logic and reasoning.

    • Brian says:

      Logic, Reason, knowledge of anything at all, it all comes from God, from Christ the creator, even when you say you don’t believe and argue against Christ, it’s foolishness because your attempting to use the ability to reason and use logic that Christ gave to you to argue against him. It makes no sense, without the God of the Bible giving us the revelation he gave us, we wouldn’t not have any reliable knowledge of anything at all and no means to conduct scientific experiments as there would be no reliable starting points. Whether you are a believer or unbeliever, you still have knowledge of God from God, the eternal one who created Science, logic reasoning, .. the universe the laws that you rely on to conduct scientific experiments in the first place. Christ created all of it, otherwise we would not even be having this conversation because we would not have knowledge of anything at all to even argue about. Once you realize that, the world makes sense

  11. Mike B says:

    This whole article… is one big ad hominem.

    • Zteve says:

      This article was obviously intended to be funny, and for me it succeeded. There’s little point pedantically listing all the ways in which Comfort’s arguments are flawed; there are thousands of articles listing strawman arguments made by Christians against science, paired with their refutations. What’s interesting about Comfort is how he thinks (using that term in its broadest sense). Talking about Comfort himself in this context does not constitute an ad hominem argument. The author is arguing that his ideas are wrong because his thought processes are interestingly flawed: a central point, not an irrelevant distraction.

  12. Charles L Gare says:

    Fact faith is trusting God fully for all things through Jesus Christ our Lord, fact evolution is man trying by pass God so he man does not have to admit they are sinners. And thereby except Jesus Christ work at calvary to die for their sin, and by His rising again giving them eternal life and forgiveness of their sin’s. An evolutionist’s hope is not hope at all but a lost eternity in hell. Paul the Apostle wrote And while we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for good man some would even dare to die. But God commended His love toward us in that, while we yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. Romans chp 5:6-9

    • todd says:

      big whoop, he died (if your version of events is to be believed) for three days. what did he miss, the palestine fair?

      • Brian says:

        Logic, Reason, knowledge of anything at all, it all comes from God, from Christ the creator, even when you say you don’t believe and argue against Christ, it’s foolishness because your attempting to use the ability to reason and use logic that Christ gave you in the first place, to argue against him rather than to thank him. It makes no sense, without the God of the Bible giving us the revelation he gave us, we would not have any reliable knowledge of anything at all and no means to conduct scientific experiments as there would be no reliable absolute truths to compare our findings with. NOTHING in this world makes sense without the knowledge God gave us to start from. Christ created science in the beginning.

    • Sean says:

      Fornication, rape, stealing, adultry, disrespecting parents, killing, lying, lusting, gluttony, slothfulness, envy, pride, wrath. You’re right, none of these ever happened before Darwin published his book on evolution.

      Oh! Wait a minute. It has been going on long before. Unless of course evolution is the key to time travel. It has been causing man to sin long before it was even concieved of.

      I see that now.

      • Craig says:

        Mass shootings like school shootings, suicide, and other crimes are not increasing? Really? Do you not follow the news each day?

        • Sean says:

          Are they on the rise? Or are we getting more exposed to it? When the mass shooting in Sweden happened, would you have heard about it 30 years ago? Not likely. With 24-hour news (and the internet) we’re infinitely more likely to hear about. We are exposed to a lot more today then our predecessors and ancestors. That’s why it’s called the information age.

          After the Columbine shooting, I read an article that stated there was an average of 26 school shootings per year in the US. It just occurs in places we expected it, so it doesn’t get reported. When it happens in places we don’t expect, it get reported. More people die in car accidents than airplanes, yet every plane crash will be reported, while only the most extraordinary car accidents will be reported. So it’s not just the amount of information at our hands, but the type of information we’re exposed to.

          But mass murder, suicide, and all the other ills of society have been around long before evolution was conceived. We also live in a society where people are less likely to be able to defend themselves. Why? Because the chances of being exposed to violence have decreased immensley over the last several hundred years. Am I saying that there’s no violence? Nope. It’s just less prevelent than before Darwin’s time. Looking at things in the short term will always look like there are wide variances, compared to the long term, they’re pretty low.

          If you want to look at shear numbers, then yes, but that’s foolish, there are more people now than 2 centuries ago. If you compare the number of violent crimes to the number of people, then it’s down. Think of it in terms of per capita.

          I watch 2 news stations for 12 hours a day, 4 days a week, when I am at work. It’s the only thing on. So yes, I do watch the news. Now, if you live in the States, you are not exposed to as much international news as people outside the US, unless you make a concerted effort. Fact. I see it every time I return home. America is ameri-centric, it’s big enough to nearly ignore the rest of the world.

          Summary: Per capita, violence is down, we’re just more likely to hear about than in the past.

    • Aboi L. Aimol says:

      Well said, Charles. There are people who will not believe they have lung though they see evidence of it. So are the Skeptics or Evolution-believers. God has clearly displayed His existence and creation. Ray’s film will bless only those who are the called of God, not the skeptics.

      “Christ’s call is to save the lost, not the stiff-necked; He came not to call scoffers but sinners to repentance-” – CT. Studd.

      • David S says:

        I believe in God — in fact, I’m a born-again Christian — and I accept the truth of evolution. Ray Comfort is a brilliant evangelist and I wish him well in those endeavors, but I wish he’d stop beating this drum. The author of this article, Dawkins, et al are correct — Comfort is intentionally, willfully ignorant of evolution and only makes a fool of himself with these sorts of arguments. I hate to say such about a fellow believer, but I simply can’t countenance trying to deceive people into the kingdom — isn’t that the sort of tactic the Enemy prefers?

  13. Jeanette Norman says:

    The film sounds like it’s of the low quality we’ve come to expect from Creation propagandists. But at least it inspired this lovely piece of writing by Smythe, so the effort wasn’t entirely wasted.

    • Ingrid Hansen Smythe says:

      Jeanette – thank you so much for your kind words about the article. I so appreciate it!

  14. Michael Laidlaw says:

    The Gospel of God is this: that you recognize that you have sinned and are in rebellion against God. That one can be forgiven of these sins by repenting and trusting in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. That those who refuse to repent, even though they have been warned, will be thrown into eternal separation from God in Hell after death. Science knows nothing of life after death or about sin. The Bible explains it. If you read the Bible in this light, you will understand.

    • Bad Boy Scientist says:

      Interesting the Bible is better than reason and evidence …

      In the time since Martin Luther posted his 95 theses and the Christian world has become ever more divided? No real consensus and no real advancement. In that time Physics went from Aristotelian mechanics, to Classical Mechanics to Quantum Mechanics – plus Special and General Relativity… Our understanding of the physical Universe has grown by leaps and bounds – and yet Christians still don’t agree if there’s one god or three…

      • David S says:

        Bad Boy: I was with you right to the end, when you threw out the old “one god or three” canard. If you don’t want to look as foolish as Ray Comfort, you might want to do some more reading before trying to mock believers from a position of ignorance.

  15. Brian says:

    Humans are humans of the man kind

    Dogs are dogs of the dog “kind”

    birds are birds of the bird kind

    cats are cats of the cat kind

    there is not one example of a kind changing to another kind . D

    Dogs don’t have kittens
    Cats don’t have puppies
    Humans don’t give birth to horses,

    Each brings forth after their own kind just like the Bible says…. observable Science which means “knowledge” actually shows us what the Bible already tells us and not surprising since it is the inspired word from the one who created “Science” in the beginning.

    • todd says:

      horses and donkeys can make mules, and tigers and lions make ligers, but these don’t count I suppose since they are sterile. what was god thinking with that?

      • Brian says:

        No change of kind , the cats are still of the cat kind and the horses are still of the horse kind.

        If your cat kinds start giving birth to horse kinds and cats start having puppies then you would have a change of kind.

        A bird beak shape changing while remaining a bird and a bacteria changing to a bacteria is no change of kind.

        Wolves are of the dog kind, poodles are of the dog kind in between is a bunch of dogs still of dogs in the kind.

        Lions are of the cat kind, grumpy cat from facebook memes is of the cat kind in between is a bunch of cats still of the cat kind.

        • Bad Boy Scientist says:

          Isn’t logomachy fun? Here’s one of my favorite ‘word plays’

          Given: A cat has one more tail than no cat.
          Given: No cat has two tails.

          Conclusion: A cat has three tails!

  16. Brian says:

    Logic, Reason, knowledge of anything at all, it all comes from God, from Christ the creator, even when you say you don’t believe and argue against Christ, it’s foolishness because your attempting to use the ability to reason and use logic that Christ gave to you to argue against him. It makes no sense, without the God of the Bible giving us the revelation he gave us, we wouldn’t not have any reliable knowledge of anything at all and no means to conduct scientific experiments as there would be no reliable starting points

  17. Bill says:

    Could it be, Ingrid (and skeptics), that NOT ALL geneticists, biochemists, zoologists, biologists, geologists, paleontologists, ecologists, comparative anatomists, physiologists, and cosmologists believe in evolution?
    Could it be, that your world view is so clouded with preconceptions that you wouldn’t accept evidence against evolution from people that even you have to admit are legitimate scientists.
    You are just like Mr. Richard Dawkins, who says: “There is no refutation of Darwinian evolution in existence.
    Oh I beg to differ. What you and Ingrid should say is: “there is no evidence that you will accept, even from legitimate scientists”.
    There are many scientists and doctors who do not accept Darwinian Evolution. Want me to quote some sources:,
    These are professionals who aren’t afraid to go against the flow of mainstream thinking just so they can say they are in the “consensus”. Just because “your so called majority” claims they are right doesn’t make it right. Nor does it make evolution true or a fact. It just makes it a consensus. Let’s all go jump off a cliff because it is exhilarating.
    Show me exactly how the coded information system in DNA came from natural selection and random mutations and you might get my attention. Until you prove this, you don’t have a leg to stand on.

    • todd says:

      fine if you want to split hairs, there are no credible refutations that have not been answered, there are no alternatives that hold scientific consensus. and yes id be fine with another explanation for the appearance of humanity that didnt involve supernatural mysticism nonsense

      • todd says:

        by the way as a person of faith why is it that you have such ease believing one insensible non concrete truth to the point that youre able to assign names to its actors and motives to them but so much trouble believing something much more credible, the existence of a single (or couple i suppose) intermediary specie(s) between the several human ancestors we have already uncovered.

      • Craig says:

        Just because you don’t fully understand God, you then call Him “supernatural”. Or “mystic”.

        But I could apply the word “nonsense” to evolution. Evolution doesn’t build highly complex biological machinery and codes. Natural election, mutations and genetic drift also do not do that. Unless you attribute intelligence and sentience to those agents and call them your God.

  18. todd says:

    a fairly well written article even if high on the ad hominems

  19. Sean says:

    The comment about not being able to observe evolution happening (“it can’t be observed”) made me wonder, what if we applied that same “reasoning” to the justice system?

    We (the jury) didn’t observe the crime, therefore it didn’t happen.

    • Bad Boy Scientist says:

      Or how about children becoming adults?

      I mean look at them- child and adults are different. Any fool can see that
      adults are not just big children they are completely different with different
      capabilities and physiology: e.g. Adult women have breasts and menstruate
      but girls do not have breasts or menstruation. There are pubic hair and
      skeletal differences, too. Not to mention how some diseases only strike children
      others only strike adults – and some which strike both (like mumps) are not
      equally perilous to both ‘species.’ Facts don’t lie. Children & adults are
      different and children don’t turn into adults – or vice versa.

      Show me one clear example of a child in the instant of becoming an adult.
      You cannot do it. All you can do is come up with excuses – which don’t cut
      it in my book. Either show me your evidence (and not some story that relies
      on me imagining a child turning into an adult so slowly that I cannot see it).
      I want a picture or an x-ray showing me a child turning into an adult! I do
      not care how many ‘experts’ agree that children turn into adults – adults
      have to be created specially.

      • Sean says:

        Wow! What an assinine straw man argument.

        Imagine a man with a full head of hair. If you remove one hair, does he not have a full head of hair? He has less now than a moment ago. Most people would say he still has a full head of hair. But if we continue to remove one hair at a time after another, at some point we’ll have to agree that he doesn’t have a full head of hair. But at what point is that? It can’t be defined, but it doesn’t change the fact that he no longer has a full head of hair.

        People all develop differently, so different societies set the age of adulthood at certain points. In the US it’s the age of 18. For Jews it’s Bar Mitzvah (13 for boys, 12 for girls). ( Otherwise, no you can’t pinpoint the moment of transition from childhood to adulthood, but it doesn’t change the fact that most children grow into adults. Adults aren’t just created.

        But development is not evolution, nor is it comparable. You’ll understand that fully when you grow up.

        And if you accept nothing as evidence, then you’re not hear to broaden your horizon’s, you’re narrow-minded, therefore a lost cause.

        • Dave T says:

          — “You’ll understand that fully when you grow up” —-

          While your facts are good, I look forward to the time you can put together an argument without sounding like a spoiled angry child who has had his Xbox taken away.

          • Sean says:

            Check here to learn the difference between

            Sarcasm (2nd meaning):



            Sarcasm after being called a fool and presented with a nonsensical argument is a fairly level response. Sarcasm adds that twist that a reasoned response will never achieve. I’m not here to convert people, I believe the evidence with the same tenacity that other believe in faith. (Note the lack of sarcasm, I could have used a few more derisive words besides faith.) When I resort to name calling, then a comment like a “spoiled angry child who has had his Xbox taken away” would be more justified.

    • Craig says:

      Apparently you must not understand what a Theory is. It must be testable and repeatable. If evolution was repeatable then it would be observable. Which it is not.

      Evolutionists try to get around this by saying it took millions of years of change so can’t be seen. Yet a creature gradually changing over millions of years would produce a fossil record of some kind as well as not be able to survive well as they gradually changed.

      We’ve tried to speed that change up in dog breeds and what do we get? Pure breeds with a huge list of staggering health problems. Things get worse as they go along, not better.

  20. Sean says:


    Matthew 3:7

    Why do you look at the speck (skepticism) that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log (cloud of with preconception) that is in your own eye?

  21. Manny says:

    Ray provides a wonderful service.

    As a warning, a terrifying warning, of the dangers of incompetent teachers and the risks of allowing religion into science, he provides a valuable service for which we must all be grateful.

    Otherwise he’s a sanctimonious jackass who grasps science no better than one grasps Jello.

  22. Myron says:

    Dawkins looks and talks like a retard. ‘Evolution is an adult fairy tale’ Albert Einstein

    • Zteve says:

      No way Einstein ever said that.

      • free radikal says:

        Wow…how blatently twisted to put those words in Einstein’s mouth. I found it unbelievable and checked. Nothing close. Fairy tales turned up in reference to how adults can learn from them. And I think you could say, if a label is necessary, that Einstein’s belief was Pantheistic. Everything is god.

    • Sean says:

      Einstein also did not believe in plate tectonics. Turns out he was wrong.

  23. Bob Keeler says:

    It would be helpful if you would address the points the movie makes rather than attacking the man’s character. The effectiveness of the movie is just that. If you believe in a slow process of evolution over millions or billions of years, then there would be so many intemediary fossils that it would be pointless to collect them, there would be millions between a cat and dog showing the slow steps. In fact none of that exists. The scientific evidence isn’t there… only the well-wishing emaginations of those who write and claim it as scientific fact. Show me these intermediary fossils, then I will take your article seriously.

  24. Bad Boy Scientist says:

    Evolution is not a concept humans can grasp easily. I am not speaking merely of biological evolution – all sorts of slow transitions are troublesome. There are
    so many examples of confusion and nonsense being produced when confronted with slow changes.

    The darned socks example is classic. Say you have a pair of blue socks and every time they get a hole you darn it with brown thread. After years of this you realize than now you have a pair of pure brown socks. Not one thread of blue remains. The ‘nonsense’ question is “At what point did the blue pair of socks become a brown pair of socks?”

    Why is this question nonsensical? Because no one darn turned the socks from blue to brown. You can arbitrarily say that the darn which resulted in a pair of socks > 50% brown was the one that did it – but if you were to line up a series of photos of the socks after each darn that position would be far less compelling. The difference between 49.9% brown and 50.1% brown is not significant enough to proclaim “Now the socks are brown.”

    As long as we search for that ‘magical moment’ when the socks went from blue to brown we will not be able to comprehend the transition of the socks. [This also applies to my example of children maturing into adults.]

  25. Bob Pease says:

    The response seems to indicate interest in the topic.

    In essence , the review is an ad hominem attack on the
    writer who deserves it.

    When lucid , Ray mounts the standard Straw Man “Sproing” theory that Evolutionists are widely thought to espouse.

    What this Review draws attention to is the lack of knowledge of “Liberal Left” movements about Evolution.


    I don’t discuss Evolution with “Lefties” because all I get is
    “Well, we trust Science ”
    Yet the tacit followup is always
    “Except when science is intolerant of of
    ( choose your favorite New Age Blitherpate Or popversion of Eastern Religion/Worldview)) ”

    If there is a danger from the religious Right is that they are outspokenly
    Dominionist i.e. “The LORD will come again and rule the world” or less recently
    “Cujus regni non erat finis” or similar dogma from Islam
    ( supposedly held by liberals to be only a small minority)

    I direct anyone seriously interested in Evolution to follow the url “talk origins”

    • Craig says:

      I’ve been to talk origins many times. It’s outdated and does not really do a good job of refuting anything. It is mostly the same rhetoric spouted by evolutionists with little to no real scientific backup.

      The best it does is try to defend a presupposed religious worldview which is what the Darwinian type evolution is.

      On the other hand no creationist or Christian would deny natural selection or that creatures can adapt characteristics to changing environments to a certain degree. Understanding that those processes have nothing to do with new, complex, biological machinery.

  26. Anne Marie says:

    The irony in that MonsterTalk episode is that Dr. Donald Prothero and Daniel Loxton defend their work on monsters as important because even if it’s a small area of work, it ties into other important areas and involves how people think and no one’s forcing people to work on it, which are exactly the things people working on social justice using skepticism said in response to critiques that we were causing “mission drift.” Instead of the kudos Prothero and Loxton got, we got Jamy Ian Swiss screaming that we were not allowed to move “his tent” (I was unaware he owned the movement until I went to TAM 2012) and threats on the internet. *sigh* Why can’t people use skepticism and critical thinking on whatever issues they care about? Shouldn’t we use them on as many issues as we can?

  27. Oozoid says:

    A delightful review. Many thanks to the author. Are we sure that Ray Comfort is not an impostor who seeks to undermine Creationism from within with his bizarre outpourings? Would not any ‘rational’ believer be embarrassed by such material and feel obliged to reconsider their position?

  28. ashley haworth-roberts says:

    Ken Ham has read your review!

    I have not seen the film but if Comfort is claiming there is no evidence for evolution then he is a deliberate liar for Jesus.

  29. John Reynaga says:

    We are getting ourselves into an unbearable and intolerable future. We need to listen to reason, to evidence, and we need to live in reality. Yes, living in a world that feels good for you is something that you would want, and if the world could provide you with a comfortable lifestyle, then you’d probably would want to go that route. We aren’t going to have this lifestyle available for us as things gradually change in the decades to come. People will start to wake up because they won’t have a choice to deny our problems anymore.

    It is important to be informed of the real problems we are faced with today and not to allow yourself to be so easily manipulated by other people. You have got to be a critical thinker. And yes. You have to think! Your children need you to do this.

  30. vernon a. bradshaw says:

    When Ingrid Hansen Smythe, writes “How amazing that the Everest-like mountain of hard evidence for evolution might be razed to the ground in one brief 38-minute film by a man with only a high school education and a reputation for being, as Dawkins says, an idiot…And if Ray’s film does what it claims, it will mean a scientific revolution on a scale the like of which has never been seen in the history of humanity” she stimulates me to wonder:
    First, Is calling anyone who has a different opinion from mine an idiot (e.g., Richard Dawkins) a reasonable practice, reflecting the value of an education?
    Second, is there evidence that a “scientific revolution” would be a bad thing?
    Third, were there ever any successful people in life who had “only a high school education?”
    Fourth: Who is Ingrid Hansen Smythe?
    Fifth: Is there truly a living person who would claim that there is presently an agreed upon understanding of scientists as to Truth, OR does science not operate on the concept of “always searching for new answers and new truths?”
    Sixth: When facing the Great Master Painter of the Universe (some call him God) will Ingrid Hansen Smythe remove the smirk from her face, or will she stand in awe?
    Seventh: Now that “science” has determined the “be all and end all” of answers, what will all of those super educated scientists do to occupy their time?
    Just Askin’.

    • Sean says:

      First: a lot of creationist do the exact same thing.

      Second: scientific revolutions don’t just happen. The closest I can think of is Einstien’s theory of relativity, and even then it took time to be fully accepted. Yet, there are still people looking for it to fail.

      Third: Success in life is not the same thing as knowledge backed by study, i.e. expertese.

      Fourth: She’s the reviewer. If you look under the header, it has some relevent information about her. Who are you?

      Fifth: Science is a self-correcting process. While it has it’s flaws, all human induced, it still works.

      Sixth: God? Which one? There are a lot of them out there, even if you only believe in one. Whatever stance you take, a lot of other people who believe differently are taking the same stance and using the same arguments as you to “prove” they are right.

      Seven: Someone already foolishly declared that we have learned all that there is to learn. Turns out, he was wrong. There is no end to human curiosity, so there will be no end to science. It’s still the best tool for discovering the world around us.

  31. Paul says:

    “No, Ray wants to see a change of kind, a weasel word that he uses to mean kingdom, genera, species, or whatever suggests itself in the moment. Essentially what Ray wants to see is a magic trick where a dog changes into a cat before his very eyes.”

    How do you know that’s what Ray meant? Did you bother to ask him?
    Usually when creationists use the word “kind”, they use the Biblical definition. In Genesis, God commands the animals to bring forth after their kind. So if they can “bring forth” (i.e reproduce), then they are the same kind of animal. “Kind” is comparable to the Family taxa.

    “He wants a couple of twigs at the tips of a cladogram to bring forth each other, rather than tracing both species back to a common ancestor. ”

    Sounds like the author is speculation again. No, I don’t think that’s what Ray meant. But he was looking for the reasons why you believe everything goes back to a common ancestor.

    “It involves logical inference and collecting data to support one model or another, but even when the scientists try to explain that we can observe changes in bacteria, in fish, in birds (and that any mutation makes evolution impossible to ignore, because the difference between micro and macroevolution is simply one of scale), Ray turns a resolutely deaf ear.”

    Yes, there are observable changes in bacteria, etc…, but I would call those changes an adaptation or variation. But how to you go from those changes in the present to believing all things have a common ancestor?

    “He’s interested in using the word “evolution” without the meaning behind it …”

    Interesting…evolutionist use the same bait and switch tactics the author accuses Ray of doing. When a creationist says “Give me evidence of evolution.” (evolution meaning “common descent”), evolutionis almost always come back with bacteria becoming drug resistant. But that’s just an adaptation. How does that prove common descent”? Like the author says, an inference is made. I’m just not sure it’s a logical one.

    “No need for God means we make our own morality and this leads directly to what Ray calls the sins of the flesh, and the rest of us call a normal life.”

    You don’t know how refreshing it is to hear the author say that. Most atheists I talk to don’t think they choose their own morality. It’s something “fob off on us by our genes” or something to that effect. In other words, they’re essentially programmed to behave a certain way. They don’t think that free will exists.

  32. Carter says:

    Lots of talking, still no science to back up statements. I am humored when evolutionists say that there is so much info out there that they don’t need to bother. Rarely do I get a slightly scientific argument, and I have never had one continue throughout the entire debate. It turns into mocking and insulting. Sad that the “science” side never wants to talk science in debates.

  33. ashley haworth-roberts says:

    “Sad that the “science” side never wants to talk science in debates.” Sad that Carter – who has not talked science – wishes to make false statements about people he disagrees with.

    Ken Ham (gushing fan of Comfort’s film) was challenged to a debate about what science should be taught to kids by atheist Aron Ra. But Ken Ham, after pretending to accept SOME sort of debate, quietly forgot all about it.

  34. Bob Pease says:

    I finally got around to watching the ludicrous Banana rave

    Somehow he neglects the fact that the banana is a product of many generations
    of genetic modifications by selective breeding
    by HUMANS

    “Natural” bananas have none of the nifty “Design” features that Ray mentions

    this refutes his main premise that the “Lord” intelligently designed it

    It reminds me of a Yiddish statement:

    “With friends like this , who needs enemies ?”
    in this case :
    “With proponents like this, who needs refuters ??”

    Sic transit


  35. DJ says:

    For some, the natural world is all there is. The supernatural is automatically rejected. Is it “scientific” to reject or deny the supernatural just because one has not personally experienced it or because one has had a class in which the prof mocks it ?

    • Bob Pease says:

      your comment is a tautology.
      “Science” is not supposed to confirm or deny but to evaluate on the basis of evidence
      The term “Supernatural ” usually has the context which includes the lack of any “Scientific” evidence.

      Only a moron would reject or accept on the basis of a “MockingProf”

      I think you are trying to say that people who claim to evaluate truth by science alone are living in a solipsistic vacuum.
      This is right, but I don’t think that such a stereotype applies to many people.


    • Yahya says:

      Science is incapable of making any judgment about supernatural entities and events. Science is just able to judge about the things in the “space-time”, everything out of it is out of the science realm. So, we can’t say that science has disproved the existence of god.
      But this fact doesn’t mean that we have to assume any probability about supernatural events just because science is incapable to falsify it. When we have a convincing scientific explanation for something, there is no need to assume that the event is under the control of a supernatural entity.
      When we have a convincing theory that explains the origin of life on the earth, and when we have a justifiable theory in physics (tunneling from nothing by Alexander Vilenkin) which delineates the formation of the observable universe, I think there is no need to looking for a supernatural entity like god to be responsible to create the life and universe.

  36. Norman Carlson says:

    The Creationists create their straw man and play their games for their reasons. It embarrasses and angers me when people who ostensibly are defending science set up a Creationist straw man and claim it represents not only all Christians but the entire moral and value system of Christianity and Western Civilization. Creationists have theological, cultural, and other asexual reasons for rejecting evolution. Christianity is an extremely diversified, sophisticated, and benevolent belief system. The reality of evolution and the unreality of God do not negate the value of traditional Western or Christian morals nor do they justify “new morality” (greatest oxymoron in the English language). Creationists are not necessarily good judges of the motivation of others. Neither are smart mouth immature egotists even if they are right about evolution and god..

    • Bob Pease says:

      the intent of most vocal skeptics is not to badmouth the entire worldview of those who espouse ideas which seem to have sparse evidence.

      But ,… evolution aside…
      Christianity shows a determined DOMINIONISM, as does ISLAM .
      The “Cujus Regni” clause in the creed is enough to draw suspicion on the movement, regardless of other agreements with mainstream science or humanitatianist social goals.

      But . Christians who DO support creationism deserve suspicion because of being bedfellows with guys who have a very unpleasant future in mind.

      Dr S.

  37. Steve says:

    Of course people should have the right to freedom of religion.
    Unfortunately, the problem with those involved is, being delusional, they can’t help themselves and insist on forcing their version of crazy on everyone else. They of course start with the equally weak minded and those who are easily influenced like children. They are no different from con-artists and sex offenders in this regard. Of course having lost their link with reality, they come up with Creationism and try to force it into schools. It would be funny if it wasn’t also frightening. The irony is these people are evidence of The Theory of Evolution. Trouble is they seem to be heading towards growing tails and walking backwards into the sea…

  38. Genghis says:

    “I settled in with my peanut butter and banana crackers” – that wouldn’t be a reference to RationalWiki’s “Atheist nightmare snack” by any chance?

  39. A.T. Heist says:

    According to the Barna Group, a Christian research organization, one of the six reasons “nearly three out of every five young Christians (59%) disconnect either permanently or for an extended period of time from church life after age 15” is that churches come across as antagonistic to science. In their analysis of the polling used they conclude:

    One of the reasons young adults feel disconnected from church or from faith is the tension they feel between Christianity and science. The most common of the perceptions in this arena is “Christians are too confident they know all the answers” (35%). Three out of ten young adults with a Christian background feel that “churches are out of step with the scientific world we live in” (29%). Another one-quarter embrace the perception that “Christianity is anti-science” (25%). And nearly the same proportion (23%) said they have “been turned off by the creation-versus-evolution debate.” Furthermore, the research shows that many science-minded young Christians are struggling to find ways of staying faithful to their beliefs and to their professional calling in science-related industries.

    Ray Comfort is marketing this film to church groups and youth ministries. Thanks Ray!

    • Ingrid Hansen Smythe says:

      A brilliant comment and I’m glad you brought this poll to our attention. I think it might be like Oozoid (a previous commenter) said: “Are we sure that Ray Comfort is not an impostor who seeks to undermine Creationism from within with his bizarre outpourings?” You really have to wonder.

  40. Michael says:

    Argumentum ad Hominem (abusive and circumstantial): the fallacy of attacking the character or circumstances of an individual who is advancing a statement or an argument instead of trying to disprove the truth of the statement or the soundness of the argument. Often the argument is characterized simply as a personal attack. For an example see “Guess Who Wins?” a film review by Ingrid Hansen Smythe.

  41. Ingrid Hansen Smythe says:

    An ad hominem attack is only a fallacy if the comments about the person are unrelated to the conclusion. Providing a critique of someone’s way of thinking is not irrelevant in this case. Note that I don’t say, “Ray Comfort has a beard and that’s why he comes to the wrong conclusion about evolution.” I say “Ray’s cognitive style includes a childlike trust in authority, an intolerance of ambiguity, a tendency to be convinced by easy answers and suspicious of answers that are complicated, an inability to draw a straight line from cause to effect, and binary thinking on a truly grand scale” – and that’s why he comes to the wrong conclusion about evolution. Is it relevant, for example, that Ray has a high school education? I’d say it makes it just a tad unlikely that he’ll be able to prove the whole of science wrong and revolutionize it from the outside in. Is Ray’s brain an example of a vestigial organ? Oh, now that IS an ad hominem attack! It’s also a joke – just a punchy little bit of color to contrast with Ray’s humorless propaganda.

    Why do I talk about Ray at all? I do it because this is very much a movie about one man evangelizing for Jesus, not about evolution. If you watch Ray’s movie, I think you’ll see what I mean and you’ll see why Ray’s cognitive style is entirely relevant. Ray’s mind games color this whole propaganda piece, a point I particularly wanted to articulate for the benefit of the young people interviewed in the film. Ray talks circles around these kids, baiting and confusing them – some might even say that Ray bullies them intellectually, a charge I’ve read from others in the past. So I felt it was important to tell these kids something about what’s going on in this guy’s head. He really does have a childlike trust in authority, for example, as evidenced by the fact that he believes every single word of The Bible because somebody told him it was all true. That’s why he’s a creationist, and why he thinks you should be too. It’s not about the evidence. It’s about faith. Ray has faith in God, you have faith in science. It’s all the same to him. What about his intolerance of ambiguity and his tendency to believe easy answers? Ray simply must have an answer to a question like, “How did the universe begin?” and if there is no answer that satisfies him, his answer is God, every time. Binary thinking? You’re a liar or you’re not; you’re an adulterer or you’re not (that’s if you’ve merely looked at someone with lust, by the way); you’re going to roast in hell for eternity, or you’re not. You might as well be Hitler or Stalin or Chairman Mao, because the amount of hellfire that awaits you is the same in any case. That’s one reason why I say that it’s tough for Ray to think in terms of a continuum, and being able to think that way is critical for an understanding of evolution.

    Anyway, that’s my feeling about the ad hominem business. I am sorry that I couldn’t be nicer about Ray. I have a lot of sympathy for the guy because I think he’s a true believer who’s been parasitized by a meme so powerful it can take over a whole life – but, sadly, the only thing he’s interested in is infecting others with his ideas. And if anyone thinks those ideas are harmless, I believe they’ve not properly understood just how insidious those ideas truly are.

    • David S says:

      Ms. Smythe: I’d like you to consider a category of person you may have never met, and certainly show no knowledge of in this article or your responses: the true believer who also accepts the truth of science.

      I’ve never met Ray Comfort, but from what I know of his beliefs, they would be “of the same species” as mine, so to speak. I was raised a Fundamentalist, but found a need to think bigger when I fell in love with biology and was forced to find a way to accommodate its unifying theory. Over many years of wrestling with the false dichotomy of “evolution vs. god”, I (and many thousands of others) have arrived at a synthesis that includes both evangelical Christian faith and acceptance and understanding of science. You can discover more about the growing movement of evolutionary creation here:

      All that to say — you certainly have a right to your aggressive atheism or agnosticism, but it’s not necessary to make your point and unnecessarily alienates many of us who are otherwise firmly on your side. I fully agree with your assessment of Comfort’s tactics, his ignorance, and his irrational thinking. But you err when you assume that all believers are similarly handicapped, disingenuous, and nonsensical. Religion may be my blind spot (and as Shermer says, we all have them), but yours seems to be the possibility that Comfort’s isn’t the only extant variety of his species.

  42. Yahya says:

    I was very shocked when I saw the Americans comments against the evolution. All of the comments against the evolution reflect the ignorance and lack of knowledge about this theory. I thought that just in my country, Iran, some people stubbornly try to give any preposterous reason to reject the theory of evolution, because Iran is an ultra-religious country, I didn’t know that in the US people are the same as our people.
    Dawkins said a nice sentence in his recent book: ” Evolution could so easily be disproved if just a single fossil turned up in the wrong date order”. Evolution is my academic field, we have hundreds of thousands of evidences in consistence to this theory and there is no proven data against it. If you think that there is a problem with this theory, be sure that the problem has arisen from the inaccurate way of your thinking method and the lack of knowledge…

    • mike says:

      Unfortunately we Americans are not as smart as some believe. Here it’s all about politics and money. If a politician wants to get re-elected and has a heavy religious constituency, he/she will do anything, say anything, and pass laws against anything in order the remain in office. The more you look at the US and its shrinking ‘separation of church and state’ you’ll see that the religious have infected our court system, our democracy, and our basic human rights. When it comes to religious fanaticism, the US is not very far behind Iran or Saudi Arabia.

  43. clear4u says:

    Why has nobody pointed out how funny this article is? I found it hilarious, from the troll-like Darwinians in their underground biology bunker, to Mary’s line – “Well, all right, as long as I’m still a virgin afterwards,” to the alternative creation story where God floods the earth, “which was better than the night before when God had gotten up at least five times.” So clever! Comedy gold! Also insightful and I really appreciate the thoughtful analysis of the way Ray, and others like him, actually think. Now that I’ve seen the film, I can see that Smythe gets it exactly right.

  44. weather says:

    the answer to this illogical person is YES, they can be wrong because there are many others here, who hold the other view – if you beleive something just because the majority say so, then that is idiotic – if this is the best argument evolutionists can give, then it is but senseless shallow circular reasoning without any real evidense – just like ray comfort proves in the video by interview the evolutionists there who had no answers

Patreon: a new way to support the things skeptic creates

Get eSkeptic

Science in your inbox every Wednesday!

eSkeptic delivers great articles, videos, podcasts, reviews, event announcements, and more to your inbox once a week.

Sign me up!

Donate to Skeptic

Please support the work of the Skeptics Society. Make the world a more rational place and help us defend the role of science in society.

Detecting Baloney

Baloney Detection Kit Sandwich (Infographic) by Deanna and Skylar (High Tech High Media Arts, San Diego, CA)

The Baloney Detection Kit Sandwich (Infographic)

For a class project, a pair of 11th grade physics students created the infographic shown below, inspired by Michael Shermer’s Baloney Detection Kit: a 16-page booklet designed to hone your critical thinking skills.

FREE PDF Download

Wisdom of Harriet Hall

Top 10 Things to Know About Alternative Medicine

Harriet Hall M.D. discusses: alternative versus conventional medicine, flu fear mongering, chiropractic, vaccines and autism, placebo effect, diet, homeopathy, acupuncture, “natural remedies,” and detoxification.

FREE Video Series

Science Based Medicine vs. Alternative Medicine

Science Based Medicine vs. Alternative Medicine

Understanding the difference could save your life! In this superb 10-part video lecture series, Harriet Hall M.D., contrasts science-based medicine with so-called “complementary and alternative” methods.

FREE PDF Download

Top 10 Myths of Terrorism

Is Terrorism an Existential Threat?

This free booklet reveals 10 myths that explain why terrorism is not a threat to our way of life or our survival.

FREE PDF Download

The Top 10 Weirdest Things

The Top Ten Strangest Beliefs

Michael Shermer has compiled a list of the top 10 strangest beliefs that he has encountered in his quarter century as a professional skeptic.

FREE PDF Download

Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten Our Future (paperback cover)

Who believes them? Why? How can you tell if they’re true?

What is a conspiracy theory, why do people believe in them, and can you tell the difference between a true conspiracy and a false one?

FREE PDF Download

The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

The Science Behind Why People See Ghosts

Mind altering experiences are one of the foundations of widespread belief in the paranormal. But as skeptics are well aware, accepting them as reality can be dangerous…

FREE PDF Download

Top 10 Myths About Evolution

Top 10 Myths About Evolution (and how we know it really happened)

If humans came from apes, why aren’t apes evolving into humans? Find out in this pamphlet!

FREE PDF Download

Learn to be a Psychic in 10 Easy Lessons

Learn to do Psychic “Cold Reading” in 10
Easy Lessons

Psychic readings and fortunetelling are an ancient art — a combination of acting and psychological manipulation.

FREE PDF Download

The Yeti or Abominable Snowman

5 Cryptid Cards

Download and print 5 Cryptid Cards created by Junior Skeptic Editor Daniel Loxton. Creatures include: The Yeti, Griffin, Sasquatch/Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster, and the Cadborosaurus.

Copyright © 1992–2018. All rights reserved. The Skeptics Society | P.O. Box 338 | Altadena, CA, 91001 | 1-626-794-3119. Privacy Policy.