The Atheist Delusion—Why millions deny the obvious
A review of Ray Comfort’s The Atheist Delusion film.
Ray Comfort has returned to his documentary-interview style presentation, releasing his new film, The Atheist Delusion. This is a film geared towards people who claim to be atheists, but haven’t really thought through their position. The film is presented in two halves, the first dealing with some logical questions which when answered show the atheistic position to be delusional, and the second half dealing with why they deny what they obviously know to be true about the creation of the world around them.
A book all by itself?
Ray starts by presenting people with a full-colour book that he has produced on biomimetics—the field of abstracting good design from nature. He enquires from the atheists if they believe that the full-colour book with all of the various pictures and text could have formed itself. He encourages people to think this through, asking them if such a proposition is logical or reasonable. The atheists state that it would be crazy for anyone to believe such a thing, and that it was impossible for the book to have created itself from nothing. Having gained a consensus on this fairly straightforward line of reasoning, Ray then asks the atheists about the creation of a different book—the book of life. Ray is of course referring to DNA which is found in all living things and which contains the coded information for life. Ray points out the amazing amount of information DNA contains, and then asks the atheists to apply the same logic that they applied to the full-colour book, to the information contained in DNA. DNA is of course only comparable to the book as a structural analogy as DNA is almost unimaginably more complex. In getting them to really think through their own position, Ray points out that atheism requires people to believe that the book of life (DNA) originated all by itself, and before long, these atheists begin to see the ‘delusional’ position that they have taken. They see that when talking about the full-colour book they can confidentially state that nothing in human history has just created itself, yet this is exactly what atheism forces people to believe about something far more complex—DNA.
Does nature have the answer?
Next, Ray interviews well-known evolutionist, Lawrence Krauss, on this topic. Krauss claims to want no other label than a ‘scientist’, despite being a very vocal opponent of Biblical Christianity. Krauss tells Ray that we should let nature give us the answer1, bypassing the fact that the natural world is interpreted according to one’s presuppositions, and in attempting to answer how DNA could have arisen by itself, Krauss points to snowflakes. Snowflakes are of course very intricate and beautiful but they do not provide the answer to where DNA originated. Snowflakes demonstrate order based on natural physical laws and the correct atmospheric conditions acting on the water molecules. While the structure of the snowflake may be detailed, intricate and ordered, it contains no coded information like DNA, so the comparison between snowflakes and DNA is a faulty analogy. Information is an external dimension to the physical medium upon which it is placed. The information contained in the code of the DNA does not form because of any known natural laws, but rather because an intelligent mind designed and implemented that code in the DNA as well as a de-coding system and the correct machinery to implement that code. No natural law gives rise to high-level coded meta-information and this is a difference that Krauss and all ‘educated’ new atheists should know well.
Does I.D. identify the designer?
One failing of the movie is that it fails to address an important point raised by one of the atheists: Intelligent Design does not equate to Biblical Christianity. Creationists have long pointed out the failings of the Intelligent Design movement, actually agreeing with the point made by the atheist. While some Intelligent Design material, such as the demonstration of the phenomenal structure and coding in DNA, is exceptionally good at pointing out the fallacy of atheism, it does not provide a direct link to the God of the Bible. Indeed if the presentation was simply presented as: look at the wonderful design in DNA and how this points to a designer, then the person might well ask what kind of designer designed a world like this? We live in a world which contains a lot of pain, suffering, hurt, disease and death, so the question might well be: did the DNA designer create the world this way? Biblical history is always required to expound the creation as we see it today, which can both explain the origin and wonder of DNA and also why its degradation has come about, due to the fall, leading to the range of genetic diseases we have today. To read more about Intelligent Design movement see: CMI’s views on Intelligent Design.
A Gospel message
The second half of the film concentrates more on why many people deny the obvious implication that creation demands a creator. Ray asks the atheists what their motives are for not believing in a God. It is during this section of the film that Ray’s real love for people and his passion for evangelism shines through. This is especially poignant with an elderly gentleman who does not see his worth as a human being. Ray shows them that the reason that they have deluded themselves into atheism is not based on a well thought through worldview in which logic reigns supreme, but rather they are trying to get away from the moral responsibility of belonging to a creator God. Ray takes them through the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount, using the law to clearly show them their sin before God, that God is a God of Justice, hence the creation of Hell; but He is also a God of love and mercy, which is why he sent Jesus to die on a cross and pay the price for sin. It is during this half of the film that the interviewed atheists are left in no doubt that without Jesus as their saviour, they will stand guilty before God when they die. The delusion of atheism, the link to the creator God, and the implications of their sin seem to convict a number of them with the film ending with Ray praying with one of the atheist males that he had been interviewing.
Overall, the Atheist Delusion is another helpful apologetic tool in getting discussions about creation and the Gospel going. Due to nature of the content, atheists have of course attacked the film on a popular film rating website giving it 1 out of 5 stars.2 Attacks like this should really spur us all to conduct even more evangelism, understanding that atheists require the light of this world, their creator and redeemer – Jesus! (John 3:19–20)