Evolution vs. God
A powerful new resource from Ray Comfort
Published: 18 July 2013 (GMT+10)
In the broader culture, it is assumed that evolution is a fact, and creation is a religious belief. But when Ray Comfort takes to the streets with his iconic camera and microphone in his new DVD Evolution vs God, he shows that for both typical students and college professors, their stance on origins and the age of the world is actually a matter of faith.
Early on, Comfort clearly draws the connection between belief in evolution and belief in atheism. One conversation goes:
Comfort: So you’re not an atheist?
Comfort: So you’re leaning that way because of evolution?
Dr. Craig Stanford, Professor of Biological Sciences and Anthropology at USC, said, “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.” Comfort repeatedly receives answers from students reflecting that they believed there was overwhelming, obvious evidence for evolution, it’s a “fact”, it’s “logical”.
But these students become uncomfortable very quickly when challenged to produce some empirical, observable proof of evolution. One exchange:
Comfort: Could you give me some observable evidence that evolution is true? Something I don’t have to receive by faith?
Student: Take a look at what happened 65 million years ago.
Comfort: Hang on, I can’t, that’s 65 million years ago.
And Dr. Gail Kennedy, Associate Professor of Anthropology at UCLA, after many challenges, was forced to admit, “Evolution is not testable over time.”
Eventually, most were forced to admit, “We would have to have some amount of faith,” “I don’t really believe there’s any proof for that yet.” One shocking admission: “ I have faith in the experts, I guess similar to how religious experts have faith that God actually exists. In the experts knowing what they’re talking about.”
Comfort: What have they become?
Myers: They’re various species of sticklebacks.
Comfort: They stayed as fish?
Myers: Well, of course.
One quibble arises here, as it seems that Myers would, if not edited into silence at that point, have pointed out that in evolutionary theory, you would not expect them to turn into non-fish even over multiple human lifetimes. Whereas the major point is that the sorts of changes we see today are not the right sort, even given millions of years, to achieve such transformations.1
Comfort easily shows how students and professors alike overestimate the ‘undeniable’ evidence for evolution and the lack thereof for intelligent design. Both professors and students are also caught out with some factual errors about vestigial organs and claiming certain famous personalities as atheists who were actually not.
Comfort repeatedly challenges the interviewees to produce evidence for one ‘kind’ of creature changing into a different ‘kind’. The students and professors are of course only able to give examples of animals adapting to their environment (Darwin’s finches are still finches, for example, and sticklebacks are not only still fish (as one would expect in these timeframes, to be fair, as pointed out), but still sticklebacks). As has been overwhelmingly shown on this site and elsewhere for many years, change over time, the usual evolutionist’s mantra, does not equal molecules to man evolution. The real issue is what type of change, and whether it is capable, even given millions of years, of achieving the major transformations that evolutionists believe have taken place.
In one sense, though, the way in which this hammers the fact that we don’t see ‘changes between kinds’ is problematic. It allows evolutionists to claim that creationists don’t understand (or are being disingenuous about) the fact that evolutionary theory would not expect a large degree of change in the observer’s lifetime, and in so doing allows them to escape scrutiny about the real issue of qualitative (not quantitative) change. Of course, it can be argued that it is not possible to engage in a full-on discussion of such complex issues in such a rapid-fire format. But therein lies another potential area of vulnerability to criticism, in that the format is of the moviemaker’s own making. And it raises the question, as much as one hates to ask it, of just how much and what was edited out that would have put the replies in a different light? It is noticeable, for instance, that often the interviewer asks a particular question of one respondent and without any noticeable break in the wording, the camera is on a different subject who then responds. When our speakers and scientists have been interviewed for secular broadcasts, editing has often made us appear to be saying things quite differently from how we did. On the biblical ‘do unto others’ principle, therefore, one would hope that this has not taken place and that in due course Comfort will be prepared to release the original transcripts on his website. At the very least, this will prevent evolutionists from claiming to have been misrepresented if they were not, as happened with our 2009 Darwin documentary. Another issue concerns the repeated way in which respondents end up looking completely non-plussed about not being able to cite any changes in kind. No doubt thoughtful analysts will raise the whole issue (and difficulty) of defining a given biblical kind (see Variation, information and the created kind).
A further quibble marring a very well-done production regards when Comfort challenges interviewees to make a rose from nothing. This question subsumes into it the origin of the universe and the earth, the origin of life, and the origin of different kinds of living things, whereas the context of the rest of the discussion seems to be the lack of evidence for the evolution of one type of creature into another. In context, what Comfort was probably trying to point out was that no one can make a rose out of nothing, and yet a rose contains incredible design elements that specify complexity and encyclopedias’ worth of information. Nevertheless, the atheist does claim to believe that nothing became a rose (cosmic evolution), with no intelligent input from God; that is, with no sufficient cause. This exercise underlines the absurdity of this belief.
In a similar manner to Comfort’s previous DVD, 180, the intentional climax of Comfort’s interviews is his Gospel presentation. As we point out in Good News, “Before we talk of the Good News we need to deal with the bad news,” i.e. we need a saviour because we are sinners. Comfort likewise explains that all are sinners (we have all lied, stolen, etc.), and so there is a penalty to be paid to God, but that Jesus has paid the penalty so we can be saved. One of the impressive parts of the DVD is how there is no apparent difference in the manner he presents it, whether to a hardened atheist professor, or a doubting young student—and it is just as powerful.
But having quibbles is one thing, yet someone getting something like this done and made widely available is another, and the folks at Living Waters are to be commended, overall. The ~40-minute presentation is of very high quality; the interview footage is interspersed with beautiful graphics. For Christian creationists, this is an encouraging presentation that can also help us in being prepared to engage people on the issues in a respectful yet direct manner. It is also a presentation that non-believers or evolutionists could watch and be challenged in their beliefs.
Rob Slane argues something like "If (macro)evolution is true then we should execpt to see it in living organisms today(i.e. we should see some forms of hybrids). The reason is that the observation from which Darwin hypothesized (viz. natural selection) is not a mere historical one seen in the fossil record but a present one which is actually occuring within living species today. If there's any truth in Darwinism, this begs the question: if microevolution is a present continuos reality, should we not also expect to see macroevolution (which is hypothesized from it) to be continuing today?
Of course, the evolutionist would claim that macroevolution is continuing today, but so slowly that we can't perceive it. Of course, we encourage creationists not to use the terms 'micro' and 'macro' evolution, because it implies the processes are similar, just on different scales. While 'micro' evolution, or natural selection, in fact, does the opposite of what 'macro' evolution requires. See The evolution train's a-comin'.
Way to go Dan, you hit the nail on the head. There is NO FOSSIL RECORD!
The mere fact that believing in evolution takes much more faith than required to believe in a God and creation creates a paradox for evolution proponents who say they are atheists. Yet most atheists claim to practice no faith.
I'm confused by one aspect of the review and the comments following. In asking the question for proof of change of kind, couldn't the interviewees have turned to the fossil record to point out such a creature if one existed? After all, Dr. Stanford was sitting in a library with shelves full of evolutionary texts right behind him. Shouldn't he have been able to reach for a text and point to a transitional fossil?
My biggest concern about the video is that Ray tried to do too much in one sitting with the camera. It seemed that he got many of the students to question their worldview. When he launched into the gospel, it seemed many of them shut down as if they had suffered through a long sales pitch. While a compelling movie, for the sake of the people being interviewed, the process from questioning to Gospel presentation might have been more effective given a few days, weeks or months for seed planting before reaping.
Lita has rightly raised many issues that detract from the primary message in "Evolution vs. God" - logical flaws, rushed conclusions, assumptions, failure to follow through properly in drawing conclusions.
However, Ray is not a scientist, he is an evangelist. This he does very well. On the popular level, he also attacks Evolution (in its broader definition) very well also.
It is indeed unfortunate that Ray hasn't chosen to partner with CMI and add some meat on the bones. However, this video should raise questions for most people, cause some to reject this LIE and others to have even less excuse on judgement day, and many of us to praise our Great Creator even more.
Thank you, God, for Ray and his fantastic ministry. Open his eyes to see the need of talking to CMI USA. ;-)
If you are unable to see evolution you need imagination said by the lady in the Evolution Vs God Trailer video of this article.
Another such imagination I heard was that according to ABC news dated 11 Jul 2013, a tour guide said the following referring to fossilised dinosaur footprints at Lark Quarry near Winton in outback Queensland:
"You can actually see what was happening. If you look at the tracks and close your eyes, you can see the dinosaurs charging around the place, you can see the big fellow coming through and biting someone. This is Australia."
So science needs to evolution to include imagination also along with some observations to discover 'facts' of evolution science.
I had one of the same concerns when I watched this movie. Even if Evolution was true, we would not expect to see one kind turn into a different kind within our lifetime. Therefore, the fact that we don't see this does not disprove Evolution. The only thing it "proves" is that Macro Evolution is not observable, which I think anyone would accept.
However, perhaps you should have mentioned the PDF workbook companion in your review? It does clarify why the types of changes we see can't be extrapolated as evidence for evolution (because they are a sorting or loss of information). But either way, It's a shame that that didn't make it into the video, because to me (and as you pointed out), that is really the crux of the issue.
Good review! Good movie! I'm glad you did an honest review and didn't just flat out endorse everything 100%. Perhaps CMI should make a movie like this one day? Pleeeease?
Regarding the lack of "meat" in the video, that is precisely the point. When the focus is on real scientific evidence for evolutionary change from one kind to another, there simply is no "meat." Rather one needs to have sufficient "imagination" as stated by one of the professors.
Good, honest review Lita. Did Living Waters consult with CMI in preparing this documentary?
No, CMI didn't play a role in consulting with this documentary.
I do not like this video so much. Eleven minutes into the video I found myself still wondering when the intro would end and the meat would begin. But there is no meat. The video is all that back-and-forth sizzle that works for a few seconds at the beginning to capture one's attention, but that sizzle needs to then be followed by some sort of thoughtful line of reasoning, and it's not. I'm struggling to see how I would use this video as an outreach device, and probably I won't.
I herd about Ray.He actually had discussions with some famous youtube atheists.I think his book [You can lead an atheist to evidence for God but cannot get him to think]beat one of Dawkin's books on Amazon.
Good review. It brings in the idea that there is no single resource that tackles all people's needs, for evangelism. We need rather to engage each person in a caring and attentive manner, taking their questions and viewpoints on board as if we had never heard them before: in this manner people often will share their actual views, as opposed to parroting things that experts have said.
It's amazing what we can learn from others if we develop an unprejudiced listening ability, and that learning enables us to communicate the good news so much more effectively.