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.