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Creationist Rejoice: The Peanut Butter and Banana Men

May 20, 2010

Chris has been leaving a couple of pretty bad/so-bad-they’re-good links in the comments. Yesterday he gave us the Peanut Butter Man:

What goes perfect with Peanut Butter? Yes, of course, bananas; so I thought we simply must have some bananas with our peanut butter:

Ray Comfort’s shenanigans have been thoroughly criticized and debunked by many people:

I meant to write something on this a few months back, but I was moving and busy with work. Anyways, for the 200 year anniversary of Darwin’s Origin of Species, Comfort released a Special Edition in which he wrote a ‘special’ introduction:

Eugenie Scott harshly critiqued Comfort’s work. Check out Comfort’s opening post explaining his book here, and Scott’s critique here. A follow-up post from Comfort; and Scott’s final rebuttal.

As usual, Comfort has to back-track and apologize for his special pleading and misrepresentation of the facts.

Unfortunately, it will be hard to thoroughly read the version that Comfort will be distributing on college campuses in November. The copy his publisher sent me is missing no fewer than four crucial chapters, as well as Darwin’s introduction. Two of the omitted chapters, Chapters 11 and 12, showcase biogeography, some of Darwin’s strongest evidence for evolution… Likewise missing from Comfort’s bowdlerized version of the Origin is Chapter 13, where Darwin explained how evolution makes sense of classification, morphology, and embryology… But there’s no reason for students to refuse Comfort’s free—albeit suspiciously abridged—copy of the Origin. Read the first eight pages of the introduction, which is a reasonably accurate, if derivative, sketch of Darwin’s life. The last 10 pages or so are devoted to some rather heavy-handed evangelism, which doesn’t really have anything to do with the history or content of the evolutionary sciences; read it or not as you please.

But don’t waste your time with the middle section of the introduction, a hopeless mess of long-ago-refuted creationist arguments, teeming with misinformation about the science of evolution, populated by legions of strawmen, and exhibiting what can be charitably described as muddled thinking.

For example, Comfort’s treatment of the human fossil record is painfully superficial, out of date, and erroneous. Piltdown Man and Nebraska Man—one a forgery, the other a misidentification, both rejected by science more than 50 years ago—are trotted out for scorn, as if they somehow negate the remaining huge volume of human fossils. There are more specimens of “Ardi” (the newly described Ardipithecus ramidus) than there are of Tyrannosaurus and any 8-year-old aspiring paleontologist will be delighted to tell you how much we know about the T. rex!…

It’s not just human evolution that Comfort misrepresents. His main gripe is the old creationist standby, the supposed lack of transitional forms in the fossil record. (Darwin addressed the objection in Chapter 9 of the Origin, interestingly not included in Comfort’s version.) Comfort sneers at the fossil evidence for the terrestrial ancestry of whales and the dinosaurian ancestry of birds. Too bad for him that he has a knack for picking bad examples: There are splendid fossils of dinosaurs that have feathers and of whales that have legs—and even feet. Faced with ignorance like this, I’m reminded of a jeremiad: “Oh foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not.”…

Apologetics… *sigh*

4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 20, 2010 10:08 am

    “Apologetics… *sigh*”

    I have been feeling the same way about apologetics lately, but then I think there are plenty of people defending principles and theories using facts that are as accurate as possible. So they are still apologists, right? Is Eugenie Scott still an apologist in her critique of Comfort’s work, or in her defense of evolution?

    I guess what I am asking is, can I dismiss apologetics in general, or are there just good apologetics and bad apologetics? Or is that “science” then instead of “apologetics?”

    Stinkin’ banana and peanut butter men…

  2. Headless Unicorn Guy permalink
    May 20, 2010 10:27 am

    The peanut butter one’s a new one on me, but…
    Ahhhh, the infamous “Bananas Prove Young Earth Creationism” video.

    AKA “Unintentional Slashfic Setup”, just like you find over and over in Left Behind. (Including the koinkydink of the two Author Self-Insert character names, Rayford & Cameron.) If anyone’s interested in a YouTube mash-up, there can be only one soundtrack…

  3. Reader permalink
    May 20, 2010 12:00 pm

    Re: the Atheist’s Nightmare

    Except for the “tab” and peel-down “wrapper” parts, Ray could say the same thing about the penis (except for the “contents don’t squirt in your face” part, of course).

    And as for how to peel and eat a banana, monkeys are smarter than Ray Comfort:

    http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Eat-a-Banana-Like-a-Monkey/

    Which I guess is proof that Ray Comfort didn’t evolve from monkeys. More likely he devolved from monkeys, losing the knowledge of how to peel a banana in the process.

    Ray Comfort: Stupidity defined.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy permalink
      May 21, 2010 9:04 am

      Like I said, Uninitentional Slashfic Setup.

      (Or, as we’d say in grade school during the Sixties, “Won’t that look FAGGY?”)

      “Rayford Are You Queer, Boy?
      Rayford Are You Queer?…”

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