Ray Comfort & His Horrible "Scientific Proof" of a Creator
Ray Comfort was one of the reasons that originally inspired me to start this blog. A guy at a flea market gave my wife and I a Comfort CD, and when we listened to it, the arguments in it were so horrible, I just had to vent somewhere. So, I wrote one of my first blog entries. Well, over the past couple weeks, Comfort's been making waves in the blogosphere, so I thought I'd add my two cents.
To give a quick background - Ray Comfort and his (hmm, sidekick is too demeaning, but I don't think he's an equal partner, so maybe...) protege, Kirk Cameron, of Living Waters Ministries (and also The Way of the Master website), challenged the originators of the Blasphemy Challenge, the Rational Response Squad, to a debate, wherein, according to the Christian News Wire, Comfort and Cameron "offered to prove God's existence, absolutely, scientifically, without mentioning the Bible or faith." I was hoping it was going to be better than the argumentum ad bananum, but unfortunately, it wasn't (in either the humurous sense or the actually making a good argument sense).
The televised, edited version of the debate should air tonight on ABC's Nightline, but there's already a clip on YouTube. Admittedly, the clip was put together by people sympathetic to the Rational Response Squad, and not Comfort and Cameron, but after listening to Comfort on that CD I mentioned above, I doubt he had any better arguments than what that video shows. Anyway, the televised version will be aired tonight, so if Comfort & Cameron did put forth any better arguments, they'll be made public soon.
Basically, the "scientific" argument Comfort put forth in the debate boils down to this - paintings must have painters, buildings must have builders, etc, etc; therefore creation must have a creator, i.e. God. That's just a horrible analogy. For one thing, all he's doing is listing things with known intelligent agents directly responsible for them, then listing those intelligent agents, and then somehow makes the jump that the universe must therefore have been created by an intelligent agent. The problem is, not everything we see was directly created by an intelligent agent. Many things, even ordered structures such as snowflakes and other crystals, or structures that appear intentional, such as the Old Man of the Mountain, are certainly the direct result of natural, unintelligent processes. So from that aspect of it - no, not everything must have an intelligent creator.
Another problem with Comfort's analogy, is that even though the same word, "create," can be used for all the things he's describing, it really is describing a different concept in the human vs. divine cases. All the human examples he gave were the result of physical entities merely rearranging materials that they already have to work with from their environment, while the divine creation of the universe was a supernatural agent creating all matter out of nothing. It's a big jump to go from the first to the second, since they aren't really the same thing.
Thirdly, even if Comfort's analogy could somehow be taken as proof of a god, it does nothing to prove the existence of the God of the Bible - it could just as easily be applied to Zeus. And finally, by Comfort's reasoning of everything requiring a creator, you're left with the question of where God came from in the first place. (I know, I know - it's not turtles all the way down; God is infinite, and doesn't need a creator; or else, He created time, so it's meaningless to ask what came before Him.)
Anyway, whether you believe in God or not, Comfort & Cameron's argument was far from a proof, and certainly not a scientific proof, for any god, let alone a proof for the Christian God. Don't use their silly, simplistic arguments to try to convince anybody of anything.