How to Know God Exists (book)
How to Know God Exists: Scientific Proof of God is a book authored by Ray Comfort.
Ray Comfort hopes to provide a case that the existence of God can be proven, scientifically he says. Throughout the book, he provides many of his old arguments that are known to be flawed. He further displays a great lack of understanding of science. He bashes and targets atheism and evolution, as if disproving one position makes his win by default. Evolution does not disprove God, many Christians accept evolution and believe in God. Evolution, however, does contradict a literal interpretation of the book of Genesis, and this is precisely why Ray Comfort is defending; creationism. Creationism is the position everything was created by God out of thin air from nothing. The book of Genesis has God saying "Let there be..." and there was and it was good. This is a form of an incantation (i.e. MAGIC), and thus Ray is arguing for a supernatural position with science, but it is clear science cannot prove the supernatural.
Chapter 1: Are Atheists Smarter than Most?
Ray starts off by telling a story of his wife and a series of events in his life. One of these includes accidentally walking into a room with a couple in their underwear. Based on this, Ray calls himself a klutz, but could a klutz make an case against evolution? Actually, Ray, the correct question would be can a scientific-illiterate make any case against the strongest scientific theory that is a proven fact.
Ray outlines that if there is no God, then the only purpose in life is pleasure. However, if there is a God, then we are morally obliged to him. This is incorrect.
Mr. Joe Average
Ray creates a character Joe Average, a typical atheist or agnostic. With this, Ray creates a character whose intellect and knowledge is limited and restricted by Ray, and will likely give the type of responses that Ray will easily break down.
Joe does not think about creation (perhaps, Ray, is because he knows there is no creation), but Comfort says Joe's body is a miracle machine. Ray compares it to a robot built in Japan. The differences between the two is that Joe has certain senses and can walk upright without someone holding it up. Ray goes into detail of the human anatomy and concludes this could only be the work of a designer. mankind has given robots certain senses, such as light-sensitivity, movement sensors, and such. Recent robots have been manufactured to walk, dance, and perform tricks without a human holding it.
Ray goes on to look closely at Joe's life at breakfast, and how everything he eats came from a living creature. Joe then examines his environment with his senses, which Ray always calls "God-given." When asked to provide proof that God created the cow that produced the butter for Joe's toast, Ray challenges anyone to create a cow from nothing. Comfort knows what he is demanding is completely wrong. Comfort is the one who is defending magical creation, thus he has to provide empirical proof of creation and present that some material can be created from nothing.
Ray provides a poll from 2007 that 91 percent of the American population believes in God. However, the recent poll shows it is close to 80. Ray questions if this minority is smarter than the majority. Ray defines an atheist as "someone who believes there is no God." This is also incorrect, and atheist is someone who lacks a belief in God. Just as a person lacks a belief in the Flying Spaghetti Monster, no one would argue they believe he does not exist, they are just unconvinced that he does exist. Ray argument in that atheists are a minority is fallacious. In much of the world, even people who accept evolution and a natural origin for stars and worlds are a minority. How likely is it that non-creationists are right when so much of the world is wrong? Of course, this argument has its problems: four hundred years ago, heliocentrists were a minority. Evidence, not mere numbers giving uninformed assent, is relevant here. Ray varies the appeal to the wisdom of the masses with an appeal to the wisdom of geniuses: Einstein, he assures us, believed in God. Not necessarily a personal God, not a God Who inspired an inerrant Holy Bible, and especially not a God Who judged and forgave us, but Something that Einstein thought was not quite the same as the universe itself (Einstein did not want to call himself a pantheist). Oddly, Ray doesn't present us with Einstein's arguments for God (or perhaps this is not so odd, as Einstein didn't actually present such arguments), but appeals to the authority of cosmologists as he appeals to the authority of popular opinion.
Ray ends this section that there is proof of God and his existence God can be proven. We have heard that one before Ray, even many times from you. Ray Comfort proposed that he could prove the existence of God on Nightline with a debate with the Rational Response Squad without invoking faith or the Bible (spoiler: that did not happen and Ray failed to prove God).
Ray first notes that the reader should keep an open mind throughout the book. This is coming from a guy who refuses to even consider the actual evidence science presents. Ray says that no theory claims to have absolute truth, which is actually correct. However, this honesty is short-lived. Ray says science is constantly refining what a theory is. The more appropriate word is update when new data is collected, but if a model no longer provides a provable explanation for things, a new model replaces it. This has not happened in the past 150 years in regards to evolution, we continue to find evidence that support evolution and we observe speciation today.
Ray says God's existence can be proven in the following fields of science,
- Physical sciences (physics)
- Earth sciences (the structure and compositions of earth)
- Life sciences (biology)
Ray says the origin of the word "science" comes from the Latin word scientificus which means "producing knowledge." This is incorrect. Science actually comes from the Latin word scientia, meaning "knowledge." What he does not understand is that science makes no comment on the supernatural, and thus all of Comforts "sciences" above will be futile in proving the existence of God.
Ray's first proposed evidence for the existence of God is the Anthropic principle. This principle is defeated simply because it is a tautology, weakened by the fact of quantum mechanics and the multiverse. The Copernican Principle is more accurate. The Copernican Principle is the opposite of the Anthropic Principle and states that humans do not occupy a privileged place in the universe. Successive astronomical discoveries seem to support this principle. The Anthropic Principle emphasizes the rarity of life and consciousness while the Copernican Principle forces us to realize it was not all done just so we could exist.
According to Comfort, there are three types of knowledge that each can prove the existence of God,
- Intellectual knowledge
- Subconscious knowledge
- Experiential knowledge
The first evidence for God Ray will examine is "creation."
Millions of Years
Ray begins this section with his Coca-cola can analogy, which is a straw-man of the Big Bang Theory. Ray's analogy is not even a hypothesis. This is how it goes: there was nothing, which exploded and produced everything. Over billions of years, a big rock forms. On top of this rock forms a muddy puddle, from which metal arises. Then red and white paints fall from the sky and land on the metal, so accurately it forms words and pattens. And thus, the modern Coke can is formed. The response Ray provides is that his analogy is ridiculous. Ray tries to turns the table by saying: we know the coke can had a maker, to believe it formed on its own by random chance is too move into an intellectual-free zone. By this logic, does lightning have a lightning maker? What about the patterns we see in snowflakes and crystals, and yet we know for a fact they form from natural forces. If we accept the idea that everything must have a creator, Ray fails to provide any proof that the creator is his narrow concept of God, or if it is even his God or multiple Gods, or even aliens, gnomes, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Ray calls this analogy a "parody of evolution." However, this is not a parody, it is a straw man, and it is not even about evolution. As explained to Ray many times, evolution is not connected to Cosmology or Abiogenesis. The Big Bang does not say everything came from nothing, creationism does.
Ray uses his old arguments that a building had a builder and a painting had a painter, similarly creation proves there is a creator. Ray says you do not need faith to believe in a creator, you just need eyes that can see and a brain that works. As already pointed out to him, by the Rational Response Squad and many others, we can prove that a building had a builder. We can contact the engineer, cities parking structure, the electrician, and others. We can do the same with a painting, we can contact the canvas maker, the paint maker, the artist, etc. however, we cannot contact God to take us to his "creation factory."
Chapter 2: Absurd in the Highest Degree
This chapter mainly addresses intelligent design and the human eye. Ray has used this argument many times, and it is still unconvincing as ever. He goes into detail about how marvelous the eye is, how fast blinking is, the light sensitive cells, sight, etc. What he does not include is that there are flaws in the human eye, such as a blind spot, or that images are sent to our brains backwards and upside down.
Ray includes several quote mines,, most notable is the one from Charles Darwin.
To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree.
The quote is taken out of context and is a common piece of creationist dishonest propaganda. The paragraph continues,
Yet reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a perfect and complex eye to one very imperfect and simple, each grade being useful to its possessor, can be shown to exist; if further, the eye does vary ever so slightly, and the variations be inherited, which is certainly the case; and if any variation or modification in the organ be ever useful to an animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, can hardly be considered real. How a nerve comes to be sensitive to light, hardly concerns us more than how life itself first originated; but I may remark that several facts make me suspect that any sensitive nerve may be rendered sensitive to light, and likewise to those coarser vibrations of the air which produce sound.
Darwin continues with three more pages describing a sequence of plausible intermediate stages between eyelessness and human eyes, giving examples from existing organisms to show that the intermediates are viable. Scientists have shown that these stages did indeed happen through natural selection.
Besides the eye, Ray focuses special attention on the ear and the nose. Both bear vestiges of an evolutionary history, supported by the fossil record.
Ray ends the chapter by arguing that we don't need faith to know that God exists, because the Bible declares that God's existence is obvious from evidence.
Chapter 3: Is evolution Scientific?
The first line of this chapter says "The foundation of atheism is the theory of evolution." Ray is wrong, and he knows it. Atheism does not require acceptance of evolution, or vice-versa. Many Christians accept evolution, and some atheists do not. Evolution does not refute God.
This chapter focuses on whether evolution is not only a fact, but also scientific. Ray includes a quote that explains evolution is a historical science and we search for fossils to fit the theory. It also states evolution cannot be directly tested. Ray argues that none of were there at the beginning, but if we want to prove evolution is true with historical evidence, we should find evidence for the following:
- How the universe began
- How life began
- How we have such diversity of life
All of these, according to Ray, should have evidence of random causes and natural explanations.
It has been pointed out to Ray that evolution does not comment or even try to prove the origin of the universe or life. This is an old creationist straw man of what evolution actually explains. Evolution is not random as Comfort constantly tries to label it. Evolution can be and has been tested countless times. Also, the "were you there?" argument fails, because we have visual images of then (fossils) and evolution continues to this day (speciation). However, we were not there to witness creation or the birth of Jesus.
Origin of the Universe
Ray argues that people do not accept God because they cannot comprehend an eternal being, but they will accept what scientists tell them that the universe is eternal. Ray says if you accept an eternal universe, it is "logically" possible to accept an eternal being like God. What Ray is careful not to include is Occam's Razor that refutes the concept of an eternal being who created the universe. This has been pointed out to him during a debate with the Rational Response Squad, which left him and Kirk Cameron speechless with no counter argument. Also, just merely conceiving an eternal thing does not mean all eternal concepts exist in reality.
Ray goes on to explain scientists have proven the universe had a beginning. Ray brings up the question "Who created God?" but dances around it and does not answer it. Next he addresses the Big Bang Theory, which Ray claims it says everything came from nothing. This dead horse is taking a hefty beating. The Big Bang does not say the universe came from nothing; creationism does. The Big Bang does not prove the universe had a beginning, just the start of time in this universe, but the theory does not hold that everything had a beginning.
Chapter 4: The Origin of Species
Comfort brings up several exposed frauds that supposedly proved evolution. One hoax cannot indicate the inferiority of conventional archeology, because creationists have several of their own, including the Inca Stones, Paluxy footprints, the Calaveras skull, Moab and Malachite Man, and others. More telling is how people deal with these hoaxes. When something is exposed, it stopped being used as evidence. The creationist hoaxes, however, can still be found cited as if they were real.
Ray brings up Archaeorapture. Comfort provides a quote from Storrs L. Olson (Curator of Birds at the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian Museum),
National Geographic has reached an all-time low for engaging in sensationalistic, unsubstantiated, tabloid journalism.... The idea of feathered dinosaurs ... is now fast becoming one of the grander scientific hoaxes of our age.
It's rather mind-boggling that people can still deny in their minds the existence of feathered dinosaurs. You can walk into any one of many Natural History museums all over the world and see one for yourself! Ray Comfort claimed to have visited a museum in Paris, but saw no such creatures, meaning he choose not to see or did see but either did not know what he was looking at or decided not to tell his readers. Comfort also mistakes disagreement in science for a crisis. Disagreement is what makes science interesting. Science is progressive.
Ray moves on to address whale evolution. Thee first fossil he mentions is Pakicetus, and argues that all the evidence drawn from this a single skull and tells the reader that not a single bone in its body has ever been found. Later discoveries showed Pakicetus looked nothing like the original sketched by paleontologists. This however, does nothing to counter the fact that Pakicetus still fits the link between land mammals and whales. Pakicetus rear limbs resemble flippers, but still walked upright.  Examining its skull alone tells us much about it. The shape of its skull was definitely cetacean, and its teeth were between the ancestral and modern states. ray does not include any of the following links between land mammals and whales: Ambulocetus natans, Indocetus ramani, Dorudon, Basilosaurus, etc.
Comfort argues that same features proves same creator. However, Ray provides zero proof of this, nor does he even attempt to show that this creator is his particular god. Natural selection is a form of creator and builds up on pre-existing traits, so it is not surprising that later evolved animals will share similar features.
Next, he brings up Piltdown Man.
Comfort even says the horse evolution is entirely fictional. He uses a quote from Boyce Rensberger addressing the fossil record and horses,
The popularly-told example of horse evolution, suggesting a gradual sequence of changes from four-toed fox-sized creatures living nearly 50 million years ago to today’s much larger one-toed horse, has long been known to be wrong. Instead of gradual change, fossils of each intermediate species appear fully distinct, persist unchanged, and then become extinct. Transitional forms are unknown.
This is completely incorrect.
Near the end, Ray returns to his apologetic preaching tactics and playing with peoples fears instead of relying on actual empirical proof (so much for being scientific Ray). He uses his tactic Are you a good person? and using the Ten Commandments. After questioning, based on God's standards if you will be guilty or not, Ray brings up recent polls that a majority of Americans think Hell is real. However, reality is not altered by popular vote. There still remains not a shred of proof of such a place like hell.
Ray says Hell is a rightful place for people like Hitler. Comfort warns us that God also judges our thought life (greed, selflessness, pride, lust, hatred, etc.) Ray asks if the reader is concerned about their fate and are probably trying to figure out which religion to choose. Ray says he will explain why you should pick Christianity in the next chapter. The problem with this line of thinking, Ray first sets up a scenario that traps everyone that makes nobody innocent, and providse a method of salvation that only his narrow version of God can help. Basically, he is just providing the readers with snake oil.
Chapter 5: Mutant Turtles
This chapter is mostly about mutants with very little to do with turtles. The only time Comfort mentions turtles is to question where are the transitional fossils for turtles. He claims there are none, but this is not true. There is Odontochelys semistestacea, a toothed (unlike toothless modern turtles) proto-turtle with a plastron (belly armor) but no shell on its back (to be sure, it is possible that this represents the secondary loss of an already-evolved upper shell), but transitional fossils leading up to true turtles are still rare. This does not, of course, make those australopiths and early hominines, whales with hind legs and small heads, feathered theropods, genetics, ERVs, etc. go away. Remember, gaps are expected to be in the fossil record, but already the fossil record is very rich and transitional fossils are still being uncovered by the bush full.
Ray also briefly discusses vestigial organs, dismissing them as evidence for evolution on the grounds that they represent a loss rather than a gain of information, and because it can never be demonstrated conclusively that a vestige has no function. However, "Vestigial" does not mean an organ is useless. A vestige is a "trace or visible sign left by something lost or vanished."
Most of the chapter is about why mutations do not enable one "kind" to evolve into another. Ray spends a surprising number of lines and quote-mines to argue that mutations are random (this is in connection with a misunderstanding of punctuated equilibria, which Ray apparently thinks means that environmental pressures can cause a lizard to lay an egg that hatches out into a robin). That's not how he puts it; he argues that mutations exist before the environmental conditions that select for or against them, and do not arise in response to need, but then, that's more or less what "random mutations" means. He offers no dissent from the view that mutations occur, that they occur frequently, and that a few of them are beneficial, and that different mutations are beneficial in different environments. So we may take Ray as conceding that mutations occur and can be, on rare occasions, beneficial.
Ray argues that mutations do not "add information." For the sake of argument, he says even if they do, this added information cannot accumulate to produce novel organs, structures, and abilities. Ray is not nearly so clear on what "added information" actually would be, or how one would determine or compare the information content of a gene as he is that whatever information is, mutations cannot create it. We have seen mutations give rise to new abilities. For example we’ve identified an emerging population of tetrachromatic women who can see a bit of the normally invisible ultraviolet spectrum. Another example is the CCR5-delta 32 mutation. About 10% of whites of European origin now carry it. But the incidence is only 2% in central Asia, and is completely absent among East Asians, Africans, and tribal Americans. It appears to have suddenly become relatively common among white Europeans about 700 years ago, evidently as a result of the Black Plague, indicating another example of natural selection allowing one gene dominance in a changing environment. It is harmless or neutral in every respect other than its one clearly beneficial feature. According to Science-Frontiers.com, if one inherits this gene from both parents, they will be especially resistant, if not immune to AIDS.
Mutations are degrees of variation which are usually quite subtle but cumulative, normally harmless, and occasionally advantageous. Any change in information is different information, not already present, and therefore can only be considered “new”. But of the many types of mutations known to occur, there are additions and duplications as well as deletions and the rest. So yes, genetic material can be added or taken away. But as to whether “information” has been added as opposed to lost, we can’t really tell because creationists won’t tell us what they think “information” is or how to measure it. They’ll readily state (as if it had somehow been confirmed) that it takes more "information" to make a bird than it does a dinosaur, but if you ask 'em how much more, they’ll shut right up.
Ray goes on but provides several quote mines, including one from Francisco Ayala (a strong a critic of creationism and the intelligent design movement) to make the appearance Ayala think that mutations cannot accumulate into new structures. Ray concludes that even if mutations add information, this added information can't keep accumulating into a new structure. What use, Comfort asks (quoting Stephen Gould) would two percent of a wing be? Scientific-illiterate Ray describes a 2% wing as a tiny, useless stub sticking out of the side of a bird that provides zero help for flight.
What is 2% of a wing? One might be inclined to start with coelurosaurs, and see that 2% wing in the arm of something like the down-covered forelimb of Sinosauropteryx: in this case, that two percent would be an insulated, grasping or climbing arm. It would not work as a wing, but it would work as a forelimb suitable for a warm-blooded predator. A 20% arm would be something with more complete feathers, used for display, to look larger and more threatening or to impress potential mates, and a 50% wing (say, something like the fore- and hind limbs of Microraptor) would be useful for gliding (analogous to the "half-formed wings" of flying squirrels).
Chapter 6: Science and Atheism
Comfort repeats the fallacious fine-tuning argument, abiogenesis and evolution is impossible.
Ray asserts that there is no evidence to support evolution. He may be right, if the following did not exist: transitional fossils, comparative anatomy, comparative genomics, ERVs, pseudogenes, biogeography, ontology, phylogeny, and so on and so on. Ray goes on to use the Law of Biogenesis to counter evolution, which permits Brussels sprouts and cauliflower to be bred from the same species, somehow prevents changes from accumulating enough to transgress the nebulous boundaries around "created kinds."
Comfort quote mines Stephen J. Gould that Homo sapiens is a "glorious accident."
Ray goes on to question the chances of evolution, that is that everything had to have happened at the right times.
The rest of the chapter consists of bringing up smart people who believed in God.
Ray asserts that science cannot contradict Christianity, since science arose in a Christian culture, and that faith itself cannot be a problem, since since we all have faith in something, whether God or human reason. Lets address both parts, 1) As many scholars and historians would point out, Christianity was not responsible for the blossom of science. Science predates Christianity, back to the ancient Greeks (who were pagans). 2) Faith" in the working of your computer or your car or your logic is not the same thing as "faith" that some collection of ancient writings simply must be self-consistent and inerrant, and that any evidence to the contrary must be fake or misunderstood. Ray tries to ask us to give up faith in mere humans for faith in humans' infallible Creator, but he must end up asking us to keep that faith in mere humans, and add to it faith in a set of ideas compiled and interpreted by more mere humans.
Chapter 7: Evolution's Strange Dilemma
Ray begins by pointing out that humans are widely religious; the overwhelming majority of humans today and historically accept not only that they were designed but that the Designer has (or designers have) a personal interest in them. If, Ray asks, evolution is supposed to have shaped our minds to grasp and deal with reality, why is there such widespread acceptance of Something that atheists insist is not real and has no real evidence? If evolution has shaped our faculties for purposes -- if we hunger because we need food, and food exists, and we feel thirsty because we need water and water exists, and we feel sexual desire because we need sex to reproduce (and it exists), then ought we not consider, indeed embrace, the idea that we (many of us, anyway) feel a need for God because God exists and we really need Him?
This is not much a dilemma at all, since evolutionists have proposed various explanations for religion. Religions themselves evolve.
Ray notes that even surviving stone-age tribes accept that murder and theft and adultery are bad. Why, he asks, are humans uniquely and (almost) universally moral animals? He argues that without a Creator, we have no basis for absolute morals, so a moral nature is further evidence for a Creator. However, morality comes from within humanity through evolution. A moral sense is something shaped by natural selection to enable us to live in groups and cooperate for mutual benefit. How does a Creator provide a basis for absolute morality? Here is a real dilemma Ray: Euthyphro dilemma. Does God say something is evil because he says so, or does he say it is evil simply because it is evil? Plus, if the Bible does provide an absolute objective moral system, where is it? Why cant genuine Christians agree on certain issues or agree what God thinks and what he wants?
Ray ends the chapter with his classic "Are you a good person?"
Chapter 8: The Four Gifts
Ray begins this chapter presuming the reader believes in God and know that they will be judged. Ray then uses his parachute analogy, that is that if you were in a plane that was going down and people offered you a variety of gifts, you would reject them. However, when someone offers you a parachute, you take it and put your trust in it to save your life. He compares this parachute with faith in Jesus Christ. This however, is an flawed argument known as Pascal's Wager. Ray Comfort says his parachute (provided by his invisible friend) is safe and harmless, but suddenly another passenger tells you "Don't use his parachute, it has holes in it. Use mine provided by my invisible friend." Then a third passenger announces “My invisible friend slashed all the parachutes on board. He takes care of his chosen people, and as none of you were born into the correct lineage, it’s too bad for you.” Some people refuse parachutes and urge others to do the same, because it would interfere with the master plan of the father of their invisible friend (these are the same people who refuse medical care in favor of prayer and faith healing). The drama goes on with the rest of the passengers, until you demand to actually see proof of a doomed plane and which parachute does work. Some say you must not demand for evidence and just have faith. Regardless, you inspect the plane and the parachutes. The plane is operating just fine in every way and each parachute has holes in them big enough you can fit your head through them. Some of the parachutes terribly constrict people, harming them. The plane reaches its destination safely, but the drama continues through the terminal, security, all the way out beyond the airport. You learn from airports around the world that many people have harmed many others and themselves due to their faith in their parachute provided by their particular invisible friend.
Chapter 9: Three Wise Fools
If you were expecting this chapter to include names of humans greatest thinkers, too bad. Instead, Ray creates three skeptics just like Ray created Mr. Joe Average in the first chapter.
These three skeptics are on their way to see a test of electricity. These skeptics do not "believe" in electric power because they cannot observe it. Even when they see a switched turned and a light bulb turned on, they still do not accept it because they find some apparent errors in a biographical sketch of Thomas Edison provided by the power company, and because electricity has been used to kill animals and people. They will not make the simple test to see if electricity is real.
What Ray is doing here is saying that skeptics will not "test" Christianity by actually believing and repenting. How does he know many skeptics have already done that? It seems the only way to impress Ray Comfort is that we have to "know" God. How do we know what we experience is not just a product of our minds. Michael Harner, and anthropologist who lived among the Jivaro Indians of the Ecuadoran Amazon, described his experience with ayahuasca as follows:
“For several hours after drinking the brew, I found myself although awake, in a world literally beyond my wildest dreams. I met bird-like people, as well as a dragon-like creature who explained they were the true Gods of this world. I enlisted the services of other spirit helpers in attempting to fly through the far reaches of the Galaxy.”
There a literally hundreds or thousands of these reported events that certain drugs, seizures, stimulations, rituals, etc. all can produce feelings and connections with higher powers.
Also, about the electric company, there's the fact that the power company makes no claims that using electricity will make you a kinder, gentler person, or that "true electricity" can never be used for bad ends, or even that its brochures are completely inerrant. If electricity can be used to murder and to execute murderers, that has no bearing whatsoever on the reality of electricity or the truth of the power company's claims. But if Christianity does not change believers' lives -- or if it does, but there are so few true believers that they get lost in the masses of false converts -- that has rather more bearing on the claims Christianity makes for itself.
Ray ends this chapter with a repeat of Pascal's Wager, reminding us that 10 out of 10 people die and we should embrace our fear of death and accept Christ. Ray still hasn't demonstrated that his parachutes work and rival electric company's don't, or that the Bible's threats of Hell are more credible than the Koran's.
Chapter 10: This Day Was Different
In this chapter, Ray tries to argue that the Bible is clearly of supernatural origin, and hence further proof of God, and that the Bible is not actually necessary in order to know God and be saved.
Ray offers two main lines of evidence for the supernatural inspiration of the scriptural text, knowledge of creation (nature) and knowledge of the future (prophecies).
Ray insists, in the section of this chapter, that "the scriptures tell us that the Earth is round ... not flat or square," but it obviously didn't tell Josephus, or the author of Enoch, or Lactantius Firmianus, or Theophilus of Antioch, that the Earth was a sphere. Ray says science of the day taught the earth was flat, but this is demonstrably false. Ancient Greeks calculated that the earth was spherical, such as Pythagoras in the fifth century BCE. He figured out that the Earth is a sphere without divine inspiration and with no technology not available centuries earlier; even if the Bible did clearly state that the Earth was a sphere, it would not be knowledge that proved supernatural inspiration.
Ray also interprets Hebrews 11:3 as referring to atoms. While this would not, in itself, be astonishing (the pagan philosopher Democritus had proposed atomism four centuries earlier, and it was part of the Epicurean philosophy that is mentioned in the Bible), Ray's interpretation would imply that Christians knew by faith what Epicureans believed by human reason or speculation, which seems an odd interpretation, especially in light of the Church's long suspicion of atomism.
In conclusion, Ray Argues that we all have seen the evidence of Gods existence through creation, conscience, and conversion. Ray notes the Bible is not the whole source of conversion, since the early Christians did not have a complete form of the New Testament.
Chapter 11: Alleged Mistakes in the Bible
In this chapter, Ray tries to explain away the seeming contradictions in the Bible and counter claims by non-beleivers why the Bible should not be trusted. He says that God put is these contradictions to "snare" non-believers. As we will see, Ray desperately pulled this feeble excuse out of the air.
Ray says that all Christians believe Scripture is God inspired, citing 2 Timothy 3:16. What Ray does not share with the reader is that 2 Timothy, along with many other NT books, is considered by a vast majority of critical scholars to be pseudepigraphical, that is it was not written by Paul but by a forger. That is right, forgers have made it into the word of God.
Comfort explains the creation of Adam, consisting of three parts: the boy, soul, and spirit. Ray claims atheists have a soul, but no spirit and thus cannot understand God. He compares them to fish in the ocean who do not know they are surrounded by water. Ray ignores the vast amount of study that shows the evolution of the conscious. Ray says our soul is the part of our bodies that produces emotions, will, and conscience. Actually, our emotions are produced in the limbic system of our brains, not a trace of a supernatural immaterial being required for it to function.
Ray says that Adam died spiritually when he sinned and God removed his Spirit from Adam. And thus, all of Adam's descendants would be spiritually dead, because according to Ray, everything produces after its own "kind" - but he never explains what kind means.
Deuteronomy 25:11, 12. Ray cites this as proof brought forth by atheists to show the Bible cannot be trusted. It tells of a woman defending her husband, and if she should touch the attackers genitals then her hand must be cut off. Ray says this type of incident has not been found anywhere is Scripture. It may not have happened in Scripture but actually happened in real life, otherwise there would be no point of including this rule if it did not happen. Ray says that the Bible does not literally men cut off your arm. Mark 5:30 says the same, but Ray says it is not to be taken literally. The early christian fathers would disagree. Some actually cut off their hand and demanded their subjects to do the same.
Next, Ray includes the story of Lot handing his own daughters to a crowd so they can rape them. Ray says the Scriptures are instructions, so he says do not offer your daughters up to a crowd. Ray avoided the issue at hand, the fact Lot did offer his daughters, and if the Scripture is a set of instructions, then indeed the Bible promotes giving away your daughters.
Finally, Ray points out atheists objections to the food laws in Leviticus. Ray says the purpose of this was to separate the Israelites apart from their neighbors to keep the Israelites "pure." He provides no reference of the practices and beliefs of the pagans.
Ray admits things may seem contradictory, when taken out of context. These verses are not taken out of context, they are there for all to read. Ray settles that if such a confusion is found, he must decide to doubt or trust in God. Of course, he chooses trust, or have blind faith in a book of contradictions.
A Nearsighted View
Comfort compares atheists to a nearsighted person looking at the Mona Lisa, that they cannot see the beauty and meaning of the whole picture. Here, he provides 12 examples of biblical contradictions presented by atheists to distrust the Bible. Only 12? Of course, Ray is cherry-picking the simplest contradictions. People have written novels of confirmed contradictions and discrepancies in the Bible (like The Bible Against Itself by Randel McCraw Helms)
2) Proverbs 3:13;4:7-10;19:8 and 1 Corinthians 1:19-21. Ray says Proverbs speak of wisdom coming from God, whereas Corinthians compares wisdom from God and wisdom from the "foolish world."
3) Numbers 15:24-28 and Hebrews 10:11. Ray says that the sacrifices in Numbers cannot provide perfect atonement, whereas Hebrews tells of the sacrifice of Jesus makes believers perfect in the eyes of God.
4) Exodus 20:8-11;31:15-17;35:1-3 and Romans 14:5; Colossians 2:14-16
5) Matthew 5:43,44;22:39 and Matthew 10:5
8) Deuteronomy 23:1 and Matthew 19:12
11) Psalm 30:5; Jeremiah 3:12; Micah 7:18 and Jeremiah 17:4; Matthew 25:46
12) Psalm 78:69; Ecclesiastics 1:4;3:14 and Psalm 102:25; Matthew 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33; Hebrews 1:10,11; 2 Peter 3:10. What Ray does not share is that 2 Peter is unanimously considered to be pseudonymous (that is, written by a forger).
Chapter 12: Common Objections to Christianity
What about suffering - doesn't that prove there isn't a loving God? Ray addresses this by telling the reader to examine the soil producing weeds.
How can you love the God when the Bible encourages slavery? Ray says the Bible acknowledges slavery. No it does more than that, Exodus 21 goes into great detail of how to treat your slave. Jesus Christ, the perfect moral savior, never denounced slavery once.
Ray goes on to argue that slaves back then were like modern day servants. He does not say what type of servant, like a housekeeper? Comfort says slave in the New Testament meant "bondservant" but does not provide any reference or scholar work about this.
Comfort says that the Laws of the Old Testament was not confined to slaves but to Israel, the Law for death was for blasphemers, adultery, homosexuality, rape, etc.
Finally, Ray says people obey the law when "there is a bite to it." He says murderers get free lunch, TV, gym hours, and such for many years. Ray says no wonder there were several hundred thousand murders in America in the 1990's.
The Bible says children should be stoned to death. Ray says that the law says parents of a drunk, rebellious youth had the option to take them to the elders to decide to stone them or not. Ray concludes this never happened because it is not mentioned again in Scripture. Comfort just dances around the problem: the Bible says children should be stoned to death. This is the perfect moral system of God? If you child is caught sneaking several brews, you take him to a non-family stranger with a holy book to decide their fate? This is similar to a story that happened in Africa: a mother locked up her own daughter in a closet for nine years without food or water because her pastor told her that her child was a witch. Honestly, if none of these people were religious or superstitious, this pain and suffering could have been completely avoided. And there is the problem of death. Why kill these youths just for being drunk or rebellious? Why not a program to get them sober? No, the God of the Bible demands death.
What kind of God would tell Joshua to kill the Canaanites - every man, woman, and child? Ray tries to counter this with a story about his father leaving him each day to fend for himself while his father went to kill animals to provide food and shelter for them. The problem with this is, we are not comparing God to a mortal man. God is God, and does not have to leave to make money.
Ray acknowledges that bits of the bible can portray God as a tyrant, but Ray implored the readers to think about what God has done for you (gave you life and your senses, etc).
Hitler was a Christian! Here, Ray says that Hitler was brought up in a Roman Catholic background, but Ray says he later developed an anti-Christian worldview and believed in evolution.
Ray cites Hitlers Table talk as proof Hitler was not a Christian. The site nobeliefs.com provides a full article refuting Hitler's table talk 
Hitler was not an anti-Christian. He supported and encourage the production of Christian churches and programs. He was clearly no an evolutionist. The only time he eve mentioned Darwin in his books or speeches is to slam Darwin and promote creationism.
Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord (Hitler 1943, 65).
The Nazi Party in general rejected Darwinism and supported Christianity. In 1935, Die Bücherei, the official Nazi journal for lending libraries, published a list of guidelines of works to reject, including: Writings of a philosophical and social nature whose content deals with the false scientific enlightenment of primitive Darwinism and Monism (Häckel). (Die Bücherei 1935, 279)
What about Galileo - didn't the church persecute him? Ray says Galileo had the audacity to question what science believed of the day: geocentrism. Ray says that Galileo's scientific beliefs did not contradiction scripture, but contradicted the Roman Catholic Church and science of the say. This is a flat out lie, Ray is trying to rewrite history. Science did not teach the earth was flat, scripture did. Also, Galileo's scientific discoveries were not mere beliefs, but observable fact.
The Church is full of hypocrites. Ray says hypocrites may show up in church every Sunday, but there are no hypocrites in the church of Christ's body (what does that mean?).
Jesus Christ never existed. Ray says the entire New Testament is a historical record that confirms his existence and there is proof that a man named Jesus of Nazareth existed in the first century. Ray say that over 25,000 archaeological discoveries show the accuracy of the Bible. Ray then lists several secular sources: Josephus, the Babylonian Talmud, Pliny the Younger, Tacticus, etc. However, all of these supposed evidences have been critically examined by many scholars. None of the above evidences provide sufficient evidence for the historicity of Jesus. None of the given sources were even alive during the time of jesus, all the historians of the time who were alive never mention jesus once.
Chapter 13: Confessions of a Rocket Scientist
Comfort passes the pen to a scientist, an engineer who makes the claim that everything must be created, because scientists discover that which exists while engineers create that which never did. He believes God is an engineer. However, engineers do not create new things from nothing, and this "rocket science" will be unable to prove it.
Before allowing the scientist to make a case, Comfort argues for three "evidences for the existence of God."
- And experiencing him, through Jesus Christ.
The scientist addresses the Big Bang Theory. He argues if the Big Bang were true, basing it on his assumption that the Big Bang says everything was spinning and then separated, that all planets and galaxies should be spinning the same direction, not in different directions. He claims that this theory is ridiculous, and yet scientific people have the gal to ridicule those who believe in God. However, Ray straw-mans the Big Bang. It does not claim that everything was spinning. The big bang is quite a different subject from the formation of solar systems. Rotations within the universe are not expected to be related to any rotation of the cosmos. Galaxies probably arose from slightly denser regions of the early universe, which coalesced and combined due to gravitational and viscous interactions. Since these early density fluctuations were apparently random, we expect galaxies to have random orientations. Solar systems within galaxies have still different origins and additional random influences on their orientations. Conservation of angular momentum doesn't require that everything spin the same way. It requires that a change in spin in one object be compensated for by an opposite change in spin in one or more other objects. Retrograde planets are not a violation of angular momentum because other bodies in the early solar system could account for the compensating spin.
In a section, the scientists says "Despite the fact that the Bible was apparently written by mere men, so were all of my science texts." Here, he admits the the Bible was written by man, he does not mention God. The difference is that the science texts are written by people who test and proved their claims, unlike the authors of the Bible who relied on superstition and blind faith to make up stories. All the scientists in the past have made breakthroughs based on the scientific method, not biblical revelation.
Next, he claims that the scientific method cannot invalidate the claims made in the Bible, it is perfect because it is written by a perfect being. Very wrong mate. The Bible is far from perfect, and thus making God imperfect.
The scientist says that he received a Masters of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering, and came to the conclusion that creation requires a creator. He claimed to be seeking out truth, and found it in scripture.
Chapter 14: Why Bother?
Ray does not repeat the "evidences" for God, he just warns the readers how important their decision of where they would spend eternity is. Ray says the Bible provides an accurate warning and reason why we all deserve hell.
Ray deals with the passage in Deuteronomy 25:11-12, which prescribes that if a wife tries to rescue her husband from someone he's fighting by squeezing the other man's testicles, her hand must be cut off. Ray suggests that this passage is, like Jesus' command to pluck out our eyes if they tempt us to sin, is hyperbole, not literal prescription. And of course on his blog, if not in this book, Ray has insisted that, e.g. biblical references to the "windows of the sky" are purely figurative. So technically, he's suggesting that not only is our only safe course to assume that the Bible is literally accurate, but to assume that "Hell" refers to an eternal conscious existence in an eternal lake of fire, even when it might speak figuratively.
Here are the "proofs" Ray provided throughout this book,
1. First Cause argument: the Universe cannot come from nothing, and hence must come from an Intelligent Creator.
2. Design argument: no explanation exists or is possible for the mechanisms of life or the diversity and complexity of living things, except an Intelligent Designer.
3. Argument from General Human Experience: human beings agree that some things are right and others wrong, that human beings don't live up to their own moral standards, and that human beings want something that can't be found in this world.
4. Argument from specific Christian experience: True Christians know God personally, and you can too if you believe.
5. Argument from Biblical Information: The Bible contains facts about nature and about future events that was not naturally accessible to humans at the time it was written.
6. Pascal's Wager: Ten out of ten people die, and most of them don't want to. Let your fear of death humble your pride so that you can believe and repent.
There includes a dialogue between Todd Friel and a person named Jess.
Ray is glad we picked up this book and read it. Why thank you Ray, we were overjoyed having to smell the crap you were spewing throughout every page. But Ray does not stop there, he encourages us to read the Bible and get to know God.
He ends this chapter with sharing his experience with Kirk Cameron filming an episode. After the filming, Ray decided to ride a bull. He held onto the bull by the horns. Ray calls himself am "intelligent, clear-thinking human being" however as we have seen throughout this book review that is certainly not true. He compares being "gored" by the bull and confronting atheists. Ray retells his motivation for spreading the gospel: Hell is real and people are going there. He encourages Christians to take the bull by the horns, confront the lost and sinned with Christian love and spread the gospel.
- ↑ http://www.rescast.com/specimens/show_specimen.php?SpecimenID=127
- ↑ http://www.talkorigins.org/features/whales/
- ↑ http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB440.html
- ↑ http://nobeliefs.com/HitlerSources.htm
- Ray Comfort
- Way of the Master
- You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence, but You Can't Make Him Think
- Defender's Guide for Life's Toughest Questions
- Nothing Created Everything: The Scientific Impossibility of Atheistic Evolution
- God Doesn't Believe in Atheists: Proof That the Atheist Doesn't Exist
- Evolution: A Fairy Tale for Grownups
- Evidence Bible: Irrefutable Evidence for the Thinking Mind