Monday, October 19, 2009

What the "Doggit" is for...

If you guessed, "Gospel Tract".... you're right!
Here's the front of the tract.
I'll be sharing the text for the back of the tract soon.

61 comments:

ExPatMatt said...

How is that a measure of IQ?

"Guess what some random people on my blog chose to call this photo-shopped chimera. There were about 20 different ideas and I randomly picked one - see if you can guess which one it was."


That's the worst IQ question I've ever seen!



Also, there better be a disclaimer on the back indicating that this in no way has any relation to the actual theory of evolution but is, in fact, the childish imaginings of a bunch of attention-seeking creationists. You know, for honesty's sake.

Cheers,

Nohm said...

Matt,

You have to remember that this is "parody" or "satire" or...

Yeah, I don't get it either.

ExPatMatt said...

I don't think Trish does either, she's making it all up as she goes along.

It's quite embarrassing to watch really.

Angel said...

I love it! I can't wait to see the back. :)

ExPatMatt said...

Angel,

What, specifically, do you love about it?

Cheers,

Debunkey Monkey said...

What is on the back?

I don't get it.

stranger.strange.land said...

So...Matt believes that evolution has produced (among other things)"a bunch of attention-seeking creationists" with childish imaginations? Am I reading you correctly? If so, what is the problem (if any)?

Do you see what I'm implying, Matt? Isn't determinism a necessary rational inference if you presuppose a naturalistic universe?

Craig

ExPatMatt said...

Craig,

Nope, those things were produced by culture.

The level of culture that we have (as compared, say, to chimp culture) is enabled by our highly specialized, enlarged and evolved brains.

Our evolved brains allow us to make choices based on information. How is determinism implied by this?

There are certainly constraints and major influencing factors. For instance, if Trish was born in Saudi Arabia, she'd probably be a Muslim. But not all Saudi-born people accept Islam so your cultural environment isn't a rigid path that you can't escape from but rather a probabilistic thing that influences you heavily or gently towards certain viewpoints.


However, isn't determinism implied by an omniscient God?


By the way, none of what you said has any bearing on the fact that, once again, a member of the Living Waters team is being dishonest about evolution.

Regardless of whether it's true or not (it is), there is clearly a theory of evolution that biologists agree on, and what the LW team present is not that theory though they pretend it is. Why aren't more theists curious about this?

Seriously.

Nohm said...

Matt hit the nail on the head.

For us "evolutionists", our issue is not that creationists don't accept evolution. For the most part, we don't care about that.

Our issue is that creationists present "evolution" that does not match with what evolutionary biologists (and us "evolutionists") consider evolution.

In short, creationists bring a straw man, as you see in things like the crocoduck and the doggit.

There are claims that are made by "evolutionists". When creationists attack those claims, we're cool about it. When creationists attack claims that they say are made by evolutionists but are clearly made up and have no resemblance to actual claims, THAT'S what annoys us.

stranger.strange.land said...

Matt (and Nohm).

Okay, I guess I am approaching the Creation / Evolution debate from a different perspective than most others here and at Ray's. That is why I didn't really get across to you what was in my mind.

All I was saying is that if the origin and development of the material universe is without an outside (i.e. distinct from the material universe) influence, then all events (including development of culture, the development of thought, as well as our big brains) must owe every increment of their development to a series of antecedent events, all within the realm of a closed materialistic system. So, if that is true, even the thoughts, ideas and "childish imaginations of a bunch of attention seeking creationists" are the natural outcome of all that preceeded them.

That is just what came to mind when I read your comment. Maybe a bit non-seqitur in relation to your train of thought at the time, but in my mind I saw a connection with what you had said.

Does that make any sense to you?

Craig

ExPatMatt said...

Craig,

I get what you're saying, I just disagree with your conclusion!

"So, if that is true, even the thoughts, ideas and "childish imaginations of a bunch of attention seeking creationists" are the natural outcome of all that preceeded them".

They might be the natural outcome, but that doesn't mean that is the only outcome that could have happened. At every one of those antecedent steps, things could have gone differently.

You'd have to construct a pretty powerful computer program to prove that humans are only the product of their experiences - with no room for spontaneous action.

But, once again, you're muddying the waters. We are what we are and by a Christian's own standards, being dishonest is wrong, right?

So it doesn't matter if I'm right and evolution is true; from Trish's point of view there is an objective standard for right and wrong, my question is; why doesn't this standard apply when lying about evolution?

I've asked this a number of times and not a single Christian has even acknowledged that it happens let alone that it's wrong! What does that tell you?

Cheers,

stranger.strange.land said...

Hey Matt.

(Just a note: As I type this, my 10/22 5:30pm comment is still the latest post.)

You asked, "...isn't determinism implied by an omniscient God?"

Strictly speaking, No. There is a counterpart, though; and it is comprised of four categories. They are 1. The Decrees of God, 2. Creation, 3. Providence, and 4. Consumation.

We do confess that there are many second causes involved in the process betweeen 1. and 4. That is not the same as "determinism", which is a complete system in itself. (Hence the suffix, "-ism.")

If you want some background on this, read our Westminster Confession, Chap. 3 & 4.

Re. crockoducks and doggits. I am not an apologist for LW here, but my take is they are just trying to illustrate what they believe to be absurd (Darwinism) by "being absurd." I don't for a second think that Ray and Trish actually believe that a creature that is half one species, and half another (like the pictures) would be what you would expect to find in the fossil record if Darwin's theory were true.

Just as an aside: I don't know why, but pictures of creatures that are half one thing and half another give me the creeps. (One exception, as I have mentioned before, is Puffincat. I love Puffincat.)

Craig

ExPatMatt said...

Craig,

Thanks for letting me know when you posted your comment - it helps to do that! (if only Trish would disable moderation...)

I'll try and check out the Westminster Confession thing if I have a chance this weekend.

As to crocoducks and doggits...I think you may be being a bit willfully naive there.

Kirk presented the crocoduck during the Nightline debate saying that it was exactly what 'evolutionists' have been looking for and couldn't find in the fossil record. He also did the same thing on O'Rielly's show.

None of them (Kirk, Ray, Trish, Tony) show any sign that they actually do understand anything about evolution, so there's no reason to suspect that it's al some grand satire.

Worst of all, the many followers of Living Waters buy into it. I've been on other blogs and had people ask me why the crocoduck hasn't been found yet, etc.
People who are not familiar with evolution get taken in by this stuff and it's not right. (And I think you know it).

You said;

"I don't for a second think that Ray and Trish actually believe that a creature that is half one species, and half another (like the pictures) would be what you would expect to find in the fossil record if Darwin's theory were true".

Trish? Could you please clarify that this is the case?


Thanks,


PS. Craig, you give me hope for the integrity of modern Christianity.

stranger.strange.land said...

Matt_

(G.E. and I were having an exchange of comments a few months ago, and at one point it looked like I was answering his comment that was right above mine, when in reality I had not yet seen it.)

Yeah, when I saw that debate, I felt that it was an awkward moment when he produced the crocko-duck picture. (It seemed like the moderator and audience did, too.) I didn't think it was the wisest move in that kind of debate situation.

I still think, though, that they are probably trying to "illustrate absurdity by being absurd."

Craig

ExPatMatt said...

Craig,

The problem is, as self-declared educators, do they not have an ethical responsibility to ensure that their fans/followers/supporters aren't being mislead into thinking that they are seriously presenting rebuttals to evolutionary science with these gimmicks?

Well, this is an easy issue to resolve, isn't it? All Trish has to do is write a quick comment to say; "Yes, we all know that these hybrid, photo-shopped critters do not accurately represent anything to do with the theory of evolution."

She could further clarify; "The purpose behind creating the crocoduck etc, is to ridicule and mock the theory of evolution by coming up with something we find even more ridiculous, ie, a half-dog, half-rabbit species, even though we are aware that no such species is predicted in evolutionary theory."

If she wanted to be really honest, she could go on to say; "Actual transitional species are ones that show characteristics of both their ancestors and descendants and are found in geological layers between both. For example a reptile with feathers, wings etc, found in the appropriate fossil layer would be an example of a transition between reptiles and the sub-set of reptiles; birds."

And for further honesty; "I, Trish, deny the evidence for evolution because it clashes with my interpretation of Genesis - therefore, no evidence, no matter how persuasive, could ever cause me to accept evolution as I hold my interpretation of God's Word in higher regard than the evidence of His Creation."


Feel free to step in any time and clarify this stuff Trish!

Cheers,

stranger.strange.land said...

Matt_
I'm sure that Trish appreciates the suggested scripts you wrote for her. Hopefully, you were being facetious in that last one, and did not intend it in a mean-spirited way.

By the way, there are some excellent articles on the topic of Darwin in the latest issue of Ligonier's Tabletalk magazine. Several of them will be up on their web site on Nov. 1st. (Occasionally, if they feature a subject that is of broad interest, they will just put all the articles up on line.)

Craig

ExPatMatt said...

Craig,

Ok, it was a little facetious that last one. But my point in general stands.

I just got referred to a website by another theist on another blog. here's an excerpt from the site;

"In the current ecosystem and the fossil record, there is absolutely no evidence of transitional species.
Example, how a cat evolved into a rhinoceros, a fish into a camel, horse into a mouse, and finally ape into man. NO one has every found fossils of a cat-oceros, fimel, or horse-mouse"
.

This is not a joke - people actually use it as an argument.


Would you agree that Trish (and others) should clarify that what they are presenting is not an accurate representation of evolutionary theory?

Doesn't it make you wonder when they don't?

I'll check out Tabletalk....


Cheers,

Lissie Darcy said...

Trish!! That is soo cool!!!

Your blogging friend,

Lissie

Fish with Trish said...

Thanks gang. Glad you like it. I'm changing the tract up a bit and will post the text for the back more than likely late next week or so. My graphics guy will be out of town.

stranger.strange.land said...

Matt_

I'm glad you said that you were just being a little facetious; I didn't think you would be "mean-spirited." From what I can discern about you in your posts, it wouldn't fit your character: )

I'd like to see that web site. Could you give me the url either by email or as a comment on my blog? (Any post will do) It sounds like the person who offered that as an argument, as well as the one who directed you to the site, was ill prepared to give a sound reason for their position. It would help them to prepare themselves by spending some time at Greg Koukl's Stand to Reason.

I don't think that I am in a position to say what Ray and Trish "should" do in regard to a disclaimer for the pictures. They had their reasons for creating them.

I did once place some of the other composit-creature cards that were sent to me into my tract holder at the local gas station. They were snapped up right away; so they do serve as an attention getter that leads the recipient to read the Gospel message on the back. And getting the law and Gospel into the hands (and eyes and ears) of as many people as possible is what we want to do.

Please do check out those Tabletalk articles when they are posted. You may not agree with the contributers, but I believe that you will have respect for the way they approach the subject.

Cheers back to you.

Craig

ExPatMatt said...

Guess I'm not part of the gang, eh?


I feel sad.

Nohm said...

Craig,

How do you feel about dishonesty being used as the bait to get someone to check out the gospel message?

Do you agree with me that you could still get someone to read the gospel message while being honest in the "bait" (the tract in this case)?

That's what confuses people like Matt and I... tracts like this one, and the one you mentioned leaving at the gas station, are dishonest, right?

Actually, let me start with that... Craig, do you agree that presenting these half-dog half-rabbit (and so on) creatures is a dishonest representation of evolution? If you don't agree, why not?

ExPatMatt said...

Yep, what Nohm said.

I've yet to see a theist even admit that there's any deception involved (in either the crocoduck-esque images or the Origins into Schools project).

Apparently it is fine to deceive people as long as it gets the Gospel into their hands.

Nor have a I ever seen a theist admit that there's something wrong with bashing evolution (as Ray does) by setting up straw men and knocking them down, even after he's been repeatedly corrected about them.

In fact, I've yet to see a theist have sufficient empathy to see how this looks from the non-believer's side of things.

It's like a state of denial wrapped in obliviousness, shielded by willful ignorance; there's no way in!



Seriously guys, if you want people to believe that you are in communion with the originator of morality, you should probably start acting a bit more, well, moral. Dontcha think?

Regards,

stranger.strange.land said...

Matt.
From reading your posts at wearesmrt, it would take a pretty hard blow to the head to get me to believe that you are really concerned about making sure that Christian tracts communicate that we are in communion with the originater of morality.

It's not about your wanting tracts to depict what a half-way between 2 species transitional form should look like, and you know it.

ExPatMatt said...

Craig,

If you'd like to address something I've written at wearesmrt, I suggest you do it there - I've posted over a thousand times there so I have no idea which 'posts' you're referring to; is the latest ones about Hong Kong cinema? Or the one regarding the size of the Carbon atom? Maybe it's the one welcoming new member Hugo to the forum?

"it would take a pretty hard blow to the head to get me to believe that you are really concerned about making sure that Christian tracts communicate that we are in communion with the originater of morality".

I didn't say it concerned me, I'm saying it should concern you; that's the whole point! Are you saying it doesn't concern you?

"It's not about your wanting tracts to depict what a half-way between 2 species transitional form should look like, and you know it".

I've never claimed otherwise - I'd prefer no tracts at all! But I most certainly do oppose the dishonest misrepresentation of 'evolution' that is present in these hybrids and I have been doing for some time now.

I find it hard to see how you can claim otherwise. And we've yet to hear anything in the way of clarification from Trish on the matter; kind of odd, isn't it?


Regards,

Nohm said...

Craig,

I can't speak for Matt, only myself, but again I ask:

Doesn't it concern you that a lie is being used to accomplish your goal? If your goal is true, why would you need to use a lie?

I can honestly say that I honestly do want to know this, because I honestly am interested to see what an honest tract, designed for nonbelievers, would look like. Honestly.

I think that Matt's issue is this:

1. Christians claim to be connected to the originator of morality.
2. Some Christians even add to that claim and say that ONLY people connected to God can be moral.
3. Yet we see dishonesty used on the tracts.
4. In addition, people like Matt and myself find it strange how so many people do not understand the claims of evolution, yet claim to do so, regardless of a person's acceptance of it (that is, you can completely think that evolution is bunk, but you should know what its actual claims are).

I can honestly say that I would like to see an honest tract, or evangelism technique.

stranger.strange.land said...

Matt.
It was your comments about talking to Christians who, as I would put it, are not yet solidly grounded in the faith and step by step planting doubts in their minds and leading them to deism and eventually to full fledged atheism. (True, it is the job of their pastors and elders to teach and shepherd them so that they know what they believe and why.) Of course, if you sincerely believe that atheism is the truth, you are doing what I would expect you to do. But on the other hand, the "righteous indignation" that you express about the scientific inaccuracy of some silly pictures on tracts doesn't really ring sincere.

Now Matt, I like you and enjoy interacting with you here, but I must tell you that any design to separate someone from Christ does not set well with me. In my mind it is similar to trying to devise a scheme to separate a wife from her husband.

My focus is, as best as I can, to clearly articulate the gospel to people and try to explain points of biblical doctrine, when they come up, as they relate to evangelism and salvation: this is with a view to present Jesus Christ himself to people, and praying that God would be pleased to use my feeble efforts for his own glory, and would save some.

The evolution and science "debates" at Comfort Food / Atheist Central are not my cup of tea. I'm sure Ray has his reasons for emphasizing it as much as he does, and I am guessing that it is because so many people use it as a reason to reject forgiveness of sins and eternal life.

Is Ray's approach deficient? I don't know. Mike Pilliod, the high school Science teacher from Florida saw some things that he didn't agree with. If Ray sees fit to change anything, it will more than likely be because of advice from people like Mr. Pilliod, or his friend Greg Koukl.

Even though I, personally, am not too crazy about the composite animal pictures, I'm not going to tell LW that they should put a disclaimer on them. Trying to do something clever and humorous is not the same as being downright dishonest. I just don't see it as that big a deal and I have better things to do with my time.

Hey Matt. Still friends, right? I hope my saying these things have given occasion for a better understanding of where I stand, and with that understanding, we may enjoy an even more amicable relationship on this blog, with mutual respect. That is way more important to me than croco-ducks and doggits:-)

Craig

stranger.strange.land said...

Oh. Hi Nohm. I didn't mean to be rude, and I apologize for not addresing you specifically. Hopefully, my comment to Matt spoke to your concerns.

Have a pleasant and safe weekend.

Craig

stranger.strange.land said...

@Nohm

Okay, I have a little more time to type, now.

I appreciate your taking the time to respond, and I see that your comment desrves more of a reply than just "have a nice weekend."

First, I completely agree that it is wrong for a Christian to deliberately make statements that he or she knows to be false, even (or I should say, "especially") if it is part of giving out the gospel.

Second, I am given to understand that there is a diversity of opinion among evolutionary scientists, even about some important elements, so that there is not one monolithic theory of evolution. (If that is indeed the case, I see that as a healthy thing.) So, any given article that is offered as evidence within a comment need not be taken as "the authoritative word" on the subject.

Third. Among the atheists who comment on AC there is a militant anti-God bias (I'm sure you see this), so I can see how one may suspect that that bias may influence the commenter's statements, or even which article he chooses to copy & paste.

Nohm, over the last 2 years I have observed an ever increasing and unceasing barrage of accusations and expressions of outrage and incredulity leveled against Ray Comfort. This is an ages old rhetorical device often used to sway public opinion. If you say something loud enough and repeat it often enough, eventually some people will start to think that there just might be something to it. To me, this technique seems to been so overplayed that I can't take it seriously.

In addition to that, I still remember some of the conversations at Raytractors when it was getting started. Some of them plainly stated that their intent was to "bring down Living Waters," and having made a name for themselves by accomplishing that, they would then proceed to take on more well known ministries.

I remember these things Nohm, and I keep them in mind whenever I see another series of accusations. I remember them whenever someone contacts me, asking me questions, feeling me out to see if I might join them on the "Ray is a liar" bandwagon.

Can you see now that when someone here tries to make me feel ashamed by suggesting that I may be turning a blind eye to blatant dishonesty, or giving assent to deceit by my silence, and thereby ruining my reputation as well as the cause of Christ, that it just doesn't persuade me?

Nohm, I believe strongly in holding Christians who are in positions of influence accountable. But please understand that I am not going to lend an ear to personal accusations coming from a group that has long ago destroyed it's own credibility in my eyes.

Craig

Nohm said...

Craig,

I will have to do a longer response later, but I just wanted to say the following:

Craig, I view you as an individual. I would hope that you would treat me the same, instead of lumping me into a group. What appear to be your assumptions of my motives and viewpoints are not correct.

For the record, I am not trying to shame you. Please look at it from my point of view for a second; say you're a fan of The Smurfs. Wouldn't you find it bewildering if people said that The Smurfs were awful because:

1. The Smurfs are orange.
2. Most of The Smurfs are female.
3. The Smurfs don't wear hats.

Because here's the issue I have, and I've mentioned it before: I have no problem with people not accepting the theory of evolution, but when they can't even get the claims of the theory correct, then I get bewildered.

Now, if someone honestly didn't know the claims, I would accept that. But these people have been corrected on this point multiple times, and combine that with the concept of morality, and you end up with a situation that has confused me for a long time:

Do they know they're lying? If so, how do they justify it to themselves? If they don't know that they're spreading misinformation, how are they able to block out that information after being corrected multiple times?

I'm not here to "a-ha!" you, Craig... I'm here because I'm looking for an answer for the questions above.

ExPatMatt said...

Craig,

This thread you're referencing, would it be the one that starts;

"Now, I'm not suggesting that this is necessarily the right thing to do... nor do I think that this should be the goal of any discussion with fundies; this is just for fun".

That the one?

Yeah, I'm really evil, aren't I?



Look, you don't have to take any issue with this at all, I'm quite happy chatting with you about whatever comes up - I enjoy discussing things with you.

It just concerns me that nobody is bothered that LW are actively deceiving people - especially when Ray says that nothing - absolutely nothing whatsoever - could ever convince him that evolution is true....and then asks questions about it as if he's interested....and then lies about there not being any answers (because evolution's a big, silly lie).

Lying for Jesus is, apparently, an acceptable practice and I've yet to see a theist say otherwise.

Cheers,

Nohm said...

Craig,

Before I get too into my full response to you, I'd also like to mention that at no point am I trying to persuade you to call Ray Comfort a liar, or try to "deconvert" (or "convert", however you see it) you from Christianity.

In short, what you've read other people say, regarding their motives, does not apply to me.

In a nutshell, it never was anything that anyone else said that made me lose my faith, so I don't expect that anything I say will have someone lose their faith.

If someone wants to believe something, then there isn't anything I can say or do that will change their mind.

So I don't bother.

Craig, I have questions. So that's why I ask individuals, such as yourself, these questions so I can work towards the answers.

Nohm said...

Craig,

One quick thing:

Second, I am given to understand that there is a diversity of opinion among evolutionary scientists, even about some important elements, so that there is not one monolithic theory of evolution. (If that is indeed the case, I see that as a healthy thing.) So, any given article that is offered as evidence within a comment need not be taken as "the authoritative word" on the subject.

While this is technically correct, it's kind of like (not really, but I'm trying to make an analogy here) how different Christians have different viewpoints about the same piece of scripture.

The thing is, that doesn't mean that some people think that the scripture says that Jesus came from the planet Zeta 5 in a spaceship shaped like an omelet and was able to make 3 feet tall duplicates of himself at will.

So, yes, there are details about evolution that are in debate, but issues like the crocoduck or the doggit are so far outside of that that it's like the claim that the scriptures say that Jesus could make 3 feet tall duplicates of himself. It's been my experience that anti-evolutionists have no idea of the details that ARE actually under debate in evolutionary biology.

You also wrote:

Third. Among the atheists who comment on AC there is a militant anti-God bias (I'm sure you see this), so I can see how one may suspect that that bias may influence the commenter's statements, or even which article he chooses to copy & paste.

Before I can respond to this, what do you mean by "anti-God bias"? If you mean "a desire not to believe in God", then I think it's not as abundant as you might think. I'm certainly not part of that group, regardless.

To hammer home this point: Craig, the reason why you'll see me at any of these sites is because I see information that, from my experience, is absolutely incorrect. Now, without reading people's minds, I can't tell if the person is lying, or just ignorant (and I check my own opinions multiple times before I say anything, for the due dilligence).

So, as I mentioned above, I go to sites like this one or Ray's to answer the question of: lying, or ignorance, or something else? And why?

stranger.strange.land said...

Nohm.

You brought this back to what started this discussion. Thanks.

For the record, it is my opinion that Ray and whoever else came up with the croco-duck, bird-dog etc. did it as kind of a gimmick to illustrate what they see as an absurdity. If Ray and Trish truly thought that a transitional form between one species and another would have to look like the composite pictures they made, I would be astonished, and would have to radically change my opinion. I have already expressed my view that I think Kirk producing the pictures in the debate was a bad move.

You may quote me.

Craig

stranger.strange.land said...

Matt.

I thought I was clear, but maybe I wasn't. If you honestly believe that atheism is the truth, and theism is false, I wouldn't expect you to do anything other than try to win the theist over. I would think it odd if you didn't. I wouldn't like it, but I would understand that you were acting according to what you believe.

Okay, I don't recognise the part of a comment that you pasted. I was remembering one where you ended by reminding whoever you were talking to of some Christian commenter a year ago whom you led to change his position to deism, and later to atheism. Then, you sugested that this would be an effective tactic to use.

So when I saw something that resembled the tactic you described, I made the connection. I just couldn't believe that anyone could be as exercised about the "doggit" & "croco-duck" thing as you seemed to be. I reasoned that it had to be something else. I mean, what's new? Isn't Ray always coming up with something bizarre to use as one of his illustrations? What's so different about this?

Bottom line, guys, is that I am completely at a loss to understand why you would seriously make such a big deal out of this silly "doggit" and when someone else doesn't see the issue as being as egregious you do, you use the occasion to raise questions about whether they are tacitly endorsing dishonesty and deceit. It just doesn't add up.

My main reason for commenting on these blogs is to articulate the gospel of Christ and to clearly state the way of salvation. Discussions about Photo-shopped animal pictures are nothing but an unneccessary distraction from what I consider to be the "main thing."

One good thing, though. You have shown that you believe that there IS such a thing as right and wrong, and that the wrong doer ought to be subject to some kind of consequence. This is a necessary step in conversion. I hope that the Father draws you, both of you, to his Son.

Craig

BathTub said...

Craig you don't have to look any further than Ray's recent posts on the issues.

Setting aside that the fact that he has said nothing will convince him anyway.....

He has said he wants to see a half animals.

He wants a half cow.

He wants half a bee. (a la de de 1,2,3...)

He wants a half eye.

Gunther has drawn examples of people with half faces.

Everything Ray does or says indicates that he really has this warped idea of the Evolution despite being corrected untold amounts of times.

How many times has he told that ridiculous story about the dog FINALLY evolving eyes to see and then trying to find a mate hopefully a female will evolve in time for him to mate with before he dies! He's corrected afterwards every time. Including very publicly by people like PZ Myers which he has acknowledged.The first time is ignorance. The 20th time is just being deceitful.

He's put out a Press Release(!) lying about the definition of the word theory.

Ray (and livingwaters) are not discussing the subject honestly.

stranger.strange.land said...

Bath Tub.

I do remember seeing the "half an eye" remark. Are you saying that it wasn't just Ray saying in his own characteristic way, that he didn't see a developing eye with components that would serve no useful purpose until the eye finished (or nearly finished) evolving into it's present form? That was how I took it.

I can't imagine that anyone would seriously think that something that has the appearance of a fully developed eye, only sliced in half, with the other half not yet in existence, is what an evolving eye would have to resemble.

Back to what I said to Nohm. If Ray truly thought that according to the theory he is challenging, a half-evolved eye would literally have the appearsnce of a fully developed eye, only sliced in half, there would be a problem.

I think that it is more reasonable to believe that it is just another of his far-out hyperboles. Cartoons are, well, cartoons.

Now, if Ray says, "Nope Craig. It is 'eyeball sliced in half with the other half not yet made,'" O.K.,I will have to radically alter my assessment of the situation.

Please understand Bath Tub, I do not endorse Ray's method as THE way to prosecute the evolution debate and dialogue. I think the ideas of people like Greg Koukl, Ken Samples, and the writers of the articles in this month's Tabletalk are much better.

Ray is probably just expressig himself in the colorful way that is his trademark.

Fair enough?

Good talking to you again, B.T. It's been a long time.

Craig B

BathTub said...

If it's as you are suggesting then he's using the wilful ignorance defence.

Remember the eye example is there because we can see all intermediary stages in life around us. It's very well understood.

It's one of the most deliberately quote mined portion of the Origin of Species.

The same goes for Evolution not explaining Abiogenesis, or the Origin of the Universe. It was never meant to.

And again Ray knows this.

When he chooses to wilfully misrepresent things I can check and know he's misrepresenting. Then I have no reason to trust him on anything that I can't verify for myself.

Yeah I stopped commenting here and other places due to be so digusted with the actions of a few people (principally BH) but now the balance of Disgust at Ray vs the Entertainment Factor at Ray's blog has swung quite seriously towards disgust I am giving up on his blog.

stranger.strange.land said...

note.

I have just been told that Ligonier has posted only one of the seven articles about Darwin & Darwinism in Tabletalk magazine. My apologies to anyone who went to the site and were disappointed.

Craig

ExPatMatt said...

Craig,

I don't remember ever having said anything about changing a theist to a deist, and I certainly don't remember actually doing it! Are you sure this is me?

I have said, fairly recently, that following a discussion with a theist who was YEC, he is now considering OEC; not really the same thing though.

I know there's no links allowed, but feel free to post a link to where I said this on my blog and I'll check it out.

The whole 'doggit' thing is the sharp end of the dishonesty wedge that seeks to create a false dichotomy of science or God. Take a look at Ray's latest in his 'debate' with Dr. Eugenie Scott - tell me you're not embarrassed by the 'arguments' he presents.

And people look up to Ray, they believe him to be telling the truth and if they don't know that what Ray's doing is merely for the sake of absurdity then they come away with a severely warped sense of what science is and what it does.

Anyway...

From Tabletalk;


"It is not difficult, for instance, to discern the Devil's hoof prints all over naturalistic Darwinism. That this is folly is easy enough to discern. Those, on the other hand, who stand ready to affirm the historicity and the inerrancy of the Genesis account of creation are our friends and co-belligerents. Where though, do we place that movement known as Intelligent Design? Are these scholars and scientists friend or foe?.

[I bolded the funny bits for you]

Yeah, these guys are much more sensible!

Cheers,

Nohm said...

Hi Craig,

Thank you for your replies.

If you check out the debate between Ray Comfort and Genie Scott at the US News & World Report website, it certainly appears (to me, at least) that Ray is not using hyperbole; he actually believes in things like:

"For example, evolution has no explanation as to why and how around 1.4 million species of animals evolved as male and female. No one even goes near explaining how and why each species managed to reproduce (during the millions of years the female was supposedly evolving to maturity) without the right reproductive machinery."

So, it's things like that that make me ask the questions that I do.

Also, you said:

"Bottom line, guys, is that I am completely at a loss to understand why you would seriously make such a big deal out of this silly "doggit" and when someone else doesn't see the issue as being as egregious you do, you use the occasion to raise questions about whether they are tacitly endorsing dishonesty and deceit. It just doesn't add up."

Because we don't get it, Craig. Again, wouldn't you find it bewildering if I said, "God doesn't actually exist, and we know this because the bible said that for proof we should spin in a circle 5 times while shouting 'heeble deeble' loudly, and that's when God will speak to us. I did that, and it didn't work."

And then you correct me by saying that that is nowhere in the bible. And then, a few days later, you see me repeating the claim. You might not really care, but wouldn't you find my behavior to be bizarre?

stranger.strange.land said...

Matt:
I'm not going to dig through all the forums trying to find it again, but if I run across the series of comments that I was thinking of, I will be sure to let you know. Main point: You are not calling out Christians to oppose Ray because you want to see a more effective witness for Christ and the Gospel. Am I correct on that?

Regarding Christians using Ray as their source for scientific information, I largely agree with you there. If they want help with how to talk to people about sin, judgment, and salvation in their personal evangelism, LW would be at the top of my list of recommendations as a resource. But if they are looking to understand how to see how science fits in when trying to form their comprehensive world-view, sources like Stand To Reason would be a better place to go to, in my opinion.

Nohm
You may be not getting it because you are looking at it too literally. I see the half & half animal pictures the same light as I see the "airplane passengers and parachutes" story.

If I were to take that as literally as you do the "croco-duck" and "doggit" illustrations, I would come to the conclusion 1. that Ray should campaigning for airlines to be equipped with parachutes for everyone, and 2. that untrained passengers wearing those parachutes could egress through the emergency exits of a plane flying at 33,000 feet, at 350 knots, and have a happy landing.

Speaking to the last part of your comment: I have had experiences similar to what you expressed, so I understand the feeling of frustration.

For example, many times I have read someone's bizarre interpretation of Christ's substitutionary atonement, and after my having corrected them, they stick with their previous version and continue to say that this is what Christian doctrine teaches.

People don't always accept our well intentioned corrections Nohm, and it could be for either good or bad reasons.

Craig

Nohm said...

Hi Craig,

Thank you for your reply.

The difference I see between the "crocoduck" and the "parachute" is that the latter is used as a metaphor for why people should become a Christian. That is, it matches with what Ray's "job title" (evangelist) is.

The "crocoduck", on the other hand, is simply used to try to get people to view evolution in a negative light. It's not there to bring people closer to Christ or to God, but to try to create a false dichotomy between "Christianity" and "evolution".

I view it like a political ad. The "parachute" story is like a positive political ad: Vote for Tom Smith because he's a great person and has done great things. The "crocoduck" is an attack ad: Don't vote for Emily Jones because she's a horrible person who has done horrible things.

And, like all attack ads, it's full of dishonesty and spin.

Craig, that's why it bothers me. And since it's my opinion that we need more and better scientists in this world, it's a concern of mine when I see disinformation being spread. Because Ray does not stop at the crocoduck; as I quoted above, he's still doing his "male and female evolved separately" argument, and Matt showed his "half of an eye" argument, all of which Ray has been corrected on multiple times.

One last question if you don't mind, Craig, but what did you mena earlier when you wrote "militant anti-God bias"? I honestly don't know what you mean, but I mostly read Ray's comments for Dimensio's and Steven J's posts. You wouldn't say that they have a "militant anti-God bias"... or would you? I don't know.

stranger.strange.land said...

@Nohm

Well, like I've said before, I never liked the "croco-duck" idea in the first place, so I am not in a position to defend something that I do not support. The issue I was speaking to was whether Ray actually thought that if a "half way" transitional form between species to species would necessarily have to look like that.

"...We have explained this to you many times..." (typical example from blogger comments)

I was merely suggesting that having had something explained to you doesn't necessarily mean that the explainee is required to accept the explanation. Right or wrong, they may think they have a reason to be suspicious.

I used myself for an example. You may have seen one of the several explanations of Christ's substitutionary atonement I have posted over the last year and a half plus. Nobody accepted it, that I know of. Did you?
(I like Jon's and Steven's posts, too.)

Okay. I have been up since way early this morning and it is getting late. (I don't even know who won the baseball game today.)

Given my present sleepiness, I hope this comment made sense. (Hint: I just served you up a straight line ;-)

Craig

Nohm said...

Hi Craig,

Thank you for your latest response.

You said:

"I was merely suggesting that having had something explained to you doesn't necessarily mean that the explainee is required to accept the explanation. Right or wrong, they may think they have a reason to be suspicious."

Well, of course I find this reasonable, but here's my issue:

If I say that I like The Smurfs because I thought that it was a great portrayal of the struggle of the collective versus being self-centered and blah blah blah, I completely understand the idea that someone might say, "that's not how I see it, and regardless I still thought it was a bad cartoon." Or whatever. I have no problems with this.

What I see, when people say, "this has been explained before", is the equivalent of:

A: I don't like The Smurfs, because they are orange and I think that they're stupid.

B: Here's a video showing that The Smurfs are not orange, but instead are blue.

[A week passes]

A: The Smurfs are dumb because they're orange, and the cartoon leads children to immorality.

B: We have explained that The Smurfs are blue. Do we have to do this again?

So, again Craig, people can be as skeptical of evolution as they please; but when disinformation is spread (e.g., "how lucky that male dog was to find a female dog"), and then corrected (e.g., "no 'darwinist' thinks that male and female dogs evolved separately"), and then the disinformation is later repeated... it gets bizarre.

People can think "dogs were created, not evolved" all they want, but it's strange to me when someone says "they think blahblah" when no one thinks that.

Makes sense?

This is also why you see the reaction when Ray says stuff like "atheists believe that nothing created everything".

In short, I don't like being told what I think, especially when what I'm being told is nothing like what I think.

"I used myself for an example. You may have seen one of the several explanations of Christ's substitutionary atonement I have posted over the last year and a half plus."

I might have seen it, but I don't really get into theological debates for the same reason why you might not get into "the Next Generation" vs. "the Original Series" arguments about Star Trek. I don't really remember off-hand what you wrote exactly.

"Nobody accepted it, that I know of. Did you?"

I'm not sure what you mean by this... would you clarify, please?

"(I like Jon's and Steven's posts, too.) "

I'm not sure if I know who "Jon" is, unless that's Dimensio's real name.

"Given my present sleepiness, I hope this comment made sense."

Except for the part that I ask for clarification, yes, it did.

"(Hint: I just served you up a straight line ;-)"

Hehe, Craig. :-)

Honestly though, like I said, I'm not here to "a ha!" you with some kind of a "gotcha!" question; as you stated before, those aren't persuasive. Therefore, I find them to be useless.

Lastly, when you have a chance, would you also explain to me what you meant earlier when you talked about a "militant anti-God bias"? I still don't understand what you meant by that.

Thank you.

stranger.strange.land said...

Hey Nohm.

After my last comment to you I had one of those nights where I was too physically exhausted from a long day's work that I only got about 3 hrs sleep. Made up for it last night by going unconscious at 7:30.

I completely understand what you mean with the Smurfs scenario. I have experienced exactly the same kind of frustration ever since I started posting at CF/AC. I mainly post comments dealing with the gospel and historic Christian doctrine as it relates to the whole scheme of soteriology. I much prefer clarity over agreement. When someone continues to misrepresent what I have said, and argues against their own distorted version, honest discussion is killed.

Again, I don't endorse most of the posts on AC about Evolution and Science, and rarely offer a comment on them except to ask G.E. or Stevin J. to elaborate on a point they have made that has stirred my curiosity. Mostly, I have just attributed Ray's statements to his reliance on sources that he trusts (e.g. Ham, Hovind et al). Do you think I have been excessively charitable in giving the benefit of the doubt? Maybe you are right.

"Anti-God bias"
I was describing my take on the general tone of the atheist commenters on AC who seem to speak in unison in a continuous deluge of personal insults, and then complain that Ray ignores their: "we have explained this to you a thousand times."

Yes Jon is Dimensio. He and I had a good natured exchange of comments about that a few months ago because I remembered that he used to have his real name on his profile.

If trish isn't updating this blog frequently,(she is at a conference) feel free to email me.

I'm off to work, now.

Craig

stranger.strange.land said...

@Nohm.

I get ya about not liking to be told what you, personally think.

I remember that for weeks Ray kept teasing the atheists with "Nothing made Everything;" then after lots of protests he posted some quotes from notable atheists where they say it in exactly those words.

"I used myself for an example. You may have seen one of the several explanations of Christ's substitutionary atonement I have posted over the last year and a half plus."

I might have seen it, but I don't really get into theological debates for the same reason why you might not get into "the Next Generation" vs. "the Original Series" arguments about Star Trek. I don't really remember off-hand what you wrote exactly.


I think you may have hit on something there that could explain why we have such a different focus. It has to do with our respective reasons for reading and posting on AC. I am mainly there to say a word on behalf of Christ, His Gospel, and how it all applies to us (humankind). The primary focus for others may be to express why they believe that the particular theory of evolution to which they subscribe provides reason to dismiss the proposition that there is a God.

Craig B

p.s.(They made a Star Trek:The Next Generation??!! :0 )

BathTub said...

Yes, he does that all the time, all the while ignoring the same people describing exactly what they mean by "nothing".

"'A Universe From Nothing' by Lawrence Krauss" is up on Youtube.

But a short short summary of the mind bending talk is that "nothing" pretty much doesn't exist in the colloquial sense.

ExPatMatt said...

Craig,

"I remember that for weeks Ray kept teasing the atheists with "Nothing made Everything;" then after lots of protests he posted some quotes from notable atheists where they say it in exactly those words".

What difference does it make if atheists, notable or otherwise, appear to support Ray's position?

Some, maybe a lot, maybe even all atheists might think that 'everything came from nothing' but that is not what defines a person as an atheist, is it? An atheists is someone who does not believe in any god(s). Everything else is consequential, so saying that catchphrase of Ray's as if it's the defining characteristic of an atheist is incorrect.

Not only that, but he asks; "Do you believe that 'something created everything'?" - to which the answer is 'no'.

He then reverts to; "So you think 'nothing created everything'? Failed to realize (or conveniently ignoring) the fact that the word 'created' is as much the problem as the something or the nothing.


Most atheists will say 'I don't know' when questioned about the origins of the universe. Cosmologists (be they atheist or otherwise) may think they have a good idea, but your average, lay atheists doesn't know and that's what we say.

And that's what we explain to Ray constantly. But he ignored it because repeating the lie makes atheists sound illogical and stupid and it makes his base happy.

Regards,

Nohm said...

Craig,

Really quickly... you said: "The primary focus for others may be to express why they believe that the particular theory of evolution to which they subscribe provides reason to dismiss the proposition that there is a God."

While it might not be impossible, I think you'd be very hard-pressed to find someone who claims that evolution is the reason why they're a nontheist. I'm not sure if that's exactly what you were saying above, though.

I can certainly say that that's NOT why I reject that proposition.

As for "Nothing made Everything", what Bath Tub said. What these people mean by "nothing" is NOT what Ray means by "nothing". And that's why we object.

Nohm said...

Craig, my motivation is this:

I find people, who don't think like I do, to be fascinating... and the more differently they think, the better.

So, I seek them out, whether it be a muslim chat room or "Atheist Central".

stranger.strange.land said...

Matt, Nohm, Bathtub.

It has been very interesting for me, discussing this with the three of you (plus a fourth person, with whom I have been exchanging emails).

Thank you all for telling me what your motives are. I've gained some insight there as far as understanding you as individuals. The verve with which the atheists oppose Ray is still, however, something I just don't get, and I do have an inclination to say a word on behalf of people that seem to be getting verbally "beat up on."

As I have said, articulating the Gospel, and explaining Christian doctrines as they relate to evangelism is my main reason for posting comments at FWT & AC.

For years, I have kept a 3-ring binder, where I collect various items I find, that may be useful in my personal evangelism. Here is something that I printed out and added on June 18, 2001. It was from the F.A.Q. page at Living Waters:

Q. Why don't you speak more about evolution?

A. Over the years I have learned that there are subjects that are interesting, intellectually stimulating and important (I have written on evolution reasonably extensively in one of my books), but they don't bring conviction of sin. In fact, I find that if I am careful to witness biblically, the subject of evolution doesn't even come up. Once a sinner is under conviction of sin, it's a non-issue. Look at Luke 13:1-4 to see how Jesus dealt with sinners' questions, and how He pointed them back to the issue of sin and judgment.


Craig

BathTub said...

Yes I think most of us are familiar with that line. It goes with Kirk 'circumnavigating' the intellect line. Don't get them thinking, make them feel convicted!

Ray baits people onto his blog. He craves the attention. Just look at a few months ago when he said his blog was changing forever! It was going to be a daily bible study. But of course responses dropped away. so he does a Rayvolution post, gets the attention he wants does it over and over again.

Ray repeats lies that he knows are lies over and over again because he knows it works!

And I know this too but I still played in the honey trap. It's fun for a while. But as I said he finally tipped my scales from fun to disgust so I am not going to post there anymore.

Take a look at the Lawmans blog. "Oh I am simplifying my life for god. No more twitter. No more comments on my blog, email me instead."

"Oh well maybe twitter."

"Oh ok comments back on the blog too"

Not getting enough attention.

stranger.strange.land said...

@Bath Tub

I am taking "that line" as you put it, to heart and have, just now as a matter of fact, "put my money where my mouth is" by way of a comment on the "Back to Doctor Luke" post.

Craig

Fish with Trish said...

Thanks for your patience friends, I just posted the text for the back of the tract on this link:

http://fishwithtrish.blogspot.com/2009/11/back-of-doggit-tract-revealed.html

ExPatMatt said...

Craig,

You said the following in this thread;

"If Ray and Trish truly thought that a transitional form between one species and another would have to look like the composite pictures they made, I would be astonished...".

and;

"I don't for a second think that Ray and Trish actually believe that a creature that is half one species, and half another (like the pictures) would be what you would expect to find in the fossil record if Darwin's theory were true".

What is your position now that Trish has revealed the back of the tract?

EG:

"...there are no fossils showing intermediates between two different kinds. Dogs developed from wolves, within the dog kind. They do not change into cats!".

This seems to be implying that Trish believes that evolutionists claim that dogs 'change into' cats. What do you make of that?

Regards,

stranger.strange.land said...

Matt.

I see that you commented on Friday. Sorry for the delay.

Well, earlier I said that I thought that Ray's depiction of an eyeball cut in half was merely his own style of illustrating that a partialy evolved eye would have to have had components that would have been of no use until it was fully (or nearly fully) evolved. But then I said that if Ray said that he thought that the evolutionist's concept of an evolving eye would at some point look like an eyeball cut in half, then I would be forced to change my mind about what he believes.

Same thing here. If Trish were to tell me that the doggit is anything other than a caricature spoofing the idea of species to species transition, but that she really thinks that the evolutionist's transitional form would have to appear to be composed of fully developed parts of each species (dog's muzzle, rabbit's ears), I would truly be astonished and would be compelled to change my mind about what she believes.

Craig

Nohm said...

Hi Craig,

I just realized that I never got back in touch with you.

I apologize for that.

To wrap it all up, I feel that you've explained yourself and your point of view to me well, and I appreciate it.

I also don't feel that you are required to defend Ray and Trish's points of view, going back to one of my original issues: "we are individuals".

I was happy that you understood that we are bothered when our viewpoint is distorted, and all I was really going for was to understand how you thought about that. I feel I understand your opinion on this issue, and I am thankful for your opinion.

I thought that you were a reasonable person on Ray's blog, and I feel that it's been validated (heh, maybe with a couple exception here and there in my view) here on Trish's blog.

Pleasure chatting with you, Craig.

stranger.strange.land said...

Pleasure chatting with you too, Nohm. I am a vereran of 35+ years of having my Christian viewpoints distorted and misrepresented. I just figure that it "goes with the territory." I have developed pretty much the skin of a rhinoceros as far as taking it personally. What does bother me is when unbelievers use their distorted versions of Christ and what he taught to justify their own rejection of Him and of eternal life. That is why I keep on presenting the gospel to folks as clearly as I am able, and putting in a good word on behalf of Jesus whenever I can.

Craig

Nohm said...

Hi Craig,

Would you please give me an example of "when unbelievers use their distorted versions of Christ and what he taught to justify their own rejection of Him and of eternal life."

I can't remember ever seeing this, myself, but that's not to say it hasn't happened.

Also, I have never seen anyone reject (the divinity of) Jesus, and certainly I've never seen anyone reject eternal life. What I have seen is people rejecting arguments for the existence of these two things.

I, at least, see that as being different.

Lastly, can you think of an example that you've experienced of a distorted version of Christ?

kiwikaas said...

It's definitely original & the picture alone should cause some question marks to pop up. Haven't seen this type of gospel tract before but maybe one day someone will be handing it out here in The Netherlands.