Friday, February 27, 2009

A Message To Ray Comfort re: Richard Dawkins

Dear Ray,

I am probably not the only atheist out there saying these words to you in one way or another, but I have to get this off my chest and out in the open: there is a huge difference between someone not taking you seriously and someone who is afraid to debate you.

It has long been the policy of Richard Dawkins and other luminaries in the field of biology to refuse to debate creationists, because meeting creationists in the court of public opinion gives the appearance that there is an actual conflict in the scientific community between evolution and creationism, and there's not. It confuses an already woefully scientifically illiterate community, and it does not do anything to advance the knowledge of anyone. It's a colossal waste of Richard Dawkins' time to meet you on your terms, and worse, it could do more harm than good for the scientific community, especially in the United States, where there is a constant political push to take the teaching of evolution out of biology classrooms.

Come on, Ray, admit it: this whole thing was a ploy to grab publicity for your new book, right? It's pretty transparent to me that no matter what happens, you have gained more free publicity from this stunt than you ever would have if you'd simply have stuck to the Christian radio and television circuit. This story brings your book into the mainstream, whether Dawkins debates you or not. I wonder if you researched anything about Dawkins before you challenged him. Why not Hitchens? He engages in debates all the time with Dinesh D'Souza, for example; he'd probably debate you. You picked the famous atheist with the no-debate policy instead. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not, but you do have a history of insincerity.

I remember well your debate with the Rational Response Squad members on national television, if I can even call it a debate. You used the time to preach and quote from the Bible, rather than doing what you said you came to do: use science to prove the existence of your god. That move wasn't surprising to me; after all, I was one of many atheists who watched that banana video of yours, where you demonstrated clearly for the world that you don't know the difference between natural selection and human cultivation. You got one thing right: the banana as you described it and demonstrated it is intelligently designed; you just got the designer wrong. Humans made the banana what it is today, as is true with just about every crop we now consume. We did similar things with dog, cat, horse, and pigeon breeds. I mention pigeons because Darwin mentioned them in his book to explain how we can modify species through artificially selecting out traits we desire in that species, then going into how nature selects for traits by limiting the ability to survive to reproductive age.

By the way, I have a bone to pick with World Net Daily and everyone who has repeated their announcement that you bumped Richard Dawkins from the number one spot on Amazon. First, Dawkins' bestseller was there for how long? Since it came out? How long was your book in the number one spot, Ray? I went to Amazon to check the rankings, and by the time I read the article on WND, your book had fallen to number five. Not that it matters much to me, but it's just something that people keep repeating, and it didn't last long--although I wouldn't be surprised if all of this free publicity helped keep it close to the top longer than it would have been there otherwise.

I have to hand it to you, Ray: you know how to market yourself well. I have to say that I'm personally insulted by the title of your book, and when I read the sample page, where you say that atheism is the epitome of stupidity, I was rather disgusted, and certainly wouldn't buy it after reading that little piece of incivility.

I'd still debate you for ten grand, though. I could put the cash to good use.

Greg Reich

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