Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Comfort's Wager

The biggest howler in Ray Comfort's "Special Introduction" to the Mutilated Edition of On the Origin of Species comes not in the parts about Darwin, but in the Bible-tract preachment that makes up the last third of the piece. He offers the following instructive dilemma:
Imagine I offered you the choice of four gifts: 
  • The original Mona Lisa
  • The keys to a brand new Lamborghini
  • A million dollars in cash
  • A parachute
You can pick only one. Which would you choose? Before you decide, here's some information that will help you make the wisest choice: You have to jump 10,000 feet out of an airplane. (pp. 40-41)
The answer is supposed to be obvious, of course, though this is set up like one of those lateral-thinking exercises in which you take the keys to the Lamborghini and offer them as a bribe to some poor sucker who has one parachute and not a lick of sense . . .

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Affliction of Comfort

Today marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin's On the Origin of Species.  To mark the event, Ray Comfort (a.k.a. The Banana Man) of Living Waters Ministries distributed free copies of the book . . . last week sometime.

The edition of the book in question contains a strategically abridged version of Darwin's text with a 52-page introduction by Ray Comfort himself, drawing a direct connection between Darwin and Hitler and warning readers (*yawn*) of eternal hellfire, and so on.

Comfort has been a bit cagey about the whole thing, and the complete text of the introduction was recently removed from his website.  Before the big day, last week, Comfort stopped answering questions.  This from an article posted on the website of Living Waters Ministry:
From now on I will refuse to answer questions about the book or its contents," Comfort said, "because there is such a deep-rooted anger in the atheist world about this publication.

"They desperately want to stop us," he said, "and I don't want to give away any further details regarding the campaign."
Angry? Is he kidding?  I'm delighted! I managed to find a PDF of the introduction through another website.  I plan to spend a diverting hour or two playing Name That Fallacy.

It'll be like shooting fish in a barrel.