Ray Comfort

Ray Comfort

Apparently being infamously known as “The Banana Man” based on a television series lesson that he later retracted (after learning that modern bananas are a result of artificial selection by humans and not designed by a god) was not bad enough, Mr. Comfort decided to compound the issue by lying about it in the form of damage control. He can be seen and heard on video stating that his lesson was actually “part of a stand up routine for 30 years,” but then an atheist got a hold of it one day and “took it out of context.”

The fact that his Christian ministry distributed that particular lesson in the form a television show episode, lectures, books, christian tracts and ministry web pages does not seem to have dissuaded him from insisting the whole thing was a comedy routine.

Deleted Chapters

Ray Comfort on the Origin of the Species Book

In 2009, Comfort produced 30,000 copies of an edited and abridged version of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, with a 50-page foreword detailing long refuted creationist arguments against the theory of evolution. The book was given away for free by Comfort’s organization at select college campuses around the United States. At one point (circa 2010) it even became the top result on Amazon.com if one searched for “Origin of Species.” Multitudes of people contacted Amazon directly and the issue was finally resolved some years later.

Stan Guffey, a biologist at the University of Tennessee, alleged that most of Comfort’s section on Darwin’s life was plagiarized from his work. Many posts were created on the Internet to show Comfort’s direct copying from Dr. Guffey’s work. Additional content has been shown to have been plagiarized from Brian Regal’s introduction to the Barnes and Noble edition of “The Autobiography of Charles Darwin.” However, more importantly on Comfort’s public website at the time of the publication, he stated clearly that “nothing has been removed from Darwin’s original work.” 

Enter Dr. Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE). She quickly pointed out that Mr. Comfort deleted four chapters from Darwin’s book that described the evidence for evolution, adding that two of the omitted chapters, Chapters 11 and 12, showcased biogeography, some of Darwin’s strongest evidence for evolution. She also noted that Darwin’s introduction was missing as well. Comfort later wrote to other critics that it was “abridged because it was too many pages (too expensive) for a giveaway.”  Despite having the finances to publish an additional 175,000 second edition books.

Dishonest Video Editing

Image of scissors and video film

Ray is also notorious for dishonest video editing. When he does not get the video he is looking for, he will go so far as to replace the audio of the original question with a new question. Other times he will mute the original question being asked to the subject and add in a different question in the form of a graphic. One example can be seen here where Ray asks college students if they would be willing to kill a husband who physically abused his wife. He later re-recorded the audio of the question stating that the husband is just a “rat” but published the video with the original responses to the abuse question.

Some more examples of this can be witnessed in his video titled “Noah—And the Last Days.” In this video Ray tries to build a case that the abundance of water we have on Earth today came from the biblical flood narrative involving Noah and the ark. In addition to his quote-mining and display of an out of context quote from Smithsonian magazine, he also changes the question and answer asked to a professor at California State University, Long Beach during an interview.

As for the quote, the May 2013 Smithsonian article if read completely is speaking to the lay person explaining that the average person does not know where water originated from, and then goes on to explain where it did originate from. The article is not saying that scientists have no clue. The dead giveaway would be in the predominant subtitle of the article headline: “It took an out-of-this-world arrival to get that perfect chemical combination for water to fill our planet.”