Saturday, November 28, 2009

NZ punching above its weight again

Too bad that this time we're punching above our weight in the field of "laughably stupid." NZ's own nutter US televangelist, Ray Comfort, has challenged Richard Dawkins to a debate in which Comfort will refute evolution, presumably through his superior scientific knowledge and incisive logic. Dawkins' response was to suggest that "If a refutation ever were to come about, it would come from a serious scientist, and not an idiot."

I had a good laugh over this as I'm acquainted with Ray Comfort from a long time ago. Back in 1980 I gave up employment to become a full-time layabout in Christchurch, and one of the ways a group of us layabouts used to interrupt our longeurs was to go to the Square to heckle the assorted public speakers who held forth on nothing in particular every lunchtime. (Why, yes I was an utterly unlikeable useless sack of shit back then, how did you guess?) Ray was one of these speakers, waving his Bible and exhorting passersby to give up their sinful lifestyles in favour of becoming a Bible-waver.

His attempts at persuasion always had logical holes in them you could drive a bus through, but instead of feeling sorry for him we heckled him mercilessly. Presumably he was fortified by the thought that God would arrange some serious payback come Judgement Day, so Ray could afford to be magnanimous.

I got a closer insight into why he was such a peddler of obvious nonsense when someone gave me his book, "My Friends are Dying." It was about why you shouldn't take drugs. Being a callow yoof at the time, and more to the point permanently flat broke from not working, I had little experience with drugs, but I soon became suspicious of the factual content of the book. Although I didn't have any drugs to speak of, I did have a record player, so when Ray wrote about the terrible evil of rock music, I had some basis for assessing his evidence. Which was stuff like:

1. Lou Reed promotes the murder of politicians in his lyrics to "Heroin:"

When the politicians are all dead
And their bodies are piled in mounds

2. Mick Jagger was writing about "South-east Asian cocaine" (WTF?) in his lyrics to "Brown Sugar."

The Lou Reed quote is just plain wrong, and anyone who actually listens to Brown Sugar will notice that, while certainly extremely offensive, it's offensive on the basis of fantasising about whipping and fucking black slave girls, not anything to do with drugs.

Eventually I realised: Ray was gullibly writing down whatever junkies told him, without even the most cursory fact-checking like getting hold of the songs he was writing about and having a listen to them.

On the basis of that previous experience, it came as no surprise to find that Ray is currently famous as "Banana Man," for the hilarious YouTube clip in which he "proves" intelligent design theory using a banana. Watch and enjoy.

NB: yes, I am aware that by pointing people to Ray's banana sketch, I am being just as much of a prick as I was in 1980. Leopard, spots, etc.


Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Thanks for the laugh milt.

Is that guy seriously serious?

Adolf is addressing his modest multitude tomorrow. The subject?

Everything we have is a gift from God. Including nuclear energy, real science (not GRU junk) and especially our very own common sense.

Psycho Milt said...

Yep, serious. It's the lack of fact-checking coming back to bite him again - even a cursory search would have shown up that bananas are so handy thanks to slective breeding by humans, not deus ex machina.

PM of NZ said...

'Why, yes I was an utterly unlikeable useless sack of shit back then...'

Some might be uncharitable enough to suggest that the past tense used in that statement could be in error.

Anonymous said...

Ray is a great guy - seriously!

I am concerned, however, that although he knows that abiogenesis and Common Descent are complete bunkum; he lacks the scientific background to effectively debate the Dick Dorkins.

erikter said...

If New Zealand is capable of producing lightweights such as Matt Robson, Annette King, and John Key, why the surprise about Ray Comfort?

Anonymous said...

Actually, he is wrong. Bananas are meant to be opened from the other end. True. How do I know? A Fijian native told me after he climbed a tree and got one for me when on holiday there a few years ago.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Anon, you fucking dil, bananas don't grow on trees. You are confusing this wonderful fruit with money.

Psycho Milt said...

...the past tense used in that statement could be in error.

Hey, I got a job now.