Who is "The Banana Man" and is he really the "Atheist's Nightmare"?
Ray Comfort's Worst Nightmare
Ray "Banana Man" Comfort
Never heard of the banana man? Ray Comfort is a New Zealander Christian Evangelist, Author, Television host who with no real no formal training or theological degree, has become a well know speaker and showman among the evangelism movement. Among fundamentalist Christians he is known as co-hosting the former The Way of the Master Radio with Kirk Cameron as well as co-hosts of The Way of the Master Television Show, and the "Creationism Examiner" on The Examiner.
His most high profile stunts have been debating atheists. On April 13, 2001, Comfort appeared at the 27th National Convention of American Atheists in Orlando, Florida, where he debated Ron Barrier, the National Spokesperson for American Atheists. On May 5, 2007, Comfort and Cameron participated in a televised debate with of the Rational Response Squad, at Calvary Baptist Church in Manhattan. The debate focused on the existence of God, which Comfort claimed he could prove scientifically without relying on faith or the Bible. Nightline correspondent Martin Bashir moderated the event. During the debate, Comfort and sidekick Kirk Camron repeatedly referenced the Ten Commandments and denounced the theory of evolution even thought they had stated they could proved the existence of God without using the Bible.
But the thing Comfort perhaps is most infamous for is his choice of the banana to attempt to show God's hand in crafting our existence. Intelligent design without the intelligence is the best way to describe it. In the video Comfort tries to make the claim that a banana was designed by God because it has the following features (much like the human-made soda can):
- Is shaped for human hand
- Has non-slip surface
- Has outward indicators of inward contents: (Green - too early, Yellow - just right, Black - too late)
- Has a tab for removal of wrapper
- Is perforated on wrapper
- Bio-degradable wrapper
- Is shaped for human mouth
- Has a point at top for ease of entry
- Is pleasing to taste buds
- Is curved towards the face to make the eating process easy
There are couple problems with this simplistic argument:
- If Ray Comfort's crude analysis of the convenience of bananas is evidence for a god then by that logic the inconvenience of pineapples or coconuts is evidence that there is no god.
- The yellow curved banana that Ray Comfort uses as an example is the result of thousands of years of domestication by humans. Wild bananas are naturally very inconvenient for humans, they contain seeds, are found in all sorts of weird shapes and colors, are barely edible, and do not contain most of the traits which Ray Comfort uses to make his case.
This guy is such a fool that no wonder the general evangelist movement seems to distance himself from him.
The title of Banana Man has gone viral on YouTube and the Web. Comfort after being shown to be a fool has tried to distance himself from the banana incident but he still continues to try assert himself as an intelligent man with a convincing argument. He has tried to engage Richard Dawkins in a debate by challenging him but Dawkins has refused to stoop to Comfort's level.
A bit of fun - Ricky Gervais Meets Ray Comfort
Audio taken from Ricky Gervais's film "The Invention of Lying." Video taken from ABC Nightline's Faceoff debate between Ray Comfort & Kirk Camron VS Rational Response. That's pretty much it.
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