A Review of Evolution vs. God

Today’s post represents a departure from the norm. It’s a “reason to be cautious” in sharing reasons for faith in Christ. A number of Christians are promoting evangelist Ray Comfort’s new DVD, Evolution vs. God. Although the video contains some valid content, its questionable treatment of science and scientists—with an attack mindset and a goal to make scientists look stupid—causes me to advise extreme caution. Bluntly, I see this video as counter to our evangelistic mission. I cannot think of one biblical example where Jesus ridiculed nonbelievers who held erroneous views—although he harshly rebuked the religious leaders who were supposed to guide people toward Him.

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Evolution vs. God, a new DVD from Christian evangelist Ray Comfort that claims to “debunk evolution,” releases this Wednesday, August 7. The DVD’s Facebook page tells viewers who accept evolution to “prepare to have your faith shaken.” Hearing considerable buzz in the Christian community about this video, I decided to watch it and offer some comments. I was looking for two specific things: (1) does the film persuasively debunk evolution? and (2) does it present an accurate portrayal of the scientific community, specifically of those who embrace evolution? Unfortunately, Evolution vs. God does neither. In fact, it may well damage Christian outreach to scientists.

Evolution Debunked?

Imagine visiting some of the world’s most prestigious universities, interviewing top evolutionary scientists, atheists, and holding their feet to the fire until it’s clear that there is no evidence for Darwinian evolution, that it’s not scientific.

Thus begins the promotional trailer for Evolution vs. God. The film promises to discredit Darwinian evolution in a way that persuades even evolutionary scientists at the most prestigious universities. The film shows Comfort, the founder of Living Waters, talking with various people about the evidence for evolution (these clips fill about 25 minutes of screen time).

Given the trailer’s claim, I expected to hear responses from some top scientists. Instead nearly 75 percent of the interviews are with students in various majors. Only four of the interviewees are university faculty members (two from UCLA and one each from USC and the University of Minnesota, Morris). Often the students fumble over Comfort’s cunning questions, and yet a number of articulate answers did emerge. The faculty members provide far more detailed and thorough answers. However, Comfort dismisses any reply that fails to meet his contrived criteria.

Based on the interviews shown, Comfort’s questioning raises no real doubts in the mind of the scientists, and I saw little to indicate that those students who lacked clear answers change their mind based on the interview questions. In my perspective, the video does an ineffective job of “debunking” evolution.

Scientists Portrayal?

The interviews with the scientists appear to present an accurate, but incomplete, perspective of their views. However, the overall video creates a distorted impression of evolution and evolutionists, especially due to the inclusion of the students’ less articulate answers. Thus, the film seems to lead to the conclusion that those who believe in evolution:

  1. cannot articulate the theory in any understandable fashion;
  2. do so based on little to no evidence;
  3. accept evolution only so they can follow their animal instincts without accountability;
  4. actively deceive others into believing evolution; and
  5. do science simply by dreaming things up.

This portrayal, while it may hold true for some individuals, is far from an accurate depiction of the majority of scientists. For example, if item three were true, then we could not account for the fact that some mature, Bible-believing Christians such as Francis Collins, Darrell Falk, and Deborah Haarsma also believe in some form of evolution. Make no mistake, I disagree with these fellow Christians about evolution. However, what I know of them and of their character gives me no reason to associate them with this depiction.

A Glaring Problem

The biggest intellectual issue I have with Evolution vs. God lies in its definition of faith. It seems that Comfort’s main intention is to show that just as Christians have faith in God, so scientists have faith in evolution—with no observable evidence to buttress this belief. This is far from an accurate depiction of biblical faith.

Christians define faith as reasonable trust in a demonstrably reliable authority. Ultimately, God is that authority. We know of His reliability through His two revelations—Scripture and creation. Science is one of the main tools we use to understand His creation and to demonstrate His trustworthiness.

The Bottom Line

In Matthew 7:12, Jesus commands His followers, “[T]reat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” It’s the classic Golden Rule. Atheists could easily produce a similar video making Christians look stupid. If, as a Christian, you would find such a video objectionable, then please do not promote Evolution vs. God.

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5 Responses to “A Review of Evolution vs. God”
  1. Ed Chapin says:

    John I could not agree with you more. Thank you Jeff for being bold in your defense of fairness of debate in this critical issue. We Christians must be nice to one another. The world is watching.

  2. steve says:

    I can’t say this review is good or encouraging.
    Though I love the work of Hugh, I cannot see him writing a review like this.
    Furthermore, I am not a “fan” of Comfort, per se, nor am I defending him intentionally. – and I haven’t seen the film “Evolution vs. God”, but it seems Jeff – the reviewer – is throwing Comfort under the bus, and overlooking the film’s actual premise of modern-day, systematic urgency in the U.S. by a broadening atheist/agnostic sympathy, which is not only technologically advanced, but powerful enough to engage in sweeping educational-regulation placed firmly upon any other explanation BUT Darwinian evolution.
    Essentially, to me, Jeff trusts that system too much in his critical review of the film, and patronizes Comfort maybe a bit pretentiously. It seems Jeff wants “credibility” in the eyes of his Scientific Peers with his Faith – yet to me, just reading this here, those silent scientific onlookers are bunk and missing, and rather trivial in the bigger picture that Comfort is directly involved in addressing on the ground level.
    Yet I question if this ‘warning’ review aid the Atheist establishment in it’s forceful attempts to crush any doubt of Darwinian Evolution into the dust – discrediting Comfort as ‘dangerous’ and using the “credibility” of their system over anyone who starts disagreeing with them?
    Isn’t that their main weapon? This is something I know Comfort understands from his experience interviewing thousands of people on the streets, yet where I agree that he may have some overlooked points on the science, I feel you, Jeff, actually have a contrasting weakness when it comes to realizing the magnitude of the situation; the social implications already blooming beneath corporatizing, consolidating power over information, pushing the Darwinian conclusions of non-observational assertion down our throats, bent on using laws and many other tactics to crush the link between science and God and it’s claims about the Origins of Life, on incomplete pretenses.
    Darwin was an atheist, and naturally (though a number Christians accept Darwinian evolution) the Bioinformatics and Biology institutions would gladly state that in the theory, there is no notion of God whatsoever “needed” to explain it.
    This mistaken assertion is used overwhelmingly now in the education systems, (similar to Stephen Hawkings astronomy) to say “we don’t need God” – and the American public’s apathy to cultural decline and desire to gladly leave all notion of “sin” behind affirms that.
    Basically, I feel like Jeff simply nit-picks from the sidelines of a growing situation that gets worse incrementally – while Comfort puts himself out there to be publicly crucified. And Jeff warns us of the film, as if there is not already FAR stronger warning to be had; a warning against the true evil lurking on the other side of the lines, which I may add, have been drawn for years.
    It is a little absurd to act like Comfort’s film could “damage” Christianity and Science’s already strained relation; to make such a claim, you must be willingly blind to the state of Christianity – being “defused” under attack of “justified” scientists, who have in many cases, now come to feign thinking that they are “doing the right thing for humanity”, by silencing Christians, and ridiculing them.
    This is why I love listening to Hugh ‘s Audio Sunday School recordings. He is one of the very few people to still knowledgeably present the science aspect full-force and still continue to look to the Bible’s truth, and show how it is true, and show the CLEAR links between them.
    Obviously, Comfort is not on this level as a scientist, but his heartfelt, inspiring work can help people find their way to great Christian thinkers like Hugh and yourself, Jeff – to guide people like I was once, who many not have otherwise looked beyond to see any science to support Christianity, if someone had not shared their viewpoint of the biases in the world AGAINST Theism, in general, with them.
    If the atheist/agnostic Darwinists successfully triumph in this covert, cultural war of science and faith, in succeeding in ‘imbedding’ the notion that science supports them in these claims, and always HAS supported them – it tends to justify their anti-human, anti-nature, God-playing policies, all the way down to the public.
    I think Jeff should reconsider his “view from within the science community” of Comfort’s attempts and step out onto the battle ground where it gets really ugly.
    Many youth are divided at an early age from God, Faith, Christ, etc. – and simply hold their self-satisfying dogmas of atheism/agnosticism/skepticism through life, told in school that Darwinism explains everything we are – (which the Establishment Validates Presently) claiming God is an “Escape”, fixed in the notion that Science is all we need now, and that there is no Authority over Nature – and that morality is merely an “Evolutionary” concept, and that Design is an “illusion” in the words of Dawkins.
    Why can’t you acknowledge these elements that already overwhelmed Comfort at the gates, Jeff?
    You seem to blame Comfort for fanning the flames of this endless, age-old war that is raging silently in the minds of humanity; it makes me wonder if you’ve really realized what the legions of bitter atheists are currently doing in this Nation, in the name of evolution and instinct and “science” over God’s Divine Command, and how many undereducated Christians may not even be able to face them in a debate, or bring up questions about shaky evidences.
    Comfort has exposed how people “firm” in their beliefs of Darwinism most likely are missing several key pieces, which in some cases, actually begin to tend toward unfounded assertion.
    That seems to be the purpose he put forward in the previews (which I saw) – and you seem to admit unintentionally that Comfort meets these goals; (yet don’t STATE it as a point in his favor) – showing how casually people will go along with something Vast in implication without having the solid information to justify it.
    then again many Christians could be held to such scrutiny, as well. But is Comfort one of them? I entreat you to ask that question, because you truly seem to be saying such in this review, by butchering his failures with a “Warning to Christians” – and yet don’t warn Christians about what temptations to abandon God truly exist within that establishment, which holds dominant, authoritative power over funding and academic literature.
    Meanwhile the pretentious view is dominating because the system is not only Enforcing it in courts but Endorsing it in ALL WAYS – including a media campaign that is making billions by selling divisive, anti-Christian values and public blasphemies to the uninformed masses.
    How? On the widespread contrivance of Darwinian evolution being the Key to understanding ourselves! To explain why giving into desires is not “sin” but “natural” – and this successfully trickles from the hands down support of the institution (for reasons we MUST all question) at the very top of the pyramid.
    And this is where I agree with Comfort.
    Jeff, your point that ___ may have DIFFERENT REASONS for their belief in evolution is valid, but do you truly know their reasons? What if they – like I claimed you seemed to be, earlier – are merely “formulating an opinion to maintain credibility in the science community?” –
    I don’t find it a valid counterpoint to use this Minority of Christians who Accept Evolution to overlook (and unintentionally defend) a HUGE majority of atheists/agnostics who have in fact MADE this battle what it is – and USE their views on science as driving tools, or weapons against concepts of Faith. Atheist/Agnostics who actually foster their beliefs in preconceived notions that surrender to an utter ‘disbelief’ in sin, and ‘disbelief’ in the Bible as a worthy authority (-why? because EVOLUTION DISPROVES IT! [yes, they claim this]) and like Eric Scmidt of Google said – they changed their motto “dont be evil” because they would think it “stupid” or “silly” (in schmidts own words) to “define evil” by the Bible. Instead, their “new authority” is that of Man: an animal SUCCEEDING in Social Darwinism over the “lesser” ones (yet we know this is untrue, and unfair) – and this “free range” – (without morals) is in exclusive cases granted unlimited access by the bounds of science; and it holds it’s foundations in Darwinian evolution being a split from God’s authority. In it’s palce, they have converged to institute a Re-Defined “good of man” set of laws over the Biblical Will of God, whether it be in science, academia, politics, society, or religion.
    Now “our” Laws of Divine Command have to stay on hold (as they MAY offend someone) – while their lawless “laws of the scientific institution” (pretending to be Utilitarian, pretending to be Humanitarian, pretending to be Democratic) – get the reigns and are fully running the show, on the highest levels, and more functional than we can even really know.
    Again, I wouldnt’ defend the film yet, because I haven’t seen it, but I can clearly see the errors made in overlooking Comfort’s premise (used in his other films) – in exposing the a missing segments of the public’s knowledge, while revealing their non-Theistic adherence as a groupthink-like social misconception.
    Jeff, just because YOU want to see more Professors and Scientists interviewed doesn’t mean THEY WANTED to talk with Comfort. Didn’t you hear Richard Dawkins’ response to Ben Stein’s “expelled”? I can see a guy with Comfort’s reputation getting a lot of rejections from “Scientists” and professors who fear being ridiculed and similarly thrown under the bus.
    Also, being a bit younger, I am more inclined to appreciate the younger generations, more of my peers – revealing their new found adherence to a system that they remain ignorant to – essentially becoming hypocritical in their own “charges” against people of faith. It is truly shocking to hear their admitted claims of just ‘not wanting to care’ in so many ways.
    But I still hold faith in the human race; as I know Jeff does also – and we both hold hope in God above all; all Glory to God. thank you.

  3. Maureen says:

    Hi John,

    Thank you for your encouraging words!

    Maureen (editor for TNRTB)

  4. John Paine says:

    I have been studying Reasons To Believe for some time, and have benefitted greatly not only from your teaching, but also from your integrity and charitable approach to apologetics. There is something wrong when people produce biased, here’s-what-we-think-and-so-should-you material. If our reasoning is sound, we should be able to fairly present the issues whether we agree with others or not. It’s often the difference between informed debate and agenda-driven propaganda. Thanks for being a ministry with such a high degree of integrity and charity.

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