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Apologetics Exposed

Ray Comfort's Evolving Banana Lie

When the Christian apologist Ray Comfort attempted to disprove evolution with just his limited knowledge of bananas he instantly became an international laughingstock. When the flaws in his claim were made publicly known Ray did what he does best, he made up more lies about bananas. Join us in this three part story which starts off with Ray Comfort's well known original banana lie, followed by his banana lie diversion, and concludes with his latest collection banana lies used to cover up his original banana lie. You may notice a theme.

PART 1 The Original Banana Lie

On Ray Comfort's own evangelism TV show titled "Way of the Master" Ray and his sidekick, ex-teen star Kirk Cameron, compared a banana to a manmade soda can. They concluded that since a banana has many traits similar to a soda can that make it more convenient for the appreciation of humans then just like a soda can the banana too must have had a conscious designer and that designer was of course Yahweh, the god of Abraham. Although this segment from Way of the Master became popular through a youtube video clip titled "The Atheist's Nightmare" Ray preached and continues to preach his claim at lectures and in his propaganda flyers and books such as "God Doesn't Believe in Atheists" published in 1993 and reprinted in 2002, 2005.

As mentioned by Ray, the banana...
  1. Is shaped for human hand
  2. Has non-slip surface
  3. Has outward indicators of inward contents: (Green - too early, Yellow - just right, Black - too late)
  4. Has a tab for removal of wrapper
  5. Is perforated on wrapper
  6. Bio-degradable wrapper
  7. Is shaped for human mouth
  8. Has a point at top for ease of entry
  9. Is pleasing to taste buds
  10. Is curved towards the face to make the eating process easy
There are two major problems to Ray Comfort's banana claim.

pineapple
PROBLEM 1
If Ray Comfort's crude analysis of the convenience of bananas is evidence for
a god then by that logic the inconvenience of pineapples is evidence that there is no god.
Musa maclayi
Musa maclayi (Wild Banana)



PROBLEM 2
As addressed in an anonymously posted Youtube video, 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.
PART 2 The Banana Lie Diversion

In a video titled "Ray Comfort apologizes for banana illustration" from "Living Waters" Ray attempts to divert people away from his now publicly exposed false banana claims by saying, "My apologies for not explaining myself more clearly. I was not aware that the common banana had been so modified by hybridization, however, the truth remains that God gave man the knowledge and ability to modify it, so that it perfectly fit into his hand. He did the same with big dogs so that they could fit into our car and with wild cats, so that they are perfectly fit for the wife."

PROBLEM 1
Ray says he apologizes for "not explaining himself more clearly" in a really weak attempt to make it appear as if the only issue was just a misunderstanding of what he said. In truth, it is the understanding of what he said which he is rightfully ridiculed for.

PROBLEM 2
Once Ray Comfort's "evidence" for his claim is publicly disproved he simply pushes his claim back one step and this time avoids providing any evidence for his claim. At least this way no one can disprove his evidence if there is no evidence provided, smart thinking Ray.

PART 3 The Latest Collection Of Banana Lies

Remember when Ray Comfort just basically said that the critics were right and bananas are not naturally convenient for men like originally claimed but his god must have given man the knowledge and abilities to make the naturally inconvenient banana convenient? Yeah well, ignore all that. Ray Comfort is now resurrecting his original lie about bananas by making up a few more lies to help support his original claim. In an interview by Hemant Mehta (Friendly Atheist) Ray Comfort states, "There isn't any evidence that the banana has changed its shape in the last 2,000 years." He then provides a link to a PDF file titled The Banana Controversy for "evidence that the banana hasn't changed shape."

PROBLEM 1
Please note that Ray Comfort mentions that the banana has not changed shape in the last 2,000 years. This is true but very deceitful because he conveniently avoids to address that the domestication of the banana started over 8,000 years ago. The PDF file does mention that "Archaeological evidence suggests that the banana goes back as far as 8,000 years" but this archaeological evidence is only a reference to the CULTIVATION of the banana. Even the website which is cited as a source and the quote included IN HIS OWN NOTES clearly states that the archaeological evidence "suggests that banana cultivation" (not just the banana) goes back as far as 8,000 BC (which would be 10,000 years ago, not 8,000 years).

PROBLEM 2
The PDF file states that we do not know what bananas from 8,000 years ago looked like "because we don't have 8,000 year-old pictures." We don't need 8,000 year-old pictures because we still have wild bananas around today. We have perfect examples of what bananas looked like before they were cultivated and domesticated. The cultivated domestic yellow banana that Ray Comfort uses in his examples are the product of cultivating a wild banana native to New Guinea known as Musa maclayi (shown above). These wild bananas are still around today, unchanged by man, and it was a photo of Musa maclayi which the anonymous Youtube user used in the video response to Ray Comforts "Atheist Nightmare" video.

plantains
Plantains (not wild)
PROBLEM 3
Since Ray Comfort ignores the fact that we know what wild bananas from New Guinea look like and still have examples around today he then uses a much more modern and cultivated banana as his example of what the original wild banana must have looked like. This is like saying we do not have a photo of a wolf from 15,000 years ago so the earliest dog must have been a poodle. The type of banana Ray Comfort uses as an example for his comparison is plantains. Ray then pulls a quote from a website cited in his sources which states, "These historical bananas were not the sweet yellow banana we know today, but the red and green cooking variety, now usually referred to as plantains to distinguish them from the sweet type." Ray ignores the fact that the section of the website he quotes is only referring to the history of sweet bananas, not wild bananas.

PROBLEM 4
This one is my favorite, the last example of evidence given by Ray Comfort for what original wild bananas must have really looked like is the origin of the name "banana." Here is a quote from the PDF file...

We can get another clue as to the shape of the original banana by looking at the origin of the word "banana." It comes from the name banana, which is Arabic for "finger."

Ray Comfort is correct, the modern name banana is from the Arabic word for finger and it was most likely named after the shape of the banana. Ray Comfort however ignores that the banana was not brought to Palestine by Islamic conquerors until 650 AD, this information can even be found on the first website Ray cites as a source. Since the fruit now known as "bananas" was not introduced to Arabic merchants until 650 AD it obviously did not get named after the Arabic word for finger until after 650 AD which is about 8,650 years after cultivation first began.

WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM ALL OF THIS...
Ray Comfort appears to be more concerned with what he wants to be true rather than what is actually true. If he did care about what was true then Ray would have taken at least five minutes to research his original claim and also would not have twisted the words and information of his own sources. Ray Comfort's entire career revolves around telling creationists what they want to hear during his lectures or in his own books and television show so there is also the likely possibility that he lies because it is financially profitable. Regardless of why Ray Comfort intentionally lies so much may not be clear but whatever his true agenda is the fact remains that Ray Comfort is anything but honest. He is too smart to make all of these false claims accidentally, especially when the truth is provided in his sources, so that means is claims are an act of pure dishonesty. This lack of concern for honesty really comes at no surprise given his track record for dishonesty and deceit.

NOTES:
I worded the text in Part 3 as if Ray Comfort was the author of the PDF file titled "The Banana Controversy." To the best of my knowledge Ray is the author but regardless of who wrote it Ray Comfort still used the PDF as "evidence that the banana hasn't changed shape."

SOURCES:
http://friendlyatheist.com/2009/11/26/interview-with-ray-comfort
http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Banana_-_History/id/1286075
http://homecooking.about.com/od/foodhistory/a/bananahistory.htm
http://apscience.org.au/projects/PBF_02_3/pbf_02_3.htm