27 July, 2009

Thunderf00t vs Comfort

Here is the long awaited debate/discussion between YouTube heavyweight Thunderf00t (red t-shirt) and creationist Ray Comfort (blue shirt).

Round 1: Thunderf00t definitely had the better of the first part, mainly because he's doing all the talking. Thunderf00t 1-0 Ray

Round 2: Here I think Ray does a bit better. Not because he makes any good points, but because Thunderf00t gets bogged down on the painter-painting analogy without really making his point succinctly. This makes him look slightly unsure of what he's saying, although I doubt that's the case. When the conversation turns to morality, Thunder00t seems more assured in what he's saying. Still very little from Ray. Thunderf00t 2-0 Ray

Round 3: OK Ray starts to talk a bit more here. Unfortunately, Thunderf00t shows his inexperience of this form of debate and misses a lot of opportunities to pin him down. When the discussion goes back to morality Ray does the typical creationist thing and uses the extreme example of a child being raped. Thunderf00t's response is not the angle I would have taken. I think Ray gains in confidence here. Thunderf00t 2-1 Ray

Round 4: A long winded but good point made by Thunderf00t here about anthropomorhpism and Todd, although I'm not sure that Ray appreciates what is being said. That is actually a running theme now, Thunderf00t is very slow and methodical in his approach whilst Ray mainly uses one liners backed up with bible quotes. Due to this, I can already see this discussion going nowhere. Thunderf00t 3-1 Ray

Round 5: I think Ray scored a few points here with his morality questions, again going for extreme case like rape and paedophilia. However, Thunderf00t finished strong by turning the same line of questioning back on Ray. Ray's refusal to answer the question is an obvious act of denial. He knows he is sticking his head in the sand. Still, a point each here. Thunderf00t 4-2 Ray

Round 6: The discussion goes onto abortion here which is slightly off topic, but Ray does admit that he doesn't know if a cell is 'life', which casts doubt on his anti-abortion stance. Thunderf00t brings it back to God vs Todd and forces Ray to concede that the only difference is that God is described in the bible. Thunderf00t is about to jump all over this when the camerman suggests a break. Typical. Thunderf00t 5-2 Ray

Round 7: Ray is struggling with evolution here and Thunderf00t should of hammered home this point - that Ray publicly denounces something he clearly doesn't understand. He can't even grasp the difference between genetic incompatability and infertility. Sheesh! Thunderf00t 6-2 Ray

Round 8: More on morality here but little headway made here by either participant. A bit of bible talk too. No score. Thunderf00t 6-2 Ray

Round 9 and 9a: Ray is in his element when discussing the bible so he easily brushes Thunderf00t aside here. Thunderf00t should stick to science until he has read the bible thoroughly. Thunderf00t 6-3 Ray

So I declare Thunderf00t the 'winner' by a score of 6 to 3. To take my boxing analogy futher I would say he won on points as he never delivered the knockout blow. He had Ray on the ropes a few times but backed off instead of going for the kill.

The most successful approach, in my opinion, was the God vs Todd discussion. Ray was forced to admit that the only difference between the two was that God is described in a book. Thunderf00t should have jumped on this but sadly he didn't, mainly down to the intervention of the camerman. He should have continued by saying that he could theoretically write a book about Todd through Todd's revelation, thus demolishing Ray's argument.

Also, Thunderf00t didn't capitalise on Ray's blatant misunderstanding of speciation and evolution. I would have liked to see him call out Ray on his errors instead of just correcting him politely.

All in all, it was a good effort, and interesting, but Ray's followers won't be convinced by Thunderf00t's approach, as he was very slow and methodical. I doubt whether anyone has changed their opinion based on this.

Thunderf00t's reflections:


BeamStalk said...

I would say good fair commentary on the whole thing.

rhiggs said...

Thanks Beams,

I tried to report it without bias but it was very very difficult with the mind-numbing nonsense coming out of Comfort...

ExPatMatt said...

Full agreement here too.

The Todd vs. God thing should have been the TKO we were all waiting for.

However, Raydid acknowledge that speciation occurs.....

rhiggs said...

Yeah there were several times when I just wanted Thunderf00t to make Ray explain himself. The Todd vs God thing was broken up by the camerman. And when he mixed up genetic incompatibility with infertility, I was shouting at the screen:

"Let him have it!!!!!!"

But no...Thunderf00t was a touch too respectful for me.