Hemant "The Friendly Atheist" Mehta Interviews Ray "The Banana Man" Comfort


Hemant Mehta does a fascinating interview with Ray Comfort, not about Creationism, but about Comfort's personal philosophy and the way he has gone about promoting Creationism and Christianity in general. Comfort, you'll recall, is the guy who tried to prove the existence of a benevolent interventionist God by appealing to the human-convenient shape of a banana–a plant that's been heavily modified by humans through controlled selection in agriculture. Kudos to Mehta for giving us a glimpse inside this particular head.

Hemant: The banana. Do you stand by the argument in your video? Do you regret saying what you did? Do you like when people associate that video with you? Was it a joke? Are you aware that the banana in your video is genetically modified while a "natural" banana would be virtually unrecognizable? (There are several other questions regarding the Banana, but these are the overall themes).

Ray: I deeply regret doing the banana routine on television without a live audience. I have been doing it for live audiences for more than 20 years, and it's never failed to get a lot of laughs. Regarding genetic modification. There isn't any evidence that the banana has changed its shape in the last 2,000 years. The anonymous creator of the well-publicized YouTube clip used a picture of a modern banana that was shaped like a potato, to make me look like a fool (and he did a pretty good job). To see evidence that the banana hasn't changed shape, go to the bottom of http://www.livingwaters.com/origin/presskit and click on the PDF of "The Banana Controversy." Humbling though it has been, the subject has worked in my favor. Being "The Banana Man" has left me with a very low bar to reach. People are quite amazed when I'm able to string a complete sentence together.

It's worth noting that, given Mehta's audience, this is pretty atheist-centric. However, I'm well aware that belief in the Christian God/Jesus (or any other deity) doesn't preclude acceptance of evolution and doesn't equate with scientific illiteracy. Mehta seems to be aware of that as well. Comfort, on the other hand, appears to be a little confused on the subject.

The Friendly Atheist: Interview With Ray Comfort

Image courtesy Flickr user ian_ransley, via CC