Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
Richard Dawkins at the University of Texas at Austin
“All he has to do is go into a BBC radio studio in his home town of Cambridge and give 30 minutes on why God doesn’t exist,” Comfort said. “He doesn’t even have to acknowledge that I exist.”
Comfort noted that in “The God Delusion,” Dawkins calls “the God he doesn’t believe in a ‘pernicious delusion’” and says He is “a misognynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”
“Dawkins is a giant among intellectuals, and for years I have listened to him spout his blasphemy. I’m a nobody from a sheep-herding country, but I can see a gap in his armor,” Comfort said. “There’s an army of atheists hiding behind Mr. Dawkins waiting for him to feed me to the birds, and he is proving to be nothing but big words. What an embarrassment to the atheist community.”
Comfort had suggested a $10,000 contribution to Dawkins for the hour-long debate, but he later raised the offer to $20,000 and also cut the time he’s requesting from an hour to 30 minutes.
“Richard Dawkins is afraid,” Comfort told WND.
“A similar thing happened in 2001 with the national spokesman for American Atheists, Inc.,” Comfort said. “He challenged me to a debate, so I sent him my book ‘God doesn’t Believe in Atheists’ so that he would have some ammunition.
“A week later he quietly withdrew. When someone accused me of withdrawing and being a chicken, I produced the original finger-lickin’ e-mail, and the result was roasted chicken,” Comfort said. “The spokesperson was very embarrassed, and that forced him to fly me from Los Angeles to Orlando for a debate. They even put me up in a hotel and gave me a fruit basket.”
As WND reported, Dawkins snubbed the $10,000 offer and wasn’t impressed with the $20,000.
“Twenty thousand dollars is closer to the fees that I am customarily offered,” Dawkins told WND in an e-mail. “However, I am not in this for the money.
“My interest is in getting the Banana Man to PART with $100,000 of his money so that that money will NOT be available for buying animatronic dinosaurs with saddles, or other similar nonsense,” Dawkins wrote.
“The fact that he would be making a substantial donation to a charity dedicated to Reason and Science adds to the humour of the situation,” he wrote.
Comfort explained the “Banana Man” reference.
“For years I have held a Coke can in one hand and a banana in
the other, and compared the two. Both have a tab at the top. The banana has
a wrapper with perforations, is biodegradable, etc. It was a parody – the
point being, if someone designed the Coke can then obviously Someone
designed the banana. In the mid 1990′s I published the parody in booklet
form called ‘The Atheist Test’ and sold over a million copies. When we put
it into our TV program, atheists removed the Coke can, and sent the clip all
over the Internet, saying ‘Ray Comfort believes that the banana is proof of
God’s existence.’ I guess atheists don’t appreciate parody.”
Comfort cited Dawkins’ response to Ben Stein in the documentary “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” when the atheist was asked, “What do you
think is the possibility that … intelligent design might turn out
to be the answer to some issues in genetics … or in evolution?”
Dawkins said: “It could come about in the following way: it could be that, at some earlier
time somewhere in the universe a civilization evolved by probably by some
kind of Darwinian means to a very very high level of technology and designed
a form of life that they seeded onto perhaps this planet . . . and that
designer could well be a higher intelligence from elsewhere in the
“So let’s call the debate ‘Banana Man Debates Alien Man’ and let
the audience decide who is the ‘ignorant fool,’” Comfort said.
Dawkins’ demands included the $100,000 plus permission for his staff member to be allowed to film the event and then distribute it as a DVD, “if he thinks it is funny enough.”
A respondent, who identified herself only as “Liz,” wrote:
“We know nothing about this – and it is a rather silly publicity stunt,” the message said. “Richard has always made it known that he does not debate people from the flat-earth society, those who promote the stork-theory of conception and birth, or young-earth creationists.”
Comfort debated atheistic evolution on ABC’s Nightline in 2007 and earlier this year debated on the BBC. He is the author of some 60 other books including “God Doesn’t Believe in Atheists,” “How to Know God Exists,” and “Evolution: the Fairy Tale for Grownups.” He is the publisher of “The Evidence Bible” and more recently, “The Atheist Bible (Unauthorized Version)” and, “The Charles Darwin Bible.” His booklet, “The Atheist Test” has sold over a million copies.