Ray Comfort's Gravity Gaffe
Ray Comfort, of livingwaters.com, is a creationist evangelist most famous for arguing that the banana proves God, because look how perfect it is. This is a common theme in his arguments against evolution – they may constitute a type of logical fallacy worthy of their own name, the argument from personal profound scientific illiteracy. (Comfort seems to unaware that the Cavendish is a highly modified cultivar of banana.)
Now Comfort has outdone himself – on Facebook on July 26th he left this gem:
If the Bible isn’t God-inspired, explain why how the writer of the Book of Job knew 3,000 years ago that “The earth hangs upon nothing” (Job 26:7).
It wasn’t until thousands of years later that science discovered that gravity doesn’t exist in space (as it does on earth), and that this massive earth does indeed hang upon nothing.
Comfort was under the impression that there is no gravity in space, I guess because astronauts float when they are in orbit. Of course, astronauts in orbit experience microgravity because they are in orbit, which is constant freefall. There is gravity throughout the universe, made apparent by the structure an motions of stars, galaxies, superclusters, and indeed the entire visible universe.
Further, Comfort interprets “hangs on nothing” (a poetic and vague phrase) as “no gravity.” This is a fine example of retrofitting specific interpretations to vague biblical writing.
After many people gleefully corrected Comfort, he posted a correction a few hours later:
Up until today I was one of the many who believed that there is zero gravity in space. We live and learn—thanks to the many atheists who kindly corrected me.
But he then immediately doubled down on his usual idiocy, essentially arguing that even though he was wrong, he was still right:
While there is invisible gravity in space (so much for “seeing is believing”), this massive earth hangs on nothing. It has no visible means of support–similar to the no means of support backing Darwinian evolution.
It doesn’t matter how often or how profoundly wrong Comfort and other creationists are on the actual facts, in their own minds they are still right. Facts are meant to be cherry picked to support their ideology, so all they have to do is change the facts they cherry pick – problem solved.