Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cameron and Comfort Giving Tainted Copies of Darwin's Origin

Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort (of banana fame), evangelical Christian propagandists who love to lie for Jesus - to others and to themselves (how do they really believe the things they say?) - have decided to release a "150th Anniversary Edition" of Charles Darwin's On The Origin of Species. The special edition will contain a 50-page introduction by Comfort arguing that Darwin's theory isn't sound, that the theory included racism against black people, that his theory was responsible for Hitler's genocide of millions of people during the Holocaust, and other disgraceful lies. Comfort uses those fifty pages to list some of the silliest non-arguments, red herrings, and propaganda that creationists have come up with. Hopefully they didn't alter the actual text of Origin, but I wouldn't put it past them.

You can read the 50 page introduction here: link (pdf)

The tag team is going to be handing out 50,000 free copies of the book on 50 campuses in the US in an effort to promote Jesus Brand™ scientific illiteracy, and yes, apparently they're coming to UCSB!


So what do we do? I like the idea of going to the campus distributors and getting as many copies of the book as possible. If we take as many of the books out of circulation as we can, it might make some difference.

A number of campuses will undoubtedly be holding counter-tabling efforts.

Maybe I have too much faith in the intellect of today's university students, but I don't think this will be a huge deal. The ideal reaction of someone picking up the book and reading the intro would be laughter - some of the arguments in the intro are just so ridiculous that they're actually entertaining to read. This introduction is a joke, and should become one of many laughing stocks left by Kirk and Ray. It might even prove to be a catalyst of rational thought: if students have never heard of the Banana Man, this is their chance to see how low these two will stoop to spread their virus of ignorance.

On the other hand, the cynical side of my mind is making me worry about what will happen if my fellow uni students aren't as bright as I'd hoped. Will they actually be convinced by a foreword? I hope not.

I see this as an act of vandalism that will be forgotten for the most part. It will probably be promoted by students who were already convinced of these falsehoods, derided by those who know anything about evolution and science, and ignored by those who don't care.

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