Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Problem: Debating an Issue You Don't Understand

Kirk Cameron, the actor turned wacky evangelical, is back peddling his overstated and horribly confused wares. A recent video release by himself and Ray Comfort, author of one of the most poorly written books I have ever read, have teamed up again to take their version of evangelism to a whole new level of absurdity. The video itself is hilarious. Kirk sitting backwards in a chair (what is this a 90s PSA?) making absurd statements about how evolution is the antithesis of Christianity and that Darwin's ideas played a key role in Nazi crimes against humanity. Now I can fathom how evolution makes people who believe the earth is 6,000-10,000 years old uncomfortable, but to make such blatantly untrue and egregious statements is just irresponsible.

Their awesome plan is to take Darwin's original treatise on evolution (which is now part of public domain) and put in a 50 page "special introduction." It appears to be special in the same way people call their dog that can't stop running into walls, "special." They will then hand these out at campuses across the U.S. in an attempt to debunk the "myth of evolution." Now handing out a free copy of Origin of Species is all well and good, but to put in 50 pages of conservative evangelical babble serves no one. People that would even CONSIDER reading the 50 page special introduction would NEVER read Origin of Species, and vice-versa. Cameron's and Comfort's narrow, ignorant, and inaccurate understanding of reality indicates clearly that neither have read the original text that they will be giving away, nor have they read any modern works on evolution. Anyone looking at the evidence, religious or non-religious, with an appreciation of rules of evidence and the scientific method cannot but identify the facts of evolution and how it has given rise to our current biodiversity. To claim otherwise is to simply ignore the vast historical literature and on-going scientific work in any field related to biology.

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