Kirk Cameron in screen shot of video introducing his “Origin of Species” campaign
A campaign by Ray Comfort and actor Kirk Cameron to give away 100,000 copies of a special edition of Charles Darwin’s “Origin of Species” on 100 university campuses in conjunction with the 150th anniversary of the seminal book’s publication in November already is drawing a caustic reaction from media.
The special release of the book challenges the theory of evolution with a 50-page introduction that includes an overview of Darwin’s life and presents a case for a universe created by God through arguments such as the structure of DNA and the absence of species-to-species transitional forms.
Reacting to a video presentation of the campaign by Cameron, a television writer and contributing editor to Rolling Stone magazine, David Wild, wrote in the Huffington Post that Cameron “seems like a really nice guy.”
“Unfortunately, the Artist Formerly Known as Mike Seaver seems like a really nice guy who’s evolved into a willfully ignorant idiot,” Wild wrote, alluding to Cameron’s role as a teen star in the 1980s TV sitcom “Growing Pains.”
The introduction to the special “Origin of Species” release, which can be read on Living Waters website, also shows how great scientists of the past such as Nikolas Copernicus, Isaac Newton, Francis Bacon and Albert Einstein, believed in God’s existence.
Meanwhile, a TMZ video parody features “the matchup of the century, Kirk Cameron versus Charles Darwin, who is dead.”
“Yes, the former ‘Growing Pains’–star–turned–religious–fanatic is launching an all-out attack on Darwin’s theory of evolution.”
The TMZ spoof says, “Kirk has decided to unbrainwash people by teaming up with fellow Bible-thumper Sonny Bono, er Ray Comfort, who literally rewrote Darwin’s ‘Origin of Species.’”
In his video presentation of the Darwin campaign, Cameron says, “An entire generation is being brainwashed by atheistic evolution without even hearing the alternative; and it’s radically changing the culture of our nation.”
Cameron encourages providing students with an alternative view of life’s origin and letting them decide for themselves what to believe.
The Huffington Post published a brief item on the Darwin campaign, coupling Cameron’s video with a snarky “response” from a Slavic-accented YouTube user.
The YouTube video, with more than 444,000 views, is accompanied by a robust string of more than 8,800 comments, including, “Sorry, science teaches that people evolved. That means NO Adam and Eve. That means NO first sin, or fall from grace. That means NO need for Jesus to have died on a cross to save us.”
The Living Waters video, featuring Cameron, has more than 143,000 views.
Comfort previously told WND “atheists are going crazy” on Internet forums in response to the “Origin of Species” plan, saying, “How can we stop this? We’re going to have a book burning.”
Comfort’s Living Waters is working on the project with Answers in Genesis, Campus Crusade for Christ, Teen Mania and the Alliance Defense Fund.
To critics of the campaign, Comfort points out his edition features the entire publication, with nothing removed, and his name will be on the cover.
“I think that the liberal media need to stand back for a moment, take deep breath and think about what they are saying,” Comfort told WND in an e-mail.
He argued there have been more than 140 reprints of “Origin of Species,” most have had introductions or forewords, and some were critical of the theory of evolution.
Comfort cited an introduction by Prof. W.R. Thompson in 1956, who said it was “right and proper to draw the attention of the non-scientific public to the disagreements about evolution.”
Thompson added: “But some recent remarks of evolutionists show that they think this unreasonable. This situation, where scientific men rally to the defense of a doctrine they are unable to define scientifically, much less demonstrate with scientific rigor, attempting to maintain its credit with the public by the suppression of criticism and the elimination of difficulties, is abnormal and unwise in science.”
Comfort contends he hasn’t attacked Darwin, “but simply looked objectively at his belief and asked if it’s scientific, and then left it up to the reader to make up his own mind.”
“What’s wrong with that?” he asked. “Charles Darwin, in his own Introduction in 1859, said, ‘A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question.’”
Comfort also pointed out that, thanks to advice from atheists on his blog and others, the 50-page introduction will address Darwin’s “racism” and “reveal how he was truly a gentleman who was adamantly against slavery.”
It also qualifies Darwin’s apparent disdain for women and argue that his moral character is irrelevant to the theory of Evolution, just as the theory of relativity should stand on its own merits and not on the morality of Albert Einstein.
Comfort said his introduction also makes it clear that Adolf Hitler’s attraction to the theory is not relevant to whether or not it’s true, pointing out the Nazi dictator also used Christianity for his own political ends.
“I want this introduction to be fair-minded, free from prejudice against Darwin, with no straw men or quote-mining,” Comfort said.
Nothing created everything
Comfort notes a survey showed 61 percent of U.S. professors in biology or psychology said they were atheists or agnostics.
“Atheism has doubled in the last 20 years among 19 to 25 year olds. So young people are being brainwashed by this stuff,” he said. “All we want to do is give an alternative.”
“So many young people are being convinced that atheism is right, that evolution is right, there’s no god, there are no moral absolutes,” he said. “Who cares if you marry a dog? What’s the big deal? And that’s what atheism believes, too. It’s very sad, and we’re going to do our best to fight back in November.”
He said the plan includes a trip to a leading bastion of academic skepticism, the University of California at Berkeley.
“So what is Berkeley going to do, ban ‘Origin of Species’? Especially when they sell it in their bookstore for $29.95, and we’re going to be giving away copies.”
As WND reported, Comfort’s lively interaction on his Atheist Central blog with scores of atheists and agnostics of all kinds – from young students to decorated scientists – has given him unusual insight into the skeptical mind and led him to conclude atheism rests on a remarkably illogical and unscientific premise that became the title of his latest book, “Nothing Created Everything.”
Comfort’s new book quotes leading scientists who believe “nothing created everything,” including British biologist and unofficial leader of the popular atheist movement, Richard Dawkins.
Dawkins, in his 2004 book “The Ancestor’s Tale” wrote, “The fact that life evolved out of nearly nothing, some 10 billion years after the universe evolved literally out of nothing, is a fact so staggering that I would be mad to attempt words to do it justice.”
Comfort offered $20,000 to Dawkins to debate him on BBC radio, but the British scientist has not responded.