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Origin Of Species


Citsonga
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I just found out yesterday about a new edition of Darwin's "Origin Of Species" being pushed to college campuses by Ray Comfort & Kirk Cameron with a 50 page evangelistic introduction by Comfort. Here's a YouTube video about it where ZOMGitsCriss puts them in their place:

 

 

The sad thing is that there was a time when I would have supported something like this.

 

<<Hangs head in shame>>

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Just do as she suggests: take the book and tear out the 50 pages written by Ray Comfort.

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But wasn't Comfort also going to edit some of the pages written by Darwin to corrupt his theories to make them seem more flawed than they actually are?

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Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort? :woopsie:

 

I am going to pass on watching the video. As soon as I see anything with Kirk Cameron and/or Ray Comfort involved I know what to expect :ouch:

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How is this legal? I assume Darwin is in the public domain now, but just how can you alter a classic like this legally?

 

I say we print up the SAB and pass them out at campus'

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Neon Genesis: I'm not aware of any alterations other than the "introduction." I can't say for sure, though, but nothing of the sort is mentioned in ZOMGitsCriss' video.

 

Mike D: ZOMGitsCriss' responses are pretty good, though, so you may find it interesting.

 

Marty: I just bought a copy of Origin Of Species a couple months ago, and the only copyright listed on the credits page is for the introduction, so I guess Darwin's book is indeed public domain now. From a technical standpoint, if none of Darwin's actual text has been altered in this upcoming edition, then they haven't altered the classic, they've just added a bullshit introduction. Printing and handing out SAB Bibles in response would be good, but I also like ZOMGitsCriss' suggestion of having Richard Dawkins write a 50 page introduction to the Bible and pass copies of it out.

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I heard about this. Apparently Ray connects Charles Darwin to Hitler somehow in the inroduction. XD How the hell did he manage that? They always seem to draw the hitler card as a scare tactic. Silly silly.

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Kirk Cameron And Ray Comfort = KC A RC. Switch it around: Crack. That's what they're on.

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I heard about this. Apparently Ray connects Charles Darwin to Hitler somehow in the inroduction. XD How the hell did he manage that? They always seem to draw the hitler card as a scare tactic. Silly silly.

 

And yet, they believe that most of the people Hitler murdered, Jews, are now burning in hell forever. Kind of a moral disconnect if you ask me.

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I gagged watching that (Not when ZOMGitsCriss was talking though.)

 

Who's bankrolling this shit? I find the numbers very interesting.

 

In 2007 (the last year data is available online) Living Waters Publications (Ray Comfort's company) took in $908,754 in direct public support. I guess that's just barely enough for it to qualify for tax-exempt status.

 

Gross sales was $4,595,473.

 

Cost of goods sold was $1,868,274, meaning the company made $2,727,199 in PURE PROFIT!

 

STEP 1: PRAISE JESUS

STEP 2: ???

STEP 3: PROFIT!

 

There's a whole bunch of other boring shit in there but here's what you all wanna know -- what does Ray Comfort pay himself? $120,000.

 

His executive VP Emeal Zwayne made $133,576.

 

His secretary and VP Daniel Comfort made $93,462.

 

His CFO Ronald Love Urzik made $92,077.

 

They're all related except for Urzik.

 

Here's some more fun facts.

 

The highest-paid independent contractor that year was production consultant "Burning Bush Communications" in Minnesota which received $589,491.

 

"Camrolio Productions," the "professional talent," received $170,000. Yeah, that's Kirk Cameron's company.

 

You know what else is interesting? Donations have been going down since 2005. But profits from sales have been going up.

 

Ooh, ooh, let's see what they gave to charity: $1,800 to the Huntingdon Disease Society. $5,823 to the American Tract Society. Not much else. $9,173 in total.

 

Close to $2 million got thrown into the "Way of the Master" radio show and TV program.

 

I should also point out Kirk and Ray are buddies with Bill Gothard, a name which should send shudders down the spines of ex-christians in here who suffered through "Basic Life Principles" or "Basic Youth Conflicts."

 

If there is a hell, that's where this gang belongs.

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the company made $2,727,199 in PURE PROFIT!

 

Must be nice to be rolling in the money!

 

what does Ray Comfort pay himself? $120,000.

 

I wonder if this is for real. Even though $120k is a hell of a nice salary, if his company is bringing in $2.7M, then is he really limiting himself to just $120k? I guess it's possible, but then perhaps there are some very generous fringe benefits.

 

His executive VP Emeal Zwayne made $133,576.

 

So, he supposedly pays his VP more than he pays himself? One really has to wonder about these numbers....

 

Ooh, ooh, let's see what they gave to charity: $1,800 to the Huntingdon Disease Society. $5,823 to the American Tract Society. Not much else. $9,173 in total.

 

Close to $2 million got thrown into the "Way of the Master" radio show and TV program.

 

Only $1,800 got put to good use out of their $2.7M profit. Quite sad.

 

But, hey, the ministry's the most important thing, right? Excuse me while I gag....

 

I should also point out Kirk and Ray are buddies with Bill Gothard, a name which should send shudders down the spines of ex-christians in here who suffered through "Basic Life Principles" or "Basic Youth Conflicts."

 

I'm not familiar with this guy, though I vaguely seem to have heard the name before.

 

If there is a hell, that's where this gang belongs.

 

Thank gawd that hell is just part of a fairy tale.

 

Anyway, thanks for posting the info. I have to wonder about the figures they're giving, of course, since what CEO pays his VP more than himself?

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The numbers are right out of the 2007 form 990 filed with the IRS.

 

And there's no reason why Comfort couldn't write off "company" expenses (car, computers) that would benefit himself. I'm sure the numbers are right -- but like every good CEO, I have no doubt Comfort knows how to get the maximum benefit out of the system without being obvious.

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I had never heard of ZOMGitsCriss before. She is awesome!

 

The version with Ray Comfort's 50 pages of crap was apparently abridged. I'm pretty sure that the book is a LOT longer than the two-hundred-some-odd pages in the version with Comfort's introduction. (I picked up on that somewhere in my reading/viewing within the last few minutes).

 

The book IS public domain. When I read it, I did not buy it, but downloaded it legitimately from a PD online book site (I'm pretty sure it was Project Gutenberg).

 

Although he wrote a 50 page introduction for it, I seriously doubt that Ray Comfort actually read "Origin of Species." If he did, he was profoundly intellectually dishonest. He apparently "refutes" claims that the book never made (such as the claim that "something can come out of nothing"). "Origin of Species" was meticulously researched and presented, with a prodigious body of evidence, and with careful consideration of counter arguments/evidence. Having read the book, it is comical to see a two paragraph rant by some yahoo about how complex the eye is and that it could not have evolved after reading a lengthy, thorough, and compelling treatment of the subject in the book. Since then, the theory has been tested, challenged, refined, and has passed muster. Rather than flippantly dismissing a claim that is unpalatable to any superstitious instincts we might have, if and when evidence to the contrary arises, we employ the scientific method and test it. That's how science works.

 

I do not see how it is possible to read a book like Origin of Species with a thinking mind, and not walk away leery of frivolous objections by those of Mr. Comfort's ilk.

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The version with Ray Comfort's 50 pages of crap was apparently abridged. I'm pretty sure that the book is a LOT longer than the two-hundred-some-odd pages in the version with Comfort's introduction. (I picked up on that somewhere in my reading/viewing within the last few minutes).

 

Good observation. My copy is well over 400 pages. It is a small book, so a larger book could cut the number of pages down considerably. However, if this "special" version has the same font size for the main text as for the introduction (I took a look at the PDF of the intro that is linked in ZOMGitsCriss' video description), then it would have to be abridged to just be 200+ pages.

 

So, not only have they added the bullshit introduction, it *appears* that they've removed some of Darwin's original text. This is looking worse by the minute.

 

Although he wrote a 50 page introduction for it, I seriously doubt that Ray Comfort actually read "Origin of Species." If he did, he was profoundly intellectually dishonest.

 

I have to agree. I used to be into creationism, but I never listened to the other side, so all I heard about evolution was the creationists' mischaracterization. I believed (and told others) that Darwin's book was seriously flawed, but I had never read it myself. I had only read the quotes included in creationist propaganda, that's all. I feel bad for having been duped like that, but I was of the impression that these christians who were defeding god's word would be honest and thorough, so I simply didn't suspect that they were misrepresenting their opponents.

 

Just a few months ago, I bought "Origin of Species" and I started reading it. I have to confess that even now that I recognize that Darwin was brilliant for his time, I still have difficulty maintaining interest in reading the book. It's really good in terms of thoroughly documenting Darwin's case, but for a nonscientific guy like myself it can be a little tedious to read (so I've set it aside to read a couple other books, though I may come back to it).

 

As such, I seriously doubt that more than a very small handful of creationists have ever actually read "Origin of Species."

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agnosticman77 just posted a new song on YouTube mocking Kirk & Ray in response to this "Origin of Species" endeavor:

 

Crocoduck

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I need a copy of Origin Of Species. I may take this opportunity to go grab it and just rip the first 50 pages out (so long as the actual original content of the book itself is un-edited by Comfort). Apparently they are going to be visiting Universieites here in Canada as well. I'd like to go down to University Of Toronto the day they're here and pick up a copy.

 

Obviously Cameron and Comfort can't be at every university and college at once in one day, so i'm wondering if they are doing a tour over a period of weeks going from campus to campus beginning on Nov 19. And when will they be at U of T? Does anyone have any more info on their visits?

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DirtbagDan, in one of the videos I saw Kirk said that he and Comfort would be at one particular university to hand out the books. I don't remember which one it was, and I suppose it's possible that they may go to one or two others. However, I am of the impression that the other campuses will have other people handing out the books, probably volunteers.

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OK, I've read Comfort's 50 page introduction, and I think it's worth posting my review and impressions.

 

It was mind-boggling to me what unmitigated tripe his introduction was. It was truly gutsy of them to put this introduction at the beginning of a book such as this, even if they did truncate and omit a substantial amount of material the book. There was a Table of Contents. Based on the TOC, Comfort and Cameron apparently mostly truncated the work (there were only 9 chapters listed, out of about 15 or so--I do not know whether they would have left material out from the chapters they included). They appear to have omitted entire chapters from the portion included, including the chapter in which the geological record is discussed. This is significant because Comfort put relatively substantial effort in his introduction to discredit the concept of evolution by citing the lack of intermediate forms. He lies outright when he claims "Darwin acknowledged that the absence of intermediates put his theory in doubt, but he attributed their lack to the scarcity of fossils at that time—and he had faith that they would eventually be found." To the contrary, there was extensive discussion of geological strata and the rare conditions needed for fossils to form. Those reading only Comfort's and Cameron's abridged version will never see this discussion in Origin of Species. They will never see what Comfort would actually have needed to refute if he were to have provided a reasonable argument; they will only see the straw man Comfort builds in the introduction.

 

Nevertheless, even paired with the abridged version, having actually read Comfort's introduction, I must reiterate the impression I had before I even read the introduction: I cannot even begin to fathom a thinking person reading both the introduction and the book and not walking away unsatisfied with Comfort's treatment of the subject.

 

But, I'm getting ahead of myself.

 

The introduction was divided into three sections:

 

The first 15% or so was a somewhat dry, somewhat slanted biography of Darwin's life. I say "slanted" because Comfort chooses to include in his short summary such insignificant tidbits as a statement about Darwin attributed to Darwin's father: "You care for nothing but shooting, dogs and rat-catching, and you will be a disgrace to yourself and all your family," apparently in a rather pathetic attempt to discredit Darwin and portray him as an unsavory character.

 

In the next 65% of the introduction, Comfort attempts to discredit the Theory of Evolution itself.

 

The final 20% is basically an unabashed altar call.

 

Comfort starts the second section with the hackneyed argument that something complex requires a designer. Akin to the airplane or coke can, he uses the analogy of a book with ink splats that formed random letters that evolve to a coherent and complete work, and then learns to replicate itself into millions of copies. 'Nuff said. This has been addressed plenty on this and other sites.

 

I was amused by a hallmark absurdity in arguments xians make when discussing science that disagrees with their world view: the assumption that if we learn more and modify our view based on new evidence, that it discredits our entire assertion. It seems that apparently at one point, some biologist claimed that there was a 98% - 99% similarity in the DNA between humans and chimpanzees, and we subsequently learned that there was only a 96% similarity. Comfort digs that this is "interesting proof."

 

Of course one of his footnoted sources on this topic is from "Answers in Genesis," and he seems to favor this site and other similar sources in gathering support for his material. Other sources, such as a National Geographic article on the same subject seemed to paint a quite different picture than Comfort was presenting, and in fact, how different or similar one considers the human and chimpanzee genome depends a lot on how you look at it. For example, it seems that humans and chimps differ 1.2 percent in terms of single-nucleotide changes to the genetic code, but that 2.7 percent of the difference is attributed to duplications in the genetic code. Moreover, Comfort erroneously claims that the huge number of DNA entries that are different between humans and chimps would account for an enormous difference, when in fact, the genes that express the salient differences between humans and chimps are relatively much smaller in number. Careless, Ray, shame on you!

 

Comfort also presents the fact that humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes while chimps have 24 as a huge problem. At some point in the past I had wondered about this myself and investigated. Apparently Comfort did not investigate: it is not such a huge problem.

 

Now I swear that I hadn't read the introduction yesterday when I made the eye comment, but Comfort lunges in with the "something so complex as an eye cannot evolve" argument about half way through the introduction. He cites Darwin's claim that on the face of it, a complex eye forming via natural selection seems absurd, but does nothing to try to shoot holes into the well reasoned and cogent analysis that followed. He also claimed that an intermediate form of an eye has never been observed. He ignores subsequent evidence from other scientists corroborating evolution of the eye.

 

It gets even better. Comfort actually managed to drag Hitler into his introduction and he tacitly drew a comparison between Hitler and Darwin! I am not making this up!

 

So we finally get to the altar call portion of the introduction. This was truly revolting. Here is where we are admonished in Comfort's own words: "Don't ask God for 'proof.' You don't need it," and to "stay with me—and remember to let fear work for you." This really makes me sick. I know that xianity works by feeding on fear, and here he makes it explicit. What a miserable schmuck (I think I'm starting to sound like ZOMGitsCriss).

 

He played the card of: "If I pilfered even one lollipop from the jar when I was three years old, I DESERVE to burn in hell forever, because, god being all Good, must be unspeakably outraged at my wickedness, the same way I would be outraged hearing of a horrible rape and murder of an innocent child." Then, he makes a ridiculous assertion about how us damned by our sin is akin to having to jump out of an airplane flying at 10000 feet and needing a parachute, and then goes on to "show" that hinduism, buddhism, and islam does not provide this parachute, but xianity does!

 

So there ya go, total drivel. I am dumbfounded that he actually tried to pull off this introduction farce.

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Comfort also presents the fact that humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes while chimps have 24 as a huge problem. At some point in the past I had wondered about this myself and investigated. Apparently Comfort did not investigate: it is not such a huge problem.

It was even brought up at the Dover trial. The 24 v 23 chromosomes, to my understanding, supports evolution, because they can identify exactly which two chromosomes that fused.

 

These guys believe lying for Jesus is a virtue. If God tells you to lie, then you're not sinning.

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I love how they draw the line from Darwin to Hitler because Christianity has always been so progressive when it comes to racism and sexism. The bible is so powerful that it has always led people to do the right thing when it comes to things like slavery and genocide, right?

 

Does anyone even take Comfort and Cameron seriously at this point?

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Does anyone even take Comfort and Cameron seriously at this point?

 

 

My father and MILLIONS of other short-sighted born again believers do. It is really really sad that people are in a trap like this that they have almost no hope of getting out of.

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Does anyone even take Comfort and Cameron seriously at this point?

 

 

My father and MILLIONS of other short-sighted born again believers do. It is really really sad that people are in a trap like this that they have almost no hope of getting out of.

 

Indeed. The simple fact that they're bringing in millions of dollars indicates that there are people who take them seriously.

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As much as I hate Cameron, only his kind of insanity could have brought us the fabulous animal that is Crocoduck.

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As much as I hate Cameron, only his kind of insanity could have brought us the fabulous animal that is Crocoduck.

 

I had never heard of that (probably because I never paid attention to Cameron). I had to google Crocoduck and Cameron, and now, I can't stop laughing! That's going to be in my head all day.

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:twitch: I never read the Origin of Species, but this makes me want to read it. Evolution was the first thing non-Christian I accepted, cause I loved animals and got a Zoology degree and studied all the evidence for it. You can download origin of species? I need to look into that.

 

Edit: I found the download on the site that was mentioned by googling it, it should be a fun read!

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