Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Origin into schools


ExPatMatt said...

As per usual, I can't watch Youtube videos on this computer, but is this Ray Comfort's 'abridged' Origin of Species?

If it is, I would like your opinion on it.

Do you think it is moral to disguise a gospel message in a piece of historical science writing in an attempt to subversively sneak a religious viewpoint into an educational institution?

There's nothing on the cover to suggest that this is anything other than an 'Anniversary Edition'
and some might consider it false advertising for it to be anything but an edition of 'Origins...'

I've read part of the 'Foreword' that Ray has written for this book and, as always, it is full of his usual distortions and misunderstandings of science and evolution - I just hate to think that some people might buy this as a gift for prospective biology students, thinking it's a real copy of the book, only to discover the ulterior motive within.

Perhaps I should have a copy of the Skeptics Annotated Bible published but only call it 'The Bible' on the cover; then I can send it to Sunday Schools across the land - right?

I just don't understand how people who claim to have 'The Truth' on their side feel like it's ok to resort to these kinds of tactics; it baffles me.



Word Verification - 'noidea'

ExPatMatt said...

Ok, I've watched the video.


How many lies can Kirk fit into one introduction?

[all quotes are paraphrased]

"Kids can no longer pray in public" - lie

"No longer freely open a Bible in school" - lie

"10 Commandments no longer allowed to be displayed in public places" - they are, but at the discretion of whoever is in charge of said public place as there may be a constitutional conflict. half-truth

"Gideons no longer allowed to give away Bibles in schools" - I don't know about that one, but why should they be allowed to? Is it ok for Muslims to give away Korans?

"61%" why restrict it to psychology and biology? Seems a little random to me. I wonder what the full results showed...

"atheism has doubled in the last 20 years" - non-sequitor

"entire generation brainwashed by atheistic evolution" - lie. It's taught in evolutionary biology, but you have to choose that, no? And notice the subtle conflation of atheism and evolution there? No mention of the theistic evolutionists....

"Without even hearing the alternative" - and he knows this, how? Are parents not allowed to instruct their kids at home? Can kids not take religious education or enter seminary if they wish? Does Ray Comfort not have a blog?!

"Only God can cause people to love what's right and just" - lie. I love what's right and just and God didn't tell me to.

"50 page introduction to the book" - no mention of the chapters Ray removed though, is there?

"Adolf Hitler's undeniable connection with the theory" - seriously? Hitler? What about his undeniable connection to the works of Martin Luther?

"Darwin's racism" - Darwin was an opponent of slavery but was probably as racist as the next man, for his time. The 'next man' would have been a Christian at that time too.

"Darwin's thoughts on the existence of God" - that he believed in God, right? Pretty sure I remember a certain banner with Darwin's face on this very blog (something about nothing, as I recall)


ExPatMatt said...

"the theory's many hoaxes" - the theory doesn't have 'hoaxes'. Individuals may try to fool other scientists but these have all been disregarded from the theory (for a loooong time now)

"nothing created everything" - I don't have to tell you a) this has nothing to do with evolution (let alone Darwin!) and b) is not what any atheist thinks, do I? Lie.

"Absence of species-to-species transitional forms" - lie. Ray Comfort admitted that speciation occurs in his discussion with Thunderf00t, so he knows that there are transitional forms. Kirk is apparently waiting on the crocoduck! Lie

"balanced view of creationism" - does anyone believe that for a second? Seriously? No bias at all? Lie.

"List of theistic scientists" - all either accepted evolution or were dead before Darwin's time. Not a lie, but certainly not honest.

"Presentation of Intelligent Design" - wait, I thought ID and Creationism were different things! Someone is clearly lying here....

"Opposing and correct view" - what happens to that 'balance' he was talking about? Creation is not an opposing view to evolution. It's magic. It's a belief. It's not science.

"Both sides of the argument and allowed to make up their own minds, right?" - do you think he advocates this approach in sex education? Nope, abstinence only. Interesting.

"Darwin's Origin of Species book" - with nothing on the cover to indicate that there's anything lurking below the surface. At the very least this is being very rude to the Darwin estate.

And then a minute or two of them asking for donations....

Honestly guys, can you not see how disgraceful this is?


Joe A. said...

Hey, Matt.

I wasn't aware that Ray removed any chapters from the original Origin of Species in his edition of the book. Could you give me your sources on that? I'm just curious. I do think that would be a cause for concern if it's the case.

Wayne Dawg said...

Matt -

Most all your points we can debate for hours on end and not win the other to his side.

As for these....

"Kid's can no longer pray in public"

I agree that statement should have been worded better. The statement should have been in the context of the public school system.

"No longer freely open a Bible in school"

Well, that depends on which schools we are talking about. If here in the south where I live, there is almost no fear of opening and reading a Bible in school. Out west or up north that cannot be said of those schools.

And I'm with Joe.....I have not heard that Ray has removed portions of the book for his edition. That would be cause for concern.

ExPatMatt said...

In Ray's own words;

"Abridged chapters: Intro. CHAPTER X: ON THE GEOLOGICAL

He's also using the 1st Edition of Origins rather than one of the later ones that includes corrections and further clarification based on received criticism, so he's 'critiquing' a first draft.

Not that 'critiquing' is the word for his introduction (by the way, Darwin's own introduction to the book was removed to make way for Ray's...), it's actually just a separate book, tacked-on to the front of an abridged Origins.

Of course, you'd never know that from the cover....


Wayne Dawg said...

I was just informed by Tony Miano of the Lawman Chronicles that the book that they will be giving away for free on campus is the complete unabridged version of Origin of Species with the 50 page forward by Ray.

Steve said...


Calif. school bans Ave Maria but says Muslim prayers OK.

ExPatMatt said...


"...the book that they will be giving away for free on campus is the complete unabridged version of Origin of Species with the 50 page forward by Ray".

And yet from the contents page that is available here;


There are at least three chapters missing;

IX. On the Imperfection of the Geologic Record,
XI. Geographical Distribution, and
XII. Geographical Distribution continued.

Not to mention the original Introduction by Darwin.

Besides that though, you have no comment to make on the fundamentally dishonest approach to evangelism that they're taking here? Nothing at all?

I'm actually quite disappointed.


ExPatMatt said...


Judge Richard C. Tallman said;

"When there is a captive audience at a graduation ceremony ... during which the demand for equal time is so great that comparable nonreligious works might not be presented, it is reasonable for a school official to prohibit the performance of an obviously religious piece,".

Now, while I think this is pedantic, ridiculous, uncultured nonsense and that Ave Maria should be allowed anywhere anytime because it's a beautiful piece of music, I can see the legal position on this.

Also, the giving of prayer time to students - of whatever faith - should only be allowed if it doesn't conflict with their study time.

What this has got to do with the topic at hand; I haven't the foggiest.


ExPatMatt said...

Wayne / Steve,

Check out this website;


This has all the missing bits from the publication along with a link to needgod.com

Unabridged, you say?

BathTub said...

Well Tony is saying that they are printing up a 'special' copy for the Origin in schools give away.

Acknowledgement that they have been printing it abridged so far.

We will see if they really do.

I don't have a problem with them printing it abridged.

I have a problem with this hiding the fact. Nowhere does it say 'The Origin - edited by Ray Comfort, foreword by Ray Comfort' on the cover. That's just deceptive.

Plus there is already a 150th Anniversary Edition of the book so they are just causing confusion.

Wayne Dawg said...

"Besides that though, you have no comment to make on the fundamentally dishonest approach to evangelism that they're taking here? Nothing at all?"

I give tracts away all the time to people who don't know what their getting.

I'll say, "did you get one of these" while holding out a tract and people will take it and walk away.

Sometimes they look at it right away...sometimes they put it in their pocket and read it later.

In other words, some people don't know what they have until they open it up and see that it's a Gospel tract.

Same, but different, with the book.

Here they get not only the original book, but they get a 50 page Gospel tract along with it.

I see nothing wrong with that at all. No one has to take the book (for free) just as no one has to take my tract (for free).

ExPatMatt said...

And you really can't see the difference?

People hand out tracts, flyers and promotional materials all the time; it's part of the culture and people know that what they're receiving is going to be a 'sell' of some kind and they accept that when they accept the flyer/tract/whatever.

You're going to schools and pretending to hand out a copy of a major piece of scientific historical writing when actually it conceals a "50 page Gospel tract". That's misrepresentation at best and flat-out deception at worst.

Even that's not true though, is it? It's more like 10 pages of Gospel. The rest is all slandering the character of Darwin (misogynistic, racist Nazi, wasn't he?) and lying about science in general.

I honestly am surprised that you're endorsing this.


Wayne Dawg said...

"I honestly am surprised that you're endorsing this."

Matt -

When people get the book (for free) they can read the introduction and the rest of the book and decide for themselves.

Isn't that fair?

You can always publish a Bible and write you own introduction to it and give away thousands of them for free and let people make up their own minds too!

ExPatMatt said...

"You can always publish a Bible and write you own introduction to it and give away thousands of them for free and let people make up their own minds too!".

I could, but if I wasn't letting people know what they were getting, I would consider that dishonest, unethical and I wouldn't do it.

Also, to be comparable, my introduction would itself have to be dishonest, misleading and malicious, which I also wouldn't do.

Whatever, you're the one who believes your actions are accountable to an all-powerful supervisory being, so I guess if it doesn't bother you then there's no reason for it bother me, is there?

[except the part where you're lying to college kids, of course]


ExPatMatt said...

From Tony (the Lawman),

"Since Living Waters first published an abridged version of the text, then I would expect that some who take the books on to campuses to distribute will distribute the abridged version".

Joe A. said;

"I do think that [removing Chapters] would be a cause for concern if it's the case".

You said;

"I have not heard that Ray has removed portions of the book for his edition. That would be cause for concern".

Well, now you know that is the case. Is it still 'cause for concern'?

Or do you still not care because all that matters is getting the Gospel out there?


Wayne Dawg said...

Ok -

Are the pages (or chapters) that were abridged pages that were not in the original book?

Obviously living Waters changed gears and are giving out the unabridged original version (which, I think, you also have a problem with due to additional chapters that went into later books).

I don't see any problem giving away (for free) the original unabridged version with the 50 page forward.

As far as the abridged version goes (as long as what was taken out was not pertinent to the context of the subject)..maybe the folks giving away that version are explaining the purpose of the book,

BathTub said...

Lawman Tony has indicated that SOME of the copies given out are unabridged.

I don't see any problem giving out an abridged copy either, as long as it indicates such on the cover.

Wouldn't you be shocked to find out that Ray edited down the book after you read it?

Entire chapters were cut from the second half of the book. Ray has used a first edition of the book and trimmed it down. So I am pretty sure no one is counting the added chapter from the later editions.

I would be amazed if Ray even realized there were multiple editions.

ExPatMatt said...

"as long as what was taken out was not pertinent to the context of the subject".

Are you kidding?

The 'context of the subject'? It's a book! ALL the chapters are 'pertinent to the context of the subject', that's why they're in the book!

You're starting to look really desperate here, Wayne.

And you're still not manning up to the fact that not telling people what they're getting (in fact, lying to them about what they're getting), is a dishonest practice and is actually a sin according to the doctrines of your faith.

You're in good company though. Tony ducks this too - he starting going on about how paleontologists made up hoaxes one time so I've got no right to play the 'intellectual honesty card' on him.


You know what? Forget it.

If you want to go out and lie to college kids in an attempt to get them to read further lies about a redacted version of an early edition of historical, scientific writing - that has little relation to modern science - in a desperate attempt to win the false dichotomy of evolution vs. Christianity, then be my guest.

But just ask yourself why you have to resort to such underhand tactics if what you're presenting is the truth....

Nohm said...

In reply to:

"No longer freely open a Bible in school"

Wayne Dog said:

"Well, that depends on which schools we are talking about. If here in the south where I live, there is almost no fear of opening and reading a Bible in school. Out west or up north that cannot be said of those schools."

Wayne, have you ever been outside of the south? Do you think that there are no christians of your stripe in "the north" or "out west"? This concept that it "cannot be said of those schools" that reading a bible is allowed is just... insanity.

Do you really think that, for example, all of California are a bunch of bible-haters?

Where do you think Living Waters is based? Heck, where do you think TBN is based?

I wasn't in public high school all that long ago, and I remember multiple people bringing their bibles with them to class, some even having them on their desks (and they would touch the bible) during tests.

And to continue that, this idea that kids can't pray in public schools is just silly. As long as people aren't made to pray along with them, and aren't a "kidnapped audience" (such as graduation ceremonies), it's completely fine. The concept of a kid being prevented from doing a silent prayer (just as Jesus suggested we pray) before a test is either completely made-up or highly exagerrated.

What evidence do you have, Wayne, that opening and reading a bible "out west" or "up north" is not allowed in public schools?

Nohm said...

One last question for Wayne Dog, in this vein:

Wayne, do you think that it is justifiable to lie to someone to bring them to Jesus?

To be clear, I'm not accusing you of having done this, nor is this a "gotcha!" question. I'm just curious what your opinion is on this matter.

Nohm said...

ExPatMatt said:

"But just ask yourself why you have to resort to such underhand tactics if what you're presenting is the truth...."

Not just that, but ask yourself what will happen when these same people realize that they've been lied to.

BathTub said...

Ok I have no idea what Ray's new trick is. It's way to early for april fools.

Joe A. said...

I'd say Vox's post titled "Fearful Hypocrites" partially sums up my outlook on this little debacle.


Nohm said...

Well, glad to see that it didn't take until the second paragraph for Vox to dive into the strawmen:

"this is the sacred text of Saint Darwin of the Galapagos"

Seriously, who says that? Have you ever seen a "darwinist" who calls it a sacred text? Gold plates? Favored few? Holy science degree?

Who claims these things?

Lastly, Vox states "they have not altered anyone's book!" As described above, this statement is false. Ray removed chapters from the first version of a text.

"Do they pretend that their own words are Darwin's?"

To an extent, yes. Again, there is no indication on the cover that this is Ray's version, with Ray's introduction.

As usual, Vox brings up strawmen, and knocks them down. I'm not impressed.

Joe A., how about dealing with the actual objections that people have with what Ray is doing, instead of Vox's made-up objections?

BathTub said...

Vox doesnt' know the difference between Richard Dawkins and Facebook... it's all downhill from there.

Nohm said...

Lastly, Vox states:

"Sleazy? Gall? Only two cowardly charlatans who consistently run away from debating anyone they suspect will make them look like the hopeless buffoons"

Now, I'm not completely sure, but I would bet that Vox knows the actual answer to this: they argue that debating creationists only gives a platform to the creationists, and puts it into a scenario where rhetoric, and not evidence, can win a battle.

Personally, I agree with them, but I'm nowhere as well known as they are, so I don't mind debating creationists. If I was them, though, I'd completely agree that debating creationists only helps the creationist, and not for any valid, honest, or honorable reasons.

Nohm said...

I'm going to copy to here what BathTub said in Vox's comment thread:

"I haven't seen any comments from Richard Dawkins on this matter. Unless you think Richard Dawkins is code for Facebook?

My only problem was Ray giving away edited versions of the book while pretending they were unedited.

If they said 'abridged version, foreword by Ray Comfort'. I wouldn't really care. It's the fact that he's pretending they are something they aren't. Even calling them the same name as another publication. There are already '150th Anniversary Editions'.

But now with Ray's recent announcement of re-editing it, I don't know what his trick is.

Now that's an actual objection; not these strawmen ones that Vox prefers. Note that Vox doesn't even attempt to touch this, even after BathTub has commented in the thread.

Joe A. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BathTub said...

Joe it makes perfect sense.

Vox is bitching about something from FACEBOOK and crediting it to Richard Dawkins.

Simple as that.

CA said...

I only know the disagreements of this book according to these posts and have not read the book. I just want to remind folks that many Bibles and Gospel tracts WOULD NOT get into the hands of folks in China, Muslim countries, and other areas if they KNEW up front what they were getting. Whatever they circumstances here, Comfort is not trying to deceive anyone, he is trying to give people the opportunity to compare Darwinism with Scripture. Ultimately, it is the Holy Spirit that will work in the recipients heart if the Lord so chooses. Comfort and Cameron are Godly men and their hearts break for the lost. This book is free and no one will be forced to take it, let along read it.

About Bibles and prayer in schools......the point was, that here in what some call the Bible belt, most school don't blink an eye when a child brings a Bible to school, although prayer is only allowed under the pretense of "a moment of silence." More schools outside the Bible belt do take notice when a Bible is brought into the school system. Many times the response seems to be more dependent on the individuals views and not on that particular school's view on religion. I do thank God every day that my 4th grader can still take his Bible to public school as he pleases. There are many schools in America that would not allow a student to bring their Bible to school. To take this even further, there is a lawsuit in America right now against a nurse for wearing a CROSS necklace to work, and persecution will get worse and worse. Anyone who is not aware of this has their head in the sand.

Nohm said...

Yes, about 80% (or higher) of the USofA are persecuted.


Now, pull the other one.

I'm guessing I'm not going to get any answers to my questions above.