Most of the skeptical blogosphere is already aware of former child actor Kirk Cameron’s new role as an evangelical Christian spokesperson. His partnership with Ray Comfort to promote creationism with bananas has become a legendary comical internet meme. As is the case with many of those invested in pseudoscience and myth the counter arguments are ignored in favour of their next big campaign — which this time leads us to another attack on Darwin himself.
Coming in November Kirk and Ray announced their plan to save America by distributing their own edition of “On The Origin of Species” by Charles Darwin. Ray has written a preface which includes the standard creationist jabs at evolution from Hitler to racism to misogyny, however has promised “The 304-page publication will be Charles Darwin’s every word – not one jot nor tittle will be removed.”This, of course, is just the next battle in the war on evolution that creationists have been waging for the past 150 years.
You may ask what this has to do with Canada, as the campaigns appear to be targeted towards our neighbours to the south. Living Waters Ministries has announced plans to distribute these books on several Canadian college and university campuses, which gives us a great opportunity to educate students on the reality of evolution. I have heard some talk about snatching as many of the books as possible to prevent them from getting out, or ripping out the forward and donating the books to libraries. While these may sound like fun, I have other suggestions for the skeptical activist out there.
- Before beginning, don’t attempt to disrupt those giving out the books. While most of us know that it does little for their arguments, it is best not to give them any reason to complain about our behaviour.
- Prepare pamphlets that address the claims made in the preface and hand them out to people in the area. There are already plenty of resources available to tackle their points, but, if you wish to write your own response, the text can be found with Google Cache. It was available online via Ray’s site but seems to have been removed. See sites like Talk Origins for some good resources.
- Pick up a copy for yourself and read it side by side with a reputable printing of Origin.
- Interview those receiving the book for their thoughts and opinions.
- Ottawa University – Ottawa ON
- Carleton University – Ottawa ON
- Queen’s University – Kingston ON
- University of Toronto – Toronto ON
- York University – Toronto ON
- McMaster University – Hamilton ON
- Guelph University – Guelph ON
- University of Waterloo – ON
- Brock University – St. Catharines ON
- U of Western Ontario – London ON
- Concordia University – Montreal PQ
- McGill University – Montreal PQ
- U of New Brunswick – Fredericton / Saint John NB
- Memorial U of Newfoundland – St. John’s NL
- Dalhousie University – Halifax NS
- University of Manitoba – Winnipeg MB
- U of Saskatchewan – Saskatoon SK
- University of Alberta – Edmonton AB
- University of Calgary – Calgary AB
- Simon Fraser University – Vancouver BC
- U of British Columbia – Vancouver BC
- University of Victoria – Victoria BC