A Skeptical Post About…Kirk Cameron!?

In honour of the 150th anniversary of the original publishing of Darwin’s “The Origin of Species” a group of individuals have banded together to distribute free “special edition” copies of the book to university students across America (unfortunately, for reasons unknown to yours truly, Canada {and the rest of the world for that matter} have been left out of this campaign)!  This special edition contains a new 50 page introduction, which strives to provide “new” insights to Darwin’s masterpiece.    

Unfortunately, the group banding together to distribute this altered version of Darwin’s work is lead by Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort (here by to be referred to as Mr C+C).  “The Origin of Species” will be reproduced in its entirety, but the “special” 50 page introduction has been added, and this introduction will serve as a platform for intelligent design and christian evangelism gospel.    

Before getting into this topic further, let me provide you with some background information on Mr. C+C.

Kirk Cameron is most notably known for his role as Mike Seaver on the popular 80’s sitcom “Growing Pains”.  Ray Comfort is an evangelical minister originally from New Zealand.  Mr. C+C, both christians, (evangelical christians to be exact) met several years ago and created their own ministry, Way of the Master (WOTM).  For a more in depth understanding of Mr. C+C vision, check out their christian propaganda machine….

Oops…I mean website:

http://www.wayofthemaster.com/

Once at the WOTM website you can learn all sorts of interesting things!  For instance you can learn about how you are not following Mr. C+C’s version of the 10 commandments, so you are going to hell.  Or you can learn about how family members who have died from cancer (and are not part of Mr. C+C’s ministry are going to hell).  Or you can learn about how any individual who is not part of Mr. C+C’s ministry is going to hell!  Really positive and up-lifting information!   

But I digress…

I have not been able to obtain a free copy of Mr. C+C’s version of “The Origin of Species” (copies are available on their website for only a few dollars, but frankly I refuse to pay for anything that will somehow contribute to Mr. C+C cause, which will be outlined below) but the “special” introduction (written by Mr. Ray Comfort) has been posted on Mr. C + C’s website:

http://assets.livingwaters.com/pdf/OriginofSpecies.pdf 

I have gone over the document, and…well…what can I say…?

It is exactly what I imagined it would be!  Each paragraph is laced with numerous logical fallacies.  Furthermore the document is filled with inaccuracies, misunderstandings (usually related to science + evolution), and out and out false hoods to numerous to name.  Honestly, it would take me weeks to pick apart all of the errors made by Mr. Comfort, and annotate proper corrections.  But don’t just take my word for it…when you have a moment take a look at the document.   

Alright…

With all of that out of the way…onto the topic of this blog post!  The following video was recently put out by Mr. C+C regarding the distribution of their “special edition” of “The Origin of Species”.

1st off, let us get the following out of the way.  This blog post is not intended to be a debate regarding whether or not god exists.  Instead this blog post is meant to address the inaccuracies propagated by Mr. C+C in their video.    

With that in mind, let us analyze the statements made by Mr. C+C shall we!

At the very beginning of the video: “One by one our god given liberties are being taken away from us”

This statement is simply untrue.  1st off, no liberty is “god-given”.  Liberties are given by the society that we live in.  Liberties change and evolve as a society changes and evolves.  Liberties evolve as the individuals within a society decide that they should.  2ndly, as outlined in the above statement, liberties are not being taken away.  The liberties we enjoy are simply evolving to better reflect the current beliefs/values of our society as a whole. 

Also at the beginning of the video: “Our children are not able to pray in public” and “Are children are no longer able to freely open a bible in school”

Again, this is simply incorrect.  Any child is free to pray in public.  However what is not tolerated, is forcing all children to pray in public (say at the beginning of each school day).  What Mr. C+C seem to forget is that not everyone is a member of the WOTM ministry.  Additionally, children are also free to read the bible in public, no different then I am free to read “The God Delusion” by Mr. Richard Dawkins.  What is not tolerated is to hold an audience captive and make them listen to you read from your version of the bible.    

At the 00:15 mark: “The 10 commandants are no longer allowed to be displayed in public places”

And this is the way that it should be.  Again, I think that Mr. C+C forget that not everyone is a member of their WOTM ministry, or even a member of the christian faith.  Consequently, it is not appropriate to put this document in a public place, because it is not a view/value system that adequately represents the views of our society as a whole.  Additionally, church and state are separate for a reason.  This means that despite the “majority” religion/faith at any given time, each and every individual is has the right (or liberty it you will) to FREELY practice the religion of his/her choosing (and this includes Mr. C+C). 

Regarding statements made at the at 00:45 mark:

Simply untrue.  Individuals in these fields are not brain washed.  Instead the individuals in these fields entered into them with a belief system/world view already in place, and the field that they entered is simply an extension of that belief system/world view.  On a personal note I have graduated from 2 science/health care programs, and I do not recall any classes, courses, or lectures that attempted to “brainwash” me into becoming agnostic or atheist.    

Regarding the comments made at the 01:04 mark:

That’s funny.  I always thought that intelligent designers (which Mr. C+C claim to be) stated that the “intelligent designer” was not the christian god, but a non-descript omnipotent being.  In this statement Mr. C+C reveal their true colours.  They are not trying to advance science and our understanding of the natural world, instead they are selfishly trying to advance their own belief system, and force it upon other people. 

Regarding the comments made at 01:40:

Oh I love this one!  The creationist…Oops…I mean intelligent designers attempt to link Adolf Hitler to Charles Darwin.  Charles Darwin spoke of evolution and “survival of the fittest”, and his observations where an initial attempt to describe the manner in which creatures in nature (including human beings) evolve.  Adolf Hitler on the other hand, spoke of eugenics, which is the selective breeding (and in the case of Hitler killing/murder/genocide) with the aim of “improving” the human race.  2 VERY different concepts!  Additionally, I must admit that I find it extremely interesting that Mr. C+C attempt to link Darwin to Hitler, but fail to mention the extremely close relationship of the 3rd Reich and the christian church all throughout the Second World War (as outlined in “God is Not Great” by Mr. Christopher Hitchens).  Interesting omission…but I digress  

Regarding comments made at the 01:45 mark:

Mr. C+C attempt to paint Darwin as both a racist and a sexist.  Funny, Mr. C+C do not want to speak to the theory put forth by Darwin, instead they would much rather attack him personally.  Additionally, Mr. C+C fail to mention the NUMEROUS examples of racism and sexism within their own sacred text, the bible. 

Regarding the statements made at 01:50:

This is a complete misunderstanding of the work of Darwin and evolution as a whole.  The theory of evolution does not speak to the origin of life.  Instead, the theory speaks to how different species have evolved over time.  The theory of evolution does not pretend to have the answer to the origin of life despite what Mr. C+C would have you believe.   

Regarding the comments made at the 02:05 mark:

Again, this is a complete misunderstanding of the theory of evolution.  Put simply, Mr. C + C do not understand the science behind the theory of evolution.  Further proof of this point is Mr. Comfort’s $10,000 prize for anyone that can prove evolution by providing an example of one species giving way/giving birth to another (for example a dog giving birth to a cat). 

Regarding comments made at the 02:17 mark:

What else can I say other then these statements are extremely dishonest.  Albert Einstein did not believe in a personal god.  This is an assertion that is often attributed to Albert Einstein by many theists, and it is simply incorrect.  Regarding the rest of the individuals named by Mr. C+C, these statements are also extremely misleading.  Yes, some of these individuals did believe in a personal god, but their belief in a god, does not invalidate the theory of evolution.  Additionally, many of the individuals named by Mr. C+C lived in a time when science was, put simply, not where it is today.  With this information in mind, putting for the names of scientists from decades (or even centuries ago) that believe in a personal god (with the intent of disproving evolution) is not all that impressive. 

Regarding the comments made at the 03:00 mark:

Great!  Mr. C+C, let me personally extend you an invite to contribute to the scientific literature!  But that would require you to put forth some sort of testable hypothesis (other than the statement, “god did it”).  Science is all about putting forth a hypothesis and then testing that hypothesis.  Instead you complain about not being allowed into the scientific community, but your only contribution seems to be “god did it”.  When asked to explain a phenomenon , you state “this is evidence of god as an intelligent designer”.  Then later when said phenomenon is demonstrated to be a product of evolution, you move the goal posts and pick some other phenomena and continue with the line of reasoning of “god did it”.  You have not been included in the scientific community or academia because you have nothing to contribute. 

Regarding the comments made at 03:15:

Echoing the statements made above, Mr. C + C mistake being “censored” for being ignored for not having a single solitary thing to contribute to science/academia.    

Regarding the comments made at the 04:20 mark:

Again showing their true colours, I would argue that Mr. C + C are proud of the fact that they are lying about their intentions with the distribution of their “special edition” of “The Origin of Species”.  There intent is not to contribute to the scientific literature.  Instead their intent is to spread their faith/religion.  I have no problem with this, what I have a problem with is when it is done in a deceptive manner to unsuspecting individuals.  Essentially, Mr. C+C are being completely dishonest about their intentions, and are lying to the individuals they are distributing the books to. 

Hmmm…

Does not seem very christian of them does it?

Addendum

As pointed out by one of the skeptical samurai blog readers/comment contributors, Ron Partlow (Thanks for contributing Ron!  Anyone looking for additional information on Ron or his various activities, have a look at the following link: http://www.bigronpartlow.com/ )…

Despite the claims of Mr. C + C that their “special edition” of Darwin’s “The Origin of Species” is a page for page reproduction of the original (+ the 50 page intro written by Mr. Comfort), further investigation reveals this is simply NOT TRUE.  As pointed out in a review by Eugene Scott PhD at the following link (http://www.usnews.com/blogs/god-and-country/2009/10/30/how-creationist-origin-distorts-darwin.html#read_more), Mr. C + C have OMITTED chapters 11, 12, and 13 of their version/reproduction of “The Origin of Species”.  It should also be noted that contained within these omitted chapters is key information presented by Darwin regarding biogeography and why evolution makes sense in relation to classification, morphology, and embryology.   

Hmm…

Seems strange that Mr. C + C would purposefully omit such information…

But at this point, should we really be surprised by these types of tactics from individuals such as Mr. C + C?

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4 Responses to “A Skeptical Post About…Kirk Cameron!?”

  1. Actually, it isn’t the complete book plus the new “Introduction”. There are certain chapters that have been totally omitted. Chapters 9, 11,12, and 13 are completely gone.

    Here is the review I read: http://www.usnews.com/blogs/god-and-country/2009/10/30/how-creationist-origin-distorts-darwin.html#read_more

    Should be illegal to tweak someone else’s book and re-print it!

  2. theskepticalsamurai Says:

    thanks for the info ron!

    the above post has been updated, to reflect the info that you posted!

    once again, thanks!

  3. What’s Going down i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I have discovered It positively useful and it has aided me out loads. I am hoping to contribute & aid other users like its aided me. Great job.

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