A couple months ago Ray Comfort and his toady, Kirk Cameron, made a YouTube video announcing that they would distributing free copies of Charles Darwin's seminal work "On the Origin of Species" across college campuses this autumn. It was also known that this printing of the book would contain a fifty page introduction by Comfort, which one could only assume would not be supportive of Darwin's work.
On Pharyngula, P.Z. Myers links to an online debate that has occurred between Comfort, and Dr. Eugenie Scott on the God and Country blog on the propriety of distributing this version of "Origins." You can read the exchange for yourself, but a couple of things I would like to point out. First, they are releasing an abridged addition of "Origins" with four chapters cut out. This is an astonishingly intellectually cowardly course to take in trying to undermine Darwin's work. Dr. Scott does an excellent job in pointing this out, and pointing out that Comfort's introduction contains nothing new. What also struck me by Comfort's piece is that he has shown his hand on why he is handing out free copies of the "enemies" work. It is all just a P.R. stunt.
Why are many atheists so angry? Why are they talking about book burnings, threatening to resist the giveaway and rip out the Introduction, etc.? Why was richarddawkins.net encouraging people to collect copies and rip out the Introduction? Professor Dawkins himself said that even though "a lot of people seem to be very worried about this," he wasn't at all worried. Why did he then tell Toronto university students to tear out the Introduction? (Third paragraph "Why I published a New Origin")
It is quite clear to me that Comfort wants people to cause a scene where this bastardized, incomplete version of "Origins" is being distributed. Comfort and toady can be shown as above it all, while those opposed to his labors are revealed as nothing but closed minded book burners or book manglers. If it were possible, I think the best tactic of the science community is to have copies of the four missing chapters distributed where Comfort's books are being handed out. To me this would be an excellent way to show what an intellectual fraud C and T is to young budding academic community, and make them look the fool. Unfortunately, I doubt time would permit this to occur.
--I typically do not post on non-podcast issues, but this one got to me. I can't wait to read a copy of Comfort's introduction to "Origins."