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USC Darwin Book Give-away: LIVE!

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Two weeks ago we did something that enraged atheists and evolutionists alike: A team of 17 went on the hallowed campus of the University of Southern California and handed out 2,599 copies of Charles Darwin’s “Origin of Species” with a special 50 page introduction by Ray Comfort that included, among other things, Darwin’s hatred of women, his influence on Hitler, and his denigration of black people. Also, it contained a few of the many flaws of his theory.

Now watch this 2 1/2 minute overview of our efforts with an accompanying apropos soundtrack. (Click here for the extended 6 1/2 minute version)

Below, read  some “reviews” from YouTube viewers:

Pirantube: “Thank you for posting this vid…. It’s a great opportunity for the world to see how silly your fairy tale really is. Keep on shouting from the rooftops, every village needs an idiot. Makes it entertaining for the rest of us.”

parasitegemini: “Some sort of heart-cringing/warming creationism rally type video I guess. It loses the point with the song; inferring the school is where Satan and the enemies reside. I didn’t know all college campus’ were Satanic in nature!”

25 Comments

  1. Steve,

    “Darwin’s hatred of women, his influence on Hitler, and his denigration of black people. Also, it contained a few of the many flaws of his theory”.

    Which of these elements do you think actually matters when attempting to disprove a scientific theory?

    [aside from the fact that none of them are actually true]

    I’m interested to hear what you think on this matter.

    Cheers,

  2. It does help to know where a man stands when weighing his thoughts about any subject, don’t ya agree?

    I suppose it has nothing to do with attempting to disprove a scientific theory, though.

  3. “It does help to know where a man stands when weighing his thoughts about any subject, don’t ya agree?”

    No, I really don’t; only if it is relevant to the subject. Darwin’s theory and the field that has evolved from it is not mired in racism as you seem to imply. Saying that Darwin was racist or sexist is a distraction. It would be like me discussing the emancipation proclamation and saying, “oh, by the way, Lincoln was a racist.” Its irrelevant, and it drags down the dialogue. The creationist fetish with painting Charles Darwin as a racist is as sad as it is old. He was racist by today’s standards, sure. But it was a prevalent view in his day. Its an unremarkable, and inflammatory statement, which is almost as pathetic as the attempts to shoehorn natural selection into a Nazi context.

    Here’s a thought, actually find me a flaw with the current theory of evolution. Then maybe you won’t need to be regarded as a pathos targetting example of poor creationist rhetoric.

    Regards,

    EC

  4. Steve,

    “I suppose it has nothing to do with attempting to disprove a scientific theory, though”.

    Exactly right. Exactly.

    So why is “a few of the many flaws of his theory” tacked on as an after-thought? Not just in your sentence, but in the introduction as a whole.

    The only things in the introduction that even tries to find a ‘flaw’ in the theory (and it’s the theory, not his theory; Darwin doesn’t own it) are the claims of hoaxes and the lack of transition fossils.

    Hoaxes are hoaxes, they happen in every field of human endeavor. They were found out by scientists and exposed (ignoring the examples that aren’t actually hoaxes at all).

    Neither Ray, nor anyone else at Living Waters will provide a definition of what they think constitutes a transitional species, so it’s very easy for them to claim there are none. Easy and dishonest.

    So there’s nothing. No refutation of evolution at all. This is why you have to resort to;

    “Darwin’s hatred of women, his influence on Hitler, and his denigration of black people”.

    Character assassination.

    Doesn’t that make you wonder? If evolution was so false, wouldn’t it be a trivial matter to show it as such, using science, rather than rhetoric?

    Have a think about it.

    Regards,

  5. Did you think about it?

  6. I’ll try to anser this later on. Thanks! Not blowing you off.

  7. To Mat:
    “So why is “a few of the many flaws of his theory” tacked on as an after-thought? Not just in your sentence, but in the introduction as a whole.”

    I’m sorry that I will not be able to go into depth about all of these flaws, but here are a few of them. I’m sure that you will contest them because obviously, this is your thing, which is cool, but I don’t have the time (or that much interest, frankly). I’m still happy to hear from you. You’ve been very gracious and patient. Please continue to comment as you see fit. I’ll let you have the last word! 🙂

    A few flaws:

    From the Miller experiment (apparently still in some (many?) textbooks, which you are aware was quite flawed and ultimately disproven (I know, biogenesis, right? But let’s start somewhere). Walter Bradley who co-authored 1984’s “The Mystery of Life’s Origins” said, “If there isn’t a natural explanation and there doesn’t seem to be the potential of finding one, then I believe it’s appropriate to look at a supernatural explanation.” (The Case for Faith” by Lee Strobel)

    Darwin’s “Tree of Life,” “The Cambrian Explosion”, Haeckel’s Embryos, Human genes and ape genes, the missing link. Just a few.

    I agree that there are hoaxes in every discipline.

    As far as the character assassination bit: Jesus said, “For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.” May I also add “…the pen writes.”?

    The bias he had toward blacks (gorillas), and the thoughts he had, the seeming subjugation of women, and the obvious influence he had on “The Final Solution” taints his theory somewhat, I think.

    That’s it in a nutshell!

  8. The bias he had toward blacks (gorillas), and the thoughts he had, the seeming subjugation of women, and the obvious influence he had on “The Final Solution” taints his theory somewhat, I think.

    Why would it taint the theory?

    Do you know why microchips were first designed? Does that “taint” electrical and electronic engineering?

    There are numerous problems in what you wrote above, the biggest one probably being “he obvious influence he had on “The Final Solution”“…

    but…

    Let’s say, for the sake of “discussion”, that all that you wrote about Darwin above was true (it’s not, and I’d bet every dime that I have that you couldn’t support those claims, but let’s say it is true for now). Let’s say that he was a racist. Let’s say that he hated women. Let’s say that not only did his ideas get Hitler thinking, but let’s even say that Darwin would have supported Hitler.

    Here’s the thing you’re not getting, Steve:

    SO WHAT?

    What does any of that have to do with the soundness of a scientific theory?

    (Here’s a hint: the answer is “absofreakinglutely NOTHING”)

    Lastly, you’re still getting abiogenesis and evolution mixed up.

    I gotta ask, Steve… just what exactly do you know about human genes and ape genes? You just threw that out there with no explanation as to why that’s an issue.

    Steve, you DO understand that it’s not like we’re still using all of Darwin’s ideas now, right? It’s like thinking that flight hasn’t advanced since the Wright brothers.

  9. Hmm, looks like I missed the ‘t’ at the beginning of the quote. Let me try that sentence again:

    There are numerous problems in what you wrote above, the biggest one probably being “the obvious influence he had on “The Final Solution”“…

  10. Hold on, I think I might have just figured out something.

    Steve, on a scale of 1 to 100, where 1 means “absolutely false” and 100 means “absolutely true”, how would you rate the following:

    1. Your understanding of atheists is based on Lee Strobel’s various “Case of…” books.

    2. Your understanding of evolution is based on Lee Strobel’s various “Case of…” books.

  11. Gah, I meant:

    Lee Strobel’s various “The Case For…” books.

  12. Nohm, I’ll give you that about Darwin’s character.

    And, you can choose to believe the theory of evolution. No argument I make, though they would pale in comparison to yours, will convince you otherwise. Plus, in all honesty, it’s not of that much interest to me.

    I find that the theory militates against what God said in the beginning about creation. I’m certain of this. Can I prove it? No. I can only point to the evidences of design. You will not be convinced, though.

    I appreciate your thoughtfulness when writing, and I appreciate your intellect.

    And yes, in all honesty, my understanding of of the theory of evolution is based primarily on the Strobel book, “The Case for a Creator.”

    The rest of it, well, bores me. What matters, is that you would come to know your Creator someday. With your intellect and communication skills (not to mention your reasoning prowess) you’d be quite the catch in Christianity.

    I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of Greg Koukl; he’s a very well-reasoned and thoughtful apologist who would do so much better in these types of arguments. You can check him out at http://www.str.org (Thats Stand to Reason)

    Thanks a lot, Nohm! And Bathtub and ExPatMat! Where are you all from anyway?

  13. Nohm, I’ll give you that about Darwin’s character.

    I’m not clear what you mean by this. Would you please explain?

    And, you can choose to believe the theory of evolution.

    I prefer to say that I currently accept its claims as working, in the same way that I accept the theory of gravity or the theory of relativity or the theory of germ disease as working.

    So, replace “to believe” with “accept the claims” and add “as working” to the end, and I agree.

    No argument I make … will convince you otherwise.

    I completely disagree.

    Steve, there are arguments that you can make that would convince me otherwise. Also, there is evidence that you could produce that would convince me otherwise.

    You just haven’t done either, yet, in my opinion.

    Plus, in all honesty, it’s not of that much interest to me.

    Fair enough.

    I find that the theory militates against what God said in the beginning about creation.

    It’s my opinion that this has far more to do with your misunderstanding of what exactly the theory of evolution IS than it has to do with anything else.

    But, regardless, fair enough.

    I’m certain of this.

    Ok. What I just wrote above applies to this statement also.

    Can I prove it? No.

    Fair enough. I don’t require proof that you are certain that the theory of evolution contradicts the book of Genesis, as I understand your point of view.

    I can only point to the evidences of design.

    I’m listening.

    You will not be convinced, though.

    So you say.

    Steve, I just said that “I’m listening.” Again, Steve, you’re applying opinions to other people that they don’t hold.

    I appreciate your thoughtfulness when writing,

    Thanks!

    and I appreciate your intellect.

    I’m flattered, but there are plenty of people far smarter than I am. 🙂

    And yes, in all honesty, my understanding of of the theory of evolution is based primarily on the Strobel book, “The Case for a Creator.”

    I understand that this is a complete cliche, but:

    Well, that explains it.

    {sorry}

    I’m not going to say that Lee Strobel wasn’t an atheist. Just as I keep on harping on you about, I think it’s a bad idea to say what someone else thinks.

    Having said that, it just seems to me, based on my experiences, that atheists don’t ask the same questions that Lee asks in that book.

    This was actually a relatively significant issue to me when I was training to be an evangelist, back in the day.

    The rest of it, well, bores me.

    Fair enough.

    What matters, is that you would come to know your Creator someday.

    My opinion on this is pretty much the same as Penn Jillet.

    With your intellect and communication skills (not to mention your reasoning prowess) you’d be quite the catch in Christianity.

    Hah!

    Again, I’m flattered.

    You had me once, though! 🙂

    (Don’t worry, I was what you would probably call a “False Convert”)

    I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of Greg Koukl; he’s a very well-reasoned and thoughtful apologist who would do so much better in these types of arguments. You can check him out at http://www.str.org (Thats Stand to Reason)

    I will check it out.

    Thanks a lot, Nohm!

    You’re welcome!

    I hope that you’ll still get to my four questions in that other (Thunderf00t) thread. I’m patient, but really curious about your answers. I tried to make them “yes/no”, but I can also understand why someone would want to give further clarifications to their answer.

    Where are you all from anyway?

    I was born and raised in San Diego, and I currently live on the central coast of California.

  14. “Nohm, I’ll give you that about Darwin’s character.”

    (Mumble-mumble-mutter-pology guess I shouldn’t have said that.)

    “And, you can choose to believe the theory of evolution. No argument I make, though they would pale in comparison to yours, will convince you otherwise. Plus, in all honesty, it’s not of that much interest to me.”

    (Even though I mention it, and repeat what other ignoramuses claim about it, frequently.)

    “I find that the theory militates against what God said in the beginning about creation. I’m certain of this.”

    (But it’s not of that much interest to me, honestly.)

    “Can I prove it? No. I can only point to the evidences of design. You will not be convinced, though.”

    (Because I haven’t actually come up with any evidences of design. Shrug. Minor detail. I’ll just keep making unsubstantiated claims. Nobody will stop me. Especially not my imaginary friend.)

    “I appreciate your thoughtfulness when writing, and I appreciate your intellect.”

    (Smart guy makes Steve’s eyes glaze over.)

    “And yes, in all honesty, my understanding of of the theory of evolution is based primarily on the Strobel book, “The Case for a Creator.”

    (But it’s not of that much interest to me. Honestly.)

    “The rest of it, well, bores me.”

    (Smart guys who know stuff make Steve’s jaw go slack and Steve’s eyes glaze over.)

    “What matters, is that you would come to know your Creator someday.”

    (AKA My Imaginary Friend)

    “With your intellect and communication skills (not to mention your reasoning prowess) you’d be quite the catch in Christianity.”

    (Can’t catch ’em with science, can’t catch ’em with humor, might as well try empty flattery.)

  15. Nohm: Thanks for your courteous replies, I will provide you with what I think are outstanding example of design, but I’m fairly sure you know of them.

    Weemaryanne: Touche’!

  16. Nohm (and even Weemaryanne): You may enjoy this article I wrote about Penn here called “Penn and Teller Don’t like You.”

    http://stonethepreacher.com/2009/09/17/penn-and-teller-dont-like-you.html

  17. I will provide you with what I think are outstanding example of design

    When you do, though, please explain (in as much detail as you feel necessary) why those are examples of intentional design.

  18. Oh, and please explain the method you used to determine that they are the result of intentional design.

    As I’ve said before, I think that emergence provides a better explanation.

    But, I’m listening. 🙂

  19. “Touche’” ?!?!?!?!

    That’s not a response.

    THIS would have been a response:

    “I’m sorry that my post was full of lies and inanities and inane lies and lying inanities. I’m sorry that I’ve never had an original idea and can only parrot the stupidities of others. I’m sorry that Californians are obliged to endure my vapid sermonizing in person rather than via internet which is bad enough. I’m sorry you don’t believe in my imaginary friend as that means you will be tortured forever or get a rock upside the head* or both. Et cetera ad nauseam.”

    *That’s #25 in your “You might be a fictitious atheist strawman” series.

  20. Steve,

    You’ve already conceded the ‘Darwin’s Character’ issue (twice), so I’ll leave that be and assume you will refrain from using that angle of attack in the future. (You will refrain from using that in the future, right?)

    On to what you claim are ‘flaws’ in the theory of evolution…

    “From the Miller experiment…”.

    Bam! Abiogenesis right off the bat; nicely done!

    Not the theory of evolution.

    “Darwin’s “Tree of Life,”.

    Absolutely correct, Steve. Well done! Darwin’s ‘tree of life’ was a poor representation of how life on earth is inter-related. It has, however, been updated and improved over the past 150 years and the modern version is far more accurate (though obviously it gets further tweaked as we discover new things) so it is no longer a ‘flaw’ in the theory of evolution.

    “The Cambrian Explosion”

    You have absolutely no idea what you mean by this, do you? Come on, be honest. Needless to say, the Cambrian Explosion causes no problems for the theory of evolution.

    “Haeckel’s Embryos”

    If you can tell me how Haeckel’s Embryos represent a flaw in the theory of evolution I will eat my right shoe.

    “Human genes and ape genes”.

    Human genes are ape genes! That’s like saying ‘Poodle genes and dog genes’.

    “the missing link”.

    Oh Steve, that was painful to read. You don’t even know what the ‘missing link’ is, do you? You poor thing, scrabbling around at the bottom of your apologetic barrel and coming up with that.

    “Just a few”.

    That should read: ‘Just none’

    As I suspected, you have nothing…… and you know it.

    Why not just come clean and say that the entire basis for your rejection of evolution is God’s Word and nothing more. You clearly don’t know (or much care, from the sounds of things) anything about science, so your rejection of evolution can’t be based on a sober and honest study of the evidence, can it?

    Why not just save yourself all the hassle and admit that your faith is sufficient for you to reject evolution? I think we’d all have a lot more respect for you if you were to own up to that; rather than playing these silly games and pretending like you know what you’re talking about with regards to science.

    Kind Regards,

    Matt

  21. Mat wrote: “Why not just come clean and say that the entire basis for your rejection of evolution is God’s Word and nothing more.”

    “Why not just save yourself all the hassle and admit that your faith is sufficient for you to reject evolution?”

    Me: Done!

  22. To Weemaryanne: You crack me up! 🙂

  23. To Preacher-Man: There is no god.

  24. Steve,

    I’m glad to see we’ve reached an agreement!

    So, I take it from this that you will no longer be;

    a) making disparaging remarks about Darwin’s character, or;
    b) commenting on evolution as if you’ve actually don any research into it.

    I mean, to do the first one when you’ve admitted (twice) that Darwin’s character has nothing to do with the veracity of the theory of evolution would just be ridiculous, right?

    And to do the second one, after admitting that your evolution denial is based on your belief in Scripture, not any lack of or contrary scientific evidence, well that would just be dishonest now, wouldn’t it?

    All we have to do now is get you to accurately reflect what it is atheists think and believe and we’ll have made an honest preacher out of you – and won’t that be something!?

    Cheers,

  25. Hi, Steve. ExPatMatt, Nohm, and WeeMaryAnne have pretty much said it all, but I just have two small additions.

    First- Matt says he will eat his right shoe if you can show how Haeckel’s embryos represent a flaw in evolutionary theory. I will see his shoe and raise it one: I will eat both my hiking boots if you can show such a thing. How do you like them apples, Matt?

    Second- while it’s hard to say exactly what all influenced Hitler’s muddled thinking, it doesn’t seem that evolutionary thought played much of a role, if any. While I’m no Hitler scholar, I have read (in German) most of his published works and speeches. Living in Austria has made me curious how Hitler could have gained power, so I’ve done a fair amount of study. Hitler was raised Catholic, and later on subscribed to a colorful mixture of Christian, Norse, and just plain megalomaniacal ideas. But in all his works, guess how many times he mentioned Darwin? Zero. He did mention evolutionary theory once, to dismiss it scornfully. And “The Origin of Species” was even on one list of books to be burned in Nazi Germany. Guess whom Hitler did mention as an inspiration, a number of times? Jesus, and even more so, Martin Luther. I can provide the citations if you want.

    As has been said here, however, this has nothing to do with whether or not evolutionary theory is true. I just wanted to clear this up, because it’s a common misconception.

    cheers from chilly Vienna, zilch

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