I don’t usually weigh in on the arguments of the New Atheists like Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, and Dennett. Others are doing a fine job of shredding their flaccid arguments.
And the minions of the self-described Four Horsemen out in Flyoverland are doing just as fine a job of making them look foolish:
Back in June, I reported on this new sleazy tactic by Ray Comfort: he produced an abridged edition of Darwin’s Origin of Species, and then had the gall to tag on a preface that he had written himself, full of the standard creationist misconceptions. Comfort is astoundingly ignorant of basic biology; the best analogy to what he’s doing here would be if I were to give a chimpanzee a few blank sheets of paper and a convenient pile of his own feces and ask him to write a theological exegesis of the book of Genesis.
“Sleazy”? “Depraved”? “Dastardly”?
Let’s see: all Comfort did was abridge the text, not edit, alter, or otherwise change Darwin’s thesis. By adding a 50-page introduction, however, it appears that Comfort and Kirk Cameron, who plan to distribute 50,000 copies of this new edition for free at universities across the country, have committed whatever passes for sacrilege among atheists. (You’ll note that the image above is for an edition of Darwin’s work read and edited by Richard Dawkins.)
The irony is rich: “free thinkers” are actually proposing a sort of book burning to protect the impressionable minds of college students:
If this outrages you, then you’re not alone. There’s something we can do though. We can amass as many of these books as possible, remove the 50 page intro, and then donate perfectly good copies of ‘Origin of Species’ to schools, libraries, and Goodwill. We can actually make this into something positive.
Whether Comfort and Cameron are right, or even able to formulate cogent arguments, is irrelevant. Those who profess to be the defenders of intellectual rigor look more like the 21st century equivalent of the Inquisition.