Many people who have a finger on the pulse of the evolution versus creation debate, know that Eugenie Scott and Ray Comfort are two major players. Scott is the executive director of the National Center for Science Education, and she’s known for her excellent work in that maintaining real science is taught in public school classrooms. Comfort has authored 60 (!) books including one titled, “ You Can Lead an Atheist to Evidence But You Can’t Make Him Think.” He’s also known throughout the internet for debunking evolution and nontheism in a video with Kirk Cameron where they show us, fondle and eat a … bum bum bah … a banana.
Comfort later retracted statements made in the video and all’s been quiet for the most part (not really). A few months ago Comfort and Cameron announced they were going to publish a version of Charles Dawins’ “Origin of the Species”, including a new forward for it written by Comfort, and remove a few — essential — chapters.
In response, famed evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins and many scientists encouraged their students to intervene the handouts and giveaways and to rip out the new forward in what appeared like a fear-induced call to action. I say what “appeared like a fear-induced call” because the excellent point has been made, what would Comfort do if Dawkins published a version of the bible with an atheist forward and some of the essential chapters removed? I would hope Comfort would respond similarly.
That begs the question, “Well, then isn’t science is a religion?” To which I say, fine, then go read every book on evolution you can find so you can know what the difference is. Or just one book, NOT from Comfort. He’s a creationist with a funnel from Christian pocketbooks leading straight into his own. And man, it’s a big funnel.
If you hate Dawkins, read Shubin, Shermer, Parks, Sagan, Greene, Ruse, et al. I’ve read a glut of Christian books including the ones that claim the most success with converts. Please, please, please read about the “religion” of science. Scientists are excited because science is remarkable and you can see it. You can touch it, smell it, hear it, experiment with it. I could go on and on and discuss other ways science is accused of appearing like a religion, but the accusations are debunkable.
There is more information on the internet regarding this whole story, and I’m not going to re-write the whole thing here, as I’m boring the hell out of my readers.
But I want to point out a new debate that will be published at US News and World Report. Here’s Comfort’s opener. And here’s Scott’s.
For anyone who has no clue about this debate, a good place to start is reading about the famed Kitzmiller vs Dover trial. Reading about the “wedge document” alone is enough to declare evolution the victor. There’s an excellent PBS special about the court case viewable here, which Scott played an important role in the conservative, Bush-appointed judge’s decision to say that Intelligent Design Creationists were liars and resorting to mischievous acts to get religion in secular classrooms. Here’s one quote from his decision: “[Intelligent Design] backers have sought to avoid the scientific scrutiny which we have now determined that it cannot withstand by advocating that the controversy, but not ID itself, should be taught in science class. This tactic is at best disingenuous, and at worst a canard. The goal of the IDM (Intelligent design movement) is not to encourage critical thought, but to foment a revolution which would supplant evolutionary theory with ID.”
“Not to encourage critical thought”? Sounds funny to me. Read the entire decision and more at the links provided above.