I purchased tickets today to Richard Dawkins’s speaking appearance at Wordstock, Portland’s annual book/writing/literary festival (yes, literary festival – yet another reason why I love this town).
I get to see this guy!
If he causes Bill O’Reilly to be this visibly uncomfortable and incoherent, I’m in. And the boyfriend is coming with me, whether he likes it or not (he will).
Kirk Cameron is deeply concerned about well-educated people choosing not to believe in his God… and has a plan to change their minds. I checked my Twitter account this morning to find an alert from Richard Dawkins, famous author and even more famous atheist. While I don’t read all of Dawkins’s tweets (yes, I follow him on Twitter, and no I haven’t read his books – I know) I did follow up on this one because I always liked Growing Pains. In a scheme equal parts concerning and amusing, Kirk Cameron (yes, that Kirk Cameron) and the organization Living Waters have commissioned, printed, and plan to give away thousands of copies of Darwin’s Origin of the Species, across college campuses, on the 150th anniversary of its original publication. The catch is, they’ve supplemented Darwin’s work (well, an abridged version of it) with their own 50-page “Special Introduction”. This introduction attempts to debunk and discredit Darwin’s work through various strategies, including blaming the Holocaust on its influence on Adolf Hitler. Side note: don’t think too hard about how many people have been killed due to the influence or outright orders of various religious texts – I don’t want you to get depressed.
Sensationalist tactics aside, the underlying argument is that it’s impossible to create something from nothing, and the world is something, so therefore the Christian God created the world and died for your sins and yada yada yada. The introduction is basically a glorified tract, and the whole publication and giveaway of the book is a way to get college kids to accept Christian literature disguised as a free science book. Personally, I think they’d have better luck printing their requisite sinner’s prayer on a pizza box, but it’s not my call. Although it seems a little silly (read the introduction and decide for yourself if this stellar research and argument will persuade your typical Harvard student) an opposition Facebook group has sprung up to organize people to ask for the books, rip out the introduction, and donate the remaining pages to libraries, Goodwill, etc. While the Cameron clan is targeting “50 of the top universities” in the United States, and thus probably NOT little old Portland State University, I’ll still check around on November 24th and grab a copy or two. But I’ll probably hang on to the introduction, because in 150 more years, I’ll bet it will be a downright hilarious memento for a collector to come across.
For a good time, read the introduction here: http://assets.livingwaters.com/pdf/OriginofSpecies.pdf
And then check out Kirk Cameron’s special message for dessert: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GN9zpf5cT0M
Thanks, social networking, for giving me both a laugh and a way to be a better atheist today.