On the Origin of Stupidity…

Isn’t it amazing what League of Reason bloggers get up to? Sure, some of us lead very mundane lives, doing absolutely nothing but drinking coffee and and tweeting about it. But others spend their days trying to make good use of speaker’s corner. And every so often (though arguably not often enough), one of our number produces cartoons with a very low frame-rate, that is more than made up for by the punchy writing and suspiciously brilliant voice acting.

Every week there’s some exciting new scandal involving a Leaguer, and I can’t tell you how proud this makes me. After all, scandal makes the world go round*. Perhaps then, you can imagine the smile on my face when our very own Godless-Romanian-Vampire-Gypsy-Witch captured the attention of not only atheist overlord PZ Myers, but also the Huffington Post. There’s no need for me to explain this story, when you can just watch the video after the break. Then read on…

Yes, I think that says it all.

Obviously, the popularity of this video is a victory for any right-minded individual who is worried about this slimy new tactic from Ray and Kirk’s ministry. Even if you don’t accept Darwin’s work or the mountain of supporting evidence, the sheer act of republishing an abridged copy of any piece of classic literature with your own introduction attached – full of quote-mines and slander – is just reprehensible. Of course, this kind of behaviour is par for the course when it comes to these two clowns. It seems like only yesterday that Ray Comfort was trying to sell his “unedited” debate with Thunderf00t after removing ten minutes of it.

That’s not to say that Ray isn’t aware of his own failings. Since ZOMGitsCriss posted her video, he’s even stated changes he intends to make to his abortion of a foreword:

Thanks to advice from Atheists and others, the new Introduction will address Darwin’s “racism”–and how he was truly a gentle-man who was admantly against slavery.

And it will qualify his apparant denegration of women. Besides, the moral character of Charles Darwin is irrelevant to the Theory of Evolution, just as the Theory of Relativity should stand on its own merits, and not on the morality of Albert Einstein.

I will also make it clear that Hitler abused his theory, and is also irrelevant to whether or not it’s true.

I want this Introduction to be fair-minded, free from prejudice against Darwin, no straw men or quote-mining. I’m sure many of you won’t believe that, but it’s the truth.

No straw-men or quote-mining? Gosh Ray, have you read your own work? There wouldn’t be much left if all the straw-men and quote-mines were removed. I highly doubt we’ll be seeing the removal of Ray’s quote-mine of Darwin on the eye (page 27), but how does he even expect to get away with this? He’s attaching the mined quote to the mine itself. People need only refer to the actual book to experience the full force of Ray’s dishonesty.

One could argue that Ray and Kirk will be damaging their own cause with this campaign, since they will be introducing copies of Origin into thousands of homes in America. Sadly, it’s not the original book. Aside from their ‘Special Introduction’, the book has been abridged to 280 pages. For comparison, my Oxford World’s Classics edition has 396 pages (not including notes). That’s an awful lot of pages missing; I wonder what’s been cut. Could it be things they can’t even slander, let alone refute?

Can you imagine Richard Dawkins handing out abridged copies of Ray’s Magnum Opus with a foreword slandering him and misrepresenting just about everything he’s ever said? No, I can’t imagine it either, because it wouldn’t happen. It’s not how genuine, honest people operate. Instead, they reference their opponent accurately whilst addressing their claims (and allowing the original to stand on its own merits) by writing a legitimate refutation. In other words, they actually publish their own work.

I’m sure we haven’t heard the last of this story, and watch this space for updates. But before you click away, did you notice this line?

I will also make it clear that Hitler abused his theory, and is also irrelevant to whether or not it’s true.

If Ray acknowledges this, why in Asgard does Hitler even need to be mentioned? If I were him I’d be far more worried about the obvious connection between Newton and every modern, long-range ballistic weapon that has ever been used to maim or kill.

Next up, my abridged copy of Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica with a ‘Special Introduction’: Newtonists, And What You Can Do About Them. Be sure to notify your local university!

*…or the Universe, if you’re a geocentrist.

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