Kirk Cameron vs. Darwin

Former child actor Kirk Cameron, has, in recent years, made a name for himself in the world of evangelical Christianity as a staunch defender of what non-scientists on the outer fringes of reality call Creation Science. In this role, he generally appears alongside a fellow named Ray Comfort, who operates something known as Living Waters ministry. If you’re so inclined, you can find dozens of clips on the internet of Cameron, playing the role of an open-minded person on a sincere intellectual quest, posing questions to Comfort, who handily tears holes in the theory of evolution, and warns of the risks inherent in so much as questioning the literal truth of the Bible… Here, on that subject, is a quote from Cameron that’s been getting a lot of press these past few days:

“You can see where [Hitler] clearly takes Darwin’s ideas to some of their logical conclusions and compares certain races of people to lower evolutionary life forms… If you take Darwin’s theory and extend it to its logical end, it can be used to justify all number of very horrendous things.”

Which explains why, I guess, Cameron and Comfort have decided to take their battle to the streets. Over the next several weeks, the duo will be visiting the campuses of America’s most esteemed universities, and challenging the Darwinian status quo. And there’s a clever twist… They’ll be handing out new copies of Darwin’s book “The Origin of Species.” The only difference is that their version will also include the truth, which is to say that, in addition to the words that Darwin 150 years ago, it will contain information about how the earth is 6,000 years old, how fossils were planted by the Devil to make us question our faith, and how dinosaurs coexisted with man… Here’s the plan:

So, I’ve been thinking about how to greet them, assuming they stop in Michigan. At first, I was thinking that we should organize a flash mob to take all of their books. (If I understand correctly, they’re printing 50,000, and visiting 50 schools, which, assuming they don’t sell copies to churches, and independent evangelical activists, would leave about 1,000 copies per university.) The way I was picturing it, we’d get hundreds of people to descend on their location like locusts, requesting copies. Then, once all the copies are handed out, everyone, in unison, would tear out the section written by Comfort, and pitch it into a giant recycling bin. Perhaps, I’m thinking, this could be done while blasting Thomas Dolby’s She Blinded Me with Science. Or, would that be sending the wrong message? Maybe it’s safer just to go with the old standby… Anyway, I’m now thinking that it might be more effective to write an unauthorized intro for one of their books on Darwin’s behalf.

I don’t mean to come across as angry about this. I’m not. I like that they’re traveling around the country, talking about what they believe in. (Even if it’s probably more about raising money from their base than creating any real, substantive dialogue.) And it doesn’t even bother me all that much that they’re probably going to be printing Darwin’s work at a type size that’s impossible to read. It’s a free country, and they can do as they like, as long as they aren’t breaking any laws. I just want to be sure that whenever they appear, people are ready to counter them with the real facts. And the real facts are clear on this matter. Creationism is religion. It is not science. And it has no place in scientific education… So, yes, by all means, debate it on the diag. But don’t bring it into the classroom.

I’d like to be kind and say that everyone with a belief should be able to have his or her belief taught in school, but with global warming, the looming energy crisis, and everything else facing mankind right now, do we really have time for such distractions?

Oh, and speaking of silly distractions, it’s not just that Darwin influenced Hitler. According to Cameron, Darwin also had a “disdain for women.” I joked here several years ago that this is where things were heading. I predicted that, before too long, they’d be coming forward with evidence that Darwin was gay, and that all of his research was just a front which allowed him to travel the world and seduce young boys. And I can see signs that the idea is germinating now.

Speaking of Creationists on tour, I’m also hearing word that Skip Tilton from the Creation Museum is going to be in the area, speaking on October 9 at the New Hope Church of Canton. If anyone wants to go and drop some science on them, let me know.

[This post has been brought to you by Charles Darwin’s “The Origin of Species.”]

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68 Comments

  1. Mark H.
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    Celebrate the 150th anniversary of the greatest book ever written on a topic in science, “Origins of Species,” on November 24, 2009.

    Thanks for the post, Mark!

  2. Rahb Ghoti
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 12:55 am | Permalink

    Global warming is also religion. The only “evidence” I hear for global warming is the oft-repeated argument ad populem: “all the scientific societies agree it’s true.” Well, believing something because other people believe it is religion.

  3. EOS
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    Mark,

    I think most agree that creationism is not science. But many think that chemical evolution and abiogenesis is (life arising from non-life). That’s where the controversy lies. Since abiogenesis has never been observed, it should not be included in science classes either. It’s an atheistic philosophy, with no evidence to support it’s truth other than the existence of diverse life forms. Science should not present as fact that all life forms arose spontaneously from a primordial soup. This is mere speculation and requires a great deal of faith. It is not a reproducible experiment. It has never been duplicated in any laboratory. It is based on a philosophy called materialism or naturalism. This philosophy, not science, claims that a creator God is an impossibility, therefore the universe came into being through only natural forces. Science cannot prove or disprove the existence of God. The best scientific minds today believe that the universe was created by a big bang. That the forces that caused the big bang, were non-natural and external to the universe and are non-existent today. And that this explosion resulted in increasing order and complexity out of randomness. And that a single-celled organism, a complex biochemical factory of hundreds of coordinated and interdependent enzymes, formed by chance. And that by chance only, these single-celled organisms added information and structures, complex organ systems, and intelligence and evolved into a myriad of different life forms. Darwin himself wrote, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down”. It has broken down. Most scientists today understand that Darwinian evolution, mutation followed by adaptation and natural selection, cannot account for the genetic libraries of the huge number of organisms in existence today. There has to be some as of yet undiscovered mechanism to prove evolution is even a possibility.

  4. tommy
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    EOS – your well thought out post is the reason why the Kirk Camerons of the world take the stance they do; it’s much easier just to say God did it! No thinking involved, cut-and-dry, end of story. Your last sentence is the most important one … there has to be some as of yet undiscovered mechanism to prove evolution is even a possibility. My bet is on Science, not the Magic Sky Wizard.

    A couple of additional thoughts – evolution (or lack there of) will be on full display when the new WalMart opens up in Saline next week. If these guys show up around here and you are serious about a flash mob – count me in!

  5. EOS
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Tommy,

    In what other branch of science are they taking bets on whether the theory will ultimately be proven? My bet is that Science will ultimately confirm the truth that God has already revealed in His book.

  6. Posted September 29, 2009 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    EOS – I won’t argue with you about the Big Bang, because I think you’re right, but your comments on abiogenesis are wrong.

    First, let’s be clear what we’re discussing. Evolution is the gradual transformation of one form of life into another form of life, as described by Darwin and others. Evolution is a fact, it has been observed.

    Abiogenesis is the beginning of life from non-living matter. It is more theoretical than evolution, and it hasn’t been observed (at least not yet — I think it will be demonstrated in a lab setting within 15-20 years), but some key steps have been tested out experimentally. Further, the gap between “life” and “not-life” may not be as big as you think; consider prions, viroids, virusoids, etc. all of which show some characteristics of “life” but which lack others and so are not considered “alive”.

    Not all unobserved things are equal. I’ve never observed conception, I’ve never observed abiogenesis, and I’ve never observed God. But, given what I HAVE observed, I find two of them very likely, and one of them much less so (at least in any meaningful sense; see apatheism).

  7. Mr. X
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    I am a Christian and I believe in evolution. I don’t see the two as being mutually exclusive. Those who have issues are those who clutch desperately to the notion that the Bible is literally true at every level, and not at all the product of the age in which it was written. That, of course, is ridiculous. We know that history played a part in the writing of the book, as well as politics. Some texts were incorporated, others were destroyed. And there was no way of knowing, at the time of the writing of the Bible, that science would one day prove the earth to be billions of years old. The bottom line is, they did the best they could with the information they had at the time. But, that doesn’t in any way detract from the greatness of Jesus Christ and his message.

  8. Robert
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    That is fine, Mr. X. You see, EOS and I don’t think it is important what a person thinks or does. All that matters is that they accept the lord Jesus Christ as their savior. You can go on believing in evolution. It’s ok. None of us are perfect. As long as you are “saved” that’s all that matters.

  9. Andy C
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    So I should believe in Scientology because no one can disprove it, and it does answer a lot of questions.

  10. Robert
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Yes, Andy C, that is fine, as long as you have accepted Jesus Christ as your savior. If you have, then the rest is all just part of being human…being a sinner. Nobody is perfect, not even me or EOS.

  11. EOS
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    That species show variation, that some variations are beneficial and that beneficial variations would increase in populations over time are very well proven scientific facts. All persons, whether they are evolutionists or creationists, agree on these facts. Because of this, the pope declared that there is no conflict between religion and evolution, as both can be accepted without abandoning the other. But when evolutionists digress past these facts, and include the myths of chemical evolution and the idea that all living organisms evolved from a single or a few common ancestors, they make it impossible to believe both.

    The Bible is the inerrant, infallible, Word of God. I didn’t get saved because I believed that to be true. I didn’t get saved because my obedience was perfect. Robert is still confused because he thinks that Christianity teaches that people are saved because of what they do. They are saved, and then obedience follows. They are saved, and then understanding of the scriptures follows. They are saved, and then become more Christ like in their behavior. Some more quickly than others. But the one thing I was trying to explain to Robert, is that being saved or being a Christian does not result from being obedient or having perfect understanding or behavior. Don’t disbelieve in Jesus, just because you think I’m an asshole, because you would sacrifice your eternity for the wrong reasons.

  12. kjc
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    “They are saved, and then become more Christ like in their behavior. Some more quickly than others.”

    haha. i’ll say!

  13. Curt Waugh
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Thank you cmadler for clarifying some wonderful concepts. You have, in as terse a manner as possible, laid out the clear difference between abiogenesis and evolution.

    EOS, you were woefully understudied in this area. You are not even remotely qualified to comment on evolution or abiogenesis. I mean, where do you get this kind of ludicrous statement: “Most scientists today understand that Darwinian evolution, mutation followed by adaptation and natural selection, cannot account for the genetic libraries of the huge number of organisms in existence today.” Most? According to whom? “Most” How wonderfully vague. How Fox-ian of you.

    And before you get your panties in a bunch, please understand that, by today’s standards, Darwin didn’t know shit. He didn’t know about DNA. He didn’t know about RNA. He didn’t know about mitochondrial DNA. He didn’t know about the presence of amino acids in interstellar/interplanetary space. He didn’t know almost anything except observational phenomena, the stuff of 1850’s-era science. We’re only learning now about mechanisms outside of DNA that also affect evolution.

    Most schoolchildren know more about evolution than Darwin. He is not our god. He is not who we follow. He just started the ball rolling and for that, we thank him. Let it go. Science is about now, not about the past. It builds on the past, but it doesn’t exist there. I would no more follow Darwin on evolution than I would allow that crack-pot Newton to guide my alchemy studies. Doesn’t mean that the man didn’t invent calculus. Doesn’t mean he wasn’t one of the world’s greatest super-geniuses. It’s just that he had a crazy-ass side that is not in keeping with modern science. That’s how science works, man.

    You and other creationists are simply following the slash-and-burn techniques pioneered by our good buddy Karl Rove: Find an enemy and villify him any way you can. Turn “evolution” into “Darwinism” (good old faggy Darwinism). Voila – we now have a big gay enemy with a name and a face. Lame. ( I love how the mere mention of “disdain for women” is supposed to send us into fits of protest. I’m surprised he didn’t actually wink and make little limp-wrist gestures when he said it.)

    Up until very recently, nobody really ever said “Darwinism”. I have always been heavily involved in science and I was never exposed to that term in general use until recently. Sure, we had heard of the guy, but “evolution” was about DNA – and still mostly is.

  14. Chaely
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    I would gladly join a pro-evolution flashmob. I’m with cmadler – everything is theory until it’s observed and some theories are just based more firmly in logic and science than others.

    I think you’re right when you say that creationism is religion rather than science and while I don’t mind Cameron’s beliefs or his big US tour, I do mind the fact that they’re altering the Origin of Species and passing it off as a tool to support their theories. Darwin is probably rolling in his grave right now. I hate the idea of anyone just crapping on someone else’s text rather than writing a thoughtful response and publishing it under its own title. I feel like their decision to “reprint” the book this way had everything to do with making it easily mistaken for the real thing and nothing to do with starting a constructive dialogue. The fact that this is going to (supposedly) be a limited run does very little to assuage that suspicion.

    I’m already sympathetic towards the poor fool who picks up a used copy of one of these doctored up books at the campus bookstore expecting the original text only to find a bunch of information that definitely won’t be showing up on the exam.

  15. Oliva
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    What I don’t like about the bullheaded brand of Christianity, so loud and loutish of late, is its penchant for taking all the air out of the room so the other people can’t really breathe or be. “My God is a God who . . .” and talk like that, yuck–while using a megaphone to try to ruin others’ prayer service (such as at the Muslim gathering in DC last week). And proclamations about being true to an orthodoxy so arbitrary and intolerant of other human beings–in which an adherent gets to pick and choose what is real and true and makes up ideas and rules to serve one’s (personal and political) agenda. Shifty!

  16. thoughtful response
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    How about we all dress like chimps and fling pooh at them?

  17. EL
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    TR:

    Flinging Pooh: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VpQIIlE5No

  18. EOS
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    cmadler –

    There are persons who have observed and studied conception, and published in peer reviewed journals. There are persons who have seen God and written eyewitness accounts. But no human in any historical time period has observed abiogenesis, nor would it be possible according to scientific theory (1st and 2nd Law of Thermodynamics) for it to occur spontaneously by chance..

  19. Burt Reynolds
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    I, for one, would like to know how Boner Stabone feels about all of this.

  20. HauntedChickenCoop
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    At the risk of being stoned, I couldn’t help but laugh watching this video. It’s KIRK FREAKING CAMERON!
    In his honor, a few quotes:

    Put your nose into the Bible everyday. It is your spiritual food. And then share it. Make a vow not to be a lukewarm Christian.
    -Kirk

    I came all this way for a reason. Today is the day of salvation. Trust Jesus to save you. Then be sincere as God knows a pretender.
    -Kirk

    If you had the cure to cancer wouldn’t you share it? … You have the cure to death … get out there and share it.
    -Kirk

    I sometimes found myself more comfortable around my TV family than I did with my own parents and sisters.
    -Kirk

    To say that the banana happened by accident is even more unintelligent than to say that no one designed the Coca Cola can.
    -Again, Kirk

  21. tommy
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    EOS – There are persons who have seen God and written eyewitness accounts? I call bullshit on you! Wait, wait – I just saw something … I think it was God … damn, it was that flying spaghetti monster again … hate it when that happens. Believe what you want, just don’t push the pile of rubbish on others. The Bible is the inerrant, infallible, Word of MAN, from a few thousand years ago.

  22. Cave Man
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Is that guy he now pals around with – Comfort – the same guy who played opposite him on Growing Pains – the character called Boner?

  23. Joanne
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    1) Chemistry and physics and other sciences exist and we’ve discovered them in life around us.
    If you throw a rock down on the ground right now, there will be chemical, physics, and biological things occuring that we can’t see. There will be changes between the rock and the mass it hits; particles will fly around that we cannot detect. This is quite possibly how God created the earth and the sky and that’s why we are able to discover those forces in ourselves, plants, and animals. If we can believe in what science has detected then why can it not be applied to our religous beliefs? The forces of physics and chemistry, etc. do exist in the makeup of earth and sky.

    2) Any science in Christian schools?
    Do they not teach science in Christian schools? Or do they tell them to believe the science but not apply it to their religious belief in how the world began? How are Christians able to take science classes but not turn around and blend it with their religious beliefs? There seems to be a gap in the Christian brain that allows them to do this. And what did they teach in schools before they were allowed to teach evolution? Did they simply say God created it all and called it a day? Because if God never entered science class before, then why are they clamoring for him to do so now because of evolution?

    3) Issues Christians also have
    Christians believe the world is young and possibly it is. Or maybe only humans are young. But many Christian faiths/churches believe not only that the world is young, but believe dinosaur bones are fake and planted by scientists in a conspiracy to get rid of God in our lives (true from my church back home.) Other sore points are men rising from apes and not recognizing the evolution and adapting principles that occur in our daily lives with ourselves, plants, and animals. They also refuse to accept the historical written record that the Bible is made up of books the Catholics and Jews chose to make up their canons, and that the Bible changed with Martin Luther’s Protestantism and with King James. (Missing from the current Bible are deuteroncanical and apocrypha works.) The Bible was found, as currently revised, they believe, in caves under rocks back when.

    4) Does it really matter, change anyone’s belief in God?
    Not if you are already a believer. Prior to evolution, non believers used other reasons other than evolution to not believe in God.

  24. EOS
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Joanne-

    Christians were the founders of modern science. We believe that God created an orderly universe and that God created man with the intelligence and curiosity to investigate that universe. Most of the first Universities in this country were founded by Christians. God has been and will always be in the classrooms. The scientific method is a Christian concept. Evolution, when it claims that all species arose from a common ancestor, is not supported by the scientific method.

    Christians believe that God created dinosaurs on the 5th day. Fossils are evidence of animals that are now extinct. I never heard of your dinosaur bone conspiracy theory and don’t understand why dinosaurs would cause a problem for any Christian.

    The Bible was written by about 40 authors over a period of 1600 years. All wrote as they were inspired by God. Christians and Jews agree on 100% of the Old Testament books. The Catholics used political organizations to add books to the cannon that were not authentic. The word Apocrypha means of doubtful origin, lacking authority; not regarded as canonical; Of dubious veracity; of questionable accuracy or truthfulness. That all other Christians did not accept these books is to their credit. Jesus quoted many references in the Old Testament and said nothing to challenge it’s authenticity.

    The Bible has not been revised. The documents found in Qumran caves between 1947 and 1956 confirmed its authenticity. The documents were from the 2nd century and proved that the Bible has not been changed since that time.

    Does it really matter? Yes, truth matters.

  25. Andy C
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    The Bible is public domain. Let’s put out a version with chapter calling out all the crap. Then we can give them to churches.

    …and no I won’t argue over what is “crap” and why. It equivalent to arguing that Santa Claus doesn’t still exist with a three year old.

  26. Oliva
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Bible has been changed in deeply political ways–I thought that was a given.

  27. EOS
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Oliva –

    What do you think has been changed? When and how was it changed? How did they collect all the existent Bibles and replace them with fraudulent ones? Who changed it? I own 7 different translations of the Bible. They all translate the same ancient manuscripts and say essentially the same thing. I have a concordance that references every word that is translated back to the original Hebrew or Greek words. It tells how many times in the Bible that word was used and how it was translated in each context. Since I can’t read Hebrew or Greek, I’m dependent on a translation. I prefer a modern translation because I think its easier to read and understand. But for a Bible study, I use a word for word translation because it’s more accurate. Sometimes I prefer the King James translation, because that’s the version that is quoted most often. But regardless of the language used the message is the same. That’s not to say that there are not bad translations out there that distort the original text. But there are so many good versions out there its easy to spot the counterfeit.

  28. Posted September 29, 2009 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    I don’t care if nobody likes you, EOS; you’ve got some balls. Good for you.

  29. Mark H.
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    EOS states that,
    “The Bible has not been revised. The documents found in Qumran caves between 1947 and 1956 confirmed its authenticity. The documents were from the 2nd century and proved that the Bible has not been changed since that time.”

    Yes sir, those ancient holy writings haven’t been changed one little bit over thousands of years –not one bit! They are exactly the same now as ever, even though the Bible of EOS is written in a language that didn’t exist 2000 years ago. Still, none of the translations from ancient dead languages into modern languages adds up to a single change in the “Bible.” Step right up, not a word’s been changed, not a single letter even — except every single one of them.

    Saying the Bible has changed isn’t an attack on the Bible’s value or validity. To say it’s changed is to make an observation about reality. This opens up meanings, rather than shuts down explorations of meaning. My God gave us all the ability to reason, and does not object to us using reason, and does not suggest that we swallow such claims as EOS makes about a bible that lacks history (history is change over time, and the Bible has plenty of that).

    Not until roughly 130 years ago was there a developed argument for the literal inerrancy of every word of the Bible in English translation. Previously, readers of the Bible didn’t make it so small, make its meaning so narrow, so opposed to human reasoning and the beauty of human language. Metaphor and truth are not incompatible except within narrow minds.

    Yeah, not a word’s been changed in the Bible – except all of them, each many times over. No change except total change !

  30. Oliva
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    Well, the word essentially is kind of important, EOS. I had translations in mind too, though no doubt there are other ways.

    Also, not to further an argument, I hope, but because here’s support for the rich and awfully amazing history angle to the Bible:

    if you were to do a history of the commentary on the Bible, both Hebrew and Christian, you would find that it gets ever more misogynist as time goes on. The text to begin with is patriarchal, and then it got interpreted in an even more patriarchal direction. The guilt of Eve for the Fall became elaborated and strengthened way beyond its origin in the biblical text. The depiction of God and the Trinity in church art clearly identified all aspects of God as male. . . .
    Patristic interpretation of the core texts of the Bible, chiefly by Origen and St. Augustine, gained acceptance—namely, that Adam and Eve’s sin was transmitted from parent to child through concupiscence, which is part of the act of generation. Since original sin had already been blamed on Eve, all women were charged with a heavy load of guilt for the Fall and original sin. And gradually, as the medieval church became a stronger and stronger power, pitted against the secular power of emperor and kings, the power and range of activity of cloistered women was being more and more restricted. This is a pattern we can trace in the establishment of many non-Western religions as well: Institutionalization and worldly economic power have throughout history proven to be bad for women. . . .
    Feminist Bible criticism increased and spread in the sixteenth- and seventeenth- century pamphlet debate concerning the nature and role of women. But by the end of the seventeenth century, women’s authorization to prophesy received in the work of Mary Astell (1666-1731) a much more logical and rational explanation than had been given by her predecessors. Astell questioned the very authority of the patriarchal interpreters of scripture: “Scripture is not always on their Side who make Parade of it, and through their Skill in Languages, and the Tricks of the Schools, wrest its genuine Sense to their own Inventions… Because Women, without their own Fault, are kept in Ignorance of the Original, wanting Languages and other Helps to Criticizes on the Sacred Text, of which, they know no more, than Men are pleased to impart in their Translations.”

    She says women are deprived of the knowledge to interpret. This argument, which is here to my knowledge raised for the first time, would be used by latterday feminists such as Judith Sargent Murray, an American, in 1790. In the nineteenth century it reappeared in the writings of Sarah Grimké, the author of the first feminist book written by an American woman, Letters on the Equality of the Sexes and the Condition of Woman (1836). Grimké considered the biblical texts sacred, but tainted by human frailty and error. She wrote: “My mind is entirely delivered from the superstitious reverence which is attached to the English version of the Bible. King James’ translators certainly were not inspired. I therefore claim the original as my standard, believing that to have been inspired and I also claim to judge for myself what is the meaning of the inspired writers.” . . .

    Grimké’s analysis of St. Paul was historical and critical, and she pointed out every contradiction in the biblical account. She asked, if women were not allowed to preach or teach, why then were so many young women now employed as Sunday school teachers, ostensibly breaking the Pauline injunction, and yet, “warned not to overstep the bounds set for us by our brethren in another? Simply. . . because in the one case, we subserve their views and their interests, and act in subordination to them; whilst in the other, we come in contact with their interests and claim to be on an equality with them in . . . the ministry of the word.”

    In an earlier passage, she had summarized the most advanced part of her analysis, which would be reinvented many times over by future generations of feminists: “I mention [this]… only to prove that intellect is not sexed; that strength of mind is not sexed; and that our views about the duties of men and the duties of women, the sphere of men and the sphere of woman, are mere arbitrary opinions, differing in different ages and countries, and dependent solely on the will and judgment of erring mortals.”
    –Gerda Lerner, http://www.hds.harvard.edu/news/bulletin/articles/lerner.html

  31. stella
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Olivia
    (See “fox watchers” thread) EOS already informed us that he and his cohort don’t care about the opinions of women, scholars or popes so….

  32. Posted September 30, 2009 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Let me ask you, EOS, which version of the Bible has not been revised?

  33. EOS
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Oliva –

    Your criticisms are about Bible commentaries, not the Bible itself. Men are flawed, the Bible is not. Even today, you can find hundreds of commentaries written by numerous persons with differing points of view. Commentaries are fallible.

    I was born into a Catholic family but I chose to leave that denomination. Catholics have added a lot of traditions to the Bible. I cannot defend the Catholic faith but don’t want to criticize it in this forum either.

    Because of Adam’s and Eve’s sin, we are born into this world with a sinful nature. We are not punished for their sin, but for those we commit. The Bible clearly holds Adam accountable for his sin. Over and over it states that sin came into the world through Adam. Both ate the fruit – both are guilty.

    The Gospels portray a Jesus who was not misogynist at all. He elevated women’s status above the norms of the day. The Bible clearly states that men and women are of equal status in God’s eye. But he clearly made two different sexes, compatible and complementary. Paul stated that women should not teach and was referring to leading a worship service that included men, not Sunday school or Women’s Bible studies.

    cmadler –
    The oldest manuscripts have been preserved and not changed.

  34. kjc
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    yeah, you got balls alright, EOS. you just offer blatant untruths about the history of translation.

  35. Posted September 30, 2009 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    EOS – Since you mentioned Qumram, I’m guessing that you’re referring to the Dead Sea Scrolls, which generally date from 150 BC to 70 AD. But some of the events described (assuming they actually happened) would have occurred prior at least to 2000 BC, and possibly much earlier. Either there are earlier manuscripts which did not survive (or at least haven’t been found), or the information was passed down orally for nearly 2000 years.

  36. Brackinald Achery
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Here comes the argument comparing adult Hebrews who had a religious duty to pass down oral records accurately to American kindergarteners who have an entertainment incentive to screw up the Chinese Telephone game.

  37. Robert
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    I never said good works get anybody into heaven. In fact I am absolutely certain good works don’t get a person into heaven. I never even suggested I believed that, and yet EOS has been saying over and over that that is my position. It’s really pissing me off what a fucking liar EOS is.

    I’m probably going to find EOS and punch them in the face for lying about me and what I’ve said. Punching EOS in the face may be wrong, but I am not perfect. I’m still going to heaven regardless of whether or not I do it, and that is all that matters.

  38. tommy
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    When you get up there Robert, watch out for Jeffery Dahmer! He’s up there – according to the faithful – as he surrendered himself to his savior before dying. Stay away from Sloppy Joe night, if you know catch my drift.

  39. Posted September 30, 2009 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    I’m not going to compare “adult Hebrews who had a religious duty to pass down oral records accurately to American kindergarteners who have an entertainment incentive to screw up the Chinese Telephone game.” BA is right, there’s a huge difference. But 2000 years is an very long time, and spoken languages are quite fluid. I personally find it preposterous to suggest that a lengthy oral record could be passed down word-for-word for that length of time with no changes in words or in meanings.

  40. EOS
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    cmadler –

    We don’t have an original manuscript. In addition, there are lots of copies of the manuscript that did not survive. It was common practice for Jewish scribes at the time to carefully and meticulously copy the manuscript and then bury the old so that the deterioration of the parchment or whatever it was written on could not alter the words. The Masoretic text has been preserved from the tenth century.

    The information was not passed down orally for 2000 years. The Book of 2 Kings has references to a number of written records. “The Annals of Solomon”, The Annals of the Kings of Israel”, and “The Annals of the Kings of Judah” are all cited as written records. In 2 Kings 22, Hilkiah the priest discovered a written copy of the Book of the Law (the first 5 books of the Bible) while repairing the temple around 600 B.C. The Septuagint translation (from Hebrew to Greek) was written around 250 B.C. The last book of the Old Testament was written in 450 B.C.

    The evidence for the New Testament authenticity is far greater. The last book of the NT was completed around 90 – 95 A.D. The earliest fragment that we have today is from 130 A.D. Codex Vaticanus and Codex Siniaticus
    are two excellent parchment copies of the entire New Testament that date from the 4th century. We have copies of different portions of the NT that date from 180 – 225 A.D, which together comprise more than 2/3 of the NT. We have over 4000 different ancient Greek manuscripts that contain all or part of the NT. In addition to the actual Greek manuscripts, there are more than 1,000 copies and fragments of the New Testament in Syria, Coptic, Armenian, Gothic, and Ethiopic, as well as 8,000 copies of the Latin Vulgate, some of which date back almost to Jerome’s original translation in 384-400 A.D.

    In his book, The Bible and Archaeology, Sir Frederic G. Kenyon, former director and principal librarian of the British Museum, stated about the New Testament, “The interval, then, between the dates of original composition and the earliest extant evidence becomes so small as to be in fact negligible, and the last foundation for any doubt that the Scriptures have come down to us substantially as they were written has now been removed. Both the authenticity and the general integrity of the books of the New Testament may be regarded as finally established.”

  41. kjc
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    i’m so glad history is important to you, EOS. as Mark H. noted, literal interpretation of the Bible only goes back to the 17th century.

  42. Posted September 30, 2009 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    EOS – You wrote previously that, “The Bible has not been revised” and suggested that this was confirmed by the documents found at Qumran. My point is that the earliest of the Qumran documents date to about 150 BC, and the events mentioned in them (to the extent they actually happened) occurred as much as 2000 years before that. Earlier today, you wrote that, “The oldest manuscripts have been preserved and not changed.” Now you’ve written that, “We don’t have an original manuscript.” If we don’t have an original manuscript, how do you know things haven’t changed?

    Talking about New Testament authenticity is a red herring; this thread is about evolution and how “Christians believe that God created dinosaurs on the 5th day.” I don’t think that’s explicitly stated in the Bible, but to the extent that there is a relevant passage, I’d look for it in Genesis. To the extent that the events described in Genesis did happen, they were at least centuries and possibly millennia before the dates of the oldest known surviving manuscripts.

  43. Robert
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Thank you, Tommy. Yes, I will try to stay clear of Jeffery Dahmer when I get to heaven. Ted Bundy also made it from what Dr. James Dobson tells me. I’m going to see if I can bunk with EOS.

  44. tommy
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    Praise the Lord!

  45. Oliva
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    But since 1940, when Kenyon’s book was published, we have had much illuminating scholarship to complicate and enrich things. He might have been a learned, even fascinating, dutiful man–maybe very compelling and great–but he was probably also a creature of his times, when in certain places (such as England, where he lived) white men of privilege got first dibs at things like being scholars, writers, museum directors—some probably not even thinking to question why and how they got to where they were. (Some of them probably wishing it were another way.) And maybe then it was an easier time to proclaim things once-and-for-all and be known for it, have people happy to have matters settled. (Am just imagining–really have no idea.) Nowadays, what a jungle, having so many points of view to contend with.

    Also, wouldn’t citing Kenyon to declare the New Testament whole and true be sort of the same thing, in terms of shaping what we call the New Testament, as someone else here talking about the shifting meanings among translations or the effect of the political system in place when the original words were written down?

  46. Mark H.
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    In an uncharacteristic effort to provide evidence to back up his claims, EOS writes, among other things, “The Book of 2 Kings has references to a number of written records. “The Annals of Solomon”, The Annals of the Kings of Israel”, and “The Annals of the Kings of Judah” are all cited as written records. In 2 Kings 22, Hilkiah the priest discovered a written copy of the Book of the Law (the first 5 books of the Bible) while repairing the temple around 600 B.C. The Septuagint translation (from Hebrew to Greek) was written around 250 B.C. The last book of the Old Testament was written in 450 B.C.” But none of this or other statements he makes in this comment suggest that the Bible is either unchanged, as he’s claimed, or necessarily of divine origins. The Bible is old and has old roots in written and oral literature — who disputes that? EOS is using little facts to support claims that aren’t verifiable – namely, that the Bible is unchanged and divine in origin.

  47. EOS
    Posted October 1, 2009 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    The reference to the written records that existed at the time 2 Kings was written was merely to point out that the Bible wasn’t transmitted through oral recitation for 2000 years. Yes, I agree that doesn’t prove the authenticity of the written record. The dead sea scrolls are evidence that the Bible was unchanged from 150B.C. until today. Technically, every translation is a revision, and since the Bible is being translated into every known language, then yes, the Bible has been revised. I don’t have proof that the O.T. was not changed from the time it was written until 150 B.C. Devout believers who considered it to be the word of God, carefully transcribed it and handed it down through the generations. For that matter, I believe that George Washington was the first president of the United States. I don’t know that as an indisputable fact, but I believe the written records to be authentic. I can’t prove it though.

  48. EOS
    Posted October 1, 2009 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Correction – the dead sea scrolls were written sometime between 150 B.C. – 200 A.D. depending on the source.

  49. Robert
    Posted October 1, 2009 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    There is more evidence that George Washington was the first president of the United States than one person could examine in a lifetime. While, at the same time, you would find it almost impossible to find one small shred of evidence which would dispute it.

    However, EOS, regarding the topic Mark H and you were discussing, there is extremely scant evidence, if any, which would support your belief.

    Therein lies the distinction, and it’s a real whopper.

  50. Posted November 23, 2009 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    It’s being reported today that these “unedited” versions of The Origin of Species, are actually missing 4 key chapters? Here’s a clip from Salon:

    …Lastly, although Comfort claimed in advance that “not one jot or tittle” of the text of “The Origin of Species” would be missing from his edition, four entire chapters were omitted. Comfort said that this was an error limited to the first printing, but his critics have claimed that these sections were intentionally left out because they contain strong evidence for Darwin’s theory…

    Can you believe that bullshit?

  51. EOS
    Posted November 24, 2009 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    No, I can’t believe that bullshit.

    There is no strong evidence for Darwin’s theory.

  52. Posted November 24, 2009 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Have you read the book, EOS? What Darwin actually says, I don’t think is all that controversial. He essentially just says that offspring are likely to have characteristics of their parents.

  53. EOS
    Posted November 24, 2009 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Mark,

    I’ve read the book, multiple times. What you say is not the least controversial. What Darwin proposed is entirely different. He claimed that all known species descended from a common ancestor. In other words, he claimed that offspring have characteristics that are completely different from their parents, that these offspring inherit characteristics that are more complex and sophisticated than either of their parents, and that these advanced characteristics arise completely by chance or mutation. And, completely new species arise in this manner while the existing species continue to propagate. But the fossil record shows a decrease in the total number of species and all observable studies show a great deal of species that have become extinct rather than vice-versa.

    Darwin observed beak changes in a population of finches over a short period of time. He then speculated, without any scientific evidence, how these changes might progress over billions and billions of years. The problem is, finch beaks are very susceptible to change within a few generations, over a very short period of time, but, there is only a very limited range of changes available to the finch population. The beak sizes and shapes change under conditions of drought and then change back when the climate returns to normal. The beaks don’t mutate and become lips.

    Even though we have the complete genetic sequences of many different organisms, there has yet to be a single scientific paper that can show, step by step, how an amoeba might mutate into a worm,then an insect, then a carnivore, then a human. How many base changes are necessary to change reptilian scales into avian feathers? They are not even remotely similar when you get down to the genetic level.

    What we get in every biology textbook are pictures of light colored moths on the tree trunks that have been darkened by industrial soot. A classic example of evolution from light colored moths to dark colored in a few generations. Except the picture captions never explain that the moths had to be glued to the tree trunks for the photo op and that moths fly at night in the tree canopy and would never land on a trunk during daylight. And the captions never explain that moths have the genetic capacity to exist in a number of shades and that all the shades of moths are still in existence.

    What we get in every biology textbook are drawings of embryo’s of multiple species all shown to look very similar. But these drawings were distorted by Haeckel to make them look more alike than they are. Ernst Haeckel was convicted of fraud for this in 1874, yet his drawings are still appearing in textbooks in 2010.

    As I said, it’s bullshit and I don’t have enough faith to believe the propaganda. We should limit what is taught in Science classes to science only and leave out ALL philosophical speculation of the origin of species.

  54. TT
    Posted November 24, 2009 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    I’ve read Origin of Species, but it’s been years ago. I don’t remember any mention of a common ancestor. It may well be there, but I don’t remember it. A reference would be useful.

  55. EOS
    Posted November 24, 2009 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Darwin wrote, “The Descent of Man” after “Origin of Species”. The focus of the entire book was that all species had a common ancestry.

  56. Posted November 24, 2009 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    “that these advanced characteristics arise completely by chance or mutation”

    You’re forgetting natural selection.

    “that these offspring inherit characteristics that are more complex and sophisticated”

    Not necessarily. They may be more complex or less.

  57. Meta
    Posted November 24, 2009 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Kirk Cameron getting confronted on the UCLA campus as he hands out books:

    http://www.tmz.com/2009/11/24/kirk-cameron-mauled-by-a-bruin-in-darwin-fight/#ixzz0XnGJAFOv

  58. Peter Larson
    Posted November 24, 2009 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Is there any evidence at all for the story in Genesis?

  59. Mark H.
    Posted November 24, 2009 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    Today is the 150th anniversary of the publication of the most important work ever in the history of science – Darwin’s “Origins of Species.” 125o copies were printed, and the humanity’s understanding of the world was changed…..

    No one who cares about scientific evidence should waste a moment debating EOS about Darwin. And the core of Darwin’s ideas are solid and verified by much evidence. The evolution of bacteria and viruses, for example.

    By the way, Darwin never lost faith in God. His work did displace ideas of God from scientific ideas about the creation of the natural world. No idea about god can be proven or subjected to scientific tests – and that’s a good thing. Nothing good would ever come from adding science to the arsenal for religious conflict. Those who’ve felt the need to attack Darwin’s theory because it has no place in it for God’s actions to explain the natural universe might as well attack the inventors of the internal combustion engine, since it operates independently of any provable role for divine power.

  60. EOS
    Posted November 25, 2009 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    Bruce,

    “You’re forgetting natural selection.”

    Natural selection is the process by which characteristics that are favorable increase in prevalence within a population. But it cannot be the cause of these altered characteristics, it merely explains how advantageous traits are passed down to future generations with increased frequency once they appear in an organism’s genome.

    “Not necessarily. They may be more complex or less.”

    I have no problem agreeing that organisms can easily evolve into species that are less complex. Information can be lost, mutation can result in loss of function, and structures or organs not necessary or beneficial for survival need not be passed on. But the thrust of Darwin’s theory was that all species evolved from common ancestors that were themselves single celled organisms that spontaneously came to life in the primordial soup. All the complexities of every known species arose without any intelligent design, but merely by chance. It has been compared to having thousands of chimpanzees sitting at typewriters constantly hitting the keys and expecting that over billions and billions of years time that one of the chimpanzees might have typed a complete novel.

    Mark H.,

    The Origin of Species was certainly not the most important work ever published in the history of science. Biology, as a science, did not even exist at the time it was published. Darwin was not a biologist, but a natural historian. He did not use the scientific method or conduct any experiments. He merely collected specimens and made observations and speculated about those observations. And those of us who care about scientific evidence are well aware that many of his speculations have never been verified in a controlled experimental setting. No one has ever created a living organism capable of reproduction using any mixture of chemicals under any condition. Even though bacteria reproduce every 20 to 30 minutes, and have been studied for hundreds of years, no one has ever observed a single bacteria ever evolving into anything other than another bacteria. We have bred horses, dogs, and crops for thousands of years and while we have developed new breeds and cultivars, we have never observed macroevolution. Each kind produces more of its own kind, albeit with slight modifications. Darwin’s finches still show the same range of variations in beaks as they always have. The fossil record shows many organisms that have not changed at all and also many organisms that are extinct, but it cannot prove that an extinct form has evolved into a completely different kind.

    There is nothing in this Universe capable of existence independent of the will of God. He created an orderly Universe governed by forces that are constant and He created man with an intelligence capable of studying His creation and subjecting it to vigorous scientific testing. Those who promote ideas that we exist independent of God are merely trying to justify their rejection of God and His moral views and their applicability to their current lifestyle.

  61. Camera Girl
    Posted November 25, 2009 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    I’m sure that we must pay more attention to EOS on this site than he has ever been paid in his life. To what end? We’re not going to change his mind. Logic doesn’t work. But, like good liberals, we keep on trying. I say it’s time to start ignoring.

  62. EOS
    Posted November 25, 2009 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Peter –

    In the New Testament, Jesus himself refers directly to details in each of the first seven chapters of Genesis fifteen times.

    Here’s a link that does a good job at answering your question:

    http://www.icr.org/article/4824/

  63. Peter Larson
    Posted November 25, 2009 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    That really doesn’t constitute evidence at all and I think you know that.

  64. Posted November 30, 2009 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    And, on top of everything else, it looks like Ray Comfort plagiarized a good deal of his intro.

  65. Fidela Keener
    Posted August 1, 2011 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Be nice. I predict that Kirk Cameron will be our next President.

    Unless, of course, he’s Canadian. Then it will be the guy who played Potsy on Happy Days.

  66. K2
    Posted October 20, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Well, it looks like Darwin may have had the last laugh.

    See Kirk Cameron, all alone, blowing out his birthday candles.

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/cutline/story-behind-kirk-cameron-sad-birthday-photo-212734689.html?fb_source=home_multiline&fb_action_types=news.reads&fb_action_ids=10150347368390326%2C2338764720489%2C2340138897286%2C2339542322372&fb_ref=U-wQ4K690mRrLY4kd4IMuXww-CFCONX01FRS-32mcbXXX

  67. Cicely Sozi
    Posted October 21, 2011 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    When you have Jesus as a friend, you don’t need others.

    Happy birthday, Kirk.

  68. Meta
    Posted April 13, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    CCOKC (pronounced “Cock”) has released a video.

    http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/b6ddedd57e/ccokc-child-celebrities-opposing-kirk-cameron

    CCOKC stands for Child Celebrities Opposing Kirk Cameron.

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