Comfortable Creationists Wimp Out at Cornell
Many people have recently heard about how creationist and televangelist Ray Comfort has been planning to distribute 170,000 copies of Charles Darwin's Origin of Species at the 100 top colleges and universities in America.
Well, the appointed day (19 November) for Ray's distribution of the Origin came and went, but apparently no creationists showed up at Cornell to pass out Ray's "abridged" copy of the Origin of Species with Ray's laughably mendacious introduction. I really wanted to get a copy, eagerly pressed into my grasp by the hot little hands of a freshly scrubbed creationist, but after checking every likely location — from Ho Plaza in front of the Straight (where there were a few empty folding tables, sitting forlornly in the rain) to the plaza between Olin and Uris libraries (where a few damp smokers contemplated "The Song of the Vowels") to Trillium (where Cornell's elite meet to eat) to Mann Library (the second largest agriculture and biology library in the world...where is the first, exactly?) to Appell Commons (where you can work up a sweat before downing your stir fry)...nada, nobody, zip, just grey sky and freezing rain. And so my quest for another artifact from the culture wars went unsatisfied...
Apparently, Ray got worried that people like me would make things "unComfortable" for his minions, so he secretly ordered them to go out a day early. But, this is the Age of Twitter, and so a lot of Godless Evilutionists were out in force on Wednesday...but, no Comfortable creationists then either. Looks like I picked up that bunch of bananas for nothing — *sigh*
By the way, Ray Comfort has apparently been making a career out of lying lately, asserting that his version of the Origin would be passed out at Cornell yesterday, and that his bastardized version would be available in its entirety. Although I didn't get my copy, I have been informed by people at other academic institutions who did that, on the contrary, he's apparently cut out precisely those chapters that have proven most inconvenient for creationists in the past. And, he's added a fifty-page "introduction" that's filled with laughably inaccurate so-called "arguments" against the content of Darwin's masterpiece.
Furthermore, his apparently false claim that he was printing 170,000 copies of his version of the Origin was apparently intended to push his version to the top of Amazon.com's search results for the Origin of Species, where members of the uninformed public who were interested in reading Darwin's masterpiece during this bicentennial year (it's the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth and the 150th anniversary of the first publication of the Origin of Species) would innocently buy his bastardized version with his mendacious introduction. A clever public relations gambit — gaming Amazon.com's popularity algorithm — but I guess he forgot about the reviewer's comments at Amazon, where his lying and propaganda techniques and public relations tricks have been exposed by people more interested in the truth than making money by shilling for Jesus (who would have been horrified by Ray's tactics, and probably by his theology as well).
So, why did Ray's minions wimp out at Cornell? Maybe because Cornell is well-known for being the Ivy League university most dedicated to the principles of modern science, including evolutionary biology — we've got the best department of ecology and evolutionary biology in the world, and Cornellians (including our presidents) have been well-known for speaking out against bad science since the beginning.
Or maybe because Ray's followers were "discomfited" by our ever-present November drizzle...
As always, comments, criticisms, and suggestions are warmly welcomed!