Update on the future of the Republican Party »« God vs. Darwin: The War Between Evolution and Creationism in the Classroom

The Adventures of Banana Man and Crocoduck

(My new book God vs. Darwin: The War Between Evolution and Creationism in the Classroom is now available through the usual outlets. You can order it from the publishers Rowman & Littlefield for $34.95, from Amazon for $31.65, from Barnes and Noble for $26.21 ($23.58 for members), and also through your local bookstores. For more on the book, see here.)

Those two mighty warriors for Jesus, evangelist Ray Comfort and his trusty sidekick the aging Boy Wonder Kirk Cameron, have come up with a new scheme for fighting the evil theory of evolution which they, along with many religious people, think is threatening to bring about the end of civilization as we know it. Two days before the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species on November 21, they plan to distribute 50,000 free copies of the book at 50 prominent universities. The catch? They have added a 50-page introduction where Comfort will point out all the flaws in the theory. They can do this because the copyright has expired on Darwin’s book.

Here is Cameron’s and Comfort’s plug for the plan:

Hoo-boy, I can’t wait.

In the following video, a young woman (from Romania?) makes fun of the whole idea. She seems to have a solid grasp of the science, religion, law, and politics in the US, and also exposes the outright distortions that Cameron makes. (Language advisory)

Does this effort by Comfort and Cameron require a response? Various ideas have been put forward. Some are suggesting that we pick up the free copies, tear out the introduction, and then give the books away. I must say that I don’t like this idea. I am not in favor of mutilating any books for any reason. Such an action would also merely give more publicity to this venture and open us up to charges that we are trying to censor alternative views.

My suggestion is to let Comfort and Cameron go through with this plan unobstructed because I think it will boomerang on its creators. Origins is, after all, a classic work of science, very readable for the non-scientist, that should belong in every home and be read by everyone. It is a remarkable book and anyone who reads it cannot fail to be impressed by Darwin’s careful and painstaking marshalling of evidence and argument, both for and against his theory, and the way he draws his conclusions. It reveals the workings of the mind of a true scholar, doggedly pursuing evidence towards the truth, wherever it might lead.

Unfortunately, most religious people in the US will not even touch this great book or even want to be seen reading it because it has been so absurdly demonized, and Darwin portrayed as an anti-god zealot. But we know that religious people are strongly attracted to things that are forbidden or labeled as sinful. So some religious people who pick up this religiously approved copy because of this campaign may be tempted to actually read at least part of Origins and perhaps realize that they have been hoodwinked, that the book is not an anti-god rant by the anti-Christ.

In addition, an argument between Darwin on one side and Comfort and Cameron on the other is frankly a no-contest. Comfort has already become a YouTube legend, a worldwide laughingstock for his argument that the banana is “the atheist’s nightmare” because it proves the existence of god. I never tire of watching his video about it.

In fact, I think that Comfort should give away a banana with each book, to sweeten the offer. No need to thank me for this suggestion, Ray.

But Cameron is no slouch either when it comes to stupid arguments. Who can forget his “proof” that the theory of evolution must be false because we do not see transitional forms. It is true that transitional forms are an important part of the theory of evolution, because species evolve in time, changing under the pressure of natural selection. But the idea that no transitional fossils have been unearthed is laughable. Almost all fossils of extinct species are either transitional forms or the end of their line, and we have many of them. Tiktaalik is a superb and dramatic recent example.

But Cameron seems to have this bizarre notion that a transitional form consists of a crude hybrid of two currently existing species. Cameron gives as an example that, since we currently have ducks and crocodiles, Darwin’s theory predicts the existence of an organism that should have the body of a duck and the head of a crocodile. Since we do not see such an animal, which he cleverly calls a ‘crocoduck’, that means that evolution is false and god exists. No really, that’s his argument.

Perhaps many of you are thinking at this point that I must be exaggerating. Surely, nobody could be that ignorant and stupid? Well, let’s go to the video:

Cameron is really proud of this argument, having also trotted it out in a debate with atheists from the Rational Response Squad, as can be seen in the next video. Cameron’s crocoduck argument starts at 3:45, and he then adds ‘bull frog’ and ‘sheep dog’ as similar ridiculous hybrids. He must really think this is a clever argument to put so much effort into creating those drawings.

I have been recently praising the online comic strip Jesus and Mo. If I had any cartooning talent at all (which I don’t) and also a better developed sense of humor, I would start a comic strip similar to that called The Adventures of Banana Man and Crocoduck, based on the antics of Comfort and Cameron.

One can think of several directions in which to take it. My preference would be to have them be like Batman and Robin, where Comfort and Cameron have ordinary everyday identities. But whenever they encounter evil in the form of atheist science (which is everywhere), they change into their secret identities as Banana Man and Crocoduck (complete with appropriate costumes), and venture out to fight it in the name of religion, making fools of themselves in the process.

Comfort’s introduction of their edition of Origins should provide more than enough material to work with.

POST SCRIPT: Religious people can’t handle the truth about Darwin and evolution

It seems as if a critically acclaimed feature film called Creation dealing with the life of Charles Darwin (played by Paul Bettany) cannot find a distributor in the US, because they think the subject is too controversial!

Creation was developed by BBC Films and the UK Film Council, and stars Bettany’s real-life wife Jennifer Connelly as Darwin’s deeply religious wife, Emma. It is based on the book, Annie’s Box, by Darwin’s great-great-grandson, Randal Keynes, and portrays the naturalist as a family man tormented by the death in 1851 of Annie, his favourite child. She is played in the film by 10-year-old newcomer Martha West, the daughter of The Wire star Dominic West.

Early reviews have raved about the film. The Hollywood Reporter said: “It would be a great shame if those with religious convictions spurned the film out of hand as they will find it even-handed and wise.”

Maybe a film called The Adventures of Banana Man and Crocoduck could be made instead. I am open to offers from Hollywood. Have their people call my people and we’ll do lunch.

Comments

  1. says

    Damn! That means the chances of my film The Adventures of Banana Man and Crocoduck being made becomes less likely.

    But seriously, this is great news. Thanks for the information.

  2. Weemaryanne says

    According to this Variety article, Newmarket Films was also responsible for release of The Passion of The Christ.

    If I didn’t know better I’d suspect the Director In The Sky of trying to tell us something.

  3. says

    Re: the ‘designed’ banana

    This guy obviously doesn’t know that the modern banana that we buy in the shops is the result of centuries of artificial selection and deliberate artificial breeding, the wild banana was a lot less human friendly, with inedible pips and everything. The ones we eat are triploid sterile pip-less specimens (natural ones are diploid with hard pips).

    He also misses the point that the banana’s role is seed dispersal using a ‘bribe’ of food to encourage animals to take it far and wide and disperse the seeds so anything that makes it more ‘user friendly’ for the ape doing this is going to have positive selective pressure.

    Finally, if god was in the habit of designing natural foods for our convenience, how do we explain the marrow? the pumpkin? wheat? – try taking wild wheat which had tiny seed and a long stalk that fell over and turnng that into a loaf – nettles (the make a very good soup apparrently) coffee beans?- all that work just to get a cup of coffee when it could have been miraculously delivered on tap, then there is the watermellon, the coconut, prickly pears, pineapple, wallnuts and almonds, imagine eating these without a knife or nutcrackers?

    And then what about the next time we eat a steak? god didn’t make them pre-packed and ready sliced!

    Take enough foods and one is bound to be ‘user friendly’ just by chance. If we accept the ‘design’ of naturally occurring food as evidence of god’s existence then we have to conclude that he doesn’t exist, bananas or no bananas! –

    idiot

  4. says

    Hey Kirk,

    I was out on a mushroom ramble the other day, assiduously avoiding the toxic ones, but after eating one or two of the more interesting varieties, I stumbled upon a real live crocoduck, who fortunately spoke very good english.

    When I asked the crocoduck why it was so secretive about its existence it explained that to reveal itself to mankind would prove the non-existence of god as knowledge of the crocoduck was undoubtedly more than enough to convince the most ardent religious types that Darwin was right – despite the fact that there is no selective advantage in having the jaws of a monster yet only being able to waddle and capsizing too often for comfort due to the high centre of gravity caused by the large reptilian head. It also complained of constant indigestion as its little duck tummy was so much smaller than it’s mouth, (but that’s drifting slightly from the point).

    Anyway it went on to explain that it could not possibly have evolved Darwinian style but was paranoid that religious zealots like Kirk Cameron and the like would, non-the-less see it’s existence as proof positive that god did not exist and loose their faith.

    I told it the story of the babel fish see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcncPpQ8loA
    I explained that by leaving the gap in the fossil record by hiding in the way that it did, it was proving that god exists as there is no other way to explain the gap in the record and that by giving such irrefutable proof of his existence it was removing all need for faith and therefore undermining god’s very existence which relies entirely upon such faith. I therefore suggested that it showed itself to the world at which point it realised that this too would prove the non-existence of god as (according to KC) Darwin’s theory so crucially depended on the existence of the crocoduck). The crocoduck, endowed with the power of speech and knowing that it could never have evolved by natural selection promptly disappeared in a quantum probability haze wherein it simultaneously existed and did not exist and in which the mere act of observation (of it) caused it to not exist and therefore be beyond perception and therefore exist.

    The poor creature was consigned to a mental home at the avian-reptile centre (arc) which makes up for it never having been on Noah’s arc but it is still suffering from an acute identity crisis as well as schizophrenia, paranioa and depression as well as continuing indigestion.

    The last I heard, it’s head had succumbed to it’s natural propensity to eat it’s own body thus explaining why such a creature had a hard time evolving in the first place.

  5. Guest says

    Does anyone know where these copies will be handed out from at CWRU, and who is participating since the wonder duo can’t be everywhere at once?

  6. says

    Guest,

    I have asked around and no one seems to know if and how these books are going to be distributed at CWRU. If I hear anything, I will post it.

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