Don’t Let Ray and Kirk Deface Darwin

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor.

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  1. Has anyone seen the Comfort/Darwin book yet?

    Has he left Darwin’s text alone, or has he edited the actual content? So has it been tampered with?

    I’ve been wondering that since I heard about this travesty.

  2. Makes you want to publish an edition of the Bible with key words or phrases removed, doesn’t it?

    “…so that who ever believed in him shall perish.”
    “Though shall commit adultery.”
    “Though shall covet thy neighbors wife.”

    Maybe the last with a foot note that reads “Cause, damn, that bitch is fine. She can be the mistress of my household any time, yaknowwhatI’msayin’?”

  3. @Mark Hall: As soon as Cameron’s video about this came out, I wondered what would happen if we went around distributing “our” version of Bibles at churches all over the country.

    Somehow I think this battle being reported and discussed mostly off the beaten path (aside from U.S. News) would instead turn into a national uproar.

  4. @ZenMonkey: See, putting an introduction into the book I don’t mind so much. Sure, they’re idiots and they’re wrong, but if they want to pay to put Origin of the Species in everyone’s hands, more power to them.

    But they’re not doing it honestly. They’re putting out an expurgated version that doesn’t include the stuff that strongly argues against their position. They’re paying a large amount of money to publish a straw man, and pretending that Scarecrow doesn’t have a puppet-stick up his butt.

    It’s not fraud… but it is lying.

  5. @Mark Hall: That’s exactly what I talked about in my blog post. They pulled a bait-and-switch by claiming all they were going to do was add an introduction, and then they went and bowdlerized the book. How can anyone want to follow a movement that has to lie to you to get you to believe in them? It’s beyond me.

  6. From what I understand, Ray started out with an abridged version and when caught in his lie, made lame excuses about not having enough money to print the whole book at first. He did a new (and much bigger) unabridged printing to make up for it. (I hear he still left out Darwin’s diagram of the branching lineage in the second, but haven’t confirmed it.) Supposedly he’s going to hand out those unabridged versions for free, but he’s trying to sell the abridged ones on Amazon.

    Because his version shares its title (Origin of Species: 150th Anniversary Edition) with another version of Origin, those two were confused at first by Amazon and, for a while, only Ray’s would show up. His was also getting five star ratings people had awarded to the other version. Amazon fixed it only when enough people bitched at them. (Some of us sicced the publisher of the other version on them, too.)

    So yeah, maybe he’s giving the full Origin away now, but he’s also trying to get people to pay for his “mistake.”

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