Judge This: Is It Wrong To Rip The Creationist Introduction Out Of Ray Comfort’s Propaganda Version Of The Origin Of Species?

Creationist Ray Comfort has put together a version of The Origin of Species which contains an introduction (which you can read here) which falsely blames Nazism on Darwin, promotes creationist pseudoscience, and lies about the scientific credibility of evolution.  Yesterday I relayed a video in which Kirk Cameron touts plans to distribute 50,000 copies of this book on college campuses in November.  RichardDawkins.net recommends ripping out the introductions and donating the books to charity:

There’s something we can do though. We can amass as many of these books as possible, remove the 50 page intro, and then donate perfectly good copies of ‘Origin of Species’ to schools, libraries, and Goodwill. We can actually make this into something positive.

If you are in college, then you are in a good position to help. Check your campus on November 19th, and if you see a group distributing copies of the book, then get as many as you can. Get a copy for yourself, ask if you can have extra copies for your friends, ask your friends to go ask for copies, and ask other people you see carrying the book if you can have their copy.

This is a shameful thing that Kirk Cameron and the Banana Guy are doing by altering another person’s book in order to push their agenda. But we can help to restore the book to how it was intended and keep young minds from being brainwashed by misinformation.

PZ Myers makes a similar recommendation.

In reply to me, Justin, of Christian in College, characterizes the Dawkins’s site’s plan as censorship and asks whether I want to go so far as to promote censorship:

According to the Richard Dawkins site, the “plan” proposed is to rip out the introduction… in other words, censorship. Do you really think that is the best plan?

I want to take the question seriously and be sure I do not just reply in a partisan, biased way.  So, in the meantime, I want to know what you think and then I’ll reply myself in the comments section at some point.  (Hopefully after there have been numerous thoughts from others offered!)

So, is this censorship or not?  And even if it is censorship, is it ethically acceptable, obligatory, immoral, or what?

Your Thoughts?

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.