Evangelist Ray Comfort and actor Kirk Cameron joined 1,200
Christians Wednesday in distributing 170,000 copies of Charles Darwin’s
evolution manifesto The Origin of Species—which features a 50-page
introduction refuting Darwin’s theory—at 100 universities across the nation.
Comfort initially planned to distribute copies of The Origin of
Species: 150th Anniversary Edition at college campuses today, but atheists and
students had threatened “unilateral resistance,” including book
burnings and protests, according to Comfort’s Living Waters ministry.
“Our agenda was simply to get the books into the hands of the students,
without creating a disturbance at universities,” the ministry said.
Atheists nationwide blasted Comfort online for distributing the 1859 book,
which is in the public domain and was published through a partnership with
“This is a shameful thing that Kirk Cameron and [Ray Comfort] are doing
by altering another person’s book in order to push their agenda,” reads a post
on the “Kirk Cameron has gone too far” Facebook page. “But
we can help to restore the book to how it was intended and keep young minds
from being brainwashed by misinformation.”
Prominent atheist Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, told
students to rip out the book’s introduction. One thousand free
copies of The Origin of Species: 150th Anniversary Edition were also distributed at the
University of Oxford, where Dawkins is a professor.
Dawkins has reportedly called Comfort a fool for advocating intelligent
design, but the evangelist says his goal was to make students think. “All I want
for this generation of kids to do is think about what they believe,” Comfort
told Charisma. “I don’t want them to turn their back on evolution. I want
them to doubt it enough to look at the claims of the gospel.”
Comfort said he doubts intelligent design will ever be
taught in schools alongside evolution. “That’s because we have to remember who
we are as Christians,” he said. “We’re the folks who believe in Adam and Eve
[and] Noah’s Ark … and so in the name of science, they are going to resist as
much as they can.”
But the evangelist says his mission goes beyond addressing
educational needs. He says when people become atheists, they change their worldview
from “I believe in God” to “I’m morally responsible” to “There are no moral
absolutes,” which “opens the door for fornication and pornography and every
vice the human heart so desires.”
Ultimately, Comfort hopes the book giveaway will draw unbelievers to Christ.
“I want them to have everlasting life,” he said. “That’s the motive for giving
these books out.”
Living Waters also supplied some of the $4.99 books to
Christian bookstores for evangelistic purposes.