Darwin's "Origin" doctored by evangelicals visiting U


Some University of Minnesota students found themselves amid the culture wars the other day when a group of conservative evangelical Christians peppered the Minneapolis campus with about 1,000 copies of Charles Darwin's "The Origin of the Species," -- with a twist. When students opened the book they found a 50-page introduction attacking its findings.

The Minnesota Daily traced the book back to a California organization called Living Waters. Its founder, Ray Comfort, published the doctored version of Darwin's groundbreaking work on evolutionary biology.

Comfort, like many evangelicals, wants faith-based creationism taught alongside fact-based science on college campuses, and he's spoken widely about using his version of Darwin's book to challenge college professors and curriculums. He says more than 20,000 copies of the book have been sold.

University of Minnesota, Morris, biology professor PZ Myers calls Comfort's troops "creationist goons," and the book a "butchered version of Darwin's Origin, with big chunks cut out of it, and a deeply stupid introduction slapped on. What next? Will he decide to put out a special creationist edition of Relativity: The Special and General Theory with the math chopped out and his own clueless introduction that calls it all bunk?" 

We weren't familiar with Living Waters, but one of its leading members is actor Kirk Cameron, who played the role of Michael Seaver in the ABC sitcom Growing Pains. He went on to establish a new career as an evangelical author and speaker -- a long way from trading lines with Alan Thicke, Joanna Kerns, Tracey Gold and Jeremy Miller.