60-Second Science

Darwin in Battle of Wits against Unarmed Man

Anti-evolutionist Ray Comfort will be distributing copies of the Origin of Species with a new introduction that misrepresents, misunderstands and distorts Darwin's ideas and legacy. Steve Mirsky comments

November 24th marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species. On November 19th, a guy named Ray Comfort, who does not accept evolution, will celebrate the fact that when copyrights expire and works enter the public domain you're free to do with them what you will. Thus Comfort will be distributing his own edition of Darwin’s masterwork, with a new introduction. This is roughly the equivalent of me fingerpainting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel so as to improve the work.

According to the folks at the National Center for Science Education, the NCSE, who monitor efforts to interfere with evolution education in public schools, Comfort in his intro repeats numerous familiar anti-evolution claims. For example, that there's a lack of transitional fossils and that the second law of thermodynamics makes evolution impossible. These assertions have been disproved more often than the chant "Yankees suck".

The NCSE has set up a Web site with useful, truthful info. It's at All one word, no apostrophe. Indeed, don't diss Darwin. It leads me to discomfort.

—Steve Mirsky 

[The above text is an exact transcript of the audio in the podcast.]

(Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education, is a member of the Scientific American Board of Advisers.)

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