So, banana man and his right hand guy will be giving away some 50,000 copies of Charles Darwin’s ‘Origin of Species’ at universities across the country. There’s only one problem.
Each copy will include a 50 page intro attempting to explain how evolution has never been proven and how Darwin helped inspire the Holocaust.
This is sad and pathetic at the same time. But something good can come of this.
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. 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.
Over 300 years ago, on October 12, 1692, Governor William Phipps of the Colony of Massachusetts made a decision that brought to an end the horrendous Salem Witch trials.
A Christian, nevertheless he declared that spectral evidence (supernaturalism) would no longer be admissible in court, and so the trials, due to lack of appropriate evidence, came to an end. The governorâ€™s decision was a distinct departure from the general communityâ€™s extant thinking and a giant step on the path toward the principle of legal neutrality that would, when the United States incorporated into its brand new Constitution a Bill of Rights, assure each U.S. citizen the freedom to follow his/her conscience regarding matters of ultimate belief.
Bart Ehrman has done extensive research into the historical roots of Christianity as well as written several books on the subject. His latest book is ‘God’s Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question–Why We Suffer‘ dealing with, as you might guess, how the Bible tries to explain suffering in a world ruled by an all-loving and all-powerful benefactor. He recently gave this lecture at UC Berkley on the same subject and I think its worth watching.
Although I agree with pretty much everything Ehrman has to say regarding the lecture’s topic, one of his answers at the end struck me as odd. Ehrman seems to think Sam Harris blames religion for ‘all’ the evils in the world. I think he may have mixed up some of the ‘New Atheist’ authors since Harris, if any of them, pleas for more scientific study of all things spiritual. Christopher Hitchens’s book ‘God is not Great’ carries the subtitle ‘How Religion Poisons Everything’ and Richard Dawkins created the BBC series ‘Root of all Evils’ (though he disagreed with the BBC’s title choice) but Sam Harris’s main argument is that an evidence-based reality trumps a faith-based one.
My other main problem is Ehrman’s apologetic claim of a fundemental divide between science and religion. He belives in a point where the questions must be handed off to theologians to answer. But the supernatural beliefs at the core’s of religions are scientific claims. The question of the existence of a supernatural creator being in the universe is a scientific question with a yes or no answer. There is no philosophical, historical or theological way around that statement. The supernatural being that a large percentage of the world believes in either exists within reality or it doesn’t.
Anglican priest Peter Owen Jones explores the huge number of ancient Christian texts that didn’t make it into the New Testament. Shocking and challenging, these were works in which Jesus didn’t die, took revenge on his enemies and kissed Mary Magdalene on the mouth. Pete travels through Egypt and the former Roman Empire looking at the evidence of a Christian world very different to the one we know, and finds over seventy gospels, acts, letters and apocalypses all circulating in the early Church.