This past week a group of Evangelicals came onto the UCLA campus in Westwood and gave away 2000 free copies of Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species (1859). But, as usual, there is a catch to such things. The edition of Darwin’s book was accompanied by a fifty page Introduction dissing the theory of evolution! Here’s the ministry responsible for the campaign, at its website, gloating over the success of its counter-intuitive evangelism strategy:
“You’re not supposed to be here today. We are not ready!” That was the reaction of one atheist at UCLA when we showed up on the 18th to give away 2,000 books. He was right. We originally intended to give the copies of On the Origin of Species out on the 19th, but because of the threats of book burnings, of “unilateral resistance,” and the many threats to tear out the Introduction, we changed our strategy. We are so glad we made this move. Atheists had planned to disguise themselves as students and collect multiple copies themselves to stop students getting the books.
The ministry is headed by Ray Comfort of “banana creationist man” fame (see here). The ministry also claims to have distributed over 170,000 copies of Darwin’s Origin so far, and they have gone onto some of the world’s most prestigious campuses to do so (including Oxford and Berkeley).
Needless to say, Richard Dawkins is pissed. And Dawkins is no slouch in the clever retort department. Perhaps the New Atheists will mount their own counter-evangelism campaign: distributing an edition of the New Testament with an Introduction by Richard Dawkins and with footnotes by PZ Myers?