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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

NCSE Evolution Education Update for 2009/12/11

(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)

Dear Friends of NCSE,

A new talk by NCSE's Eugenie C. Scott is now available on-line and
NCSE is now using as its primary domain name. Plus Ray
Comfort is now being accused of plagiarism.


Now available on NCSE's YouTube channel: Eugenie C. Scott's
"Creationism: Still crazy after all these years," a presentation at
the 2009 Atheist Alliance International conference in Burbank,
California. Scott describes the evolving history of the antievolution
movement in the United States, from attempts to balance the teaching
of evolution with "creation science" or "intelligent design" to the
present spate of stealth creationist tactics such as "academic
freedom" and (in Texas) "all sides of scientific evidence." A
question-and-answer session followed, introduced by Richard Dawkins,
who commented, "I must say, it's a very good feeling to have Genie
Scott and her gang on our side in this battle." NCSE thanks the
Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science for permission to
post the video on the NCSE YouTube channel. Other presentations from
the conference are available at the Dawkins Foundation's YouTube

For the video and NCSE's YouTube channel, visit: 

For information about the AAI and its conference, visit: 

For the Dawkins Foundation and its YouTube channel, visit: 


NCSE is now using -- shorter and easier to remember than -- as its primary domain name. The change is already in
effect on NCSE's website and e-mail. But never fear: links and e-mail
to will be automatically forwarded to

NCSE is grateful to Jeff Bennett, president and chief operating
officer of NameMedia, Inc., for extending a substantial discount on
the domain. Said Bennett, "We understand that you are a
non-profit organization with a big mission." It's a mission that you
can support by joining or renewing today -- at


Did Ray Comfort plagiarize part of his "special introduction" to the
Origin of Species? That's the charge of Stan Guffey, a lecturer in
biology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, who told the
Knoxville Metro Pulse (December 2, 2009), "The introduction begins
with a nice, sweet little biography, then degenerates into
intellectually lame, lazy distortions, selective reading of the
literature, picking and choosing of facts, and misreadings of the
historical record." He added that Comfort "gently moves folks into the
notion that they don’t want to read what comes after the introduction.
He just wants his 50 pages read, 47 of which are anti-intellectual,
dishonest drivel, the first three of which are pretty good because I
wrote them."

The Metro Pulse observed, "A few sentences were chopped or shortened,
and a paragraph on Darwin's youth was rearranged and reworded, but
most of the passage appears taken directly from Guffey." Alert
bloggers detected the apparent plagiarism months ago and confronted
both Comfort and the publisher about it, but Guffey was never asked
for permission to use his biography of Darwin. When copies of the book
were distributed on the campus of the University of Tennessee,
Knoxville, Guffey offered, "Would you like me to autograph this?" The
Metro Pulse reported, "Guffey is preparing a cease-and-desist letter
through an attorney to prevent further distribution of the book and is
contemplating further legal action."

NCSE's Eugenie C. Scott previously criticized Comfort's introduction
as "a hopeless mess of long-ago-refuted creationist arguments, teeming
with misinformation about the science of evolution, populated by
legions of strawmen, and exhibiting what can be charitably described
as muddled thinking." Likewise, David Quammen, the author of The
Reluctant Mr. Darwin (W. W. Norton, 2006), commented, "Comfort's
confused polemic ... will do a severe disservice to anyone who takes
it for an entryway to Darwin's great book." For further criticisms of
Comfort's "special introduction" to the Origin, visit Don't Diss
Darwin, created and maintained by NCSE.

For the story in the Metro Pulse, visit: 

For Don't Diss Darwin, visit: 

Thanks for reading! And don't forget to visit NCSE's website -- -- where you can always find the latest news on 
evolution education and threats to it.

Glenn Branch
Deputy Director
National Center for Science Education, Inc.
420 40th Street, Suite 2
Oakland, CA 94609-2509
510-601-7203 x310
fax: 510-601-7204

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