Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ray Comfort at YOUR Campus, 19 November

I direct your attention to the National Center for Science Education's website, which provides a list of the 50 American and 21 Canadian universities being targeted for mass giveaways of Comfort's scribbled-on version of Origin of Species. Graduate or undergraduate student? Check it. You may be getting a visit from Comfort's army.

Get off the internet and get out there and do something!

The NCSE website has a flyer you can download that you can use as a hand-out.

My own suggestions:

1) Do you really believe in rational inquiry and the harm that religion does? The final exam for this semester is November 19. Don't fail it. COMMIT AND GET INVOLVED. Even if your campus doesn't have an organized group, then you be that group. It doesn't take an army. Skip class and round up a friend or two to distribute something. If you can't bother to show up in person, doesn't it worry you that you're proving the Christians right that atheists have no moral fiber?

2) Comfort's people are doing their thing on November 19th. So do something on November 18th. That way Comfort's people look more confrontational and more in general like whiners; they're left on the defensive, trying to explain their little giveaway in light of the narrative that you established the day before. The 18th is this coming Wednesday by the way - put it on your calendar now. Why not?

3) Suggested rhetorical strategy: don't turn it into an atheist evangelism experience. Turn it into a defense of science, education, and America's technical pre-eminence. (Lots of people are handing out "I support science education" stickers.) You will necessarily be approached by lots of inquisitive Christians. This is a great opportunity! After all, most Americans who believe in evolution are also theists, and major churches (like the Catholic Church) have accepted evolution as the story of how we got here. Most importantly, get people to wonder about what Ray Comfort is so concerned will happen, and why he's so motivated to damage American education.

Special note to San Diegans: it seems that Comfort will be at public, La Jolla UC San Diego, *not* at the private, Catholic University of San Diego. A Google search for "Ray Comfort" USD "San Diego" produced my own blog post as the top entry, which is scary because I'm not at all sure. So go with what NCSE says, which UCSD on the 19th.

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