Wednesday, January 10, 2007

ID vs Evo: The Game

Actor Kirk Cameron (of Left Behind fame) and Christian author Ray Comfort have produced a board game called Intelligent Design versus Evolution, available from Living Waters. Unsurprisingly, they market it as “a board game that reveals the insanity of perhaps the greatest hoax of our times -- the unscientific ‘theory of evolution.’

I won’t delve deeply into the hubris of an actor and author who really know nothing about the subject thinking they’re going to bring down one of the best-supported theories in modern science with a board game. I don’t have the game, nor do I intend to spend money to get a copy, so I don’t know exactly what ID/Creationism arguments they use on the game cards (although history suggests there won’t be anything that hasn’t already been repeatedly refuted by people who actually understand the Theory of Evolution).

What I will present is a small introduction to selective quoting by Creationists. I first learned about this game when it became a topic on Mike Wong’s bulletin board. Mike’s BBS is a haven for neither Creationists nor the politically correct, so the denizens wasted no time belittling Kirk’s and Ray’s newest pet project. Low and behold, someone at Living Waters found the BBS thread discussing the game, and they promptly added a “What evolutionists are already saying” heading to the sales page, quoting from the BBS:
What evolutionists are already saying:

"You think Bush is bad?? I've found something worse . . . Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort's board game!"

". . . made me spit my water out."

". . . a board game by two idiots in North America who are ex-nothings will prove science wrong."

"I get the feeling that this game will not be allowed to be sold most places."

"I'd love to buy this game, then completely rip apart every 'brain card' online with cold, hard data!"

You might get the impression that the evolutionists being quoted are credentialed evolutionary biologists, since the page doesn’t bother to say where the comments came from. Further, notice the frequent ellipsis dots? Creationists are quite fond of selectively quoting their adversaries. For instance, one BBS denizen actually said “This critter made me spit my water out” in reference to the image at right. I’m not exactly sure where he got the image, although I expect it came from the game material somewhere.

Another quote was cut short without even using the ellipsis dots to show they’d made a cut. The original line was “I get the feeling that this game will not be allowed to be sold most places, under the argument that it is either A: Deliberately deeding kids false information, or B: doing the ID movement more harm than good.

The final quote, at least, is an accurate one, and the others don’t seem to have originated at the BBS. Still, it’s pretty lame that Creationists are trolling science fiction bulleting boards for advertising "endorsements".

On a related note, I’d like to share this YouTube video of Ray’s infamous “well-designed banana” argument being shot down ruthlessly.

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