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One of these things is not like the others

On the Origin of Species book collectionOne of these things is not like the other…

I added Ray Comfort’s edition of Darwin’s book to my collection yesterday. The font of his edition is intolerably small… except for his vacuous introduction, which is in a normal, easy to read font size.

I’m pretty sure I have a copy that was from the second printing because the original printing left out a few chapters. Comfort claimed that this was originally done to save money, because including all the chapters would have made the book too expensive for a free giveaway (or as Craig said, “too accurate”). For the second printing, Comfort says they reduced the font size and included every chapter and every word. In his own words, “Not one word will be omitted.”

Checking the table of contents of Comfort’s edition against an edition that I own, I found chapter VII to be missing, but upon further investigation, found that, in my edition, chapter VII (“Miscellaneous Objections to the Theory of Natural Selection”) is a later addition and was not included in the first edition of On the Origin of Species. I was somewhat surprised to find that Comfort’s edition is the first edition of Origin, not a later edition. Later editions had some capitulation to public (religious) pressure, such as the line at the end of the book (emphasis mine)…

There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.

The phrase “by the Creator” does not appear in the first edition, nor does it appear in Comfort’s version, so he must have chosen the first edition to bastardize with his introduction. I suspect, though this is pure speculation, that he chose the first edition because it has fewer words… thereby making his giveaway edition cheaper to produce.

So Comfort adds his silly introduction… partly plagiarization, partly invalid creationist propaganda, and partly nonsensical proselytizing… but he does choose the first edition to distribute.

…which is better for the rest of us.

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