He's used to getting love letters and high-fives as a former teen heartthrob, but onetime Growing Pains actor Kirk Cameron isn't letting the mockery and criticism dissuade him from promoting his controversial project to dispute evolutionary theory.
"Atheism has been on the rise for years now, and the Bible of the atheists is The Origin of Species," Cameron tells PEOPLE. "We have a situation in our country where young people are entering college with a belief in God and exiting with that faith being stripped and shredded. What we want to do is have student make an informed, educated decision before they chuck their faith."
So what is the plan that Cameron, 38, has hatched to supposedly save the souls of freshmen around the country?
He and other creationists have created thousands of editions of Charles Darwin's landmark work explaining evolutionary theory, with a 50-page introduction that picks apart aspects of Darwin's work and try to link it to everything from Nazi eugenics to the scientist's alleged "disdain for women."
On Nov. 19, three days before the 150th anniversary of the original publication of Origin of Species, Cameron and other religious activists will distribute their books at "the top 50" universities around the country.
An online video of Cameron describing his theory – and his controversial beliefs – has been circulated wildly across the Internet, where it has also inspired many many counterarguments and spoof videos.
But then, speaking out about his faith is nothing new for Cameron, who has been doing it since finding God 20 years ago during the height of his fame as wise-cracking Mike Seaver on the long-running ABC sitcom Growing Pains. Cameron has made a cottage industry out of starring in films that cater to evangelicals, such as the Left Behind series and Fireproof.
( show me that smile againCollapse )