Tuesday, June 28, 2016

New Book Announcement . . . Not Really!

Caught this from my Google News alerts:

It looked like a new book announcement, something I don't ever look forward to from the DI, but you never know they might actually have something intelligent to say.  But as I looked at the cover, I thought it looked familiar . . . and it did.  This isn't a new book, it's not even a updated edition.  It's something they published back in 2007/2008!

Oh, they are using it to introduce a new publishing imprint:
" . . . published originally by the Foundation for Thought and Ethics, now available to celebrate the launch of a new imprint of Discovery Institute Press, Foundation for Thought and Ethics (FTE) Books."
Wait, wasn't the Foundation for Thought and Ethics the publisher of the now infamous 'Of Pandas and People', you know the one that showed the very clear evolution from Creationism to Intelligent Design that was revealed during the Dover Trial (remember 'cdesign proponentsists'?).  So they are now part of the Discovery Institute.  And to 'celebrate' the DI is offering this book at a huge discount!  I have to wonder how many copies have been gathering dust in a warehouse?

Wasn't this also the book that, once again, showed one of the common gutter-level tactics the DI and their sycophants use when releasing a new book? Ah yes, Panda's Thumb wrote about that in 2007:
"On November 19, 2007 a new book, The Design of Life, authored by William Dembski and Jonathan Wells, was released. Almost immediately a stream of reviews, all giving the book 5 stars (the highest positive evaluation possible for readers’ reviews on Amazon) started appearing on the Amazon website. On December 20, 2007, Wesley Elsberry posted a brief survey of the exaggerated acclaims of the book in question posted on Amazon by a bunch of ID advocates – acclaims bearing unmistakable signs of orchestration. 
Elsberry’s survey could have been written even before this book appeared: the behavior of ID advocates follows a predictable pattern. Each time a new book by Dembski or Wells (or Behe, or any other of the Discovery Institute denizens) appears, their cohorts immediately start creating a ruckus, proclaiming the book in question the “end of Darwinism,” a great event in the history of humankind, destined to become a shining achievement in science, philosophy, sock mending, and culinary art." (Panda's Thumb: Dembski’s and Wells’s shenanigans - just a reminder)
Yes, that tactic -- release a book and have people who already agree with you jump over to Amazon to write all kinds of nice things about it.  They even write reviews BEFORE a book has been published, as we discussed here in Defensiveness 101.  As of today the ratings include 47% at one star and 43% as five stars.  When ordering the ratings by date, you do see a lot of front-end loading of five star ratings, including at least one by a then employee of the DI.  I do wonder if this re-publicizing will change that, hopefully for the better, like 99% one star.

Here is a kicker of a quote:
"When future intellectual historians list the books that toppled Darwin's theory,The Design of Life will be at the top." (Michael Behe)
Of course the announcement forgets to mention that Behe is a Senior Fellow of the DI, in other words, not very objective.  Besides, how long have Creationists been predicting the demise of Evolution?  On the one hand, if Evolution is ever 'toppled' it won't be by a Creationist pushing their religion.  It will by a scientist, or more likely a team of scientists, who make a number of breakthrough discoveries and replace one, or more, of the underlying theories supporting evolution with something with better explanatory power.  That's how science works.

On the other hand, if by some miracle Intelligent Design is found to have any scientific merit at all, this book won't even be mentioned.  It's nothing by a re-hash of already passed over arguments.  Re-publicizing it now in 2016 doesn't change it's lack of merit.  You really should read some of the one-star reviews.  Thy are pretty sharp and cut the book into confetti!  Here are some headlines:
There are plenty more to read.  If you really want to be entertained, read a few of the five-star ratings.  You can tell how many agree for no other reason than a shared philosophy.   I'm sure there will be an increase in ratings, what I am curious about is how many will be employees of the DI.


  1. This announcement suggests that the DI is milking it more for the bucks, and less for the high-falootin' cultural goals.

    Casey may have left, because the legal avenues have levelled off. There aren't any legal challenges for the Coppedges of this country, with the possible exception of the Mark Armitage case. The state boards of education have been addressed. The state legislatures have been given the model legislation for "teaching" ID. And they've milked Kitzmiller v. Dover past death, well into zombie land. What else for Casey to do?

    Casey doesn't have the credentials to merit the DI underwriting any book deal. He's certainly a competent writer, and he's on board with the DI purported goals. Maybe he split, because he couldn't get a book deal.

    Meanwhile, the Biologic Institute has apparently published no "research" this year. They barely squeaked in a whopping two "papers" last year. And Axe and Gauger have been reduced to frequently contributing to EN&V. It doesn't seem likely that either of these "scientists" have the writing style required for a full-blown book deal with the DI.

    So they have nothing else, other than to celebrate new "imprints" of past glories.

    1. Doug did just published 'Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Our Intuition That Life Is Designed' over on Harper-One, the Harper-Collins religious imprint. It's pushing what I think is a new tactic, replacing scientific investigation with intuition to justify the correctness Intelligent Design because it 'intuitively' feels right.