Self-Published Genius #43: Intelligent Panspermia

This, dear reader, is yet another addition to our series about Self-Published Geniuses, where we bring you news of authors with a vanity press book in which the author claims to have made paradigm-shattering discoveries, and announces his work by hiring a press release service.

But this one doesn’t fit the familiar pattern. We can’t find a press release, and there doesn’t seem to be a vanity publisher. In fact, there doesn’t seem to be any publisher, except the author herself. Stay with us, and you’ll understand.

We were alerted to this by one of our clandestine operatives — code named “Big Red.” The only clue to the existence of this book is at Amazon: Intelligent Evolution: An Alternate Theory of Evolution . It appeared in late 2015. If there were a press release, that may explain why we can’t find it now.

The information there is very unusual, at least in our experience. Because it appears that the book has no publisher, it’s reasonable for us to regard it as self-published. But we’re informed that the book is being sold by Amazon Digital Services. That’s a service offered by Amazon to convert books into a format so they can be downloaded and read via Amazon Kindle. That Wikipedia article informs us:

Concurrently with the Kindle device, Amazon launched Kindle Direct Publishing, used by authors and publishers to independently publish their books directly to Kindle and Kindle Apps worldwide. … Authors can upload documents in several formats for delivery via Whispernet and charge between $0.99 and $200.00 per download. … Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos revealed that Amazon keeps 65% of the revenue from all e-book sales for the Kindle. The remaining 35% is split between the book author and publisher.

There’s one other peculiarity we noticed at the book’s Amazon listing. The price for the Kindle version is said to be $0.00. That’s right — zero, but the price for the book in paperback is a whopping $59.95.

Oh, wait — Amazon’s listing for the paperback version does show a publisher — CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. We’ve encountered them before. Their website leaves no doubt — they say: “Hundreds of thousands of authors like you are publishing profitable work right now instead of waiting for agents and publishers to give the green light.” They published the creationist play we wrote about here: A Discoveroid Version of “Inherit the Wind”.

Okay — we’ve got a vanity press book, but we can’t find the author’s press release — if there was one. We’re going to include the book in our collection anyway. Now then, who is the author? We’re told it’s Claire Quinn, who describes herself at the Amazon listing like this:

I have a B.Sc. in Genetics from the University of Western Ontario, a Masters in Physiology and Pharmacology from the University of Western Ontario, and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Toronto.

Without the author’s press release, the only description available is from the Amazon listing itself, presumably written by the author. It says, with bold font added by us:

Intelligent design is often depicted as science versus religion but this is not always the case. I have a Ph.D. in molecular biology, don’t follow any specific religion, and have come to the conclusion that the complexity of life suggests intelligent design.

So far she sounds like a typical Discoveroid. But it’s more complicated than that. Let’s read on:

I believe microbes were designed by an intelligent entity and then released into the cold, vastness of space. Some haphazardly landed on our warm, wet planet and went on to evolve into everything we see here today, including us. This is ‘Intelligent Evolution’ because we evolved from intelligently designed microbes.

Wow — it’s a synthesis of Panspermia and intelligent design. Maybe it should be called “Intelligent Design 2.0.” The book’s Amazon description concludes with this:

Evidence of this and how these microbes took our planet from a barren, wet rock to a thriving, rich ecosystem is outlined in detail, essentially rewriting the entire theory of evolution.

Well, dear reader, that’s all information we’ve got, but it certainly sounds exciting. What are you waiting for? Go get it!

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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13 responses to “Self-Published Genius #43: Intelligent Panspermia

  1. The kindle price is actually $9.99, alas. It’s only free if you have kindleunlimited. I’m always partial to riffs on the panspermic hypothesis, and was hoping to find out if this had anything new to say. Doesn’t look like it, though.

  2. If these primordial microbes were”intelligently designed,” who were the designers, and how did they come into existence?

  3. If you download the Kindle version, does Amazon mail you a secret decoder ring and a tin foil hat?

  4. “Evidence of this and how these microbes took our planet from a barren, wet rock to a thriving, rich ecosystem is outlined in detail, essentially rewriting the entire theory of evolution.”
    Unfortunately for Claire, the notion of panspermia is an old one. Wikipedia even has a nice write up on it. Maybe Claire copied it and is trying to claim it’s a new idea?
    Furthermore, panspermia only posits very early life forms or components of life, and it is assumed evolution takes on from there. So what is new in her book that hasn’t been addressed before?
    Decoder rings and tin foil hats are highly recommended.

  5. @DavidK

    So what is new in her book that hasn’t been addressed before?

    That’s my puzzlement too . . . and the blurb doesn’t help very much. Perhaps the idea is that the microbes were cleverly designed to evolve along set paths? Of course, they’d then have to organize a big impact about 65 million years ago in order to keep following The Plan.

    Damn the author for not making the book a freebie, I say! This is a story that needs to be told.

  6. michaelfugate

    Were they Archaea or Eubacteria?

  7. Amazon kindle direct is a perfectly respectable way of self-publishing. I’ve used them, and done all right out of it. Of course, as with everything in publishing, Sturgeon’s Law applies – and since there has been no vetting at all of the works so published, it applies in spades to this.

    Still there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with publishing in that format. The disconnect comes when some schmo thinks he has conceived some world-shattering paradigm shift, on no evidence whatsoever.

  8. SC: “Maybe it should be called ‘Intelligent Design 2.0’.”

    Actually it’s still ID 1.0. For some crazy reason, nearly everyone who criticized Behs’s “Darwin’s Black Box” in the last 20 years omitted the most important part. Unlike most “don’t ask, don’t tell” IDers, Behe actually proposed a testable alternate hypothesis. It was that a designed cell appeared ~4 billion years ago, with all the genetic material needed for all subsequent life. That would be consistent with the “information is only lost” and “Darwinian evolution has strict limits” nonsense. And suspiciously similar to panspermia.

    While critics were ignoring Behe on that, his DI buddies almost certainly told him to never again bring it up, because it was not one of the mutually-contradictory alternatives to evolution that they wanted the audience to infer, once they had been fooled into doubting evolution. DI coaching may not have been necessary, however, because one of the eatly critics who did address Behs’s ancestral cell, in fact told him how he could test it. But Behe knew better than to even try.

    As the ultimate “big tent” scam, there will only be one version of ID. But that should not stop us from encouraging debates between the explicit panspermists, the YEC-like Paul Nelsons, the OEC-like William Dembskis, and of course, Behe. They’ll decline, of course, but that’s the whole point – showing people how afraid they are of putting their money where their mouths are.

  9. What interests me much about Behe is how his ideas are related to the philosophy of Nicolas Malebranche (1638-1715). M appealed to a form of irreducible complexity to argue that all the complexity of modern life had to be created at the beginning. Only that he took it to its logical conclusion that each individual was created back then. M also argued for occasionalism, that natural events were directly caused by God with the appearance, only, that there were natural causes. And that our thoughts were also caused by God.

  10. Hey there, thanks for the listing. I’m the author. I’m totally easy going so I don’t mind at all. I like being Genius #43. Anyway, I thought I’d answer some of your questions. I self published the book through Createspace. The list price for the paper copy is $59.95 because it’s over 300 pages long with over 600 references and 190 colour figures. The printing cost is about $57.50 so I just rounded it up to $59.95 to make it an even number. I make like a dollar a book.
    There was no launch party, I don’t know much about publishing books. I just followed the instructions on Createspace and threw it out there in case anyone wanted to read it. It took me 10 years to write it so it’s not just some musings on stuff, it’s my actual theory.
    I have 5 first author journal articles in peer reviewed journals so I’m familiar with writing scientific literature. I also believe the universe 13 billion years old, the Earth is 4.5 billion years old, that the first life on Earth was microbes, that microbes evolved into all the life we see on Earth today. I’m not proposing a new time-line or reality for Earth and the universe.
    My theory is that someone intelligently designed microbes and released them into the vast coldness of space where they drift around like seeds in the wind, and land on habitable planets throughout the universe seeding them with life. They are programmed to them terraform the planets into what we see on Earth today. The terraforming process is described in detail, as well as how epigenetics may be driver of random mutations. The chain of information flow being environment-epigenome-changes in the genome to accommodate the species to the environment.
    It also delves into the possibility of intelligent life on other planets, life on Mars, plate tectonics, bioprecipitation, bioaccumulation, quorum sensing, HGT, endosymbiosis, the role of viral repeats in DNA 3D structuring.
    There is nothing in it regarding religion. I am not pro-religion or anti-religion, I am nothing religion. I don’t know anything about that. I talk very little about the designer, the only attribute I give them is intelligence. The complexity of the transcription/translation system and the metabolic pathways found in microbial (and all other) life suggest design (at the microbial level).
    I posted on a few Facebook pages that the book was free through Kindle for one day (that’s come and gone) so the price now it back at $9.99 (for Kindle). If anyone would like to read it I can do another free day for the Kindle version. Just let me know. 🙂
    Claire

  11. Thanks for visiting us, Claire.

  12. Claire Quinn

    Hi all, I thought I’d post here that my book is free again until midnight tonight. You can read it on any device (a laptop or desktop), you just need to download the free kindle reader app. I’ll post the link to the kindle reader app below.

    http://www.amazon.com/Intelligent-Evolution-An-Alternate-Theory-ebook/dp/B0188KKXAU

    Here is the link to download the free Kindle reader app:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200783640

  13. Many thanks for the kind offer, Claire. I’ve taken you up on it.