Self-Published Genius #52: Evolution on Trial

Today we have 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.

The press release for this one is titled Evolutionary Theory to Stand Trial, issued by PR Web, which describes itself as “the leader in online news distribution and publicity.” It says, with some bold font added by us for emphasis:

The age-old question on human origins continues to incite debate. While science and religion present popular theories, arguments on both sides are oftentimes attached to predisposed biases. Nirushan Sivanesan, also known as Anonymous, presents an impartial examination of evolutionary theory and alternative beliefs in “Evolution on Trial.”

Hey — that’s new — at least to us. The author’s name is Nirushan Sivanesan, and he is also known as Anonymous. Very creative! The press release says:

“Evolution on Trial” provides readers with the facts they need to discern a stance on evolutionary theory. With his book, Anonymous provides and evaluates evidence on both sides of the evolutionary argument, encouraging readers to thoroughly investigate their beliefs. Anonymous also explores the validity of alternative views, including creationism, and compares the evidence against evolutionary theory.

Wowie — what a book! But as you know, in addition to the press release, we need more to confirm that the book qualifies for our collection. Was it published by a vanity press? Indeed it was! The press release doesn’t disclose the name of the publisher, so we hunted for the book at Amazon. It’s interesting to see how many books have the same or similar titles as this one — including Darwin on Trial, the book by Phillip Johnson that started the whole Intelligent Design public relations campaign.

Anyway, here’s the Anonymous book’s Amazon listing: Evolution on Trial. There we learn that the publisher is AuthorHouseUK. Their website leaves no doubt that they’re a vanity press. The website’s “About” page declares:

AuthorHouse helps writers become published authors with a presence in the market. The company was founded in 1997 by an aspiring author who recognised the need for a simple and effective self-publishing process. AuthorHouse has grown into the world’s largest self-publisher.

Okay! We’ve got a vanity press book and we’ve got the author’s press release. Let’s find out what else it says:

“It seems that evolution is the widely-accepted belief, but further examination of the theory needs to be done before it can be accepted as fact,” Anonymous said. “With Evolution on Trial, personal and religious convictions fall to the wayside in order to thoroughly and objectively evaluate evolution.”

Anonymous presents his findings in a reader-friendly yet technically sound manner that nonscientific readers with fully comprehend. “Evolution on Trial” doesn’t provide answers, but encourages readers to seek their own explanations.

The book gives no answers; you have to seek your own. That sounds great! Hey — according to Amazon, the book costs only $18.24 in paperback, and it’s got 194 pages. But there aren’t any reviews yet. You could be first! Also, Amazon has a preview feature. A look at the book’s table of contents is very rewarding.

You’ve got to be wondering — who is this brilliant author? The press release tells us:

About the author: Nirushan Sivanesan, also known as Anonymous, is the author of “Evolution on Trial.” The book re-opens the case against evolution to establish whether the evidence supports or discredits the theory.

That’s not much information. Amazon doesn’t even say that much, so we turned to Google. It seems there are 4 people in the UK with that name, so we’re not going to make any guesses. The author’s identity doesn’t matter; his book is what’s important. So go ahead — buy the thing. You can’t go wrong.

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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14 responses to “Self-Published Genius #52: Evolution on Trial

  1. Charles Deetz ;)

    Didn’t find anyone with that name on Facebook. You’d think these self publishers would actually have an online profile to sell their crazy book. And at least get their spouse to review it.

  2. Charles Deetz wonders why these self-published geniuses don’t

    get their spouse to review it

    And the answer is, because there are now agencies that will write spurious reviews for you–and our dear friend Anonymous here has availed himself of just such a service! From the Amazon listing for this book, we find:

    “The author presents his case in an organized way showing extensive thought and research.” – Pacific Book Review

    And here’s the website for Pacific Book Review

    IOW: Fake Reviews! How jolly is that!

  3. Your ancestor was 1000 times smaller than an ant. This is the extraordinary claim that the theory of evolution makes. But is it really true? (From the Amazon description.)
    You were once smaller than an ant. This is the extraordinary claim that the theory of reproduction makes. (Although it doesn’t make the truly extraordinary claim of being less than 100%: of negative dimension. Sorry for the pedantry.)

    By the way, I wonder about a book which draws on the metaphor of the trial for its title, yet never makes the least attempt to proceed like a trial: “innocent until proven guilty” and so on. (Particularly when the author makes a point impressing us about his being a expert in the law. If he can’t get the law right, what does that say about his expertise in anything else?)

  4. He could use Sony’s Dave Manning as his reviewer instead of the generic Pacific Book Review. At least son’y gave there fake critic a name.

  5. Michael Fugate

    No, they are “alternative” reviews.

    Like in this sentence from the PR:
    “Evolution on Trial” provides readers with the facts they need to discern a stance on evolutionary theory.
    I am sure they need to put facts in scare quotes.

  6. oh dear, possibly son’y was a Freudian slip?

  7. “discern”
    Isn’t that a verb with a particular religious meaning?

  8. Actually, the book doesn’t let the reader come to their own conclusion, because as the Pacific vanity review tells us:

    The author concludes that evolutionary thinking does not meet the burden of proof that is required of other sciences, and should be taught in schools only as a philosophical or religious subject “where it can be taught alongside creationism.” He is certain the evolutionary theory is a “mistake,” and, though he leaves this to the reader’s imagination, possibly a “deception.”

    That review, btw, looks more like a summary, which could save you your eighteen US quid.

  9. Michael Fugate

    The review is here:
    The reviewer doesn’t seem convinced that the author is unbiased as claimed.

    And the one from Self-Publishing Review:
    This reviewer also thinks the author is lying from the start about being unbiased.

  10. Oh drat, Mr Anonymous Creationist paid for a vanity review and the reviewer burned him off. Life is beautiful.

  11. LOL that’s hilarious. You don’t always get what you pay for, but you always pay for what you get.

  12. What we get with computers, the internet, and hence PoD publishing: Anybody can publish anything and make it available to anybody who can read. That is, the noise-to-signal ratio of public discourse immediately increases by some large factor.

    Vanity publishing was always there, of course, but it was expensive and required commitment to a print run in the thousands. Now any loon who can raise a few hundred can do it. And so we get Mr Anon, who not only thinks his vapid musings in some way represent reality, but who wants to sell them to you at eighteen dollars a pop. The sad fact is that he will succeed, at some level. And any return he makes gives him validity in his own eyes.

  13. *Darwin on Trial* was 1991. John Updike’s brilliant 1986 book, *Roger’s Version*, has a major character, Dale, who at the outset hopes to prove by computer “the existence of God, i.e. of a purposive and determining intelligence beyond all phenomena”, and gives a summary of arguments against naturalistic evolution on which the DI has failed to improve.

    Needless to say, Dale discovers in a complicated and ultimately painful manner that he is talking nonsense. My point here is that we should not credit Johnson with more originality than he possessed.

  14. Ceteris Paribus

    “Anonymous” is peddling a book with the title “Evolutionary Theory to Stand Trial”? Nah. Too much work just flipping thru the pages.
    Whatever happened to the good old days, when fundagelicals could just simply call down bolts of lightning from Heaven, or commission a she-bear bear to smite smarty-pants children who mocked the bible?