Self-Published Genius #53: Bible College Professor

Today we suspect that 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.

Our uncertainty is because we don’t have a press release. Instead we learned about this via a tip from one of our clandestine operatives, who told us about an announcement from Liberty University, the bible college founded by Jerry Falwell. Their headline is Biology professor dissects evolution, creationism in new book Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Liberty University Professor of Biology Dr. Daniel Howell, Ph.D., is challenging the widely held notions that evolution is science and creationism is religion in his latest book, “Sometimes Deceived: How Evolutionists Have Led Us Astray.”

Here’s the book’s listing at Amazon: Sometimes Deceived: How Evolutionists Have Led Us Astray. Hey — it’s only $16.95 in paperback! Amazon says the publisher is “Blue Ridge Books.” We’ve searched, but we can’t find that outfit. There are several bookstores with “Blue Ridge” in their names, but no publishers. Maybe it’s a name used by Liberty University. We don’t know.

Although we don’t have an actual press release, nor do we have confirmation that the book was published by a vanity press, we are nevertheless including it in our collection. Let’s find out what else Liberty University says:

His book seeks to shed light on the fallacies and deceptions that undergird the world’s theory of our origins and show Christians why they should reject Darwinism and fully embrace creationism with confidence.

Isn’t that wonderful? Let’s read on:

He explains that prior to the evolution position, atheists could reject God and the traditional creation story, but they had no replacement. He said Darwin and his colleagues supplied answers as to how life on Earth was started, but “it was nothing less than a full-scale attack on the Judeo-Christian establishment of the Western world.” By crafting a new creation myth for the atheist’s worldview, he explained, Darwin “filled the proverbial vacuum that Nature so abhors, an accomplishment perhaps even bigger than discovering the origin of biological species.”

Wowie — Darwin crafted a new creation myth for the atheist’s worldview. What an evil monster! After that, Liberty University tells us:

“Darwinism is not something Christians can blithely dismiss as the folly of a few academics in their Ivory Towers,” Howell writes. “It is the atheistic worldview empowered by the recent invention of its own creation myth. It’s a worldview that now shapes our culture and thus every aspect of our lives.”

The students at Liberty University are fortunate to have such a brilliant professor on the faculty. The news story continues:

Revealing how poor definitions and faulty logic have complicated the origins debate, Howell explains the differences between empirical science and historical science, objective/empirical facts and conceptual/philosophical facts, and correspondent truth and coherent truth. Howell also argues that firmly understanding the differences between empirical and historical scientific methods is absolutely crucial to rightly interpreting scientific studies on origins and their results. The vast majority of evolutionary scientists do not understand historical science or outright reject it as a creationist’s tool, he said.

Yes — scientists are illogical! They don’t understand the difference between empirical science and historical science. For more information on this vital subject, see Answers in Genesis Explains Science to Us. Here’s one more excerpt:

Using Darwinists’ own words, Howell shows how evolutionists conflate historical science and empirical science (intentionally or not) for the purpose of bolstering the evidence for biological evolution. He contends that virtually all of the evidence for evolution is based on conceptual/philosophical facts that are merely coherent with the Darwinist’s worldview.

So there you are, dear reader. Go ahead — buy the thing. You can’t go wrong.

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31 responses to “Self-Published Genius #53: Bible College Professor

  1. Michael Fugate

    Here’s his blurb:

    Using Darwinists’ own words, Howell shows how evolutionists conflate historical science and empirical science (intentionally or not) for the purpose of bolstering the evidence for biological evolution.

    A whole book of quote-mines – do we need another?

  2. Thanks, Glenn. Their site gives no information at all, but their location is Lynchburg, Virginia. I suspect it’s the university’s own imprint.

  3. The university’s own imprint is presumably Liberty University Press:

  4. Who knew Darwin was so devious, giving atheism a timely boost? And Wallace? Perhaps Howell gets a promotion or pay raise for this “scholarship”.

  5. Okay, Glenn. Maybe it’s a real publisher.

  6. Paul Schoeckel

    SC, maybe not. Under the books tab the only other book listed is; Broken Bodies ( Biblical Reasons for Why We Get Sick) by Davis McGuirt, MDiv,
    Coming in June!

  7. According to the Commonwealth of Virginia’s State Corporation Commission, Blue Ridge Books LLC was formed 2/11/2017 and its registered agent is Carla Howell. According to Liberty University’s website for Daniel Howell, his wife is named Carla Howell. Ergo …

  8. Glenn Branch says: “Ergo …”

    BWAHAHAHAHAHA! It’s the ultimate vanity press!

  9. and probably still actually printed by liberty press…..

  10. Scientist

    This way the family gets all the royalties. Creationism, the ultimate prosperity gospel.

  11. “Here’s the publisher’s website: …”

    And if you check the list of books that they have published you will find that the staggering number is *TWO*, and that second book is out of print. The second book is also about Christian apologetics concerning disease, what a surprise.

  12. Mike McCants

    “facts that are merely coherent with” REALITY!

    As opposed to religious non-facts that have no relation to reality.

  13. Ceteris Paribus

    Liberty University Says:
    “He [Liberty University Professor of Biology Dr. Daniel Howell, Ph.D.] explains that prior to the evolution position, atheists could reject God and the traditional creation story, but they had no replacement. He said Darwin and his colleagues supplied answers as to how life on Earth was started, but “it was nothing less than a full-scale attack on the Judeo-Christian establishment of the Western world.
    Yup, those “repeal and replace” strategies always do have a way of requiring a little bit of time to parse out.

  14. When I read that they had no replacement, I thought of the situation of Intelligent Design. They can reject evolution (however weak their arguments are) but they have no replacement.

  15. Doctor Stochastic

    Isn’t Lynchburg where Steve wrecked Old 97? Or at least on the road from there to Danville.

  16. Michael Fugate

    He does admit creationism is not science and is a myth…

  17. Ross Cameron

    Isn`t it interesting how creos can claim evolution is a delusion, but never run the ruler over their beliefs? All those contradictions,additions,omissions, mistranslations, lack of provenance, lack of autographs, yet they maintaintheir is only one bible. When you debate with them, it`s a bit like telling a blind man the colour of flowers.

  18. I have been thinking about historical versus operational science, and would like readers’ comments on my thoughts.

    The distinction is real, since historical science refers to singular in events whose details are contingent on specifics, whereas operational science seeks general laws whose effects are universal and inexorable. (Like all binary distinctions among complex phenomena, it may be possible to find borderline cases.) So far, so commonplace.

    What has occurred to me is that in the history of geology, there really has been repeated tension between what historical methods told us must have happened, and what the best operational science of its day told us could have happened. So in cases as varied as the formation of the Washington Scablands, the occurrence of the ice ages, continental drift, and the deep antiquity of the Earth and by implication the Sun, we had major historical events which, at the time, appeared to lack any explanation in terms of known physics.

    BTW, vanity may not be only reason that Howell is self-publishing. Think of the money. And with a very respectable Amazon sales rank, the money will not be trivial. I’m jealous.

  19. If you want to make a distinction between singular events and general events, that is something different from the distinction between historical and operational.
    But first of all, the proper distinction to the historical is not the operational.
    “How do you know, were you there?” applies to events which are inaccessible by time past but as well as distance. One cannot perform experiments in other galaxies. And singular events occur at a distance, too. And we can’t perform experiments because of the size. We can’t recreate a star. And there is the inaccessible because of other reasons: we don’t directly access the core of the Earth or of the Sun.
    There can be made a distinction between the historical and the present-day. (And the future belongs somewhere there, too.) And there can be made a distinction between the operational and observational. But it is a fallacy to make a distinction on different criteria.

  20. Eric Lipps

    Apparently it never occurs to these people that, for example, any attempt to use scientific methods to “prove” the reality of Noah’s flood amounts to practicing “historical science.” The same applies to Creation itself: were they there? If not, then any “proof” of creation must involve “historical science.” If there were no evidence for evolution, creationists would still need to be evidence for their purported alternative–and present-day lab experiments wouldn’t be enough; one would need “historical” evidence that Creation actually happened as given in the you-know-what.

  21. @Eric Lipps
    They would say that they have the eyewitness account of the past in the Bible. But that claim is not testified to in the Bible. On the other hand, their embellishments on the past are not directly taken from the Bible, but are mere human imaginings about what must have taken place.
    In particular, the attempt to build a replica of Noah’s Ark is an endeavor to apply the laws that operate today to the inaccessible past. (The fact that they could not make it work ought to say something.)
    Or the attempts to explain away the problem of the distant star-light. Obviously, the Bible does not tell us anything about the speed of light or the distances to the stars.
    But they are so entangled with contradictions, what is one more?

  22. Tom S, you convince me that there are several important distinctions. We have truly singular events, such as the extinction of (non-avian) dinosaurs, or the origin of life on Earth, where we use many kinds of inference to infer how they happened or could have happened. In favourable cases, such explanations may lead to testable predictions; for example, the asteroid impact at the K/T boundary should have left physical traces, and it did. But not all such cases are so favourable, and we may need at times to fall back on arguments from an allergy and plausibility. The origin of life on Earth may always come into this last category. We have empirical generalisations, such as Boyle’s Law, subject to repeated empirical testing. We have underlying theories, such as the kinetic theory of gases, and the laws of motion and thermodynamics. We have cases, such as the relationship between size, colour, and brightness in main sequence stars, where we cannot perform experiments but we can carry out multiple observations to test our generalisations.

    There is also the distinction between those things we can observe more or less directly (such asthe composition of the Sun’s atmosphere, or the Earth’s surface), and those where our knowledge depends on much lengthier chains of inference (such as the composition of the Earth’s or the Sun’s interior),

    So, overall, we have a quite complicated taxonomy. To save me reinventing the wheel (and very likely doing it all wrong), can anyone point me to a good source on this?

  23. Michael Fugate

    Cleland, C.E. 2011. Prediction and explanation in historical natural science. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62: 551–582.

  24. Thanks. Will chase up

  25. Halfway through. I’m prejudiced against her argument because she doesn’t understand iridium depletion (she refers to iridium as a heavy metal, but so is uranium which is not depleted) nor why the iridium anomaly at the K/T boundary really *is* evidence for a meteor impact rather than anything else. When she says ” With a few notable exceptions, causal accounts of explanation are open to (without endorsing) the possibility of explanatory relations between causes and effects that do not come under either deterministic or probabilistic/statistical laws of nature” I’m not sure what she means, unless she means that we accept specific causes for specific events (trivial), or that we tolerate the absence of physically understood linkage between an event and its proposed cause (do we?). But the article certainly does provide a clear explanation of the difference between BEGIN QUOTE “‘prototypical historical science’ and ‘classical experimental science’. The target hypotheses of prototypical historical natural science differ from those of classical experimental science in being about long-past, token events, as opposed to regularities among types of events. Hypotheses concerning long-past, token events are typically evaluated in terms of their capacities to explain puzzling associations among traces discovered through fieldwork. In contrast, the acceptance and rejection of hypotheses in classical experimental science depends upon the success or failure of predictions tested in controlled laboratory settings.” END QUOTE


  26. I think I see what she means. We more readily accept an explanation when it explains multiple effects, even if we don’t know of a law of nature that links those effects to the cause. I’m not sure I agree, but it’s a side-issue. The core argument is about evaluating claimed explanations of past events, and the principle that she invokes is that the most convincing purported causes explain multiple possible events. We accept the K/T meteor impact because it explains the mass extinction AND the iridium anomaly AND signs of mechanicaly shocked rocks, and of pyroclastic fallout worldwide. One might mention the requirement for multiple detailed similarities before we accept a morphological feature in different species as homologous, rather than merely analogous; the single cause (relatedness) produces multiple effects.

  27. Michael Fugate, do you have an academic affiliation (several Michael Fugates do)? I would like to acknowledge you if I ever write this lot up

  28. Michael Fugate

    I’m at UC Riverside.

  29. I should also acknowledge Tom S, either under that label as blog commenter or by name if he identifies himself to me by email to psbratermanAT yahooDOTcom

    Curmudgeon, you provide an interesting forum

  30. Paul Braterman says: “Curmudgeon, you provide an interesting forum”

    All I do is talk about stuff that either interests or amuses me. The rest is up to you guys.