Discoveroids: Self-Published Geniuses?

This almost made it into our collection of 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. However, because we are scrupulous about our criteria, we have to deal with this separately.

We’re talking about the latest post at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog: Four Darwin Heretics: A Reader’s Roundup. It has no author’s byline. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

One, two, three, four books — four recent titles by Darwin skeptics (three scientists, one journalist) in two short years. They are all heretics, all convinced of the same fact: Darwin’s house of cards is collapsing. Science, which is to say the future, is on the side of intelligent design.

That’s right, dear reader. This is about four books being promoted by the Discoveroids. But there are no press releases — at least none that we’re aware of. Instead, the books are promoted by the Discoveroids themselves. So according to our strict criteria, they don’t qualify for our list.

The first book the Discoveroids mention is Heretic, by Matti Leisola. We wrote about it last month — see Creationist Review of a Discoveroid Book, and once more before that — see Discoveroids: Stonehenge Is Designed, Therefore ….. It was published by — drum-roll, trumpets — the Discovery Institute Press.

That’s another reason why these four books don’t qualify for our collection of Self-Published Geniuses. Technically, the Discovery Institute Press isn’t a typical vanity press — that is, we assume the authors don’t have to pay to get their books published. It’s the Discoveroids’ own, in-house “publisher,” for books their own people write which probably can’t get published elsewhere.

Let’s move on to the second book touted by the Discoveroids. It’s Darwin’s House of Cards, by Tom Bethell. We wrote about it a few months ago — see The Discoveroids’ Style of Thinking. The publisher is — you guessed it — the Discovery Institute Press.

Okay, here’s the third book they’re promoting today — Zombie Science, by Jonathan Wells. We wrote about that one a year ago — see The Discovery Institute’s Best Arguments. And you’ll never guess who the prestigious publisher is. Give up? Okay, we’ll tell you. it’s the Discovery Institute Press.

The fourth book the Discoveroids are promoting is Undeniable, by Douglas Axe. Unlike the other three, this one has a real publisher. They posted about it several times, gushing about the “scientists” who praised it. When we checked out their names, and they were all either Discoveroids or fellow-travelers — see Klinghoffer: More Scientists Praise Axe’s Book.

So how shall we classify these Discoveroid books? We’ll keep them separate, in their own category. It’s the fair thing to do. Vanity press authors don’t pretend to be other than what they are, so they deserve more respect.

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14 responses to “Discoveroids: Self-Published Geniuses?

  1. Michael Fugate

    “They are all heretics, all convinced of the same factbelief: Darwin’s house of cards is collapsing.”

    Evolution is neither a house of cards nor is it collapsing – no matter how much the DI wishes both were true.
    They also are not heretics – at least not of evolution; evolution is not a religion.
    We might also question if any are either scientists or journalists.

  2. “So how shall we classify these Discoveroid books?”
    I suggest IDiocy from Seattle.

  3. Darwin’s house of cards is collapsing. Science, which is to say the future, is on the side of intelligent design.
    As to the first point, there is the study by Glenn R. Morton, “The Imminent Demise of Evolution: The Longest Running Falsehood in Creationism”
    As to the second point, we are still waiting for an alternative, not just relying on the false dichotomy: if there is someting wrong with evolutionary biology, then ID is right. (With no need to support it. Indeed, no need to describe it.)

  4. Belong under the category self published creationist books.

  5. Michael Fugate

    But, doesn’t Axe make the claim that intuition is better and more reliable than science? Intuition is on the side of intelligent design, science is on the side of evolution. If science were on the side of intelligent design Axe wouldn’t be invoking intuition, he would be invoking science.

  6. I don’t see that it is intutive that omnipotent agents would resort to design in order to bypass their own creation – nature – in making life look as if it evolved over deep time.
    That demands several ad hoc assumptions and even at that does not explain anything.

  7. Michael Fugate

    It’s apologetics – it doesn’t need to make sense to you or I, it only needs to reassure someone who already believes.

  8. I was complaining about the word “intuitive” … when it is another feeling, “mortification”, as John Wesley wrote:
    “Animals of the MONKEY class are furnished with hands instead of paws; their ears, eyes, eye-lids, lips, and breasts, are like those of mankind; their internal conformation also bears some distant likeness; and the whole offers a picture that may mortify the pride of such as make their persons the principal objects of their admiration.”

  9. Excellent link, DavidW. It’s far more interesting than what respected biologists Collins and Miller wrote about their belief(s).
    It’s find it amazing that apparently very intelligent people still fall for the God of the Gap argument: Evolution Theory can’t explain protein folding, hence goddiddid. The answer to that one was already given at the end of the 19th Century by Dutch apostate theologian Ferdinand Domela Nieuwenhuis: to derive a divine world from a concrete world requires a salto mortale.
    IDiots, other creationists and other apologists never admit that “science can’t explain” never suffices, exactly because we never can exclude the option that science will explain at some point in the future. What they need to do is to show how goddiddid and how we can separate correct claims about the divine world from incorrect ones.

  10. From the link I like also this: “if Axe’s thesis is correct, we would never observe even a single new functional protein arising.” This confirms what I’ve noticed a long time ago: as soon as IDiocy does made testable predictions it’s invariably falsified. That’s probably why IDiots put so much effort in immunizing IDiocy. On a philosophical level this is described in Herman Philipse’s God in the Age of Science. He calls it The Tension.

    “Philipse argues that the natural theologian is faced with a dilemma he calls “The Tension”: either to justify theological claims in the manner of scientific methods and theories, which involves making empirical predictions with negligible chances of success, or risk being too dissimilar from scientific and scholarly rationality to be credible.”
    We could say that our dear SC’s blog is devoted to demonstrating how The Tension applies to creationists. The way Klinkleclapper and co try to deal with this dilemma is simply hilarious.

  11. BTW, if anyone wants to understand why IDiots dislike Venema so much here is the explanation:

    IDiocy: “an argument from analogy, ignorance and incredulity”.
    Evolution Theory: “nothing but argument from evidence”.

    That’s it, essentially.

  12. @mnb0
    It seems to me that to make a prediction from a proposition one must accept limits on that proposition.
    Yet what limits can one accept on the proposition that god (or the supernatural) did it?

  13. It just struck me that, if the DI only ever publishes material from their own inner circle, they could be properly called self-geniused publishers.