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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