Discoveroids Achieve Publishing Ecstasy

The Discovery Institute has been blogging about Stephen Meyer’s new book for months — actually for years — since September of 2018, long before it was published. Way back then we wrote Discoveroid Stephen Meyer’s New Book.

We don’t know how many times they’ve posted about the thing since then, but it’s gotta be several dozen. Our most recent post about it was A Podcast That Will Change the World.

Well, today the Discoveroids are at it again. They just posted this at their creationist blog: Great News — Stephen Meyer’s Return of the God Hypothesis Is a Bestseller! [Ooooooooooooh! A bestseller!] Like so many of the other posts about the book, this one was written by Klinghoffer. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Congratulations to our colleague Stephen Meyer! His new book, Return of the God Hypothesis: Three Scientific Discoveries That Reveal the Mind Behind the Universe [Amazon link], is not only an important new work, making the case for a personal God from the scientific evidence of cosmology, physics, and biology [Amazing!], and opening a fresh frontier for intelligent design. It’s also a bestseller [Gasp!], hitting both the USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists!

Can you believe it? They say Meyer’s book literally proves the existence of Yahweh! Isn’t Discoveroid science amazing? And in case you’re new around here, we’ll give you some background information about Stephen Meyer. Regular readers can skip this:

His Discoveroid job description has changed over the years, but as their bio page indicates, he’s one of their senior fellows and currently the Program Director of their Center for Science and Culture — that’s their creationism shop. It should not be forgotten that Meyer was a central figure in the infamous Sternberg peer review controversy. According to the Discoveroids’ 2016 Tax Return, Meyer’s salary was $250K.

Okay, let’s get back to Klinghoffer’s post. There’s not much more to it, but here it is:

That means that Dr. Meyer’s message is reaching not just the scientists (see the list of scientific endorsers here, including Nobel Prize-winning physicist Brian Josephson) [Links omitted!] but the greater reading public. This is awesome news.

Yeah, it’s awesome. Well — have you bought the thing yet? We won’t, because it would clash with our faith in the Cosmic Aardvark, but if you’re looking for something else, maybe the Discoveroid deity is just what you want. Go for it!

Copyright © 2021. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

27 responses to “Discoveroids Achieve Publishing Ecstasy

  1. “see the list of scientific endorsers here”
    Lee Strobel is one of them.

  2. Yes, a best seller in the two categories: Creationism and Science & Religion.
    The publisher, HarperOne, is the religious arm of Harper Publishing. Avoided their own DI publishing house, maybe wanted to look good. But 500 plus pages easily replaces the Sears catalogue.

  3. chris schilling

    Yes, truly a procession of luminaries. But conspicuous by His (usual) absence is Yahweh Himself.

    Perhaps He lacks the requisite scientific knowledge to join those endorsing Meyer’s book?

  4. Dave Luckett

    In almost excruciating fairness, SC, even Klunkflopper doesn’t say “Meyer’s book literally proves the existence of Yahweh”. He adopts the far more guarded language that it is “making the case for a personal God”.

    This is straight out of the DI playbook, natch. They’re not fundamentalist theocrats and religious bigots, no way. Who, them? No, they’re rational and reasonable scholars engaged in civil debate about what should be taught as science in schools – among other important issues of the day. Sure they are.

    And if you believe that, there’s this book they’d like to sell you. And lots of other stuff as well.

  5. I would note that it is fairly easy to game Bestseller lists — particularly if you have been hyping the book to your fanbase to build up presales.

  6. Derek Freyberg

    Or, as has been the case before, simply buying up a batch of them yourself and giving them to people.

  7. @Hrafn, I wish it really were that easily explained away. I note that on Amazon US it is currently #7 in Evolution and #711 overall in books. Can that be achieved by gaming?

  8. I have no idea how to manipulate bestseller lists, but one trick could be promoting pre-publication sales for weeks, or maybe months, and then lump all those sales together for the first week of publication. The actual test will be to see if the book continues to qualify for inclusion in bestseller lists. However, even if Meyer’s book is only briefly on the list, which is likely to be the case, the Discoveroids can forever describe the book as a “bestseller.” I’ve seen that done before.

  9. Dave Luckett notes that Klinghoffer

    adopts the far more guarded language that it is “making the case for a personal God”.

    Exactly! The difference between the DI and AIG is chiefly in their respective strategies: the DI prefers to present a ‘big tent’ that embraces fundamentalists of different religions, defering until a later time the time-honoured battle royale amongst them about who has actually got the one and only right God. But Hambo is keen to get into that brawl right now, and not just the fight between religions, but of denominations within Christianity.

    Historically, Religion is right up there with Real Estate as a fecund source of human bloodshed, of course. And sadly, that looks set to continue–until, that is, the whole of humanity embraces the TRVTH of the Cosmic Aadvark, Blessed be He!

  10. @Megalonyx, peace will indeed come when the whole of humanity embraces the TRVTH of the Cosmic Aadvark, Blessed be He, but only when the adherents of the Cosmic Aardvark recognise that his powers derive ultimately from the meatballs of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    Or is it, as some accursed heretics say, the other way round? I see trouble ahead, come what may

  11. Charley Horse X

    Meyer’s influence is no where near that of Paula White and her ilk on the politicians in the USA. For a good laugh at the former president’s advisor see
    Speaking in tongues is just as enlightening / evidenced as the DI’s proof of a divine creator.

  12. @Mega: “But Hambo is keen to get into that brawl right”
    Without contradicting you I’d like to point out that Ol’Hambo certainly is not above using IDiot and even non-anti-evolution apologist arguments when it suits him. Two quotes from AIG:

    “Strong evidence for a Designer comes from the fine-tuning of the universal constants and the solar system.”
    “The laws of physics are fine-tuned for life, exactly what we would expect if the universe were intelligently designed.”

    Replace “a Designer” by “God” and “intelligently designed” by “created by God” and people like Craig, Plantinga and Swinburne (plus their Dutch colleagues) could have written this.

  13. @FrankB
    While the laws of nature are fine-tuned to make life possible …
    The second law of thermodynamics makes life contrary to that law of nature.

  14. Amazon has a Look Inside feature active for Meyer’s new Dreck. Scanning a half-dozen pages of so it’s just as bad as you could imagine. It should be titled “Meyer’s Rehash Rehashed.” It’s simply a cut/paste of two decades or Meyer’s original hash of the Cambrian Nixplosion, et al. It’s not so much a god hypothesis as God Awful. He even reprints his old, hand-drawn (by Luskin, I think) evolutionary tree. Truly bad.

    Here’s a sample from pages 207 and 209:

    (207) It is therefore overwhelmingly more likely than not that a random mutational search would have failed to produce even one new functional (information-rich) DNA sequence capable of coding for one new protein fold in the entire history of life on earth. Consequently, the hypothesis that such a random search succeeded is more likely to be false than true. And, of course, building new animals would require the creation of many new proteins and protein folds, not just one. It follows that the standard neo-Darwinism mechanism does not provide an adequate explanation for the origin of the genetic information necessary to produce the major innovations in biological form that has arisen in the history of of life on earth.

    (209) And since the cambrian explosion of animal life and other similar events represent explosions of information as well as biological form, that raises a question. Is it possible that the dramatic increases of biological information at periodic episodes throughout the history of life not only pose a difficulty for materialistic theories of biological evolution, but also provide positive evidence for intelligent design? Could this unexplained (form a materialistic point of view) appearance of design point to actual intelligent design?
    It does.

    Tedious, flimsy, moronic nonsense. But, worse than that, if possible, the SAME tedious, flimsy, moronic nonsense Meyer has been churning out for decades. I’m surprised this book wasn’t published by Charmin on a roll.

  15. @doc1531
    So, as nature working as does, following the laws of nature, fine-tuned as they are, could not produce life as we know it.
    Some fine-tuning!

  16. @docbill1351, he wrote an essay called “Return of the God Hypothesis” some time in the last century. Does anyone know the date?

  17. ladyatheist

    And in other news… only two libraries have purchased Hedin’s book. You’d think Biola University — his current employer — would have added it to their catalogue, but apparently they weren’t impressed (?)

  18. Christine Marie Janis

    “And since the cambrian explosion of animal life and other similar events represent explosions of information as well as biological form,”

    A decade ago Meyer could have gotten by with this nonsense. Since he published DD there’s been oodles of information (sensu stricto) showing that there’s very little overall genomic difference between a sponge and a derived metazoan, and it’s mainly a matter of tinkering with regulatory genes, not added masses of new ones. Of course, he knows that his intended audience won’t know that. And, since one can no longer comment on Amazon book reviews, there’s going to be nobody to call him out on it anywhere.

  19. docbill1351

    Beginning, current and end of Meyer: Whenever ya see large amounts of Jumpin’ Jehoshaphats, and I mean a tarnation large amount, son, like Jumpin’ Jehoshaphats out the Wazoo, well, that’s the Fingerprint of Gawd!

  20. @doc1351
    And fingerprints of a Designer dissatisfied with the fine-tuning of nature.

  21. @TomS: you won’t find “The second law of thermodynamics makes life contrary to that law of nature” in the books of the three apologists I mentioned.

    “a Designer dissatisfied”
    Well, He/She/It/Otherwise has several good reasons for dissatisfaction, the IDiots from Seattle not being the least.

    @PaulB: several blogposts on StevieM’s new “book” ago I linked to that essay. Here it is again:

    http:// www. arn. org/ docs/ meyer/ sm_returnofgod. pdf

    Unfortunately (or I overlooked) there is no date of publication. However he apparently wrote it for Whitworth College, so he wrote the essay (I refer to Wikipedia) before 2002. According to

    he wrote it in 1999.
    I’ll accept thanks from everybody for saving twenty bucks.

  22. One 3-star reviewer, who is a strong believer in ID, caught my eye. That’s what he/she wrote:
    ” …. I’ve grown increasingly frustrated with what I might call high-level science-oriented Christian apologetics. They don’t really seem aimed at persuading unbelievers but rather at wowing believers with highfalutin stuff they can’t possibly understand but assume must be correct just because it sounds so authoritatively highfalutin ….”
    That probably sums it up nicely.

  23. Theodore J Lawry

    According to the “leading” critical review (3 stars), written by someone who says he is pro-ID, Meyer’s book has a snow job about string theory. “If you’re going to tell me that on the basis of this book you now have a clear understanding of string theory and quantum cosmology, of why they are flawed, and of why ID provides a more convincing alternative, I’m going to tell you that you are delusional.”

    That part of the book sounds new, and also like the tech equivalent of name dropping.

  24. @FrankB
    Ok, so they don’t bring up thermodynamics. How about information, or probability, etc. Don’t they point to something in the ways of nature that makes life on Earth difficult? Something that requires the intervention of the supernatural? Something which points to less-than-fine tuning?

  25. I’ll be rushing straight out to get it to hang in the backyard dunny!

  26. @Paul Braterman

    The Curmudgeon explains how they do it in the next post. The bump never lasts (TRotGH is already down to #889 at Amazon), but as he mentions they continue to hype “bestseller” fowever after. Amazon’s TRotGH blurb begins with “The New York Times bestselling author of Darwin’s Doubt”, and I strongly suspect that that book was only in the NYT weekly listing once, for the week it came out.

  27. @TomS: “Don’t they …..”
    These questions of yours are too simple to allow good answers. You’ll have to check them yourself. Only thing I can say is that Richard Swinburne actually uses Bayes’ Theorem (ie what creacrappers despise so much, namely chance) to argue for a creator-god.