Tom Gilson

Darwin’s Doubt Available for Pre-Order

They say you can’t tell a book by its cover. Not unless you’re Jerry Coyne, that is. He is quite certain that Stephen Meyer’s forthcoming book Darwin’s Doubt is a sellout on the part of publisher HarperCollins: nothing but God-of-the-Gaps.

Nice work to be able to tell that kind of thing without having to bother reading it. Reminds me of Meyer’s last book, Signature in the Cell,which was also roundly pummeled by reviewers who hadn’t read it.

At least most of them had the decency to wait until the book had been released.

Speaking of which, now is a great time for you to pre-order Darwin’s Doubt at a steep discount. Don’t feel compelled to let anyone know what you think of it until you’ve read it. But do be encouraged to buy it. For there are some things you really can tell about a book from its cover. Meyer is an outstanding author, and HarperCollins is no slack publisher.

I’m betting Coyne is seriously wrong on this. It wouldn’t be the first time.

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16 thoughts on “Darwin’s Doubt Available for Pre-Order

  1. I am an agnostic (small a) and skeptic (small s). However, I am not I am an agnostic and skeptic when it comes to my own thought out religious beliefs and world view, rather I am an agnostic and skeptic when it comes to certain scientific claims. But isn’t that they way it should be? Shouldn’t any or all scientific theories be open to critical thinking and re-examination? Or, are there some theories, like Darwinian evolution, that are so well established that they have become sacrosanct and questioning them is the scientific equivalent of heresy?

  2. I’m really looking forward to having a read through this. The preemptive attacks from the usual suspects only make me anticipate it more!

    By the way Tom, whatever you’ve done recently (within the last few weeks-ish) with the website has made it mobile-friendly again. For a couple months around Feb-Apr I couldn’t really access it (it was in desktop format and wasn’t showing new posts).

  3. Can’t read, Ray?

    That Ignatius Scoop blog post was not about the book. It didn’t judge it at all.

    As for the reviews by people who read the book, that’s all normal rhetorical give-and-take. It happens all the time, and it’s a good thing that it does.

  4. Tom – True, the link is better as an illustration of the contempt many hold for Dawkins, whether or not they’ve read his books.

    The autobiography is supposed to come out on September 24th. How much are you willing to bet I won’t be able to find a critical ‘pre-review’ of it before then? 🙂

  5. You didn’t have to search so far to find such strong criticism of Dawkins. He deserves it utterly.

    But why is the link you supplied any kind of illustration of people who criticize Dawkins without reading him?

  6. @Tom Just wondering. A lot of people had a lot to say about Bell’s books before they read them. I agree with you – bad idea.

  7. True, the link is better as an illustration of the contempt many hold for Dawkins, whether or not they’ve read his books.

    Completely justified (intellectual) contempt.

    Even more if you have actually read his books.

  8. JAD –

    So according to Ray, bad behavior justifies bad behavior?

    Not at all. If you have what you think is “Completely justified (intellectual) contempt” for someone, then you’re not going to expect much from their works. What if Meyer and Dawkins are both intellectually flawed?

  9. What I think is interesting is atheists’ readiness to prejudge on the basis of stereotypes, in total disregard of evidence. It is prejudiced; it is bigotry. We have empirical evidence that it happens. We have Dawkins and others (I could find links from P.Z. Myers, Larry Moran, and others if I took the time) leading this parade of prejudice. And we have their cadre falling in line behind them.

    And they keep telling us that we form our beliefs apart from evidence. I laugh.

  10. Um… Dawkins, Myers, and Moran all (a) know something about biology, and (b) keep up on the chatter from creationist and ID types. They’d be in a position to know if there were any new cases being made in a new ID book intended for a lay audience. And, as I pointed out in #5, their ‘pre-judgments’ seem to have been borne out.

    Amazon comments are a less selective field.

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