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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Edge of Evolution - a rare example of actual science in a bookstore science section today

Regular readers of this space will know that I blogged recently on an attempt to misshelve copies of Mike Behe’s Edge of Evolution, presumably to keep people from assessing its argument .

(Behe’s argument in a nutshell: He has no problem with Darwinian evolution in principle, but when Darwinian evolution has actually be observed over vast numbers of generations of life forms in the laboratory, it does not work quickly or straightforwardly enough to do the work that the Darwinist typically insists it can do.)

Having advised intelligent readers, who do not need the Misshelver to help them decide what they should read or where they should find it, to go quickly to their local bookstore, and find and buy Behe’s Edge, I of course did the same thing myself. I already owned a copy and had reviewed the book weeks ago, so my purchase was just a test.

Because I buy most of my books on Amazon Canada, I had not realized how much of the current science section of a major Toronto bookstore is in fact given over to topics that don’t seem like science to me.

Examples: The evolution of religion (assumes that there is no revelation), the evolution of morality (assumes that there is no intrinsic moral order, just survivors), our inner ape, our future ape ... in other words, a whole bunch of flapdoodle that was probably kicked out of the social science section because it isn’t scientific enough.

And finally, tucked obscurely on a bottom shelf, I found Edge of Evolution, a book that I know for sure IS about science - an exact history of the long war between the malaria parasite and the human blood cell, showing what Darwinian evolution has done and - more critically - has not done through countless generations.

I bought it - it was the only copy. And there, left all alone in the dark, was a single copy of Behe’s previous book, Darwin’s Black Box. Misshelver Canada, if she exists, will need to find that book in order to hide it wherever she prefers. But I won’t even tell her where the store is, let alone where the book is.

Meanwhile, there’s an active combox discussion on the recent admission of an attempt to hide a bookstore’s copies of Mike Behe’s Edge of Evolution by an aggrieved Darwinian evolutionist. One commenter asked me:
What I want to know is why does ID threaten a Darwinist like this so much that they feel the need to indulge in antics that would only impress a 10 year old ? Or apparently another "open minded godless liberal" ?

I replied

... it's hard to tell in this case because this individual is unwilling to confront her own real agenda.

That is, she tells us - and herself - that she'd like to teach the world biology and that her actions were "light-hearted" (= even if she did some damage, anyone who is annoyed with her has some kind of a problem).

Since you mention a 10 year old, even a 10 year old can see that the only foreseeable outcome of her activities is to create difficulties for people who wish to find Mike Behe's book. But a lucid adult of her political persuasion must protect herself from the realization that she is a censor by adopting a variety of poses - and that is just what we do see.

And so forth. Have fun. Enjoy the good weather.

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