Darwin’s Doubt is Done
Why am I done with this project?
Well, apparently the paperback edition has just been published and it has a new chapter that specifically deals with complaints from actual scientists (Don Prothero, Nick Matzke, and Charles Marshall). This is fascinating because it took Meyer (and Luskin) over a year to come up with a response to Matzke, who they didn’t bother with because he read the whole book in a day or two. Sadly, while he “deals” with them, he STILL gets things wrong. He handwaves away statistical data and goes with his gut. Which defeats the purpose of statistics.
Here’s Nick Matzke’s response, which I encourage you to read if you are interested in more mistakes by Meyer… who still doesn’t understand that people check him on this.
Now, why am I done with my response? Because a new edition exists with new information. I don’t have that edition and I have no intention of getting it. That means that anything I write further about Darwin’s Doubt will be rejected by all creationists because I “haven’t read the updated edition and that deals with my complaints”. I know this will happen because it has happened in the best. Indeed, I predict that at least comment will say that I’ve stopped reviews because I really know that Meyer’s new chapter crushes all opposition. That’s plainly not true, unless he corrects every mistake that I (and Matzke, and Prothero, and Marshall, and Moran, and Coyne… etc) have mentioned and corrected (and apologized) for all the quotemines… in that one chapter.
Now, to be clear, several creationists have pointed me to various places in Darwin’s Doubt that would take care of my issues with the book. So far, we’ve been on a wild goose chase that just makes Meyer look more and more incompetent. I’ve added quotemine after quotemine to Meyer’s record. I’ve pointed out fundamental mistakes in what he thinks about evolution and science.
And still, Meyer’s supporters won’t answer a simple question, “Why do you consider Meyer a reliable source after all of this?” They refuse to answer it. They acknowledge the question, but have flat out said they will not answer it. Why don’t they defend Meyer or refute the claims made by actual scientists?
I know exactly why they don’t defend Meyer. Because they can’t. They know that Meyer is a liar. They know he misrepresents science. They know he misrepresents scientists.
And they don’t care, because Meyer is a Christian who is determined to destroy evolution (and all science) and replace it with religious fervor. Don’t believe me? Look at the first goal of the Wedge Document, which was written by the organization that Meyer co-founded and was vice president of.
- To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies.
- To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God.
That’s the purpose of all of this intelligent design stuff. It’s very clear.
A long time ago, I made some predictions about this book. Let’s see how I did.
Prediction the First: There will not be a calculation or measurement of complexity, complex specified information, and/or information in the entire book. Now to clarify, I don’t mean Meyer saying “the random chances of x protein appearing out of nothing is blah blah blah”. That’s correct as far as it goes, but it does not mean anything, besides the fact that is not how proteins are formed in the first place.
Prediction the Second: There will be at least a chapter devoted to the conspiracy against ID in academic circles.
Prediction the Third: Meyer will spend a chapter or section talking about the Cambrian explosion. He will ignore all current research in the Cambrian and Precambrian periods and instead present stale (and wrong) notions such as “all body plans appeared in the Cambrian” and “there are no transitionals” and “there was almost no life prior to the Cambrian”.
Prediction the Fourth: Meyer will use a strawman of evolution and spend between two and three chapters attacking that strawman. Possible attacks are “evolution is completely random” (which is untrue), “evolution is undirected” (if you mean by an intelligence, this is true, if you mean totally random, it’s not true), or similar old attacks.
Prediction the Fifth: Meyer’s single ‘peer-reviewed’ paper was published by a fellow creationist, in an obscure journal, that focused on taxonomy. The paper he published (which has subsequently pulled by the editors of the journal) was a review paper and contained zero new information, research, or conclusions for that matter. The fifth prediction is that the vast majority of this book will be based on that work.
First: Prediction confirmed. I have not found, nor has anyone pointed out where such a calculation exists in this book (after multiple requests).
Second: I call this a wash. Meyer did not devote a whole chapter to this. But he does talk about it extensively (devoting several sections in various places) to this.
Third: Confirmed. I didn’t know it at the time, but the whole book was about the Cambrian explosion (basically). Sadly, Meyer has no idea what’s actually going on, or if he does, he chooses to ignore it. Poor researcher or liar, pick.
Fourth: Confirmed. Meyer totally misrepresents the fossil record (ignoring fossils that existed before the Cambrian. He misrepresents (or ignores) evo-devo and its’ application saying “Evo-devo is just a form of neo-Darwinism, therefore it’s wrong.”
Fifth: Confirmed. Indeed, Meyer recylces much of that paper and his previous books to fill the pages of this one. The result is the perpetuation of mistakes (or lies) that he ought to have learned about in the intervening years. The fact that he didn’t bother to learn new thing… or that he learned new things solely to misrepresent them… is quite telling.
In conclusion, read the book if you like, but understand that what Meyer says is a touch of truth with a ton of lies. He needs that touch of truth to add legitimacy, but it fails when people actually do the research.
If anyone has a specific question about a specific part of the book (not chapter and probably not even a section), then I’ll be happy to answer it or find out the answer.