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Why I’m calling Darwin’s Doubt the news event of 2013

Darwin's Doubt When I linked at the ID Facebook page to a note published here about a reader’s favourable reaction to Steve Meyer’s Darwin’s Doubt on the Cambrian explosion (most divisions of life forms emerged suddenly about 550 mya, and not gradually, as Darwin hoped), here was one response: See Phipps here:

I’ll explain how the Amazon categories are used. Right now the book is at #5,959 in Books. This is calculated across all sales and it is this number which is compared in the sub-categories rank.

If the publisher put that book into a category that needed better than a 1000 sales rank then it would lose out e.g. The God Delusion is #1,169 in Books so wherever TGD is at then you need better than #1169 right now to bump TGD from e.g. 9th in Philosophy. A 1st place in the philosophy needs a #160 sales rank right now. If the publishers put Darwin’s Doubt into philosophy it would be off the top 10 list and way down the bottom.

Publishers strategically choose sub-categories to make it appear popular but that does not mean that the book is actually popular to that audience. Someone with a scientific interest in paleontology would check reviews from a paleontologist’s perspective of the Meyer book and would not be moved to buy this.

Okay. Presumably, the publishers did that kind of stuff with all the Darwin deadtrees as well. Paleontology is big for them. And Darwin’s Doubt emerged on top numerous times.

As I said there then, if we are all even having this conversation about the entrails of the publishing business, the fact that Darwin’s Doubt is more widely read than Darwin’s sect would like it to be is pretty much what we need to know. I’m calling it the news event of 2013.

– O’Leary for News

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6 Responses to Why I’m calling Darwin’s Doubt the news event of 2013

  1. Darwin’s Doubt Debuts at #7 on New York Times Hardcover Nonfiction Bestseller List
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....73921.html

    The New York Times Best Seller list
    Excerpt: The list is composed by the editors of the “News Surveys” department, not by The New York Times Book Review department, where it’s published.[6] It is based on weekly sales reports obtained from selected samples of independent and chain bookstores and wholesalers throughout the United States.[6] The sales figures are widely believed to represent books that have actually been sold at retail, rather than wholesale
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T.....omposition

  2. Good point, bornagain77. As an old bird, spent me life in media, I’d say the real message of the book’s popularity is this: The people who toss off Darwin’s deadtrees in their spare time are less believed than in the past by people who actually understand the issues.

    Of course the talking hairpieces and chattering makeup on TV will still believe whatever some cute spout from the Smithsonian told them. We expect that. Seriousness is a foreign concept to them.

    But when people who really know the issues start doubting, they begin to want more honesty than they will get from the sect. Sooner or later that begins to matter. Maybe sooner. Hence my #1 pick.

  3. The book was certainly the #1 marketed and discussed item at http://www.intelligentdesign.org/. And it’s the most comprehensive rebuttal to Darwinism, Neo-Darwinism, and Post-Neo-Darwinism that I have ever read. I definitely agree with your comment that people want more honesty in the debate, and Dr Meyer delivered on this point with painstaking clarity and patience. Hopefully, the book will have a lasting legacy.
    Happy New Year to everyone!

  4. It was the news event because it gathered so much concentrated attention by all sides. If it had failed to sell enough books it would of been celebrated by the evolutionists. They are not celebrating and this alone is evidence that the book was a knockout on many fronts.
    It brings great attention. This suggests there is lots of interest out there and room to persuade the educated classes. They arer open to well done criticisms of
    any ideas called science.
    Many smell already evolution strikes against God and is possibly not proven.
    There is room here for more good guy authors.
    The evolutionists must be planning books to gain audiences because otherwise the initiative is with ID.!
    What are they up too???
    Somebody is wrong here and such close investigation of evidence is bound to bring down the wrong guy.

  5. =>These are the comments at TSZ when I mentioned ‘Darwin’s doubt’:

    Coldcoffee – Meyer’s Darwin’s Doubt is an epic piece of Creationist trash written by a borderline scientifically illiterate philosopher. It has been soundly rejected by virtually every professional paleontologist on the planet. There are numerous smackdowns of Meyer’s stupidity and ignorance all over the web.

    => When I asked who refutes Meyer’s work:

    Not just me – the entire scientific community has rejected Meyer’s nonsense as the work of an incompetent amateur.

    He only raises doubts among ignorant laymen who are gullible enough to swallow his BS. He has raised not a single doubt among professional paleontologists, biologists, or geneticists. You’re his target audience Bubby, not the professional scientific community. He’s a religious propagandist pure and simple and he counts on uneducated types like you to blindly follow his politically motivated crap.

    =>When I pointed out that Matzke who reviewed ‘Darwin’s doubts’ was the laughing stock of UD:

    Dr. Matzke does indeed toy with the children at UD much the same way a pro baseball player toys with the kids at a little league fun camp. I’m sure you’re impressed when Cordova and Arrington and all the other scientifically illiterate mouth-breathers at UD hurl insults in lieu of rebutting Dr. Matzke’s points.

    => When I gave quotations praising ‘Darwin’s doubt’:

    (snip a bunch of hollow praise from another batch of fawning Creationist toadies)

  6. As I am cited here I should be allowed to reply: My point was that whilst O’Leary was promoting this book as #1 in Palaeontology, she avoided promoting it as #1 in Creationism. I suspect she did not know how Amazon ranks worked else she would be a bit less gushy on the spin. I felt that as she was promoting it as “palaeontology” then it seemed fair to include a review by a palaeontologist. She cut that bit out when she quoted me but I had provided a link to Donald Prothero’s review. Given he titled his critique as “Stephen Meyer’s Fumbling Bumbling Cambrian Amateur Follies” I suspect not many interested in palaeontology would be buying Meyer’s book for its palaeontology.

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