Recommending Larry Moran’s textbook without reading it
|April 15, 2014||Posted by scordova under Education, News|
Larry Moran wrote:
If Salvador Cordova can put together an audience of biology students at a reputable university (George Mason?) and get an Intelligent Design Creationist to ask these questions, I’ll be happy to come and answer them.
Some of them are easy to answer. The best answer is “I don’t know.”
That is very kind of you Larry. I will even do one better, I will suggest biology students take your classes. Really I don’t think I have to even make that plug, because I’m sure they probably have to take your classes anyway.
Many of my professors were openly anti ID and have campaigned against ID, such as James Trefil and Robert Ehrlich. Their anti-ID views did not stop me from taking their classes nor would their anti-ID biases hinder me from recommending them as professors for IDist or creationist students. In fact, it was Dr. Ehrlich’s encouragement that eventually inspired me to study physics.
I sense you are a good chem teacher, so I’d have no problem recommending students learn from you because I’m delighted when anyone learns more science. I’d even be delighted that creationist biology students score in the 99th percentile in evolutionary biology.
I will even plug your book here at Uncommon Descent, even though I haven’t read it, because it is a bio chem book written by a Princeton PhD like you teaching at a respectable university in Canada. I figure there will be something to learn by reading your book.
I’m willing to do this to help improve your books Amazon sales ranking at #54 in textbook biochemistry. Currently your book has:
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #204,423 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
#54 in Books > Textbooks > Medicine & Health Sciences > Medicine > Basic Sciences > Biochemistry
I’m willing to do this because as of right now there is no threat your book will out pace the #10 book in biochemistry on the list of Amazon Best Sellers in Biochemistry. And which book is in the #10 spot?
Just as a caution, because I didn’t read Dr. Moran’s book, as a matter of conscience, I must point out some of the 1-star reviews at Amazon:
For a beginning biochemistry text they make simple concepts overly complicated and wordy. Important concepts are not easily taken out of the text and they often refer to information in chapters that are much later in the text. The problems are the end of each chapter are extremely confusing and require you to do a search and find to figure out what tables you should refer to since the problem often does not tell you where you will find the information. Sometimes when a problem does refer to a table you go to look for the table and realize that they were all renumbered in the revised edition (though they forgot to change the table references in the problems). There are also numerous spelling and grammatical errors. Nothing about this text is straight forward or easy to understand.
In all my science courses this is probably the worst book I have ever encountered and have resorted to using other sources for learning most concepts as this book does not explain things clearly.
I really, really hated this book and it doesn’t help that my professor used it like a crutch. I could read and write notes about a chapter, get to the end of the chapter questions, and not have a clue on how to answer the questions. There also aren’t any examples throughout the chapter on how to solve the problems. All the answers are at the end of the book, but it really didn’t help because there isn’t anyway to find out where they got that answer.
but there was one 3 star review
It is EXTREMELY frustrating to think that a textbook, the supposed pinnacle of education, could contain such a vast number of errors. It really makes it difficult to get through a page knowing that the authors overlooked all of these flaws.