10 Books That Screwed Up the World, with a Bizarre Twist
Benjamin Wiker's latest book, 10 Books That Screwed Up the World: And 5 Others That Didn't Help, is fantastic. In fact, it's so great that even people who completely misunderstand his argument want to crib from his notes.
That's the most charitable conclusion I can come up with after reading The List Universe's "10 Books that Screwed Up The World." (Catchy title, huh?) There are other conclusions, of course... but I'll leave those to the reader.
Besides taking Wiker's title and repeating 5 of his selections (Mead's Coming of Age in Samoa, Machiavelli's The Prince, Hitler's Mein Kampf, Sanger's The Pivot of Civilization, and Marx/Engels' The Manifesto of the Communist Party), as one commenter at The Point astutely observed, they may have plagiarized Wiker's list.
Take these extracts from the amazon site for Dr. Wiker's book:
* Why Machiavelli's The Prince was the inspiration for a long list of tyrannies (Stalin had it on his nightstand)
* Why Marx and Engels's Communist Manifesto could win the award for the most malicious book ever written
* How Hitler's Mein Kampf was a kind of "spiritualized Darwinism" that accounts for his genocidal anti-Semitism
* How the pansexual paradise described in Margaret Mead's Coming of Age in Samoa turned out to be a creation of her own sexual confusions and aspirations
And now from the listverse site:
9 Coming of Age in Samoa
Margaret Mead, 1928
On the list because: it turned out to be a creation of her own sexual confusions and aspirations
8 The Prince, NiccolÃ² Machiavelli
On the list because: it was the inspiration for a long list of tyrannies (Stalin had it on his nightstand)
7 Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler, 1925
On the list because: it helped spread Hitler's genocidal anti-Semitism
2 The Manifesto of the Communist Party
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, 1848
On the list because: it could win the award for the most malicious book ever written
I'd say plagiarism...
But wait, there's more! Gina Dalfonzo has correctly pointed out over at The Point that it's not the similarity in the choices alone that makes this shocking. It's the inclusion of Michael Behe's Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution as number 1 on their list.
While Wiker's work recommends actually reading each screwy book in order to understand its malice, the people behind this list remain strangely ignorant of Behe's work. Their explanation for why this belongs at the top? They're under the impression that Behe is a 6-day literal creationist.
This book has helped to fuel (through pseudo-science and untruths) the idea that evolution is false and that a literal interpretation of the Book of Genesis is the only possible manner in which the earth was created.
This right after they point out that The Communist Manifesto "could win the award for the most malicious book ever written"! It never ceases to amaze or amuse, but the threatiness of ID must be overwhelming to all faculties of reason when you're a Darwinist.