A Partisan Affair (Part 1): False Claims About Intelligent Design in Edward Humes' Pseudo-History of Kitzmiller, "Monkey Girl"
[Editor's Note: For a full and comprehensive review and response to Edward Humes' book, Monkey Girl: Evolution, Education, and the Battle for America's Soul, please see A Partisan Affair: A Response to Edward Humes' Inaccurate History of Kitzmiller v. Dover and Intelligent Design, "Monkey Girl.]
In early 2007, I wrote a three-part series of blog posts where I discussed how Darwinist author Edward Humes misrepresented himself when trying to convince me to do an interview with him for his book, Monkey Girl: Evolution, Education, Religion, and the Battle for America's Soul (Harper Collins, 2007). (That series of prequels can be found at the following links: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.) When Humes first contacted me in 2006, he declared his commitment to non-partisan and objective journalism (he later refused to give me permission to quote directly from his original emails). Humes' defensive posture immediately alerted me that something was awry, so I declined to do an interview. It turned out my instincts were correct: Edward Humes was not interested in non-partisan journalism regarding the evolution debate. He created a website about Monkey Girl, which had many inaccurate and highly partisan claims, like, "There is more scientific evidence, laboratory testing and direct observation to support evolutionary theory than virtually any other scientific theory, including gravitational theory," calling intelligent design (ID) a "form of creationism," and saying ID "posits a supernatural process." It would be hard to imagine a less-partisan treatment of evolution. At the end of that series of blog posts, before I received Humes' book, I wrote the following:
At this point, I've recounted Humes' glowing praise from only hardline Darwinists, his partisan and inaccurate FAQ, and the fact that he changed his FAQ in response to my emails and then did not disclose key changes while accusing me of misstating the FAQ. Yet Humes originally came to me soliciting an interview claiming to be fair and neutral.Soon after that posting, I received my copy of Monkey Girl from Amazon and started working on a fairly lengthy review of the book. Because the book had so many inaccurate statements, what started off as a review soon became a time-consuming rebuttal. Unfortunately, in the middle of working on that review/rebuttal of Monkey Girl, my hard drive severely crashed (an IT friend told me it was the worst hard drive meltdown he'd seen), and I also got extremely sick. For a while this project fell by the wayside. But recently I've had a couple people e-mailing me, citing Monkey Girl as a supposed objective, authoritative source of information on intelligent design. People behave as if the fact that its author won a Pulitzer prize (for a different work, mind you), suddenley makes Monkey Girl an impartial and inerrant book. As someone who has been closely involved in the ID movement for years and who observed much of the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial in person, it would be a grave mistake to cite Monkey Girl as a non-partisan -- or even accurate -- source of information on ID or the Kitzmiller v. Dover case.
Some readers may choose to believe that Humes developed his views while he wrote the book and was forthright towards me. Unsurprisingly, that is what Humes claims, and Humes' Darwinist reviewers will certainly take that line in his defense. And if that's the case, Humes could simply make his book proposal public, because that should reveal whether he really was non-partisan when he researched his book. That would certainly lay my suspicions to rest. But Humes continues to refuse to make his book proposal public. Other readers may wonder what Humes is hiding in the book proposal.
Regardless, there is no doubt that Humes is now a complete partisan (who believes evolution is better supported than gravity) and that he is promoting much false information about ID.
Because Discovery Institute was unable to obtain a review copy of Humes' book, I had to order it off Amazon, and I have not yet received the book (somehow many Darwinist bloggers already have copies, as they've reviewed [it] for Humes on his blog). Perhaps after the book arrives, further commentary can be made about it. Meanwhile, I'm sure Edward Humes won't complain too much about the free publicity we're giving him. After all, you know what they say...
In response to some of these e-mails about Monkey Girl, I decided to dig up my prior review of Humes' book, shorten it, and highlight some of the main points of my review. Because most of Humes' inaccurate claims about ID have been answered in various other writings, my review of Monkey Girl will consist primarily of short descriptions of his false claims combined with links to articles that address his false statements. I will publish my review of Monkey Girl in a series of six posts dealing with various problems with the book. This first installment will discuss some of Humes'...
Problems Related to Intelligent Design: