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In Advance of Darwin's Doubt Publication, Gripe-Fest Turns Surreal

DD web ad v.1.3.jpgThe prepublication gripe-fest by Darwinian biologist-bloggers about Darwin's Doubt is turning surreal.

Prophylactically, Jerry Coyne and Joe Felsenstein tried to ward off evident anxieties about Stephen Meyer's forthcoming book by assuring fellow Darwinists they know what's in it, and then attacking it on those grounds. Now Larry Moran, who of course also hasn't read it, endorses Dr. Coyne's delusional summation of the book's contents ("Yes, baby Jesus made the phyla!") and goes after Casey Luskin for the ethical violation, no less, of writing about the book prepublication -- though of course Casey has read it.

The Intelligent Design Creationists want you to know that any criticism of what they are saying about the book is unethical unless you've read it yourself. However, it's not the least bit unethical for them to make outlandish claims about what's in the book months before we can verify whether those claims are correct.

This is creationist ethics. It's not supposed to make sense.

Moran takes off after me too for "speculat[ing] about what the book is going to say":
Don't make outlandish claims about what's in a book until it's published and everyone can check for themselves. It you speculate about what the book is going to say then don't be surprised if others do as well.
But I'm not speculating -- I've read Darwin's Doubt too. I have the unbound galley right here in front of me on my desk. Moran promises to read the book, though he complains that despite the June 18 pub date he likely won't be able to get hold of a copy till August since he lives in Canada.

Canada? Not Timbuktu. It takes two months to ship a book to Toronto? That is very weird.

Anyway, let's get the Moran logic clear. It's perfectly OK to review a book you haven't read before it's published, if the book argues for intelligent design and you are attacking it in absurd cartoon terms as Coyne does. But writing about the same book before it's published, if you have read it but are favorably impressed by its argument, is an ethical breach. You see, this is really how these guys think.