Way, way back on 16 July, I got a letter from the Discovery Institute.
Dear Dr. Myers:
I am writing to ask if you have plans to review Dr. Stephen C. Meyer’s new book Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design (HarperOne). I would be happy to ask Dr. Meyer’s publisher to send you a review copy.
I know you are busy but if you can get back to me about this, including any thoughts or comments you may have, I will grateful.
Assistant to Dr. Meyer
Oh, great, I thought — I know what kind of drivel Meyer was going to include in this book, just more of the same argument from ignorance and ‘ooh, isn’t it complicated’. I feel obligated to keep up with the creationist literature, though, and you never know — maybe someday they’ll come up with an original idea. So I replied, said yes, thank you, and gave Ms Oberembt my address. She wrote back promptly.
Thank you and I’ll send the request by email this evening.
No review copy ever arrived.
It’s going on 6 months. I’ve talked to a few other creationist critics who also received the offer of a review copy — no one has gotten one. How interesting. I almost certaintly would have bought a copy when it first came out, but held off because I thought one would be arriving in the mail any time now. They haven’t got any novel arguments for their case, but at least they’ve come up with new ways to temporarily stall their critics.
This is just like the movie studios, when they’ve got a clunker of a film on their hands: don’t let the reviewers get sight of it, make sure you’ve got only friendly audiences to see pre-screenings, and then, of course, push only positive reviews.
Yes, the Discovery Institute is also doing that: the creationists are running a push campaign to jack up the positive reviews of the book on Amazon. That’s an old and familiar trick.
I suppose I’ll have to read that 600 page pile of slop sometime…maybe in January. I’m going to be giving a whole series of talks on evolution and creationism at the end of that month, and maybe I’ll be able to squeeze in a section on just Meyer.