stephenmeyer1.jpg
Are you going to believe this guy? Or...
Seattle's Discovery Institute, the nonprofit think tank that's become infamous locally and in national media for fomenting

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Seattle's Proponents of Intelligent Design Celebrate a Successful Year of Ensnaring the Book-Buying Public

stephenmeyer1.jpg
Are you going to believe this guy? Or...
Seattle's Discovery Institute, the nonprofit think tank that's become infamous locally and in national media for fomenting the anti-Darwin "intelligent design" movement, is crowing today about a successful year in selling (literally) its ideas.

Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design, published in June by Discovery Fellow Stephen Meyer (shown at right), has cracked Amazon's Top Ten list of science books of 2009. The list is ranked by customer orders through October. But the news isn't all good for Discovery.

Thumbnail image for darwin.jpg
...this guy?

Jerry A. Coyne's Why Evolution is True is holding down the #5 spot. Robert Wright's The Evolution of God (which argues that a Divine Being is basically a notion we've evolved to believe in) is at #4. And Richard Dawkins' The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution is a strong #2. Darwin himself (seen at left) is out-selling them all, with countless editions of his 150-year-old Origin of Species (though the Amazon best-seller list is limited to books published in '09).

Still, the #10 slot is not half bad. Especially for a book that, according to Amazon reviewers, can be enjoyed even by readers with a "relatively weak background" in biochemistry and statistics. (For the record, no biochemistry is required to appreciate science book #9--The Philosophical Baby: What Children's Minds Tell Us About Truth, Love, and the Meaning of Life by Alison Gopnik.)

A graduate of Whitworth College in Spokane, Meyer is perhaps best known for having managed to place a pro-ID article in a peer-reviewed biological journal several years ago--an event that resulted in many calls for the peer who did the reviewing to be sacked. Scientists seem equally unimpressed with Meyer's latest work, which argues that the complex coding in our DNA "points powerfully to a designing intelligence." Following a recent appearance by Meyer at the University of Oklahoma, his views were summed up by one commentator as follows:

1) This shit [i.e., biology] is confusing

2) ???

3) GOD DID IT!

Discovery's battle against evolution continues tonight at Seattle Pacific University, where the institute is sponsoring an evening with a G.K. Chesterton impersonator named John Chalberg. He'll be attempting to tear Darwin a new one with some of the early-20th-century thinker's anti-evolution bon mots.

Meanwhile Meyer has become a favorite guest on Dennis Miller's radio show and will be in the studio with the neo-con comedian for a full hour on Dec. 2. Meyer has not had equal luck getting Richard Dawkins to engage in a debate.

 
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