11 June 2007

Behe's Book in Chapters

I was at a Chapters store over the weekend, and to my dismay, they were heavily promoting Michael Behe's new book The Edge of Evolution. (PZ's been dismantling the book over at Pharyngula) There were dozens of copies on display not only in the New Releases section right when you enter the store, but also in the science section as well (spits). The good news is that absolutly no one was looking at them (except me, of course). The bad news is that no one was looking at any of the atheist books that were also being promoted, such as Christopher Hitchens's God Is Not Great, and only one other person was in the science section of the store at all. And he wasn't even really looking for books - he was scouting to find any youngish people in the section so he could ask them a) if they had a science educational background, b) if so, which university would they recommend for his cousin's son, and c) are they interesting in doing some part time technical work for his company.

I chatted a while, answered his questions ( a) yes, engineering and also did a little biology, b) listed some of the bigger name universities that I trusted, and c) no. ), then left without buying anything. I can't afford to spend $20-30 on a book right now and the discount science section is a single poorly-stocked shelf. One freakin' shelf. The religion and woo discount sections have a large bookshelf each, each with 4 or 5 shelves. That speaks volumes about the scientific literacy of our society.

One thing I did notice was that a large portion of the science books actually dealt with religion. Of course there's the Dawkins et al. stuff, but there were also many books about the biological basis for belief, many books from apologists trying to use science to prove God, and some books that really didn't talk about religion at all but just used God in the title to try to sell more copies. The intersection of science and religion really is a hot topic right now.

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At June 11, 2007 1:46 p.m., Blogger Carlo said...

Wow, I was talking about seeing this new book at Interrogating Nature just a few days ago. What a piece of shit.

I'm not exactly sure what exactly constitutes the requirement for being in the science section at Chapters anyways. There's a lot of weird non-science there as well (like books on how Yoga and Physics are somehow related).

It's too bad, but that's what you get when your stuff doesn't have to be peer reviewed. If you haven't read him yet, I still recommend Gould!

At June 11, 2007 2:41 p.m., Blogger King Aardvark said...

I almost bought a giant Gould anthology, but it was $40. I just don't have the money to justify that, considering I still have about two dozen books to get to first.

At June 11, 2007 4:54 p.m., Anonymous John P said...

I was in Borders last evening, and while I wasn't looking for it, did not see the Behe book pop out at me. That doesn't bother me. But this does...

I also did not see the Hitchens book, which is on the NY Times bestseller list right now (# 3 behind Al Gore and Ronald Reagan). They did the same thing when both The God Delusion and Letter to A Christian Nation came out. It took weeks to get it to a place of prominence in the bookstore. My guess is that while they are on the national bestseller lists, they don't sell locally (Central PA) too well, this area being about the same as Alabama in it's political and religious thinking.

On the other hand, while there is a general Religion shelf (1 shelf, not a whole stack) that includes all the books on atheism, there are at least two aisles of religion books.

Who reads all that shit?

At June 11, 2007 8:11 p.m., Blogger Necator said...

...Behe, that crank. I seem to be getting desensitized to this and I've started ignoring the "contrafessy". I can't be bothered to keep up with all the shams from Behe to K. Ham.

...er...Sam I am?

Am I a bad atheist/rationalist? Will I not burn in non-hell?


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