[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.]
Last year I was contacted by Edward Humes, a reporter who wanted an interview for a book he was writing on the Dover trial. In his original emails (which he now refuses to grant me permission to quote), Humes claimed to be fair and non-partisan. I felt suspicious because reporters that take great lengths to tell me they are neutral usually write highly biased and partisan anti-ID stories. What did Humes write? As I discussed in Part I and Part II of this series, Humes’ posted an intelligent design (ID) and evolution FAQ which is extremely partisan, claiming that evolution has more scientific support than gravity and that ID is simply a religious viewpoint. Of course Humes has every right to his viewpoint, but his present claims do not jive well with his earlier statements when he was trying to get an interview with me. But to discover that Humes’ book has an anti-ID slant, one read no further than the book-endorsements he posts from Darwinists! This third installment will recount the praise Darwinists are giving to Humes’ book, Monkey Girl: Evolution, Education, Religion and the Battle for America’s Soul.
Keep in mind that last year Humes emailed me promising he was non-partisan. Now his book is so non-partisan that he apparently only posts reviews from leading Darwinists–many of whom are, coincidentally, avowed atheists.
The famous atheist Darwinist Michael Shermer is calling Monkey Girl “[a] must read for anyone who cares about science, education, and liberty.” P.Z. Myers, the well-known atheist biologist who told us that “I get to vote on tenure decisions at my university, and I can assure you that if someone comes up who claims that ID ‘theory’ is science, I will vote against them,” has high praise for Humes’ book:
This book reads like a novel. Even though I knew how it would turn out, I had to keep going… I knew there was a first-rate dramatic story in the Dover trial, and Edward Humes has written it. Now I’m just waiting for the movie.
Humes also allowed the LA Times to have a review copy. The LA Times reviewer apparently believes it is a “a cruel twist to evolutionists” that “human beings are ‘genetically disposed to believe in mysteries, miracles, God, and faith.'” The reviewer also states that he “only wish[es]” he could “close” his eyes to the Christian “fundamentalism” Humes recounts in his book.** These are all interesting reviewers, and Humes also posts high praise from various other Darwinist bloggers who typically take the Darwinist party line.
But that is only the beginning.
Judge John E. Jones III has apparently endorsed Humes’ book, saying, “Ed Humes’ remarkable and balanced narrative has captured the essence of this complex and emotional dispute. When discussing the trial I have frequently found myself saying that to truly understand it, you had to be there. Humes’ compelling book accomplishes just that.” Make of that whatever you will.
Why Only Darwinist Reviewers?
Perhaps Judge Jones is right and Edward Humes is a good writer who captures the trial with all its emotion. Regardless, there is one giant omission from his reviewers: Anyone who supports ID. In fact, Discovery Institute requested a review copy of Humes’ book to no avail. For someone who claimed to be fair and neutral when he was researching the book, Humes sure seems sheepish about asking anyone who isn’t a well-known hardline Darwinist to review his book.
At this point, I’ve recounted Humes’ glowing praise from only hardline Darwinists, his highly 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.
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 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…
**Note: I was originally mistaken in saying that Humes “chose” the LA Times reviewer, but this point does not detract from other the interesting choices of pro-Darwin reviewers that Humes seems to have chosen–like P.Z. Myers and Michael Shermer, and various pro-Darwin bloggers.