Why does Prometheus Books even bother

I occasionally get books sent to me in hopes of a review, I guess, and more often than not they don’t interest me. But I check anyway! This was probably the fastest nope yet; I flipped it over, and the first blurb on the back cover was from…Michael Shermer. On that grounds alone, I’d throw it away, but his blurb was hilarious.

[The] best book I’ve read on [this topic].

The brackets aren’t mine! They actually had to butcher his quote that much to get something they could use!

Then, further down, the Washington Monthly blurbs,

…explaining the now well-documented psychological, biological, and genetic differences between liberals and conservatives with reference to human evolution…

That’s from Chris Mooney, who ought to know better.

Well. All I can say is that my genetics won’t allow me to read this crap, and right now I’m praying for a speciation event.


  1. leerudolph says

    Well, if recent news articles can be believed, in the short run it’s more of a de-speciation even. But if you take the long view…sure, why not?

  2. says

    Raw Story had an article recently about a study that supposedly showed that being a fundie was the result of having brain damage. It was based around examining 100 Vietnam veterans with brain damage versus 30 with no brain damage. Unfortunately secularists are just as prone to falling for dubious scientific ideas as everyone else.

  3. Erp says

    Odd, that second quote dates from 2014 and was for a book published in 2013. Are they recycling quotes or sending you old books? Also Wikipedia has an article on the book and the talk page of that article is interesting. The Mooney blurb cuts out any caveats (and there are several including one that changes significantly the blurb [the word ‘attempts’ a little bit before the word ‘explaining’ that is in the blurb]) though I’m not sure he put in enough in the original article (Washington Monthly, March/April/May 2014, “The Origin of Ideology: Are left and right a feature (or bug) of evolution?”, it is reviewing two books).

  4. says


    If you want to review a better class of book, you should take it upon yourself to extend your past discussions of space alien biology to critical examinations of specific races and specific characters in sci-fi novels! Maybe then you’ll get people sending you review copies of things that are more interesting, more fun to read, and have at least a marginally stronger connection to reality than the hypothesis that Republicanism is a genetic inevitability.

    Start with the biology of Chuck Tingle’s Space Raptors and you’ll get a better class of book in your mail soon, I’m sure.

  5. says

    #5: It’s a new edition fo a 2014 book, with a new epilogue by the author. Oh joy.

    #6: I’ve only read one Tingle, which limits my authority. Also, I want to read this one next.

    Blip is on the way to a white water rafting trip, but he’s nervous about the adventure before it even begins. Fortunately, Blip finds himself with a wonderful and patient guide, a handsome bigfoot named Garto Grims who explains that, while the river may seem like there’s only one path to take, there are actually several forks in the road, and it’s always okay to stop entirely.
    As the attraction between Blip and Garto mounts, they suddenly find themselves locked in the heat of passion, and when Blip suddenly changes his mind about the encounter, he quickly learns that’s okay!
    Now Blip and Garto are embarking on an erotic adventure with absolutely no sex, proving that love is still real when you revoke your consent for any reason at all.
    This important tale is 4,100 words of sexless romance between buds, including learning about each other, sharing a river rafting adventure, and a blossoming love that is just as important with or without sex.

  6. chrislawson says

    I’m not a huge fan of Mooney, but that blurb quote is highly selective and conveys none of Mooney’s concerns about either book. It’s also a review from 5 years ago advocating the importance of collecting more scientific data.