I never thought I’d want people to stop sending me free books

I know, I should be grateful. Unfortunately, Sturgeon’s Law applies, maybe especially to free books.

So I got one yesterday, and the back cover was simultaneously tantalizing and repellent, which much I agree with, and other bits that sound like nonsense, and I think the author’s confidence is unwarranted.

I don’t know what the hell the book is about, or who it’s for — it seems to be trying to get an atheist audience, with a little sop thrown in for theists. I gave it the benefit of a quick glance, and opened it to see…

Oh, no. Not this creationist nonsense. I tried to figure out the context — is he arguing that this is wrong or right? (It’s not right.) Is he just trying to present different perspectives? I couldn’t tell. If you can’t be clear about your intent and meaning, I’m not going to work extra hard to extract it for you. All I know is he has a great fondness for logic games, frequently breaking into numbered syllogisms that left me bored.

I tried to find the bit where he explains how he knows a god is the energy source for the universe, but I gave up.

You get a reputation as an atheist, and suddenly everyone is sending you bad proofs. It gets wearing.


  1. says

    this has absolutely NOTHING to do with your post BUT…


    ….friggin’ LOVE octopus – had a between glass love affair with one at an aquarium in North Carolina. Would visit all the time and he would drop what he was doing and rush to the window where where i would put my hand and he would just rest his arms over my hand. No lie – really happened. LOVED that guy!

  2. Doc Bill says

    I got a kick out of his use of “percent!” 10E-50 “percent.” As if slipping the decimal place a couple of notches makes any sense. Creationists, they’re so cute.

  3. loop says

    Interesting that the author thinks the total land area of the world is 1E10 square millimeters – or one hectare!!!!

  4. AstrySol says

    To many flaws that I don’t know where to even start:

    What is a “moment”? Why protein can only happen once per second? Did the author even know the word “millisecond”, not alone “femtosecond”?

    loop already pointed out that 1e10 sqmm = 1 hectare, but why “land area”? Does the author think protein won’t happen in the ocean?

    It must be very easy to publish a book.

  5. blf says

    @3, Ha! And immediately after that (doing unit checks here), area(mm²) × time(sec) = “moment”(??). No idea what a “moment” is (nor any units in which it is measured), and rather presume neither was previously defined.

  6. answersingenitals says

    Loop @ #3: He probably doesn’t understand the difference between ‘square millimeters” and ‘millimeters square’. But that correction doesn’t solve his innumeracy problems.

  7. jenorafeuer says

    ‘moment’ might be referring to things like ‘moment of inertia’, in which case normally we’d be calling it momentum… but the units of momentum are in kg•m/s, not mm^2•s

  8. unclefrogy says

    well it ain’t jesus at least!
    throuwing vast supposed numbers around just puts me to sleep when you do not need to make up stuff and have actual life and things to look at all sounded too much like spherical cows.
    abstract thinking like that is OK as a tool to understand some part of the real world just do not mistake it for the real world, It is too incomplete to be anything but a suggestion of part of reality
    I rather prefer John Lennon’s description of god myself.

  9. birgerjohansson says

    This will in no way deter me from sending you free books.
    If I find more English translations of works by science fiction by Stanislaw Lem* or the Strugatsky* brothers, they wiĺl find a way to you. Also, Charles Stross !
    (If you like space opera, Neal Asher is highly recommend)
    *be advised, they grew up in societies that did not value women, and that sometimes shines through in their writing.

  10. birgerjohansson says

    If I hated PZ I would send him a ton of islamic hadith collections .
    Ordinary muslims are ok, but the prophet they venerate was weirder than Trump and Jim Jones put together (the taliban are weird precisely because they emulate him, as described by hadith).