I'm from Missouri

This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Casey Luskin reviews "Monkey Girl"

Casey Luskin of the Discovery Institute has just completed a long six-part negative review of "Monkey Girl" -- a book about the Kitzmiller v. Dover intelligent design case -- by Edward Humes.

I started to read "Monkey Girl" but stopped after reading about a third of it because the slow activity in the "customer reviews" section of Amazon.com showed that the book -- which was initially touted as the definitive book about the case -- was going to be a dud, comparatively speaking. I did post a partly negative customer review of the book on Amazon.com, and this blog has several articles about the book under the post label "Monkey Girl" in the sidebar of the home page.

Luskin declined an invitation to be interviewed for the book and so IMO he is not in a good position to condemn the book's one-sidedness.

So often I see the recommendation, "if you are going to read just one book about the Kitzmiller v. Dover case, read this one," and that's just plain wrong. Reading nothing at all is better than just reading a single source. One should read a variety of sources to get a broad perspective.

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7 Comments:

Blogger Robert said...

>Reading nothing at all is better than just reading a single source.<

Actually, I would like to point out the ignorance of that statement. It is better to be partially informed than it is to be not at all. Not even experts know everything. The key is to not base your opinions off of a single source and recognize one-sidedness.

Also: if you don't finish a book because of someone else's opinion on it, it doesn't seem like a fair assessment to then give another bad review off of a partial reading.

Saturday, January 10, 2009 3:22:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

You are making mutually contradictory statements, first saying "It is better to be partially informed than it is to be not at all," then saying "The key is to not base your opinions off of a single source."

>>>>>> Also: if you don't finish a book because of someone else's opinion on it, it doesn't seem like a fair assessment to then give another bad review off of a partial reading. <<<<<<

No, that is not why I didn't finish the book -- go back and read my reason for not finishing the book: I saw that it was not going to be very popular. There is a lot of reading there and I just felt that the book was not worth my time.

I presume that Luskin's review is not based on a "partial reading" -- his review is so thorough that I presume he read the whole book.

Saturday, January 10, 2009 3:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait a minute...you stopped reading something because it wasn't going to be popular? I don't get the logic of that. Were YOU getting something out of it? That's what matters. If you were, great, keep reading. If not, stop, no matter what OTHER people think. You certainly SEEM like someone who can think for himself, in other areas.

And I agree with Robert, if you didn't finish the book you're hardly in a position to give a review...unless your review says that you stopped reading it because it was unreadable.

Thursday, January 15, 2009 1:02:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> Wait a minute...you stopped reading something because it wasn't going to be popular? I don't get the logic of that. Were YOU getting something out of it? That's what matters. If you were, great, keep reading. If not, stop, no matter what OTHER people think. <<<<<<

OK, that's good advice, up to a point. But there is a lot of stuff out there that I would like to read and I just don't have the time to read it all -- I have to make priorities. "Monkey Girl" was originally a priority with me when I thought that it was going to be very popular -- when I saw it was not going to be very popular, it ceased to be a priority and I lost interest.

>>>>>> You certainly SEEM like someone who can think for himself, in other areas. <<<<<<

Well, thank you.

>>>>>> And I agree with Robert, if you didn't finish the book you're hardly in a position to give a review... <<<<<<

I was in a position to review the parts of the book that I had read. The Panda's Thumb blog did a group review of Jonathan Wells' book "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design" by dividing up the chapters among the PT bloggers and reviewing each chapter individually.

Thursday, January 15, 2009 2:03:00 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Sorry, I could have phrased that better. You have to start with reading a single source, so there will always be a period during which you only have one. I'm not saying that it's a good idea to only read one source, what I'm saying is that it's better to be partially informed rather than not at all.

Sunday, January 18, 2009 5:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Monkey Girl" was originally a priority with me when I thought that it was going to be very popular -- when I saw it was not going to be very popular, it ceased to be a priority ...

It's #62,001 on Amazon's bestseller list, which I would call popular. And that's a poor criterion anyway for finding worthwhile reads -- for instance, the interesting Snowball Earth is around #516,000.

On the other hand, Dreams from My Father, ghostwritten by terrorist William Ayers, is #7. A sad, scary comment on the reading (and other) tastes of the public.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009 9:51:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

#62.001 is what you call "popular"?

I used activity on the Customer Review pages as my basis for judging the book's popularity -- the numbers of (1) customer reviews, (2) comments on customer reviews, and (3) responses to the question, "was this review helpful to you?"

Tuesday, January 20, 2009 10:50:00 AM  

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