Monday 30 October 2023

Creationism in Crisis - How Panic Is Causing Creationist Frauds To Expose Their Dishonesty On Amazon

Why would someone lie to you about the contents of a book?

Like those who lie to you about science, their problem is not that they think it is wrong; their problem is that they think it is right, but they don't want you to think otherwise because they don't want you to be informed. They have an agenda that requires you to remain ignorant and believing falsehoods.

These are frauds who understand how knowledge empowers and sets you free, so they need you to remain captive and weak probably because their income and power depends on it.

This was never better illustrated than by the barrage of lies and disinformation with which the creation industry is trying to stop you reading my books. It is so important to them that you don't read these books that expose them as frauds and conmen that they are willing to sacrifice their personal integrity to try to fool you into not reading them. The fact that they are willing to bear false witness to you for their own self-interest, should tell you that their pretense of piety is part of their agenda, since a devout Christian would believe that bearing false witness is a sin. These are frauds using religion as an excuse for their behaviour.

I suppose I should be flattered in a way, that they are so afraid you'll read these books because of the irrefutable arguments they present and the examples I used that they need to go to these lengths to retain their control of their cult members and recruit more ignorant dupes into it.

Two of my books that are causing consternation in creationist cult circles are, The Unintelligent Designer: Refuting the Intelligent Design Hoax, and The Malevolent Designer: Why Nature's God is not Good.

An indication of this consternation is the number of misleading and downright dishonest 'reviews' that Amazon are allowing to remain on these books.

The following is an all-too-typical examples, written by someone who calls him or herself 'The Professor' and who purports to be a University professor who has written numerous books, although he/she neglects to say what chair he/she holds at what university or give the tile of any of these 'numerous books'. We just have to take their word for it.

However, the veracity of their word can best be judged by the content of the 'review' of The Malevolent Designer. For some reason, the title of the book in their 'review' is followed by Unintelligent Design in parenthesis, so it's not even clear which book is being 'reviewed' here.

The 'review' read:
This author did not do his homework
The Malevolent Designer: Why Nature’s God is Not Good (Unintelligent Design) by Rosa Rubicondior is an attempt to prove God does not exist by documenting the fact that all animals sooner or later die, some in horrible ways. In other words, Nature’s god is not good because all life is mortal, all life ages, and all life eventually dies. A good God, he argues, would design life to be immortal, to live a healthy life forever. Obviously, that would not work because some method is required to prevent some forms of life, like bacteria and rabbits, from taking over the world. Also covered is the problem of disease, ignoring the fact that the mutation load has been building up for the past 6,000 years, thus disease has become more common in each generation. The load now causes over 7,000 genetic diseases. Furthermore, Christianity teaches the doctrine of the fall which explains the origin of sin and disease. My main concern is persons [sic] writing books should do their homework. One of many examples is the claim, disproved over a century ago, that the vestige of the nictitating membrane in humans is the plica semilunaris (page 136-137). The nictitating membrane is the transparent or translucent third eyelid present in some animals that can be drawn across the eye for protection and also to moisten it while maintaining visibility. The plica semilunaris is a small fold of bulbar conjunctiva on the medial canthus of the eye. The plica semilunaris has several functions. During movement of the eye, it helps to maintain tear drainage and flushing of debris via the lacrimal lake. It also permits greater rotation of the eye ball [sic]. Without the plica, the conjunctiva would attach directly to the eyeball, greatly restricting its movement. Worse is the muddled blind spot and backward retina claims on page 137-138.
Perhaps the best that can be said for it is 'This 'reviewer did not do his homework'!

For the sake of readability, I'll assume 'The professor' is male rather than type 'he/she', 'his/her', etc.

The opening sentence gives the game away:

[[The book] is an attempt to prove God does not exist by documenting the fact that all animals sooner or later die, some in horrible ways.].
Nowhere in the Malevolent Designer do I argue that the fact that all animals die sooner or later is somehow proof that God doesn't exist.

[...A good God, he argues, would design life to be immortal]
Nor do I argue that a good god would design life to be immortal. This is another lie.

In fact, nowhere in the book do I claim that any of the examples of where any designer of such nastiness can't be regarded as omnibenevolent is proof that God doesn't exist. The argument is always that a designer god who created these things cannot be regarded as anything other than a sadistic monster and hugely different from the supposedly omnibenevolent Christian god. If creationists conclude that this would mean their god doesn't exist, then maybe they should desist from claiming it designs these things, since they do it no service by insisting there is only one designer of all living things and that parasites could not have evolved so must have been created.

If 'The Professor' thought that was the point of the book then he clearly didn't read it, or read a different book, or is blatantly lying to mislead the readers, or has a level of competence with English comprehension that calls his claimed professorship into question. The probability is that he didn't read it so made up something to attack.

Nor do I cover the 'problem of disease' other than diseases caused by parasites, as examples of malevolent design. Nowhere do I mention genetic mutations as a cause of disease. Again, this is an argument invented by 'The Professor' to give him something to attack, or to mislead his readers about the contents of the book he purports to be reviewing because he is afraid they'll read it.

[Furthermore, Christianity teaches the doctrine of the fall which explains the origin of sin and disease.]

Christianity also teaches that the Bible is the inerrant word of God. In Isaiah 45:7 we read "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things." And 'The Professor' neglects to say why we should accept a Bronze Age origin myth as factual whilst believing that there is only one creator god responsible for creating all things, including the parasites; a god moreover that brags about creating evil.

But the childish "It wasn't my god; it was someone else who did it!" argument is actually an argument against his god's omnibenevolence since an all-loving good would not allow suffering and an omnipotent god would not be powerless to stop it. And I've yet to see a coherent explanation of how 'Sin' (a verb) can become an object (a noun) with creative powers beyond the control of a supreme god.

‘The Professor' goes completely off track and again resorts to attacking arguments that are not made in The Malevolent Designer. For example, the vestige of the nictitating membrane in humans which he says I give as an example on pages 136-137.

The argument that the loss of the nictitating membrane is an example of malevolence appears nowhere in the book. The nictitating membrane is mentioned only as an example of how the human eye would be more efficient with one, so is not an optimal design. Pages 136-137 read: allow the pathogens it designed to do what they were designed to do – make us and other animals sick.

Bird’s Superior Eyes. Despite the claims of spectacle-wearing Creationists like Ken Ham, the human eye is far from perfect. Their putative creator has created far better eyes for birds, for example.

Birds’ eyes are more similar to those of their reptilian ancestors than they are to those of mammals. They have a lens which can be changed in shape more so and more quickly than the lens of mammalian eyes, giving much greater depth of vision. The bird’s eyes are not spherical but are flattened from front to back, so more of the visual field is in focus than that of mammals like humans. A bird’s eye is relatively large in proportion to their body – an ostrich’s eye is twice the size of a human eye, for example. The trade-off is that birds’ eyes are fixed in the skull so only a few birds can move their eyes within their sockets.

Some birds, like terns, gulls, albatrosses and other seabirds have red or yellow oil droplets in their colour receptors to improve vision in hazy conditions. Raptors such as eagles and peregrine falcons have a very high density of receptors in their retina to give a much higher visual acuity than most mammals. Humans have about 200,000 receptors per square millimetre in their retinas whereas the house sparrow has about 400,000 and the common buzzard about 1 million. Unlike humans, but like some mammals such as cats, birds clean their eye not with their eyelids but with a ‘nictitating membrane’ that wipes the eye from the inner corner, like a windscreen wiper. A peregrine falcon, stooping at speeds approaching 250 mph, uses the nictitating membrane to protect, lubricate and clean its eyes, while keeping visual contact with its target, like a pair of built-in goggles. This thin membrane is translucent, so the bird can still see. Humans have the vestige of this membrane in the form of the plica semilunaris – the pink fold of skin in the inner corner of the eye.
Figure 49 Peregrine falcon, Falco peregrinus
As with all vertebrate eyes, the retina has a blind spot because the nerves and blood vessels that supply the retina must pass through it. Bird eyes also have a structure whose function is not fully understood – the pecten oculi – which may have a role in reducing dazzle and detecting movement by casting a shadow on the retina. It may also have a role in providing nutrients to the rods and cones in the retina.

Each of the colour-detecting cones in both bird and reptilian eyes have a coloured oil droplet. This filters the light reaching the light-sensing part of the cone so improving colour vision. Birds have six different types of oil droplet increasing the number of different colours that birds can see. They can even see UV light!
I invite readers to explain how ‘The Professor’ could have read that passage as an argument that the nictitating membrane, or rather the exapted vestige of it, is evidence for malevolence or an argument that his god doesn’t exist.

'The Professor' appears to have picked something at random from the index and assumed I used it as an example of evil, or somehow proof that his god doesn't exist. In fact, as anyone with basic literacy skills can see, I use it as an example of how humans could have had a better eye, if his putative designer had wanted to give us one, since it had, so he believes, already designed a better one for the peregrine falcon.

The explanation that the vestige of the nictitating membrane has been exapted for another purpose, whilst exaptation and repurposing is common in nature, is a traditional argument of ID proponents against redundancy in vestigial structures. That was never the point at issue here. There are plenty of examples of redundancy in most organisms but none of them are arguments for malevolent design, only against intelligent design. Perhaps 'The Professor' is a little over-sensitive on the issue...

'The professor' then continues his deliberate misrepresentation by referring obliquely to what he asserts is [...the muddled blind spot and backward retina claims on page 137-138.]. The problem is, he 'forgets' to say why a straightforward description of the blind spot is a muddle. Why he thinks the 'muddle' continues onto page 138 is a mystery. As usual, he adds arguments that he thinks would have been there but, had he read the book, he would see weren’t. I don't say anything about a 'backward retina'. That’s just another lie, and again an over-sensitive preemptive argument against an argument against intelligent design, which was never made, since the issue of unintelligent design is not the subject of this book..

Page 138, which continues from the above reads:
Recently, a team of researchers led by Mary Caswell Stoddard, of Princeton University’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, with colleagues from the University of British Columbia (UBC), Harvard University, University of Maryland and the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (RMBL) showed that wild broad-tailed hummingbirds, Selasphorus platycercus, can perceive several ‘non-spectral’ colours against humans ability to perceive only one – purple. This ability gives them the ability to identify the flowers on which they feed in much the same way that bees do (116) (117). A non-spectral colour is one which doesn’t appear in the rainbow. Purple is a combination of red and blue, for example, which means we see two widely-separated wave-lengths in combination. Because S. platycerus can detect UV light, they can also see several colours in combination with UV.

Humans cannot resolve flickering light above 50 pulses per second, above which movement appears to be smooth (hence we see smooth movement in films shown at 50 or more frames per second. Birds, however, can distinguish up to 100 pulses per second. This enables a sharp image to be seen at speeds at which, to a human, near objects would appear as a blur, so flying at speed through woods and branches of trees is possible.

Apparently, it was beyond the wit of Creationism’s intelligent designer to use this superior eye design for humans. Instead, we have eyes that deteriorate as we age, so we need the services of science and opticians to provide us with the spectacles that give the lie to claims of perfection in design.

Birds’ Superior Respiratory System.
The following is based on a blog post I wrote in 2014 (118):
It is considered a real achievement and a feat of endurance for a super-fit human, after prolonged training, to climb Mount...
As can be seen, there is no mention of the Blind spot on page 138. 'The Professor' is clearly trying to give the false impression that he read the book and is mounting a considered argument against the arguments and examples in it.

Had 'The Professor' actually read as far as page 4, he would have read:
What we also see in nature, when we look beyond the superficial, is a conspicuous absence of compassion; an amoral, indifferent process that shows no signs of anything which could be called benevolence; something I alluded to several time in The Unintelligent Designer although strictly speaking this is not an argument against intelligent design per se, hence this book. It would be perfectly logical to argue that the putative designer had malevolent intent; that for some reason it designed suffering into the system for some gratuitous, sadistic reason of its own.

Such a designer would, of course, be worthy of utter contempt and revulsion; the moral equivalent of someone who breeds kittens for the sadistic pleasure of burning them alive. This creator could not conceivably be worthy of love and adoration or construed as the source of ethics and moral codes fit for a civilized society. Indeed, anyone who proposed such a thing should probably be removed from civilized society for all our sakes.

Nature is full of wonder and majesty; breathtakingly beautiful; endlessly fascinating and begging to be discovered and admired for what it is. What it is not, is loving, caring and compassionate and an inspiration for human behaviour and a just society.
Had he done so, he could have avoided misleading his readers by telling them the book is an attempt to prove his god doesn't exist, using arguments that don't appear anywhere in the book. But his problem was, he didn't want people to read it but couldn't refute the actual arguments made because they were all demonstrably factual. I invite readers to read The Malevolent Designer for themselves to see why creationists feel they have to deliberately misrepresent it as in the above example of blatant dishonesty by someone who claims to be a university academic, but who seems incapable of simple English comprehension in the way he has presented himself in Amazon.

Having done so, a positive review to counter the creationist lies would be very much appreciated.

It is, along with all my books, available from Amazon, or any good online book supplier, and can be ordered in any good bookshop.

Thank you for sharing!

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  1. The Professor who reviewed your books is either a liar who didn't really read them or has difficulty in reading comprehension and is making false statements. He or she is obviously a Fundamentalist Christian and doesn't want others to read science books. Fundamentalist Creationists such as Ken Ham and Ray Comfort insist on taking the Bible stories literally. The Genesis creation accounts, Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, and Noah's Ark and the Flood, are all myths or at best, semi mythical. There's no way that these stories can be 100 percent literally true. No way, no how. Even a 3rd grade child has a better knowledge of science and history than the ignoramus who wrote Genesis in the Bronze Age. These stories are vague, ambiguous, unclear, unrealistic, unscientific, unhistorical, and contradictory. Genesis chapter 1 and Genesis chapter 2 are conflicting and contradict eachother. Genesis chapter 2 is even more unrealistic and even more mythical than chapter 1. It's false science, false history, and false reality. Creationism and especially young earth creationism, is a wrong view of the world and universe. It's about as believable as a Mother Goose nursery rhyme. How absurd and ignorant to believe the entire world and universe was created in just 6 literal days and is just 6000 years old, with humans being created at the same time as Dinosaurs and Trilobites. And how absurd to believe that all living things, including Tyrannosaurs and Mosasaurs, were originally herbivores until Adam and Eve ate a forbidden apple and caused The Fall/Original Sin. And how absurd and idiotic to believe that all land animals, including Insects and Invertebrates and Dinosaurs, somehow were able to physically travel from all corners of the world to enter Noah's Ark to be saved from a world wide flood. This is so out of touch with reality and it takes a lot of ignorance to believe it. Fundamentalists and Creationists might as well literally believe in Santa Claus and his flying reindeer coming down the chimney to every household in a single night. These Bible stories from Genesis chapters 1 to 6 are as believable as a literal Santa Claus and his flying reindeer.
    There are so many defects, flaws, and screw-up in Nature, and the cruelties in it are so numerous it would fill volumes in a library to write about them all in detail. Venom, poisons, parasites, diseases, predation, starvation, dehydration, droughts, floods, pestilence, intense cold, intense heat, overpopulation, polluted air, polluted water, polluted food, blizzards, hurricanes, tsunamis, typhoons, cyclones, hailstones, lightning strikes, flash floods, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, birth defects, miscarriages, cannibalism, excrement, mold, mildew, grime, scum cause suffering and death to humans and animals year after year, decade after decade, century after century, millennium after millennium, epoch after epoch, and geological period after geological period. This is a colossal embarrassment and a crime which cannot be measured. The creator of these cruelties is a sick minded, insane, amoral, mentally blind, morally blind, uncaring, indifferent, cruel, heartless, pitiless, merciless monstrous criminal cretin idiot. It takes dung for brains and dung for morals to do this to its creation. It's ungodly, ungodly behavior to create and allow such horrors which have existed for millions of years since prehistoric times. Religious folks are delusional and cannot tell the difference between myth and reality.

    1. I suspect I know who 'The Professor' is and he is a notorious liar and internet stalker who has been obsessed with me for many years now. And he cerainly isn't a professor who has published any biology papers. He has a narcissistic personality disorder and other personality disorders that resulted in him being expelled from Catholic seminary to protect the Church from more embarrassment.


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