Comments on Devolves Back Cover

Note the “scientific” position held by the only two people who actually defended the scurrilous quote-mining done on the back of Behe’s book. Coincidence? :slightly_smiling_face:

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Because it shows character. No author or publisher with ethics would quote mine a negative review to spin as an endorsement on a book jacket. It’s a sign of a desperation to be taken seriously to the point of outright dishonesty. This can’t be played off as a mistake. It’s deliberately misleading and thus a form of lying. The version I reviewed didn’t have jacket blurbs yet or else I would have raised hell. I actually don’t think Behe had anything to do with it, but for my books, I was always asked to approve the jacket blurbs and I know they also confirmed the exact final wording with the blurbers themselves (bc They are often edited for space.) This looks really bad. Wow



Thank you. I would go one step further and ask why he is being called out to answer for it. Are we here to discuss Mike Behe’s character or his arguments?

Oh he definitely should clarify if he was involved in the deception. It’s his name on the cover. Authors should approve everything that goes out under their name. As I said, I was asked to approve all of these for my books. I’m giving Behe the benefit of the doubt as a courtesy but this looks really bad and he should apologize for the dishonesty done in his name.


Surely you’re kidding. How many articles and posts have we written about his arguments? I’m losing count! Honesty in public discourse is also an important issue. Totally fair game. You’re being argumentative for it’s own sake. Knock it off because it impresses no one.


This is about his arguments. The facts he uses to put forward his case call into question many things. One explanation is that he has poor character but this is not the most likely explanation.

@nlents what would you do if your publisher had done this to your back cover without approval? I would be hopping mad at them. I would send a private and public note apologizing to Orr and Shreeve, and I would publicly thank Coyne for picking this error out. I would place responsibility squarely on the publisher and myself, and thank critics for identifying this problem.

Then I would put it behind me by turning back to the rest of the book. If it came up again, I’d just keep directing people back to my public apology and retraction. Very quickly people would move on. That is how to manage the crisis in which Behe finds himself. Doing this, no one would have a right to call him dishonest.

What would you do @NLENTS?


I would do all of that yes, and probably quietly break ties with the publisher after the dust settled. Very public apology would be step one for sure.


I want to be crystal clear on this. The original post does not question Behe’s integrity. Rather it puts objective facts on the table. There are many explanations for these facts that do not include dishonestly, and I carefully refrained from rushing to judgement on Behe’s intentions and on his state of mind.

With three errors of this magnitude on the back of his book, I’m inclined to believe he was not consulted on it. If he was, I’m inclined to chalk this up to confusion on his part, not dishonesty. It is just so egregious an error, and so likely to be caught.

As issues continue to crop up I wonder if Behe has ever corrected one of his mistakes. That is a real question. It tells us what we can expect from him here and the extent to which we should trust his self appraisal of his work. This is not a question of integrity, per se, but of evidence.


You :

  1. Are Anonymous
  2. Have norelevant credentials
  3. Have no relevant knowledge.
  4. Misquote exclusively to defend him.

For any one of these reasons Behe has probably not even heard of you, let alone felt the need to respond to you.


I will scan over there and if they are acting out of hand I will see if I can influence through my channels. If you see anything out of line post it to me privately.


How do you know he’ll tell the truth? This is a man who continues to insist that his critics claimed chloroquine resistance required only one mutation. He is a proven liar.

Eh. Never infer deceit where incompetence, delusion, confusion, or misunderstanding could explains this just as well. That is a wise rule of thumb.

Behe really seems to believe what he is selling. I suspect it is most likely the ideological blinders that ENV knows are so powerful.

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Thank you. I will send you several links in a moment, and include Nathan too.

Heh. In other equally shocking news: water is wet, sun rises in the east. :wink:


12 posts were split to a new topic: Off Topic Detour By Mung

Well, then, if he is that stupid, how will we know he even understands the question if he is asked about the blurbs?

I dont think stupidity is the most likely answer either.

…or too incompetent, deluded or confused. Take your pick.

Either way, there is no reason to expect Behe’s response to settle the question of whether he is responsible for this misrepresentation if he denies it. If he admits to it, of course, then there is reason to believe he was. But I am not expecting that.

“The race is not always to the swift nor victory to the strong, but that’s the way to bet.”
—Damon Runyon.

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I think the mostly likely answer is money. Let’s look at it. Here is a guy nearing retirement. He is thinking about his legacy. And here is DI, funded in the culture wars to keep ID alive. So what do they do? DI advances money to Behe to write another book. Behe writes it and DI promotes it. Doesn’t matter how it sells as both Behe and DI have already achieved their objectives.