Today’s lesson is about publishing. Not writing. Not scholarship. Just the act of getting words out in front of other people without any sort of tedious labor behind them. Oh, and most important, these words will have your name in the byline. The case study is Creationism - How Entropy challenges Evolution Theory by B. G. Ranganathan. It went up on the “Best Syndication” weblog on the 13th. Along with the featured article, you get the opportunity to buy Ranganathan’s book offering, Origins?, from Amazon, as it is prominently displayed in the left sidebar.
The first step is to pick your topic. When it comes to antievolution, there are three things going for you. First, there is a plethora of material to be recycled without risk. As antievolution advocates sometimes point out, their ideas have deep roots, tracing back at least to certain Greek philosophers. Recognizable material of somewhat more recent vintage (and thus easier to incorporate into a pseudo-essay that passes as modern) comes from authors like the Reverend William Paley. Authors such as George Macready Price and Henry M. Morris assembled many of the arguments together in various books. And, as I said, nobody cares if you steal it. In fact, others will be confused if you provide complete references and trace back claims to sources. That just isn’t done as a matter of course in this field, and, of course, it pays to pick up the social gestalt of your new career.
Second, there is a market. As Harvard Lampoon noted, it’s the sort of market whose pant’s pockets display the sort of scorch marks produced only by large quantities of spontaneously combusting cash. Antievolution, if it accomplishes nothing else, moves money around the marketplace from folks who read the same material over and over to those who, like you, are now learning how to be the sort of person who transfers material from old sources and puts your name over the top.
Third, the mere act of repeating various hoary old chestnuts will give you a solid sense of community. Others who are doing just as you do will welcome the opportunity to come to your defense if someone criticizes you. It gives them something to do other than look for more things to recycle. You will quickly learn to do this, too. Of course, the stances taken are also all borrowed from earlier writers, so it just comes down to copying slightly different parts of the usual sources in order to label and dismiss critical forays.
Babu Ranganathan has this down pat. Let’s take a look at his effort and see where he got his material.
(Continue reading… on the Austringer)