Tom McIver’s Library of Creationist Materials Available

| 27 Comments

Tom McIver, a member of Ohio Citizens for Science who works in the library at John Carroll University in Cleveland, is a long-time professional student of the creationism movement. His dissertation was Creationism: Intellectual Origins, Cultural Context, and Theoretical Diversity, which I am told will be put online by NCSE one of these days (Glenn? Josh?). Tom has written widely on various associated topics. For example, he had a 1988 article on Gap Theory in Creation/Evolution, published by the American Humanist Association, and an exhaustive(-ing?) bibliography he compiled, Anti-Evolution: An Annotated Bibliography, is scheduled for reissue as a paperback in 2008.

Tom has been on creationist tours, taken courses at the Institute for Creation Research, and has generally immersed himself in the topic for more than 20 years. He has even written poetry on ID:

Added July 15:

Please note the addition of links to NCSE’s library listing as well as Tom’s library listing. I note with interest that there is minimal overlap – less than 20% shared holdings – between Tom’s library and NCSE’s.)

ID’s ID by Tom McIver

ID, ID, burning bright,
Rescue us from Darwin’s fright,
Beastly origin of our race,
Evolution’s dread embrace.

But what science or what art
Frames immortal hand, eye, heart?
Can we force religion’s claim,
Dare pronounce His very name?

Yahweh, Zeus, or Allah, then?
Yaldaboath, Urizen?
Raël’s ET DNA?
Hosts of deities at play?

Ask the Ichneumonidae
Did he who made the lamb make thee?
Who created Heav’n and Hell,
Human creativity?

ID’s ID burning bright
Through obscuring fog and night,
Whether wielding Wedge or prism
ID is: Creationism.

That was one product of Tom’s attendance at the 2005 Answers in Genesis Mega-Conference on Creationism held at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, which Tom reported on in eSkeptic. Several speakers at that conference criticized ID proponents for being too chicken to mention God.

Tom has a huge personal library of material on creationism and has joined LibraryThing, where individuals can create searchable catalogs of their personal libraries. Listing by author, he is up to the “W”s with over 1,750 titles so far cataloged, and he expects to list over 2,000 when he’s done. His user name there is “tmciver”. Charles Hargrove, NCSE’s Archivist, is also listing NCSE’s library there presumably under the user name NCSE. (Josh? Glenn?)

In addition (and more interesting to me!), Tom has joined BookMooch.com, a book exchange site where members are willing to give away books they no longer need in exchange for the right to get books they really want. It’s not a swap meet: one earns “points” for listing books and giving books away and then uses those points to obtain books one wants. One can also donate “points” to various charities. (Be aware that I have not done any due diligence on the site, so caveat emptor.)

The bottom line is that an excellent searchable collection of creationist materials is now available on the web, and Tom is listing books he’s willing to give up to people equally willing to list books they no longer want to keep. He tells me his wish list is 1,000 books long, so he’s looking for a lot of stuff! He’s also willing to swap directly. Contact him at tmciver(AT)msn.com for the books he’s willing to swap directly.

27 Comments

Several speakers at that conference criticized ID proponents for being too chicken to mention God.

“Chicken?” The Supreme court said (in so many words), “don’t mention God,” and the IDers complied. What’s the problem?

The problem is that, in addition to not mentioning God or using the word “creation” in all its forms, ID leaves out the one part that could make it science. I see a reference above to gap “theory,” but alas it’s from 20 years ago. Back then defenders and critics alike of anti-evolution would discuss “gap,” “day-age,” YEC vs. OEC, etc. IOW, what NCSE’s Eugenie Scott referred to as “what happened when.” And the one thing that anti-evolution activists remained fully free to teach in public school science class, and yet ironically the one thing they have been retreating from most. I can see why anti-evolution activists, especially IDers want to cover up the weaknesses and contradictions, but why on Earth do we let them so often?

If they thought they had a better potential explanation, they would be demanding that it be taught, strengths, weaknesses and all. And if they need to compare it to a weaker explanation, there are plenty of other anti-evolution ones to choose from. Why risk another court loss by stubbornly misrepresenting evolution?

Excellent poem Tom McIver!

Frank J said:

If they thought they had a better potential explanation, they would be demanding that it be taught, strengths, weaknesses and all. And if they need to compare it to a weaker explanation, there are plenty of other anti-evolution ones to choose from. Why risk another court loss by stubbornly misrepresenting evolution?

Well, if they can’t maliciously misrepresent evolution, then, they would be forced to actually formulate a way to scientifically test Intelligent Design “theory.”

And not only do the rank and file Intelligent Design proponents demonstrate that they have absolutely no comprehension of, or even a desire to learn how science actually works (let alone scientific experimentation), but, the leader-figures of Intelligent Design “theory” show, such as the posts of one Mr Salvador Cordova demonstrate, that they would soon gouge out their own tongues with a white-hot poker than to attempt to demonstrate how Intelligent Design can be used in science.

Frank J said: The Supreme court said (in so many words), “don’t mention God,” and the IDers complied.

The Supreme Court said (in 1987, in so many words) that if you mention God, it’s religion, not science. So the creationism proponents went through their “cdesign proponentsists” chrysalis stage and came out as “intelligent design” proponents. Not only do they (officially) not mention God, they (officially) don’t mention Adam and Eve, Noah and Noah’s Flood, and all the other parts of Genesis that creationists know and love.

It is impossible to honestly discuss the “cdesign proponentsists” transition without mentioning the main propaganda ministry for intelligent design creationism, the Dishonesty Institute and their propaganda manifesto, the infamous “Wedge Document.” Following it, all of the professional Liars For Jesus™ say: “Don’t Mention God - The Intelligent Designer Is Anonymous - Intelligent Design Is Not Creationism.” But it is.

And this creates a major theological sticking point: Theologically, they are guilty of the Manichaean Heresy:

”Adherents of the so-called intelligent design ideology commit a grave theological error. They claim that scientific theories, that ascribe the great role to chance and random events in the evolutionary processes, should be replaced, or supplemented, by theories acknowledging the thread of intelligent design in the universe. Such views are theologically erroneous. They implicitly revive the old manicheistic error postulating the existence of two forces acting against each other: God and an inert matter; in this case, chance and intelligent design. There is no opposition here. Within the all-comprising Mind of God what we call chance and random events is well composed into the symphony of creation.” - Michael Heller, Polish cosmologist and Catholic priest, currently Professor in the Faculty of Philosophy at the Pontifical Academy of Theology in Krakow. - http://www.templetonprize.org/pdfs/[…]tatement.pdf

Stanton said: Well, if they can’t maliciously misrepresent evolution, then, they would be forced to actually formulate a way to scientifically test Intelligent Design “theory.”

The bigger problem is this: if they can’t maliciously misrepresent evolution, they wouldn’t have any room for their “competing” idea at all. It’s not just that they’d have to do some positive work on their end for a change, they’d actually have to put up with the sheer explanatory power of evolution, which is much more difficult than the straw man they usually poke at.
If they can’t lie about evolution to anybody else, eventually they’d have to stop lying to themselves about it.
In my more cynical moments I often wonder if ol’ Dembski himself has actually come to terms with the facts and is now just half-heartedly polemicking along for the infamy and the money.

Wheels said:

In my more cynical moments I often wonder if ol’ Dembski himself has actually come to terms with the facts and is now just half-heartedly polemicking along for the infamy and the money.

Didn’t Mr Dembski say that now all he cares about is getting the royalties from his books, and that he doesn’t give a hoot about research anymore?

Wow, I wonder what spending all those years studying Creationism do to your brain

Stanton said:

Wheels said:

In my more cynical moments I often wonder if ol’ Dembski himself has actually come to terms with the facts and is now just half-heartedly polemicking along for the infamy and the money.

Didn’t Mr Dembski say that now all he cares about is getting the royalties from his books, and that he doesn’t give a hoot about research anymore?

Well, he never figured out how to do any research in the first place. Now he never again has to stoop to a “pathetic level of detail” (like properly initializing variables in one’s computer program).

Mike Elzinga said:

Stanton said:

Wheels said:

In my more cynical moments I often wonder if ol’ Dembski himself has actually come to terms with the facts and is now just half-heartedly polemicking along for the infamy and the money.

Didn’t Mr Dembski say that now all he cares about is getting the royalties from his books, and that he doesn’t give a hoot about research anymore?

Well, he never figured out how to do any research in the first place. Now he never again has to stoop to a “pathetic level of detail” (like properly initializing variables in one’s computer program).

And yet, Intelligent Design proponents, and even Creationists, raise their collective hackles whenever I accuse them of having absolutely no interest in doing any science what so ever.

Impressive. And here I thought my 350 antievolutionist books and pamphlets was a lot.

Is there a club or something for Creationism-watching?

Wheels | July 14, 2008 1:04 AM | Reply

Is there a club or something for Creationism-watching?

A bit like watching ‘Jesus in the bowl’ in an ablution block??

Oh, and just in case you missed it, it’s here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXe82pzw-ew

Paul Burnett Wrote:

So the creationism proponents went through their “cdesign proponentsists” chrysalis stage and came out as “intelligent design” proponents. Not only do they (officially) not mention God, they (officially) don’t mention Adam and Eve, Noah and Noah’s Flood, and all the other parts of Genesis that creationists know and love.

AIUI it was before “cdesign proponentsists” that they - the subset that evolved into IDers at least - stopped mentioning the flood, A&E, etc. And if they mentioned “whens” at all (Cambrian, etc) it was consistent with mainstream science and progressive OEC. At least in the early days when they thought they could convert YECs.

YEC groups still exist, of course, and many of them “officially” leave out references to Genesis too, and use dates sparingly, mostly to say that science is wrong, and not what dates are the correct ones.

IOW, even before the “speciation” anti-evolutionists on both sides knew that they had to erect a big tent. One big enough to accommodate people like Behe, who said that reading the Bible as a science text is silly.

I’ve tried BookMooch.com, it’s a great service. I’ve already received two books by SJ Gould from other moochers, while sending three books on philosophy and bible studies. If anyone has some spare books lying around, I suggest they join in as well. :)

Frank J said: And if they mentioned “whens” at all (Cambrian, etc) it was consistent with mainstream science and progressive OEC.

One could mention geological names, like “Cambrian”, without giving dates, like “five hundred million years ago”. That would be acceptable to YEC.

Michael J said:

Wow, I wonder what spending all those years studying Creationism do to your brain

“This is your brain. This is your brain on creationism. Any questions>”

I would suspect that one acquires a certain mindset with a “firewall” around it. Sort of like reading, say, a Terry Pratchett novel, accepting within the domain of the story the idea of a flat Discworld on the back of a giant space turtle and full of different magical societies.

I suspect a person couldn’t really get into it to that level if he didn’t actually find it kind of fun on that basis.

White Rabbit (Greg Goebel) http://www.vectorsite.net/gblog.html

Stanton said:

Frank J said:

If they thought they had a better potential explanation, they would be demanding that it be taught, strengths, weaknesses and all. And if they need to compare it to a weaker explanation, there are plenty of other anti-evolution ones to choose from. Why risk another court loss by stubbornly misrepresenting evolution?

Well, if they can’t maliciously misrepresent evolution, then, they would be forced to actually formulate a way to scientifically test Intelligent Design “theory.”

And not only do the rank and file Intelligent Design proponents demonstrate that they have absolutely no comprehension of, or even a desire to learn how science actually works (let alone scientific experimentation), but, the leader-figures of Intelligent Design “theory” show, such as the posts of one Mr Salvador Cordova demonstrate, that they would soon gouge out their own tongues with a white-hot poker than to attempt to demonstrate how Intelligent Design can be used in science.

““ Well, if they can’t maliciously misrepresent evolution, then, they would be forced to actually formulate a way to scientifically test Intelligent Design “theory.” ““

And please tell me the way speciation through natural selection is tested.

Stanton said: Well, if they can’t maliciously misrepresent evolution, then, they would be forced to actually formulate a way to scientifically test Intelligent Design “theory.”

Before getting around to testing, there would have to be something to test. Like a theory, hypothesis, speculation, or scenario. Like telling us What: what sort of thing is, and what sort of thing is not, the product of “intelligent design” - an individual (adult or newborn), an organ, a process, a population (or species or “kind”), or a community (interacting populations of many species and their physical environment). Like telling us When: thousands of years ago, billions of years ago, or still happening recently. Who, Where, How, Why.

Why does this feel like a going-out-of-business sale?

Stanton said:

Didn’t Mr Dembski say that now all he cares about is getting the royalties from his books, and that he doesn’t give a hoot about research anymore?

Did he? Where?

But that explains why the main author for the “in review” EILab papers Robert Marks no longer lists those papers in his publication list; I just checked.

That also explains why they kept the discovered errors despite Dembski’s strategy of “‘evolutionist’ review” before science review. Marks must have given up on getting some coherent out of Dembski, as have we all long since.

Paul Burnett said:

They implicitly revive the old manicheistic error postulating the existence of two forces acting against each other: God and an inert matter; in this case, chance and intelligent design. There is no opposition here. Within the all-comprising Mind of God what we call chance and random events is well composed into the symphony of creation.”

So instead of going for dualism they go for that everything is (caused by) supernaturalism? Seems theologians and philosophers don’t see eye to eye on what they think religion is.

Didn’t Mr Dembski say that now all he cares about is getting the royalties from his books, and that he doesn’t give a hoot about research anymore?

For Dembski’s statements see here

Dembski suggested that the reason he writes books is because more people read it and he receives royalties

“I’ve just gotten kind of blase about submitting things to journals where you often wait two years to get things into print. And I find I can actually get the turnaround faster by writing a book and getting the ideas expressed there. My books sell well. I get a royalty. And the material gets read more.” [69]

[69] The Chronicle of Higher Education, December 21 2001

Source Wikipedia.

Since many Christians are actually quite anti-Intelligent Design for a variety of reasons, it seems that Dembski’s latest projects is to educate them about what ID really is. I have no idea why this would make them less opposed to ID though since a closer look reveals a scientifically vacuous concept and a theologically risky proposition which allows people such as Dawkins to claim that ID disproves the existence of a God. Fascinating…

PvM said:

For Dembski’s statements see here

Thanks PvM! I remember being linked to this before; I guess I forgot as Dembski continued to try to write and pretend to submit papers, finally in “cooperation” with actual scientists.

I’m glad if he gives up the pretense, because Dembski’s “papers” are awful. It is a pain to try to take him seriously, when he changes definitions from one side to another to fiddle away that he has no working definition of design.

As opposed to the sciences like forensics who actually wants to get a result.

PvM said:

Source Wikipedia.

Oops! I guess I have been suspicious about Wikipedia entries on controversial persons. But no more!

“Vēnī, vīdī, wīkī.”

Troy wrote

Impressive. And here I thought my 350 antievolutionist books and pamphlets was a lot.

You’re an ideal guy to get in touch with Tom.

Torbjörn wrote

Why does this feel like a going-out-of-business sale?

Not as far as I know. I think Tom’s just getting himself organized a bit. :)

Frank J said:

Several speakers at that conference criticized ID proponents for being too chicken to mention God.

“Chicken?” The Supreme court said (in so many words), “don’t mention God,” and the IDers complied. What’s the problem?

The problem is that they are chicken. The Supreme Court did not order them to leave God out of their scientific theories. The IDiots did so out of their own free will.

Numerous philosophers write about God. A few scientists do also. Some even offer scientific analysis regarding God. See, for example, Steven J. (!) Brams Superior Beings, a game theoretic analysis of omniscience.

And for all that I don’t think my questions were answered, unless they’re buried under sloppy formating.

Folks, editing comments on PT is a PITA. How about not feeding the troll? I’ve tossed a bunch of stuff to the BW (I hope), but as I said, it’s a PITA.

OK, I give up. I’ll just close comments, if I can manage that.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on July 13, 2008 4:50 PM.

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