WEIT available in the UK via Kindle

Alert reader Michael informs me that WEIT is now available (OUP version) on Kindle in the UK. Amazon.co.uk has it for £5.79.

I was amused to see that you can also buy this book too, and for only two pounds 61 pence:

Here’s an excerpt:

Nierode’s Ph.D. is in engineering, of course, and the title means that I have my very first “flea”! I love the picture of The Origin shaking hands with the Holy Bible, which is ludicrous given that Nierode is a Biblical literalist.

Although several readers have inquired, I still don’t know whether WEIT is available on Kindle in Australia.


  1. TJR
    Posted October 10, 2012 at 2:17 am | Permalink

    Congratulations on your first flea. I hope it gives you a nice warm feeling.

    • TJR
      Posted October 10, 2012 at 2:18 am | Permalink

      That’s not sarcasm, by the way.

    • Ichthyic
      Posted October 10, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      OTOH, one has to be careful, as fleas can suck you dry if enough of them latch on.

  2. Ludo
    Posted October 10, 2012 at 2:26 am | Permalink

    A practical question: does the Kindle-version contains all the illustrations?

  3. HaggisForBrains
    Posted October 10, 2012 at 2:50 am | Permalink

    Strange how the brain can play tricks – when I saw the cover of that book I read the author’s name as D E Nematode PhD. I guess I saw what I expected to see.

  4. Filippo
    Posted October 10, 2012 at 2:57 am | Permalink

    “Nierode’s Ph.D. is in engineering, of course . . . .”

    If it is ever convenient for you Dr. Coyne, I’d look forward to your thoughts here on why it apparently is that engineers compose a significant fraction of creationists. Perhaps you already have; if so, would much appreciate a link to that.

    (While there are also a good number of creationists who proffer their M.D.’s in support of their position, I don’t recall ever seeing anyone similarly proffer MBA/JD credentials. ;) )

    In pursuing their profession engineers stand on the shoulders of scientists who came before them. It seems that in a sense one must be a scientist before one can be an engineer. One has to understand and accept the evidence for the scientific principles which support the efficacy of engineering design. Planes fly. Buildings stand. Rovers land on Mars.

    • Andrewd
      Posted October 10, 2012 at 3:16 am | Permalink

      It may be that Engineers are used to building/making things to pre-existing drawings and cannot conceive of things arising without a pre-existing plan or maker.

      • Filippo
        Posted October 10, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I have read of at least one engineer (engineers being in the “design” business), claiming to have “recognized [intelligent] design” in the the natural world.

        • Gregory Kusnick
          Posted October 10, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

          It’s a pretty big leap from one creationist crackpot (or even a dozen) who happens to have an engineering degree to the claim that engineers as a group “cannot conceive of things arising without a pre-existing plan or maker”. I’m an engineer, and I can conceive of that quite easily, thank you.

          • Filippo
            Posted October 10, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Permalink


            If I correctly recall, the National Academy of Science has published survey research results on the per centage of scientists who are believers and non-believers. Do I correctly recall that, among scientists in general, 10-20% are believers and, among Nobel laureates, the per centage of believers is 7%?

            (Perhaps some here recall Richard Dawkins’s reflection on Harvard-trained geology Ph.D. Kurt Wise.)

            In a sincere effort to avoid accusations of anecdote-mongering, does anyone know whether the National Academy of Engineering has conducted a similar survey regarding engineers? If engineers as a group value evidence and rationality as much as scientists do, might one reasonably expect similar survey results?

    • Posted October 10, 2012 at 3:26 am | Permalink

      Idle speculation on RationalWiki here. It is not the case that if you’re an engineer you’re a creationist – most engineers are quite reasonable and normal people – but if you’re a creationist and they claim any “scientific” credibility for you, you may well be an engineer.

    • Posted October 10, 2012 at 4:16 am | Permalink

      I don’t recall ever seeing anyone similarly proffer MBA/JD credentials.

      Both Phillip E. Johnson and Casey Luskin have law degrees. The Discovery Institute has more JDs than biologists if I remember correctly.

      • Filippo
        Posted October 10, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

        I’m aware of Johnson, retired UC-Berkeley law professor. I just don’t recall if he has specifically declared and relied on his law training as part of his credentials, per se, as compared to those of an adversary with a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology, geology, paleontology, etc.

        • Ichthyic
          Posted October 10, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

          well, the way Johnson works it, is that he lets the DiscoTute do that FOR him, see?



          Dr. Phillip E. Johnson, a member of the Wilberforce Forum’s Board of Reference, is a professor of law at the University of California-Berkeley.

          which you will find quoted for every article associated with him on the discotute’s site.

          so, you don’t even have to figure out whether or not Johnson himself vocally utilizes his background in an authoritarian fashion, the effect of having someone else do it for him works out the same.

  5. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted October 10, 2012 at 3:02 am | Permalink

    “Nierode’s Ph.D. is in engineering, of course,”

    Ouch! And then there’s Harold Camping… it seems doctors are not the only technically-oriented profession prone to woo.

    As an engineer myself, I wish it weren’t so.

  6. corio37
    Posted October 10, 2012 at 3:14 am | Permalink

    You could make an argument to the effect that engineering is an inherently conservative discipline, and one that requires relatively little questioning of basic principles and established fundamentals. I know three engineers and they’re all very balanced and talented people but not, I think, terribly imaginative.

    • Posted October 10, 2012 at 5:21 am | Permalink

      In defense of the engineers, all these teleological arguments are arguments by analogy and the enterprise being analogized is engineering. You can’t blame some of them for having warm feelings toward an idea which ascribes universal significance to their work. I suspect there is a uniform distribution of individuals across the population who would not be suspicious if they entered the Total Perspective Vortex and emerged with the impression that they and their work were the organizing principle of the universe.

    • gbjames
      Posted October 10, 2012 at 5:28 am | Permalink

      My take on this is that engineering trains students to design and build things. Science generally trains students to figure out how things got to be as they are. An engineer who don’t have a lot of native curiosity will project his/her training onto the universe and conclude “someone like me must have built this thing”.

      • Gregory Kusnick
        Posted October 10, 2012 at 10:29 am | Permalink

        Isn’t it far more likely that creationist engineers were creationists long before they became engineers? Religious indoctrination generally happens in childhood, not in grad school.

        If indeed there is an excess of engineers among creationists (and so far all we have is anecdote, not data), then the phenomenon in need of explanation is why creationists tend to become engineers instead of, say, cosmologists, geologists, or evolutionary biologists. And I think the answer to that should be obvious.

  7. Dawn Oz
    Posted October 10, 2012 at 3:23 am | Permalink

    With great expectations I typed in ‘Why Evolution is True’ from Australia and the book which popped up is the nemesis, ‘Why Evolution is Not True’ for $3.99. Oh damn!

    • Pete Moulton
      Posted October 10, 2012 at 6:38 am | Permalink

      $3.99, Dawn Oz? That’s probably $3.98 more than it’s worth.

  8. Miles_Teg
    Posted October 10, 2012 at 4:23 am | Permalink

    Whitcomb (a theologian who had also studied geology and palaeontology at Princeton) and Morris (a hydraulic engineer) published The Genesis Flood in 1961, popularising YEC amongst fundamentalists. I think engineers are susceptible to his stuff because they are smart enough to read it out of a book but don’t have to work with the data directly. Some creationists are actually quite smart but make fools of themselves when they stray outside of their field.

    Congratulation on Nematode’s book: immatation is the sincerest form of flattery.

  9. Posted October 10, 2012 at 4:51 am | Permalink

    Meh! I’m so poor, I can’t even afford £5.79!

    Anyone got a hard copy they have finished with?

  10. Posted October 10, 2012 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Apparently, Dr. Nimrod has a different Bible from the one I read. In mine, the vaunted “historical creation story” was just a third-rate faery tale about an enchanted garden with talking animals and an angry wizard.


  11. JohnnieCanuck
    Posted October 10, 2012 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    In my career, I have come across several people who had been promoted beyond their ability. Back in the day, we used to call it the Peter Principle. One characteristic they shared was that they were defensive about their jobs and they would become angry when they felt they had to deflect criticism because of their poor results.

    Given that the Wizard knew beforehand how His magnum opus was going to be a failure right from the start and yet He went ahead anyway, I think the same psychology must have been at work.

    Rather than learn from His mistakes before even making them as He could have done, He bumbles ahead regardless, then blames His Creatures and punishes them for His divine flaws (heh). Then He writes an autobiography and can’t even manage to avoid contradicting Himself, over and over.

    It’s only to be expected that He would be angry. If He existed.

  12. the Siliconopolitan
    Posted October 10, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Einstein’s Relativity Law

    Interesting that. Creationists are so afraid of theories, that now Einstein’s theories of relativity have been demoted to laws – or big ell Laws.

    Telling as always.

  13. jose
    Posted October 10, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    An engineer is not a scientist. An engineer invents things, a scientist discovers things (or invents tools -material and conceptual- that are then used to discover things).

    An engineer has as much scientific authority as a musician or a novelist.

    • Posted October 11, 2012 at 1:13 am | Permalink

      Except when they are. e.g., professors of engineering do rather a lot of science.

  14. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted October 11, 2012 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    There are a lot of generalisations of engineers floating around here. I suppose I should point out, ‘engineer’ is a very broad term, even when not misused (‘rodent control engineer’?) Engineering can range from, say, building the SR71 or Millau Viaduct or a TGV or the Hubble Telescope, right down to the near-technically-illiterate project manager on a suburban parking lot development.

    I’ve known a (very few) engineers who were developing something totally new, or pushing the boundaries, even if it was just some rather specialised and obscure field; and several who were incapable of doing anything that wasn’t laid out for them in a design code, like the most menial clerk. Most are somewhere in between, of course.

    So everything you guys are saying about engineers is wrong :) – at least in the sense that it immediately begs counter-examples; just because engineering is such a wide field.

  15. Tiffany
    Posted October 11, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Ha! I win the (booby) prize! “Why Evolution is not True” is free for Amazon Prime members.

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