Reader gets ID book moved from science to religion section

Diana MacPherson comments quite regularly here, and I believe she’s mentioned her attempt to get Amazon Canada to move Stephen Meyer’s intelligent-design screed Darwin’s Doubt  (which pins the Cambrian Explosion on Jesus) from the science section to the religion (or “science and religion”) section.

I’m happy to report that she’s succeeded on two fronts.

First, she’s succeeded with Amazon.ca in general. Here’s the email confirming this.  Note the information at the end about how you can ask to have books moved from one  category to another (my emphasis):

From: “Amazon.ca”
Subject: Your Amazon.ca Inquiry
Date: 5 September, 2013 2:56:37 AM EDT
Hello from Amazon.ca.
I’m sorry for any inconvenience that may have caused you. I’ve checked and found that our catalog team have made the changes to this item as requested. This item “Darwin’s Doubt” is currently listed under “Science & Religion”.For your reference, I’ve provided the link to the page where you can find this item:[Link removed because it doesn't work here]

For future reference, at the bottom of the product detail page of every item on our web site, you should see a link to “update product info or give feedback on images”, where you can report any inaccuracies in that item’s listing on our site. 

I hope this information helps! We look forward to seeing you again soon.

To contact us about an unrelated issue, please visit the Help section of our web site.

Best regards,

[Name redacted]
Second, she’s managed to get the Amazon Kindle unit, which I think covers both Canada and the U.S., to move the book from “science”  to the straight religion-and-spirituality section. The evidence:
From: “Amazon.com Customer Service” <cs-reply@amazon.com>
Subject: A Message from Amazon Customer Service
Date: 5 September, 2013 12:15:44 AM EDT
Hello,Thank you for bringing up the issue about a book that was wrongly categorised.I can now confirm that the book, Meyer’s Darwin’s Doubt, is under the Religion & Spirituality category.You can check the same using the below link:

[Link removed because it doesn't work here]

If you do need to contact us in the future, here’s a link to our Contact Us page:

[Link removed because it doesn't work here]

I hope this helps! We look forward to see you soon again.

Best regards,
I hesitated at first to post this, as now Meyer’s ID minions will be howling and kvetching, and for sure trying to get the book moved back to the science section.  (They are so good at whining!) But it’s not science, as we all know, and says as much at the end. It’s god-of-the-gaps natural theology. Further, some folks at Amazon must understand the issues, which I believe Diana outlined in her original request.

Congrats to Diana!  And readers should note that they can try to do the same for any misclassified creationist book.

71 Comments

  1. gbjames
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Let them howl. Let them kvetch.

    Congrats, Diana!

  2. Taylor M. Brown
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Way to go Diana!

  3. Jesper Both Pedersen
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Bloody well done, Diana!

    It’s god-of-the-gaps natural theology.

    I’m used to the ones hiding in space. Equally annoying and time consuming if you decide to play along.

  4. David Duncan
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Nice work Dianna.

    • David Duncan
      Posted September 5, 2013 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      *Diana. Sorry.

  5. Ross Burnett
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    JC, the links are being intercepted by the University xmail system.

    And congrats to Diana. I tried to do a similar correction with BookTV, but got no reply.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted September 5, 2013 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      Just stay on to them. I had to follow up regularly with Amazon & this probably took about a month to get resolved.

      With Chapters-Indigo in Canada I was impressed that they fixed it right away. I now try to to deal with them before all others because I was impressed with the way they responded.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted September 5, 2013 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      The links crap out because one is munched because of the way the email cut them off & the other is probably just looked at suspiciously because it’s a shortened link.

      These should work:

      Amazon.ca link

      Amazon Kindle link

  6. Diana MacPherson
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Thanks everyone. We’ll see if there is ID outrage now. :) The telling thing is the sub title says “intelligent design” and it’s been ruled as non science and creationism in the courts so to me that’s pretty where the book belongs. I would think putting it in Science & Religion shouldn’t even annoy those folks.

    • Matt G
      Posted September 5, 2013 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Now you’ve done it – you’ve put yourself in their crosshairs! They’ll attack you mercilessly with the intellectual force of blown leaves.

      • Gabrielle Guichard
        Posted September 5, 2013 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

        Some leaves could felt insulted.

  7. Posted September 5, 2013 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Marvel Comics has bids on the next ID screed.

  8. Posted September 5, 2013 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    I don’t think I’d have the patience for this sort of thing, but, Diana, I sure am glad you do.

    Thanks!

    b&

    • Stephen Pilotte
      Posted September 5, 2013 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      Same for me. Thank you Diana !

      • SA Gould
        Posted September 5, 2013 at 8:15 am | Permalink

        Yes, you da (wo)man!

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted September 5, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      I think it’s more persistence than patience. I’ve probably acquired it from working both in process improvement (where people hate you for making them change) & leading projects where I hound developers, “what’s your estimate, when will you be done, are you really going to be able to finish this sprint on time”? :)

      • Posted September 5, 2013 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

        You’d hate me…I’d always tell you that I’ll be done after I’ve finished everything….

        b&

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted September 5, 2013 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

          I just used to hide from my project managers when I saw them coming.

          • Posted September 5, 2013 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

            Now you know one of the many reasons why I telecommute….

            b&

        • David Duncan
          Posted September 5, 2013 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

          Seymour Cray was asked to come up with a project plan for designing and building a supercomputer for Control Data Corp, estimated to take five years. He hated bureaucracy so he said for year 1 the project would be 20% complete, year 2 40%, and so on.

          • Posted September 6, 2013 at 9:49 am | Permalink

            Wise man. And, really: what other answer would even pretend to make sense?

            b&

  9. Linda Grilli Calhoun
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    To Diana – You rock!!

    I have an easy rule of thumb to determine whether something is “science”.

    Ask the author (or Amazon, for that matter), “Are you willing to be wrong?”

    If the answer is no, it’s not science. Whenever the conclusion precedes the investigation, the scientific method has been abandoned. This is fairly easily explained to entities such as Amazon. L

  10. TonyR
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Congratulations Diana. Wonderful work. Especially glad Indigo/Chapters moved so quickly.

  11. merilee
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    You go, Diana!!!

  12. Matt G
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Great work, Diana!

  13. Austin
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Next Amazon should fix their review system. I’m constantly seeing books and documentaries about evolution being negatively reviewed and down-voted by people who clearly haven’t read or viewed them, while ratings for creationist garbage is artificially inflated by sock puppets. For example:

    • Austin
      Posted September 5, 2013 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      That is, ratings *are* inflated.

    • Jesper Both Pedersen
      Posted September 5, 2013 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      Self deceiving footsoldiers for jebus and yahweh trying to wrap their heads around the concept of nature without evolution… ain’t it grand.

      • Mark Joseph
        Posted September 5, 2013 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

        Yes; fortunately for them, their magic book doesn’t say anything like “thou shalt not bear false witness” or they’d be in a heap o’trouble with their angry sky-ogre.

        • Jesper Both Pedersen
          Posted September 6, 2013 at 2:44 am | Permalink

          I wonder if most of them have even read the bloody thing or if they just read the warm and fuzzy parts.

          I prefer Harry Potter to be honest…

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted September 5, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      Yeah they should ask a question when you submit your review: “have you read this book?” At least the person has to lie outright then.

  14. Nwalsh
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Way to go Diana.

  15. Posted September 5, 2013 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Excellent!

  16. Posted September 5, 2013 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Congrats Diana! Good work!!

  17. John Perkins
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    I’m always chuffed all to hell when a fellow-Canadian does something meaningful to foul the creationist nest !

  18. Pliny the in Between
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Fantastic. As marketing proves, labeling is everything. Getting these books labeled as what they are – or at least what they aren’t, is a big win.

  19. moarscienceplz
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    I’m just amazed they have a ‘Science and Religion’ section. That’s like having a ‘Puppies and Astronomy” section or a ‘Cooking and Stamp Collecting’ section, a complete non-sequitur.

    And congrats to Diane!

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted September 5, 2013 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      It’s a sub-category of Religious studies so it makes sense in this context.

      • papalinton
        Posted September 5, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

        In that case it shouldn’t be labelled “Science and Religion”, but rather ‘Religion and Science’ to properly acknowledge the relationship and the main category domain, Religion. Yes?

        BTW, a superlative effort in getting the change in classification happening at Amazon. Greta work.

        • papalinton
          Posted September 5, 2013 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

          Great work, even

  20. Posted September 5, 2013 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    I wonder what the policy is in these places. Of course I agree that categorizing these books as science is insane, but whose word do they take?

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted September 5, 2013 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      In talking with those resolving the categorization, they first categorize based on what the publisher tells them.

      • Posted September 5, 2013 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

        It’s generally the safest, best bet, too. Most authors and publishers want people to be able to easily find their works, which means properly classifying them.

        That the authors of IDiot books are hoping to trick readers into reading their books tells one volumes about their motives and the natures of their characters.

        If I was running a bookstore and got burned like this, at the very least I’d implement a policy for said publisher that all new books must be properly categorized by my own staff, and charge them accordingly…something on the order of $250 / hour for the time it takes the staff to read the book and perform basic due diligence. Amazon threatening to implement such a policy would stop this sort of dishonesty right quick, I should think.

        Cheers,

        b&

  21. gravityfly
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Well done Diana!

  22. Kevin Henderson
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Great job Diana!

    paz y luz

  23. JBlilie
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Well done Diana!

  24. Posted September 5, 2013 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Excellent work, Diana! :-D

  25. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Well hunted, Diana!

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted September 5, 2013 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      Nice. :)

  26. Alektorophile
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Well done!

  27. rose
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Amazon is very good with problems.I ordered some coffee that never came.I told them about it and they were on it super fast got the coffee in a couple days.They really do listen to people.

  28. Martin
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Thank you, Diana. Well done.

  29. Bob Carlson
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    I’m rather surprised that Amazon would do that. Presently, Proof of Heaven is sitting atop the Kindle Science and Math list. Wonder what it would take to get that moved out of that category.

    • Jesper Both Pedersen
      Posted September 5, 2013 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

      Give it a shot! :-)

    • Kevin Henderson
      Posted September 6, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      That is nauseating to think of…why not “Proof that I am Dionysus” after I have had too much wine. Surely a science and math best seller.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted September 7, 2013 at 7:31 am | Permalink

        You can probably convince them that it’s misfiled but it’s trickier than the Darwin’s Doubt example because you will need to explain more. With Darwin’s Doubt, the publisher put “intelligent design” in the sub-title, making it easy to say: it’s about intelligent design, intelligent design is creationism as per a court ruling, creationism is religion not science ergo the book belongs in religion.

  30. Posted September 5, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    The links in your post all take me to a University of Chicago xMail warning about phishing. ???

  31. Gabrielle Guichard
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Bravo!

  32. Marella
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    You go girl. Congrats!

  33. Posted September 5, 2013 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Great job, Diana!

  34. Richard Olson
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations, Diana.

  35. Skistimas
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    u r reely l33t Diana. Let nowon eber say u aer noob.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted September 5, 2013 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      Hell no I am no noobsauce!

  36. Mark Joseph
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    Brava Diana!

  37. Diane G.
    Posted September 6, 2013 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    Kudos Diana!

  38. Jim
    Posted September 6, 2013 at 1:34 am | Permalink

    Amazon UK apparently don’t make it so easy, I’ve just spent half an hour searching for a way to tell them they’ve misclassified this book (three different subsections under “Science and Nature”) but still haven’t found a way to do it. Maybe this is “the missing link”, har-de-har.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted September 6, 2013 at 5:32 am | Permalink

      I just used the “contact us” method & sent a free form email to them.

  39. Posted September 6, 2013 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    “Darwin’s Doubt” belongs in the science books section about as much as “Harry Potter” does.

    • Kevin Henderson
      Posted September 6, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      “Harry Potter” deserves no belonging in science. “Darwin’s Doubt” deserves less.

      Still I disagree with many of my physics colleagues when I say that “Harry Potter” can inspire people to learn that science is better than magic.

  40. merilee
    Posted September 6, 2013 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    There’s as wonderful cartoon on FB from the site I fucking love science: Mosquito Happy Hour, with mosquitos drinking A, B, AB, O etc from glasses on the bar. I don’t know how to capture the link to post it here.

  41. Dominic
    Posted September 9, 2013 at 3:06 am | Permalink

    Good work!


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