The Albatross revealed!

I discovered—from Matthew Cobb!—that the Albatross, under its real name, has now appeared on Amazon. Here it is (note that the publication date of May 19 is provisional):

Screen Shot 2014-10-01 at 7.21.45 AM

You will note that the name “Richard Dawson” is in the blurb on the site; it will be changed to “Richard Dawkins” ASAP.

I like the cover (that was Viking’s doing), and I should note that the bar between the title and my name will be made out of matte gold foil, which is quite classy. You can pre-order it if you want (a bargain at $22.40 in hardcover!), and I’ll divulge more details as they become available.

p.s. Do not mistake this for another book by a Jerry Coyne, though I doubt they’ll be confused!

h/t: Merilee

 

212 Comments

  1. Joseph McClain
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Congratulations! (But what’s the matter with Richard Dawson? He was my favorite on “Hogan’s Heroes.”)

    • Bill the Cat
      Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      Actually – Richard Dawson may be correct! I imagine a few family feuds spawning from the book.

      (Queue Monty Python Albatross sketch…)

      Congratulations, Jerry!

      • Posted October 1, 2014 at 11:07 am | Permalink

        I don’t know how he could resist making a “Survey Says…!” joke about that.

        • Joseph McClain
          Posted October 2, 2014 at 9:11 am | Permalink

          “Survey says…..’the fossil record.’ Ooops, that’s three Xs for the Ham family.”

    • Posted October 2, 2014 at 6:21 am | Permalink

      Nothing against Richard Dawkins, but if Richard Dawson had actually written a blurb on this book, that would’ve been absolutely, unbelievably incredible. I would have to reconsider everything I think I know to be true from the bottom up, all over again.

  2. TJR
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Excellent, and I suspect pretty much what we all hoped/expected?

    Can you yet say whether we will get wafers with it?

    Is the matte gold foil wafer thin?

  3. Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    In particular I’m sure many of us would like to know when the Kindle version will be out. I for one no longer buy paper if I can possibly avoid it.

    • Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      If both Kindle and Audible editions could be included in the launch, that would be ideal. Fingers crossed!

    • Diane G.
      Posted October 1, 2014 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      You could probably investigate that yourself… 😉

    • eric
      Posted October 1, 2014 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      Well, but the e-version will not come with a handy rope to hang it about ones’ neck. Or maybe that was only Jerry’s proof copy…

    • Bob J.
      Posted October 1, 2014 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

      Paper – How can Jerry draw an Albatross on a eBook? Jerry, you are practicing drawing an Albatross aren’t you?

    • craigp
      Posted October 2, 2014 at 6:21 am | Permalink

      Agreed. Kindle version for me too.

  4. Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Congrats! Looks good.

  5. Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    おめでとう(Congratulations)!

  6. Barry Lyons
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Excellent title! I also love the quasi-religious (well, maybe not quasi) calligraphy of “Faith” set against the hard type of “Fact.” Very good.

    Oh, and contrary to another commenter here, I will purchase the paper edition.

    Barry

    • Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      Oh, but… 

      Faith vs. Fact

      … Science and Religion …

      /@

      • Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:34 am | Permalink

        Yes…. Symmetry in the word orders of title and sub would perfect the cover.

        • Linda K
          Posted October 1, 2014 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

          Totally agree. Who designed this anyway? Seems so obviously incongruous to me. Can’t be too late to fix.

          • Diane G.
            Posted October 1, 2014 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

            OTOH, now the word “science” is right beneath “FACT”–I like that proximity; it might tend to work on some subliminal level, too.

            • Posted October 1, 2014 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

              Is that the level where the Subliminable Snowman is hiding out?

              b&

              • NewEnglandBob
                Posted October 1, 2014 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

                I prefer my conversations to be liminal.

              • Posted October 1, 2014 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

                And I like using llamas to carry the lima beans and lentils….

                b&

              • merilee
                Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

                don’t you mean llima beans and llentils, along with Fernando Llamas?

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:51 am | Permalink

        That’s to suck the religious in!

        • Ralph
          Posted October 1, 2014 at 10:26 am | Permalink

          I look forward to bookstore clerks glancing at the title and mis-shelving it under religion, next to “Faith Facts: Answers to Catholic Questions”.

          Interestingly, I see that JBS Haldane wrote a book that was called either “Faith and Fact” or “Fact and Faith”, I can’t yet figure out which version is correct…

          • Posted October 1, 2014 at 10:33 am | Permalink

            The Library of Congress catalog says, “Fact and faith”. http://ow.ly/Casfo

            /@

            • John Scanlon, FCD
              Posted October 9, 2014 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

              Don’t trust L of C to have it under Haldane’s actual title! Amurcan publishers don’t think they’re doing their job properly if they don’t make up a new and stupider title for books from the UK. (‘…Sorcerer’s Stone’, anyone?)

              • Posted October 9, 2014 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

                Ha! SPOILER ALERT. The US edition of Brian Aldiss’s _Non-Stop_, in which the hero eventually discovers that his world is a generation starship, was retitled _Starship_ …

                /@

          • Dominic
            Posted October 2, 2014 at 9:31 am | Permalink

            Readit!

      • AJ
        Posted October 1, 2014 at 11:06 am | Permalink

        O horror! horror! horror! Nor tongue, nor heart, cannot conceive, nor name thee.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiasmus

    • Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      I also love the quasi-religious (well, maybe not quasi) calligraphy of “Faith” set against the hard type of “Fact.” Very good.

      Funny, but that same thing bothers me visually. The typefaces clash.

  7. Kevin
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    The subtitle is killer. Like Hitchens’ proposition, religion poisons everything, the incompatibility of science with religion is one of the most important themes of our lifetimes.

  8. Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Congratulations!

    But not yet on amazon.co.uk. Do you have international editions in the pipeline?

    /@

    • Dominic
      Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      Ah – you beat me to that! Looking forward to the Arabic edition!

    • Posted October 1, 2014 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      And the British version could have another title and/or front design.

    • John Taylor
      Posted October 1, 2014 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      Not on Amazon.ca yet either and no free shipping to Canada from Amazon.com 😦

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted October 1, 2014 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        It will show up. We got lots of time before May. I’m still going to buy from Chapters though and they usually get it about the same time.

  9. Dominic
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Will the UK edition be different?

    • Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      It’ll be in English. 😮

      /@

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      I find the UK covers are always nicer.

      • Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:55 am | Permalink

        I don’t always think so. The US cover of Pinker’s _The Sense of Style_ was better than the UK cover, imo.

        /@

        • Dominic
          Posted October 1, 2014 at 10:05 am | Permalink

          But my UK edition is signed by the author! Last week…

        • Dominic
          Posted October 1, 2014 at 10:08 am | Permalink

          Nope – cannot agree there – with this one 🙂

          I hate the US rough cut book edges by the way! You cannot flick through…

          • Posted October 1, 2014 at 10:14 am | Permalink

            Please explain the symbolism of the hands, then!

            /@

          • Posted October 1, 2014 at 10:23 am | Permalink

            I love the rough-cut edges, though not entirely sure why. They seem very elegant somehow.

          • Diane G.
            Posted October 1, 2014 at 10:51 am | Permalink

            That’s only a US thing? I hate that, too. But it doesn’t appear in every book…

          • eric
            Posted October 1, 2014 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

            For everyone’s information, here’s Wikipedia on the subject of rough cut edges…

            “Paper with a feathered edge is described as having a “deckle edge”, in contrast with a cut edge.[2] Machine-made paper may artificially have its edges produced to resemble a deckle edge.[3]

            Prior to the 19th century, the deckle edge was unavoidable, a natural artifact of the paper making process in which sheets of paper were made individually on a deckle.[2] The deckle could not make a perfect seal against the screen at the edges and the paper slurry would seep under creating a rough edge to the paper.[2] The deckle edge could be trimmed off, but this extra step would add to the cost of the book.[2] Beginning in the early 1800s with the invention of the Fourdrinier machine, paper was produced in long rolls and the deckle edge became mostly obsolete: although there was some deckle on the ends of the rolls, it was cut off, and the individual sheets cut out from the roll would have no deckle in any case.[2]

            With the appearance of smooth edges in the 19th century, the deckle edge slowly emerged as a status symbol.[2] Many 19th century presses advertised two versions of the same book with a smooth and a higher priced deckle version, it suggested the book was made with higher quality paper, or more refined methods.[2] This tradition carried forward into the 20th and 21st centuries. Today modern deckle is created by a purpose-built machine to create the appearance of a true deckle edge by cutting a smooth edge into patterns.[2] Many modern readers are unfamiliar with the deckle edge and may see it as a defect; for example, Amazon.com has left notes to buyers that the deckle is not a flaw in the product.[2]”

            • Diane G.
              Posted October 1, 2014 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

              Exactly as I expected–book snobbery.

              If it weren’t possible to produce even-edged books, this snobbery would probably still exist–publishers making a virtue out of technological necessity…

            • Posted October 1, 2014 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

              Today modern deckle is created by a purpose-built machine to create the appearance of a true deckle edge by cutting a smooth edge into patterns.

              Only if you’re lazy. If you want something indistinguishable from a true deckle edge, lightly wet the line you want to give the edge to, tear the paper on the line, let the paper dry, and then work with a bit of sandpaper to taper the edge. It helps greatly if you’ve got some true deckle edge paper to compare it against — check your local artist supply store for some very expensive watercolor paper, for example.

              Cheers,

              b&

          • Posted October 1, 2014 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

            Hey, everyone: the edges will not be rough cut as far as I know. I used a screenshot from Amazon, which may have given that impression. It will just be a normal book, but with some matte gold foil, of which I have a sample. The cover band is just a representation of the foil, which looks much better.

            • Diane G.
              Posted October 1, 2014 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

              Perfecto. 😉

  10. Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Alternative subtitle: Why Religion Is Woo

    /@

    • Ralph
      Posted October 1, 2014 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      “A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum”

    • Les
      Posted October 1, 2014 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      Alternate#2
      “A History of Theology: The Origin of the Feces”

      • Les
        Posted October 1, 2014 at 11:50 am | Permalink

        I pre-ordered.

      • Posted October 1, 2014 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

        No shit!

        /@

      • Susan
        Posted October 2, 2014 at 3:03 am | Permalink

        I’m sure you meant “On the Origin of Feces.” 🙂

  11. merilee
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Congratulations!!

  12. George
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    The gradient looks more like an abstract representation of NOMA than the incompability between faith and science.

    • Diane G.
      Posted October 1, 2014 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think it’s a gradient. It’s just a representation of how light might reflect off the gold leaf.

      • Posted October 1, 2014 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        Yes, you’re right. It’s just a mockup with a light gradient that’s suppose to suggest how it will look. But I have a sample of the gold foil, and it’s really pretty. The final cover will look a lot nicer than the representation I’ve shown.

        • Posted October 1, 2014 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

          Metals are notoriously difficult to photograph, and creating a digital simulation like this is at least as hard. “FPO,” or, “For Position Only,” is the way to think of this.

          b&

          • Posted October 1, 2014 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

            In heraldic art, some “artists” will try to simulate real gold for /or/, gold or (orangey) yellow, which usually ends up looking dirty brown, destroying the contrast with neighbouring colours (such contrast being an important principle in heraldry: the rule of tinctures). (Lincoln Is guilty of this on its municipal vehicles, &c.) In real life, gold leaf works fine when new, but discolours over time. The mediæval artists stuck to yellow, with “gold” being used only poetically (or metaphorically/allegorically!), and good modern artists should take a leaf out of their book.

            /@

            • Posted October 2, 2014 at 6:58 am | Permalink

              Well, again…it depends on how much of an hurry you’re in. For example, here’s one of Kelly Houle’s beetles. The carapace is solid gold leaf; the rest is watercolor. Photographing it was a real bitch, but I think it came out reasonably faithful to the original.

              Cheers,

              b&

              • Posted October 2, 2014 at 7:09 am | Permalink

                Nice.

                But, that’s a reproduction of something done in gold leaf (and very pale), not someone trying to paint something to look as if it’s *gold*!

                /@

              • Posted October 2, 2014 at 7:24 am | Permalink

                Well, the inkjet prints of that beetle that I made look even closer to the original, and a competent watercolor artist (such as Kelly herself) can do anything with a brush that an inkjet printer can…again, depending on how much work you’re willing to put into it.

                But you’re certainly not going to do it with a solid color…with anything with that much specularity, what you’re really looking at are the light sources, not the object itself, and the trick is to represent how the object distorts the reflections of the light sources as opposed to trying to represent some idealized non-reflective version of the object.

                For example, in this beetle, you’ll notice that the center right is very light in color — basically just an off-white — while the lower left is very dark. Further, that same contrast is repeated on very small scales throughout the whole image; compare where the front left leg joins the body with where the front right leg does. Kelly didn’t do anything different with the gold foil; that’s all lighting…and it’s that sort of thing you have to capture if you want a realistic reproduction.

                b&

              • Posted October 2, 2014 at 8:01 am | Permalink

                Oh, sorry, I missed that Kelly had done this as a water-colour.

                Maybe that just says that their are few good heraldic artists that can achieve a realistic effect which preserves the contrast with colours. Bad examples abound where the “artist” has just used gold paint. The best use yellows and oranges; e..g, http://ow.ly/CcIvl by Marco Foppoli.

                /@

              • Posted October 2, 2014 at 8:29 am | Permalink

                I think I might have given a worng impression.

                The body of the beetle is gold leaf; the legs and antennae are watercolor. But I’m sure Kelly could make a watercolor copy of the photograph I made of it, and you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between the two.

                The example you give is a good one. It makes effective use of shading and contrast to portray dimensionality. Though the impression is that, say, the legs are solid and made from a surface with uniform properties, the actual paint on the page goes from near-white to light yellow to medium yellow-orange to dark orange-red. Solid gold paint would not work, but gold leaf applied with the same dimensionality as Kelly used (really, it’s more of a bas-relief than anything else) would work.

                As to the amounts of oranges and reds to mix in with the yellow…it depends on which gold alloy you’re trying to represent. Not all golds are the same color, and it doesn’t take much to change the color…Wikipedia, as usual, has a not-bad introduction:

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colored_gold

                The example you posted is a good representation of 18K gold/copper alloy, a favorite for decorative uses, especially if a bit of durability is desired.

                b&

  13. Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    I predict another bestseller. Can’t wait to read it!

    • Marta
      Posted October 1, 2014 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      I read your book, “The Undefeated Mind”, last summer, Dr. Lickerman.

      I’ve always meant to tell you, if you posted here again, that I thought it was really good. Lovely, in fact. The earnest good will you feel for the reader is evident on every page.

      • Posted October 1, 2014 at 10:35 am | Permalink

        Marta,
        Lovely of you to say so. I’m delighted you liked it.

        • Marta
          Posted October 1, 2014 at 10:55 am | Permalink

          I read it as slowly and carefully as I could, taking many notes along the way. It was what it was advertised to be: insightful and helpful, generous and kind. It was a genuinely good and useful book.

          Do write another.

  14. NewEnglandBob
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Congratulations! I can’t wait to read it.

  15. merilee
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Doesn’t seem to be available on amazon.ca yet.

  16. Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Hooray! Looks great.

  17. Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Nifty! Was this prerelease stuff unexpected?

    I look forward to reading it.

  18. Diana MacPherson
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Congrats! I will probably purchase from Chapters-Indigo in Canada because I try to reward them for being so good about moving religious books out of the science sections of their brick & mortar stores.

    • Doug
      Posted October 1, 2014 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      Now if they would just move them to Fiction (or better yet to those bins out back) and lengthen the science shelves accordingly…

  19. watson
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Congratulations! I will be pre-ordering it soon!

  20. DSG
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Will the book be put on cd or mp3?
    I want to listen to your book in the car.

    • Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      Get Stephen Fry to do it!

      /@

      • darrelle
        Posted October 1, 2014 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        Excellent idea! Can’t think of a better choice. Maybe get Fry and Laurie together again for this.

  21. Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    The cover is perfect.

  22. Chris
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Excellent, Congratulations Prof CC!

    Should we run a sweepstake on how many references to cats, owls and foxes turn up?

  23. Posted October 1, 2014 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Why does it take nearly eight months between finishing a book and its release? That strikes me as ridiculous. I assume a kindle edition could be released nearly immediately. Maybe it’s all about marketing?

    • Mark R.
      Posted October 1, 2014 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      I used to be in the printing business and commercial presses can turn out millions of books nowadays in a matter of a few days, so it must be a timing/marketing issue.

    • eric
      Posted October 1, 2014 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      Maybe the problem is similar to journal publications? I.e., the publisher always has a backlog of things ready to roll out, and when you get approved, you go to the back of the line.

      • Posted October 1, 2014 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

        I suspect that if it were a new Harry Potter novel it would be on the shelves tomorrow. I suppose they need time for reviews and promotion, but eight months seems extreme.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted October 1, 2014 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

          Even those took around 6 months to get from “I’ve finished” tweets from Rowling to paper on bookshelves.

    • Posted October 1, 2014 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

      Making it readable and look nice can take its time, too. They could have done the macro-typography in advance, but micro-typography needs the finished text and has thousands of rules to apply at the correct places by someone with an eye for the smallest detail. Despite some automation, you’d want someone who goes through the whole book to make sure there aren’t widows and orphans, just two of the thousand rules to apply correctly.

  24. JimmyHaulinHogs
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Excellent title. I’m looking forward to it.

    I hope it covers Biologos – that place is fascinatingly messed up.

  25. AdamK
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    That cover needs a cat.

  26. DrBrydon
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Congrats, Jerry!

  27. Sarah
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Just saw your post and immediately went to amazon. I have now pre-ordered “the albatross”. Now I have to wait with bated breath until May. Oy vey! My cat Attacus also sends his wishes for success with a great big yowling meow.

  28. Mark R.
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Very nice. Can’t wait to read it. I’ll put a “like” on the different fonts of faith and fact.

  29. Rhaeyga
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    I’m almost as excited for this as I am Winds of Winter

  30. gravityfly
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Yay! It’s here!

    Congrats Jerry!

  31. Posted October 1, 2014 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Congratulations! That’s going straight to the top of the stack of things I want to read. I am a bit relieved that it comes out only next year, I can make some room till then 😀

    You will note that the name “Richard Dawson” is in the blurb on the site; it will be changed to “Richard Dawkins” ASAP.

    Perhaps your publisher found a way to contact him at his current abode and he did contribute a joke how faith in afterlives is complete hokum?

  32. W.Benson
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Have you bought an asbestos suit?

  33. mecwordpress
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    WOO HOO! Congrats Dr. Coyne.

    Pre-order in the works

  34. Posted October 1, 2014 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    This is exciting news. Pre-ordered mine!

  35. Posted October 1, 2014 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    FYI: Pinker’s new book is now shipping.

  36. Posted October 1, 2014 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Congratulations! But do I really have to wait till May? That’s too long!

    On your subtitle : isn’t it reality that is incompatible with religion? Science is a way of revealing reality.

  37. Diane G.
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Congrats!!

    Also, that is spooky–just a day or two ago I thought to check Amazon to see if pre-orders were available–nada. Guess I should have been checking every day…or hour. 🙂

    I did, of course, come across that book by the other Jerry Coyne…that’s kind of spooky, too. 😀

    Off to Amazon…

    PS: Always cool when you can have, “Author of The New York Times bestseller…” on the cover!

  38. Posted October 1, 2014 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Just pre-ordered it from Amazon Germany.

  39. Diane G.
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    From Amazon:

    ” Extending the bestselling works of Richard Dawson [sic], Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens…”

    It’s official–the new Horseman has been declared. (Big shoes to fill, but who could better do so?)

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted October 1, 2014 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      Big shoes – or hooves.

      Ha! I slay me!

      • Diane G.
        Posted October 1, 2014 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

        Wish I’d thought of that!

        • Posted October 1, 2014 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

          Cowboy boots!

          /@

          • Diane G.
            Posted October 1, 2014 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

            Talk about preadapted!

        • Posted October 1, 2014 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

          It’s such a gift to be able to laugh at one’s own jokes even if no one else has the intelligence to appreciate them🐸

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted October 1, 2014 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

            I wish I had gone with “I sleigh me”.

            • merilee
              Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

              Now if you can just incorporate Rudolph, et al;-)

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted October 1, 2014 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        Big shoes – or hooves.

        So, you think that the Horsemen of the apocalypse are centaurs, and so need shoeing regularly?
        It’s a possible interpretation, but not really how I’d envisaged the phrase being incorporated.

        • Posted October 1, 2014 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

          As I said above (or below), it’ll be cowboy boots for Jerry. (Which hide would be most befitting, d’you think?)

          I imagine Richard wearing proper riding boots and jodhpurs.

          But I’m not sure what would suit Sam or Dan.

          /@

          • gravelinspector-Aidan
            Posted October 1, 2014 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

            I was wondering more about the eschatology of the Four Horsepeople. White horseman (Pestilence) has a bow and a crown ; red horseman (War) has a great sword ; black horseman (Famine) has a pair of scales ; pale horseman (Death) has just his good self. But what implements to assign to the Four Horsepeople (and who’s who?) … is a topic best discussed over a beer or five.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted October 1, 2014 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

          I considered that after my wise ass post but I actually did as a kid. My exposure to Christianity was Xmas, Easter and the apocalypse. I would have had only the treats of Easter and Xmas but I went to a public school that forced the rest on me (yes, I said public; I’m still bitter). I thought horsemen were centaurs because English can be tricky or maybe it was the translation from all those languages to English. My dad told me he thought the “Christian soldiers” in his Baptist Sunday school were the Romans they showed as the bad guys in the Jesus pictures so I guess it runs in the family. Oh and I thought the Lord’s Prayer was about our dads because I thought it said “our fathers who aren’t in heaven” so to my thinking it was our dads on earth.

          This is probably why I wasn’t indoctrinated. I wasn’t really clever, I just misheard things. 🙂

          • Posted October 1, 2014 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

            I’d like to see the whole of the Lord’s Prayer similarly mondegreened!

            It reminds me of Dave Allen’s “In the name of the Father, and the Son, into the whole he goes”!

            /@

  40. rickflick
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    I can hardly wait. This should fix the interwebs for good!

  41. Edward Hessler
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Smart cover design, one I like and one which makes me again realize I’ll never be a designer! But I can be an appreciator.

    For some reason, I recall an essay of the late Stephen Jay Gould (or perhaps it was in an introduction to one of his collection) in which he referred to his grandmother’s use of “auf Schwarz”, as in there it is in black and white.

    Sure both words are in black but the bold, crisp lines of “Fact” are far different than the near ethereal outlines of “Faith,” which makes the point as well as anticipates the content of the book.

    Albatrosses should be free to fly and glide. I’m glad this one has been released to do just that.

  42. Ann German
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    I just pre-ordered . . . something to look forward to!

  43. Posted October 1, 2014 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Pre-ordered!

    Kant wait for May!

    Congratulations indeed.

    • Bob J.
      Posted October 1, 2014 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      Hume…

  44. Posted October 1, 2014 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Huzzah!

    The cover is lovely, although putting “Faith” in Comic Sans might’ve gotten some interesting reactions.

    • Posted October 1, 2014 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      Graphic designers do have some standards, you know!

      /@

      • Posted October 1, 2014 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

        We do? News to me….

        b&

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted October 1, 2014 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

          No standards? Not even “process black”?

          • Posted October 1, 2014 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

            Oh, man…what I would do for a consistent, reliable, neutral, dark black….

            (To be fair, my Canon iPF8100 is a spectacular printer with which I have no complaints…but, even with it, “black” can change quite radically depending on the paper you’re printing on. Which is just one of the many reasons I have a spectrophotometer….)

            b&

            • gravelinspector-Aidan
              Posted October 1, 2014 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

              a consistent, reliable, neutral, dark black….

              You need to talk to Hotblack Desiato’s spaceship paint shop.

              • Posted October 1, 2014 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

                You jest…but I actually did get a small sample of super-black carbon nanotubes affixed to plastic for an experiment for a photographic target for building ICC camera profiles. Alas, it was way too fragile. Turned out to be okay, though; I was already using a light trap, and that was plenty adequate.

                NASA has some sort of fancy black coating that they use for lining the optics of space telescopes. I tried to see if it was available to mere mortals without luck….

                b&

              • Posted October 1, 2014 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

                No, what you need is priests’ socks …

                /@

              • Posted October 2, 2014 at 7:00 am | Permalink

                I thought it was their souls that were blacker than night…?

                b&

              • Posted October 2, 2014 at 7:10 am | Permalink

                No, their socks.

                Other “black” socks are really only very, very, very, very, very, very, very dark blue.

                /@

              • Posted October 2, 2014 at 7:26 am | Permalink

                …but priest’s souls leak out through their soles and make the sock’s blue black?

                b&

              • Posted October 2, 2014 at 8:02 am | Permalink

                Or maybe the other way around. If priests started wearing blue socks, maybe things would improve!

                /@

              • Posted October 2, 2014 at 8:30 am | Permalink

                Baby blue steps?

                b&

              • gravelinspector-Aidan
                Posted October 3, 2014 at 4:50 am | Permalink

                Try contacting less esoteric telescope makers – the back pages of “Sky and Telescope” should give lots of options. Baffling and catching stray light inside telescope optical tube assemblies, so OTA builders have their own tricks for coating the insides. you might even find out who supplies NASA. (Other astronomy publications are available.)

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted October 3, 2014 at 7:19 am | Permalink

                I was going to suggest the same. You can build your own scopes (typically Dobsonians) so you should be able to find access to such things.

              • gravelinspector-Aidan
                Posted October 4, 2014 at 6:05 am | Permalink

                Amateur telescope makers have a long and justifiably proud tradition of “string and sealing wax” constructions where ingenuity and re-purposing are used as substitutes for cash.

              • Posted October 3, 2014 at 8:36 am | Permalink

                The ones I remember finding at the time were variations on the same type of small-nap flocking common lining camera lens hoods. I made a bunch of black flock velvet drapes to put up and take down for my studio, to be able to control the light however I want, and the fabric is substantially blacker than what I’ve seen in consumer optics…and, as it turns out, plenty “good enough” for a simple light trap for ICC camera profiling.

                There’re some interesting geometries, including a cornucopia-shaped one, that would also make an effective light trap, but a simple closed box with a small hole cut in it is astonishingly effective even with a white interior, so long as the illuminant isn’t shining directly on the part of the inside you’re observing. Make the interior black — and especially if you make the interior super-black — and you’ve got something that emits no photons detectable above your sensor’s (or eye’s) noise floor.

                …at least, as long as you’re working with consumer-level devices, like digital cameras. This is fortunate, because, if you’re working with devices that can detect photons from such a light trap, you’re also working with a budget that you can afford fancy NASA materials….

                b&

  45. Posted October 1, 2014 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    looks like it’s up on the Penguin Press website as well

    http://www.penguin.com/book/faith-versus-fact-by-jerry-a-coyne/9780670026531

    • Posted October 1, 2014 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

      Huh. The “Dawson” typo is there, too, as well as: “?revelation” Kind of sloppy for a *publisher*!

      But at least it provides a link to the author’s *website*!

      /@

  46. Shwell Thanksh
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    I would like to commend whoever Coyned the codename ‘albatross’ for their percipience… This book clearly looks capable of sustained long-range flight.

    • Bill the Cat
      Posted October 2, 2014 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      Not to mention that it is suitable for hanging from the neck of the faithful.

  47. Posted October 1, 2014 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Woo-hoo! Awesome! Conga rats!

    Any chance we can ship our copies to you for your John Hancock…?

    b&

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted October 1, 2014 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      Your comment reminded me of this blast from the past that I think is rather à propos.

      • Posted October 1, 2014 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

        No soundtrack?

      • Posted October 1, 2014 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

        Damn you! I think I managed to close the window before the earworm got stuck…but, still, just for good measure:



        b&

        • Posted October 1, 2014 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

          Ha ha I muted my iPad in anticipation but the clip I sent was sans music.

          • Posted October 1, 2014 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

            Not for me, it wasn’t….do be de do do do do do…curse you!

            b&

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted October 2, 2014 at 8:44 am | Permalink

              Muhahahaha! I’m already cursed. I had a 5 hour root canal (supposed to be one hour) then the next day went to an appointment that was an hour drive away to find out they screwed up and I had to drive an hour back.

              • Posted October 2, 2014 at 9:31 am | Permalink

                Well, that’s a start, at least….

                b&

          • merilee
            Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

            aaaaarghhhh

            • merilee
              Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

              PS My former bf and his kids got stuck on that ride at Disney World for about an hour. He almost strangled somebody. Fortunately I was not along…

              • Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

                For some insane reason, many many moons ago, when I went to Disney World, whoever I was with talked me into going on that ride. And, of course, it got stuck. From the numbers of people with similar experiences, I tend to think it’s deliberate on the part of Disney.

                That there haven’t been any mass murders there is utterly beyond my comprehension.

                b&

              • Posted October 1, 2014 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

                One verse is enough to make someone go postal😝

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted October 2, 2014 at 8:53 am | Permalink

                It’s probably bored employees trying to amuse themselves.

              • Posted October 2, 2014 at 9:31 am | Permalink

                Playing with fire, they are….

                b&

  48. Cliff Melick
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Ah, Jerry, you managed to put the squeeze on my wallet again. Good show!

  49. Posted October 1, 2014 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations! Looking forward to reading it.

  50. Posted October 1, 2014 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Félicitations!

  51. Posted October 1, 2014 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations! I’m very much looking forward to reading it.

  52. godsbelow
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations Jerry!

    I like the cover, but may I suggest that for your next book you chose a subject that allows you to put a cat (preferably Hili) on the cover? 🙂

  53. GBJames
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Ordered. Perhaps I’ll drive down to Chicago next year and see if I can get it sighed.

    • Ann German
      Posted October 1, 2014 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      Would that be a “sigh” of relief???

      • GBJames
        Posted October 1, 2014 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

        Oh, jeepers! What a typo.

  54. Taskin
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations Jerry! I’m looking forward to an interesting and thought provoking read.

  55. Posted October 1, 2014 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Congrats Professor! Hey just an FYI, i was just reading your post from back in 2012 about the evolutionary development of kidneys. The link about the lanugo appears to have hijacked by another blogger called SITE REDACTED? Again, just an FYI.

    • Posted October 1, 2014 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, on your own site, troll, where you want publicity. Do you think I can’t read IP addresses? You can say farewell to this site for good.

  56. Posted October 1, 2014 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations! Can’t wait! Now to work out how to get a signed copy in New Zealand …

  57. kelskye
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    I suppose this is a book that counters Rock Of Ages?

    • John Scanlon, FCD
      Posted October 9, 2014 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

      Not needed for that, as it was self-refuting. The albatross must be a lagniappe.

  58. Nicolas Perrault
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    In my opinion the title WHY RELIGION IS FALSE would do the just as well.

  59. Derek Freyberg
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations, Prof CC.
    I note that Amazon does not yet allow reviews, otherwise I predict the reviews graph would soon be filled with “5”s and “1”s by people who have yet to read it and have completely opposing views on the subject regardless of the quality of the writing.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted October 1, 2014 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      I note that Amazon does not yet allow reviews,

      [reviews] … by people who have yet to read it

      I suspect that those two facts are not unrelated.

  60. Posted October 1, 2014 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations, PCC! Glad you finally have that Albatross off your neck. Can’t wait to read your book.

  61. TonyR
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations Jerry, I’ll look forward to reading it, I do so love your posts on faith & fact. I usually get ebooks these days, but for special books, like this, I’ll get the hard copy. I’ll join with Diana McPherson and get it from Chapters/Indigo.

    Great work!
    😃

    • TonyR
      Posted October 1, 2014 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      Sorry, Diana MacPherson! I confused Mc with Mac.unforgivable. 😰

      • Posted October 1, 2014 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

        Meh, no worries. It’s pretty much the same ways and some of my relatives write it that way even though they were told by their family not to.

        • TonyR
          Posted October 1, 2014 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

          Thanks Diana, I do know how important the correct spelling of names can be, though I am never concerned with my own.

          I have a friend named MacLeod who states his name as “Ma Cloud, that’s MAC”

          Mc, Mac and even M’ have the same origin, I believe, for both the Irish and the Scots. My own family name had an O’ which was dropped about 200 years ago. Some have put it back in, my branch has not. My son when at university used the Irish form and signed his name as Ui Rathaille, of course in Irish script!

          Cheers
          Tony

          • Posted October 1, 2014 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

            So what’s your “R”? Riley?

            /@

            • TonyR
              Posted October 2, 2014 at 5:03 am | Permalink

              Hi Ant, good guess, but no …
              My R is Rahilly, family name used to be O’Rahilly, not to be confused with O’Reilly or any of its variations. Likely some Rahilly’s did become Reilly or Riley in North America, pronunciation was easier.
              The family home for O’Rahilly was Kerry, though my father’s family came from Limerick. O’Reillys are from further north. The Gaelic forms of both names are different too.

              Cheers
              Tony

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted October 2, 2014 at 8:42 am | Permalink

            Yes the Scots Irish – all pretty much the same. I think the MacPhersons got booted out of Scotland and sent to Ireland by the English then booted out of Ireland and came to the new world.

            • John Scanlon, FCD
              Posted October 9, 2014 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

              Was it for messing with the toilet rolls every time?

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted October 10, 2014 at 12:10 am | Permalink

                I make the joke that it was for stealing sheep.

  62. still learning
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations! I’ll wait for the library copy, being a person of minimal funds. I’m really, really looking forward to reading it.

  63. merilee
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Totally OT, but just saw a delightful hour and a half of Stephen Fry, live from London, at my local cinema. Maybe there will be reruns. He talks about his newest book, More Fool Me, and tells some hilarious stories, including one in which his good buddy Penn Gilette kowtows to Prince Charles after going on about how we ‘Muricans don’t do that;-)
    http://videos.cineplex.com/All-
    Videos/3790927729001/Stephen-Fry-Live-More-Fool-Me/Video/

  64. Keith Cook
    Posted October 1, 2014 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations Prof Coyne. The cover looks good, bold, a touch of gold, I’d pray for it’s success but I’ll wish you all the best.. instead.
    Cheers and all the best with the new book.

  65. Posted October 1, 2014 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    Looking forward to the sh*tstorm this will generate. Thanks for being at the pointy end of the spear.

    • Posted October 1, 2014 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

      Jerry isn’t at the pointy end of the spear. He is the pointy end of the spear!

      b&

      • marvol19
        Posted October 2, 2014 at 9:07 am | Permalink

        How many angels can be skewered by the pointy end of the spear?

        • Posted October 2, 2014 at 9:32 am | Permalink

          I think it’s dependent on angular momentum….

          b&

          • merilee
            Posted October 2, 2014 at 11:55 am | Permalink

            but can they use their tails like cats’?? (oh wait, I think that theory was debunked…)

            • Posted October 2, 2014 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

              What theory — that cats have tails? No, I’m positive that cats have tails. I can see a cat from where I’m sitting — he’s laying in a splash of sunlight through the window — and he most assuredly has a tail.

              b&

              • merilee
                Posted October 2, 2014 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

                No angular momentum and cats’ tails, silly

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted October 2, 2014 at 9:41 am | Permalink

          None because angels don’t exist.

          • marvol19
            Posted October 2, 2014 at 9:50 am | Permalink

            Spoilsport 😛

  66. Marella
    Posted October 2, 2014 at 4:40 am | Permalink

    Huzzah Jerry! You must be wondering what to do with yourself now!

    I hope the Kindle option goes up soon. It’s important to get as many pre-orders as possible to get the highest best seller rating when it debuts. This generates more publicity, more sales etc.

  67. Posted October 2, 2014 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Pre-ordered.

  68. Dennis Hansen
    Posted October 2, 2014 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Congrats, Jerry! Can’t wait to read it…

  69. Posted October 2, 2014 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Thanks for this! Pre-ordered it now! I fundamentally disagree with you about the nature of science and religion, but I am looking forward to reading your book and the opportunity to challenge and refine my own beliefs.

    • Posted October 2, 2014 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      Good for you.

      /@

    • Posted October 2, 2014 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      Well done.

    • Posted October 2, 2014 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      Chris:

      I would invite you to expand on this:

      I fundamentally disagree with you about the nature of science and religion

      Jerry’s ideas on the nature of science (for sure) and religion* seem very well informed (he is a well-trained and practiced scientist afterall) and well aligned with the generally-accepted features of these subjects.

      Please explain where you think is going wrong. Cheers,

      * More controversially, although no one seems to agree about religion anyway, including believers, even within (for instance) Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, which have all splintered into sects opposed to one another.

  70. Posted October 2, 2014 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations.

  71. Todd Steinlage
    Posted October 2, 2014 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    Great news, can’t wait to read it 🙂 Congratulations!

  72. Mark Joseph
    Posted October 2, 2014 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Congrats to Professor Ceiling Cat! I haven’t pre-ordered, but will certainly be purchasing a paper copy. Can’t wait to read it!


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