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Amazon reviews for THE DESIGN OF LIFE

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An interesting thing is happening at Amazon.com under the reviews for THE DESIGN OF LIFE (go here). As of this writing, there are nine 5-star reviews and only one 1-star review (from the inimitable John Kwok).

Essentially what’s happening is that the Darwinists aren’t even bothering to read the book. If they actually did, then there might be more actual reviews from them. But there just aren’t any. The one review from Kwok is from a man who gives no evidence of having read the book.

The kicker is this, however: The Darwinian sympathizers are simply logging in and voting up the 1-star review and voting down the 5-star reviews (in answer to the yes|no question “was this review helpful to you”). That of course takes much less effort than writing a review. What we are witnessing here is lazy Darwinists co-opting the system.

Let me encourage readers of this blog to go to THE DESIGN OF LIFE page at Amazon (go here) and read the reviews, honestly answering whether a review was or was not helpful.

[By the way, if you actually want to buy the book, you’ll get a slightly better deal at www.thedesignoflife.net.]

I'd imagine that someone at Amazon decided that Kwok's review needed to be analyzed to see if it was inappropriate by whatever standard's they employ. It's back up so I assume their standard is whether it contains foul language and the like (which it doesn't). Patrick
Kwok's "review" has been resurrected at "a woman named Abbie Smith"'s blog: Link Matteo
Vote YES for Joseph! Joseph
I am currently reading the book. When I finish I will post a review. (I read about 6 books at a time and still have to support a family so it may be awhile.) So far I find the content excellent, though presented at a more basic level and with less detail than I would have preferred. I really wanted more in the hominin fossil section, for e.g.. I haven't got to the CD at all yet, however. The book appears to be set up as a basic high school or introductory college level textbook, with end of chapter questions. Many seem "leading" but this is par for high school texts. My only real quibble so far is in the formatting of the quotes: In one place quotes begin on the left side after the page is turned and it's not immediately apparent that they are quotes rather than continuation of the text, as there's no regular text on that page. The quotes are indented but in the same font and size and the indent isn't obvious if there's no text above or below. I found this momentarily confusing. Probably someone brighter than me wouldn't have been confused at all. dacook
I was banned at Telic Thoughts for responding to personal attacks. So I am still a little miffed at rabbits. But that is OK, now they have to take out the trash by themselves. ;) Joseph
Joseph, I wanted to get "The Design Matrix" next also haha. I am planning on doing the picture with santa to get it for free! gore
My copy should arrive within 2 weeks... Next up "The Design Matrix: A Consilience of Clues" by that rabbit guy... :) Joseph
There are actually two people who have been trying to hijack every positive review at Amazon by adding their "comments". John Kwok is one. The other guy is the indefatigable Tim Beazley. His job is to tag team with his buddy John Kwok and add negative comments to every single positive review and repeat ad nauseaum the same point. What is this point he continually repeats ( to the point of even cutting and pasting the same words ) ? Here it is in a nutshell : ------------------------- "I didn't notice any reference in this review to any positive, meaningful, empirically testable prediction that ID makes, much less one that has actually been confirmed by research. ID has been around for over 2300 years. When do they plan to: 1) make a prediction, and 2) test it?" ------------------------- Also, if you took a look at Tim Beazley's personal profile, you will discover that his Amazon friend is none other than -- John Kwok ! His other review at Amazon is a NEGATIVE review of a book defending Christianity against the challenges of atheism. Tells you a lot what his personal agenda is. SeekAndFind
Drs. Dembski and Wells, I have read the book. Cover to cover, from "About the Cover" to Kitzmiller. (ok, I only skimmed the endnotes and haven't read the disk.) As I read it, though, I began to wonder if there were any passages that could be disputed. The tenor of the book seems very even (even if it is hard to calmly and dispassionately perform a slam dunk). I look forward to re-reading the book (I was a little fuzzy on the part on Axe's work, but that's on me), more fully "vet" the endnotes, get through the disk, and really feel that I have the state of these fields in hand and ready to defend. That's one of the beauties of the book, so direct, so explanatory. It is a tour de force. I will encourage the folks at my high school to get it into the hands of their students; I would encourage everyone to do the same. Public or private, if they say no, ask them why. Congratulations Tim
getawitness, i agree in part but you have to understand most people politically, even on the right despite what people say, have rejected ID for the same reason people beleive global warming- everybody else does. I think he should send it to as manny open minds as possible but I do not think he should send it to poeple who automatically reject that its a theory before they've even oppened the up the front cover of the book. Frost122585
prhean, it is worse than a freedom of speech issue- they are losing the debate, this is why they feel the need to go and do this stuff and its great in a way because it shows them for what they really are which is outdated idealists. This has become a political war by them blacklisting any mention of ID from the curriculum. If ID advocates wrote the text books we wouldn’t leave out ANY evidence for Darwinian evolution. That’s how you know who is really waging the political war. BTW they claim its ID that is the political movement right wing religion and all of that BS (im not right wing religious) this is a front and center classical example of Freudian projection. They are the elitists. They are the machine. And I might add the same thing goes for the global warming crowd. Despite all of their power and propaganda they people really havent bought it. Frost122585
I noticed this tendency for the first time on Behe's book. If enough reviewers indicate that the review was unhelpful, then the review will not be displayed unless you indicate that you want to read all of the reviews. So the Darwinists are simply trying to suppress speech here as they are everywhere else. Pity the Darwinists: so much information, so little time to suppress it. prhean
Dr. Dembski, out of curiosity, what is the policy for getting review copies? Three of the first 9 five-star reviews on Amazon were people at the Discovery Institute. Did they get freebies? Will the FTE be sending review copies to reviewers and journals that are likely to be critical? I don't mean PZ Meyers, necessarily, but perhaps the new journal Evolution: Education and Outreach? They might be negative, but so what? I think review copies should be sent to every journal that might review it, no matter what their perspective. getawitness
(better buy* mine one day);) Frost122585
Dembski I havent seen anything about the book on your web page. You should post a picture or somthingI mean everybody should be able to display their latest and greatest. In any event now that I know about it you just got another sale. (better but mine one day) So get the word out. A little advertisement goes a long way and the ID movement needs it. Frost122585
Kwok's review has been removed from the book's page. Dembski: 1 Kwok: 0 :) todd
Comment #29 (by William A. Dembski) to Kwok's review had read:
To John Kwok and Chris Grant: Until a few days ago, John Kwok was trying to obtain a review copy of DoL from its publisher, the Foundation for Thought and Ethics. When his request was passed along to me, he and I corresponded briefly. He indicated that if he did not receive a free review copy from FTE, he would wait for an available copy from the local library. That email is dated 11.28.07. I can check with FTE's fulfillment people, but to my knowledge no copies of DoL have yet been delivered to libraries. ADDENDUM: I've now checked with the fulfillment people at FTE, and no copies of DoL have thus far been ordered by libraries.
Needless to say, FTE did not send Kwok a free review copy. P.S. I have copies of all the Amazon pages in question (Kwok's review and the 30 comments). William Dembski
Kwok's review has gone missing? Well, then, Amazon is now on very thin legal ice! Don't they know who Kwok is? Kwok is one of the top 50 Amazon reviewers! I wonder if he's now going to call up one of his high-placed lawyer buddies (One of whom was part of the Clinton administration! Kwok even said so!!) and sue the whole crummy company? Will he make Bezos rue this day? I feel obliged to caution that prudence dictates lightening one's position in AMZN at this point... Seriously, though. Lucky break for Kwok. This over-the-top example of his bluster is no longer part of the public record. Alas. Matteo
John Kwok's review seems to have gone missing. William Brookfield
Kwok is threatening to sue a guy who doesn't think he actually read the book. Interesting. Kwok has made a career out of questioning or disparaging the integrity of all whom he disagrees with (I guess that's what makes him the king of reviews of reviews on Amazon, an exalted position!), but when someone does it to him, he threatens to call the cops. I don't know. Maybe Darwinism really is nothing but the revenge of the high school chess-club poindexters. Matteo
Is an audio book version on the way? I find I read close to 4 times as many books when I have them in audio. Gods iPod
My copy came in from Amazon yesterday and I've only had time for a very brief perusal. But it looks absolutely great. It covers all the basics, is well organized, well written, and esthetically pleasing. It'd make a great text book. Yes, why not order ID books and give them as gifts to friends you know who read. That's what I do. Amazon also needs to know that these books sell. Rude
I'm also missing the recent comments section. Must be a CSS glitch. It looks like they have a new little post nav bar up top now. Must be upgrading the design. vrf
Amazon reviews are mostly feathers and very little chicken. A nice place for childish cat fights and their limited entertainment value, but not much else. Hopefully (although I frankly don't hold out for it) there will be more objective reviews in the popular and scientific press. Are there any of those reviews expected? By anyone of consequence? JWarner
I'm ordering a copy through interlibrary loan at my institution. (Note to BA77: the genetic entropy book just came; I'll pick it up tomorrow). It'll probably be a while before TDOL comes, but I'll read it when it does. Amazon reviews are always a catfight. It's trut that of the ten reviews, 9 are positive. I seem to recognize some of those names . . . Note to admins: my screen has a lot of missing data (no "recent comments" listed). Are others experiencing this too? getawitness
John Kwok reminds me of another Amazon viewer who was slamming ID books a while back. He passed himself off as a "medical researcher" or some such thing in his reviews. Someone discovered his identity and posted the URL of his homepage. It was a student homepage for undergraduates at some college in Colorado. He hadn't even graduated when he was posting. John Kwok sounds like he could be this "medical researcher's" roommate or fraternity brother, what with all his name-dropping and braggadocio. russ
Dr. Dembski, Your comments on Kwok's review can only shut him up. Please be sure to screen capture them all as proof of his baldfaced lies. todd
Jack: Amazon gift certificates. vrf
How can I get my family to read this blog for hints for my Christmas gifts? Ah well, if it doesn't show up under the tree, I'll just have to order it myself. That Kwok fella sure has a burr under his saddle, don't he? Not a helpful review(!?) at all. Jack Golightly
Dr. Dembski, From the reviews I read of many PhD level people, It seems that you and Dr. Wells have really done your homework and put out a top notch book. Even a committed Darwinists/Scientist said that he was impressed with the book. This book is definitely going next to Dr. Behe's "Edge of Evolution" on my book self. bornagain77

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