The “noviewers” are back, attacking Darwin’s Doubt without reading it

I won a contest by coining a phrase over at Uncommon Descent a couple years ago: Noviewer — Someone who writes a review on something he hasn’t read or seen. Apparently some people haven’t evolved enough to realize how it impacts their credibility when they lie to support their worldview.

Looks like the noviewers are out in force with the release of Stephen Meyer’s Darwin’s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design. There are lots of 1 star reviews at Amazon already and the content makes it obvious that they haven’t read it. These close-minded people really, really don’t like to hear alternate views or to let others have the opportunity to hear them. I wish Amazon required reviewers to pass a brief quiz before posting about controversial books.

Here’s an example of a noviewer:

Over at Evolution News & Views, Casey Luskin asks, could P. Z. Myers even possibly have read Steve Meyer’s Darwin’s Doubt before writing a long essay trashing it?:

Now, Darwin’s Doubt runs to 413 pages, excluding endnotes and bibliography. Neither the book’s publisher, HarperOne, nor its author sent Matzke a prepublication review copy. Did Matzke in fact read its 400+ pages and then write his 9400+ word response — roughly 30 double-spaced pages — in little more than a day?

Perhaps, but a more likely hypothesis is that he wrote the lion’s share of the review before the book was released based upon what he presumed it would say. A reviewer who did receive a prepublication copy, University of Pittsburgh physicist David Snoke, writes:

A caution: this is a tome that took me two weeks to go through in evening reading, and I am familiar with the field. Like the classic tome Gödel, Escher, Bach, it simply can’t be gone through quickly. I was struck that the week it was released, within one day of shipping, there were already hostile reviews up on Amazon. Simply impossible that they could have read this book in one night.

I’ve started Darwin’s Doubt and it is amazing so far. The preface alone is worth the money. It is interesting how the critics of Meyer’s last book so thoroughly miss his points. Perhaps it is because they don’t actually take the time to read them?

Also see Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design by Stephen C. Meyer.

13 thoughts on “The “noviewers” are back, attacking Darwin’s Doubt without reading it

  1. @marshalart: I haven’t read the book and thus haven’t formed an opinion of it yet myself, but I think you just verified the post ;)

    • Hi Josh,

      Thanks for visiting and commenting! Your blog is great.

      P.S. You may have realized this but Marshall was being sarcastic. He’s a good guy, and a regular.

      • Haha thanks. Sorry, sarcasm isn’t conveyed too well by text when you don’t know someone ;) Good to know!

  2. If you think about it, this is no different than all those atheists and skeptics who always comment about the Bible based on finding talking points on the Internet, and have never read the book for themselves.

  3. When reading comments on Amazon I usually read the 2-4 star reviews. I find that the 1 & 5 star reviews are typically exaggerated and not very useful. I’d rather read the balanced review.

  4. A little confused:
    “Over at Evolution News & Views, Casey Luskin asks, could P. Z. Myers even possibly have read Steve Meyer’s Darwin’s Doubt before writing a long essay trashing it?:

    Now, Darwin’s Doubt runs to 413 pages, excluding endnotes and bibliography. Neither the book’s publisher, HarperOne, nor its author sent Matzke a prepublication review copy. Did Matzke in fact read its 400+ pages and then write his 9400+ word response — roughly 30 double-spaced pages — in little more than a day?”

    So who is being discussed here, PZ Myers, or Matzke?

      • The link now reads: “Over at Evolution News & Views, Casey Luskin asks, could Nick Matzke even possibly have read Steve Meyer’s Darwin’s Doubt before writing a long essay trashing it?”

        It was a mistake.

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