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Monday, August 28, 2006


Just Plain Incorrect

Over at The Panda's Thumb, the contributors are doing a good ol' fashioned chapter-by-chapter fisking shredding of Jonathan Wells' newest creationist tract book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design. Given that Wells is the author of that textbook example of quote mining, Icons of Evolution (link goes to the TalkOrigins FAQ on the book), it's no surprise he's, shall we say, less than careful with his facts and arguments. It gets really tiresome to see biblical creationists scientific creationists intelligent design proponents recycle the same discredited arguments over and over ad infinitum, and I'm glad there are people willing to continue to take up the thankless task of refuting these arguments yet again.

But this post isn't about Wells' book per se, but rather the whole "Politically Incorrect" series. PZ Myers linked to a post on another blog parodying the series of books with additional made-up topics. It was good for a laugh and nicely illustrates how the phrase "politically incorrect" has apparently mutated (at least in the minds of Regnery publishing and their readers) from "don't be afraid to voice an unpopular opinion if you can back it up with facts" (as demonstrated by Bill Maher) to mean "any part of conventional histororical or scientific knowledge that supports a 'liberal' position is actually wrong, and all the 'real' facts support our preconceived prejudices and justify our bigotry." The supreme irony, of course, is that it seems like all the "Politically Incorrect" books rely on dishonest rhetoric and distortion of facts to arrive at the predetermined conclusion that everything "liberal" is bad.

Unfortunately, what is chilling is that the actual books in this series are just as ridiculous (if not moreso for apparently being serious arguments) as the parodies on display at that blog post on 90% True. The other books in this series besides Wells' include:Well, it looks like I've got my fall reading list together! And if your irony meter has survived the absurdity of these books and their "mythbusting" of conventional knowledge, here's the crowning touch: since "Politically Incorrect Guide" forms the acronym P.I.G., they apparently thought it was a great idea to use a pig as the representative icon for their book series! How appropriate for such pig-ignorant, pig-headed crap.

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I had intended to cover every subject taught in high school, but I never got around to it.

I'd like to see what others could do with, say, the Politically Incorrect Guide to Particle Physics, or maybe something really bizarre like the Politically Incorrect Guide to Rocks and Minerals.

Maybe I should submit a photoshop contest on Fark?
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