Richard William Nelson is a young-earth creationist Internet troll and author. Nelson is of course not a scientist – some undergrad classes in biology really doesn’t make you one – but nevertheless doesn’t mind taking on the whole of science in his book Darwin, Then and Now, The Most Amazing Story in the History of Science (2009) [link is to a review]. Like many creationists, Nelson has been caught claiming to take no stance on the issue of evolution, but this is a marketing ploy, just like the several positive reviews of the book he has written and posted, under sockpuppet accounts, on various websites. As for the book itself, it consists to a large extent of quote-mining scientists about evolution, misrepresenting the quotes and even moving words around to make the “quotes” more effective for his purposes. The scientists quoted actually accept evolution, though you’d never guess from Nelson’s misrepresentations. The book also contains most of the familiar creationist PRATTs, including the thoroughly idiotic Piltdown man gambit and asserting there are no transitional fossils. According to Nelson “evolution is a dogma”, which he – without a hint of self-irony – rejects because it is inconsistent with a literal interpretation of the Book of Genesis. Oh, and there is a conspiracy: the true goal of all those Darwinists is to remove God from science.
In addition to Internet trolling, Nelson has apparently been invited to give talks and lectures in various church and fundie fora.
Diagnosis: Pretty nondescript, perhaps, but the sheer dishonesty of it all is rather telling.
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