Our auction is still running with three days to go: a multiply autographed and illustrated copy of Faith versus Fact

December 6, 2020 • 9:00 am

As I noted a few days ago, Kelly Houle and I are running an eBay auction for charity, with the object up for bid being a multiply-autographed hardback copy of Faith Versus Fact: Why Science and Religion Are Incompatible.  The copy for sale has 28 signatures of famous secularists, including the three surviving “horsemen”: Dan Dennett, Richard Dawkins, and Sam Harris, as well as others like Steve Pinker, James Randi, Annie Laurie Gaylor, Dan Barker, and Julia Sweeney. It’s also signed by three Nobel Laureates: Harold Varmus, Adam Riess, and David Gross. See all the signers on my post or the auction site itself. It’s also signed by Kelly and me (I added a crude cat drawing.)

Further, the book has been illuminated with the calligraphy and artwork of our favorite natural-history artist, Kelly Houle, who did a superb title-page drawing and also a few cat drawings. Her artwork on the book can also be seen at the two sites.

Kelly and I did this previously with Why Evolution is True, earning more than $10,300 for a charity, in that case Doctors Without Borders. This year all auction proceeds go to Helen Keller International, an efficient and highly-rated charity that helps alleviate blindness and malnutrition throughout the world. (Peter Singer highlighted it as one of his favorite charities.) As a bonus, the Friends of Helen Keller International have pledged to double any donation, so whoever buys the book will have the satisfaction of contributing twice what they pay to a good humanitarian cause.

The price, with three days left to go, is still lower than I expected, as you can see from the screenshot below (click on it to join the fun). Remember, I schlepped that book around for five years from meeting to meeting, all to collect signatures for this auction. And Kelly labored through long nights doing the artwork. It’s worth more!

Kelly’s illumination of the title page (there are others) and one page of autographs.

One page also has Kelly’s anamorphic mirror drawing of James Randi, one of the signers; the mirror comes with the book:

If you have the dosh and want a unique book with great artwork and a collection of signatures never to be repeated (remember, Randi passed away recently), go over and bid. Or call the auction to the attention of those who might be interested. Remember, neither Kelly nor I make a penny from this, and Helen Keller International uses 82.5% of the donations for its programs—a very high proportion.

How can you overlook a book recommended by The Pinkah? (He also reviewed it favorably in Current Biology.)

4 thoughts on “Our auction is still running with three days to go: a multiply autographed and illustrated copy of Faith versus Fact

  1. Jerry, may I make a humble suggestion? Time is short and I agree that your collector’s edition of WEIT is worth way more than $2500. Maybe you could reach out to the signatories of the book if you haven’t to boost the auction by linking to it on their social media like Twitter (as Pinker did)? I’m thinking of Harris in particular who has 1.4M followers. I wouldn’t think of such a request of friends and confreres as somehow unseemly given that it’s promoting charitable giving to such a noble cause rather than the book itself.

    1. That is an excellent suggestion, and yes, book is worth far more; it is value-added. (Illustrations and lovingly collected autographs are not graffiti!)

      And, having received an unexpected refund on my property taxes, I could outbid the current price, But what if I won?

      More problems for all, as I’d have to find it a proper home, as the book itself deserves to be in a place where it can be treasured and preserved in a display case. In some nice library, where it can be read and viewed on a limited basis. (And my non-celebrity cat would add nothing to the value by chewing the pages. Which she would.)

  2. Were I into signed books I’d bid myself. That’s a very cool thing you did there.
    I went to see Dawky himself when he gave a book speech for his new kids book in Brooklyn last year – it was excellent and he was in incredible fighting form. I bought the last copy of the (signed) book – by chance actually – and gave it to my nephews in Australia – little budding atheists they are. I read it myself on the plane there in February and it is up to snuff – as always with him.
    D.A., NYC

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