Jay3fer Posted December 19, 2011 Share Posted December 19, 2011 Took this Richard Dawkins book out of the library on the enthusiastic recommendations of several posters here who said that, despite Dawkins's track record, the book is "not a screed" and not "anti-religion" and that he keeps his science content well away from his rabidly atheist views. I beg to differ. First, about me: I don't consider myself extreme. Though we are enjoying the science part of Apologia, we do not hold with a young-earth view of Creation. We are Jewish, and believe in a God who carries on his act of Creation every day through the world around us. Mainstream Judaism is generally very open to scientific thought and endeavour, believing humbly that we don't really know everything there is to know - either about Torah (Bible) or the world around us. There are mysteries in both realms. So I cracked this book, eagerly, and I think with an open mind. And was blown away, from the start, by his vehemence and hatred of religion or any spiritual pursuit whatsoever. He starts by saying that the supernatural "can never offer us a true explanation of the things we see in the world... indeed, to claim a supernatural explanation of something is not to explain it at all and, even worse, to rule out any possibility of its ever being explained." About the story of Adam & Eve, he says "to this day, the story... is still taken seriously by many people under the name of 'original sin.'" (As a Jew, I don't believe in original sin, but I definitely take the story seriously.) He goes on to say that "stories are fun, and we all love repeating them. But when we hear a colourful story, whether it is an ancient myth or a modern 'urban legend'... it is ... worth stopping to ask whether it - or any part of it - is true. So let's ask ourselves this question - who was the first person? - and take a look at the true, scientific answer." I'm much further than that into the book by now, and I could come up with dozens of examples where he dismisses any form of faith as silly, backwards, or even downright evil. I will finish the book, because much of the science is fascinating and very beautiful: magical indeed. But I would never share this book with young children... and I believe I wouldn't EVEN IF I wasn't religious, because of its extreme disrespect - nay, hatred - of anything beyond the "truths" of the scientific process. His interjections of "isn't that silly" and the like to any discussion of what people of faith believe (though he usually uses the past tense - believed) remind me a bit of the more cloying passages in Apologia, where the book has ALREADY demonstrated the wonders of God's creation but just can't let it rest. When I read those bits of Apologia, I keep thinking God doesn't need so much help convincing us He's out there. When I read these strident passages in a book Dawkins has written for CHILDREN :001_huh:, it makes me wonder why he has to attack everybody else - under a thin veil of scientific omniscience - just to go on believing what he believes. If you use this book with your kids, what do you do with those passages? Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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