Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Speaking of idiots ...

... Richard Dawkins is a bore.
The prominent atheist is stepping down from his post at Oxford University to write a book aimed at youngsters in which he will warn them against believing in "anti-scientific" fairytales.
Dawkins, it's called "fiction". Children don't grow up believing in witches and wizards, it's a good yarn. So what's next? Is he going to rail against Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, or Pearl S. Buck's The Good Earth? Or does he just have fantasy fiction literature in his sights?

Perhaps Dawkins would prefer if children just read The God Delusion? That'll certainly generate interest in reading, right? What ever happened to the imagination?

h/t to Mark Shea.


Philip H. said...

Oh Geez, now to please Dawkins do I have to give up Star Trek? And then Harry Potter? The later is one of the few things my 12 year old daughter will talk to me about, and she and I have shared more then a few nights reading of the books over the years.


Tom said...

Harry Potter is definitely, IIRC, on his list. Not that I know the man, but from all I know he appears to be very dour. I have about five boxes of books in my attic, a majority of which are the fantasy and science fiction books I read as a child. Lloyd Alexander, Michael Moorcock, Piers Anthony, J.R.R. Tolkein, and C.S. Lewis to name but a few.

My summers were spent either playing stickball in the streets outside my house, or reading. I can't imagine having read "scientific texts" on my summer breaks. That just would not have captured my imagination, and I feel that my ability to "dream big" would have been hampered by Dawkin's suggestions. I also didn't grow up thinking that dragons existed, or that I could cast spells, or that there were things such as magic swords and staves.

Dawkins should let kids be kids. Let them dream big ... hell, let them dream period. It certainly isn't going to hurt them. His position reminds me of the movie Equilibrium (2002) starring Christian Bale.