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Richard Dawkins goes after the young

According to the Telegraph, Richard Dawkins, the feted atheist, announced last month that he would be stepping down from his post at Oxford University to focus on a more pressing concern than proving the God delusion to a bunch of stuffy academics.

Instead, he’ll be turning his attention to a younger audience, which evidently has been corrupted by endless stories about spells and wizards. His latest endeavour will set out to demolish not only the Judeo-Christian myth, but also some of the time-honoured conventions of kids’ lit. Said Dawkins:

I think looking back to my own childhood, the fact that so many of the stories I read allowed the possibility of frogs turning into princes, whether that has a sort of insidious affect on rationality, I’m not sure. Perhaps it’s something for research.

Whether or not Dawkins is even capable of writing a book that would entertain the wee ones remains to be seen. But from his early description, it does sound a little, er, dry.

He went on: I plan to look at mythical accounts of various things and also the scientific account of the same thing. And the mythical account that I look at will be several different myths, of which the Judeo-Christian one will just be one of many.

And the scientific one will be substantiated, but appeal to children to think for themselves; to look at the evidence. Always look at the evidence.

Yeesh. No word yet if any publisher has been hooked by that pitch.


November 21st, 2008

1:56 pm

Category: Book news

Tagged with: children's books