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.