Skip to comments.Harry Potter fails to cast spell over Professor Richard Dawkins (atheist to write book for kids)
Posted on 10/28/2008 10:19:39 AM PDT by NYer
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.
Prof Hawkins said: "The book I write next year will be a children's book on how to think about the world, science thinking contrasted with mythical thinking.
"I haven't read Harry Potter, I have read Pullman who is the other leading children's author that one might mention and I love his books. I don't know what to think about magic and fairy tales."
Prof Dawkins said he wanted to look at the effects of "bringing children up to believe in spells and wizards".
"I think it is anti-scientific – whether that has a pernicious effect, I don't know," he told More4 News.
"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."
But Prof Dawkins, the bestselling author of The God Delusion who this week agreed to fund a series of atheist adverts on London buses, added that his new book will also set out to demolish the "Judeo-Christian myth".
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.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
"It is evil to describe a child as a Muslim child or a Christian child. I think labelling children is child abuse and I think there is a very heavy issue, for example, about teaching about hell and torturing their minds with hell.
"It's a form of child abuse, even worse than physical child abuse. I wouldn't want to teach a young child, a terrifyingly young child, about hell when he dies, as it's as bad as many forms of physical abuse."
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“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.”
Good. He can start with Global Warming.
So he's writing a book against evolution?
This from Bill Clinton’s alma mater! Barack would have a copy in every classroom!
Yes, let’s take away Santa Claus and Faries and replace them with sex ed and global wrming...That’ll keep the little darlings from worry!
Can we at least have a moment of prayer for the man himself? I mean, can you imagine what a wretched existance he lives, completely separated from God's love, and what a horrible childhood he must have had in some sad, twisted way, to grow up so dreadfully bileful and bitter?
The Golden Compass wasn’t atheist enough?
Two words, though: “Golden Compass”.
St. Jude comes to mind with this guy.
“....he will warn them against believing in “anti-scientific” fairytales.”
Well, Dick, then start close to home and work yourself up to the larger questions.
Like the mythology of the “elite” university and the “wise” college professor.
Dawkins may know a great deal about science, but he knows little else. He knows nothing of God and his attempts to disprove God are simply sad, pitiable really.
Dawkins is a real buffoon.
Which is why he doesn't know it's not actually about the power of magic, but about the power of love and friendship.
He’s a naked bigot.
Pullman’s Dark Materials are a trilogy of fantasy novels. So fantasy novels that preach an alegory that “god is dead” are okay, but any other fantasy elements are wrong wrong wrong.
What an intolerant man.
I for one am looking forward to his public explanation of how Mohammed rode a horse into heaven.
Seems to me, from when my daughter was reading such books as Harry Potter and Pullmans, that both dealt heavily in magic but Potter was not mean spirited or targeting Catholicism. My daughter gave up on Pullman BTW. Dawkins is a first class jerk who doesn't understand the distinctions between science and values and plan old entertainment. He is likely wearing too small a size jockey shorts. I ascribe to evolution as a convincing scientific argument but fail to see how it demands atheism as my religion.
The same courts that keep religious texts out of students’ books will need to keep his atheist faith out of classrooms. It is intolerant of the other faiths.
Adults won’t believe Dawkins so he is targeting children.
LOL! What a dope. And he thinks there will be an audience? Snoooooooze ...
The mystical Dawkins.
“Which is why he doesn’t know it’s not actually about the power of magic, but about the power of love and friendship.”
Yes, and bravery and perseverence, as well as faith and hope. Not to mention the essential and clear, good versus evil dichotomy and thus, a healthy exposition of good old-fashioned judgmentalism.
All some very solid, timeless Christian principles.
He might lose his head when he starts claiming that numerous events in muslim tradition are false.
IF he does, I will respect his nerve and buy his book. Might not read it, but I'll buy it.
I can just picture children begging their parents to read them
"a children's book on how to think about the world, science thinking contrasted with mythical thinking"
Someone has just painted himself as a glamour-bombing target.
I am in most ways a pretty fundamentalist guy who like reading in general and fantasy in specifics. I enjoyed all the Potter books for what they were...fantasy, as did my very grounded 16-year-old, who knows, as I do, the difference between reading about Merlin-like pretend magic and the devil-inspired hubris of messing around with the real thing. But at the core, they are "British Schoolboy Tales" from that lost time in the past when Imperialism was a tradition, honor was a very real thing, and values weren't in shades of gray. HP preaches love, care, and that evil is very real and must be constantly guarded against.
If the Compass books had been written by Robert Heinlein, the bad guys would turn out to be evil reptilian alien with hearts black as coal, and the franchise would have gone on for a dozen movies. My Unitarian brother tried to downplay the Church aspect in Compass, and set it as just another sword and sorcery movie, but I know better; I know what a smarmy old troll Pulman really is, and what's more, I know that the movie was carefully crafted to hide what the trilogy is all about, in order to pull in ignorant parents and get them to buy the books for the kiddies. (That is the most reprehensible part of it...that the movie is just a tool to "get past" the ParentRadar.)
I am a "long-term-miracle" man, myself...taking the progression of life on Earth as evidence of God "breathing life into clay". My faith in Christ's sacrifice making my personal sins clean is not threatened by taking Creation as parable. Still, if I should turn out to be wrong about it, I'm sure God will straighten me out in the first five minutes of the afterlife, and by then, it probably won't matter. Taking at it's original POV, evolution is no more than "survival of the fittest" and man is still here, still on top, and has both the biggest brain and the opposable thumb going for him, so I take that as Divine Providence at work.
“Mummy, let’s read the fun book again, the one about scientific realism and the death of all childhood imagination that will prepare me for the life as a chartered accountant!”
Poor Potter...the lad is safe from noone!
For someone who has no belief in God, Mr. Dawkins seems obsessed with the God of Christians and Muslims (and oblivious to the gods of other religions).
LOL! Great point! A little poignant, too - I remember a conversation I had with a friend's grade school aged child and the earnestness and worry in her voice when telling me about how we have to recycle to save the planet or soon we wouldn't have a planet to live on.
So true. His attempts say more about his anger at God than his disbelief and disregard.
I can’t think of somebody less fitted to write children’s books. It’s not even just the atheism, it’s that he seems about as fun as a root canal without good drugs. Unless perhaps the one causes the other. Which as far as I can tell is entirely possible.
Yes, watching the global warming acolytes is depressing...To be so young, and have such a threat hanging over your head is just sad, and the fact that it’s false makes it that much worse.
Now that is funny.
I think this has been done.
“Lord of the Flies”
This is the problem of education today. On the one hand it produces specialists who have a great deal of knowledge about a very small area of human experience, or on the other it simply creates minds full of nonsense. It is very difficult to find anyone with a well-rounded education.
It is a very sad situation. It is the reason this country is on the verge of electing an empty suit to the White House. That is even more pitiable than Dawkins lack of understanding of the purposes of the imagination.
Anybody who has read the Jennings or Chalet School stories or (most notably) Kipling's Stalky & Co. (which is actually literature, unlike most of the Public School stories) will recognize the breed . . . .
Everybody knows you can't go to hell til you're seven!
his attitude towards fairy tales has been thoroughly debunked by C.S. Lewis (An Experiment in Criticism), J.R.R. Tolkien ("On Fairy-Stories"), and Bruno Bettelheim (The Uses of Enchantment).
Obviously Dawkins has never read a thing in the field, or probably anything outside his own very narrow area of expertise. Proving once again the adage that an expert is a man who knows more and more about less and less, until eventually he knows everything about nothing.
Well, that's for sure. When I was a kid, it was the ozone burning up and running out of coal, etc, and we see how the ozone is repairing itself and there's plenty of coal, cleaner burning.
To be so young, and have such a threat hanging over your head is just sad, and the fact that its false makes it that much worse.
That crowd seem to suck all the joy out of living, and seem to enjoy 'educating' even the youngest children, sapping all the simple joys of childhood (littlest kids wouldn't need to know, even if the tiniest part were true). Sapping out all the joy and fun, while claiming to do the opposite. Sad to watch.
Thanks to grellis for heads up!
Harry Potter books ARE based in Science. Just recently, we’ve seen news articles on microchip based invisibility devices for vehicles, aircraft and personnel. The entire Pharmaceutical industry is based upon concocting potions from various animal and plant products that will treat human and animal diseases.
Many automobiles have Global Positioning Satellite systems that guide them like the “Point Me” spell Harry used in “Goblet of Fire.” It’s only a matter of time before antigravity generators are perfected making flying by brooms possible.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic - Arther C Clarke
I have a .+. squirrel "helping" me type...
So true, nully.
Thank you for the Potterping, retrokitten!
SL! I was just thinking that I hadn’t seen you around in while. Hope everything is going OK!
Check your FR mail.
Actually, something along these lines already exists called "Junior Skeptic".