Richard Dawkins wrote a very excellent book on, to borrow from Jerry Coyne's also excellent and eponymously titled book, why evolution is true. Dawkins went on his promotional tour, many times being thrown to wolves who had no interest in helping him promote his latest book or in evolution itself. Many of these television personalities were focused on taking a swipe at, what they must have perceived to be, the Pope of New Atheism and obsessing over his 2006 book, The God Delusion. Richard Dawkins handled them as he handles most willfully ignorant people; with aplomb, politeness, and even at his breaking point where most of us would want to strangle the person, polite exasperation.
After three years of The God Delusion and many people are still disturbed by this unapologetic and critical look at religion. I know of adults who faced public ridicule and persecution simply for reading this book in public. This goes to show you how dangerous ideas can be and how tenuously faith must be to illicit such a fervent and overzealous response. Of course, in some social circles, merely reading any type of book might gain you a strange look. But what would happen if a book of this nature were specifically targeted to teens?
The well-known scientist and atheist has struck a book deal for his first title for young adults, which will look to explode myths and legends about the natural world with science. Due out in autumn 2011, What is a Rainbow, Really? will take on topics including who the first man and first woman were, why there are seasons, what the sun is, how old the world is and why there are so many animals, first answering the questions with myth and legend, and then with "lucid scientific explanations".
This book will be aimed at 12 years and older. Can you imagine the firestorm when this book gets close to publishing and religious parents get wind of its existence? There will be the manufactured outrage, of course. But there will also be the book banning as parents demand that this book not be offered along with other popular literature aimed at teens. Also, the denouncements from parents who have not even bothered to open the book that they so quickly dismiss as being an attempt at indoctrinating their children with atheism.
It there is a bright side, it is that at least while Dawkins is on a promotional tour of this book, his hosts will be more inclined to discuss his current work.
Via The Guardian