Dawkins to Target Teenagers? Let the Apoplectic Response from Theists and Media Begin!

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

Views: 36

Comment by Reggie on October 24, 2009 at 1:24pm
@ Shine - I don't know how the publishing world truly works, but Dawkins has a strong audience in the USA and I would be surprised if it was not distributed here.

And excellent points about the Harry Potter and Biblical Literature for children. It really shows the hypocrisy of people like Lisa Miller who imply that Christianity is plenty tolerant and it is the atheists who are being intolerant.
Comment by Danielle on October 24, 2009 at 2:20pm
Oh i can't wait.
Dawkins gets more publicity than he would on his own because of the crazy conservatives protesting him so vehemently. And it gives him a chance to speak his mind more often! The more the better in my opinion.
Comment by Galen on October 24, 2009 at 7:26pm
It's my general rule of thumb that if Fundies are protesting something, it's probably awesome and I should check it out.
Comment by Reggie on October 24, 2009 at 7:29pm
@ Galen - Hahaha.
Comment by Reggie on October 26, 2009 at 7:08am
Pure evil, Neal!
Comment by a7 on October 26, 2009 at 7:09am
great news regg,

I would also like to point out that no matter how good and well written the god delusion was it was never going to get the masses or children involved. Now I wrote a blog about the way forward in my eyes and I said we should be targeting the masses and the kids.


I will be ordering 3 books for my youngest and two nephews, the older kids are well versed in why we are atheists. The new book is whats needed and should also be aimed at jane and joe public.

neal, great idea, i will be writing to both schools that my kids attend with this.

see you all around lads and lassies

Comment by Dave G on October 26, 2009 at 1:42pm
Donating several copies of this book (once out) to schools, libraries and the like (church libraries? >:) ) sounds like a good cause to me.
Comment by a7 on October 26, 2009 at 3:56pm
Your the man Dave G, I'll support you. I joined something similair with rd forums years vback
bought a copy and forwared it on to a local MP.

ill check with the glasgow library dept as well.

bye people, take care

Comment by Stefftastic on October 27, 2009 at 3:43am
I agree with Danielle, Galen and Neal. (Wow, so many things I agree with on this site. I wonder why. The lack of hypocritical sheep, perhaps?)

Definitely snagging a copy of this for the younger-minded people I know. Like my little brother (although he's only seven at the moment.. I can wait) but also friends my age who just don't want to exert the amount of brainpower necessary to understand the more sciencey books xD


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