So, do you plan to read The Greatest Show on Earth? Or is Dawkins "too much"? That's what Karen Armstrong says (in so many words) in this interview ("The Changing Perception of God"). She was in my fair city a couple of days ago, being interviewed on the local PBS station. She talks about lots of things, but near the end about the new atheists. She complains, "There's an aggression there." Dawkins and Hitchens talk about "exterminating" and "expunging" religion, which she says is deplorable, given the events of the 20th century. She thinks they're bigots. Well, I loved Armstrong's book The Spiral Staircase so much that I'm as ready to listen to her as to Dawkins. So what I want to know is: where did she get those words? Have Dawkins or Hitchens actually used them? Does anyone know?
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
The Greatest Show On Earth
My copy arrived yesterday, and here's what I think so far--this is a really yummy looking book. It has a black cover with silver butterflies that somehow pick up the colors of surrounding objects and shimmer. Inside, there are three sections of full-color, very intriguing animal photographs. Then there are immediately enticing charts and pictures sprinkled throughout the text. The font is unusually readable and the paper really nice. And then there are all the section titles that immediately leap out at you, bidding you to come on in, not just to learn but to be entertained. I shall probably just sit and pet the book for a while (because I'm busy with other things), but I couldn't resist a peek. Ah yes, there are going to be some polemical bits, and some jabs at creationists. That's all well and good, but must Dawkins really compare evolution-deniers to Holocaust-deniers? Isn't it vastly more pernicious to deny what happened to the six million, than to tell a silly story about the origin of species?