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Bang! How We Came To Be - Comments

Universeman's Avatar Comment 1 by Universeman

Wow two more children's books to wage war against magical thinking, I am really excited about this, my little girl is almost four so this book is just right for her. My wife still believes in the LDS faith so my children are being raised to believe in that nonsense, I already have Dawkin's The Magic of Reality, perfect for my fourteen year old daughter but it is a bit much for my ten year old son (he will receive Billions of years of amazing changes). My greatest concern is that if I charge in and start ripping apart the Mormon church before they are ready to hear such a thing, let alone my atheism, that I will do far more harm than good. It is my sincere hope that these books will pave the way for my family's exit from religion, or at the very least put religion in it's proper perspective as just a moral guideline.

Thu, 27 Oct 2011 03:19:13 UTC | #884446

alaskansee's Avatar Comment 2 by alaskansee

every doctor's office seems to be stocked with some ludicrous children's book promoting that nonsensical Noah's ark story

Can some of our friends in the US friends help stamp this out? Is there not some legal responsibility for medical professionals NOT to use there position of authority to tell lies? This is fucking terrible to live in a country where even a visit to the Doctor can result in mental abuse. Is it possible to link this to Anti Vacs crap, next time you see a situation like this you ask for permission to drop off some AV propaganda to keep theirs company?

Thu, 27 Oct 2011 04:44:12 UTC | #884450

rjohn19's Avatar Comment 3 by rjohn19

It's actually worse than you might imagine.

Let me preface by telling you my grandson was sick a good bit of the time from age 6 to 11 and since he already had a doctor and I already had to take him there, it made sense for me to choose this doctor as well. Very, very nice man and he does what I tell him to do (his compliant religious nature I suppose). While he was seeing my grandson, I'd say, "Doc, I have this or that and crappy health insurance, can you write me one for this or that?" And he would. Not to the Michael Jackson level or kind of drug but enough to get me by.

His cadre of four doctors are all religious and not only do they have the books, Christian radio plays in the waiting room and the exam rooms! I'd tell you which station but in Upstate South Carolina there are so many and to my deafened ear, they all sound alike and equally unintelligible. There's just never a Babel fish around when you need one.

Thu, 27 Oct 2011 05:17:26 UTC | #884452

PatW's Avatar Comment 4 by PatW

If ever a viable case for biological evolution has been made, the following website has the beginning of that physical proof:

http://science.kqed.org/quest/2011/09/12/turning-chickens-into-dinosaurs/

Please watch the video. I found it to be answering questions with physical evidence not simply hypothesis or theory.

The information at the website what was I stumbled across seeking information on why chickens, not normally producing teeth, were abnormally able to produce teeth. That goes back to millions of years ago when reptilian raptor predators, growing their own feathers, needed teeth for the prey they hunted.

Thu, 27 Oct 2011 05:50:00 UTC | #884455

Reckless Monkey's Avatar Comment 5 by Reckless Monkey

Comment 1 by Universeman My greatest concern is that if I charge in and start ripping apart the Mormon church before they are ready to hear such a thing,

Your situation sounds very familiar to me. My father left the LDS church slowly over a period of 8 years he had doubts and was researching everything he could. Eventually he had enough evidence and he left. He then persisted with Mum still dragging us kids along. My older brother was unconvinced and Dad put his foot down and insisted that if my brother didn't want to go he didn't have to. I was about 10 at this stage. The family dynamic had some tension and I became religious (I started to really believe not just the usual indoctrination) at about 12. By 15 I was at a breaking point as I was taking it all too seriously and was super committed. I was trying to bring my dad back into the faith he was stuck trying to keep the peace and would tell me that I didn't understand. My grades fell through the floor and I left high school. Things came to a head when my Dad finally told my mother that either she read the literature (all mormon literature by the way) or he couldn't stay in the marriage. Mum did and to her credit dropped the church instantly. I demanding to know what was happening to my family and was shocked at how easily my mother had dropped the belief of a lifetime. I asked him to show the evidence he asked me to get a couple of copies of the book of mormon (which is the word of god correctly translated unlike the bible) and demonstrated through a couple of passages that had been subtly altered to make it appear less racist. That was it for me also and I had my only truly religious feeling a wave of euphoria swept over me as years of guilt were washed away (ironic considering that this is why I was taking sacrament every Sunday). The next year I went back to high school and haven't looked back.

I wish my father had told me earlier, It would have saved me years of unnecessary pain and tension. But I suppose I understand why you haven't pushed it yet. It doesn't always work out so well, us leaving the church drove my grandmother into a nervous breakdown. Good Luck. Try to be honest with your kids if you can.

Thu, 27 Oct 2011 06:26:04 UTC | #884458

Mike Kemp's Avatar Comment 6 by Mike Kemp

Pity the book starts out with the oft repeated image of an explosion to illustrate the big bang. You see this on TV all the time when the origins of the universe are explained. I think it gives the pyrotechnic guys (or sometimes CG guys) a chance to have fun.

This creates the misconception that the big bang was an explosion somewhere in space. "Which direction to the big bang?" I heard Stephen Fry ask Prof. Brian Cox on a recent "QI" TV show. Cox answered after a short pause to gather himself after this shocking question and said with an inclusive hand gesture. "Why, it happened here of course."

Anyone figured out how to illustrate it properly?

Thu, 27 Oct 2011 07:15:57 UTC | #884462

PERSON's Avatar Comment 7 by PERSON

Comment 6 by Mike Kemp

One illustration I've seen is a set of dots stuck on a balloon, a 2d analogy for the expansion of 3d space. That was used at a RI Christmas lecture, I think, and was what first helped me understand it. I sometimes wonder what the difference would be if rather than there being more space, all matter was shrinking.

Thu, 27 Oct 2011 07:23:13 UTC | #884463

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 8 by Stafford Gordon

I would have loved such a book when our daughters were girls, but now they're women and both reading science (Biology and Chemistry) at Imperial and Cambridge.

However, I did buy them the Collector's Library edition of The Origin of Species when they were sixteen; don't know if they actually read it of course; horses to water, but I did what I could.

Thu, 27 Oct 2011 07:36:19 UTC | #884465

Hellboy2's Avatar Comment 9 by Hellboy2

Although I used to pore over books on dinosaurs as a kid I would have loved to have had something like this. Another xmas gift for my kids then !

Thu, 27 Oct 2011 12:03:49 UTC | #884523

KenChimp's Avatar Comment 10 by KenChimp

Although PZ Myers' anecdote on the reading material for kids in doctors' offices is sadly the norm, I had the happy occasion of being in a doctor's office as a young teen when a woman representing some christian group came to "donate" creationist kids pamphlets and books. The doctor owning the practice himself came out once he was alerted to the situation by his staff, and he told the woman rather sternly that he did not want her pushing her dope (so to speak) to kids in his office.

From what I recall he said something similar to "You will not be peddling your ridiculous lies to impressionable young minds in my establishment!"

Hehehe. I looked up from the article in National Geographic I was reading to thank him. Even though I considered myself to be christian back then, my parents instilled in me a firm respect for reason and science, and encouraged my critical thinking. I'm rather thankful my family was that way in spite of its undeniable christian bent.

Thu, 27 Oct 2011 14:39:42 UTC | #884564

Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Comment 11 by Rawhard Dickins

Why does Amazon promote: "The Challenge" when you search for "Bang! How We Came To Be"

From the intro:

"The Challenge dramatically demonstrates why the Bible is the ultimate "quest quencher," the most unique, influential and intellectually compelling book ever written."

It made me laugh! Most of America is still in the intellectual dark ages it seems!

Thu, 27 Oct 2011 19:56:09 UTC | #884651

PCIRL2011's Avatar Comment 12 by PCIRL2011

It's Great to see more childrens books on evolution and science. The key to teaching Evolution is to begin at a young age, at around five years of age. Both Science and Evolution should be compulsory on all education curriculum's across the western world with a sample text consisting of something along the lines of Richard Dawkins' "Magic of Reality" in order for all children to develop a strong understanding of the subject. Creationist Propaganda which is forced down young children's necks by organisations such as the Catholic Church (Who claim to "believe in " Evolution) should not be teached to children in any shade or form, end of story!!

Thu, 27 Oct 2011 20:37:09 UTC | #884676

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 13 by Schrodinger's Cat

Bang! How We Came To Be

Some titles are just looking for double entendre.

Thu, 27 Oct 2011 20:51:51 UTC | #884683

Agrajag's Avatar Comment 14 by Agrajag

Comment 13 by Schrodinger's Cat

Bang! How We Came To Be

Some titles are just looking for double entendre.

So... I wasn't the only one who thought it might be sex education for kids. ;-)
Steve

Thu, 27 Oct 2011 21:07:11 UTC | #884689

M69att's Avatar Comment 15 by M69att

Fantastic, I've just ordered a copy. My wife thinks I'm crazy because I keep buying books like 'The Magic of Reality' and 'Evolution: The Human Story' by Dr. Alice Roberts for my daughter; who's 3! Well, if I have a heart attack or get hit by a bus, at least I'll die knowing some good book are waiting on the shelf for her. But, seriously, I'm really looking forward to having something like this that I can share with her now.

My wife still believes in the LDS faith

You must be a man of incredible patience my friend. My wife is only mildly superstitious in a, 'There must be something out there' or 'there might be some truth to homoeopathy' kind of way and even that is enough to nearly drive me crazy at times. I think my head would explode in your circumstances. Although really, I don't mean to be glib. It sounds like a fine line that you must walk. Take hope from Reckless Monkey's post, reason will probably prevail in the end.

Thu, 27 Oct 2011 22:14:02 UTC | #884718

Crimbly's Avatar Comment 16 by Crimbly

Comment 11 by Rawhard Dickins :

Why does Amazon promote: "The Challenge" when you search for "Bang! How We Came To Be"

From the intro:

"The Challenge dramatically demonstrates why the Bible is the ultimate "quest quencher," the most unique, influential and intellectually compelling book ever written."

It made me laugh! Most of America is still in the intellectual dark ages it seems!

Well to be fair it is one of the most influential books ever written, that can't be denied. Still, one out of three ain't bad. That description made me laugh too.

Fish and barrels spring to mind.

Fri, 28 Oct 2011 06:44:10 UTC | #884805

Mike Kemp's Avatar Comment 17 by Mike Kemp

"the Bible is the ultimate "quest quencher,""

That's probably fair to say. If "quest" suggests the search for truth and "quencher" suggests extinguishing that search. It certainly seems to shut down reason where it is heavily deployed.

Fri, 28 Oct 2011 07:03:21 UTC | #884810

IDLERACER's Avatar Comment 18 by IDLERACER

My sister is an orthodox Jew who lives in Jerusalem. We don't speak. My late father was also an orthodox Jew. My sister inherited all his genes. I'm more like my mother (who wouldn't describe herself as an Atheist, but as a non-practicing Jew). The day my father passed away, my mom took all the silverware that was in one drawer, and all the silverware that was in the other, and mixed them all into one larger drawer. With my dad gone, and my sister living half-way around the world, the food Nazis were no longer there to get on her case about not keeping kosher or watching television on Saturday. She is now 91 years old, and not being able to use a light-switch on Friday evenings would be particularly dangerous for a senior citizen living alone.

Fri, 28 Oct 2011 08:18:29 UTC | #884824

Zeuglodon's Avatar Comment 19 by Zeuglodon

Comment 4 by PatW

If ever a viable case for biological evolution has been made, the following website has the beginning of that physical proof:

http://science.kqed.org/quest/2011/09/12/turning-chickens-into-dinosaurs/

Please watch the video. I found it to be answering questions with physical evidence not simply hypothesis or theory.

The information at the website what was I stumbled across seeking information on why chickens, not normally producing teeth, were abnormally able to produce teeth. That goes back to millions of years ago when reptilian raptor predators, growing their own feathers, needed teeth for the prey they hunted.

Vestigial organs are a viable case for biological evolution. As are the truckloads of fossils kept in museums. As are the physical similarities between many species. As are their genetics. As are dog breeds, horse breeds, cow breeds, pigeon breeds et cetera. Not to mention the fact that our method of reproduction, variable-looking offspring, tendency for some people with genetic disorders to die off, and genetic relations between kin and fellow species members fit neatly into the model. After all that, it's frankly weird that you singled out chicken's teeth as some clinching proof of evolution.

Sat, 29 Oct 2011 00:05:50 UTC | #885128

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 20 by Alan4discussion

Comment 4 by PatW

If ever a viable case for biological evolution has been made, the following website has the beginning of that physical proof:

http://science.kqed.org/quest/2011/09/12/turning-chickens-into-dinosaurs/

Please watch the video. I found it to be answering questions with physical evidence not simply hypothesis or theory.

If you want more details on this Pat, have a look at this discussion and linked article/photographs.

Sat, 29 Oct 2011 13:13:21 UTC | #885194

Zeuglodon's Avatar Comment 21 by Zeuglodon

Comment 14 by Agrajag

Comment 13 by Schrodinger's Cat

Bang! How We Came To Be

Some titles are just looking for double entendre.

So... I wasn't the only one who thought it might be sex education for kids. ;-) Steve

Argh! Innocent thoughts have been killed in my head. Thanks a bunch, guys. :(

Sat, 29 Oct 2011 13:47:24 UTC | #885201

UGene's Avatar Comment 22 by UGene

I suspect that the more recent parts will be conveniently left out, like the politically incorrect facts that only non-Blacks are part-Neanderthal and also only Melanesians and Australian Aborigines are part Denisovan.

We would want children to become racist by knowing the truth about our 'complicated' origins, right?

Sun, 30 Oct 2011 13:45:40 UTC | #885392