Book Review: Science of Discworld III: Darwin’s Watch

If you’re looking for preachy evangelical atheism, this book is for you. When I grab a Terry Pratchett book, I expect an multi-level fantasy escape – something that can be read for pure enjoyment on one level and have interesting commentary on the human condition on another level. I really don’t want to be preached at by someone trying to show how their world view is right and everyone else is a nut job.

Unfortunately, the hammer beating for evangelical atheism is not disguised under an amusing story that is pleasant to read. The disc world characters are are ancillary and appear to be thrown in as an after thought.

I note that there are three authors and I am willing to bet that one can pick out which pieces were written by Terry Pratchett and which pieces were written by people who don’t appear to be able to soft sell their position (to be fair, I’ve never heard of Jack Cohen or Ian Stewart before, but after this book I’ll only pay attention to them to avoid their writings).

To be clear, I personally want my pharmaceutical research scientist to have a firm grasp of genetics, mutations, microbiology, and the evolutionary process. However, I completely fail to see the value of ensuring that the Wal-Mart greeter professes a belief or understanding of evolutionary atheism.

If those of us with a scientific bent were honest and examined the implications of a complete acceptance of the evolutionary atheistic position, we would realize that there are basically two rational positions that a person could hold: the vegan starving under the tree for the fruit to fall before they will eat it because all genetic material is of equal value or the national socialist’s practicing active eugenics to ensure that their genetic material is given preferential treatment. Neither of these positions would create a society that I would want to live in.

Bottom line, if you are looking for heavy handed preaching for evolutionary atheism this is the book for you. If you’re looking for one of Terry Pratchett’s wonderful disc world novels, keep looking.


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