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

2008-10-25

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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Man Beheads Fellow Passenger in Canada

2008-07-31

When the snipper shootings were going on in the D.C. area, I was pretty sure that it was some disgruntled, 20 to 30 year old, single, white men. I was wrong. I might be this time to … but for some reason I doubt it.

It looks like a passenger in Canada stabbed and beheaded a fellow passenger. As of this writing the police aren’t releasing the name of either the victim or the criminal. I wonder why they aren’t releasing the name of the perpetrator? Could it be that it sounds too ethnic? Could it offend the religion of peace submission to announce the man’s name? By the way, which group is it that has a habit of beheading their victims? Oh that’s right, but we mustn’t say anything negative about them or they’ll turn violent on us …


Belgium Woman Raped For Not Wearing Veil

2008-06-30

It looks like a Belgium woman was raped in the capital of Europe for not wearing a veil. Wonder how long Europe will remain even semi-free? Will burkas be required dress in America before Barack Hussein Obama leaves office?

Was this rape against the teachings of Islam? Against what the prophet did and taught? Aren’t we told — repeatedly — that Islam is the religion of peace?

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Pakistan to Ask EU to Amend Laws on Freedom of Expression

2008-06-21

The Daily Times is reporting

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will ask the European Union countries to amend laws regarding freedom of expression in order to prevent offensive incidents such as the printing of blasphemous caricatures of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and the production of an anti-Islam film by a Dutch legislator, sources in the Interior Ministry told Daily Times on Saturday.

the report goes on to say

They said that the delegation would also tell the EU that if such acts [cartoons] against Islam are not controlled, more attacks on the EU diplomatic missions abroad could not be ruled out.

Sources said that the delegation would also hold discussions on inter-religious harmony during its meetings with the EU leaders.

So an Islamic country [Pakistan] is threatening more violence against diplomatic missions unless Europe surrenders one of the primary foundations of liberal Western thought — freedom of expression. How long before they decide to make the same threat against the U.S.? Will they wait until Barack Hussein Obama is president?