Beware: Creationist books for kids (and not from AiG !)

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Beware: Creationist books for kids (and not from AiG !)

Postby Peter Henderson » Wed Apr 15, 2009 10:07 am

A book review from the New York Times by Gregory Cowles:

http://papercuts.blogs.nytimes.com/2009 ... ist-fable/

William Steig’s Creationist Fable

By Gregory Cowles

Now that my son is learning to read — happy day! — he has the same question for me that my older acquaintances often do: what books do I recommend? But being a book review editor, or a dad, doesn’t make it any easier to match reader to title; and on our last family trip to the library, I fell back helplessly on the early-reader authors I knew from my own childhood. “William Steig!” I said, grabbing an unfamiliar picture book. “He wrote ‘Shrek’! And ‘The Amazing Bone’! And ‘Sylvester and the Magic Pebble’! You’ll love him!” (Against my better instincts and the current recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics, I often use exclamation points when I talk to my children. Accents and funny voices too.)

The book I had grabbed was called “Yellow & Pink.” In it, a couple of carved wooden figures awaken in a field and start talking about how they came to exist. Someone must have made us, says Pink. Ridiculous, says Yellow: I think we’re the result of a series of happy accidents that took place over millions of years.

It is, in other words, a picture book about creationism and evolution. And the farther you read, the clearer it is that Steig is on the side of the creationists. As a proponent of evolution, Yellow comes off looking addled and self-important, his claims increasingly far-fetched. Pink even raises that old intelligent-design objection: how could our eyes be an accident, huh? To cap it, on the final page a woodcarver approaches the two, checks to make sure their paint is dry, then tucks them under his arm and walks off. Who’s this guy? Pink asks. I have no idea, Yellow says.

It’s not the pro-religion stance that bothers me here so much as it is the anti-science one. Steig sets up evolution as a straw man, and gleefully knocks it down. Little surprise, then, that “Yellow & Pink” turns up on various intelligent-design reading lists. And little surprise that from now on we’ll stick to “Shrek” in our household.


You have been warned !
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Re: Beware: Creationist books for kids (and not from AiG !)

Postby Roger Stanyard » Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:47 pm

Peter Henderson wrote:A book review from the New York Times by Gregory Cowles:

http://papercuts.blogs.nytimes.com/2009 ... ist-fable/

William Steig’s Creationist Fable

By Gregory Cowles

Now that my son is learning to read — happy day! — he has the same question for me that my older acquaintances often do: what books do I recommend? But being a book review editor, or a dad, doesn’t make it any easier to match reader to title; and on our last family trip to the library, I fell back helplessly on the early-reader authors I knew from my own childhood. “William Steig!” I said, grabbing an unfamiliar picture book. “He wrote ‘Shrek’! And ‘The Amazing Bone’! And ‘Sylvester and the Magic Pebble’! You’ll love him!” (Against my better instincts and the current recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics, I often use exclamation points when I talk to my children. Accents and funny voices too.)

The book I had grabbed was called “Yellow & Pink.” In it, a couple of carved wooden figures awaken in a field and start talking about how they came to exist. Someone must have made us, says Pink. Ridiculous, says Yellow: I think we’re the result of a series of happy accidents that took place over millions of years.

It is, in other words, a picture book about creationism and evolution. And the farther you read, the clearer it is that Steig is on the side of the creationists. As a proponent of evolution, Yellow comes off looking addled and self-important, his claims increasingly far-fetched. Pink even raises that old intelligent-design objection: how could our eyes be an accident, huh? To cap it, on the final page a woodcarver approaches the two, checks to make sure their paint is dry, then tucks them under his arm and walks off. Who’s this guy? Pink asks. I have no idea, Yellow says.

It’s not the pro-religion stance that bothers me here so much as it is the anti-science one. Steig sets up evolution as a straw man, and gleefully knocks it down. Little surprise, then, that “Yellow & Pink” turns up on various intelligent-design reading lists. And little surprise that from now on we’ll stick to “Shrek” in our household.


You have been warned !


It's sad. Over the last few days I've been mulling over what has happened in the creationist world over the last half decade or so; this book so of encapsulates what I see. It's targeted at children who know no better and smears and demonises the intelligent and thoughtful (which creationists are not). It's the same old smoke and mirrors game of creationists. Not a milimetre of integrity!

Worse, I still think that public acceptance of creationism is on the rise despite the catastrophic defeat at Dover. The fundamentalists have lost their political battle in the USA but they continue to undermine, and smear, both science (and, indeed, any subject which contradicts them) and mainstream religion.
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