Are You Superstitious?

Knock on wood, it's Friday the 13th. What do you believe?

Is Reality Enough for You?

You don't have to be an atheist, but it helps.

Magic of reality
I get tired of the controversy over what makes for more rigorous atheism. For now, let's stick with the facts and put aside the labeling. And here's a book that sticks to the facts quite nicely.

Richard Dawkins' book for young people, The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True, is illustrated clearly and imaginatively by Dave McKean.

The book is intended for all ages, though it may not make sense to the very young. It's a marvelous introduction to science and to being awed by what's in front of us without needing to take fable for literal truth. There's nothing anti-imagination here, or creativity-thwarting. But if we raise our kids to bow down to stories only, they will be incapable of living independently. They will grow up gullible.

Dawkins is actually respectful of the unscientific views of others, particularly those who take religious myths seriously. 

In the creation myth of the Hebrew tribe of the Middle Eastern desert, the tribal god YHWH created light on the first of his six days of creation—but then, surprisingly, he didn't create the sun until the fourth day! 'And God made two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; he made the stars also.' Where the light came from on the first day, before the sun and stars existed, we are not told. It is time to turn to reality, and the true nature of the sun, as borne out by scientific evidence.

Dawkins introduces the complexities of why bad things really happen, rather than painful events being a tussle between a good god and a devil.

He asks and tries to answer questions like these: What is a rainbow? What is a miracle? Why are there so many different kinds of animals? Are we alone? The latter features a discussion more about what we don't know, in which we are encouraged to use what we do know to imagine the variety of eyes and other body parts beings might have on other planets.

In sum, The Magic of Reality, whether in paperback, ebook, or the gorgeous coffee table version, deserves to be read and discussed by families. I believe we owe it to the young people we know to share the wonders of reality with them rather than letting them grow up thinking supernatural miracles are the best we can hope for.

Copyright (c) by Susan K. Perry, author of Kylie's Heel