2. When it insults the people it is trying to convince.
3. When it is complete and utter crap.
When is it not okay?
1. When the book grabs the attention of a wide range of people and compells them to read. Harry Potter anyone? I seem to recall many religious nuts (no offense to anyone that is religious, this is not a rant against religious people, just extremists) who thought that HP was evil and should be burned. Interesting really considering for the first time in probably 20 years kids were actually enthusiastic to read again...
2. When the book is actually good and presents information truthfully.
3. When the book doesn't insult people.
Now, before I get into the book that has sparked this sort of rant I have to say a few things. I am a believer in Evolution and I understand that many out there are not, and that is fine. I'm not such a wacko that I want all of you to believe in Evolution (and I don't mean Darwinism, which is so far different than what we call Evolution today). You believe what you want, that is your right, but I must rant about a book that a friend gave me and that I just picked up to peek at for the second time since it was given to me. I understand fully and completely that EVOLUTION IS A THEORY. You don't have to repeat it to me and I in no way will ever tell you that the evolution of man or long term evolution is completely proven (though evolution in the short term is since we can observe the evolution of bacteria, but you could probably call that something other than evolution anyway). So the book is:
The Evolution Cruncher
Now, I initially had no problem with this book when it was given to me. I'm open to new interpretations and new information. In fact, I'm so much open for it that I respect the scientific method and allow such ideas and concepts to help me devise new ways to look at evolution. This book is about as far from the truth as you can get. I have not finished this book, and I never will. Here is why.
When I first picked this book up I flipped to a few interesting sections just to see what it had to say. One section was on stratigraphy (the study of rock layers). The author had no idea how stratigraphy worked, which immediately indicated to me that this supposed genius man who had dispelled the theory of Evolution in one massive book was nothing more than a ill-educated imbocile. He tried to claim something to the effect of there being no correlation between all the different steps in human evolution in the layers and that some things were above and some below certain time periods. But, what the author failed to even mention was that:
a) Rock layers should never be your primary basis for scientific thought on evolution because of the fact that they are easily affected by weather and natural phenomenon
b) Rock layers have a specific method for being interpreted which doesn't involve just staring at it and going "well this one is higher than that one so it must be younger"
Stratigraphy should and often is followed by Carbon Dating, which is pretty much as accurate as you can get these days and is constantly being improved upon. Things move in the soil, they don't just sit there through thouands or millions of years of earthquakes, plate movement, erosion, etc.
Now, what has caused me to talk about it today is this. I picked it up today and started to flip through, hoping that I might find something interesting in there that would spark my interest and cause me to do some additional research. Well, this book has secured itself on my shelf of crap. If you want someone to believe you and take in your new ideas and dispell something they have been taught and believe fully in, you don't insult them. The author of this book did just that. Almost every other section has to flat out say "evolution is a load of bullcrap and is wrong and people are stupid for believing it". That is unaceptable in my book. So, this supposed expert has landed himself in my pile for authors that should be burned at the stake. Not to mention he has a whole section on this book that I didn't notice that dispells the Big Bang Theory, which any educated person knows has NOTHING TO DO WITH EVOLUTION. The Big Bang is so loosely a theory that it will never be proven just as there is no way to prove or disprove there is a God; you just have to believe. It is one of those scientific ideas that people just believe or don't believe. But it has nothing to do with evolution. The evolution of man or any other species or thing is not in any way affected by the Big Bang except in that the Big Bang was supposed to be the starter of it all. But Big Bang doesn't explain how we came from microscopic organisms. All it explains is how the planets, stars, and other space matter came to be. That's it. Well, it's a little more complicated than that, but you get the idea.
So, if anyone happens to read this and has a book that follows my little rules at the top that discusses flaws in Evolutionary Theory I would really like to read it. I'm open to new ideas here. I'm not set in stone on what I believe, but I don't want an author to shove his or her moral or personal agenda down my throat while trying to 'educate' me.
Anywho, that's my rant for the day. New chapter up Sunday. Look for it :)