Thursday, 7 June 2007

The Easter Bunny Delusion

source: flickr

His basic point is that parents lie to their kids about the existence of an Easter Bunny. He also implicates candy manufacturers and the egg industry which both work behind the scenes to encourage the lie. I'm sure it's going to enrage kids. This is Dawkins best work to date.

Critics, largely affiliated with the candy industry I suspect, argue that Dawkins' rather overly blunt unmasking of the myth will merely make believers more believing, and might even convert the undecided to belief in the Easter Bunny. I'm not sure why they say this, though. Seems to me that it would have the opposite effect. Critics also argue that Dawkins unfairly argues that good scientists -- experts on all things natural -- cannot simultaneously believe in the SUPERnatural. Not really sure why critics would say this, either. Maybe they're possessed.

Personally, I think that Dawkins targeted the wrong crowd with this book. Adults, or at least adults without serious brain lesions, know that the Easter Bunny is a complete fiction, and thus wouldn't get much new information from the book. And people with brain lesions and the proudly delusional wouldn't ever buy it. Instead, Dawkins should have teamed up with an illustrator to produce a book for children. This would have been hilarious, and infinitely more influential. If children had access to books that cheerfully revealed parent-perpetuated myths, the world would be a different place. They'd make great gifts from Santa, that's for sure! And great for public school libraries nationwide.

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