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Flock of Dodos: Behind Modern Creationism, Intelligent Design and the Easter Bunny Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling & Ross, Cambridge House Press; First edition (April 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0978721306
  • ISBN-13: 978-0978721305
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,406,299 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Flock of Dodos is in the great tradition of debunkers with a sense of humor, from Thomas Paine to Mark Twain." -- Alan Dershowitz

"Jesus Christ and lesbian monkeys in the same book. Brilliant. `Smart' and `funny' in the same book. Genius." -- Cenk Uyger, The Young Turks, Air America Radio

"Simultaneously smart, insightful, and hilarious! Even though refuting creationism is like shooting tiny Noah's Arks in a barrel, Brown and Alston dissect the movement with a wholly unique wit and perspective. The best book I've read in years." -- Bob Cesca, The Huffington Post, Founder, Camp Chaos Entertainment

"Here's the problem with America's born-again wackos: only a gifted comic is capable of describing them, but no one with a sense of humor can stomach being around them. That's why there are so few books like Flock of Dodos. With their painstaking attention to historical detail and amusingly violent writing style, Brown and Alston have given the religious right exactly the righteous, merciless fragging it deserves. I wish I could tie James Dobson down and make him eat every page." -- Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone Magazine, author of Spanking the Donkey

About the Author

Jon P. Alston is Professor of Sociology at Texas A&M University. He is the author of seven other books and more than seventy articles and anthology contributions. Barrett Brown has written for several national magazines including National Lampoon, Cracked, Jest, Wired, Playboy and for nerve.com.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

288 of 292 people found the following review helpful By Lee Harrison on April 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
If you want to see an excellent example of how to derail creationist idiocy, read this book. If you don't want to see one, read this book anyway - it will be good for you.

It has become obvious that debates relying on actual science do not work on people like Behe, Dembski, et al - they simply disagree with it, dismiss it, don't like it and prefer to make up their own (highly spurious) version of it. Instead, try the approach taken by the authors of this book:

"This will not be a polite book. Politeness is wasted on the dishonest, who will always take advantage of any well-intended concession, and the leaders of the so-called "Intelligent Design" movement, as we shall see, are so incredibly dishonest that they could cause a veteran heroin addict to blush..."

In six short, visciously funny and easy-to-read chapters, Brown and Alston do to Creationism and the ID movement what Stetson Kennedy did to the Ku Klux Klan (See "Freakonomics" by Levitt and Dubner for an overview of how Kennedy ruined the Klan's reputation by joining them and leaking all of their dumb secret codes and passwords to the writers of a radio show 'Adventures of Superman' - "converting precious knowledge into ammunition for mockery")

Mockery is the key word here, but not the dishonest mockery of the kind so often engaged in by Dembski - 'Flock of Dodo's' has no need to sink to lies since the creationists' own words and ideas are more than enough to beat them with.

The book starts with a quick introduction to the ID folks (the above quotation about politeness (lack of) comes from this chapter) and the man-on-the-street's idea of it as exemplified by William Buckingham, the now infamous ex Dover school board member.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Let me start by saying that if you believe in Intelligent Design, or Creationism, or if you are a fundamental Christian, skip this review and this book. You will be offended! If, on the other hand you enjoy a good laugh and can laugh at subjects that can hit close to home, keep reading.

With that said, this book takes apart the Intelligent Design movement piece by piece using their own thoughts and words. The authors wrote the book in a humorous style, and in many places it is laugh out loud funny, although it does push the envelope with the jokes. As a very liberal Christian, I was right on the edge of being offended on several occasions. That is the only reason I gave it 4 stars rather than five.

The book begins with a look at the Dover, PA School Board trial and some of the characters involved. And, in the process, poke fun at some of the players. It then moves on to the Scopes Monkey trial, with its staged cast of characters. They describe, briefly, how the Scope's trial came about and what the outcome was, and how that has an effect on the controversy today.

Much of the book, however, is written to debunk the current Intelligent Design and it takes on the likes of William Dembski, Michael Behe and the Discovery Institute. The authors use books printed by Dembski and Behe, as well as documents from the Institute's web site to show what the Intelligent Design movement is about and how they plan to try to integrate our public schools with this material.

Throughout the book the authors are irreverent and funny. They leave no person untouched, (even Bill Clinton gets a jab thrown his way) but the humor regarding Christianity can get a little close to home.
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236 of 246 people found the following review helpful By Carl Flygare on March 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Laughter really can be the best medicine. If your head throbs after wading through creationist-on-crack buffoonery, or you suffer waves of nausea after exposure to the latest 'Intelligent Design' PR campaign gambit, read "Flock of Dodos." Relief will be immediate and long lasting.

Anyone who wiles away the hours wandering Wal-Mart aisles waiting for the rapture should probably avoid this book - it will raise holy hackles - born again Christians are not the target audience. I was born right the first time, and would really appreciate it if faith-based fanatics would quite insulting my mother, so none of the content was objectionable to me.

Highlights include a ribald deconstruction of 'The Discovery Institute (for the Renewal of Science and Culture),' which never intends to actually discover anything - hardly news to the reality-based community. From the infamous "Wedge Document" to a rag-tag claque of dysfunctional disciples (William Dembski, Michael Behe, Phillip Johnson, Stephen Meyer, and Jonathan Wells - a veritable bestiary of shills, flacks, sycophants, lawyers, unindicted co-conspirators, and Moonies), the anti-enlightenment agenda of the Disco Institute is satirically shredded, with the assistance of an elite troupe of lesbian Bonabo Chimpanzees. On behalf of rationalists everywhere, I would like to personally thank the Bonabo's for their help (design that Billy).

The wholly hilarious hijinks behind Kitzmiller v. Dover, where Team Disco, aided and abetted by an Oxycontin-addled William Buckingham (in the best tradition of Rush Limbaugh), and the Thomas Moore Law Center connived to engineer a spectacular train wreck, are also mercilessly lampooned.
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