Jake's Reviews > God's Debris : A Thought Experiment

God's Debris  by Scott Adams
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's review
Nov 27, 09

bookshelves: philosophy
Read in November, 2009

This book is a fairly mixed bag. The bottom line is I didn't enjoy this book, but I think it might be useful. On the one hand, Adams is witty and I enjoy his sense of humor. On the other hand, the philosophy in this 'thought experiment' gets onto very shaky ground quite early in the book, and continues down a rocky path as it progresses. I won't really touch on the science end other than to say that some of the stances are nonsensical and contradictory (esp. on evolution) and Adams was wise to do some preemptive damage control by stating up front that the views in this book are not necessarily his.

I'd speculate that this is at least partly due to Adams' desire to include a large number of ideas into the story. If so, it's probably a source of his strength as a cartoonist as well, or, conversely, a product of his writing in a comic-strip format over the years.

My feelings on the philosophical problems in the book are also a bit mixed. No one wants to see logical fallacies and flawed arguments repeated. At the same time, I get the feeling that this book might be a nice middle ground between people who read the funnies and people who read illegible philosophy. God's debris could well be Adams' attempt at a middle ground. It's short enough for anyone to read, and the brevity forces readers to fill in the gaps with their own thinking. Not only can anyone read God's debris, anyone can discuss it over a meal or drink. Anything that fosters philosophical conversation is good in my book.

As a kind of side bonus, God's Debris is a decent reasoning exercise as well. It's fast paced and enjoyable enough to make a good treasure hunt for the errors in thinking that would otherwise be glossed over in the quick read.
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