I know we’re supposed to be reading Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science. I have been working my way through it, but I must admit I am not finding it as exciting as I’d hoped I would. I read about half of the book, skipped to the last chapter, and then sampled a few pages from the middle chapters so I could write up some decent interview questions to send to the author. I don’t know why I’m not having so much fun with this book. Perhaps it’s because I’ve outgrown my interest in cryptozoology? Or perhaps it’s just that, while I find the idea of an unknown bipedal primate lurking in Washinton or Oregon fascinating, I don’t find the evidence compelling enough to hold my interest for almost 300 pages. Do I think it’s ridiculous to consider that such a creature might exist? Certainly not. Do I think such a creature does actually exist? Probably not. But I don’t think people who seriously and scientifically want to pursue this issue should be ridiculed or ostracized from the scientific commnity. It seems like there is enough plausible (although circumstantial) evidence to continue the search. At some point, however, I think it is reasonable to conclude that if no living or dead specimen is found, that the creature does not exist. When does that conclusion become reasonable? I’m not sure.
Anyone else reading this book and getting more excited about the topic than I have? I did send the author a list of questions and I hope his answers spur me on to do some further reading. But, in the meantime, I have not been able to resist these two other books:
I Sold My Sould on eBay: Viewing Faith Through an Atheist’s Eyes by Hemant Mehta, aka the Friendly Atheist. Hemant put up an auction on eBay, and sold his time. The highest bidder got to tell him what church(es) to attend, and for every $10, Hemant promised to attend church for 1 hour. The winning bid was, well, I’ll let you read the book and find out. But suffice it to say, Hemant went to church enoug to fill a book with his experiences. I read this book in one sitting. It’s engaging, entertaining, and thought provoking. I’ll be interviewing the author soon, and will probably slip a full review of this book inbetween our other upcoming books, just to get it done sooner rather than later. You may be surprised (and amused) to know that a Christian publisher has put out this book, and the preface, foreword, and reading guide are all written by Christians. I laughed out loud when I read the back cover and saw that a book by an atheist author is categorized as “Christian Living / Apologetics.” (If you haven’t heard of this book, that’s because it won’t be available in bookstores until next Tuesday.)
I Am a Strange Loop by Douglas Hofstadter. I have just started this book, so I’m not sure what to say about it yet, other than to mention that Douglas Hofstadter is one of my all time favorite writers. I’ve read everything he’s written, and have him to thank for introducing me to Daniel Dennet through their co-authored book, The Mind’s I: Fantasies and Reflections on Self and Soul. Douglas is one of the most thoughtful and thought provoking people I’ve ever encountered in cyberland (no, I’m sad to say we’ve never met, but he’s definitely a person I’d choose on my short list of folks to have with me if I were ever stranded on a desert island), and his first book GÃ¶del, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, is a Pulitzer Prize winner. If you haven’t read any of his work, you have no idea what you’re missing. From cognitive science and artificial intelligence, to poetry and graphic design, there’s not much that he hasn’t spent a lot of time thinking about. Did I mention that he’s one of my all-time favorite authors? Oh, and incidentally, according to Wikipedia, “Hofstadter’s Fluid Concepts & Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought was the first book sold by Amazon.com on July 15, 1995.” Don’t pick up one of his books if you don’t want to think.