I’m almost at a loss for words with how disappointed and annoyed I am with Confuchsia: An Early Bird’s Tale by Alan J. Paul. Nothing is worse than a book you’re thoroughly excited for than seeing it completely ruined by a problematic notion. Granted, I’m well aware that my opinion on the matter of religion is one that not everyone shares, but the inclusion of it in a book that was meant to be about science and evolution really only serves to upset and bug the hell out of me. You see, Confuchsia: An Early Bird’s Tale is meant to mildly portray the evolution of dinosaurs into birds, an actually fascinating piece of scientific history that can blow your mind. A student of mine even did a science fair project on it this year and reading his report was utterly brilliant. Yes, birds have quite a number of features that resemble the skeletons of the dinosaurs that have been found throughout the world over the years.
And so I was genuinely quite excited to get a chance to read Confuchsia, to see a book that provides this information to young children in a way that would develop their understanding of evolution. I desperately believe we need more books out there to increase children’s understanding of science and couldn’t have been more pleased that this book was out there. That is, right up until I got to the bit about the “Great One” who makes plans for every life on Earth and only “He” knows what purpose everyone has in their lives. I wanted to vomit, plain and simple. I do not think I can fully describe the despair I feel when people try to mix religion and science in children’s books. Religion, a belief system only in existence because people refused to question the illogicality of it is rather insulting when compared to science, a field that regularly questions itself and requires verifiable proof to determine its truths. And even then, science still accepts that its theories might be wrong. But religion? It’s a stuck up, pretend know-it-all, as though the fact that it cannot be verified means one should never question it at all.
And I’m sorry, but it kills me when I see the two compared as though religion has any merit to hold up against science. And evolution is a brilliant theory, one that we have centuries worth of researched proof to verify. Religion doesn’t hold any weight beside it. So for the author to suggest that religion is the reason evolution occurred, that “God” made it so is mind-numbingly frustrating and disappointing. And while I can give some credit in the fact that the author actually believes in evolution and that the story does somewhat center around this idea–warped as his telling of it may be since evolution is something that happens rather slowly and you’re not like to see a species change from one form into another with just one birth–the rest of the story just bugged me incessantly.
I was excited to read Confuchsia: An Early Bird’s Tale. I thought it would be a wonderful story that I would want to buy as soon as I have a child of my own. Much to my deep dismay, it was not. The problematic elements tied in with the religious aspect brought up mid-way through the tale completely ruined it for me to the point that I honestly cannot recommend the book to anyone. I am glad that the author’s daughter enjoyed the story for it is a great thing to be able to write for your kids, though I greatly wish it wasn’t trying to send a religious message.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.