Youth Apologetics Network

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Book Review: “Pitfalls: A Quick Guide to Identifying Logical Fallacies for Families” by J.D. Camorlinga

pitfalls-Camorlinga

Pitfalls: A Quick Guide to Identifying Logical Fallacies for Families provides a way to teach logic in a concise, easy to understand format. The book is part of the “Picture Book Apologetics” series and approaches the fallacies from the stance of teaching children to engage in conversations about their faith, though it is clearly broadly applicable.

The fallacies covered in this book are informal fallacies, though at the end the authors note the difference between formal and informal fallacy. Both the back cover and the table of contents explain what a logical fallacy is. Fallacies covered include ad hominem, appeal to force, equivocation, and many more. There are 24 covered in all, along with the distinction made between informal and formal. Each features an illustration with a dialogue between various delightful critters demonstrating the fallacy. Many of the explanations close with a humorous application of the fallacy. Each explanation is about 50-80 words long (I counted a few of them).

The explanations are clear and concise, to the point where they would frankly serve the introductory philosophy course as well as the six-year-old. They’re impressively well done and with plenty of humor on the side for older children and adults. It is rare I find myself really enjoying a children’s book, but this is one that easily fits in that category.

I put the book through the rigorous test of seeing how long the illustrations could please my son. He isn’t quite a year and a half old yet, and his attention span reflects that. Nevertheless, he touched many of the cutely drawn animals and even made (highly accurate) animal noises for a few. Given that both I and my son enjoyed the illustrations, I think its safe to say they’re well done.

I would be a poor reviewer if I didn’t note the tongue-in-cheek humor behind some of these illustrations. For example, the fallacy of “Begging the Question” is clearly a depiction of Joseph Smith with the gold plates for the Book of Mormon, and the “Genetic Fallacy”‘s illustration is a pair of Jehovah’s Witness gerbils (or hamsters? I can never keep them straight). These do not mock these groups, but instead expose their ideas in the briefest conversation bubble and show some of the fallacious reasoning behind them. It’s done smartly.

It’s difficult to judge exactly how easily understood these fallacies are made by the book with myself and my son as subjects, but having discussed this kind of thing with parents who have older children, I believe this book would be highly beneficial for introducing some heady concepts at fairly young ages. Of course, do that at your own risk as you will be training little lawyers. Each explanation is quite brief, to the point where a few times I wish there had been just a little more clarification. It’s hard to fault that, however, given the intended audience of the book.

Pitfalls: A Quick Guide to Identifying Logical Fallacies for Families is just as advertised, but with no small amount of wit. It is both informative and delightful, well-illustrated and humorous. I highly recommend it.

The Good

+Clever examples
+Cute illustrations
+Grab-bag of information
+Useful for review

The Bad

-Could be a bit more expansive on a few topics

Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of the book by the publisher. I was not required to give any specific kind of feedback whatsoever. 

Source

J.D. Carmolinga Pitfalls: A Quick Guide to Identifying Logical Fallacies for Families (Whittier, CA: Picture Book Apologetics, 2015).

Links

Be sure to check out the page for this site on Facebook and Twitter for discussion of posts, links to other pages of interest, random talk about theology/philosophy/apologetics/movies and more!

Book Reviews– There are plenty more book reviews to read! Read like crazy! (Scroll down for more, and click at bottom for even more!)

Eclectic Theist– Check out my other blog for my writings on science fiction, history, fantasy movies, and more!

SDG.

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The preceding post is the property of J.W. Wartick (apart from quotations, which are the property of their respective owners, and works of art as credited; images are often freely available to the public and J.W. Wartick makes no claims of owning rights to the images unless he makes that explicit) and should not be reproduced in part or in whole without the expressed consent of the author. All content on this site is the property of J.W. Wartick and is made available for individual and personal usage. If you cite from these documents, whether for personal or professional purposes, please give appropriate citation with both the name of the author (J.W. Wartick) and a link to the original URL. If you’d like to repost a post, you may do so, provided you show less than half of the original post on your own site and link to the original post for the rest. You must also appropriately cite the post as noted above. This blog is protected by Creative Commons licensing. By viewing any part of this site, you are agreeing to this usage policy.

Book Review: “Pig and the Accidental Oink! – Picture Book Apologetics”

pao-pbaWhen I found out about “Picture Book Apologetics” I was intrigued by the notion of bringing apologetics into the realm of picture books. Pig and the Accidental Oink! explores the Kalam Cosmological Argument through a dialogue of characters in the story.

…What? Right, that’s what the book does. But J.D. Camorlinga, the author, doesn’t just throw phrases like that into the children’s book. For this review, I’ll start at the end. The end of the book has two pages dedicated to parents interested in taking the content of the book beyond its pages. One page has an activity suggestion, the other has an explanation of the content in greater detail (here is where the term “Kalam Cosmological Argument” is used–and defined!).

The activity involves chocolate chip cookies (a bonus) and uses them to explain the notion that something does not come from nothing. The note to parents is helpful and provides avenues for further exploration.

The picture book itself is engaging and fun. Two children encounter a pig, who insists that “It makes more sense to believe that everything began by accident” than that God created the universe. The children go home, dejected, but their father explains that things don’t just pop into existence out of nothing; observation in the lives of the children shows that things which begin have causes. Armed with a new strategy for discussing beginnings, the children return to Pig and convince him that he can’t just posit an accident as the most reasonable explanation when his own experience contradicts it. They then run and play together happily.

Though I’m not completely sure about the wisdom of making the skeptical stand-in a pig (a bit too polemical, perhaps?), there is much to commend in Accidental Oink! The story is fun to follow; the characters are interesting, and the art is great. The illustrations are quite good. They’re what looks like colored pencil drawings and they’re vibrant and they avoid the generic look that some children’s books have. There remains a kind of charming style throughout the book that is recognizable on its own. Moreover, it’s definitely the kind of book to start all kinds of great conversations.

Pig and the Accidental Oink! comes highly recommended for children about 5 and up. The concepts are heavy, but the way they are approached is in such a way that they may inspire conversation and deeper thought for a wide range of ages.

Links

Be sure to check out the page for this site on Facebook and Twitter for discussion of posts, links to other pages of interest, random talk about theology/philosophy/apologetics/movies and more!

Youth Apologetics Network– An interesting site which seeks to provide resources for youths related to apologetics. They are affiliated with Picture Book Apologetics as well. Great resources to explore for those interested in youth ministry.

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The preceding post is the property of J.W. Wartick (apart from quotations, which are the property of their respective owners, and works of art as credited; images are often freely available to the public and J.W. Wartick makes no claims of owning rights to the images unless he makes that explicit) and should not be reproduced in part or in whole without the expressed consent of the author. All content on this site is the property of J.W. Wartick and is made available for individual and personal usage. If you cite from these documents, whether for personal or professional purposes, please give appropriate citation with both the name of the author (J.W. Wartick) and a link to the original URL. If you’d like to repost a post, you may do so, provided you show less than half of the original post on your own site and link to the original post for the rest. You must also appropriately cite the post as noted above. This blog is protected by Creative Commons licensing. By viewing any part of this site, you are agreeing to this usage policy.

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