Next up on our reading list: , by Doug TenNapel, the guy who created Earthworm Jim. His new book is about a scientist exiled to his hometown to study supernatural phenomena. But what's it REALLY about? Oddly enough, it's a propaganda piece for intelligent design. The hero marvels that people are "irreducibly complex," a term used by ID philosophers to mean that we're too well-put-together to have occurred naturally. Some very jarring scenes enact completely unnecessary arguments between science and faith. For no particular reason, an alien Christ makes an appearance. And specially thanked are Behe and Dembski, two self-declared scientists who've argued that "We'll Never Know" counts as valid scientific doctrine. All this subtext is a shame, because it distracts from what might otherwise have been a pleasant story -- giant space eels summoned to destroy the earth by an evil ghost with the power to turn cats into monsters. Fun! But unfortunately, it's made a bit dour by reverent reference to a philosophy that thinks that wisdom teeth and glaucoma were designed intelligently. We liked Doug's other recent book, Tommysaurus Rex a little better, but both that and this title suffer from The Creeping Schlock.

After the jump: crushing sadness, the USSR, and, as one person described it, "the Bollywood justice league."

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