Saint John Don Bosco:

"Never read books you aren't sure about . . . even supposing that these bad books are very well written from a literary point of view. Let me ask you this: Would you drink something you knew was poisoned just because it was offered to you in a golden cup?"

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Friday, September 11, 2009

The Rule of Claw by John Brindley

While I’m not one to write an apologetic for the horror genre, I think it has its literary value. The Rule of Claw started with real promise in this field along the footsteps of a King or Crichton. However, it degenerated into a polemic along the lines of a Pullman or Brown story, without even the saving grace of an exciting story.

First, I’ll distill the story down to basics. Professor Helix, in an attempt to solve problems with overpopulation and global warming, causes hyper-accelerated evolution when he tinkers with DNA.

Professor Helix’s daughter, Ash, is one of a group of children left in a camp where adults collected the children who were resistant to the death and disease brought on by the altered DNA. The adults left and died. The children fend for themselves. Ash is kidnapped by one of the new species and now the story bogs down as Ash has long, protracted contact with the brand-new species that are evolving rapidly and fighting for survival.

In this fight-for-survival world, the characters get lots of time to explain the hard-core materialistic, utilitarian worldview of the atheistic evolutionist. While every species is fighting for survival, and it is made crystal-clear that there is no reason we are here other than the lucky crap shot of evolutionary adaptations and processes, the rodent creatures and the human Ash are clearly morally appealing because they exhibit traits of understanding, tolerance of all species, love, desire for peace, (and, the pinnacle of their moral superiority is manifest by their vegetarian habits and insistence on pacificm).

Uhh… no logical disconnect there.

At least the good guys/bad guys are clear. The rodents are the peak of evolutionary perfection thus far. They even have a wise and kind leader. Our Lady. (if that moniker troubles you at all, you are no doubt not nearly as intelligent and open-minded as our protagonist). Tut. Tut. The good guys have no religion and know that they are one of many species, and they accept, as good, evolved species should, that they are no different from any other species in any significant way. And they are intelligent, like Ash, because they accept not just evolution, but Creator-free evolution. Ash understands that, and that shows her keen intellect.

The bad guys are the ones who are inclined to violence because they see themselves as being made in the image of a Creator. That makes them likely to harm others whom they see as inferior. The bad guys also all believe in a 6,000 year old young earth because that’s the only theory besides mindless-evolution.

Nope. Nothing simplistic and close-minded there.

We see the fruit of this foolish thinking when the adults come back. They try to indoctrinate the children about Genome: a God of their own imagination, whom they create to fit their thinking and make up rituals about.

The children do save themselves in the end (with wise Ash-child’s help) by rejecting the adults and determining to KEEP THEM OUT….

No big surprise to discover the author promotes a form of moral relativism. When a huge, disgusting leech attaches itself to Ash and clearly will kill her if left to its own devices, the character Rat explains that he will kill it for utilitarian reasons. But he makes it clear that he is only doing it because he has to: who is he to say whether this creature should live or die? He makes no judgment. This holds some logic if you believe all species are equally accidents of cosmic chance. The inherent illogic of moral relativism in general bypasses any scrutiny by the author: That is... moral relativists hold that there are no absolute truths ruling the universe… and that is an absolute truth.

Any tween who has had Introductory Logic, exposure to logical fallacies, read Aquinas, Augustine, Plato and Socrates, spent some time studying the evolution/creation issue without an agenda, will be ready for this book. By then, they won’t want to read it.

They won’t miss much.

RATING: DaVinci Pile

See Catechism of the Catholic Church:

revelation of the Creator God through reason 285
theology of creation and natural science 283; 284
theology of creation and philosophy
God creates out of nothing 296
Beauty of creation 341


Maddy,  June 17, 2010 at 7:37 PM  

Well, I actually enjoyed this book a lot, but I have no idea if Ash survives, or if it is Baby Ash in the end?? I really (ha, like the rodent!) want to know...any insights?

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