I stopped talking to this fellah for reasons he’d find less than flattering and his latest post is no exception. You can read my initial reaction here, and here is his response. My more definitive treatment of HDM, however, is here.
We can sum it up well enough. I argued that the working principles underneath the Pullman series are ones that the average college student will receive as fact from their professors. Herr Professor gives an overview of the fantastic elements in the Pullman series and then quotes me when I say that in the Pullman series there is no line between reality and fantasy.
This is as clear an example of Herr Professor’s terrible reading abilities as one can get. My line about there not being a line between reality and fantasy was not in association with the witches and ‘magic’ of the Pullman series, but rather the working principles that undergird the Pullman series – which certainly are presented as reality. Here is the full paragraph of which Herr Professor extracted just a single line:
If we take an example like Harry Potter, whom the author of that article also decries, the difference between the threats is easy enough to detect: Rowling did not present her series as potentially being reality, nor does anyone- even young readers- think that it might be, whereas in the Pullman series, what he presents is explicitly something that he believes could be real, and by connecting with claims that students will hear described as scientific (Ie, Evolutionary theory and the Multiverse), students are led to think the same. There is no line between reality and fantasy, here.
Perhaps Herr Professor believes that evolution and the multiverse is not science, but fantasy? Perhaps Herr Professor has not read the books, or know anything about the multiverse?
He also titles his essay “Insidious plot found in the Golden Compass.” I infer from that that he is mocking the idea that there could be an agenda behind the Pullman series. That there is an agenda, an explicitly atheistic one to boot, is evident to anyone who has heard Pullman talk about the series or read the books himself.
Unless he is ignorant- in which case, he should just stop talking- he is completely out of touch with reality. I am prepared to consider both possibilities and they are not mutually exclusive.