The Intelligent Design Coloring Book -- and more

William Dembski in 2002 wrote

Building a design curriculum is educational in the broadest sense. It includes not just textbooks, but everything from research monographs for professors and graduate students to coloring books for preschoolers [emphasis added].

Mr. Dembski has apparently got his wish, though it would be a stretch to say that The Intelligent Design Coloring Book is (a) written for preschoolers or (b) quite what Mr. Dembski had in mind.

I have not yet ordered the book, but you can find a few pages from it here. One of the panels shows two young men and a young woman on the beach. The text on the opposite page says

Carrie is doing the Intelligent Designer’s work. Using her breasts, she attempts to distract Matt from looking at Michael.

Breasts can be used for good or evil. When they’re used to foil homosexual activity it pleases the Intelligent Designer.

To celebrate her success, color her bathing suit PINK because she’s a girl and Matt and Michael’s bathing suits BLUE because they’re boys.

The Web page for the book is somewhat ambiguous in that it shows two slightly different covers; one of them bears the legend “*100% FACT FREE,” just in case you thought I was overstepping my literary critic’s license in labeling the book a parody.

The author of the book is called Pastor Brett. I have never heard of Pastor Brett, but if you search for him on Amazon, you will find a book, Relate Well: Properly Relating to Your World and the People Most Important to You, by Pastor Brett Everett Fuller. I do not know whether the fact-free Pastor Brett is attempting to parody the other Pastor Brett, but he need not have bothered; Mr. Fuller has done a good job all by himself. Specifically, I “looked inside,” as Amazon would have it, and I found a sort of interlinear commentary on the Bible. And I found

To enjoy uninterrupted supply, Man was required to be a good steward (Genesis 2:15). Stewarding was work but not hard work. He never had to pull out the water sprinkler because the fountainhead, from which four rivers obtained their origin, began in Eden and watered the entire garden. Its tributaries were so navigable that they could transport the future lady of the house to the finest jewelry and perfume boutiques (Genesis 2:11-12). As far as cultivating went, there wasn’t a need to weed and no fallow ground to plow: just picking and gentle trimming.


Man refined his rulership, as he successfully cultivated and kept the garden. For example, the development of Eden’s agri-health would allow his occupational skills to grow. His understanding of “homeland security” would allow him to disciple [sic] his descendants with “best practices.”

And, just in case you wondered who was in charge,

Although Adam (because he was at her [Eve’s] side during the entire conversation [with the serpent]) was ultimately responsible, his wife was the one who dialogued [sic] them out of house and home.

As I skimmed the text, I found this amusing homily: Mr. Fuller interprets the flat statement, “He went in to Hagar, and she conceived,” as “Abram was all too willing to comply.” He then gives Abram advice based on modern, not bronze-age morality, and advises you (and Abram) not to employ unprescribed means and succumb to temptation – never mind that the means that Abram employed were precisely the means that were prescribed at the time. See under: presentism.

In another instance of presentism, Mr. Fuller avers that “Adam allowed God to anesthetize him for surgery,” after which God removed a rib and fashioned Eve from it. Either God or Mr. Fuller must have forgotten that God had already created humans, male and female, in Genesis 1:26-27. Or has Mr. Fuller not heard that the Bible contains two distinctly different creation stories?

Indeed, not until someone pointed out to me that the publisher of this book was Thomas Nelson did I look more closely and realize that the book was serious, that is, not a parody by the Pastor Brett who drew the coloring book. I do not think it is intended as a young-adult book, but neither can I see a grown man or woman reading it and getting anything much out of it. I am certain of one thing, however: Thomas Nelson would do well to hire a couple of good editors. As for me, though I am largely inartistic, I am sure I would much prefer the coloring book.

Acknowledgments. Glenn Branch first alerted me to the existence of the coloring book, and Steve Reuland provided the Dembski link. Neither is guilty of contributing to this essay.