Following on from fatsallys report a few weeks ago that the government planned to consult (cue portentous chords) experts about reforming the primary school curriculum we have now learned from our Whitehall worm that following the intervention of a group of leading biologists the blueprint for the new primary curriculum covering pupils aged 4 to 11 will include classes in evolutionary science.
It is well know scientists can be a tad obsessive about their subject (well OK, borderline autistic) but isnt this pushing the evolution case a bit too far? Are primary school children ready for concepts like evolution and if not might its introduction at too young an age be counter productive? Darwin was 21 before he got into serious biology and it took him another twenty odd years before he got his head round the idea of evolution. And in his teens he was seriously into God. People can change so might it not be that teaching kids stuff in junior school will lead them to look at other ideas later?
And is there any point teaching something so complex to the unformed mind. We not most of the signatories of the evolution for infants petition are of the militant atheists. So why are they so keen to exploit the ideas of St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits. Give me the child to age seven and I will give you the man for life. It might have worked in Iggys day when the Church controlled information but that was then, this is now and the internet is out there for everybody.
And what form will these lessons in evolutionary science take. Can you imagine asking your six year old And what did you learn in school today? and hearing the answer (in piping voice, Well first teechur readed a story and that was nice, then we done some sums then we had playtime thats my favourite lesson then we done some painting and crayoning and Charlie Boggis drawn a boat and then after dinner we done evolutionary science and thats boring coz its about worms and frogs and teacher says dinosaurs never et cavemen and everyone knows they did coz they had big teeth
We Boggart Bloggers are all for evolution in fact the senior reporters have contributed to it but we still think pushing this kind of information at year three or four can only end in tears. Imagine how children so young will make sense of it.
Now children, its time for our evolutionary science lesson. Last time we talked about how Chimpanzees and humans are descended from a common ancestor. It is very important to remember that. So Emma, where do chimpanzees come from?
Up a tree Miss.
Johnny interrupts, Mis, Miss, Miss
Yes Johnny, what is it?
Dinosaurs eat Chimpanzees miss, I seen it in a cartoon.
No Johnny, dinosaurs do not eat chimpanzees, that is silly. Now Johnny as you seem to have a lot to say where do we humans come from?
He come from his house Miss, on the school bus this morning.
Thank you Emma, you all came from your houses this morning. Now Johnny, where do humans like you come from.
I come from my Mums front bottom Miss. I did coz I seen it on tele, this lady was on a bed with her feet in the air and she was swearing a lot bleeeep bleeep bleepettybleep and a baby head popped out of her front bottom.
Yes, very good Johnny but in evolutionary terms where do humans and Chimpanzees come from?
And the doctor said, Its a lovely little boy, and the ladys partner said He aint mine you slapper hes a ginge, theres no ginger hair in my fambly or yours
Thats enough Johnny. Anybody else, where do humans and chimpanzees start from? Yes Robbie?
My Dad said I got started in Benidorm Miss, I heered him telling Uncle Steve. But I never seen no chimpanzees in Benidorm when we was there last year.
The militant atheist faction among the scientific community live in abject fear of creationism and that fear is responsible for prompting irrational and ill considered initiatives like this. My generation all had to sit through Religious Education in schools and we have made Britain the most irreligious nation in the world. In America laws governing separation of church and state forbid religious education in schools and the nation has become the hub of creationist thinking and Bible literalism. QED, leave things as they are and let children get into complex areas of science when they are ready.
Natural scepticism leads us to question and reject that which we are told is truth beyond questioning. Children are born sceptics. Ensure they are not indoctrinated and they will soon see fundamentalist religious thinking makes no sense at all. Start forcing fundamentalist science on them too soon and it will achieve the same end. I have always believed in evolution but it has never interested me much. Im here because of it, but it was happening long, long before I was born and with a bit of luck will still be happening long, long after I am dead.
To be fair to some Americans I know, though they are members of creationist churches they will admit that maybe the Book of Genesis is a bit of an oversimplification but in the long run no matter what the origins of the Life, The Universe and Everything, it does not make a scrap of difference to our lives. We just have to muddle along through the chaos as best we can. How is the scientists irrational belief in logic, order and reason any crazier than the religionists belief in the divine?
When considering the views of scientists on education we should never forget science, like religion, can be learned by rote, only experience can impart wisdom.
jehovah’s Kiddie Fiddler