My daughter is not yet aware of anti-evolution believers, and I am not sure how to break the news to her. She has seen various exhibits at the Smithsonian Natural History museum on evolution, heard people explaining different animals with reference to it, and obviously it comes up all the time in the study of so many things.
The idea that "god" would in any way be at odds with this is completely unknown to her. I once asked her what she thought about god and she articulated a highly spiritual understanding. It is not something I ever "taught" her - I don't believe in "teaching" when it comes to religion, to me that is even more sacred than not teaching academics :lol.
What is going through my mind when it comes to this issue is how to
- describe the other people in a respectful way
- explain that it is not worth arguing with them
Note that I don't belong to any anti-evolution hs group but we do run into such people at times (e.g. at a forest ranger talk at a national park), and they can be quite vocal. In fact we are trying to form a hs group where I am (in India) and I noticed one of the people was carrying pamphlets on the topic. I would not want to tell my daughter not to read the pamphlet but I am not sure how I can tell this person not to distribute the pamphlet at the meeting (he did not distribute it but gave me one privately). It reminds me of an hs group I belonged to in another city (in US), where the organizer decided not to touch the topic because it was unmanageable. Therefore even the trip to the Smithsonian had to be done outside the group because it would have prompted some of the people to organize something else and no one wanted to go there.
At what age do you think it appropriate to "teach the controversy?" Right now my wide-eyed 8 year old devours every book and video on science she can get. On the one hand she should learn to be a critical reader, evaluate her sources and not believe everything she reads (and she already knows that because if she reads a book that so much as refers to the planet Pluto, she says, "this book is very old). I can explain errors, outdated information, or change in perspective due to new research and understanding, but I am not sure I can explain "because __ says so." Stuff like church vs. Galileo she sees as almost ancient history and even they came around, well before she was born :lol so that is all taken care of.
Edited by rumi - 10/18/11 at 7:00am