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Evolutionising the young1

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Published: 8 December 2016 (GMT+10)

According to the Bible, the truth of there being a Creator God is self-evident. Hence, the Bible begins, not with any argument for God’s existence, but simply an assertion that ‘God is’ and ‘He created’ (Genesis 1). Similarly, the apostle Paul taught that the reality of God is clearly perceived in the world around us (Romans 1:18–20).

Born believers

wikipedia.org classroom
Secularists want to indoctrinate children in evolutionary beliefs from their earliest schooldays.

Unsurprisingly, studies have shown that children have a natural tendency to believe this. A report by Dartmouth Medical School (USA) concluded that “Human beings are biologically primed to seek moral and spiritual meaning” and children’s “capacity and desire for spiritual experience are, to some degree, hard-wired.”2 According to Dr Justin Barrett, a senior researcher at Oxford University’s Centre for Anthropology and Mind, young children have faith even when they have not been taught about God by the family or at school. Even those who grew up alone on a desert island would come to believe in God, he suggests.3 Psychologist Dr Olivera Petrovich noted that Japanese children spontaneously attribute the natural world to the work of a creator God, even when this is contrary to the beliefs of their parents and teachers.4

A recent article in The Guardian, authored by Nathalia Gjersoe, reported some new research into the beliefs of young children.5 Scientists noted two very specific views, held instinctively, which help explain why children have a natural tendency to believe in creation. The first is that different kinds of plants and animals are distinct from one another and that one kind will not change into another. The second is that everything in nature has been designed for a purpose. Significantly, these views are equally common in children from religious and non-religious backgrounds.

A secular agenda

According to Gjersoe, however, this situation requires a solution. Such beliefs, she says, “become increasingly entrenched, making formal scientific instruction more and more difficult as children get older.” Astonishingly, she implies that the belief that a ‘supreme being’ played a part in producing the natural world—even if this involved an evolutionary process—is detrimental to society. Indeed, she wrote, “It is critical that the voting public have a clear understanding of evolution. Adaptation by natural selection, the primary mechanism of evolution, underpins a raft of current social concerns such as antibiotic resistance, the impact of climate change and the relationship between genes and environment.”

Gjersoe’s article is so full of misunderstandings and confusion that, in making a response, it is difficult to know where to begin. The idea that recognising design in nature obstructs one’s ability to learn science is plainly contrary to the facts of history.6,7 For example, many of the founders of modern science were biblical creationists who wrote about how their belief in the creation inspired their scientific work.8 At the same time, belief in evolution appears to have contributed nothing to scientific progress. According to Dr Marc Kirschner, founding chair of the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School, “over the last 100 years, almost all of biology has proceeded independent of evolution, except evolutionary biology itself. Molecular biology, biochemistry, physiology, have not taken evolution into account at all.”9 Natural selection does, indeed, play a part in bacteria acquiring resistance to antibiotics. However, Gjersoe’s confusing natural selection with evolution is a fundamental error that we have addressed on numerous occasions. Natural selection cannot turn ‘microbes into men’ because it is not a creative process.

Indoctrinate them earlier?

Gjersoe believes that the solution to the ‘problem’ of children naturally believing in a Creator is to teach evolutionary concepts at an earlier age. Until recently, evolution was not taught in UK schools until around year 9 (age 13–14); however, following lobbying by the British Humanist Association, it is now covered in year 6 (age 10–11). Gjersoe suggests that this is too late and quotes psychologist Professor Deborah Kelemen who argues that, by age ten, a child’s creationist worldview has “coalesced into a coherent theoretical framework that then gets in the way of contradictory scientific explanations and may remain the default, gut reaction, even in adults.” Hence, they conclude that it might be appropriate to begin ‘corrective education’ as early as year 1 (around age 5). For some time, this is exactly what Richard Dawkins has been pushing for.10

In Proverbs 22:6 we’re told, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” There has, perhaps, never been a time in history when this admonition has been more urgent. Secularists are determined to steal the minds and hearts of our children. Initially, they sought to indoctrinate through the media and the universities. They then progressed to secondary schools. Now they want our kids from their earliest years. There is, however, no need for this to happen. In Creation magazine, we provide a continuous stream of up-to-date information challenging ‘evolutionary science’ and supporting creationist beliefs. This enables parents to counter the lies continually fed to their children and to establish them in a godly, biblical worldview.

References and notes

  1. First published in CMI (UK/Europe)’s CMI Extra, June 2016. Return to text.
  2. Bavolek, S.J., Hardwired to connect: the new scientific case for authoritative community, Dartmouth Medical School, 2003; authenticleadershipinc.com/pdf/Hardwired_to_Connect.pdf Return to text.
  3. Beckford, M., Children are born believers in God, academic claims, The Telegraph, 24 November 2008; telegraph.co.uk. Return to text.
  4. Catchpoole, D., Children see the world as ‘designed’!, 16 July 2009; creation.com/children-see-the-world-as-designed. Return to text.
  5. Gjersoe, N., Evolution makes scientific sense. So why do many people reject it?, The Guardian, 31 March 2016; theguardian.com. Return to text.
  6. Sarfati, J., The biblical roots of modern science, 29 September 2009; creation.com/biblical-roots-of-modern-science. Return to text.
  7. Stark, R., How the West was Won, ISI Books, USA, ch. 15, 2014. Return to text.
  8. Jaki, S.L., Science and Creation, Scottish Academic Press, Edinburgh, ch. 12, 1986. Return to text.
  9. Dizikes, P., Missing Links, Boston Globe, 23 October 2005. Return to text.
  10. Allen, E., Teach five-year-olds Darwin’s theory of evolution, says Professor Richard Dawkins, dailymail.co.uk, 1 September, 2011. Return to text.

Helpful Resources

Readers’ comments

Christopher N.
I remember when I was a child and an unbeliever. I remember the oppression I felt from believing those lies told to me about evolution. I walked through that with Jesus. I thank God for people telling me the truth; the truth about God, and about Jesus and the truth about creation being made by him. I am 59 now but I still feel the the sense of freedom and joy that comes from the truth that I learnt then, so many years ago.
Terry W.
"It is critical that the voting public have a clear understanding of evolution."

This is something we can agree on. I recommend "Evolution's Achilles' Heels" (Robert Carter, Ed.). Once you have a clear enough understanding of evolution, you'll clearly understand why it can't have happened.
Luke G.
Teaching evolution is child abuse!
Earl N.
One of the most perplexing matters on the idea of evolution is how recognizing design impedes science. In my experience as an engineer it would seem the exact opposite is true. No one would ever assume that house evolved from the trees in forest. Yet we are supposed to look at the most astonishing design(s) in reality and assume they are accidental. This seems to exude a fundamental misunderstanding of science
Norm L.
"According to Dr Justin Barrett, a senior researcher at Oxford University’s Centre for Anthropology and Mind, young children have faith even when they have not been taught about God by the family or at school."

This very fact is what led to my rebirth and why I raise my children “in the way they should go.” When my first child was born, my wife and I kept an extremely short “umbilical cord” attached to her. We were believers in a creator God, but not “bible thumpers” so we had no real understanding of who He was. We had no relationship with God at all. We knew, however, that the world was utterly corrupt and wanted to protect our daughter, so we NEVER allowed any outside influence. This meant no preschool, no TV, and no babysitters (even family) of any kind! When she was 3yo we discovered her praying to God one day for the well-being of others using a vocabulary she had never used before (and never did again until she was much older). She had not learned about God or prayer from us, TV or anywhere! This sparked my investigation that led to His revelation to me through His Word. I was as much as warned that if I didn’t cut my daughter’s “umbilical cord” it would have very damaging effects. Today, my daughter is 18yo, received her B.A. at 17yo (a week before receiving her H.S. diploma), teaches at a University while working toward her M.A., and is perhaps the most well-adjusted and moral young lady in our very worldly town. The same folks who condemned my rearing methods now marvel at what a fine young lady she’s become. She is even celebrated by the same folks at the University that once questioned my “helicopter” involvement. It took a babe to lead me to another Babe. I now have a real purpose for my life and the way I raise my other two children. Praise be to God!
Mike A.
Hi, this is in response to Barry D. I hope you will see this...

I find it interesting that you list four things that are considered both counter intuitive and educative. Your first three examples are all ones that you could point to definitive evidence in the form of observations, thought experiments and calculations that went into their discovery.

However, your premise that humans and chimps have a common ancestor doesn't even come close to the same scientific standard that the other three assertions you made do. So, why do you feel justified in giving it in the same level of certainty? That's not how science works!
Andrew M.
Is teaching evolution is child abuse? I notice that the related videos on this page answer this question. However it would be more interesting to examine the effects that teaching evolution has on a child. The words of Jesus say that such an experiment is unethical: "But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea" (Matthew 18:6).
Barry D.
Retired teacher here. Yes, many things that science has discovered are counter-intuitive. The earth moves and is spherical. The speed of light is independent of the speed of the source and the observer. Light is both a particle and a wave. Humans and chimps share common ancestors. It's not "evolutionising" the young. It is educating them.
Dominic Statham
Some things are both counter-intuitive and wrong!

How do you know that humans and chimps share common ancestors? See here.
Graham M.
Thank you CMI for raising this critical issue and the effect of teaching Evolution to our children. Sadly throughout the world there are very few Bible colleges and Seminaries that have 'mandatory teaching' on children and families. If our clergy do not know God's plan for children and families as He has set out in Deut 6:4-9 our children will suffer the same fate as the Israelites as recorded in Judges 2:10-14. They forfeited the blessings of God and suffered the consequences.
Lassi P.
Evolution is a large scale worldview dealing with unimaginable eons of past, our origin and various ethical questions. It also was the primary cause of the greatest genocide of human history. In any sensible society such issues would be taught only after the children had got scientifically valid understanding of related issues (genetics and phenotype, radioactivity, rock layers etc.) But that would be very bad for evolutionistic introduction. Some people really seem to care only about whether people believe themselves to be a bag of rearranged pond scum.
Anthony A.
This is exactly what has concerned me for the past couple of years as my children start to enter into more formal schooling environments. The Scripture quoted at the end is exactly what has driven me to ensure my kids are taught biblical truth regarding creation and to reinforce in them that there is no conflict between science and Christianity when both are properly understood. Thanks for sharing this!
Marie W.
I wanted to study biology in college, but had a hard time believing evolution. So, I was a little put off. I didn't know there were creationists in the sciences who disbelieved evolution. My math skills weren't up to par, so I reasoned I couldn't study science after all and opted for English lit. To my surprise, I learned how profoundly evolution has effected all disciplines. I am convinced evolution is more psychological than scientific. As I am now a teacher, I notice evolutionary thinking also permeates all levels of education. I want to learn how to teach kids to examine evolutionary thinking for themselves, as one would consider any other bias. I work in a public school, so my hands are tied in discussing creationism.
Dan M.
Children have an innate tendency to believe in and seek a creator God, (that certainly does prove Romans 1:19-20 because kids don't care about politics)? Do you think in the interest of psychology scientists would research this further to understand why, since kids have no training? No! We have to train it out of them and make them believe in our religion and that they are evolved pond scum! Without a moral anchor, society will crumble and apparently is crumbling.

When discussing with people the plethora of scientific problems with the evolutionary paradigm and they find out I'm an creationist, they sometimes say, "don't force your religion on me"! Well, back at you!

I remember believing in God from a young age also even though I was not churched and then the onslaught of evolutionary brainwashing. It caused me a lot of problems early in life as it taught me to be self centered and pleasure seeking. A selfish society cannot stand! I thank the Lord for not giving up on me and now my life is more fulfilling even though I'm a paralytic.

Children really are the unbiased scientists of the age. They are not brainwashed yet with all the social engineering forced on us by the, "educated" people. It has occurred to me that our government is in violation of the first amendment religion clause because atheistic evolution is a religion and they have nationalized it in our public schools! If it, (evolution) is so rational, why do they have to use bully tactics to further their agenda? It's because even with all the brainwashing most Americans still believe in a creator God, (of some sort) and that infuriates them, (especially Richard D.)!

The evo's are in violation of Matthew 19:14 and God will deal with them accordingly!
Chuck R.
Along with the overt rejection and ridicule faced by those who acknowledge a Creator, many kids through subliminal messages are indoctrinated into evolutionary doctrine. Grade school (and adult) books condition us by seemingly casual statements of ‘millions of years’ or ‘evolved’, implying that everyone just knows evolution is true and anyone who disagrees is scorned.
Riaan V.
I was brought up in a strict Reformed Christian home. Believer since I knew. Never believed in evolution. Still this evil made me believe that the earth was billions of years old. I studied at a CHRISTIAN REFORMED university and was blatantly taught evolution and that canyons and mountains were formed over millions of years. Then I found CMI and am now teaching the young earth view of the Bible and against evolution.

Keep up the good work, the truth of God the Creator will withstand the attacks from the dark side.

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