November 10, 2009 | David F. Coppedge

Darwin Marketed to Kids

There’s a move on to get Darwin’s ideas taught to tots.  Britain is giving a “birthday present to Darwin,” wrote Andrew Copson for The Guardian, in the form of national curriculum for primary schools that will mention evolution for the first time – and prohibit teaching of creationism or intelligent design in science lessons.
    The addition of evolution to elementary school curriculum was in response to a letter promoted by the British Humanist Association and signed by “scientists and experts.”  Copson was obviously delighted with what he perceived as a long-overdue smackdown against intelligent design – a belief espoused by the majority of his fellow Britons:

“Those who care about public reason are routinely shocked by opinion polls and surveys showing high levels of credence given to the idea of intelligent design.  The most recent poll purported to demonstrate that a majority of Britons think that it should be taught alongside evolution in schools.
    To solve this problem, we have to know what causes it and there are two reasons why you might prefer the idea of intelligent design to that of evolution.  You may do so because your prior ideological convictions, mostly to do with religious belief, simply don’t allow you to accept the evidence that is presented to you.  Or you may do so because you genuinely do not know of the evidence for evolution, have never had it explained to you, or because you just don’t understand it.  In a society as decreasingly religious as England, it is impossible to believe that most of the people who do not accept evolution are motivated by ideology rather than ignorance.  This means that the best way to solve the problem is through better education and that is what makes the inclusion of evolution in the science curriculum as early as possible so important.

non-sequitur: “providing children with an understanding of it [evolution] at the earliest possible age will surely help lay the foundations for a surer scientific understanding later on.”
    A new company is making Darwin toys for tots.  Charlie’s Playhouse offers “Evolution for kids” in the form of apparel, games, cards, and a giant evolution timeline kids can hop and skip on.  Of special interest is their 30-second commercial, Why are we making evolution toys?  The answer: nobody else is.  The commercial laments the thousands of toys about physics, biology and chemistry – even all those popular dinosaur toys– that don’t mention evolution.  “But we do!” a cartoony Darwin exclaims, dancing proudly at the end of the video.
    William Dembski, the double-PhD scholar of the intelligent design movement, has had enough with all this.  His latest article on Uncommon Descent is called “Getting over our love for Darwin.”  In it he quotes Malcolm Muggeridge, who wrote, “I myself am convinced that the theory of evolution, especially the extent to which it’s been applied, will be one of the great jokes in the history books in the future.  Posterity will marvel that so very flimsy and dubious an hypothesis could be accepted with the incredible credulity that it has.”

We can only hope some of the silliness will end when the Darwin Party packs the circus tents and fires the clowns for the next 50 years.  You’ll notice we are not the only ones calling him Charlie.  Picture Lucy (the fossil) saying, “You’re a blockhead, Charlie Clown,” to which Charlie replies, “I can’t help what my groupies do.”
So much more than
Charlie’s waking me
To the core and
Charlie’s shaking me
Tell my story
Charlie’s making me
And Charlie’s making me smile.
Ooh-oo, whoa now.

Whoa now, indeed.  Sober up and read the next entry.

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