Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Religion Diminishes Inquiry at an Early Age

My daughter is a substitute teacher. She related to me a story about what happened with a fifth grade class she was teaching the other day. The subject was science and she was teaching them about renewable resources. One of the resources listed was wind energy. That prompted one of the students to ask, "What causes the wind?" Well, science is not my daughter's strong suit, so she whipped out her iPhone to make sure she told them the right answer. In the meantime, some of the students tried to answer it themselves. They settled on the answer, "God makes the wind."

They were all ready to just settle for that answer. It was all they needed. But my daughter, having found the real answer about the uneven heating of the earth's surface, creating pressure differences, wrote the answer on the board and told them this is what causes wind. "But God causes that to happen, right Ms Wilson?" My daughter, being an atheist, replied that it was not her belief but that it's ok if that's what they wanted to believe. She said some of the kids looked a little stunned or perplexed that she didn't believe in God.

Maybe, though, she planted a little seed of religious doubt in their little heads without actually crossing any lines. She didn't try teaching them that there was no god. She just stated her belief in response to a question. The main point, though, is that at an early age, the religiously indoctrinated are turning off scientific inquiry and substituting it with the pat answer, "God did it." Sad.

No comments: