Saturday, March 29, 2008

On the training of minds

I've been meaning to comment on this video of a tour through a natural history museum, led by creationist brainwashers. "Suffer the little children to come unto me," because a grownup will see through this crap in an instant (although we know that not everyone is going to become a grownup).

I really like the part where the curator says, "Regardless of what the tour director says, some of those kids are going to start thinking for themselves." And it's true. Today the kids will all say what they're told to say, but the only way to maintain this is to totally control the information they receive. The difference between these two outlooks can't be overstated. Too many Christian parents remove their children from school because they see the child's mind as something to be programmed.* Any contradictory data can only corrupt the proper functioning of the mind. The curator here, on the other hand, trusts the kids' minds to work on their own, if they're just given scope to operate. Who respects these children more - the man who tells them what to say, or the one who's happy that they'll encounter a variety of information?

[James also has some commentary on this video]

*As further evidence, I might offer the evangelical sport of Bible Quizzing, where the participants are asked theological questions and recite the prescribed Bible verse by rote. Given a sufficiently fine memory, one could be an ace Bible Quizzer in a completely unfamiliar language.

1 comment:

James Hanley said...

"Given a sufficiently fine memory, one could be an ace Bible Quizzer in a completely unfamiliar language."

A Syrian Muslim friend of mine told me about an African Muslim who had memorized the entire Koran, despite not having any knowledge of Arabic. He had no idea what the words meant, but could recite them perfectly.

Of course, an atheist could also be a top Bible quizzer.