Teaching the difference between evolution and intelligent design to 10 year olds.

Im a Science teacher in a foreign country working in a christian school. Sounds great ay? Its not. Im surrounded by uneducated bible bashers who know nothing about Christianity. And thats the teachers! In fact the kids are actually smarter because they haven't had too much of it drilled into them yet, and they are lucky enough to have a free thinking teacher like me to advise them to see through the BS. But I have to tread carefully.

I just wondered how you guys would tackle this issue of Intelligent design vs evolution. My kids are only 10 years old so its not like im going into hardcore. Just the basics. Thanks.

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evolution is fact, stupid design is a myth

I would just stick to teaching them the facts about evolution. If one of them should happen to ask about intelligent design then briefly explain why there's no scientific basis for it and move on.

I don't think you should make a big deal out of it, or the kids might start to get the idea that ID is actually a valid concept worthy of their attention.

My first thought is using a butterfly as an example... Evolution is like a caterpillar that builds a cocoon around itself.. then due to a lot of little changes over a period of time that caterpillar becomes a beautiful butterfly... What creation says that the butterfly just appeared exactly as it is flying in the air just as you see it.   Which makes more sense? Which can you experience and observe happening?     Then let them figure things out.

You may want to use (assuming you can find them) real caterpillars to bring the point home

I'm not saying it's a perfect example. But it's one which would be understandable by the 10-11 year olds. And it encourages a hands-on approach while allowing them to think and come up with an answer for themselves. 

I realized, when I first read the premise above, that an analogy for that age group was what was needed, but I couldn't think of any offhand, and though yours might be less than perfect, it's certainly the best idea yet.

That's a good analogy, Rob.

if you tell them the truth you might be fired 

Dear Folks:

Intelligent Design, by its very title suggests that the universe or nature shows, by its very nature and structure, the need for some 'very bright creative engineer' to build it.

I remember several come backs over the years:

Would an intelligent designer build a Mr. Hagee? Allow mutations? Birth defects? Create so my types of beetles? Allow the development of cancer? Allow the existence of radioactive material? Build such a bad thumb for the panda? Or limit us to 10 commandments?

Just asking...    

I posted this ages ago but I never got round to the lesson. Im actually going to do it today. Im not going to mention ID but I am going to mention that in the past many people believed in a creator but today, because of insufficient evidence, most people just believe in a god because they are scared of dying and this belief in a creator will gain them entry to another place. Its piece of mind for them. By emphasizing that people 'used' to believe in a god (which isn't lying to them because more people are turning away from religion nowadays) I am hoping that they will think a little more about the absence of a deity and not be wrapped up in fear of the future; as in afterlife.

I think they are lucky to have a free thinking teacher like myself to get them to question the idea of religion because in Thailand, nobody thinks for them self. Its like living in the dark ages sometimes. Thanks for all your ideas. Please keep adding.

This is the kind of shit that annnoys me. See the text above the white board.... (image below)

"The fear of god is the beginning of wisdom"

This is in grade 4. So the kids are around 7-8 years old.....


I think you should only talk about Intelligent Design if you are required to do it (I supposed you do, if not you wouldn't be making this post).

I would start with ID as it the shortest and easiest, i would explain that it is based on the myt...story of creation in the first 2 chapters in the bible. As homework, i would tell them to make an analysis of the creation in chapter 1 and 2 (as both are mutually contradictory). And, allowed (in the case that it won't make look for job after the class) i will teach them about other creation myths (cross examination is a skeptic maker).

Then, when discussing evolution i would use this book as guide  is an award winning children's book that explain evolution in a comprehensible manner without it been "dumb out".


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