A LECTURER at the University of Sussex has said children should be taught about evolution from as young as five, so they don’t mistake animated films for scientific fact.
Lecturer in education James Williams said that failure to teach primary school children scientific truth is playing into the hands of advocates of creationism – the belief that God created the world in six days.
He warned that creationists go to great lengths to influence primary children with comics, magazines and videos that mix scientific misconceptions with proper science.
Addressing the British Humanist Association, Mr Williams said creationists deliberately feed children scientific misconceptions.
Children then build on these, adapting all new knowledge so that it fits into their understanding of the world.
“While creationists have a right to publish and voice their views, no matter how far from real science they may be, the science education community must respond by introducing evolution and the reality of how life developed and diversified much earlier in the curriculum to combat the establishment of creationist misconceptions.”
Mr WIlliams said TV programmes like The Flintstones and Barney created a false interaction between humans and dinosaurs which creationists exploited.
He said creationist literature contained images of dinosaurs in the Garden of Eden or descriptions of dinosaurs dying out during the great flood.
“This wilful distortion of real science in favour of pseudoscience is nothing less than intellectual abuse,” he said.
“Misconceptions set in primary school will be very difficult, if not impossible, to correct over ten years later.”