Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Apple and the Fall

Posted by Kirk
When fall comes I naturally think of apples. I attended an apple program by fellow naturalist Kristi this past weekend. She asked, "Where did the apple come from?" to which someone offered up, "The Garden of Eden."

This can be a nightmare situation for a naturalist. It depends on the audience. Kristi explained that wasn't the answer she was looking for and went on to tell how the original apples came from Kazakhstan. So, unless you're thinking the garden of eden was in Kazakhstan....

I've gotten similar answers from groups before such as:

Kirk: "Does anyone know why the sky appears blue?"
Student: "Because God made it that way."
Kirk: Well actually, it has to do with the way light scatters."
Student: "Well, that's not what my mom told me!"

I love it when parent's don't bother to find the answers to tough questions and then give the God answer. Why is the sky blue? Because god made it that way. Why do clocks go clockwise. Because God made them that way. Why does it rain? Because angels are crying. It's even worse when parents get on the school board and want their guesses to be in the curriculum.

This makes my life so interesting. What's the best way to tell a kid his parents are wrong?

It's not just answers but questions too. This summer a girl found out I teach a fossil class. "Wow!" she said. "Do we get to find dinosaurs?" Not wanting to disappoint, I had to explain that we don't find dinosaurs around here. "Dinosaurs are only 65 million years old," I explained. "The animals we're going to look for are around 400 million years old! " I did my best to sound excited, after all, I'd rather be looking for dinosaurs too.

She thought ... and thought.

"How can we find things from 400 million years ago if the earth is only 3000 years old?"

"Um, well, the Earth is older than that!"

"But the Bible says ..."

I educate. I teach science. I educate.