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to think that if you are going to present intelligent design to children as fact there should be some indication of this?

209 replies

ArmadilloDaMan · 22/10/2007 16:08

Took ds to a zoo today. As it was half term they were running some extra events.

One was a talk on the animals with the chance to bottle feed lambs and to stroke an alligator. So we went.

It was a detailed talk on different kinds of farm animals and things like crops (they are also a working farm) and well aimed to cover all ages of children.

So far so good. Me and dp thought it was a little odd when they showed a donkey and said the cross was the result of Jesus (you probably know the story) and then the slide show changed from pictures of animals to crosses on a hill in the sunset. They presented it as fact rather than an idea, but we thought no more than odd.

Then they started discussing how chickens grow in an egg (with live chicken, baby chick and egg along with slides). All fine (well the picture on the screen of a live chick next to one lying down with the caption - live body, dead body, both the same body- but they didn't talk about it adn the children were too interested in the chicken trying to escape).

However then he started talking about DNA and genomes. And how they are obviously designed. Therefore there must be a designer and that designer is God. Talked for a few minutes on the subject.

As we went around other areas of zoo there were posters on 'why men and apes are not related' and other such topics, but mostly you would need a GCSE level in science to even start to understand them, so again not too bothered about that (anyone of that age knows enough to make their own mind up).

However there is no indication on the advertising stuff that they are even a christian organisation, let alone one that believes in intelligent design. And if like us you did not go into the undercover areas until the talk you would have no idea.

So AIBU to think that they should at least promote this on their leaflets so people are aware and can choose whether or not they want their children introduced to this as fact before they go?

OP posts:

UnquietDad · 22/10/2007 16:10

Sounds a weird kind of zoo. Very out of order to do this kind of stuff. ID and creationism is anti-intellectual and the complete antithesis of how we should be teaching children to think.


suey2 · 22/10/2007 16:10

YANBU. That is outrageous


Bluestocking · 22/10/2007 16:10

Cripes, what zoo was this? Must make note to avoid it!


NKF · 22/10/2007 16:11

But if they mentioned it in advance, many people would avoid it and they want people to listen. So maybe not unreasonable but expecting a lot. They're on a mission (literally).


UnquietDad · 22/10/2007 16:12

It wasn't something to do with that Museum of Creationism run by that Ham bloke, was it?


GrapefruitMoon · 22/10/2007 16:14

You'll have to say where it is now so we can be forewarned!


EmsMum · 22/10/2007 16:17

Where was this - please warn because it would certainly ruin our day out if we stumbled on something like this. Well, it might be entertaining if they allowed for questions at the end of the talk.

The thing is, even people of GCSE and above age don't all have enough proper understanding of science and logic not to be taken in by some of this stuff - especially when memetically infected from childhood by hymns in assembly (Who put the colours in the rainbow? It surely can't be chance... oh yes it can and whats with the false assertion that there needs to be a 'who'...arghhh).


ArmadilloDaMan · 22/10/2007 16:23

Glad to see we are not the only ones who were shocked.

this is the site

I had a brief look at the site beforehand and didn't see anything that indicated anything like this. A closer look at it and I can only find stuff about their views on intelligent design under the education topic (stuff for schools) not the visitors section.

Was really shocked. Went over ds's head at this age, but tbh if we'd planned it beforehand (rather than spur of the minute) we may have taken my cousin, who would have understood it (and whose parents would not have been impressed).

IF you avoided the talk, kids probably wouldn't have noticed. The posters were in the huge indoor play area and I doubt any of them would have noticed with the amazing play equipment there was. The posters were at least amusing to me and dp while ds played.

Overall it was a fantastic place, but I wouldn't have gone to the talk if I had older kids and had known about it.

We're christian but definately do not agree with the ideas behind intelligent design. It's very much a minority, fundamentalist viewpoint.

OP posts:

NotQuiteCockney · 22/10/2007 16:25

The name gives a bit of a clue!

But still, I'd expect a bit of warning about this sort of claptrap.


CrookshanksinJimmyChoos · 22/10/2007 16:26

Hiya! We went there a few months ago...didn't realise it was run by the God Squad and there was me in my Hejab! Got a few funny looks I can tell you! I just looked at the posters and roffled quietly to myself - I mean most of the kids are too interested in the animals to even notice!


ADragonIs4LifeNotJustHalloween · 22/10/2007 16:27

It's odd but it's not outrageous.


CrookshanksinJimmyChoos · 22/10/2007 16:29


I didn't even twig from the name that it was religious - I just thought oh Noah and the animals - what a good name....but then I am blonde...



NKF · 22/10/2007 16:31

It's a cleverly designed website. The name could give it away but not much and only if you were looking for that sort of thing.


ArmadilloDaMan · 22/10/2007 16:32

With the name

a) can be a term used generically


b) the majority of christians (afaik) do not subscribe to the intelligent design idea. It is still a minority viewpoint.

OP posts:

ArmadilloDaMan · 22/10/2007 16:36

lol crookshanks, I had no idea either.

I'd go again, but avoid the talks - may be a half term special anyway.

But I was shocked that there was (imo) no indication of this on the advertising stuff that I saw beforehand.

I don't have anything against intelligent design being taught as long as the parents are aware of it. To teach it without their awareness, being a discredited minority idea, it wrong imo.

OP posts:

EffiePerine · 22/10/2007 16:37

Imagine the hooha if they had slipped in, eg, a talk on Scientology. No harm in having these views, but surely they should make it clear on the website that events have a religious slant?


Elizabetth · 22/10/2007 16:37


Sneaky Xtians. Naughty. If they are that sure of their beliefs they need to be upfront about them.


doggiesayswoof · 22/10/2007 16:38

When you click on the Education tab on their website there are headings that would set alarm bells ringing for me: Noah's ark - did it really happen? Creation biology/The evidence of the fossils/Evolution, yes and no etc. But as you say, you wouldn't even have looked there if just going for a visit.

The "about us" page says nothing about their beliefs, which seems a bit strange since they appear to be evangelical Christians.

I would have been unhappy with the talk going in that direction - think I would have walked out tbh.


belgo · 22/10/2007 16:41

It's not a secret that Noah's Ark is based on Christian principles. I knew before I went there.

It's a great place in a beautiful part of the countryside, just south of Bristol.

I remember being taught Darwinian Theory as fact at school.


CrookshanksinJimmyChoos · 22/10/2007 16:42

Thing is, would people be so keen to visit if they knew the viewpoint?? I'm guessing no.....

Mind you, I didn't even twig what it was all about until - and I kid you not, I went into the gift shop and saw all the books and then it became clear why all the posters I was roffling about were up on the walls....and I've got a degree fgs....


ArmadilloDaMan · 22/10/2007 16:46

Well I had no indication.

I read the leaflet (no hint on there, even in the organisations they are aligned with). I visited the website - the visitor section, again nothing there. How else was I supposed to find out? Go through the website with a toothcomb? Ask everyone I had ever met in case one of them and been and thought about passing that info on to me? That would suppose I knew there was something else to find out.

Secondly christian doesn't = intelligent design. Intelligent design is the viewpoint of some christians.

I have no problem with it being christian, I have no problem with it promoting intelligent design, as long as it makes parents aware

OP posts:

harpsichordcarrier · 22/10/2007 16:49

actually I think it is outrageous and sneaky and really very dodgy indeed.
I would have asked for my money back.


harpsichordcarrier · 22/10/2007 16:51

belgo - Darwinian theory is fact in the sameway as every other scientific theory from gravity upwards?
in wht respect isn't it fact?


doggiesayswoof · 22/10/2007 16:53

I certainly wouldn't be happy that my £££ were helping them promote their beliefs. With religious charities etc, they are always upfront about what they stand for so you can make an informed choice about whether to support them.


LittleBellaLugosi · 22/10/2007 17:00

If you read the whole of the education page, it emphasises SATs and the National Curriculum. It's only if you click on the sub titles that they start going into detail about their wacky theories, and most people would see "National Curriculum" and be happy that it's a respectable educational organisation.

Belgo, the issue isn't that the zoo is christian, the issue is that it's promoting claptrap that most christians in the world do not have anything to do with and would very much object to being associated with.

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