When should you introduce your child to evolution?


The only definition that applies is: Does the population survive?! If the population cannot generate enough mutations in each generation … it will collapse during the periodical cycles of high-change in the ecosystem in which they live.

Frankly, John, some people will just never understand the biology and mathematics of Evolution. Just like some people will just never understand the mathematics of Quantum Mechanics. I don’t think there is anything anyone can say to you, or to DCS, that will make enough sense to you. And since I’m on a very tight budget of 3 posts a day … I just cannot adopt you as my personal educational project. Maybe someone else can help you more than I can?

I take a very high view of the issue of natural selection … so high, in fact, that I’m really only interested in discussing the Geology and Physics of the age of the Earth.

Please don’t be offended by my stance on exchanging posts with you. I care about your personal development on the issue of Evolution - - but I also know my limitations.

Have a wonderful weekend.

George Brooks

In your oversimplifications, George, which makes me wonder about your trolling, you create new definitions all the time. Such generalizations are made by the unwise, because they make you vulnerable to self-refuting statements.

If a population has sufficient variability or mobility it will not collapse during ecosystem changes, regardless of whether it has sustained recent mutations. If it is a susceptible and narrowly adaptive organism (ie. can only survive in a narrow temperature range, and only reproduce in a narrow moisture range), then it must be mobile, in order to survive. Most organisms are mobile, including even trees, and weeds. Mutations are not required for survival, as long as some conducive environment can be found within the dormancy period.

If the climate on earth approached that of Mars or Venus, you might have a point.

@johnZ … you just don’t know enough about the Science of evolution. We don’t have to become a Martian desert for tremendous extinctions to occur.

Below is the story of the Terror Birds… giant, meat eating birds that ran on two legs… and hunted mammals relentlessly. They lived in South America … and it was paradise for the Terror Birds … but not for much of anything else… UNTIL …

“From 27 million years to 2.5 million years ago, there was an increase in the phorusrhacid [i.e. the Terror Bird] population size in South America, suggesting that, in that time frame, the various species flourished as predators in the savannah environment. However, as the Isthmus of Panama emerged, 2.5 million years ago, [i.e., the Panama land bridge joined South America to North America] - - carnivorous dogs and cats from North America were able to cross into South America, causing an increase in competition. As the population of [Terror Birds] gradually decreased, this suggests that competition with other predators was a major influence on [their] extinction.”

In other words … the arrival of these advanced predators from North America was too sudden for the Terror Birds to adjust to. There was not enough “variation” in their population… and so they were rushed out the door of Extinction.

Evolutionists point out that if there had been an EARLY and MINOR presence of North American predators in the ecosystem of the Terror Birds … they would have been better able to keep pace with the evolving improvements in these predators … and just might have survived all the way to the time when humans entered into South America.

And that would have been a DISASTER!!!

Humans evolved in Africa - - because Terror Birds were on South America ! A slightly different scenario would have put new and improved versions of the Terror Birds into North America … and perhaps moving across the Siberian land-bridge during periods of good climate. Once unleashed into Asia… and eventually the rest of the world … a new-and-improved Terror Bird that survived the predators of North America might have wiped out all traces of savannah-running Primates.


If only dogs and cats were predator competitors, then they would also have made good prey for these supposed birds. Furthermore, if they didn’t make good prey, then it is unlikely that any predaceous primates would have become prey for them to a great extent. Especially modern primates, and especially humans, who terrorize all land predators.

So … you don’t think there were Terror Birds? You don’t even believe bones in the earth mean ANY thing?

Below is an image of a Terror Bird feeding on something around the size of a large deer … The point of my post was to explain that the speed with which a species can use normal mutation rates to survive new circumstances is LIMITED. And if a new predator or competitor suddenly arrives on the scene (in this case because South and North America were suddenly JOINED via Panama) … SOME SPECIES WILL PERISH.

Ask yourself this, John, what if Elephants were MEAT EATERS? What if tigers were the SIZE of ELEPHANTS?

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You didn’t read very carefully, I said that an individual would HAVE TO have evolved the entire (reproductive) system. How did the species reproduce before there was time for a reproduction system to have evolved? Am I to believe that cells just randomly and simultaneously divided into what ultimately became an extremely complex, but perfectly functioning, both male and female reproduction system? Male and female reproductive systems that just happened to be perfectly matched to each other within a species? That requires far more faith than it takes to believe in God. And belief in God will prove itself true soon to those who pursue it, as opposed to ridiculous fantasies about macro evolution.


There seems to be plenty of information and evidence on the development of TWO-GENDER reproduction. Worms are examples of both members of a mating pair are DOUBLE-gendered.

Vertebrates like fish only have differences internally.

Dinosaurs and other reptiles, as well as birds, have no specialized external anatomy.

It is when we reach into the millions of years of evolution in mammals that we start seeing lots of specialized external sexual apparatus.

But you know what, Jeffery, we all have our personal views of what is AMAZING… or TOO AMAZING.

You think sexual dimorphism is TOO amazing to consider a realistic evolutionary development. I think six day creation is WAY MORE “too amazing”. If we can’t agree on the age of the universe, there is NOTHING to agree upon.


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If you honestly want to know how TEs address that question, you can check out the links Dennis provided here: How did sexual reproduction originate and evolve?

You make it sound like belief in God and acceptance of macroevolution as a model are mutually exclusive. That’s not really true. You realize you are on BioLogos, not an athiest website, right? Many people here are pursuing God and don’t have an issue with accepting miracles on faith.


Wow… I should have written that! That’s my favorite point to make … and yet I got distracted by the drama of Jeffery’s objection …

Thanks for keeping us “on track”, @Christy !!

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I don’t introduce students to evolution in my school until 9th grade biology. By then they are able to handle the varying levels (scientific, historic, and philosophical) of why Darwin is so important. In 9th grade students can start to dig into the deeper issues relevant to science/faith discussions.

Most public schools would introduce concepts of evolutionary biology long before that though. Even if your kids watch PBS they are going to hear about it from a young age.

I feel like this topic was already discussed in a thread somewhere…

Anyway, as soon as I was able to read books to my kids and talk to them about the world around us, I told them a storified version of the scientific consensus of life’s unfolding over hundreds of millions of years. I personally find it utterly fascinating and an amazing testimony to the glory of God, so why should I withhold it from them? I find the very idea strange.

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Didn’t know about another thread.

I am speaking as a biology teacher in a school with over 90 different churches represented, so officially we don’t get into a topic as big as evolution/creation until students are mentally in a place to start handling the varying aspects of the discussion.

The interesting thing about public schools teaching starting earlier is that you would think they would get so much deeper, yet they don’t.


I think there is a fundamental difference when you are introducing evolution to students in a group where a good number of them have been explicitly taught anti-evolution arguments since they were young, and introducing evolution to your own child as a Christian who also wants them to be developing a respect for the truth of the word of God. For fifteen-year-olds who have been led to believe that evolution is incompatible with God’s truth, there is a whole different kind of cognitive dissonance than for seven-year-olds who read in their picture Bibles about creation week and then watch Dinosaur Train and learn about the difference between the triassic and jurassic dinosaurs. I don’t think the younger child experiences the same level of conflict.

When my kids were little we talked about germs and how our immune systems fight disease, be we also acknowledged that God heals people so we should pray for those who are sick. We talked about the weather cycle and what affects climates but we also read in the Bible that God sends rain and makes everything come to life in spring. We learned how babies are made, but we also freely talked about God creating us special from the time we were in our moms. I don’t think talking about how creatures today have very different ancestors and have changed over time or how we can tell the earth is billions of years old was experienced by my children as a contradiction the way it would be experienced as a contradiction by children who had grown up being explicitly told it was.

That said, I think human origins is tricky for EC parents. It is a little messier than simply explaining basic genetics and descent with modification.


I apologize for my hair trigger. Yes of course, your situation in a school setting is quite different from mine in a home. And I was reacting less to you, actually (poor form for me there), and more to the very notion of waiting to teach one’s kids about “evolution.” In the setting of an EC home (not your setting), I think the notion is absurd.

At my kids’ youngest introduction to the consensus model of natural history, I didn’t actually teach them about “evolution” (insert requisite bogey-man shudder). I just taught them about how God created the world gradually over many millions of years, in a particular order. It was only later that I had to tell them, “Now kids, when your [Christian school] class talks about creation, you need to be aware that for some people this is a really sensitive topic, and we don’t want to lose friends over this. So please think hard before you go around talking about what Daddy’s taught you about these things.”

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P.S. If you’re curious, it’s here: When should you introduce your child to evolution? But I’m not sure whether it’s worth your time! :slight_smile:

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At one point during some software upgrade or something, the system was randomly generating new threads for old blog posts, which is where this one came from. I could merge the two.


I agree with the teaching of human origins. With all of the other disciplines I am trying to be reasonably knowledgable about, that is one I have not yet picked up; yet I need to.

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