I don’t remember what exactly prompted it, but Sunday evening we were on the way home from my mom’s house and the kids got started talking about evolution. At some point one of the younger two said that we evolved from monkeys. Then they got into a debate over whether it was monkeys or apes. I had to interject and tell them both that they were on the right track, but that neither one of them were technically correct. I did my best to explain that monkeys, apes and humans all had a common ancestor, but that it wasn’t a modern ape or monkey.
I got my wife hooked on listening to the Skeptoid podcast a year or so ago. She suggested that we let the kids listen to Brian Dunning’s explanation of this common misconception. So with a little searching on the iPhone I downloaded a few episodes. The kids enjoyed the first so I just let it run through a couple episodes. It made for a very nice and educational ride home.
Well yesterday I had Noah and Eve in the car and I had the radio on. Noah piped up and asked, “Dad, Can we listen to another one of those ‘I’m Brian Dunning’ programs?”. Not to be one to stand in the way of a 9 year-old and a 7 year-old who are curious about science, I handing him the iPhone and let him listen to a few episodes. After we got home he kept my phone and ran upstairs and listened to a few more. He was really excited that Brian actually had a video podcast too. So he probably spent and hour watching and listening to Skeptoid and InFact before he went to bed.
I listen to a lot of podcasts, particularly a lot of podcasts that focus on science and skepticism. I enjoy them all but several of them are not safe for children. It’s a shame because as I’ve demonstrated with this little story there is a market for at least a few kids. I want to thank Brian Dunning for doing such a great podcast and keeping it accessible to all ages. I encourage you all to check it out too, no matter how old you are.
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