1. #1 Steve Rehn
    November 3, 2009

    “What about letting ’em find their own way? Can kids choose religion on their own?”

    “It’s not really recommended. I know some people feel in the freedom of choice that that should be one of them but it’s better if a child has a foundation in a faith and when they get older they have a place to jump off from, so to speak.”

    Hmmm… I wonder why she might say that. Perhaps it’s because she knows that if you don’t indoctrinate kids early then it doesn’t work?

  2. #2 The Science Pundit
    November 3, 2009

    I think you should take that lady’s advice and teach the little Laden about gØd and religion through example.

  3. #3 Mandrake
    November 3, 2009

    That video made me sad. All of these adorable little children, so naive, with so many questions about and for God. Those same questions will remain substantially unanswered throughout life.

  4. #4 Mandrake
    November 3, 2009

    You might have heard this before, but it just occurred to me that if baby Laden is a boy and you name him Ben, he’d be Ben Laden!

    Alright, I’ll go back to lurking now…

  5. #5 becca
    November 3, 2009

    You should. Churches often have free/low cost daycare.

    For the record, my parents gave me the choice about going to the dentist and school as well as church, and look how badly I turned out.

  6. #6 Stephanie Thayer
    November 3, 2009

    Bleh, I could only watch about half of that video. I’m hoping that my children DO become little free-thinkers. I will answer all questions about religion to the best of my knowledge but I would never force them to attend worship or even suggest that was even a good idea. I’m already teaching my son about evolution and explaining to him why some people believe in God and why I do not.

  7. #7 Jadehawk
    November 3, 2009

    oh barf. poor kids, they’ll be sorely disappointed in this “god” once they start growing up.

  8. #8 Anna K.
    November 3, 2009

    By all means, raise the young ‘uns with religion. Then they have something to rebel against when they are adolescents.

  9. #9 gwen
    November 3, 2009

    I’ll bet they would have gotten similar answers were they to ask about ghosts. fairies or Santa. Stupid piece, I had to struggle to finish the inanity of it all.

  10. #10 GaryB
    November 3, 2009

    Absolutely. Just choose a religion without a god. Like Jedi.

  11. #11 Greg Laden
    November 3, 2009

    I think you should take that lady’s advice and teach the little Laden about gØd and religion through example.

    Knowing what I think you might be thinking when you say, that, this could be the funniest thing I’ve read all day.

    “Now, Junior, look how I SMITE the neighbors dog!”

  12. #12 jj
    November 3, 2009

    UGH, that was painful. One thing I always appreciated from my parents – religion was never a topic of discussion. The few times I asked my mother about religion, she pretty much asked me what I thought (which changed as I grew up). They let me think critically and form my own opinions.

    My mother taught me that the most important thing was to be a good person. No magic sky fairy was involved in scaring me to be a good person. It was about compassion, walking in others shoes, etc.

    My father on the other hand, was wouldn’t touch the topic with a 10 foot pole (I have no clue what he ‘believes’), religious discussion always reminded him of Catholic school of his youth. He still has a true fear of nuns to this day.

  13. #13 Jared
    November 4, 2009

    Now, Greg, you’re only the god of this blog, you’re not the god of the neighborhood, leave the dog unsmitten.

    Find a fun religion which is no longer practiced, my vote goes for Minoan… Any religion which deifies snakes and has bare-chested and wasp-waisted statues gets my vote. So what if it means figuring out Linear A.

  14. #14 Katkinkate
    November 4, 2009

    My dad’s the same. He said when I was younger that they purposely didn’t teach any religion to their kids as we grew up. Unfortunately they didn’t teach how to think critically either, so when I left home I got sucked into a fundamentalist christian sect for a while. But I escaped and got a science degree to educate myself.

  15. #15 Greg Laden
    November 4, 2009

    The moment that Linear B was invented:

    “This is boring.” scratch scratch scratch

    “Hey, I wonder if we can figure out how to use these random meaningless squiggles for something useful!”

  16. #16 Jared
    November 4, 2009

    I said Linear A, not Linear B…
    I was under the impression Linear A was Minoan and Linear B was Mycenean.

    Actually, I’m pretty sure the earliest Linear A and earliest Linear B writings are not much different in age, it’s possible both groups arrived to the region already having the language, but not having writings which preserved. It also doesn’t seem like the languages are all that related as one is more image-based (drawings) while the other is more geometric (stick figures); at least if my memory from “The Archaeology of Ancient Greece” serves me properly. Wonderful course, it was taught by an equally wonderful professor, who I believe is now teaching in Austria.

  17. #17 Greg Laden
    November 4, 2009

    Jared: I know. That was still a Linear A joke.

    Linear A is earlier, and Linear B probably derives from it.

    You see, in my Joke, “Liner A” was never a language. Just random squiggling. Then, somebody had the idea…

    (In truth, Linear A is partly deciphered, but there is so little of the script that there is not much beyond very rudimentary guesses that can be made.)

  18. #18 Jared
    November 4, 2009

    Ahh, I understand. I still don’t think the two languages (at least the writing styles) are closely related, though. That, to me, would be quite a tough sell; although I am pretty convinced the languages themselves are related. I’m just thinking that at least the writing styles were established separately.

    As practically every genetics paper I have read to date includes this line: “additional data are needed…”–in this case, more sources of data are needed. Oh, but for the ability to directly observe our own planet in the past; no need to go there, just so long as we could observe…

  19. #19 Ed Darrell
    November 5, 2009

    But did you pay attention to this segment, which might really be useful?