Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Child Genius: A Child and His Religion

Last night on Child Genius, Graham struggled with his astronomy studies, not because he wasn't capable (he definitely was), but because his family is so religious that he felt the need to tell us and the judges that he's Christian and doesn't believe in the big bang theory.

In my opinion, everyone is entitled to their beliefs, as long as they live their lives morally and ethically. And in this case, I can't argue with Graham's family's morals and ethics - they seem like great people and his parents are certainly less crazy than Ryan's tiger parents - but I did take issue with the fact that Graham had to feel so torn between his beliefs and his learnings, to the point that he may have had to sacrifice a trivia question for the sake of religion.

I also was concerned with the fact that, if I recall correctly, Graham seemed 100% convinced that the big bang theory is false. The big bang theory is just that - a THEORY - and by no means does anyone have to subscribe to it, but is it really healthy to instill this value so strongly in a child who's too young to truly make a decision about religion? There should be a balance between faith (or lack of, in some cases) and science. I think Graham could be missing out on a big part of his potential by not being allowed to explore certain scientific theories.

It was crazy that Graham felt the need to tell the judges that he's a Christian before the round began. Again, everyone is entitled to religion, and I'm sure this was played up for the cameras, but religion and secular competitions are just that - separate. Did you see the look on the judges' faces when Graham made his religious announcement? I could practically see them saying, "Ooooohhhh-kay" in their heads. And while Graham is entitled to his opinion, I don't think it's something that needs to be advertised. Graham can learn about the big bang theory without believing in it. He can answer a question about it. He can be knowledgeable without subscribing to every scientific theory that has come up through the years.

What's my point? People are entitled to their faiths, but please do not stunt your kids' development or hold back opportunities because of beliefs. Graham could change the world one day for the better, but if not taught about different things, an opportunity could be missed.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why his parents have to teach him that God and science are mutually exclusive. I am both a Christian and a scientist. Why isn't it reasonable to believe that the Big Bang and evolution and every other scientific discovery is the method that God used to create the universe?

Anonymous said...

Only narrow minds see these as mutually exclusive. The religious conditioning done to this child in the name of "faith" was painfully evident here. I think it should serve as a vivid example that even intelligent people can be terribly mislead into thinking they "know" something when in reality they are rejecting knowledge in favor of unexamined belief.

Wolfgang VonHeilman said...

Religion ruins everything, poor kid.

Linda Garris said...

Omg. Thank you Graham for standing for ur belief in Jesus. The earth will pass away but God is forever. I would have loved to see him win but how u live ur life is more important. Priorities. God gives whatever abilities we have.what we do w them is our gift to God Graham will be just fine.im sure he'll get a scholarship. I feel sorry for Ryan. No matter how well he did his parents screamed at him. Hopefully he won't rebel and end up on drugs. They are nuts and push him too far. Graham is blessed.normal loving family.lots of extended family,faith ,friends. Those are what matter. One day we may see Graham as chief meteorologist somewhere. Good job

Anonymous said...

it's not HIS religion.. it's his PARENTS religion. Once he's older he can decide for himself, but for know it's forcefed.