Is an atheist children's television network/ website overdue?

ragdish
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Is an atheist children's television network/ website overdue?

I'm sure everyone here grew up on Sesame Street, Electric Company, Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, Captain Kangaroo, Polka Dot Door (for Canucks), etc... And while I enjoyed those shows' committment towards developing childhood social skills, they also devoted time to providing education in basic math, spelling, etc.. And I would commend Sesame Street the most in this regard.

However, what I notice is a nauseating trend in children's programming towards allegedly enhancing social skills and nothing else. And even then, I don't find children these days to be any more/less tolerant or kind towards others as compared to my childhood. Shows like Dora the Explorer or Yo-Gaba Gaba I find extremely irritating and really don't teach children anything. And the producers have the gall to precede the shows with a disclaimer regarding how these shows will enhance social skills and problem solving. Bullshit!!!!!! Nothing can replace good parenting or good teachers in the classroom.

But that is not what bugs me the most. Fine, let's have warm and fuzzy shows with talking animals but can they not also teach children something of substance? Can we not have shows that teach evolutionary biology, physics, math, chemistry at a rudimentary level? Frankly, a show like Dora the Explorer dedicated towards diversity would be perfect in this regard given our concerns of lack of representation of girls and minorities in science and mathematics. But no, the show presents a young latino girl with an ear piercing shrill voice who travels with a talking monkey and a singing map along with a variety of other talking animals to silly places. Here's an idea. Maybe Dora could explain to the young viewers that the earth revolves around the sun. At least our future won't be as bleak with 20% of the adult population believing in the geocentric theory. These shows simply provide entertainment no different than watching Bugs Bunny or Scooby Doo. Let's not pretend that they will guarantee your child will eventually get into Harvard.

What happened to shows like Bill Nye the Science Guy or even Beekman's World. Or when I grew up, we had Mr. Wizard. Canadians do a way better job children's science education. On TVOntario, there were cartoon shows about evolution and even a physics show called Eureka--available to view on Youtube.

I think we need an atheist children's network dedicated to teaching science and mathematics and unabashed about teaching evolution. Who inspired me the most as an impressionable child? Carl Sagan. He like Neil DeGrasse Tyson have a unique Mr. Rogers approach to teaching science to kids. I say let's have a lot more of that on the web or on a secular television network dedicated to teaching children the truth about our world and universe. PBS used to be that very type of network but after watching a few episodes of Arthur, it's desperately trying to emulate Nick Jr. or The Disney Network.


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Ragdish wrote:And the

Ragdish wrote:
And the producers have the gall to precede the shows with a disclaimer regarding how these shows will enhance social skills and problem solving. Bullshit!!!!!! Nothing can replace good parenting or good teachers in the classroom.

Oh? I found problem solving pretty easy to learn on my own...

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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1: If I kid is going to be

1: If I kid is going to be babysat by TV, I'd rather have shows that re-enforced positive social interaction than taught math.

 

2: Shows like Dora teach language skills, basic counting and word identification.  Shows like Yo-Gabba-Gabba are designed to get kids to dance and burn calories, along with the social interaction aspects.

 

I guess I don't understand the complaint, or what the positive alternative is.  Bill Nye and Beekman's world are not shows for toddlers, which is what you've discussed so far.  

Is that the problem, are you thinking the target audience for these shows is a different age group than what it really is?  We're talking about 2-4 here.  If so, then your complaint should be about Scooby-Doo and super-hero cartoons, because those are the age range where a kid can understand something like heliocentrism (Arguably...I'd be shocked if a 6-10 year old could independently differentiate which is correct when comparing heliocentrism and geocentrism, you'd still just be indoctrinating them).  If you just want a channel to indoctrinate kids with random science facts...I guess I don't see the point.  Who cares what kids can parrot back to an adult when they aren't able to grasp the concepts?

 

I think an explicitly 'atheist' network is a horrible idea.  Toddler aged kids shouldn't be exposed to these issues at all, especially not through popular media.  Keep religion out of toddler TV.

 

 

In an ideal world, yea, we wouldn't need TV shows talking about why kids shouldn't hit each other, or why it's a good thing to move off the couch every now and then.  But in an ideal world kids wouldn't be watching any TV anyway, so if that's what we're aiming for this whole discussion is without merit.  

I'd rather have some kid say, "Kai-Lan says hitting isn't nice!" then fuck up a question about orbital mechanics than have a kid say "Professor Wiggles says the Earth revolves around the Sun!" then smack their sibling with a hammer.

 

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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Good Idea. I have a couple

Good Idea. I have a couple of ideas for shows.

My cousins the animals, where children are shown how similar they are to animals and depictions of common ancestors looked like.

A Biblically accurate children's cartoon. Unlike the Christian cartoons, we leave in the parts where God and his people commit mass genocide.

Cartoons of all ancient myth stories.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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EXC wrote:A Biblically

EXC wrote:

A Biblically accurate children's cartoon. Unlike the Christian cartoons, we leave in the parts where God and his people commit mass genocide.

Obviously this isn't meant for children Laughing out loud But I do remember how they left out most of the bad things in the Bible (even now I'm 18, we skip the stories about Jefta, who sacrificed his daughter). Is it really that bad for a child to hear a scary story now and then? If a child leads a perfect life, it will become weak, no social skills, no way to deal with the pain that WILL come later on. Most fairy tales involve scary things, to teach children the world isn't nice.

I also won't buy a television when I'm a parent, because the device is mind-numbing, makes children passive and lazy. Children also learn like 8 words per hour less than when they don't watch television (and talk to actual people). I also saw on TED that children barely learn to discern between sounds (you learn to listen for our alphabet), when watching television.

But if you're going to allow your children to be exposed to that, I think it would be a good idea to have them at least do something they can do themselves, like this cookie monster video.


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 Hey, I am not sure why

 Hey,

 

I am not sure why you think that Dora and Diego do not teach kids some basic math and languages.  But even if I disagree with you on this, I would like to second you in that there is not enough emphasis is being made on natural science education of young children.  

 

For instance, the technology is changes quite a bit from the time of first cookie monster appearance on TV.  Kids at universities all have computers etc., BUT there are VERY few (almost no) kids who can do something with a computer that is more than checking email, facebook, youtube, video, and music downloads.   They have no clue what is electricity, and that atoms have electrons, protons, and neutrons.   ... and I am talking about physics majors...  

 

In order to do something about it, I would like to develop some basic demonstrations for very young kids (K-8 maybe) in physics and put them on electronic library cites etc.  I even got some funding for this.  The priority will be given to demonstrations in E&M.  Any ideas?  Smiling
 

 


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100percentAtheist

100percentAtheist wrote:

 Hey,

 

I am not sure why you think that Dora and Diego do not teach kids some basic math and languages.  But even if I disagree with you on this, I would like to second you in that there is not enough emphasis is being made on natural science education of young children.  

 

For instance, the technology is changes quite a bit from the time of first cookie monster appearance on TV.  Kids at universities all have computers etc., BUT there are VERY few (almost no) kids who can do something with a computer that is more than checking email, facebook, youtube, video, and music downloads.   They have no clue what is electricity, and that atoms have electrons, protons, and neutrons.   ... and I am talking about physics majors...  

 

In order to do something about it, I would like to develop some basic demonstrations for very young kids (K-8 maybe) in physics and put them on electronic library cites etc.  I even got some funding for this.  The priority will be given to demonstrations in E&M.  Any ideas?  Smiling
 

 

 

Children seem to respond to animation. Why not a Dora or Diego like package aimed at this target group. I grew up on this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=by-7kkAu2Pg

Granted, I became a Neurologist and not a tenured professor working at CERN. But shows like this must have filtered something positive into my skull outside of Land of the Lost or Hong Kong Phooey.

 


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I was curious so I just

I was curious so I just watched some Dora.  Again, it is teaching counting, basic addition, identifying commonly used objects, stuff like that...I'm not sure what else a toddler is supposed to be learning.

 

Can you respond to that?  Are you talking about a different, non-toddler age group, or are you wanting to teach more advanced science concepts to pre-Kindergarten kids?

 

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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Perhaps I should clarify. I

Perhaps I should clarify. I don't think Dora or Diego and the like enhance basic language or math skills any more than what a parent can easily do. My 4 year old started counting and reciting the alphabet well in advance of watching these shows. And he picked up spanish in school. A child could sit for hours watching this programming and yet I find my child learns more when I read aloud to him. At least in my situation, I have not seen these shows translate well from the TV screen to the parent or classroom. To zero in on my critique more precisely, I think these shows dumb down education for the sake of entertainment. Now I will certainly eat crow from making this last statement if there is evidence that these shows indeed enhance pre-school learning.

mellestad wrote:

I think an explicitly 'atheist' network is a horrible idea.  Toddler aged kids shouldn't be exposed to these issues at all, especially not through popular media.  Keep religion out of toddler TV. 

In an ideal world, yea, we wouldn't need TV shows talking about why kids shouldn't hit each other, or why it's a good thing to move off the couch every now and then.  But in an ideal world kids wouldn't be watching any TV anyway, so if that's what we're aiming for this whole discussion is without merit.  

I'd rather have some kid say, "Kai-Lan says hitting isn't nice!" then fuck up a question about orbital mechanics than have a kid say "Professor Wiggles says the Earth revolves around the Sun!" then smack their sibling with a hammer.

 

 

Perhaps "atheist children's network" is badly phrased (even though teaching children the truth is not indoctrination and atheism is not a religion). How about The Children's Science Network dedicated to telling children the truth about the world we live in. And hey, why not the following:

"Kai-Lan says hitting isn't nice! We're best friends. She introduced me to her mom, Professor Wiggles who says the Earth revolves around the Sun!"

Challenging a child's intellect in this regard is far from indoctrination. And even then, such a show could never act as a surrogate to parents molding a toddler's impulse control or a parent/teacher reading him/her a pre-school science book. But such a show would be a useful adjunct. I just don't see shows like Dora fulfilling that role.

 


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Are we talking about a

Are we talking about a network that is secular, or a network that is openly atheistic?

There are plenty of networks that are secular, in that they don't have any religious programming, but they don't talk about the evils of religion or the reasons to believe god does not exist.

 

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ubuntuAnyone wrote:Are we

ubuntuAnyone wrote:

Are we talking about a network that is secular, or a network that is openly atheistic?

There are plenty of networks that are secular, in that they don't have any religious programming, but they don't talk about the evils of religion or the reasons to believe god does not exist.

 

They're all run by Jews, the same people that brought us the bible.

These networks are all about big money, so they would never have any material that might offend 85% of the population.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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ragdish wrote:Perhaps I

ragdish wrote:

Perhaps I should clarify. I don't think Dora or Diego and the like enhance basic language or math skills any more than what a parent can easily do. My 4 year old started counting and reciting the alphabet well in advance of watching these shows. And he picked up spanish in school. A child could sit for hours watching this programming and yet I find my child learns more when I read aloud to him. At least in my situation, I have not seen these shows translate well from the TV screen to the parent or classroom. To zero in on my critique more precisely, I think these shows dumb down education for the sake of entertainment. Now I will certainly eat crow from making this last statement if there is evidence that these shows indeed enhance pre-school learning.

mellestad wrote:

I think an explicitly 'atheist' network is a horrible idea.  Toddler aged kids shouldn't be exposed to these issues at all, especially not through popular media.  Keep religion out of toddler TV. 

In an ideal world, yea, we wouldn't need TV shows talking about why kids shouldn't hit each other, or why it's a good thing to move off the couch every now and then.  But in an ideal world kids wouldn't be watching any TV anyway, so if that's what we're aiming for this whole discussion is without merit.  

I'd rather have some kid say, "Kai-Lan says hitting isn't nice!" then fuck up a question about orbital mechanics than have a kid say "Professor Wiggles says the Earth revolves around the Sun!" then smack their sibling with a hammer.

 

 

Perhaps "atheist children's network" is badly phrased (even though teaching children the truth is not indoctrination and atheism is not a religion). How about The Children's Science Network dedicated to telling children the truth about the world we live in. And hey, why not the following:

"Kai-Lan says hitting isn't nice! We're best friends. She introduced me to her mom, Professor Wiggles who says the Earth revolves around the Sun!"

Challenging a child's intellect in this regard is far from indoctrination. And even then, such a show could never act as a surrogate to parents molding a toddler's impulse control or a parent/teacher reading him/her a pre-school science book. But such a show would be a useful adjunct. I just don't see shows like Dora fulfilling that role.

 

 

I agree that these shows do not replace parental guidance, and live teaching is obviously superior.  The question though is are they better than the alternative?  I think so, because at least they have *some* educational content.

 

Again, I think you need to consider the target audience.  Basic counting and math, social conditioning and various language building activities are, at least to my anecdotal experience, all you can expect from a toddler.  I guess I don't see the value in trying to get kids to memorize random science trivia when they don't have the mental ability to understand it.  At this age, social interaction modelling, counting and language skills seem like they would be more important.  If I had a complaint it would be that *after* toddler age most TV turns to pure entertainment.  I'm actually satisfied with the options for toddlers though.

 

I'm sure there has been plenty of research on this stuff though, maybe one of us will be motivated enough to actually look up what developmental researchers have been doing for the last fifty years rather than just bullshit all day long.  

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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I think it needs to be more

I think it needs to be more subtle than that.

The *cough* arts, do have subtle overtones, that are meant to 'condition' us, and it works.

You see a lot more, that smoking, is more and more, absent from films, and I don't remember the last time I saw a sit com where people 'lit up'.

You'll see a pop can, and it'll say 'Cola', on it's label, instead of 'Coke'.

 

I think you'll definitely see 'atheist' characters, in more TV scripts, sometime in the future. Just like generations ago, the character of 'Jack Tripper' , on the show "Three's Company", was pretending to be homosexual, so that his landlord would not 'prevent' him from living with 2 women.

Even one of the female characters, had a father who was a priest, who knew 'Jack Tripper' was 'gay'.

It made it more 'mainstream', to be openly homosexual.

 

It'll happen...

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

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Re :: The World is not a place for the unwary . . .

      I am still alittle sleepy  at the moment  so story time   . . I will let this one fly . . .

  

  "But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men''


 

 The World is not a place for the unwary . . .

 

Most fairy tales involve scary things, to teach children the world isn't nice.

Thunderios wrote:

  Most fairy tales involve scary things, to teach children the world isn't nice.

  . . .  Rumpelstiltskin here it is right *here is your faustian bargains, ( instead of waiting for love, and being wary about the realities of what is out there).  Hello! Then there's Boasting  boasting mr big shot about his eldest daughter, then sets us on a path that shouldn't have happened in the tale!

       Puzzles are difficult . . endangering the future again!  *Once there a very poor  miller. This husband and wife bragged to a high king once that their daughter was expected to spin straw into gold. Who taking her folks at their word. Made the tale's beautiful daughter be placed under unbelievable pressures, she being of the name meaning simply, "worthy of love''. The High King was so delighted so as to take the one worthy of love immediately to the tower room, which full of straw and a spinning wheel.  She found herself in this spot because the boastful miller lied to this High King about Lisa who could turn straw into gold. The High King demanded Lisa to turn the straw into gold in three days, lest she would be sentenced to death. Lisa was very bewilder and almost sad  as she would not able to grant these unreasonable expectations placed upon her. Then, a stranger appeared in a surprising guise suddenly and offered Lisa a help in her little predicament. The stranger was known as Rumpelstiltskin, a dark elf, who spun straw into gold ''However, The High King greedily wanted more gold. Then, the High King asked his servant to search for every last wisp of straw in the countryside so that Lisa could turn the straw into gold, as promised her that she would become his queen if she granted His wishes or lest her head be severed from the shoulders. As Lisa was sitting left wondering what to do on the floor, then Rumpelstiltskin appeared for now the third time and offered his last help to the young lady. In return for this help, she had nothing to reward him, but she excepted his offers. But she'd soon learn it all came at a price; fore it involved a baby child, it was NOT for free. Rumpelstiltskin sat at the spinning-wheel and he begun to spin the straw into gold,  at the promise Lisa would give her first-born child to him after she became a queen. After half-a-year, the King and Lisa had a baby son, her first born child. Then unnamed stranger (Rumpelstiltskin), sure enough, returned to claim his reward. The now queen was frightened and offered him all the wealth she had if she could keep the child. [However,] Rumpelstiltskin refused, although he finally agreed to give up his claim to the child; only if the now queen could guess his name. At first she failed, but before the final night, her guilt-ridden 'parents' followed the dark elf Rumpelstiltskin to the woods; and they overheard him singing. While he was singing and hopping in and out of his Heiðrún fires, they discovered his name as Rumpelstiltskin. When the evil elf came to the newly queen on the third day and she revealed his name to be Rumpelstiltskin, so he lost his bargain. He was so angry and stamped the floor so hard and vanished in a puff of smoke. Lisa’s father learnt his lesson but at a cost all the same and he promised her that he would never boast again, and endanger the future again either''

 

   Some things cannot be 'undone' .. I noticed people are always EXPECTING 'God' to act to keep to-it from all breaking apart or keep one and all from ALL harm, as if  all evil can be purged from the heart's of mankind!

  Prov . 14  --  "The wise are cautious and take steps to avoid danger; fools plunge ahead..."

 




 

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  Je vous souhaite un bon visionnage .   What should I say?    .. hi   

 

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   p.s. --   Who couldnt like my little message in a bottle,

   . .  endangering the future again? Like in the tale, such a steep price to our beautiful maiden fair, when will they ever learn,.. ???


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Dana..................................?

Why are you reviving a 3 and a half year old post?

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Jeffrick wrote:

Jeffrick wrote:
Why are you revving a 3 and a half year old post?

I was going to post something too but I was like... hmmm ok.. what ever.


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Look ! no no I'm not . . .

Jeffrick wrote:
Why are you reviving a 3 and a half year old post?

 

   Look !  no  no  I'm not . . .


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I miss Red.

I miss Red.

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 Captain Kangaroo and Mr

 Captain Kangaroo and Mr Rogers creeped me out, never got into either.

But yea, kids atheist show would be great. Have a cartoon kitten or puppet kitten or human in a kitten costume and call it Barbie Q. What, atheists don't eat barbecue kittens?

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