Professor Richard Dawkins has said he wants to children as young as five taught Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.
Speaking to The Times, the God Delusion author and outspoken atheist made his feelings clear with regards to the age at which children should begin to learn the basic principles of evolution first explored in the mid 19th century by English Naturalist, Charles Darwin.
In 1859 Darwin's On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life was first published and remains a controversial book to this day however this new theory of evolution was then nothing short of heresy to a Christian, Victorian England.
Dawkins, who is an evolutionary biologist, has targeted children with his evolutionary beliefs in his new book The Magic of Reality.
Professor Dawkins said, "Evolution could be taught in such a way as to make it easier to understand than a myth.Â This is because myths leave the child's questions unanswered, or they raise more questions than they appear to answer."
"Evolution is a truly satisfying and complete explanation of existence, and I suspect that this is something a child can appreciate from an early age,
"If we are going to be prescriptive about teaching history, comparative religion, maths and English – and I wouldn't wish to sweep those things away – I don't see why we shouldn't be prescriptive about teaching the explanation for our existence"
All sounds rather sensible wouldn't you say?
Well maybe Dawkin's clear eloquence is masking some very subjective statements and to accept Dawkin's theories we must first accept his conclusions and beliefs as unquestionable fact.
The elephant in the room is science itself and its validity as a barometer with which to measure the real meaning of reality.
The theory of evolution is only rationalised in terms of science and science is only rationalised in terms of itself and belief that observable events are actually taking place in front of the observer and then recorded accurately.
That is quite a supposition.
If this belief that all that is observed and recorded is accurate and not influenced by the observer or external forces as yet undetectable by those observing the subject matter, then evolution may have a case. But then you must define quite specifically which route of evolutionism you wish to teach to these young minds.
And what are the implications of teaching children these concepts? And concepts they are.
Well, if you teach a child that natural selection is the reason why man looks, thinks and acts as he does then this will surely lead to discrimination against those who have failed the natural selection process and are born disabled.
In other words moral discernment will be removed from the process of evaluating the worth of another human being and this is a very dangerous scenario.
Problems extending from this form of perceived self awareness will also manifest in the way the child will eventually mature morally without the safeguards of inherited values from Christianity that still to this day pervade our secular society.
If a child matures into an adult fully self aware within the perception that they are the product of evolution and not a loving creator, then a very real dangerÂ in so much as that perception will be 'I am a biological entity with a finiteÂ existence'.
If someone were to fully believe they are no more than a biological entity with a finite existence, then impulses and desires based on immediate physical needs would more and more rule the day. And it would become much more difficult to value or maybe even consider the worth of one's fellow human being, much less their feelings.
If you are a biological entity then time is your sworn enemy so you would chose to maximize pleasure regardless of the implications of your actions.
Possibly worse still, the strong would just come to view the concept of 'society' as a construct of the biologically weak to limit the rights of the strong to prevail and rule.
Empathy would die and morals would be consigned to the history books if Richard Dawkins gets his way.