'Grandmother Fish': Children's book on evolution criticised for deceiving young minds

(Facebook/Grandmother Fish)

Should children be taught that they originated from animals at a very young age?

A book written to explain the evolution of human beings to young children is receiving criticism for supposedly providing misleading information to delicate minds on where humans came from.

Dr. Georgia Purdom, a geneticist with Answers in Genesis, said the book "Grandmother Fish" written by Jonathan Tweet is both "deceptive" and "sad."

Purdom said the book, illustrated by Karen Lewis, provides kids with the wrong idea that they came from animals simply because they can imitate movements of these creatures.

"The book compares animal behavior to human behavior... This seduces children into thinking because they can do the same types of things they must be related to the animals," Purdom said, as quoted by Christian News.

"Well, certainly children can wiggle (every parent can attest to this!), but that doesn't mean humans are related to fish," she said.

In his 40-page children's book, Tweet encourages young kids to learn about evolution by acting out some animal movements.

For instance, the book opens with these lines: "This is our Grandmother Fish. She lived a long, long, long, long, long time ago. She could wiggle and swim fast. Can you wiggle?"

Purdom also said that Tweet's book also disregards the Christian teaching that human beings were created in God's image and likeness.

"It's no secret that humans and animals have some similar behaviours, but as we have reported many, many times before this isn't because of shared ancestry. Instead, God designed animals to be intelligent, but their intelligence pales in comparison to that of humans who are made in the image of God," the geneticist said.

Purdom decried how the book wrongfully teaches children that evolution was a result of time.

"As a professional geneticist, I can attest to the fact that time is not the key but rather what is needed is a genetic mechanism that adds new and novel information so that organisms can evolve from fish to humans," she said.

"The problem is that with all the thousands of papers published on mutations, no such mechanism has ever been observed. All the time in the world is useless if there is no genetic mechanism to add what is needed for molecules-to-man evolution," she added.

For his part, Tweet said he only wanted to encourage young kids to learn about evolution.

"The book engages a young child's imagination with sounds and motions that imitate animals, especially our direct ancestors," Tweet wrote on his website.

"The book lets children see for themselves that we are related in form and function to the non-human animals that came before us. It's our story of where we came from, told so simply that a preschooler can follow it," he added.