Young children perceive intuitively that the world is designed. In 1929, child psychologist Jean Piaget called children “artificialists” who tend to regard everything as “the product of human creation.” Piaget’s claim that young children’s minds are not sophisticated enough to distinguish between human and nonhuman causes was controversial, and subsequent studies have shown that he was wrong. Yet he was right in saying that children start out with the intuition that the natural world was made for a purpose. In 2004, child psychologist Deborah Kelemen suggested that young children are thus “intuitive theists” who are “disposed to view natural phenomena as resulting from nonhuman design.” By the time they are adolescents, many children have suppressed their intuition of design. This suppression is largely due to influences from the community, especially from parents and teachers striving to acculturate children to a secular society, often in the name of “scientific literacy.” “Intervention” usually refers to an action taken to help someone give up an abnormal addiction. For these psychologists, however, it means convincing children to give up a normal intuition. Thus education becomes indoctrination.

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