This year, the Okanagan Branch of the Centre for Inquiry rang in Charles Darwin’s birthday in style. In a family event hosted by the Okanagan Science Centre, children from five to 12 learned about Darwin’s discovery of evolution, what it means, and why it was such a ground-breaking idea at the time. The presentation given by the centre’s resident “mad scientist” Kevin Aschenmeier was complemented by a number of different fossils for the children to explore, featuring a Triceratops skull almost five feet long and about 65 million years old.
Darwin’s birthday party was the latest in a series of events held by Kids for Inquiry, the youth offshoot of the CFI Okanagan group. So far the children have learned about the sun, UFOs, psychics, math and lucky numbers, astrology, and atoms in a series of events designed to teach children about scepticism and critical thinking. This latest event, where Kevin kept the children’s intellectual faculties engaged, was enjoyed by all.
Nine-year-old Ben Ryder, one of the founding members of KFI, said the thing he enjoyed learning about the most was “the slideshow of the evolution of people,” showing the slow changes that resulted in modern humans, complete with recreations of ancient human skulls.
“I also liked Kevin drawing the triceratops,” Ben added, referring to the stick figure on the white board which sent giggles around the room.
As for five-year-old Ashley Quigley, when I asked her what she liked best, she showed me the 10,000-year-old mammoth bone that was passed around. Then she grabbed me by the hand, and showed me Darwin’s birthday cake.
To learn more about CFI and Kids for Inquiry, visit the CFI website at www.cfiokanagan.ca