Cognition and development scientists have long known that little children learn by imitation; of course, so does any parent. But the scientists were very surprised to learn the extent to which young children imitated what they saw a teacher do, even when it was obvious that doing so meant taking longer to reach the prize. It was almost impossible to get them to not imitate meaningless steps.
Monkeys, on the other hand, had no such problem. If there was a more direct route to the prize than the path they were shown, they readily took it.
It appeared, at first, that monkeys were smarter at figuring out the fastest path to the prize than the people (a major problem for evolutionists). But subsequent study showed this was not the case. When the children were not first shown what to do, they readily figured out the fastest way to the prize. No, it seems children were designed to imitate; a design more powerful than the desire for a prize.
Maybe that's why Scripture so frequently reminds parents to set before their children a Godly example. It is far more powerful than anything else you could say.
Children learn by monkey see, monkey do; monkeys don't.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
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