I try to imagine what it is like for a fundamentalist Christian child to go through the public school system believing that human beings were suddenly created out of dust and divine breath as described in the Bible - children who are convinced that they have no common ancestry with the rest of life on Earth.
Suppose a 5th grade teacher asked the class to write a short imaginative essay on the first shoes or foot coverings ever worn by our ancestors. The teacher might remind the class that even a mouse makes a warm, dry nest of downy, mossy material in which to spend the winter. Millions of years before the mouse, caterpillars made silk ‘sleeping bags’ in which to carry out their metamorphosis. But the first shoes - that must have been a singular event. Wrapping the feet against the cold? Protection from ice or rough ground?
The first Europeans into the Arctic must have been appreciative when the Eskimos provided them with footwear suitable for that environment. On the other hand, there may be people living in the tropical rain forest today who have never worn shoes, people who would find it unpleasant to lose that ‘touch’ with the earth.
As an exercise in empathy with fundamentalist children, try writing a paragraph or short essay called ‘THE FIRST SHOES’, as you think it might be written by them. Then try the same thing as it might be written by a secular child, one who watches NOVA, Planet Earth, reads Junior Geographic or other science books - a child who has discussions with parents about evolution, visits science museums etc.