I just got my copy of the They Might Be Giants album, Here Comes Science! in the mail, and I would like to start out by saying it is AWESOME. I love They Might Be Giants anyway, but to take some scientific concepts (Scientific Method, The Solar System, The Elements, The Spectrum of Light, Speed/Velocity, Circulatory System) and set them to some catchy music: Incredible.
The great thing is I know I can use several of these songs next year to help kids remember ROYGBIV or facts about the sun or the planets… And it was only $12 on Amazon, but-
Several of the reviews on Amazon have issues with the lyrics of a few of the songs, and for some of them I can understand. The line “I enjoy stories about angels, unicorns, and elves, but when I want some knowledge, whether simple or abstract, I turn to science” sounds like it’s saying angels are just as fictitious as elves and unicorns (even though I would interpret it as ‘Stories about angels aren’t going to teach you any scientific principles’). What surprised me more was how many people took issues with TMBG saying that evolution is real, and including a song called My Brother The Ape where all of the living organisms on the planet get together for a family reunion. People were saying that TMBG is pushing science as a religion, and that they shouldn’t be teaching small children (honestly, that’s who this CD is meant for, but you should really check out THE ADVENTURES OF DAVY CROCKET IN OUTER SPACE) about Evolution. Seriously?
I know a lot of schools don’t want teachers to mention Evolution because it scares creationist parents, but would any of you be offended by these songs? They’re incredible. Seriously, go to Youtube and check them out (the CD comes with a DVD of cartoons for each song narrated by John and John… Killer stuff)
I personally would not be offended.
My advice is this:
Check your district’s policy on teaching evolution. If they teach it, move to step 2. Check the lyrics yourself. Is there anything that directly demeans people of any religious faith? If no, move to step 3. Ask your team their opinions or if you have a mentor ask your mentor. If they are supportive, move forward.