Sea Turtles and Kids

A true story. I found it incredibly inspiring, so I wanted to share it with all of you.

A seven-year-old girl was doing a school project on sea turtles, and found out something interesting – that the sex of a fertilized egg depends largely on the temperature in which it is laid. Climate change, therefore, could lead to too many female sea turtles and not enough males, which could further endanger the species. I did a bit of research on this myself (here’s a review paper on the subject) and am absolutely amazed that a seven-year-old was able to grasp something of this complexity.

She told her parents about it that night, and her dad’s reaction confused her. He said that he didn’t believe this theory – that he didn’t think there was any warming and so sea turtles would be just fine.

So the girl went back to school a little confused, and asked her teacher about it, and possibly did some more research, but the gist of the story is that she kept the part about climate change in her sea turtle project. And she presented it to her parents when she was done.

It gives me hope that, even in this time of rampant miscommunication and misconceptions about climate science, there are still people who know how to assess credibility. And some of them are only seven.

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4 thoughts on “Sea Turtles and Kids

  1. Weird stuff. If you’d asked me back when I was 7 years old to read a cutting-edge scientific paper, or even a press release of such a paper, I probably would’ve just got totally confused.

    Anyway, it’s important now that the girl gets a guiding hand who can lead her to the path of real scepticism, based on evidence, hard work, and logic, rather than the inactivists’ faux-scepticism based on appeals to Galileo.

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