Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Nature-Deficit Disorder

Al Mohler has written a number of times on "nature-deficit disorder." See: 'Nature-Deficit Disorder' -- Have Children Forgotten How to Play Outdoors? and Avoiding Nature-Deficit Disorder -- It's About Theology, Not Therapy. (The phrase comes from the subtitle to Richard Louv's book, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder.)

Today's blog post, Aliens in Creation -- A Generation of Nature Know-Nothings--picks up on a similar theme, prompted by a report in BBC Wildlife Magazine that suggests only half of British 9-11 year-olds could identify a daddy long-legs, 62% could identify a frog, and less than half could recognize a tree as an oak.

Mohler ends his column in this way:
God reveals His glory in creation. How can we read the Psalms with insight if we never look and see that the heavens really are telling the glory of God? Something precious is lost when children -- or adults -- are alienated from the created world. This choice for alienation is a choice to cut ourselves off from what God has given us to enjoy and to appreciate.

Here's some good news. You don't have to spend thousands of dollars to provide your children with experiences in nature and outdoor play. Just open the door and point them into the back yard or take them to a local park. Take a walk in the woods or go fishing in the lake. Go where the light does not obscure and see the wonder of the night sky.

Who knows? Your children just might forget to look for the nearest electrical outlet.