A Cartoon to Explain Why Associating Meaning with Coincidences is Absurd (PEEP)

I was so excited when the new episodes of PEEP and the Big Wide World came on; new cartoons to break the monotony! Well, the excitement had only just begun. As I watched this new episode, I couldn't believe what I was seeing... a cartoon that actually admits that magic isn't real and that one action is not related to another simply because the actions occur in close proximity in time. Imagine my delight! The episode is called "Magic Duck Dancing". In the episode, Quack does a dance and then acorns fall from a tree. He does it again and it rains (if I am remembering correctly). So he decides that his dance is the cause of these actions and proceeds to charge his friends acorns in exchange for teaching them the dance! It really is hilarious and quite illustrative. My children are 4 and 2 and it is the perfect opportunity to discuss coincidence and magic. This of course raises interesting questions about other subjects as well.. The only made up entity we acknowledge is Santa, mostly because I enjoyed Santa so much as a child that I do not want to rob my children of that joy. But my 4 year old is quite observant and I am afraid he will figure out that Santa isn't real and tell his little sister :( Maybe not.

I digress.

Here is the link to the episode...

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What? There's new episodes of Peep! We have been big fans of that show but I think my kids have watched every episode a bunch of times. I just love Quack - he's so darn simple minded.

Off to watch the new episode and figure out what channel it's playing on.
I had never heard of Peep. I just watched the magic dance episode. This is terrific, and a wonderful lesson in the problem assigning meaning to coincidences and in some of the basic rules of the scientific process: Do it again, keep it simple, it must make sense, be honest.

Incidentally, these rules for science are in a wonderful little book from Dan Barker called Maybe Yes, Maybe No, available from Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Maybe-Yes-No-Guide-Skeptics/dp/0879756071/ref...

Thanks for sharing this, Rachel!

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