Lauren from Skepchick recently commented on an article that claimed "that any sort of media that depicts humans alongside dinosaurs is supporting the creationist cause. Namely, the Flinstones, and Barney the Dinosaur." She tends to disagree, and so do I.
Lauren asks, "What do you think? Harmless fun with fun dinosaur characters? Ironed out in the wash with other childhood misunderstandings? Or creating confusion to help Creationists?"
I tend toward the second option. Children are sponges and believe in all sorts of silly nonsense (the tooth fairy, Santa, etc) that they hear from their parents and friends. We all grow out of this sort of thing.
Barney did scare the hell out of me. When this ugly purple dino was popular, I was pregnant with my son and working part time at a daycare center. When the daycare staff became tired of the kids, being kids, they would pop in a Barney tape and all the kids would magically sit in a semi-circle around the little television. All would become quiet very quickly and the little faces, almost drooling from hypnosis, became slack and blank.
I was so horrified at the ability of mass media and product marketing to brainwash the little ones that I vowed never to let my son watch that show. Unfortunately, it didn't take long for another product to take Barney's place. *Remembering the Pokemon years* lol