I recently spent an instructive few months reading Jonny Scaramanga’s blog, where I learned just how screwed up Accelerated Christian Education is. Imagine a room full of young kids stuffed in study carrels (“offices,” in ACE parlance), sitting silent on hard plastic chairs while they’re taught truly-true Christian things from thin newsprint booklets. As they grind through their science lessons, they answer review questions such as:
Christ’s shed blood is the _______ of our salvation. (Science PACE 1085)
Welcome to the whacky world of ACE, where until recently kids were taught that the Loch Ness Monster exists (and is a plesiosaur – checkmate, atheists!). Considering this is an “education” taught to far too many kids in Christian private and home schools worldwide, as well as involving many of the same people who create the supposed secular Responsive Ed curriculum used in publicly-funded charter schools, we should pay close attention to their shenanigans.
Let us investigate the violence done to the earth sciences, shall we? Continue reading “(Repost) Adventures in ACE I: In Which Oddities Are Explored”
For a while, now, I’ve planned a series on the kind of creationists who like to run around calling themselves geologists and invade GSA meetings under false pretenses. People like “Stone Stubborn” Steven Austin, who does real geology only to the extent it gives him a Trojan Horse into professional journals and meetings. These smarmy barstards have a distressing tendency to lie by omission, trying to lure actual geologists into associating with them by pretending they’re legit. Then they tell their fundie flocks they’ve presented their work professionally, therefore their creationist crap is SCIENCE. Only, they fail to mention it wasn’t open and avowed creation science they were presenting to the professionals, but innocuous mainstream stuff.
But, you know, they’re kinda clownish, and I can just hear people poo-poohing their danger to the scientific community. Nobody outside of a handful of fundie freaks takes these Young Earth Creationist douchebags seriously, right? We’re not at risk like biology is, yo. No one’s boarding school boards trying to muck with the geology curriculum, so let the rabbits wear glasses and Steve Austin play totes legit geologist to the church-addicted crowd.
In our last edition, we saw Christianists trying desperately to sneak God into matter and energy. Today, the creationist nonsense gets positively explosive. Hold tight, kiddos.
The SPC folks explain that nuclear fission can be used to blow things up as well as power stuff. They’re quite blasé about the effects of an atomic bomb explosion. They’re all about describing the heat and light of the chain reaction; not so much about telling us what it does to living things like, oh, y’know, innocent human beings. They’re also quick to handwave away the problem of nuclear waste. But considering how enamored the American Right is of fossil fuels, this amuses me greatly: Continue reading “Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education XXVb: A Thermonuclear Load of Creationist Nonsense”
Let us return to this week to A Beka’s Science of the Physical Creation. Now that they have thoroughly butchered the history of chemistry, it’s time to address matter. It appears the creationists are okay with it. The SPC writers even define it correctly, explaining that it
1) Occupies space
2) Has inertia
3) Can’t be created or destroyed
4) Ordinarily exists as a solid, liquid, or gas.
It’s a limited and somewhat outdated description, but perfectly serviceable for an 8th grade textbook.
They’re careful to explain that mass does not equal weight, and do so with the easily-understood example of a book on Earth vs. the Moon: the weight will change, while the mass remains the same, cos of gravity.
So far, so science.
They desperately try to insert some religion into the mix when they get to atoms, but the best they can do is interject that the founder of modern atomic theory was a Christian. But the poor dears have to immediately admit that the Christian! John Dalton actually got the idea of atoms from Democritus, not the Bible. And when they briefly talk about alchemists being “men who tried to produce gold by chemistry and often wizardry,” you get the sense they think wizardry is not a bunch of fanciful crap based on superstition, but an actual thing that works (only not for making gold). But that’s about as much as they can manage when explaining elements and atomic symbols. They bang on a bit about how John Dalton was a Bible-believing Quaker, but even in the special text box they set aside for him, they can’t tie his work directly to his religion. Continue reading “Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education XXVa: Atomic Bombs of Creationist Crap”
Should you read Earth Science Fourth Edition’s Chapter 5 for your own selves, you’ll discover we just spent a whole post on a few scattered paragraphs about mammoths. That probably seems a bit excessive, even in light of the copious amount of glaring wrong. And then you’ll look at the next few paragraphs, and, depending on your temperament and the sort of day you’ve had, you’ll either a) scream “Oh, for fuck’s sake!” b) begin sobbing uncontrollably, c) develop a semi-permanent nervous tic, d) laugh until you’re in danger of a rupture, or e) all of the above, followed by moving to your own desert island, where all mention of creationism is strictly forbidden by Article I, Section I of your constitution.
Yep. The BJU folks are about to tell us the story of Earth. The effect is rather like having a snide and supremely smug young-in-years-but-ancient-in-ignorance young earth creationist person reciting their version of “the facts” to you in the auditory equivalent of a funhouse mirror showroom.
First, let us begin with our Section Objectives. We will, at the end of this bit, be able to: Continue reading “Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education XXIV: Wherein We Are Told Tall Tales”
Put on your wetsuits and grab your scuba gear, my darlings, cuz the creationists are about to shower us with ocean babble that just doesn’t hold water. Yep. We’ve reached ACE’s idea of oceanography. It’s sooo bad.
It starts with Ace not knowing why Earth is called The Blue Planet. The former bookseller in me can’t help but heave an exasperated sigh and say, “Cuz it’s this big and it’s blue.” (Industry in-joke, my darlings.)
You’ll be astonished to hear that the ACE writers are not, in fact, moon landing denialists, as Mr. Virtueson is happy to tell us that astronauts landed on the moon in 1969, looked at Earth, and saw lotsa blue. Because water. And that brings to mind some Bible verses, which he renders thusly:
“Psalm 104:1-6 states, ‘…O LORD my God, thou art very great… who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters…. Who laid the foundations of the earth…. Thou coveredest it with the deep as with a garment…”
When creationists use lots of ellipses, I tend to wonder what they’re hiding. In this case, it’s quite a bit of redundant crap that shows these verses should be taken metaphorically. It’s poetry, not a science lesson. But of course these dogma-dazzled drips can’t understand that.
Ace’s profound insight is that the Bible calls oceans the “deep” a lot, and wow, how deep are they? His dad tells us the Mariana Trench is super-dooper deep. Which, y’know, is great trivia and stuff, but does nothing to tell us about ocean depth in general. It’s helpfully illustrated with a drawing that is not at all to scale: Continue reading “Adventures in ACE XVIII: Creationist Nonsense of the Deep”