Adventures in ACE XVII: “Satan is Like an Iceberg” and Other Important Earth Science Facts

You know, I laugh, I do, when I’m reading these creationist textbooks, and I see the ridiculous religious bullshit being passed off as important facts about earth science. And then I recall the important fact that children are actually being taught that this shit is Genuine Science™, and my laughter dies.

And ACE is pretty much the worst. This section of ACE PACE 1087 demonstrates why.

After an arbitrary section break in their discussion of the hydrologic cycle, they’re going on about Types of Waters in the Hydrosphere. And they leap into the “oceans are getting saltier!” creationist nonsense with both feet. They even pretend that it’s an established scientific fact. You’ll probably be in no way shocked to learn they’re apparently taking the unevidenced speculation of some 19th Century naturalists as gospel, and going with the nonsense theory that oceans began as freshwater. You’ll be further unastonished to discover that, while they’re happy to talk about ways that salt can be added to an ocean, they’re not at all interested in ways it is removed (biological processes, melting icecaps, salt deposits, plate tectonics). For them, it needs to go all one way. Otherwise, they’d have to admit they’re full of shit. For more information on why the salinity of the oceans is a terrible Young Earth Creationist argument, see this excellent series by The Natural Historian.

About the only thing Ace and his dad get right here is that salinity varies depending on where you measure: it will indeed be lower near freshwater sources like rivers, and higher where evaporation and freezing are occurring. Too bad they understand that oceans are saltier when much of their water is locked up in sea ice, but can’t extrapolate from that to realize polar oceans are getting fresher as ice from the most recent ice age melts. It’s a cycle when they need it to be a one-way street.

They finally acknowledge that glaciers are a part of the hydrosphere, but seem to think they only form on mountains. Which is pretty ridiculous when you consider continental ice sheets. All that’s required to make a glacier is that more snow falls than melts year after year. In our warm age, that typically happens on high mountains, but a look at Antarctica and Greenland should tell you that glaciers just need enough snow to form and thrive, even on plains.

Image shows Greenland, covered in its ice sheet, which has been shaded in delicate blues to show changes in albedo.
The Greenland Ice Sheet. This depiction is shaded to show changed in albedo. Image courtesy NOAA.

Like many creationist texts, they jump from a bare-bones (and largely incorrect) description of what glaciers are to trivia. They definitely need to update said trivia, as the glaciers they discuss seem to have shrunk quite a bit. But I’m sure they’d tell you global warming isn’t a thing.

Image shows a polar bear clinging to a knob of ice in a sea otherwise free of it. Caption says, "What global warming? I'm practicing for the circus!"

Now they’re on about icebergs. They get the basics right: ice calved from glaciers (they forget to mention ice sheets), only 10% visible above water, one sank the Titanic. Their largest iceberg evah trivia is still correct, although for some reason, iceberg B-15 is the one that comes up as the world’s largest when you ask Google. Whatevs. That’s not the important thing, anyway. This is:

“Satan is like an iceberg,” said Dad. “He may appear harmless, like the tip of an iceberg sticking out of the water. However, like the dangerous hidden portion of an iceberg, he has many hidden traps, or devices, that can hurt us. II Corinthians 11:14 states, ‘And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.’ We must be aware of this danger ‘lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices’ (II Corinthians 2:11).

Image shows an iceberg with two peaks. Caption says, "Could it be Satan?"
Satanberg. Iceberg courtesy Brocken Inaglory. (CC BY-SA 3.0)

And that, y’all, is much more important to earth science than piddly things like understanding the various ways salt is added to and removed from the oceans, or how glaciers actually form, and what evidence of icebergs we look for in the geologic record.

After so much creationist crap crammed into one small section, we could use a breather. Take this time to fill your scuba tanks. We’ll be diving into the ACE version of oceanography next. And if you thought A Beka and BJU were bad… well, you know ACE aces them both.

Adventures in ACE XVII: “Satan is Like an Iceberg” and Other Important Earth Science Facts

5 thoughts on “Adventures in ACE XVII: “Satan is Like an Iceberg” and Other Important Earth Science Facts

  1. rq

    So Satan took down the Titanic, which was… a messenger of god? Eh?
    I woulda rather thought the iceberg was god telling all those ridiculously rich people that he’s had enough of their debauchery and pride.

  2. 2

    There’s famous(~ish?) tale I read as a kid about a boastful Titanic sailor saying “God himself could not sink this ship” .. Well guess turns out God didn’t and Satan did now, Satan being an over-sized icecube and all! But don’t worry kids your safe now, Satan must have melted away into seawater long ago.

    I’m actually morbidly curious to read what these Cdesignpropentists books have to say about Global Overheating and even if they mention it at all..

  3. 3

    And God being such a massive dropkick and poor aimer of misplaced wrath had to choose a ship without enough lifeboats and drown most of the lower class crew and third class passengers who apparently weren’t even allowed up on deck till most of those lifeboats had been launched – some of those launched nearly empty to send that message. Yeah, that’d be typical.

  4. 5

    Does global warming hurt satan?

    Silly christians are the “Easy” setting. I’ve realized that’s why some atheoskeptics like Harris, Mason, Dawkins, and too many others to list have resorted to bashing them. We need a better class of trolls. Really. Well, They’ll evolve.

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