People, it took me days to fact-check the 31 (thirty-one) pages of Science PACE 1086. I’m boggled. I have no idea how they manage to get so much wrong. It doesn’t even make sense – I mean, there are several creationist canards, and I know why those are there, but they fail at facts that even Answers in Genesis gets right. It’s like they got their information about rocks from a source translated from French, which was translated from Tagalog, which was translated from a paper written in Pig Latin by someone who’d never seen a rock in their life, but heard something about them once.
After the absurdities of ACE and the travesty that is Bob Jones University’s idea of the earth sciences, it is almost with relief that I turn back to A Beka’s Science of the Physical Creation. Oh, granted, it is also full of creationist crap – but there were some useful, even educational, bits, and I hope to find more.
Alas, my hopes are dealt a blow by the introduction to Unit I: Meteorology and Oceanography. Beneath the facing photo of sailboats, Psalm 115:16 sez God gave humans the earth, and the first sentence of the chapter is, “God created the earth’s atmosphere…”
We start with vocabulary and cartoons! Oh, joy! Science words for this section include frisbee, hedge, and mare. You know, even if you grant some leeway and say that vocab in a science course can include other unfamiliar words, this is still ridiculous. These are the equivalent of eighth graders. They already know what a fucking frisbee is. And if ACE-educated students aren’t allowed to know what frisbees are until puberty, I think it’s time for the adults to sit down and think about where they went completely off the rails.
Now comes the cartoon, which, in the tradition of the other PACEs in this series so far, has bugger-all to do with anything. It’s just a way for the ACE people to showcase their remarkable lack of a sense of humor.
Whelp. At least they’re people of color. Don’t get too excited, though, cuz we’re spending the rest of the section with the white people.
A bunch of the fine upstanding white Christian families are having a Founder’s Day* picnic. Racer is, like, so good at Frisbee that he can make it “float through the air like the clouds in the sky.” This strained simile leads the boys to talk about clouds. ACE dialogue is uniformly terrible, but this is even worse than usual. The boys sound like pompous robots reciting pre-programmed prose. And they use the word “distinguish” three times in three sentences. Gah.
We have arrived at the section of ACE Science PACE 1086 wherein someone who knows bugger-all about rocks will proceed to explain rock types. There is so much wrong we’ll have to split it into groups, and even then, I’m not sure the posts will be short enough to prevent acute creationist crap poisoning. I do know I just spent the better part of five hours dealing with just the errors in the opening paragraphs.
I recommend padding all hard surfaces within a 12-block radius before we begin.
Mr. Wheeler, the ocean floor driller, is the narrator. It is apparent the instant he opens his mouth that the writer is not competent to write from the POV of a supposed expert, even a creationist one. “Igneous rock,” he pontificates, “is formed by heat.”
I’m assured by Jonny that Science PACE 1086 is something special in the bizarreness department. I can see this is true by all the crosses on the cover. The impression given is that they’re so threatened by the implications of a man standing on the moon that they have to spray the scene with god symbols, sort of like a dog dehydrating itself in order to advise other dogs that this is definitely its territory. So there!
The Table of Contents doesn’t give much away. We’re going to learn about “The Foundations of the World,” which seem to be the basics of geology: the crust-mantle-core stuff, rock types, and topography. One wonders how they’re going to spray god everywhere. I’m confident they’ll find a way.
The ballooning McMercys have just had their hot air balloon adventure cut short by God, who loves to ruin people’s fun. As if forcing them out of the sky isn’t bad enough, he waits for them to land, them BA-BAM! hits a tree right beside them with a lightning bolt. Dad McMercy doesn’t see that as God’s “And stay down!” message, though.
“However, the lightning that made [Becky] jump is actually a benefit God designed to help plants grow.”
Yes. Very helpful.
“Although air is mostly nitrogen, plants cannot use nitrogen directly from the air.”
All right, then, my darlings: time to start acing ACE. We’re right at the beginning of our 8th grade-ish* science edimicashun. What has Science PACE 1085 got to teach us about?
“Earth and Its Neighbors,” in which we learn the earth is our inheritance. Just like the Bible says!
“To learn to be willing to work or dwell with others in unity – to be cooperative.” M-kay.
“To memorize and say Psalm 133:1.” Oh, yes, very sciencey.
This is a very… interesting… table of contents for a science text.
Right, let’s move on. Page (two) 2 has a cartoon wherein creepy-looking boys in identical clothes, Reginald and Pudge, tell us how interesting our current PACE will be. Pudge is skeptical at first, the little devil, but is soon won over by Reginald’s Facts™. Many facts. Like the geochemistry terms “sial” and “sima,” which I did not know, because in all my time palling around with geologists, I’ve never seen them use them. Hooray, facts! I’m amazed I’ve learned some actual ones from an ACE PACE.