(Repost) Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education V: Wherein We Map for God

Honestly, you’d think something as prosaic as mapping could avoid Godification. Science of the Physical Creation doesn’t even bother with a chapter on cartography: maps are maps, and they’ve nothing to say about them.

Earth Science 4th Edition, however, devotes a whole chapter to the subject. And yeah, it gets goddy.

Image is a pastel-colored hand-drawn map of Jerusalem from 1650. ZION is printed in the bottom center-right.
Yes, possibly even as goddy as the Thomas Fuller map of Jerusalem. Image courtesy Geographicus Rare Antique Maps via Wikimedia Commons.

The chapter starts out fine: instead of a creationist cartologist, we get a nice demonstration of the power of maps, using, of course, Dr. John Snow’s cholera map. And the BJU staffers who wrote this chapter, at least, aren’t completely anti-vax. They discuss how government agencies use maps to track down areas with high disease rates, and say that targeting vaccination programs toward “areas with high rates of infections” is “far more effective and costs less than vaccinating a whole population.” Which may be true with rare or not easily transmitted diseases, I suppose, but I do wish their emphasis had been on getting everyone vaccinated for the common stuff. Herd immunity is an important thing. Still. At least they’re not taking this opportunity to say never vaccinate. Small mercies.

They do a fine job explaining what maps are, and scale, and perspective. But for some reason, there’s a textbox on Progressive Creationism right smack in the middle. I have no idea why. It’s nothing to do with maps, and they don’t even try to relate it. They just yammer. And it’s obvious they don’t like those progressive creationists, no sir. You can tell from this question: Continue reading “(Repost) Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education V: Wherein We Map for God”

(Repost) Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education V: Wherein We Map for God

Adventures in ACE XXVIII: Windbags

Awright. We just did four pages out of a thirty-one page PACE and got only one paragraph of something resembling science out of it. Let’s see how we fare on page 5 (five) of ACE Science PACE 1089. (And no, the ACE writers spelling out the number, in parentheses, on every single page, will never stop being hilarious to me.)

We left Ace dutifully beginning to wash Dad’s car. As he begins to spray, he mentions that the ball kept getting blown off-course while he and Racer played kickball. Dad tells him “that God’s laws control wind and weather.” That’s just precious. I begin to wonder if they’d be more amenable to actual science if we started saying “God’s theory of evolution” and “God’s radiometric dating.” I’m going to do this the next time a creationist argues with me. “Well, God’s geologic column clearly shows there was never a global flood,” “God’s principle of original horizontality demonstrates that…” and so forth.

Report back to me if you do this, and I’ll do the same.

So Ace asks Dad to ‘splain “the factors that determine wind speed, strength, and direction, as well as other weather conditions,” which doesn’t sound like writers clumsily stuffing words in a character’s mouth at all. Dad launches into a very dull explanation of what he calls the “world-wide system of air movement.” Why he couldn’t just call them global wind patterns like most everybody else is beyond me. Sometimes, I think conservatives like these very clunky phrases because they think it makes them sound educated. Dad also has to dare to be different by talking about the direction the winds are blowing to, not from, as is customary. He also gets all fancy and says the earth “whirls to the east.” Someone needs to put Dad’s thesaurus in time-out.

The Coriolis Effect is boringly explained. Then Ace trots out his mad logick skillz and says, “If latitudes between the equator and 30° north or south are known for their dependable winds, other latitudes must be known for their lack of dependable winds.” This allows Dad to repeat the old myth about how the horse latitudes were named.

People need to stop flogging that story. Seriously.

And all of this is so dreadfully dull that I’ve been alternating a sentence or two with long sessions on Reddit. Yes, I’d rather be reading about terrible boyfriends/husbands than putting up with this ACE shit. I have no idea how the kids who went through this curriculum survived. I see you, and I salute you. Extra salute for those of you who figured out this stuff is 99% pure crap.

At least the bit on “air tides” is slightly more interesting than the rest. Shame it’s only a tiny paragraph in their dry, pompous tones. It could’ve been awesome with better writers.

After a ho-hum but largely accurate description of land-sea and mountain-valley wind cycles, we’re on to temperature. I want to beat them over the head with this sentence:

“Our Earth is constantly receiving heat energy from the sun.”

Yes! It is! And this is why evolution doesn’t break the second law of thermodynamics, you jackasses!

Otherwise, there is nothing remarkable in their bit on temperature. It’s generally hottest in the afternoon, coldest just before sunrise, etc. blah. Ace gets to regurgitate learnings at Dad and get praised. I am so bored. Hey, did you hear about the dude who called his girlfriend selfish for making clear that she still didn’t want children even after he’d decided he did? Yeah, and he was somehow surprised she broke up with him. I’ll bet Ace would pull that shit without even 1/68th of this dude’s self-reflection. “She said she didn’t want kids, but God says we have to be fruitful and multiply! Reddit, why did she leave me just because I told her she’s sinning and has to start having my babies?!”

Gah. Focus. Must. Read PACE.

The next section is about moisture. It’s illustrated by a photo that claims to be fog, but actually just looks over-exposed.

Image shows downtown highrises. It's captioned "Fog," but there's little evidence of fog. The photo just looks a touch over-exposed.
They can’t even stock photo properly. How pathetic.

Ace’s dad explains how everyone’s a special snowflake:

“Even though snowflakes have some identical features, each one of the trillions of flakes is different from every other one. In the same way, though all men possess similar features, each individual is unique in the sight of God.”

And then he takes the opportunity to repeat the nonsense from a previous PACE about how “Snow and hail are mentioned in the Bible as ‘treasures’ reserved by God for judgement and war.” So, just a reminder: the next time you get caught in a hailstorm, God’s either trying to kill you, or you’re collateral damage, cuz it means he’s either delivering judgement or fighting a war. That’s just science.

The Facts from Science box has the least funny cartoon outside of jokes produced by MRAs.

Image shows a cartoon golfer in a kilt, with his golf club bag fallen over behind him. He's standing with his arms spread, saying "I didn't order any ice!" There's a huge lump of ice behind him with the word "WHUMP!" written on it, trying to indicate it has just fallen. There's a castle that looks more like a short pile of bricks, and a huge sun on the horizon.

Much clever. So wit. Wow.

Section One ends with a piece on low vs. high pressure, and it’s super half-assed and dull. Hey, did you hear about the boyfriend who’s obsessed with how often his girlfriend pees? Talk about high pressure!

Stay tuned. They’re going to be on about weather forecasting next. I get a feeling we won’t want any of them as our local weather dudes, if for no other reason than we’d fall sound asleep halfway through the forecast.

Image shows a black cat plopped down atop a carpeted perch with wooden sides. It's got its front legs draped over the sides and its chin down in the carpet. Its green eyes gaze into the distance with a very bored expression. Caption says, "UGH! So BORED!"

Adventures in ACE XXVIII: Windbags

(Repost) Adventures in ACE X: Misinformed About Metamorphic

There comes a point when, during the perusal of an ACE Science PACE, the brain bluescreens. The system shuts down for self-protection. It’s usually at about the point where you’ve encountered the umpteenth wrong thing in as many sentences, and you begin wondering how any adult can be so bloody fucking ignorant. You suddenly realize that more than one bloody fucking ignorant adult was involved in writing this pablum. And you begin to consider that some of the children being subjected to this shit will never recover, but will someday regurgitate this shit with updated pictures and errors, then expect a whole new generation of kids to lap it up. This is about the point where the brain crashes.

It’s hard to get through without multiple system failures, is what I’m saying. Continue reading “(Repost) Adventures in ACE X: Misinformed About Metamorphic”

(Repost) Adventures in ACE X: Misinformed About Metamorphic

Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education XL: Wherein Evolution Goes Turbo

When we last visited the imaginings of Earth Science 4th Edition, they’d just finished explaining that Noah, his family, and his boatload of animals were all busy repopulating the barren earth after making a new covenant with God. The text doesn’t state things in bald terms, but God’s basically just promised never to commit total genocide again, and also, everyone’s been ordered to fuck like bunnies (incl. bunnies) so that God will have plenty of creatures to refrain from genociding.

This, folks, is creation science.

You may have wondered how the fuck kangaroos and sloths and such traveled from the Ark on Ararat all the way to different continents thousands of miles and many oceans away. You’re not going to get an answer here. But in their Life Connections sidebar, these anti-evolution folks are gonna ‘splain how two of every kind became millions of species and billions of individuals. See, before the Flood, the entire earth was one “mild-to-tropical,” uniform Paradise. We know this because there are tropical fossils in Antarctica. Wow! Look at them using all that evidence to speculate extra-Biblically!

Anyway, after the Flood, the world ended up with “freezing ice caps and broiling deserts,” which the animals right off the Ark weren’t adapted – I’m sorry, created – for. So, “In His wisdom, God created mechanisms in the original kinds of animals and plants so that they or their offspring could change in order to live in different conditions.”

The fact this shows God was planning his genocide well in advance goes unremarked. Continue reading “Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education XL: Wherein Evolution Goes Turbo”

Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education XL: Wherein Evolution Goes Turbo

(Repost) Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education IV-E: Wherein there is a Climate of Jeer

The Christianist authors of Earth Science 4th Edition, after achieving a crescendo of crackpottery, manage to dial it back down to nearly knowledgeable as they explain Short-Term Climate Change. They describe things like ENSO and La Niña in terms befitting a science text. But you can see them slipping when they devote a section to volcanism. All that ash! It cools the world!

Um. Actually. Ash is just a part of what causes cooling due to volcanic eruptions. But BJU writers can’t be bothered with little things like sulfur dioxide. They also claim forest fires and “large regional dust storms” can cool the climate like volcanoes. Forest fires in Northern latitudes may cool it a bit, but not because of ash – it’s because all those lovely dark green conifers are gone, which means snow’s free to reflect the sun’s heat, and it’s not like that’s going to reverse the upward trend in warming. If an area hasn’t got snow, even that bit of cooling is unlikely. And, of course, burning trees releases bunches o’ carbon, which ultimately leads to more warming. As for dust storms, sure, those dust clouds can reduce temps – but that’s neglecting the winds that, in some regions, bring warm air right back in. And if increased dust starts landing on snow, you get an increase in solar radiation absorption, and you’ve warmed stuff right up again. Continue reading “(Repost) Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education IV-E: Wherein there is a Climate of Jeer”

(Repost) Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education IV-E: Wherein there is a Climate of Jeer

(Tier 1) Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education XXXIX: Wherein We’re Zapped by Creationist Crap

Fucking magnets, how do creationists think they work? We’re about to find out! Join me as we embark upon Science of the Physical Creation’s Chapter 15: Electrostatics and Magnetism. Hoo-boy!

They begin with a quote about Thor God:

Job 37:3: He directeth… his lightning unto the ends of the earth.

In context, the meaning is rather different. It’s not just lightning that God is directing: it’s his voice. This is Elihu telling Job how awesome and powerful God is, after God has completely fucked up Job’s life over a bet with Satan. For shame, SPC authors, muddying the clear meaning of God’s Word!

The SPC writers introduce the chapter’s subject matter by talking a bit about electrostatic phenomena like lightning and St. Elmo’s Fire. As always, I about choke myself to death laughing when creationists bring up superstition: it’s pretty rich to hear them spout off about how other people are just sooo superstitious, and immediately follow up with something like this: Continue reading “(Tier 1) Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education XXXIX: Wherein We’re Zapped by Creationist Crap”

(Tier 1) Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education XXXIX: Wherein We’re Zapped by Creationist Crap

(Repost) Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education IV-d: Wherein there is a Climate of Sneer

If you’re one of those wacky people who thinks the opinion of 97% of scientists counts for something, you may want to grab a stick, wrap it in leather or a leather equivalent, and place it between your teeth. One of those mouth guards for people who grind their teeth in their sleep would also work. A stress ball would help avoid damage caused by clenching hands. If you’re prone to pounding surfaces when frustrated to the point of apoplexy, please acquire a pillow or punching bag before continuing. Continue reading “(Repost) Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education IV-d: Wherein there is a Climate of Sneer”

(Repost) Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education IV-d: Wherein there is a Climate of Sneer

(Tier 1) Adventures in ACE XXVII: Stormy With a 0% Chance of Science

We start a brand new ACE PACE today, kids! 1089 is all about meteorology. Since the ACE writers firmly believe God is completely in control of the weather, this should be pretty much like a non-stop train wreck. We are also going “To learn to do right and show a sense of what is proper before the Lord and others – to be honest.” Because apparently we 8th grade level learners haven’t been taught those things yet. I begin anew to suspect that the ACE writers think their audience consists entirely of children below the age of accountability, and that they probably repeat the same set of lessons through every single series of PACEs. I’ll have to get my hands on a complete set of K-12 PACEs and test that hypothesis someday. It’ll be more science than we ever actually get inside of these things, anyway.

Our verse to memorize for this PACE is II Corinthians 8:21. Of course it has nothing to do with the weather. Don’t be silly.

The full-page cartoon begins with a stereotypical old lady, complete with gray bun, cane, and shawl, looking out the windows and talking gleefully about how she just knew a storm was coming, and gosh, look at that red sky this morning! She then goes out on her porch so she can be all cranky at Ace and Miss Mary for wanting to hang a plant when it’s obviously going to storm. Miss Mary shuts that shit right down: Continue reading “(Tier 1) Adventures in ACE XXVII: Stormy With a 0% Chance of Science”

(Tier 1) Adventures in ACE XXVII: Stormy With a 0% Chance of Science

(Repost) Adventures in ACE IX: More Senseless about Sedimentary

We left our merry band of Creationists, so ignorant even other YECs can’t stand ’em, breezily ignoring all the sedimentary rock in previously-frozen wastes. Now we shall continue on while they butcher the rest. I hope you have hair. You’re gonna need some to pull out. If nature has blessed you with a pate that requires no shampoo, you may wish to glue some locks to your noggin. Don’t worry about having to acquire appropriate hair-care products: they won’t be there for long.

Now just imagine having to read this tripe repeatedly…

Image is a polar bear standing against a rock wall with its front paws over its face. Caption says, "Ahhh, the horror! Make it stop."

Continue reading “(Repost) Adventures in ACE IX: More Senseless about Sedimentary”

(Repost) Adventures in ACE IX: More Senseless about Sedimentary

(Tier 1) Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education XXXVIII: Wherein We Are Deluged with Nonsense

Having made a complete hash of telling us the old-earth geologist’s story, the Earth Science Fourth Edition authors now proceed to tell us what the young-earth story is. It’s a very good thing I’m not in a classroom reading this book right now, because I’d be falling out of my chair laughing. Watching adults somberly relate the details of an ancient myth as Totally Tru Science Facts™ is too hilarious.

I mean, they even have this timeline of these old Bible men. They have actually printed this thing in all seriousness in a science textbook. I am dying.

Timeline has an X and Y axis. From the bottom left to the bottom right, Years After Creation are marked in increments of 200 starting from 0. The ages and dates of Noah's ancestors start from the top left, with black bars marking their lifespans. They are: Adam - 930 years. Seth - 912 years. Enos - 905 years. Mahalaleel - 895 years. Jared - 962 years. Enoch - 365 years. Methuselah - 969 years. Lamech - 777 years. Noah - 950 years.
Timeline from page 106

They talk about how “The Bible documents” God creating the earth and then it was so good, but then humans sinned, and God got so mad that he fucked everyone and everything’s shit up, including animals and “also the physical earth.” Then all the good times were gone, and it was “a struggle to simply survive in a world of weeds, thorns, and probably increasingly dangerous animals.” Continue reading “(Tier 1) Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education XXXVIII: Wherein We Are Deluged with Nonsense”

(Tier 1) Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education XXXVIII: Wherein We Are Deluged with Nonsense