(Repost) Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education VIII: Two Salty Tales of Ocean Origins

My conservative Christian former best friend used to say that too much prayer rots the brain. Earth Science 4th Edition provides clear evidence of this right from the blurb at the start of the “Oceans and Seas” chapter. They begin talking about desalination by saying wow, there’s more people on Earth than ever! Yay! “God didn’t place a limit on how many people should inhabit the earth.”

I really wish the Bible had a verse placing strict limits on the total population, and ordering dominionists like the BJU believers to adhere to a strict “One child, no conversion, no evangelizing, and for My sake put a condom on that thing!” policy. Because it seems they believe that God wants as many people stuffed onto the planet as possible, limited resources be damned. They acknowledge the fact that a huge population makes things like having enough drinking water for everyone a serious issue. But they pretend that’s all fine, since we invented desalinization plants. Breed away! God placed no limits on population, so let’s have humans stacked a dozen deep over every square inch of the planet! Fuck logic and sense, yo!

Image is a photo of the Duggar family showing 18 kids surrounding Mom, who is holding a baby. Caption says, "Be fruitful and multiply. You're doing it right!"

Fools like this are why I’m one of those atheists who thinks we really need, as a species, to do away with the idea of holy books* all together. We can’t be trusted with it.

Dominion is a strong theme at the beginning of this chapter. “Oceans for Man’s Use” is the very first section. After giving us lots of facts about the oceans, like their size and how they help regulate the earth’s temperature, and how most of our oxygen “comes from photosynthetic organisms living in” them, they tell us it’s important to exercise dominion over them.

Oy. These people are massive control freaks. Instead of caring for or partnering with things, they want to exercise jackbooted thuggery over it all. In a “good and wise” manner, they hasten to assure us. Considering they think it’s a bonza idea to fill Earth with people until there’s no room for anything else, I’m not believing they’re qualified to judge what’s good or wise.

And they’re encouraging students to pursue careers in oceanography in order to exercise said dominion. Continue reading “(Repost) Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education VIII: Two Salty Tales of Ocean Origins”

(Repost) Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education VIII: Two Salty Tales of Ocean Origins

Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education XLIV: Wherein We’re Layered in Nonsense

All righty, then. Where were we? Ah, yes: when last we delved Earth Science 4th Edition’s pages, the authors were trying to tell us about their One Magic Ice Age Wot Explains Away the Physical Evidence and that Job Really Probably Lived Through Cuz He Mentions Snow a Few Times. Next on their agenda: they’re gonna tell us about The Diluvial Geologic Column.

Image is a meme showing three panels of My Little Ponies. There is a group of them looking towards the right. In the first panel, they are laughing and the caption says "Ha ha ha." In the second panel, they have stopped laughing, and the caption says, "Oh, wait, you're serious." The third panel shows them laughing again, and the caption says, "Let us laugh even harder!"
I’m dead before we begin. They’re just… I mean… well, look at this shit:

We know that there was at least one continent where everything lived when God created the earth. Creationary geologists think that the continent foundation or basement was probably the rock we call granite, which makes up the deepest rocks under the continents today.

Hoo nelly. So much evidence here they don’t at all understand how rocks or continents work. Folks: continents are heavy. The roots under the thickest crust run deep. What happens when rocks are under tremendous heat and pressure? Well, they don’t stay cheerfully unaltered. Granite is not the deepest rock, kids. I don’t think these folks even grok what basement rocks are.

They yammer about how they can totes see the “key geologic phases of the earth” if they just look at the strata “from a biblical viewpoint.” They think they see the vast majority of rocks either forming in or being redeposited by the Flood. They have no real idea how minerals precipitate from a solution to form masses of rock. They don’t know how consolidation happens. The things they think happened in a single Flood year don’t happen that fast and/or in those kinds of conditions (here’s one example). We’ve studied this. We’ve done experiments. We know.

Of course, they admit the Flood didn’t create the entire geologic column. There was that mythical post-Flood ice age, carving valleys and dumping glacial detritus all over the place. Never mind that we have evidence for multiple ice ages – just put on your Biblical Blinders, kids, and you’ll see there’s only one!


Anyway, then they give us Tasman Walker’s idea of a geologic column. It’s microscopic compared to the geologic column those icky secular scientists have put together after centuries of research. It goes, from oldest rocks to youngest: Continue reading “Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education XLIV: Wherein We’re Layered in Nonsense”

Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education XLIV: Wherein We’re Layered in Nonsense

Hidden Figures: Yes, Go See It Right Now

Here’s how to deal with the fact that a great orange buffoon is getting sworn into our highest office: go see Hidden Figures. Just go. Go see black women fighting misogyny and racism and Jim Crow while doing badass math. You need to see that right now.

*This review is mostly spoiler-free*

Take your children to go see it. Yes, even the young ones. Yes, even the teens. Look: I was in a theater full of little kids and teenagers, and they were sitting there beside unrelated adults up to the age of probably-watched-John-Glenn-orbit-live-on-teevee-with-their-own-kids, and apparently they were all riveted. I have never been to a movie that full of young folk who were so extraordinarily quiet. I’ve never been in an auditorium packed with nearly 400 people of all ages and had such an uninterrupted experience. The kids will do fine, and they need to see this.

Hollywood put out a movie about black women doing math, and it was spellbinding. I never thought they’d try. And since they tried, I never thought they’d do it with so much math and so few explosions. They had exploding rockets, but seemed almost embarrassed to mention them. There was a love story, but only because one of the real women this movie is based on actually got married in the middle of our race to space. It wasn’t shoved in just to hook our emotions, and you get the feeling they’d rather be doing more math. The movie stayed remarkably true to actual, historical events.

You’ll get to meet three of the most extraordinary women in our country’s scientific history: Katherine Goble (later Johnson), Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson. You will get to see them be math nerds. You will get to see them have interests other than marriage and children. Hell, you’ll even get to see one of them fix a car. In a dress. Did you know women could fix cars while wearing dresses? Well, now you do.

You’ll get to see three black women star in their own story, as heroes, not as sidekicks and inspirations to white people. This wasn’t a story about white people learning how not to be racist gits (although several white people learned this, the movie isn’t about them). This wasn’t a story about three career women trying to also balance their roles as wives and mothers (although they were). This wasn’t a story about men learning how to deal with career women, women smarter than them, and figuring out how not to be sexist gits (although this all happens).

No. Continue reading “Hidden Figures: Yes, Go See It Right Now”

Hidden Figures: Yes, Go See It Right Now

(Repost) Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education VII: Awash in Creationist Nonsense

Take your seasickness prevention pills and weigh anchor, my darlings. We are embarking on a long voyage, and I’m afraid it isn’t the lovely salt sea, but an ocean of creationist bilge we be sailin’. BJU has got a lot to say about oceanography. A good portion of it is utter bunkum. And there’s three bloody chapters of this shite.

Here. This meme may help us survive.

Image shows a cat in a cardboard pirate ship. Caption says, "I comes to plunder yer living room."

The wrong starts out strong with Dr. Emil Silvestru, a creationist speleologist from Romania. He started his career as a secular scientist, then jumped into Christianity with both feet and became a young earth creationist. The quality of his “reasoning” can be assessed by the following explanation: Continue reading “(Repost) Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education VII: Awash in Creationist Nonsense”

(Repost) Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education VII: Awash in Creationist Nonsense

Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education XLIII: Wherein A Beka Outsmarts Insane Clown Posse

Fucking magnets, how do they work? Well, Science of the Physical Creation is about to ‘splain, or at least sum up. We should invite Mssrs. Bruce and Utsler to attend the lesson. Pretty sad when creationists know more about a well-understood scientific phenomena than a couple of pathetic white boy clowns, innit?

Meme shows a screenshot of a shouting man in a white clown costume with black and white clown makeup. Caption says, "Fuckin' magnets, how do they work?"
We should be on the lookout for Eurocentrism here. The section on Magnets and Magnetism starts off talking about how the Vikings used lodestones to find north. This ignores the fact that the Chinese had been using lodestones since around the second century BC and had figured out how to make a compass from them for navigation by the 11th century (and perhaps earlier).

Tell you what, I’m real sick of white people pretending they invented all the things, when people of color had actually been doing them a lot longer. And yes, I will demand better of even white evangelical creationists. The Vikings were no more Christian than the Chinese at that point, so I know the SPC folks are capable of giving credit to non-Christians.

There’s a delightful introduction to magnets, which explains that electrons, planets, and even galaxies can act as magnets. They tell us how we can detect magnetic fields with a compass, and visualize them with iron filings. Several illustrations show us what the fields of disk, bar, and horseshoe magnets look like. And they not only tell us, but show us by using more filings, that opposite poles attract and same poles repel. The law of magnetic force is shown. We learn that even magnets can “overcome the gravitational force of the entire earth” at close range. They finish up this first bit by talking about magnetic permeability, which would probably make ICP heads explode, because it’s a little weird. Continue reading “Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education XLIII: Wherein A Beka Outsmarts Insane Clown Posse”

Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education XLIII: Wherein A Beka Outsmarts Insane Clown Posse

(Repost) Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education VI: Oceans O’ Creationism

After a long interlude with ACE, we’re now ready to jump in the deep end of our other creationist textbooks. Make sure you’ve got your scuba gear!

Science of the Physical Creation’s on about the oceans now. They begin their section on oceanography with Psalm 104: 24-25, because it has got the word “sea” in it, and sez God made it, therefore “God did it” is Science Fact. I suspect they’re doing this because there are only so many ways to work God into a discussion of seawater. Continue reading “(Repost) Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education VI: Oceans O’ Creationism”

(Repost) Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education VI: Oceans O’ Creationism

Adventures in ACE XXIX: Gusty With a 100% Chance of Drivel

Oh, joy, ACE weather forecasting! I forecast showers of creationist nonsense and gusts of boredom.

Our vocabulary for this section includes such difficult science words as chirp, cricket, mattress, and wispy. Bet you all remember struggling over these in your 8th grade science class, right?

Image is a drawing of a night scene, with stars in the top half, fading to midnight blue skies, and the silhoutte of tall grass at the bottom. At the center, white lowercase letters say "...crickets chirping"
Well, maybe not. But at least, thanks to ACE, we can define that noise and what’s making it.

The cartoon is cutting-edge humor, as always.

Image is a cartoon strip in two panels. The first panel is an aerial view looking down at two boys playing basketball. One is sinking the ball in the basket while saying, "Racer, when you plant a garden, why should you not plant onions next to potatoes?" The other boy is saying, "I don't know, Ace." In the next panel, Racer now has the ball and is dribbling, while we see Ace from the back trying to block him. Ace is saying, "So that the potatoes will not cry their 'eyes' out!" and Racer is saying, "Ha-ha!"
Cartoon from page 12 of ACE Science PACE 1089.

I’m so glad my parents didn’t send me to an ACE school. I’d have either died of pathological boredom or stabbed my eyes out with a pencil. Anything to get away from these awful jokes.

Anyway. So we’re back with Dad and Ace, just after the whole barometer convo, and Dad is keen for Ace to know that there’s more to forecasting than a barometer. He also wants us to know that “the laws that govern weather are orderly.” That’s quite a simplistic view of matters. Or maybe they’re defining “chaos” as “order.” It’s true that we’ve gotten better at forecasting, but even if we become capable of measuring almost every condition at particular moments in time, there will still be a considerable level of uncertainty to our forecasts, because weather is a chaotic system. Tiny perturbations have large effects. Butterflies and all. Continue reading “Adventures in ACE XXIX: Gusty With a 100% Chance of Drivel”

Adventures in ACE XXIX: Gusty With a 100% Chance of Drivel

(Repost) Adventures in ACE XII: Wibbly about Water

It’s about time we finish with the risible ACE PACE 1086, and the subject matter segues nicely into the chapters on oceans we have coming up in our other “science” textbooks. Besides, after last week’s installment, I’m sure you’re all on the edge of your seats wondering if the Loyaltons are about to go splat against a mountain. So let us continue our flyover with them, and see where we end up. Continue reading “(Repost) Adventures in ACE XII: Wibbly about Water”

(Repost) Adventures in ACE XII: Wibbly about Water

Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education XLII: Wherein Creationism Leaves Us Cold

Welcome back to the world according to BJU’s Earth Science 4th Edition!

The Ark has landed, the waters receded, and the animals disembarked. Every living thing is busy making lots of little hyper-evolving babies, which the BJU folks assure us is ever so much more Biblical than plain ol’ slow and gradual evolution.

Now they’re on about Ice Ages. Well, the Ice Age. And it’s hilarious.

You see, ice ages aren’t biblical. And they’re forced to admit that “the Bible doesn’t mention an ice age…” But there’s all this physical evidence, see. Even the “creationary geologists” are forced to admit that they “see clear evidence for a glacial period after the Flood.” They can’t unsee it. They can’t pretend it’s not there, or is actually something else. They look at those old “moraines, U-shaped valleys, and sculpted land features known to be formed by glaciers,” and can’t pretend they’re actually something else. So the “creationary geologists” add an Ice Age to the creation story, even though ice ages aren’t anything God saw fit to mention in the Genesis account.

Gosh. Isn’t there somewhere in the Bible that warns against adding stuff to it? Continue reading “Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education XLII: Wherein Creationism Leaves Us Cold”

Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education XLII: Wherein Creationism Leaves Us Cold

(Repost) Adventures in ACE XI: Tommyrot About Topography

We are, at last, almost at the end of the breathtaking inanity that is ACE Science* PACE 1086. So far, we’ve seen a really inept drilling project, watched them mutilate Mount St. Helens and other volcanoes, suffered through their igneous ignorance, had to spend two posts on their sedimentary nonsense, and dealt with their metamorphic misconceptions. At times, it’s seemed like we’ll never get through debunking this unfathomable ignorance. But we’ve only eight pages and two topics to go! Racer and his dad are finally flying home! Stick with us and we’ll get there – if the Loyaltons’ plane doesn’t crash. Continue reading “(Repost) Adventures in ACE XI: Tommyrot About Topography”

(Repost) Adventures in ACE XI: Tommyrot About Topography