Dis-Education – Christian home schooling part 1 – Physical Science
Posted by Don McLenaghen on July 27, 2012
This is the first in a three part series into Christian home schooling. Let’s start by looking into ACE…no, not the flying kind or the one in a royal flush but the acronym for Accelerated Christian Education. This has been a popular topic on the inter-web because of new lax textbook requirements in Louisiana and Texas. However, ACE has a Canadian branch which has been providing home schooled Christians un-educational material.
Some of the books on sale currently on the ACE Canada website are:
George Washington, the Christian; A Case for Creation; Ordained of the Lord and Shadow of the Almighty. Nothing unexpected even though I suspect historians may be dubious about Washington. One did catch my attention – “None dare call it conspiracy”. This tasty bit combines the communists, environmentalists, trans-nationals, the UN and others…to form your slightly off standard world conspiracy theory a la one world government/new world order/illuminati. His style, less Christian and more Libertarian, is known as ‘Producerism’…where the productive people of the world are being parasitize by the OTHER. It’s acceptable to ACE because they share some common themes like ‘traditional values’; God rewards the righteous and biblical end-times scenarios. The first chapter though is very telling; it’s entitled – ‘Don’t confuse me with the facts’. Very much in line with ACE teaching philosophy.
So, we will discuss not only the bad science in these works but also the bad social science and some more sinister implications of this style of teaching.
First some of the things children are being dis-learned about science.
The Loch Ness Monster Disproves Evolution
According to Christian home schooling dis-learning material:
“Are dinosaurs alive today? Scientists are becoming more convinced of their existence. Have you heard of the `Loch Ness Monster’ in Scotland? `Nessie,’ for short has been recorded on sonar from a small submarine, described by eyewitnesses, and photographed by others. Nessie appears to be a plesiosaur.”
Nessie appears to be a plesiosaur so dinosaurs are not millions of years old and did exist with humans.
Now, the fact that Nessie has long been shown to be a myth…even crypto-zoologist have pretty much given up on Nessie after a complete sonar scan of the Loch 1987 and again in 2003 for the show “Searching for the Loch Ness Monster”on BBC which found nothing.
Now, the Loch Ness Monster is still trendy in the popular press so it’s an easy plot point (I say plot point because religion’s like fiction you must remember you plot) everyone THINKS they know. We remember the ‘photo evidence’ (which is not evidence) and the ‘dramatizations’ but rarely the ‘depression’ of real documentary shows that prove its fiction.
A Japanese Whaling Boat Found a Dinosaur
Like Nessie, this is supposed to be evidence that proves dinosaurs are still here. Of course the evidence is a couple of photos of what a Japanese fishing trawler hulled up in the late 70s. If you look at one of the photos quickly you may see something that might look like a long necked thing, but the condition of the carcass is in extreme decay. That is there is no skin, little flesh…and looking at it, it’s your standard well decayed thing…possibly a shark, that’s what they thought in 1977 when it was found. Looking at the other photos you see thinks like dorsal fins indicative of a shark.
Now, why put this in? Sowing seeds so when a child (or when their grownup) is confronted with the overwhelming evidence about the existence of dinosaurs then have a ‘mental’ safe room to compartmentalized it. They might say ‘Yes, of course dinosaurs existed…along with people, but God let them all die during the Noah’s flood’; or something like that.
Humans and Dinosaurs Co-Existed
Fossilised human footprints have been found alongside dinosaur tracks in the bed of the Paluxy River, Texas. Now there are a number of photos of these on the internet. However, there have been two explanations for this apparent anomaly. First, they were faked. The most ‘convincing’ human foot prints complete with toe prints are on souvenir rocks, not those in situ (i.e. those still part of the ancient river bed). It apparently was a booming business during the depression to sell moonshine and fossils. When either ran low, they just went to the shack and made some more (i.e. faked ‘fossils’).
The other explanation is erosion. When the tracks are made, the soft mud often falls into the track, giving them an distorted appearance, coupled with erosion from natural elements, can transform three toed dino prints into a human foot shape heal print…these don’t have toe prints.
Why would ACE et al, use such poor ‘evidence’ when once released into the reality based world they will be confronted with what I have just mentioned? If their aim was to educate then it would be stupid but we are talking about dis-education; their aim, at least in areas of theology, it to set up thinking processes and ways of ‘learning’ that impede and retard education. It is not good enough for them not to know the facts of the world but they must also attempt to ensure they can never truly learn them ever.
Solar Fusion is a Myth
The sun is shrinking because it is burning up its fuel, in the conventional BBQ sense of burning. So, the earth can’t be billions of years old, the Sun would have to be bigger than the orbit of the Earth if the solar system was billions of years old – HA! Take that science.
This sounds kooky to most people so why say it? Well, first I must ask do you (my loyal reader) know how solar…well any nuclear fusion works? Simply put, it’s the mashing together of two small atoms to make a bigger atom plus a s#it load of energy. To do this, you must have the atoms very close together and energetic (i.e. hot). This happens when a massive body…like the sun…compresses under its own weight. The pressure and heat at the center skyrockets until a point where two hydrogen atoms fuse to form helium plus energy. The energy pushes back on gravity, stops the sun collapsing and gives us light (not the mythical guy ACE would like you to credit).
The Second Law of Thermodynamics Disproves Evolution.
“The entropy of a closed system cannot decrease.” They take it to mean things invariably progress from order to disorder. Therefor the Earth was created in a perfect ordered state (Garden of Eden) and is progressively becoming more decayed and disordered over time…until the big G pulls the plug (Armageddon).
Now in a closed system this is true, the order to disorder part, not the God stuff. However life, earth…even the galaxies are not closed systems. The universe as a whole, is dissipating…a better term that disorder. That is why one of the theories of the ‘end of the universe’ is the Big Freeze; where mater/energy is so evenly disperses in the universe there will be nothing but cold atoms (Quarks?).
Life on earth gets increased energy because the sun, to name one thing, inputs energy…or in our context order…into the ‘evolutionary’ system; thus giving the appearance of violating the 2nd law but not really.
No Transitional Fossils Exist…enough said.
Sorry, for those new to this argument, check here, I can’t waste my time on this one. Five Major Misconceptions about Evolution
Scientists Believe the “Hopeful Monster” Theory
“Theory states that certain organisms experienced (for some unexplained reason) a dramatic genetic disturbance that hurled them across the gap left by the missing links”
They have a cute cartoon to explain this theory…as they see it the last hope for evolution…line one has a fish plus a fish equals a fish, the next has a fish plus a fish plus genetic disturbance equals a frog.
This is what I can only believe is willful misunderstanding of evolution. I don’t want to restate what may be obvious to most of our listeners but there are two major camps in evolutionary thinking the gradual evolution and punctuate evolution. The first holds that gradual changes over hundreds…thousands…millions of years gradual selects for adaptations best suited for the organisms environment; thus leading to speciation…classic evolution.
Punctuated evolution, still controversial, posits that in isolated groups, like those stranded on an island…let’s say the Galapagos…evolution can be accelerated and more dramatic. Create a new species in the space of decades or centuries.
Creationists believe that we believe that two frogs have sex and give birth to a duck. This shows their misunderstanding of the term random mutation. The term does not mean the comic book style mutation where parents give birth to a Nightcrawler of the X-Men but where a gene or 10 are mis-copied in such a way as to create a new trait/resistance/what have you…but these are small changes. There is a great example in the recently published work of one scientist who over decades ‘evolved’ bacteria to digest citrate.
This ties into the other elements (i.e. Solar Fusion, fossils, geology such as the Grand Canyon) where they are desperate to show the earth is young…bible young…six thousand-ish. Because evolution posits change over a LONG period of time, if they can deny science time, it implicitly denies evolution and this protects the biblical account of the ‘creation’.
Part of their problem with evolution is it implies that ‘creation’ was not perfect that God is not perfect. However, they do not stop with evolution because creationist believe God created a perfect world and will ensure his creation does not end…well until he decides to kill everyone off during Armageddon. There for they make claims like…
It “cannot be shown scientifically that man-made pollutants will one day drastically reduce the depth of the atmosphere’s ozone layer.”
“God has provided certain ‘checks and balances’ in creation to prevent many of the global upsets that have been predicted by environmentalists.”
This is why Republicans in the US and Conservatives here have been pushed to reject ‘Climate Change’ because of the power of the evangelical movement. Oddly enough it also provides a great example as to why religion is so antithetical to ANY science.
If a fundamentalist Christian accepts climate change they make two dangerous acknowledgments. First, that God’s creation is not perfect and that when it says in the Bible that after the great flood God will ensure the world is a nice place to be until the end-times…then climate change will make the Earth a NOT nice place to be…it will be a refutation of the promise of God…so it is the first step in rejecting biblical literalism
Related to that is… if you accept that science can show/prove climate change, then why not accept its evidence for solar fusion…for evolution…for the great length of time from ‘creation’…to the un-necessity of a God at all. It’s a slippery slope of rationality and creationist what nothing to do with that.
ACE science curriculum is not to educate children but to arm them with the ability to reject science when they are free of the cocoon of the home school. Teach a child to not learn, and they will be ignorant for life…so sayeth the Lord.
The next segment we will leave the realm of the physical science for Christian home schooling views on the Social Sciences.