I am no friend of Scientism. But any teaching that counters the findings of science had better be based at least in part on equally good factual evidence, whether it meets the rigorous test of repeatable scientific experiment or not.
So I was amused and slightly appalled but not in the least surprised to read this piece on Salon.com today presenting just five incredibly bizarre science teachings from one of the most widely used school curricula among Christian schools and home non-teachers.
The five arguments made in the curriculum, first published in 1986 and most recently “updated” in 2002, are:
The Loch Ness Monster is real and disproves evolution.
- Solar fusion is a myth. The Sun is shrinking because it’s burning its fuel. Millions of years ago it was so big it would have engulfed Earth. So, you know, Creationism.
- A Japanese whaling boat found a dinosaur carcass in 1977, so evolution can’t be right.
- Evolution has been badly discredited repeatedly by scientific evidence.
- Human footprints have been found fossilized next to dinosaur footprints in a Texas River so, you know, Creationism.
I don’t really have a problem with people teaching their own version of whatever as long as they do it in a way that… Nope, that’s bullpucky. I do have a huge problem with people and organizations that put young people with this kind of horrendous mis-education into the world to vote, hold public office and otherwise muck up life for the sane and rational.
One of the biggest mistakes ever made in this country was to allow local control of schools and education to continue into the 20th Century. That problem should have been fixed 75 years ago. Texas is not entitled to its own set of facts that are different from those in New York or California. National standards and no exemptions for private schools. The rest of us have to live with the consequences of this ridiculous system and we are now beginning to see the tip of the iceberg of those consequences. It ain’t pretty.