The news isn't exactly awe-inspiring or welcome in terms of how American students perform in science (biology, physics, chemistry) compared to students of other nations. But there it is! Fundagelical science centers are on a tear attempting to brainwash their students into buying their silly young Earth, young Sun, anti-evolution bollocks- turning them into dunderheads and simpletons.
Enter from Stage Left: Accelerated Christian Education - a fundamentalist school curriculum used in a claimed 6,000 schools and 145 countries. Despite the name, the education is actually second to its stated primary purpose, which is “to diligently teach our children to love the Lord in every sphere of their lives, with all their hearts, all their souls, and all their minds,” according to its website.
Anytime you see this sort of nonsense, you can pretty well bet that any "science" on offer will be more superstitious gibberish than anything of substance. And so this "curriculum" conforms to this take when one examines it. In practice, students are taught gross distortions and misrepresentations of mainstream science, like these 33 bizarre multiple choice questions from the ACE coursework. Take a look at them and see first hand what I'm talking about!
The basis and the critical giveaway that what is being promoted is fundie religious belief NOT science: ACE explicitly says its intention is that students should not have any knowledge of anything contrary to the Bible. Now, given 99 percent of modern physics and biology will be antithetical to biblical claims, this means ipso facto that the ACE will not be teaching its students genuine physics or biology but rather some specious substitute based on misplaced faith.
Let's take a gander at some of the codswallop taught these forlorn kids:
Some scientists speculate that Noah took small or baby dinosaurs on the
Are you kidding me? The Loch Ness monster is a fable! It has never been proven or demonstrated any more than the Abominable Snowman, Bigfoot, or the Bajan "Baccoo Man" - alleged to be a wooden doll that comes to life at night under the spell of "Obeah" and kills on command. No intelligent person of the 21st century believes this crap, and hence ought not be using it as a basis to "disprove" evolution. The amassed evidence for evolution stands on its own.
But never fear earlier this year it was reported that ACE had removed the Loch Ness Monster claim. This was after a veritable media storm when it was revealed that ACE schools would be eligible for
With the earlier bunk taken from their toolbox they got even more desperate, invoking cave paintings of dinos! They cite "pictures of dinosaurs discovered in ancient rock carvings and paintings. A reptile that could be an allosaur or a tyrannosaur is etched on the walls of
Sorry, whackos! That only proves poor drawing skills (i.e. they may have been attempting to draw an ostrich and failed) or great copyist methods. There is not one scintilla of proof dinos existed in the pre-Bronze Age anywhere (for one thing the climate would have been way too cool and the vegetation inadequate to support them)
This one really gets my goat, given the mass and temperature of the Sun confirm that solar fusion is the only mechanism by which the Sun manages to convert 4.3 billion kg of its mass per second into a luminosity of 3.9 x 10^26 watts. There is no other mechanism that can do this and certainly not the one invoked by the fundies. Thus, the sun, as any first year physics or astronomy student knows, works by nuclear fusion
H1 + H1 + e- -> D2 + neutrino + 1.44 MeV
D2 + H1 -> He3 + gamma ray + 5.49 MeV
He 3 + He 3 -> He 4+ H 1 + H1 + 12.85 MeV
This means that the central core of the Sun will become heavier and heavier, as more and more helium is produced. This despite the fact that the Sun as a whole is losing an amount of mass of roughly 4 x 106 metric tones per second.
The nuclear fusion theory of how the sun emits heat and light is an invention of evolution scientists.
3) Japanese Whaling Boat Finds a Dinosaur!
Another ACE whizzer from the same curriculum pages as the goofy Loch Ness nonsense: A Japanese fishing vessel brought up the decomposing body of a dinosaur-like sea creature off the coast of
As any sensible science student would know this proves absolutely nothing. Without a DNA specific analysis (as well as confirmation) there is no logical or rational link from a "dinosaur-like" entity to a real dinosaur that actually lived. In many ways this reminds me of the loony claim that "The existence of living coelacanths disproves evolution", e.g.
The fish caught off Japanese waters in 1938 and claimed to be a "Coelacanth". In fact, it was not the same species, but rather Latimeria menadoensis.
This one was invoked by crazy creationists to try to show that evolution “messed up” or went awry, given an alleged ancient fish (deemed extinct for tens of millions of years) suddenly showed up alive and well in 1938. Problem is, they got it all wrong from top to bottom, with erroneous assumptions piled onto some early taxonomic errors in classifying the living species.
Before the living specimens were discovered, it was believed by some that the coelacanth was a "missing link" between the fish and the tetrapods. It was often claimed that the coelacanth had “remained unchanged for millions of years”; but, in fact, the living species and genus were unknown from the fossil record. The most likely reason for the gap is the original taxonomy becoming extinct in shallow waters only. Deep-water fossils, however, are only rarely lifted to levels where paleontologists can recover them, making most deep-water taxa disappear from the fossil record.
Again, we have the sad spectacle of too eager-beaver creationists seizing on poorly constructed speciation catalogs, or wrong taxonomic assumptions – to make specious cases. In this case, conflating the ancient –prehistorical coelacanth with the modern living species, the Latimeria menadoensis, caught off Japan ca. 1938.