Our preliminary foray into the world of creationist earth science education encouraged many of you to share your own stories. I want to make sure they don't languish unread in the comments section. Real people are affected by these awful textbooks. We should never, ever lose sight of that fact.
The A-Beka book looks like the same one that we used when I attended a small, unregulated Christian school as a middle schooler.
The “science” in those books does serious damage to a child’s understanding of science as whole. You can’t focus on just one area–like evolutionary biology–and say, “This is where the threat is.” No. The threat is to every science they invoke, because they weave such a web of deception that it can undermine someone’s understanding of science for decades. I should know. I’m still trying to undo the damage, and that was fourteen years ago.
Thank you for taking the time to address the situation in geology and point out that it’s not just one science that’s been a victim to their interference.
I grew up in the fundementalist deep south. Between a majority roman-catholic population and a vocal minority of bible thumpers my public school education was doomed. What little money did trickle in was diverted to departments that were ‘more important’.
The worst was that even at a my magnet school we were forbidden from being taught biology due to some injunction against such do to the poor little christian court case regarding evolution being taught.
This was before creation science was a tactic. They instead conducted full frontal assaults on the integrity of the educational system.
Honestly I can see their point. They have a belief system that according to their logic is internally in agreement. The don’t want their own offspring contradicting them (and god!) on these points.
I suggest the homeschool and withdraw from profane society as has been the solution for the devout of many stripes when they find the vulgar world conflicts with their piousness.
I also implore crationists and young earthers to consider how they feel about American Exceptionalism. Our nation can not maintain itself at the forefront of science and technology if we continue to undermine the curriculum of our schools to suit our politics or religion.
I understand that many will invoke god at this point. To which I would reply.
We all like salt on our food. Would you like one person to salt all of our food according to their taste? Lets leave the salt out of the food and let each choose their own amount.
Stories like the above break my heart. But I'm glad you two made it out, and I hope a flood of others does the same.
Being related to fundamentalists it makes me cringe looking at those books. But it also amuses me in a way. Although my studies have largely been in science, I made some room for religious studies in the past.
Since those studies, one thing I always think is funny about the fundamentalists’ righteous indignation or contempt for the idea that scientists believe the world to be magnitudes older than they say is a hypothetical parallel case: imagine Hindus displaying righteous indignation or contempt for the idea that scientists believe the world to be magnitudes YOUNGER than they believe! Indeed, to that religion, billions of years is not even close to the full age of our universe, let alone several thousands of years.
(In India of course, this push to pervert science does not happen as they recognize STEM will help them develop).
Nevertheless, I propose a Kickstarter campaign to produce a satirical “science” textbook that fits (hypothetical) Hindu fundamentalism – I think it would really open some eyes in America about how science and absolute evidence-devoid preconceptions are fundamentally at odds with each other.
I've got too many books to write to tackle that one, but if any of you decide to do it, let me know so I can publicize your Kickstarter campaign!
Speaking of books, Gary Hurd has some excellent book recommendations for us:
Good start. Steve Newton from the NCSE attended some of the creationist talks at the GSA and wrote this up for Earth Magazine. http://www.earthmagazine.org/article/creationism-creeps-mainstream-geology
Here are a few other books I’ll suggest;
The first two are written by geologists who are Christians, but they are not young earth creationists (YECs).
Young, Davis A.
1995 “The Biblical Flood: A case study of the Church’s Response to extrabiblical evidence” Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, Paternoster Press
Young, Davis A., Ralf F. Stearley
2008 “The Bible, Rocks and Time: Geological Evidence for the Age of the Earth” Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press
Ron Numbers traces the origins of Seventh Day Adventist ‘flood geology’ from the 1800s to the publication of “The Genesis Flood.”
Numbers, Ronald L.
2006 “The Creationists: The Evolution of Scientific Creationism” Berkeley: University of California Press
And, as mentioned above, the first ‘flood geology’ book to gain traction with the American public;
Whitcomb, John C., Henry M. Morris
1961 “The Genesis Flood” Grand Rapids: Baker Book House
Henry Morris went on to found the Institute for Creation Research.
Speaking of The Genesis Flood, I'll be blogging that sometime this winter - that book was basically the foundation of the entire modern Young Earth Creationist movement, so it's pretty important to be aware of what it says. I've already started reading it. It's really very bad.
Keep your comments coming! And look forward to our next installment. I'll be publishing one every other week for you. Just wait until I introduce you all to ACE - I do suggest you get yourselves a nice, thick pillow to scream in to if you have fellow humans or pets who may be disturbed by howls of outrage.