Friday, October 13, 2006

What Christian schools are teaching in “science” class.

I’ll forgo my usual tirade about Bush and the Rethug party for a post here on another subject that has really gotten my goat for the last few days. I won’t go into the personal details behind this, as I really want to keep that kind of discussion out of this blog. I’ll just leave it at this. My wife’s 11-year-old niece from Taiwan is here in the U.S. living with us and going to school here. To take advantage of smaller classroom sizes and to let her English really get solidified, we thought a local private Christian school might be better for her in the beginning than throwing her in the vast, impersonal public school system.

I originally thought that this would mean an hour a day of Bible studies along with her normal classes, which I was perfectly fine with. However, this is what I learned last night when I was helping her with her “science” homework.

- All science can be divided into two different camps, evolutionists and creationists.
- Unless you are very careful when looking at the fossil record, you will come to conclusions that are not supported by the Bible, such as the Earth being more than 6000 years old.
- Dinosaurs lived at the same time as man. The Bible clearly shows this, as it mentions creatures such as “behemoth” and “leviathan”. Also, Chinese literature talks about “dragons”, so this proves that mankind observed dinosaurs first hand.
- Originally, all dinosaurs were herbivores. The large curved ripping teeth of dinosaurs like T. Rex were for stripping the bark off of trees. Some dinosaurs only became meat eaters after Adam and Eve sinned.
- Noah carried two of each land-based dinosaurs on the ark, and therefore survived the Great Flood. Some dinosaurs that flew or swam also survived.
- Scientists and paleontologists that have concluded that modern day birds are either descended from dinosaurs or are somehow related to dinosaurs are mistaken. The resemblance just means that God “reuses” the same design for all living creatures. Fossils showing feathers really aren’t feathers at all, and there is no connection with birds at all.
- Scientists cannot prove any theory about why dinosaurs became extinct. Therefore, they became extinct because of the Great Flood, because that is what the Bible says about all creatures that didn’t get taken on the Ark. (How this exactly ties in with the earlier statement about the dinosaurs aboard the Ark is not explained.)
- Some dinosaurs are probably alive today. We just don't know where to look for them.

I am just so upset with this at so many levels. I could spend many pages discussing the logical holes in these arguments. Exactly how was it that Noah managed to coax the largest animals that have ever lived onto a boat? What did they eat for those 40 days and 40 nights? They must have needed to eat several tons of plant matter every day to keep alive. And since the story of Noah came after the Original Sin, how did Noah keep T. Rex, the allosaurs, and the velociraptors from eating everyone else on board? Why did dinosaurs go extinct after they were saved from the flood? What about all the geologic evidence they are ignoring in this fabricated fairy tale? And I had another, more interesting question. If all dinosaurs were originally plant eaters but somehow “changed” after Adam and Eve were kicked out of Eden, doesn’t that mean that they somehow “evolved”? They did not remain constant; they changed their functionality. That is the definition of evolution, which fundamentalists assure us is not true.

But I am much more distressed about how this could all be taught under the guise of “science”. The fundamentalists have decided to totally change the true meaning of the word science and entirely dispense with the scientific principle of formulating hypotheses based on observable evidence, having your theories peer reviewed, and altering your original theories based on new evidence. Their brand of “science” calls for twisting facts and convoluting logic just to make them fit in with their beliefs. That is a travesty. I don’t understand why they don’t just go all the way and declare the Sun revolves around the Earth. That is essentially what they are doing.

As I have stated before, you can get people to believe anything if you start early enough on them and repeat it every single minute of every single day. What they don’t seem to understand is that they are undermining the scientific integrity and knowledge base of the entire country. If everyone looked upon science as something that can be manipulated to support their religious (and political) beliefs, how long is this country going to remain a leader in technology and knowledge? Already, a very large percentage of the doctoral students in this country are not U.S. citizens. In fact, in some schools, foreign students are the majority of postgraduate studies.

My niece is going to the public school system next year.

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