Saturday, January 19, 2013

Meanwhile, Back in Texas...

A report has just come out that indicates numerous failures to properly implement the state guidelines for the study of the Holy Bible in public school classrooms. The report generally focuses on the lack of biblical knowledge of teachers who are tasked with these classes. In the middle of the list of deficiencies, however, is this little nugget:
- A number of courses and their instructional materials incorporate pseudo-scholarship, including claims that the Bible provides scientific proof of a 6,000-year-old Earth (young Earth creationism) and that the United States was founded as a Christian nation based on biblical Christian principles. At least two districts' Bible courses include materials suggesting that the origins of racial diversity among humans today can be traced back to Noah's sons -- a claim that has long been an important element of some forms of racism.
Detailed in the actual report are these observations:
Dalhart ISD [Independent School District] features a slide show arguing for a 6,000-year-old earth, and Eastland ISD shows videos produced by the Creation Evidence Museum, a Glen Rose-based organization famous for its defense of a 6,000-yearold earth and claim to possess a fossil of “a pristine human footprint intruded by a dinosaur footprint” from the Paluxy River bed
Never mind that the Paluxy River tracks have been so thoroughly debunked that even the mainstream creationists don't advise using them. Another:
The Noah story also prompts appeals to pseudoscience. In the Boys Ranch ISD, students watch “various videos from You Tube that present different views of the flood in coordination with account from Genesis.” A workbook used in Dayton ISD suggests that biblical characters’ life spans declined “due to major environmental changes brought about by the flood.”
The major environmental changes were, apparently, so widespread that there exists no evidence for them whatsoever. Not to mention that traditional understanding of those lifespans was that they encompassed entire family generations, not individual people.

The findings in this report are probably not unique and, I daresay, could be found in many other states.  How many creationist-oriented courses that fly under the radar is not known but it is probably pretty high in some areas of the country. 

1 comment:

  1. Lately ads for the following web page/Facebook page have been appearing on my Facebook page:

    It appears we are supposed to take ancient genealogies more seriously than Y-chromosome DNA. The internet is ideal for folk science/history. I couldn't resist posting a link to an article I happened on:

    The genetic or mythical ancestry of descent groups: lessons from the Y-chromosome

    I would guess not a few YECs are into family genealogy. I wonder what will happen when they run into genetic genealogy and the fact that the science used there doesn't support their folk science.