Friday, May 10, 2013

Creationist Science Quiz

This image has been circulating on the Internet for awhile, but I ignored it because I thought it had to be a hoax. The ease with which pictures can be faked is well known, and it's hard to believe any school would ever administer such a quiz. I've heard of the controversies over school boards packed by conservative Christians who want to give teachers the "freedom" to teach alternatives to evolution, but a quiz like this really takes the cake. So imagine my surprise when it turned out to be real. That's right, there's an actual school that teaches this nonsense in science classes.

To start with, this photo is real, and was part of a quiz given at Blue Ridge Christian Academy, a private religious school. Since the school is private, and not public, this is not a violation of the First Amendment (unlike the flagrant stomping of the Constitution going on in Louisiana). In other words, this school can legally teach this. My complaint, therefore, is not a legal one. My complaint is one of simple reality. Young-Earth creationism is wrong, and it’s certainly not science. For that reason alone, ideally it shouldn't be taught as truth anywhere, let alone a science class.

And it’s not just wrong, it’s spectacularly wrong. It’s the wrongiest wrong that ever wronged. We know the Earth is old, we know the Universe is even older, and we know evolution is true. Any one of these things is enough to show creationism is wrong. In fact, all of science shows creationism is wrong, because creationism goes against pretty much every founding principle of and every basic fact uncovered by science. If creationism were true, then essentially no modern invention would work. Since you’re reading this on a computer, that right there is proof enough.

That this would come from a private religious school makes sense, as I can't imagine even a highly compromised public school being quite this blatant. Still, what's amazing to me is how this particular strand of creationist thought is presented as indisputable, when in fact Christian denominations can't even agree on how it should be interpreted. Mainstream Christian churches disavowed young-Earth creationism long ago. For that matter, even Pat Robertson, one of the most prominent conservative evangelicals, came out against it back in November. So it would seem that the folks running this school are determined to raise the most ignorant children possible when it comes to understanding not only the natural world, but also the theological discourse within their own religious tradition.

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1 comment:

Trevor Noland said...

Yeah I was unfortunate enough to have to attend a private Calvinist school from grades 6-11, and then a private baptist university for my freshmen and sophomore year. In both intuitions though I think they handled the evolution thing pretty well. They just didn't talk about it! Which is genius. You don't need an understanding of evolution to get a firm understanding of any the primary sciences. Even in cellular biology the teacher got away with only bringing it up once.i
The main issue with teaching the whole 7 day story is that it is not a story. The creation tale is a poem in the original hebrew. This was done so to make it easier to memorize. What Christians are suppose to take away from that is God created the world, and that is all. Not how long it took him, nor how he did so.