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6 Ways a Creationist Textbook Sabotaged Science

Not believing in science is like not being sexually attracted to the sun: It's not applicable, it doesn't care, and it still works to make your modern life possible, whether you like it or not.

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No matter how romantic sunsets are. Or how euphemistically you say "fusion."

Unfortunately, some people think there's a war between scientific equipment and invisible spirits, and instead of inventing the Ghostbusters, they declared war on understanding itself. The Internet recently shared this page from a science textbook:

BJU Press
Making the Insane Clown Posse look like electromagnetic masterminds.

Obviously that's too stupid to be real, but publishing such things anyway is Bob Jones University's entire deal. They're a private Christian university and press, and that page is from their Christian home schooling book Science 4. It's a stupider attack on the future than How to Hide Land Mines in Time Capsules for Dummies, and even more damaging for the target market. Gary Busey's science textbook was better. I found a copy of Science 4 with the teacher's study guide, and America, when you notice your students starting to misspell IQ tests, now you'll know who to blame.

#6. In the Beginning, There Was the Wrong

The first three paragraphs are a passage from Genesis, a misrepresentation of science, and "If nobody was around to see the moon made, how can they know?" It's a worse scientific introduction than throwing a lab rat skull at someone and chanting. Their entire definition of science is "information gained by using our senses," so if you've ever smelled a fart, well done on being a Bob Jones Certified Science-Doer.

George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images
"If we both noticed it, then by the smelt/dealt conjecture, we must have quantum entangled colons!"

Science is the systematic study of the world through observation and experiment. It's not "looking at things that aren't invisible and deciding they're less important than things that are." Unlike this book. The first chapter's core lesson is how lucky students are to be able to read the Bible for answers instead of trying to think and figure things out. I honestly can't mock that sentence any harder than it does itself. You couldn't damage their education harder without starting a Skull-Conkers league, though I'd suggest that teaching 8-year-olds "A big boy did it and disappeared" as a universal answer may cause future parenting problems.

#5. Total Lunacy

This first chapter describes how three theories of the moon's formation are wrong, which is pretty easy when you don't include the fourth one that's probably right. They instruct parents to mock the theory of it condensing from dust by throwing baby powder in the air and asking the kid to notice how it doesn't condense into tiny planets. Note: Someone home schooling with this book definitely has baby powder around despite their child being 8. They're either pumping out religious reinforcements to help win the world's highest-stakes fan-fiction competition or keeping their precious angel safe and protected forever. That poor kid won't ever know there's such a thing as non-immaculate conception.

Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images
"Mom, I know you said not to talk to strangers, but there's a guy with a cool scythe here
who says I'm sleeping over at his place tonight!"

They mock condensation as utterly impossible, despite that being exactly how the sun, Earth, all the planets, basically everything except the moon actually formed. It takes some balls to look at the sun and say, "Nope," but looking directly at the sun is about this chapter's mental level. Well done on disproving the sky by throwing powder in the air, Christian wizards!

Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images
"They're just jealous. They know I'm a better god in like a thousand other religions."

They rubbish the break-away theory of the moon spinning off the Earth by having the parent feed the kid with bits of bread. Note: Any textbook modeling your child as a duckling is either an incredibly advanced biomorphic text or patronizing garbage. No comment on which is more likely in this context. Zeus turned into birds and things all the time.

Wikimedia Commons
"And I put out, unlike that surprisingly frigid sun."

Then they throw around facts about density and minerals, and if you think they explained what any of those words are first, well done on being much better at science textbooks than Bob Jones University. They think science is just a bunch of complicated words used to confuse people and they're trying to copy the strategy.

They mock the capture theory of a passing planetoid getting caught in Earth's gravitational field, neatly ignoring the impact theory where another planetoid slammed into Earth to create the moon in the most awesome origin story ever. No wonder they didn't want to include that: It kicks the shit out of someone reading from a checklist for six days.

But the most literally lunatic lesson comes at the end of the chapter, where they reveal the moon's true purpose: to warn us when God decides to murder everyone on Earth. "These verses tell us that God will use special signs, such as the darkening of the sun and moon, to signal the end of this age." This is in chapter one! They teach the kid that the moon and night shall go dark before Judgment Day. They do this without teaching the kid about the phases of the moon or eclipses. This book is responsible for more spiritually urinated bed sheets than tantric sex.

Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images
"Damn, I know you just broke up with Sun, but don't bring me into your kinky night fetishes."

On the upside, it's good early training that regular biblical end-of-the-world scares are bullshit.

#4. Electricity

Oh man, we have to show this page again. This page that was used to educate real children for years.

BJU Press
If the image looks blank, it's because your computer's electrons refused to carry it.

"We know it makes light bulbs shine and irons heat up," as if those were all naturally occurring objects and one day somebody just decided to trying sticking them into those weird holes (also the biblical invention of sex). I know they like the idea of a young Earth created with all the incredibly sophisticated systems already set up, but I didn't think that extended to hair dryers.

I love "there are many ways to bring it forth," implying that electrical sockets contain inscriptions and pentagrams designed to invoke mysterious electrical spirits to power our mortal devices. It's a pretty high-stakes gambit to teach students that God doesn't want you to masturbate, but mysterious electro-spirits let you play Nintendo. I'd have been worshiping electricity faster than you can say "embarrassing burns."

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Luke McKinney

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