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6 Ways a Creationist Textbook Sabotaged Science

#3. Revenge of the Moon

Several chapters later, we get a second chapter on the moon with a completely different tone. Why, if I didn't know better, I'd say someone had found a book that already existed and then added bits to support their own beliefs. But suggesting that in a religious context would be insane.

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"Exodus 21:7 tells us that buying someone's daughter as a slave is a much better investment."

This chapter doesn't present the moon as God's "CHECK ENGINE OF APOCALYPSE" light. Instead it's his nightlight to give nocturnal creatures the ability to see, otherwise they'd die. It's good to know that the divine plan extends to celestial mechanics but doesn't account for clouds. Bonus: Just after explaining the phases of the moon (only a hundred pages too late to prevent Judgment Day terror laundry), they remind kids that God will stop the moon in its tracks just to act as a genocidal spotlight.

BJU Press
"And the Lord did spake, 'Stop! Murdertime.'"

#2. Structural Attack

You might have noticed there were two separate chapters on the moon. The history of the moon is separated from its current structure by insects, electricity, plants, length, and digestion. If the moon hasn't recently been converted to eating insects and generating electricity, that's insane. You get the feeling that digestion turned up when it did because it was now lunchtime in the single day the author farted this out -- science! -- and they were hungry.

It looks like simple stupidity on the part of the author, but it's highly advanced stupidity designed to become part of the reader. It's genius(-preventing) brainwashing. They hammer the kids with random sets of terms to memorize, alternating any chapter that might suggest laws or a process with one that's just a list of long words. They don't even mention measurable quantities until the fifth chapter, and then they introduce it with a lumberjack apologizing to his bestial lover for a poor performance.

BJU Press
If you think they look worried now, wait till they read Exodus 22:19.

It's worth nothing that even a book based on magic spells violating the laws of thermodynamics admits that the imperial system is stupid and everyone should be using metric.

They only mention three equations in the entire book, but 32 Bible verses. Some pages are nothing but Bible verses. And two of those equations are for calculating area and volume. The third calculates the distance traveled by light in a minute, and therefore involves numbers so meaningless to fourth graders, they might as well have been mystic runes. The effect is to present equations as optional clusters of calculator fodder, as opposed to our most powerful tool for modeling reality. The only other person to use light speed calculations to screw so many people was Captain Kirk. A student given this book would think numbers were an advanced Bible indexing system with a few optional side effects.

#1. Intellectual Sabotage

Most religious folk are sensible: They use electricity, enjoy not dying of the plague, and are generally grateful to the modern world for giving them more time to pray in thanks instead of praying that the packs of howling wolves have lost the scent. But this book thinks there's a war between science and religion and is trying to sabotage science's supply lines. It isn't education, it's adware installed into a growing brain. Dropping this book on the child's head would involve just as many scientific concepts without nearly as much damage to their ability to understand them.

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"Today he learned about collisions, momentum transfers, and acceleration due to gravity. I think it really made a mark."

Make no mistake: This book was written by people who think it's their sacred duty to trick 9-year-olds. It isn't designed to teach kids science, but to armor them against it. I would say "inoculate," but that's another thing home-schooled kids really aren't famous for getting. "Armored"'s crusading imagery is a much better analogy: clumsy, horrific, and rendered irrelevant by modern technology.

This is home schooling applied as intellectual child abuse: the awful idea that children should only have access to an acceptable subset of the ideas of the parent, a process that mathematically leads to idiocy in a few generations. They describe scientists as "evolutionists" even when they're talking about the moon, because they're more ridiculously obsessed with evolution than the X-Men's Mister Sinister. And their plans have less scientific foundation. This name is to balance them against "creationists," as if they were two gangs facing off like the Sharks and the Jets.

Photodisc/Digital Vision/Getty Images
In that one is the result of millions of years of evolution, but doesn't know that, and the other
allows humanity to move faster than ever before.

Science doesn't give a damn about religions, because "damns" are not measurable units and therefore have no place in research. As soon as it's possible to detect damns, we'll quantize perdition and number all the levels of hell. Until then, science doesn't care. Scientists don't demand to run the Eucharist through a mass-spectrometer.

Recent editions of Science 4 have changed the electricity page, but this version was still being sold in 1995. To understand how quickly Bob Jones University adapts to new information, they were still threatening to expel students for interracial dating until the year 2000. But then, it's not like we could ever expect BJU to suck less.


Luke has a website, tumbles, and responds to every single tweet.

A much crazier book teaches you to Defend Yourself From Female Psychic Attack, while a much better one is The Greatest Self-Help Book Ever Written.

For more divine science combat, check out 7 Ridiculous Things People Believe About the God Particle, or behold more heavenly lights in 5 Awesome Stars You Won't Believe Science Class Left Out.

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