What do living dinosaurs, the Loch Ness monster and the Ku Klux Klan have in common?

Related to this story we posted about Louisiana’s controversial new school voucher program, here is a peek into what kids might be taught as part of a fundamentalist school “science” program:

How American fundamentalist schools are using Nessie to disprove evolution | Herald Scotland.

Thousands of children in the southern state will receive publicly-funded vouchers for the next school year to attend private schools where Scotland’s most famous mythological beast will be taught as a real living creature.

These private schools follow a fundamentalist curriculum including the Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) programme to teach controversial religious beliefs aimed at disproving evolution and proving creationism.

One tenet has it that if it can be proved that dinosaurs walked the earth at the same time as man then Darwinism is fatally flawed.

One ACE textbook – Biology 1099, Accelerated Christian Education Inc – reads: “Are dinosaurs alive today? Scientists are becoming more convinced of their existence. Have you heard of the ‘Loch Ness Monster’ in Scotland? ‘Nessie’ for short has been recorded on sonar from a small submarine, described by eyewitnesses, and photographed by others. Nessie appears to be a plesiosaur.”

Tip: @TrystanSwale and @CFZJon on Twitter

It’s well known that creationists seem set on this crazy idea that finding a dinosaur alive today would debunk evolution entirely. That just goes to show how pathetic they are in understanding how science works and what evolution actually means. Incidentally, were they actually educated in evolution, they might understand that birds are effectively today’s living dinosaurs. But, accuracy is neither their strongpoint or their goal. Evidence is irrelevant to dogma.

There are several examples where creationists pursue this ludicrous line of reasoning – from the Glen Rose footprints to Mokele-mbembe hunting.

In addition, the article mentions textbooks contain reference to the Ku Klux Klan and homosexuality as a learned behavior. But, it is NOT clear if such books are still used or will be used in charter schools with a Biblical foundation. Also note in our original article, the update that states that this CLEARLY unConstitutional activity is ready to be challenged. Maybe this will end up a lot of hub-bub for naught but I must admit, I enjoy when Louisiana’s medieval policies are ridiculed, as they should be.

MORE:

Here is a piece about the Japanese plesiosaur carcass mentioned in the article. Spoiler: not a plesiosaur.

And here is a mention of the silly idea that dragons are derived from people remembering dinosaurs.

By the way, the TalkOrigins site linked is one of the best sources for learning about evolution and creationists claims. I strongly recommend it. Unbelievably comprehensive.

Finally, plesiosaurs are not dinosaurs. No one seems to ever get that right. Besides, the idea that Nessie can be explained as a living plesiosaur is complete nonsense.

Whew. Teh stoopid. Don’t buy into it.

  11 comments for “What do living dinosaurs, the Loch Ness monster and the Ku Klux Klan have in common?

  1. spookyparadigm
    June 24, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    Americans have been instrumental in pushing this overseas as well, in this case in Britain

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2009/jul/31/creationist-exams-comparable-to-a-levels

    • Bill
      June 26, 2012 at 4:59 PM

      Britain was instrumental in birthing these sects in the first place, but regrettable nonetheless.

  2. June 24, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    Apparently, religious terrorism is making a comeback in its own twisted way.

  3. June 25, 2012 at 1:48 AM

    Hi – yes, this has international implications, including the UK and Australia.

    Jonny Scaramanga has been working on a dedicated blog on the ACE, which includes this post: How the Loch Ness Monster Disproves Evolution (http://leavingfundamentalism.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/how-the-loch-ness-monster-disproves-evolution/):

    “I wrote a very lengthy letter to Naric (which my colleague John Gregson posted in full with an analysis here) detailing why, in my view, any education involving ACE is unacceptable. In my letter, I mentioned that, in one PACE, ACE use the existence of the Loch Ness Monster as evidence against evolution. Without thinking much of it, I emailed a CC to the Times Educational Supplement. It wound up on the cover of the following week’s TES.”

    I think that this is something that could build to an international effort – currently transcribing the interview I did with him for ease of reference.

  4. Massachusetts
    June 25, 2012 at 8:18 AM

    “So here’s why, in the loopy world of ACE, the presence of a sea monster would be taken as proof of God:

    1) ACE insists that dinosaurs died out with Noah’s Flood, 4000 years ago, not 65 million years ago as scientific evidence dictates. Most Creationist evidence consists not of evidence for creation, but of attempts to prove that the Earth is young.

    2) Since 4,000 years ago is relatively recent, might some dinosaurs be alive today? Particularly sea monsters, who could have survived a great flood?

    3) Therefore Nessie (who exists, by the way) is one in the eye for Darwin.”

    I still don’t get it. I just don’t. It’s all based on an guestimate, best prhased with question marks, that a dinosaur has a better chance of surviving 4,000 years rather than 65 million years? That’s it?

  5. spookyparadigm
    June 25, 2012 at 8:38 AM

    That’s part of it, I suspect there are other wrinkles. But really, the biggest aspect is also just trying to show science to be wrong. It isn’t proving a specific idea, it is simply the belief that if you can knock out enough legs supporting science, the whole thing can crumble, and we can turn instead to the Bible as the way to explain the world, as it should be.

    Creationism isn’t people just believing wrong things or not examining evidence carefully. It is one aspect of an aggressive attempt to change the world.

  6. Massachusetts
    June 26, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    I’ve been thinking of this and it’s all so backward. Isn’t it the job of kids to try to convince grownups that monsters are real???????

  7. twh
    June 30, 2012 at 9:29 AM

    So then wouldn’t UFOs be *proof* of evolution, since some people think they are evolved humans from the future who have come back to warn us of our wicked ways? ;-P

  8. Zep
    July 3, 2012 at 10:12 PM

    Look up “hafiz madrasa”…

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