Kansas public school mandates “Creation Truth Foundation” assemblies

by Greg Mayer

According to The Raw Story,

Hugoton [Kansas] Public Schools invited Creation Truth Foundation’s founder Dr. G. Thomas Sharp to teach the “Truth about Dinosaurs” at two assemblies next week. At least one of the assemblies will be mandatory for all students and teachers.

You’ve probably never heard of the Creation Truth Foundation or its founder, but you’ll learn all you need to know about them within the first 30 seconds or so of this video:

The ACLU has rather gently told them to cut it out, pointing out that the courts have repeatedly held that teaching religious beliefs as science, no matter how you try to hide it, is unlawful. The brand of religion trumpeted by Sharp, unlike that promoted by intelligent design creationists, isn’t the least bit hidden; from their website:

Creation Truth Foundation has many programs, presentations, books and videos that can effectively edify the faith of your church family. Our President, Dr. G. Thomas Sharp, has spoken in ten different countries, and all across the United States in revival meetings, church camps, conferences and educational forums.

His expertise in apologetics especially based in Genesis has been used in colleges, universities, television and radio programs as well as preschools and kindergartens. You will be excited to have him come to your church family with either one of his many presentations about Biblical Creation, or the Biblical Family.

CTF also has a remarkably exciting program that has been seen by more than 115,000 since September of 1998. This program called The Truth About Dinosaurs is presented in the company of twenty-eight of the world’s most exciting fossils. This is a must have for churches across the U. S.! …

Creation Truth Foundation has a host of support materials and services to aid your delivery of a sound science curriculum based in Biblical Creation. The Truth About Dinosaurs program is an excitingly spectacular presentation of the Biblical view explaining the origins, extinction and possible existence of dinosaurs.

Incredibly, the school superintendent insists that the program will be, “completely and totally school appropriate.” I’ll keep an eye out for the results of legal action.

(Note for UK readers: “public schools” are state-supported schools, subject to the Constitutional mandate of non-establishment of religion.)

h/t C. Mayer

52 Comments

  1. Diana MacPherson
    Posted April 22, 2013 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Stuff like this makes me sick!

    • SA Gould
      Posted April 22, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      gack!

  2. John
    Posted April 22, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Why should this be surprising? It may be discouraging but it is hardly a shock, especially considering that Sam Brownback is now their governor.

  3. Paul G.
    Posted April 22, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    WTF? As I slowly bang my head against the wall.

  4. Posted April 22, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    “Creation Truth Foundation has a host of support materials and services to aid your delivery of an sound illegal science curriculum based in Biblical Creation.”

    FIFY

    /@

    • Posted April 23, 2013 at 2:26 am | Permalink

      You forgot to strike-out ‘science’ as well!

  5. Posted April 22, 2013 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    I tried to watch this video I really did, but I just couldn’t get through it. I was cusious to hear their arguements – but I have lost that curiosity now. They are just morons. I cannot belive any school authority would take them seriously.

    Even in the UK there are some new Academy schools (you’ll have to google it) are wanting to put “Intelligent design” into the science curiculum. The problem for these people is that the kids are very savvy and know a lot about Universe, thanks to computer games, movies and fantatstic science and nature programmes on the BBC.

    I don’t see the point of what they are trying to do. A majority of all the great scientists have all testified that their belief in God has remained steadfst.

    • Greg Esres
      Posted April 22, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      ” A majority of all the great scientists have all testified that their belief in God has remained steadfst.”

      A majority? That isn’t true in the US, so it’s hard to believe that’s true in the UK.

      • RFW
        Posted April 22, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps what they mean is “if you don’t believe in Dog, you can’t be a great scientist.”

  6. Charlie Morrison
    Posted April 22, 2013 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    What an idiot!

  7. Greg Fitzgerald
    Posted April 22, 2013 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    That guy’s presentation has nothing on this guy’s!

    • Dave
      Posted April 22, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      Yeeee Haaaa!

      • Wojtek Krzyzosiak
        Posted April 22, 2013 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

        Seriously? Who comes up with this stuff?

  8. Posted April 22, 2013 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    I just picked this news tidbit up from Publisher’s Marketplace:

    http://Bill for compulsory science fiction in West Virginia schools | Books | guardian.co.uk. (I don’t know if that’s the complete link; I’m not so good at links.)

    The guy who’s promoting this bill is saying it’s going to encourage students to get interested in science.
    Um.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted April 22, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      You’ve accidentally created a link to the wrong place

      THIS is the correct link

      HEADING: Bill for compulsory science fiction in West Virginia schools. Republican state delegate Ray Canterbury says move would inspire pupils to use practical knowledge and imagination in the real world

      “To stimulate interest in math and science among students in the public schools of this state, the State Board of Education shall prescribe minimum standards by which samples of grade-appropriate science fiction literature are integrated into the curriculum of existing reading, literature or other required courses for middle school and high school students.”

      “I’m not interested in fantasy novels about dragons,” Canterbury told Blastr in a recent interview. “I’m primarily interested in things where advanced technology is a key component of the storyline, both in terms of the problems that it presents and the solutions that it offers.”

      To be honest I would have preferred this to the D.H. Lawrence *literature* that the UK curriculum foisted on me back in the 60/70s. But, I don’t agree with Canterbury’s line on advanced technology. The best SF novels [IMO] are driven by ideas & new social constructions with the *widgets* in the background or not present at all.
      e.g. Iain M. Banks has plenty of magical tech, but it’s not explained ~ it’s just there

      • drew
        Posted April 23, 2013 at 6:50 am | Permalink

        I’d like to see Ender’s Game as a reading assignment.

        • microraptor
          Posted April 23, 2013 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

          Maybe if it didn’t come saddled with the baggage of being written by Orson Scott Card…

  9. JBlilie
    Posted April 22, 2013 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    “an excitingly spectacular presentation of the Biblical view”

    Are they really that dumb? Yep, they’re that dumb!

  10. Posted April 22, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t figured out how to listen to these people without developing a monumental headache. I’ll be back as soon as I find my Advil…

  11. akkamaan
    Posted April 22, 2013 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Reminds me about the government/regim “propaganda” in North Korea…

  12. abandonwoo
    Posted April 22, 2013 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    I have fundie family members living in this state who eagerly anticipate the demise of the US Dept of Ed, the dissolution of socialist teacher’s unions, and curriculum (at whatever survives of a school system), selected by some half-assed fantasized theocratic/libertarian-utopian, direct democracy-style public vote at the local school district level.

    These people are confident that social conservative voters well outnumber secularists (i.e. satan’s minions) and will at long last get taught in schools what is present fundie church Dominionist doctrine, and in all too many of this red state’s communities fundie confidence is well placed.

    See today’s Religious Dispatches for reports on recently retired Ron Paul’s current efforts toward this and. He’s been a Rushdooney man all along, it turns out.

  13. Alektorophile
    Posted April 22, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    I tried to watch it. I really tried. I thought that feeling slightly tipsy after those two glasses of wine I had with dinner would help. I was wrong. I made it to less than three minutes. “There is no scientific explanation for dinosaurs”. It hurts.

    Quick, back to the vampire bat video, otherwise I’ll have nightmares tonight.

  14. Dave
    Posted April 22, 2013 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    One word for Hugoton Public Schools: Dover.

  15. truthspeaker
    Posted April 22, 2013 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Subscribing.

  16. Posted April 22, 2013 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    I hear they have a fossil of a dinosaur jaw with Adam & Eve’s skeleton trapped between the teeth :D

    • coyotenose
      Posted April 22, 2013 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      My initial thought was “‘Skeleton’ singular?” But if she was made from his rib, that works.

  17. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    Posted April 22, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Kansas, it is time to face your Dover.

    But lol:

    and possible existence of dinosaurs.

    I tawt I taw a teiling tat.

    I did! I did taw a teiling tat! [/chirps like an avian dinosaur]

  18. Paul S
    Posted April 22, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Although my hands were shaking after attempting to watch the video, I posted the following comment on their web site.
    “Concerning your “Creation Truth Foundation” assemblies, this is to be blunt, an illegal activity. You cannot promote any religious view in a public school. This is a basic first amendment issue and as an educational institution you should know and understand the constitution and it’s amendments.”

  19. marcusa1971
    Posted April 22, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    I managed to finish the intro (the first minute of the vid) without actually gouging my eyes out and filling my ears with molten lead. I think I deserve a medal or something for that….
    I found his claim that secular science education was making children stupid particularly ironic.

  20. JimmyJames
    Posted April 22, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Kansas drops the ball again. I’m a graduate student at Wichita State and our lab has a few high school teachers come in during the summer to brush up on a few molec techniques (PCR and DGGE for the most part), and they never mentioned that the state tried to force creationism down their throats. I hope this doesn’t change things for the worse. I personally think the majority of science teachers will take a stand against this intrusion.

    • Brian Axsmith
      Posted April 23, 2013 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      I was also a graduate student in Kansas (KU). We had (still have) one of the best programs in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in the world. It is, therefore, infuriating to to have this association with creationism sullying the name.

    • microraptor
      Posted April 23, 2013 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

      Doesn’t Kansas have a history of this? I’m pretty sure I recall repeated boneheaded attempts to stick Creationism into the science curriculum back in the 90s.

  21. Posted April 22, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Well, I’ve watch more than twenty minutes and I’m still calm and sane. (The rest of you? Wimps!)

    It’s interesting the way he discusses science.

    Firstly, he actually takes some scientific work (e.g., genetics) as if it’s wholly uncontroversial. (Despite the fact – is he aware of it? – that genetics provides some of the best evidence for common ancestry and against animals being created in their present forms.)

    Second, he doesn’t actually claim that secular science is wrong*, just that a believer in the Bible – and in the Flood, in particular – must interpret things in a different way. A chart he shows early on has “bias” on both the “science” leg and the “believer’s” leg.

    * Although he does make hay with the differences of opinion between scientists; e.g., was T. rex a hunter or a scavenger?

    /@

    • Posted April 22, 2013 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      * watched

      Watching the video hasn’t improved my ytping skills…

  22. Cliff Melick
    Posted April 22, 2013 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    Greg, what are you trying to do, give me a brain bleed with stuff like this?

  23. Filippo
    Posted April 22, 2013 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    ” . . . has spoken in ten different countries . . . .”

    Is that somehow different from “spoken in ten countries”?

    • Diane G.
      Posted April 23, 2013 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

      Yes, it has the word “different” in it.

  24. Kris Larner
    Posted April 22, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    I managed about 5 minutes, up to the point where he mentioned the scientific proof of the biblical flood, at which point the wife had to come and rescue me as apparently I was howling manically and disturbing the cats

  25. Posted April 22, 2013 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    What exactly do they mean by “mandatory”?

    When I was a student, the only way they’d have gotten me into one of their brainwashing sessions would have been to drag me there in chains.

    • RedSonja
      Posted April 23, 2013 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      I would imagine it means that students and faculty who don’t attend will be punished/reprimanded. I also suspect parents won’t be able to “opt out” of it on behalf of their children, and if that’s the case, the ACLU will have a field day with them, and the district will waste millions of dollars defending the indefensible.

  26. Barry
    Posted April 22, 2013 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    What? It’s now dinosaurs that are the weapon of liberals against children? I thought it was Teletubbies. Especially the purple one with an antenna shaped like a triangle. When did dinosaurs replace Teletubbies?

    • Posted April 22, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      Barney staged a coup d’état!

    • Cremnomaniac
      Posted April 22, 2013 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

      Oh noooo… teletubbies must have been invented by somebody on a really bad acid trip. They are vile creatures.

  27. Cremnomaniac
    Posted April 22, 2013 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    30 seconds that’s all it took to evoke an
    “oh fuck” *facepalm*

    Although that opening bit about “liberal social engineers” using dinosaurs to dumb down brothers and sisters is a riot.
    How ironic that the dumbing down is actually the product of the faith garbage they promote. I suspect T. Rex had a higher I.Q.

    Anybody who watched more than 30 seconds of this is …. tough as nails.

  28. Cremnomaniac
    Posted April 22, 2013 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    The truth about dinosaurs the Bible doesn’t mention.

    • Cremnomaniac
      Posted April 22, 2013 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      Truth down here

  29. John Mahoney
    Posted April 22, 2013 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    The science teachers at Hugoton Public Schools should refuse to attend with their classes. We need to offer them encouragement, support, and new jobs if they need them.

  30. Posted April 22, 2013 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    Thomas Sharp, operator of the Museum of Earth History in Dallas, lives in Noble, Oklahoma, and has a small office ‘museum’ on the main drag in town, only a few miles from Norman, where I live. At one time he operated a similar museum at the base of the giant Jesus statue on the top of a mountain near Eureka Springs, Arkansas (I do not know if it is still there).He takes groups to the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History at the University of Oklahoma, where he tells his groups not to pay attention to the signs and labels and that he will tell them the real truth, etc.

    A few years ago I was invited by the Oklahoma City PBS station to appear on a program on the evolution/creation debate. I agreed only that I would not debate a creationist. However, Sharp appeared, along with a very liberal and pro-evolution religion faculty member from Oklahoma City University and the very pro-evolution chair of the philosophy department at Oklahoma State University. Sharp showed his real ignorance of evolution during the discussion and was totally overwhelmed by the three of us pro-evolution participants. He could not respond with much clarity to any of the questions, resorting to Biblical quotes and the usual YEC responses we have become accustomed to for many years.

    He was very nervous throughout and was nothing like his presentations, such as that shown in the awful video. He continues to present his crap to church and religious private schools in the region. This is just part of the milieu we endure in this area.

  31. Posted April 23, 2013 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Is G.Thomas Sharp’s PhD legitimate? South Florida Bible College, where Sharp “earned” his PhD is not regionally accredited. From SFBC web-site “South Florida Bible College & Theological Seminary is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE).”

    I was raised in the righteous right. Almost every Christian fundamentalist “doctor” I have ever met or whose background I have researched either received his “PhD” from an unaccredited college or received an honorary doctorate from speaking at the commencement at some unaccredited college. My niece is currently at the unaccredited Pensacola Christian College, where faux historian David Barton received an honorary doctorate.

    When dealing with any “doctor” or “PhD” from the American Religious right, most likely their credentials are questionable or downright bogus.

    • Newish Gnu
      Posted April 23, 2013 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      One might wonder if he has a PhD from the SFBC&TS at all. Or any kind of doctorate. According to their website the SFTS (the part that offers graduate degrees) offers masters. From their website, this is the only mention I could find of doctorates:

      “Graduate Degrees …
      “The masters programs at South Florida Theological Seminary are designed as professional degrees requiring extensive study and proficiency. Seminary master degrees are not terminal degrees, but are preparation for doctoral study. For more information on the masters program and its curricula, click on the M.A. Degree link.”

      Their MAs consist of:

      ◦Master of Arts in Biblical Studies

      ◦Master of Divinity
      ◦Master of Arts in Christian Counseling (Not accepting New Students)
      ◦Master of Science in Christian Clinical Counseling (Not accepting New Students)

      ◦Master of Divinity (M.Div.) – Non-biblical languages (Not accepting New Students)
      ◦Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry and Counseling (Not accepting New Students)
      ◦Master of Arts in Religious Education (Not accepting New Students)

      In my observation, bible schools rarely offer a PhD but instead have these bizarre degrees like “Biblical Studies”.

  32. Siggy
    Posted April 23, 2013 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    It’s sad that the majority of his audience will probably leave thinking he had made some solid arguments. Confirmation bias is a powerful thing, and I am continually amazed at how otherwise intelligent people will turn a blind eye to the obvious flaws in young earth theories just to avoid having to come to terms with the possibility that the myths they were raised to believe might be fictional.

  33. kansaskid
    Posted September 8, 2013 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    Weird I grew up in church and I was taught in school that dinosaurs lived millions of years ago and it didn’t destroy my faith at all. I grew up in a house surrounded by national geographic and discovery channel and I turned out fine. Heck I never even heard the young earth idea until my 20s (I admit I went through a phase) my faith was never compromised or under attack because of real science and certainly not because of dinosaurs…silly goobers.


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