Q: Why does an article on U. S. creationism appear in The Scotsman? A: Because some creationists accept the Loch Ness monster, and are using it to discredit evolution. The piece in today’s Scotsman reports:
THOUSANDS of American school pupils are to be taught that the Loch Ness monster is real – in an attempt by religious teachers to disprove Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.
Pupils attending privately-run Christian schools in the southern state of Louisiana will learn from textbooks next year, which claim Scotland’s most famous mythological beast is a living creature.
Thousands of children are to receive publicly-funded vouchers enabling them to attend the schools – which follow a strict fundamentalist curriculum.
The Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) programme teaches controversial religious beliefs, aimed at disproving evolution and proving creationism.
Youngsters will be told that if it can be proved that dinosaurs walked the earth at the same time as man, then Darwinism is fatally flawed.
And of course there are still dinosaurs: Nessie!
One ACE textbook called Biology 1099, Accelerated Christian Education Inc reads: “Are dinosaurs alive today? Scientists are becoming more convinced of their existence. [JAC: I'm a scientist, and wasn't aware of this trend. . .]
“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.”
Here’s more from that part of the textbook, as reported by Salon:
Could a fish have developed into a dinosaur? As astonishing as it may seem, many evolutionists theorize that fish evolved into amphibians and amphibians into reptiles. This gradual change from fish to reptiles has no scientific basis. No transitional fossils have been or ever will be discovered because God created each type of fish, amphibian, and reptile as separate, unique animals. Any similarities that exist among them are due to the fact that one Master Craftsmen fashioned them all.”
Back to the Scotsman story:
Another claim taught is that a Japanese whaling boat once caught a dinosaur.
One former pupil, Jonny Scaramanga, 27, who went through the ACE programme as a child, but now campaigns against Christian fundamentalism, said the Nessie claim was presented as “evidence” that evolution could not have happened.
He added: “The reason for that is they’re saying if Noah’s flood only happened 4,000 years ago, which they believe literally happened, then possibly a sea monster survived.
Isn’t it sad that teachers lie about Nessie (see the tortuous story of its nonexistence here) to get people to deny evolution? What’s worse is that the citizens of Louisiana are paying for kids to learn this stuff: that’s what vouchers are all about: a public license to learn lies. Others agree:
Boston-based researcher and writer Bruce Wilson, who specialises in the American political religious right, said: “One of these texts from Bob Jones University Press claims that dinosaurs were fire-breathing dragons. It has little to do with science as we currently understand. It’s more like medieval scholasticism.”
Mr Wilson believes that such fundamentalist Christian teaching is going on in at least 13 American states.
He added: “There’s a lot of public funding going to private schools, probably around 200,000 pupils are receiving this education.
“The majority of parents now home schooling their kids are Christian fundamentalists too. I don’t believe they should be publicly funded, I don’t believe the schools who use these texts should be publicly funded.”
The Salon link above gives more details about ACE, including this stuff, and it also has a link to Scaramanga’s website and some of his articles:
Among the other claims taught in ACE science curriculum, according to Scaramanga, are the following (the last three ACE curriculum claims are detailed in a subsequent post by Scaramanga titled, 5 Even Worse Lies from Accelerated Christian Education),
- Science Proves Homosexuality is a Learned Behavior
- The Second Law of Thermodynamics Disproves Evolution
- No Transitional Fossils Exist
- Humans and Dinosaurs Co-Existed
- Evolution Has Been Disproved
- A Japanese Whaling Boat Found a Dinosaur
- Solar Fusion is a Myth