In Scotland They’re Laughing at Louisiana

The news of Louisiana’s obsession with creationism is making that stupid state globally famous. It’s now a hot topic in Scotland. In the Sunday Herald of Glasgow we read How American fundamentalist schools are using Nessie to disprove evolution. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

It sounds like a plot dreamed up by the creators of Southpark, but it’s all true: schoolchildren in Louisiana are to be taught that the Loch Ness monster is real in a bid by religious educators to disprove Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Seriously, dear reader, is that not the ultimate in creationist idiocy? It’s true that we’re talking about Louisiana, a state where virtually the entire legislature is retarded — but even so, how did something that stupid slip into the public schools? Let’s read on:

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.

Okay, it’s not literally in the public schools — at least not yet. But it’s quasi-public, because it’s supported by taxpayer-financed vouchers for private schools. Something similar is in the works in Florida (see Florida Theocracy Amendment Gets Support).

This scheme amounts to the government handing out food stamps for the brain — but the stamps are only good for buying garbage. We continue:

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.

Here’s some information about Accelerated Christian Education. Back to the newspaper:

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.”

Great textbook, huh? That’s what your tax dollars are paying for in Louisiana. Moving along:

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 couldn’t have happened. The reason for that is they’re saying if Noah’s flood only happened 4000 years ago, which they believe literally happened, then possibly a sea monster survived. “If it was millions of years ago then that would be ridiculous. That’s their logic. It’s a common thing among creationists to believe in sea monsters.”

Are you wondering what maniacal politician is responsible for this? Here you go:

Private religious schools, including the Eternity Christian Academy in Westlake, Louisiana, which follows the ACE curriculum, have already been cleared to receive the state voucher money transferred from public school funding, thanks to a bill pushed through by state Governor Bobby Jindal.

Of course — it’s the state’s ambition-crazed governor, Bobby Jindal, the Exorcist. But Louisiana’s lunacy — although it dooms the students of that state to a life of drooling idiocy — may be good news for Scotland. Here’s another excerpt:

Of course, the Scottish tourist industry might well reap a dividend from the craziness of the American education system. Nessie expert Tony Drummond, who leads tours as part of Cruise Loch Ness, has a few words of advice to the US schools in question: come to the loch and try to find the monster.

It’s a long article, and quite informative. Click over to the Sunday Herald. and read it all. Then get busy digging that bomb shelter and stockpiling dried food and ammo. The end of civilization may be coming sooner than you thought.

Update: See Creationists Abandon Loch Ness Monster?

Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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23 responses to “In Scotland They’re Laughing at Louisiana

  1. christine Janis

    Could someone please tell these clowns that finding a living plesiosaur/dinosaur/pterodactyl/coelacanth* would do absolutely zero to disprove the theory of evolution.

    * Uh-oh, scratch that one

  2. Talk about living dinosaurs, they are all around us. They have wings and are called birds. The birds are the only therapod lineage that survived the Cretaceous extinction 65 million years ago. How come these wingnut/nutjob/creationists haven’t figured that one out yet?

  3. christine Janis

    “How come these wingnut/nutjob/creationists haven’t figured that one out yet?”
    Because they’ve latched on to the couple of surviving evolutionary biologist who deny this (Alan Feduccia and John Ruben) and consistently cite them as evidence that the other several thousand folks must be wrong.

  4. Charles Deetz ;)

    Are these the same guys who pick on Darwinist’s lack of facts? Just supposing that a mythological creature exists alive today as potential proof of a hypothesis is acceptable academic fodder? And they put this in a textbook?

  5. Three thoughts about this article that boggle the mind: a. Bobby Jindal may well be (Great Pumpkin forbid!) the next Vice President of the United States. b. Why not teach children of Louisiana that Beany and Cecil is a viable template for human/sea monster relations on Earth? They already teach The Flintstones as literal history. c. They know South Park in Scotland?

  6. Jonny Scaramanga in his blog http://leavingfundamentalism.wordpress.com/2012/05/07/top-5-lies-told-by-accelerated-christian-education/ talks about ACE as a former student. It is child abuse but not on a US scale.

    Well worth reading – particularly the early ones. The link is to one of the Nessie references.

    Nessie is a bit of a joke here but there is nothing funny about ACE.

  7. I suppose to be Christian education ACE you need to shoot down 5 aspects of rationality: Heliocentrism, Evolution, Ancient Earthism, Spherical Earthism, and Global Flood Denialism.

  8. I had no idea Jonny (whom I’m assuming is the same one who comments on this blog from time to time) was the UK version of SC!

  9. retiredsciguy

    “One ACE textbook – Biology 1099…” Does that refer to the year in which the facts were validated?

  10. @Troy

    I suppose to be Christian education ACE you need to shoot down 5 aspects of rationality: Heliocentrism, Evolution, Ancient Earthism, Spherical Earthism, and Global Flood Denialism.

    I do not think you get it. At an ACE school, there is only one answer: the answer in the book. Thinking is not allowed, you do not need to reason, reasoning is bad, the book is right, bad Troy, bend over.

  11. NeonNoodle

    …Nessie is a bit of a joke here but there is nothing funny about ACE.

    Kind of rounds out P.G. Wodehouse’s theory that mankind is perhaps not Mother Nature’s final word, doesn’t it? At least it’s hard to believe we’re seeing in each creationist board member the same 46 (at minimum) chromosomes, basic chemicals and everyday household ingredients that on a better day comprised, say, George Bernard Shaw. Or even Soupy Sales. So now the Scots are the latest to have the horselaugh at our expense? Who will be next on the world stage to outwit us, thanks to our brethren in the Bible Belch? As William Frawley said, it’s never too late to take up drink in’…

    Yours,
    Fred Mertz’ pants

  12. Jim Thomerson

    Tim Dinsdale was a major figure in the hunt for nessie. I formed an opinion of him based on a story he told in a book of his. He tells of his first trip to photograph nessie, and there she was out in the lake. It took him about 15 fumbling minutes to get his camera out of the car and get it set up. When he looked through the telephoto lens he saw a twig with a leaf sticking up out of a log. I thought a charlatan would not tell such a story on himself. So I took Tim Dinsdale as honest and sincere, although probably wrong.

  13. NeonNoodle: “At least it’s hard to believe we’re seeing in each creationist board member the same 46 (at minimum) chromosomes, basic chemicals and everyday household ingredients that on a better day comprised, say, George Bernard Shaw.”

    I have no problem believing the genetic similarity. It’s like comparing two equivalent computers, but ours has Excel and theirs has PowerPoint. Another analogy is two people who got nearly the same grades in school: One can design and build a better car but can’t sell a life preserver to a drowning man. The other can’t change a tire, but wins sales records selling the year’s worst rated car.

  14. Troy: “I suppose to be Christian education ACE you need to shoot down 5 aspects of rationality: Heliocentrism, Evolution, Ancient Earthism, Spherical Earthism, and Global Flood Denialism.”

    It’s easy to “shoot them all down.” Meaning that it’s easy to convince most nonscientists, whether or not they have a vested interest in any of them being false, that they are indeed false or weak. And it’s easy to convince scientists with a vested interest in any of them being false to spread the misinformation even though they know it ain’t so.

    Think of science as constructing a “best fit line” from accumulating data points, which achieve, as Pope John Paul II described for evolution, “convergence, neither sought nor fabricated.” The goal of pseudoscience is radically different. It is to play favorites with, and/or make up, data to either “support” a desired alternate line, or merely pretend that the supported line is “weak” or false. The latter is especially easy, because the more evidence there is, the easier it is to take some out of context to spin unreasonable doubt. Notehow creationism/ID has been evolving from the former to the latter, as the evidence for evolution increases dramatically over the last few decades.

  15. Messed up formatting again.

    I also need to clarify a point in the last comment that is counterintuitive to most nonscientists. Nearly all scientists do have a vested interest in all current explanations being false, because they have the most to gain by coming up with a new one, or even having the opportunity to contribute to it. In the last comment, by “scientists with a vested interest” I meant that tiny minority (~0.1%) whose radical political agenda overrules their desire to produce independently verifiable results. Those who would rather sign a bogus “dissent” statement, and imply a nonexistent conspiracy, than actually work to develop a new and better theory.

  16. The Scots recognize that Nessie is a good natured hoax. Last summer we trekked the
    Lochs along the great fault from Fort William. to
    Inverness, staying at hotels each night
    Lime Tree in Ft William, Spean Bridge, InverGarry Hotel, Invermoriston Hotel,
    one night in the town where the Nessie museum is, and 2 nights in Inverness at the Lovat.
    Loch Ness is right smack in the middle of
    the extended family (clan) from which my last name derives. It rained alot. The Nessie Museum was and is, a tourist attraction that
    contains zero evidence that could be considered. even remotely science based.
    After checking it out, we walked back down the hillside into town, had a bottle of chardonnay

  17. (continued) at a cafe. The fact that Nessie might
    be contained in a creationist tract er,,, textbook
    might be funny to many Scots alright. They tend to be clever and pragmatic. Calvin and Knox have long since been exported to those parts of the world where ancestral ties may exist,
    and the education is shoddy. Like parts of Louisiana. “Nessie Lives” is an advertising slogan, One would need to consume ALOT
    of the local scotch to believe it was anything else. Or,,,,,,, be a creationism buffoon.
    Ol Hambo needs to lead an expedition to provide more “proof” for his amusement park.

  18. aChristine Janis: “Could someone please tell these clowns that finding a living plesiosaur/dinosaur/pterodactyl/coelacanth* would do absolutely zero to disprove the theory of evolution.”

    By “clowns” do you mean the ones who know that and pretend otherwise, or the ones whose Morton’s Demon won’t allow them to understand it? As you know, the time would be much better spent educating the ~1/2 of the public that is neither “kind” of “clown”, but has nevertheless been fooled to various degrees by misleading sound bites.

  19. The Scots shouldn’t be laughing. A UK Government agency (Naric) has approved the same curriculum. Some of the articles mention this; most didn’t.

    http://leavingfundamentalism.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/accelerated-christian-education-validated-by-uk-government-agency/

  20. Christine Janis,

    @ FrankJ
    “By “clowns” do you mean the ones who know that and pretend otherwise,”

    I mean the YEC people who peddle this as some sort of refutation to evolution. (The same as those who fake the human footprints in the Paluxy river basin)

  21. @Christine Janis

    Direct YEC peddlers such as AiG can be either “kind,” but “big tent” IDers, who indirectly peddle whatever the audience will infer, be it YEC, OEC (with and without common descent), etc., are probably all in the “know that and pretend otherwise” camp. Either way, the only reason to bring anything to their attention is to show 3rd parties how they evade questions, repeat falsehoods, quote mine, define terms to suit the argument, etc.

  22. My “ACE” reference may have been out of context. I was referring to an aviator with five kills.

  23. There are 34 schools in the UK which follow this curriculum. It is not just a Louisiana thing:
    http://www.christian-education.org/directory.html