Is There Science Education in Idaho?

We haven’t been paying attention to what’s going on in Idaho lately, but the crazies seem to be running amok. That state is in the process of trying to upgrade the science standards for their schools, and it’s not going very well.

In the Idaho State Journal of Pocatello, Idaho we read Legislators complain state science standards contain too much science. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Whew! Idaho students can breathe a huge sigh of relief as the state science standards revision, which was rejected by Idaho lawmakers back in February, will continue to be mulled over for at least another year. The K-12 state science standards upgrade was intended to replace the current standards that are so old they define fire as “a gift from Prometheus.”

We assume that’s a journalistic exaggeration, but we’re not sure. After some discussion of how bad the current science standards are, we’re told:

This is how the revision process has gone so far: Fifteen Idaho science teachers met in March and May 2015 to review and revise the science standards. Written comments on the standards were accepted through Oct. 28. Next, the State Board of Education approved the revised standards. After all this, the state legislature rejected the updated standards. Why?

They must have had good reasons. Let’s read on:

At neither the senate nor the house education committee meetings was the actual content of the standards addressed in detail. However, prior to the meeting there was a draft motion describing such topics in the standards as global warming, the age of the earth, the origin of the solar system, the Big Bang and evolution as “questionable science.”

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! We continue:

In addition, a number of previous public comments received by the legislators have focused on the revised standards’ omission of creationism, which a lot of folks apparently do not regard as “questionable science.”

[*Curmudgeon’s eyes roll*] Here’s more:

Then there was Rep. Lance Clow, R-Twin Falls. According to Idaho Education News, Clow, following the vote rejecting the standards, said he was disturbed by the language, such as the revised standard that states that human activities have “significantly” altered the biosphere. He said that word was “troublesome to some people,” Idaho Education News reported.

The legislature’s website shows that he’s on the Education committee. Wikipedia has a write-up on Lance Clow. It’s very brief, but they say that he “earned his BA in economics from California Lutheran University, Graduate Work in accounting and finance from California State University, Northridge, and in business administration from Idaho State University.” He seems qualified to advise on the education of bookkeepers, but not much else.

The journalist seems rather upset. You can see that in our last excerpt:

Maybe collecting more public input is a good idea. That way we can have less “questionable science” in the science standards. Instead, Idaho students could pursue the study of elves, pixies and gnomes. How about a middle school field trip to track Bigfoot?

Or maybe a visit to Hambo’s ark. Idaho looks like fertile territory for the Discoveroids. It shouldn’t be too difficult to persuade that state’s legislature to pass one of their Academic Freedom bills.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Jason Lisle’s Creationist Wisdom

It’s rare these days that we find something by Jason Lisle we can write about. He’s the creationist astrophysicist who used to be employed by Answers in Genesis (AIG), ol’ Hambo’s online ministry.

We know you remember Jason Lisle’s “Instant Starlight” Paper. That was Jason’s solution to the Distant Starlight problem. The problem — for young-earth creationists — is that the light we see from distant sources required literally billions of years to reach earth, yet the creationist’s universe is only 6,000 years old.

For reasons which have never been explained, Jason left AIG a couple of years ago to become director of whatever it is that they call research at the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom. But ICR recently changed Jason’s title. He’s now described as their “Director of Physical Sciences.” It looks like he’s been down-graded, but it makes no difference. Our guess is that he’s got nowhere else to go.

Anyway, Jason’s latest post at ICR’s website is Creation Apologetics [Podcast]. It’s a description of several podcasts that ICR is making available. Each is given a brief description, and without wasting our time and listening to them, that’s all we have to work with. Here are some excerpt from each podcast’s description:

1) Your Origins Matter: Is Genesis just a myth made up by primitive people? Is it merely an allegory containing spiritual truths? Or does this book reveal a historical record of how God literally created the universe? Every Christian should believe in a literal Genesis and stand ready to defend biblical creation.

This is the next:

2) The Timescale of Creation: Many claim that science proves the Earth is billions of years old. But Genesis chapter one teaches that God created the universe and everything in it in only six days. How long ago did God create the universe and how long did He take to do it? Does this issue really matter?

Thrilling, huh? Let’s read on:

3) Astronomy: The Bible Got It Right! Does astronomy disprove the Bible like many scoffers claim? Actually, history confirms that the Bible is always right when it touches on any subject — including astronomy. Learn how the Bible got astronomy right when it addresses the roundness of Earth, its suspension in space, the expansion of the heavens, and more!

That one ought to be pure creationist gold — especially since we previously described what scripture clearly tells us. See The Earth Is Flat! and also The Earth Does Not Move! Jason’s post continues:

4) The Age of the Universe: Most students are taught that the universe is 13.8 billion years old. But the Bible teaches a much younger age. In this episode, we’ll discuss the many lines of evidence confirming that the universe is, in fact, only thousands of years old.

You don’t want to miss that! And finally:

5) Logical Fallacies: Logic is the study of the principles of correct reasoning. It can teach us to think properly and construct rational arguments — valuable skills for defending the Christian faith. Christians should learn how to spot logical fallacies when conversing with people who challenge their beliefs.

We’ve already seen some examples of Jason’s logic, for example: Jason Lisle: The Logic of Faith, and also Creationism and Logic.

That’s all there is to Jason’s post. If you care to click on his podcasts and hear what he has to say, go right ahead. Then tell us what you’ve learned.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Creationist Wisdom #710: All Questions Answered

Today’s letter-to-the-editor is actually a column, but we’ll treat it like one of our letters. It appears at the website of Christian Today Australia of Sydney, Australia. The site describes itself a “the leading non-denominational Christian news website in the country,” and they don’t seem to have a comments section. The column is titled It was the chicken!

Unless the letter-writer is a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name — but today we have an exception. The author is John Lemmon, who is said to be a Press Service International columnist who “spends his time teaching, preaching and writing about the word of God.” We’ll give you a few excerpts from his column, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, and some bold font for emphasis. Okay, here we go:

I am retired from paid work, which does not mean I sit around all day doing nothing. Some days I wish I could! But one of the things retirement has allowed me to do is to ponder the great questions of this life. Questions like: Why am I here? What is the meaning of life? How come we only live for seventy or so years and no more? Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

It’s good to see that John has found something useful to do. Skipping a few paragraphs in which he muses about growing old, he says:

It occurred to me that the purpose of life and the reason God gave us these seventy or so years boils down to answering one simple question. We must make a decision as we answer the question that is the meaning of life in this world, for the answer to this question determines our future. The one question all mankind must answer in this lifetime is this. Are you with God or against Him?

Yup — that’s the big question! Let’s read on:

When it comes to this question you cannot be like Switzerland in the war. There is no neutral territory. There is no sitting on the fence. To do nothing and ignore the question is a decision in its own right. Neutrality is rejection. Neutrality says, “No. I am not with God.”

There’s no wiggle room, dear reader. John continues:

Now the value of answering this question makes many of the other great philosophical questions and debates simple to answer. Provided of course that your answer is that you are on the side of God and not standing against Him. When we stand with God, all the great philosophical questions disappear because we understand that things are the way they are because that is how God made them.

Yes — yes — that explains everything! Here’s more:

What happens to people happens because that is the will of God. Whether I live or die, am employed or unemployed, have anything or nothing comes down to what God’s will is for me. And so too that other great philosophical question, debated for many decades is easily answered and understood, including the one alluded to by the title of this article. Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Egad — John has the answer to that age-old question! Well, what is it? Patience, dear reader. He’ll get to it. Moving along:

If you choose to reject God the answer is complex and confusing. It cannot be understood because in the absence of a divine Creator, there is no explanation for why things are the way they are.

So true! Another excerpt:

The theory of evolution, which by the way we must remember is still a “theory” because it has never been proven [Hee hee!], is plagued with contradictions in the natural world. Science has not been able to explain the simple facts of existence because they choose to ignore the one who brought all things into existence.

Scientists are fools! On with the John’s enlightening column:

Under it there is the constant seeking for the “missing link.” But they fail to understand that if life evolved as they claim, then there must be an infinite number of “missing links” as all life evolved from one form to another.

Gasp! All our lives we’ve been searching for the missing link, and it never occurred to any of us that there must be numerous transitional creatures. Then John hammers away at the point he just made:

Where is the reptile that is half bird? Where is the cow that is half rabbit? Where is the marsupial that is half frog? And of course the big one, where is the man that is half ape?

Wow — this is powerful stuff! And it’s not over yet:

However, when you choose to be on the side of God, the answer is plain and simple. All that exists was made by the will of God according to His definite and very, very detailed plan so that there would be perfect balance in the universe. Everything exists exactly as He planned it and there is nothing out of balance.

In our last excerpt, John answers the biggest question of all:

Indeed, the entire universe only makes sense when there is a Creator who made the things we see and feel around us. Without a Creator there is only chaos. And thus I can confidently say, with no doubt whatsoever in my mind, the answer to that great philosophical question as to which came first … it was the chicken!

So there you are, dear reader. John has the answers to everything. And now you do too.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Monday Free Fire Zone

This is very unusual. Our kind of news is often slow on weekends, but things always get busy again on Monday. Not this Monday. Our exhaustive news sweeps haven’t found anything.

Actually, that’s good news. The less noise made by creationists, the better. If we never heard from them again, we’d be delighted. But then, what would become of our humble blog? We would retire it, with a final post titled Mission Accomplished! But we don’t think that will be happening any time soon.

So until we find something worthy of our time, we hereby declare another Intellectual Free-Fire Zone. We’re open for the discussion of pretty much anything, science, politics, economics — even astrology, theology, mythology, and sociology — as long as it’s tasteful and interesting. Banter, babble, bicker, bluster, blubber, blather, blab, blurt, burble, boast — say what you will. But avoid flame-wars and beware of the profanity filters.

We now throw open the comments to you, dear reader. Have at it.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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