Creationists Abandon Loch Ness Monster?

A year ago we wrote In Scotland They’re Laughing at Louisiana, in which we learned that the customarily dour Scots were howling over the fact that schoolchildren in Louisiana were being taught: (1) the Loch Ness monster is real; and (2) Nessie’s existence disproves Darwin’s theory of evolution.

The Sunday Herald of Glasgow informed us that besides laughing at Louisiana, the Scots were quick to see the silver lining in the situation. They also reported:

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.

That was last year. Today the same newspaper has this story: Nessie cut from creationism. That is a shocking headline! The story says, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

New editions of Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) biology textbooks do not contain the controversial idea that Scotland’s most famous mythological beast may have been a real living creature. The updated book is only available to creationist-taught pupils in Europe, but campaigners say America is likely to follow suit.

What is motivating the creationist publisher to offer the new edition only in Europe? How can there be two versions of The Truth? Perhaps this will be explained as we continue with the news story:

The previous edition of one ACE textbook said: “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.”

There was also a claim that a Japanese whaling boat once caught a dinosaur. In the new editions, both claims have been removed. However, it still suggests that dinosaurs co-existed with humans.

Aside from the problem of selling two wildly different versions of the book, there’s something else here that we find disturbing. We’ve never seen the facts in a creation science text changed — not ever. New facts may be added, but old ones don’t get dumped. How can they throw away facts that prove scripture? Something is definitely wrong here.

While we’re mulling that over, let’s read on:

Jonny Scaramanga, from Bath, went through the ACE programme as a child but now campaigns against Christian fundamentalism. He said: “In the new editions they’ve replaced Nessie with talk of folk tales from China and Ireland – They still want to prove that dinosaurs and humans existed at the same time.”

Jonny sometimes visits our humble blog. Perhaps he’ll enlighten us about the new data. We’re especially interested in that Irish dinosaur.

But we’re more interested in the fact that a creation science book is actually being changed. One of the virtues of creationism is that it’s reliable and unchanging, whereas science is constantly being revised. Aha — at the end of the story that issue is addressed:

Arthur Roderick, founding director of Christian Education Europe, part of ACE, said: “As with any text books – curriculum is subject to revision and change.”

This is an outrage! If they can dump Nessie, then why not dump Adam & Eve? Without Nessie there is no truth, no morality, no hope for eternity. We may as well all be Darwinists, fornicating like animals.

Something must be done, and because everyone else is too cowardly to speak up, your Curmudgeon shall boldly step forward and take command of the situation before all is lost. We exhort the creationist schools in Louisiana and elsewhere:

Don’t adopt the new textbook from ACE. The old creation science is always the best.

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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23 responses to “Creationists Abandon Loch Ness Monster?

  1. SC: “This is an outrage! If they can dump Nessie, then why not dump Adam & Eve?”

    Where have you been? The Discoveroids dumped Adam & Eve long ago. They often strongly advise against teaching about A&E, global flood, or any long-refuted story that most religious students would conclude as allegorical – or worse, “critically analyze” them. Of course the Discoveoids just “look the other way” when teachers do teach those stories or identify the designer. And leave them high and dry if they’re dragged in court over it.

    The Discoveroids need something besides the same old long-refuted “weaknesses” of “Darwinism.” Sooner or later a teacher who actually “read the memo” will encounter a student who says: “what’s the alternate theory, and when do we critically analyze it?” Michael Medved to the rescue! I’m not sure if the most famous Discoveroid accepts evidence of “Nessie,” but he is one of the chief advocates of “Bigfoot.” Teach the controversy!

  2. Gimme that old time revision, it’s good enough for me.

  3. Good to see this being discussed here. I made a blog post where I compared the old and new pages (with scans):

    http://leavingfundamentalism.wordpress.com/2013/07/23/no-more-nessie-for-accelerated-christian-education/

    I’m not sure what’s going on with the new edition. I called ACE’s head office and they didn’t know anything about it. Nor did any of the ACE retailers I contacted. The web shop for the European distributor still pictures the old edition. It’s all a bit fishy.

    It’s not unknown for the European wing of ACE to produce its own books, but in the past it has only been for regional material (ie UK history; mathematics texts on UK currency). Normally, the US-produced materials are used worldwide. The US-branch is in the process of producing new science texts, but a retailer told me that, at the current rate, he wasn’t expecting new biology materials for another six years.

    Creationists do change their minds from time to time – AIG’s list of arguments Creationists shouldn’t use is testament to that. I guess this allows them to think that they are being scientific.

    As for the Irish dinosaur, the European wing of ACE is rather keen on a book by an English creationist called Bill Cooper. After the Flood: The early post-flood history of Europe traced back to Noah is a truly hilarious book, and you can find it online. It’d be great if you’d do a blog post on it. I wrote about it here:
    http://leavingfundamentalism.wordpress.com/2013/04/19/i-quit/

    There’s a takedown of it here:
    http://www.stupiddinosaurlies.org/bill-cooper-s-pseudo-history-of-dinosaurs

    This book basically takes every legend, myth, or folk tale about dragons & monsters in history, and uses it to claim that humans and dinosaurs co-existed recently, thus falsifying the claims of evolutionary biologists. It’s hysterical.

  4. jonnyscaramanga: “It’s hysterical.”

    Why do so many find stories like that hysterical, but not those about, say, flying reindeer? Both “kinds” of story are clearly intended for the purpose of illustrating to children how to do the right thing, before they can understand the concept of free will, and appreciate the actual, more complicated stories of the origin and development of life/earth/universe?

    Could it be because the “reindeer” stories just state their claims and don’t try to “support” them by cherry picking evidence, defining terms to suit the argument, quote-mining and making liberal use of logical fallacies?

  5. jonnyscaramanga: “Creationists do change their minds from time to time – AIG’s list of arguments Creationists shouldn’t use is testament to that.”

    Most critics of ID/creationism unwittingly imply that “creationism” is a “fixed kind,” but your example of “creationist microevolution” nicely refutes that. Actually, “creationist macroevolution” is even more fascinating:

    Centuries ago creationism was an honest belief based on a combination of scanty evidence and hypotheses of origin that were either intended as allegories or “best guesses” as to how it all happened. After Galileo, and especially after Darwin, it gradually conceded many claims to science. By the time of the Scopes trial, prominent evolution-deniers like Bryan were mostly old-earthers who no longer took Genesis literally on “days” or “years.”

    In a desperate attempt to fabricate a story that kept the young earth (but not the flat earth and geocentrism of the strict literalists), and avoid the “death before the Fall” fear, the more savvy activists, particularly Henry Morris, repackaged creationism as pseudoscience in the 20th century. But OECs and geocentrists had their own pseudoscience, and it flatly contradicted that of the more heavily promoted – though not necessarily more popular – Heliocentric YEC.

    The embarrassing contradictions forced a gradual trend of “don’t ask, don’t tell what happened when, just promote unreasonable doubt of evolution and leave it to the audience to infer the rest.” Some groups found this strategy particularly effective, including winning over theistic evolutionists who cared more about souls than cells. It worked even better than they expected, because it baited critics, who ought to know better, into letting them control the terms of the debate. Answering charges of “weaknesses” of evolution only gave them more facts to take out of context, while accusing them of promoting religion only gave them more opportunity to play the martyr.

    As you know, that “species” evolved into ID when it became imperative to omit the designer’s identity. But the more interesting “evolution” and “speciation” predated the 1987 “transitional fossil” of “cdesign proponentsists.”

  6. Slightly off topic…your comment
    ‘We may as well all be Darwinists, fornicating like animals.’
    is always one of my favorite as the fundies like using this, there by, showing their utter lack of science understanding. Fundies actually PREACH to fornicate like an animal as they are always saying sex is for birth, where secularists say phuck like people!!!
    Most animals ONLY have sex when the females says she’s ready for impregnation. Where people phuck just for fun as we don’t really know when the woman is ready for impregnation, not that men would really pay that much attention anyway ;-}.

  7. Remember, the advocates of ID tell us that we are purposefully designed to be like animals. In order to follow the intentions of our designer(s), we should behave like animals. We were given those design features for a reason.
    OTOH, if our similarity to chimps and other apes is merely a matter of natural processes like common descent, then there is no purpose behind that, no obligation weighing on our behavior. If my great-uncle was a horse thief, no one would say that I ought to be one, too.

  8. L.Long, you seem to have figured out a way to bypass the filters. That’s very clever, but now you’ve sealed your fate. The Lake of Fire awaits you.

  9. TomS says: “Remember, the advocates of ID tell us that we are purposefully designed to be like animals.”

    This is all so confusing. First we were the center of the universe, then we weren’t. Then Piltdown Man was the missing link, then he wasn’t. Then Pluto was a planet, then it wasn’t. You can’t trust scientists! But now the creationists are playing that game. First Nessie was a dino, now it’s not. I don’t know who to believe any more.

  10. Sensuous Curmudgeon,

    Apologies in advance for posting a question that has nothing to do with the article above. You see I’ve been trying to email the owner of the site, but the email address always kicks back to me. I’ve been wanting to ask about publishing an article series that I wrote, on your website? I would love to discuss this further. Please feel free to email me.

    All the best!

  11. Dietrich, my email isn’t getting through to me. I’ll get it resolved one of these days. As for your articles, I appreciate the opportunity, but alas, no. It’s best that you get your own blog for that.

  12. @TomS: Actually, several passages in the bible indicate that if your grandfather stole a horse, you are just as guilty as he was.

  13. Well I did not ‘try to bypass the filters’ as I did not know you have them.
    I use the words and spell as I do to point out the hypocrisy of ‘dirty words’ because if you understand what I wrote then your mind said what I was not suppose to write. And that goes for your fancy words cuz when I saw fornicate my mind said…well your filters ya know.

  14. @L. Long- There are any number of ways to point out hypocrisy in use of language,and certain words. Spelling a word to sound exactly like one,isn’t very convincing,nor did it seem apparent at all in your statement. SC was quite gracious in her response,and her lake of fire was in the poking fun nature of the dialogue usually on here. Your response was at the least dismissive of the concern,giving you the benefit of the doubt. SC can and does defend herself very well,so just from me I think you made up a justification for being called out. I welcome anyone’s answer if I am overstepping here,I appreciate this forum very much.

  15. gnome de net

    @Ken — “She” is a “he”, as Olivia would most likely concur.

  16. gnome de net says:

    “She” is a “he”

    Yes, but due to my inherently benevolent nature, I decided that it would be insensitive to embarrass Ken. He is welcome here regardless of what appears to be a serious case of gender confusion.

  17. retiredsciguy

    Curmy sez, “L.Long, you seem to have figured out a way to bypass the filters.”

    And who woulda thunk the simple substitution of “ph” for “f” would get through? Think of a the phun we can have now! (If you can get it past your computer’s autospell correction.)

  18. Big oooops to me. Feel free to embarrass me if I deserve it though,my feelings can handle it. I was going off what I thought I had seen used in other posts,obviously I was just wrong. In the David Rives comments I joke around about eyesight,but I can’t see the pics well at all. Sorry SC.

  19. Ken says: “Sorry SC.”

    No problem. I thought it was funny. I’ve never been mistaken for a woman before.

  20. Sorry Ken but wrong. I meant my explanation as it states, and I was not being dismissive either just explaining, you may be over reading into the words.

  21. There seems to be a miconception here regarding the definition of “fornication”. Fornication is voluntary sexual intercourse between two unmarried persons or two persons not married to each other.
    But it seems that for this discussion, some people are presuming it is a synonym for sexual intercourse in any context.

    Not tryin’ to be a pettifog or anything. I’m just sayin’

  22. Wait a minute.

    You mean SC is a DUDE!?

    Damn– this is just like “The Crying Game.”

  23. Thing is, you can’t say that they’ve truly updated that book….this is after all, a loss of information, isn’t it?