Self-Published Genius #81: Bible Science Lab Book

Get ready to learn about the latest addition to our series about Self-Published Geniuses, where we bring you news of authors with a vanity press book in which the author claims to have made paradigm-shattering discoveries, and announces his work by hiring a press release service.

The press release is titled Christian Author Louise Barrett Derr’s Book Brings Readers to Appreciate the Science Behind God’s Creation. It was issued by WebWire. Their website says: “WebWire distributes your business, organizational and personal news releases and press releases on and over the Internet.” Here are some excerpts from the press release, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Is it possible to teach science from a faith perspective? Can a student appreciate faith and science at the same time? Retired teacher Louise Barrett Derr would answer “yes.” [That’s wonderful!] Derr expounds her answer by publishing a Bible activity book titled “Experiencing Bible Science: A Lab Book for the Young at Heart” (WestBow Press, 2011).

Aha — they say it’s published by WestBow Press. We Googled for them. Yup — their website says they’re a religious vanity publisher. Okay! We’ve got a vanity press book and we’ve got the author’s press release. It qualifies for our collection. Back to the press release. It says:

The book is aimed at students “young at heart” of any age, as the author puts it, and its purpose is to help them discover science in the Scriptures.

A noble purpose indeed! Then they tell us:

The first in the “Experiencing Bible Science” series, the book is divided into four sections: “Earth”, “Sky”, “Water” [That’s three of the four Classical elements], and “Other Activities”, which contains additional projects that can be adapted to help students know more about the science found in the Scriptures. The activities mostly follow the inquiry approach style and through them, the author encourages students to reflect on the wonders of creation as they reveal God’s glory.

The press release continues:

To relate the world of the Bible to the natural world, students undertake activities that mirror conventional science activities at school but with an emphasis on the Scriptures. Students obtain the items they need to perform a particular science activity, follow the procedures, record their findings and observations, link their results to their hypothesis, and wrap up their conclusion.

Sounds great! But what items are needed to do bible science? It seems to us that nothing is needed except a loin cloth, and maybe a shepherd’s staff. Let’s read on:

Students are encouraged to wear an old white shirt for a lad [sic] coat. “This stimulates them to realize they are having experiences related to science,” said the author in the book’s introduction for parents and teachers.

Great idea! So we looked for the book at Amazon — and here it is! The cost is only $31.95 in paperback. What a great deal!

Hey — you’re probably wondering about the brilliant author. The press release tells us:

Louise Barrett Derr received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from UNC-Chapel Hill. For twenty-six years, she taught in North Carolina public schools. Mrs. Derr developed and presented her curricula for science and for gifted children at numerous state and national teacher’s conferences. This motorcyclist, private airplane pilot, and scuba diver enjoys gardening and nature study. She has previously been active in Boy Scouts and the Civil Air Patrol. Traveling in twenty-three countries around the world has given her a desire to see people everywhere and discover the science in the Scriptures.

Not only that — we’re also informed that the author has her own website where you can obtain even more information!

Okay, dear reader. That’s all we can find about this great book, but it’s more than enough. Go ahead — buy it! Tell ’em the Curmudgeon sent ya.

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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14 responses to “Self-Published Genius #81: Bible Science Lab Book

  1. Is it possible to teach science from a faith perspective?
    No, faith based science is an oxymoron to all but the true believers. End of discussion.

  2. Science is scripture??? Are they kidding!?!? There isn’t any truth in scripture, other then the common truths as in don’t murder!

  3. Laurettte McGovern

    Gotta wear that white lad [sic] coat; that will simulate something almost like being a real scientist, but an old white shirt would do as well. Never mind actual scientific procedures or thought processes, one must look the part

  4. @Laurette McGovern: I’m sure you mean look the part like the green-screen scientists at creation research “lab”. Somehow, I must have missed all the science parts when I read the bible end to end years ago.

  5. Since there is no science in the bible, it’s hard to see what kinds of things students would do. Oh, perhaps they could follow the example of ecologists and build (I was going to write create) a microcosm in which to simulate the flood in order to show how fossils sort themselves into layers consistent with evolution.

    On the topic of lab attire, I suppose an adult shirt on a small child would work, but a lab coat certainly is more appropriate. In my many years at the lab bench, I usually wore one, especially when working with chemicals. The safety inspector rather frowned on loincloths (and sandals).

  6. Michael Fugate

    Don’t forget long pants, closed-toe shoes, and safety glasses!

    It is difficult to do science, when your motto is “the end (conversion to/retention in conservative Christianity) justifies the means”. It is also difficult to do ethics.

  7. @abeastwood
    How about the way that Jacob used the natural way of manipulating the color of the goats which would be born? No praying, nothing supernatural. Genesis 30:37-43.

  8. Michael Fugate

    or John 12:24

    Verily, verily, I say unto you, еxcept a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

    Dead seed • dirt = live plant not sure about the units…

  9. And what about Matthew 18:6, Luke 17:2, Mark 9:42
    They all tell us what should happen to you when you cause a child to sin – in our case a child repeating lies.

  10. Dave Luckett

    It is true that faith need not actually conflict with science, depending on the faith – specifically, what it asserts. This clunker asserts the whackangelical standard literal reading – creation by word in six days, with an “activity” where the student draws a picture of what happened on each. In fact, I could not, on a quick scan, actually find an “activity” that investigated any real phenomenon.

    There are many elementary errors, just on a casual glance – energy equated to power, the usual wrong equivalence between entropy and disorder. Even worse was the downright superstition – a “race” of giants, for example. As for the “activities”, for quite a few of them the only equipment needed is a Bible. Every page, every line, is interlarded with scriptural cites, usually asserting that they say what they do not say.

    Going on reading level, this is aimed at 7-10 year olds. If you had set out with the specific purpose of darkening young minds and keeping them ignorant, you could not do better. It’s difficult to believe that the author had any other aim.

  11. I just ventured into Louise’s website. Under her ‘Blog’ a very vigilant reader pointed out an error in the book:
    “… there is an error in the metric measurements on page 74. In the Salt Dough recipe it should read, “Mix 2 cups (500ml) flour and 1/2 cup (120ml) salt together. Add about 3/4 cups (180ml) warm water.”
    That should give us some idea about the quality of “science” the home schooled kiddies are growing up with.

  12. Here’s a preview:

    Ex 1. Use a piece of string to compare the diameter of a circle to it’s circumference. Be sure to pinch with your nails for accurate measurement! Note that your result should be “3”. This confirms the bible!

  13. Michael Fugate

    Appeal to authority is not doing science…

  14. Good grief. She’s written another one, this time for “Preschoolers”.