Category Archives: Education

Eclipses and Intelligent Design — for Children

We posted seven different times about the Discovery Institute’s claim that eclipses of the Sun are rock-solid evidence for their “theory” of intelligent design. The last time was a year ago — Eclipse Mania — The Discoveroids, Part 7 — and it links to our earlier posts on the subject.

The “science” for the Discoveroids’ claims about this usually comes from Jay W. Richards, a Discoveroid senior fellow, and his co-author Guillermo Gonzalez, or “Gonzo” as we call him. He’s also a Discoveroid senior fellow Together they wrote the classic creationist book, The Privileged Planet, a “fine tuning” argument applied to Earth.

Today at the Discoveroids’ creationist blog they just posted Eclipse Miracle — An ID Book for Children. [Ooooooooooooh! An intelligent design book for children!], and it was written by non other than Gonzo himself. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

I received a pleasant surprise in my office mail last week. The author and illustrator of a children’s book, Eclipse Miracle: The Sun Is the Same Size as the Moon in the Sky [Amazon link], sent me a complimentary signed copy.

Creationist professional courtesy — how nice. We went to the Amazon link and discovered that the publisher was something named Hole in the Rock Publishing. We can’t find any information about them, so we’ll just continue with the Discoveroid post. Gonzo says:

In the enclosed letter, Sand Sheff [the book’s author] explained that he had just watched The Privileged Planet DVD with his family. [Thrilling!] He wrote, “It was the first scientific public mention I have ever heard of the profound reality of the sun/moon alignment.” Sand completed the book a few months prior to the great American solar eclipse of 2017. [Great timing!] He drove to towns along the path of totality to promote the message in his book.

It’s good to see an author so committed to his work. After that, Gonzo tells us:

It is encouraging to me that someone else came to the same basic conclusion about eclipses as I did following my observation of a total solar eclipse in India in 1995. [He may be the only one!] There aren’t very many children’s books about intelligent design. This is a welcome addition.

Verily, it’s an intellectual avalanche! Gonzo continues:

This week would be a good opportunity to discuss the “Eclipse Miracle” with your own children; sending the book as a gift would be a good idea too.

Why this week? Gonzo explains:

On June 10 an annular solar eclipse will be visible from parts of Canada just north of the Great Lakes. [Annular?]

Gonzo explains that term, and it’s the end of his post:

An annular eclipse occurs when the Moon is a little too far away to completely cover the Sun in the sky. It’s called a “ring of fire” when seen at sunrise or sunset on the horizon.

Hey — wait a minute! If it’s not a perfect eclipse, then it can’t be evidence that we were designed to live on a perfect planet. In fact, it’s evidence that things aren’t perfect. What’s going on here?

Copyright © 2021. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

The Theory of Evolution Is In Its Final Days

This is really big news from the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the granddaddy of all creationist outfits, the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom. Their new post is titled Evolution’s Divide Is Creation’s Opportunity, and you know it’s important because it was written by Randy J. Guliuzza, ICR’s new President & Chief Operating Officer. We wrote about him last year in Big News: ICR Has a New President. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Missed opportunities and bad timing often seem to go together. Military history has several notable examples of commanders who “seized defeat from the jaws of victory” when they delayed to bring closure to a war immediately after a major victory — often because they failed to see how fragmented their opponent truly was. … That military truism has a lot to do with today’s creation-evolution conflict. Many evolutionists are seriously divided over the most basic explanations of how evolution happens. In fact, different factions have diametrically opposite explanations. The split isn’t a minor dustup over trivial difference. Yet when talking with other creationists at ICR events, I discover that nearly all are unaware of this serious divide.

What’s Randy talking about? This could be important, so we need to find out. He says:

Evolutionary biology is experiencing its most serious division over the structure of evolutionary theory since the development of the modern synthesis nearly 100 years ago. The modern synthesis is the name for current evolutionary theory that synthesizes Darwin’s concepts of the selective agency of nature and survival of the fittest, facts about genetics that Darwin lacked (later including the notion of random mutation as the primary source of genetic variation1), and statistical models of populations.

What’s the problem? Randy tells us:

In November 2016, Great Britain’s prestigious Royal Society held a conference to deliberate if evolutionary theory needed to be extended, reformed, or totally overhauled to accommodate fresh ideas from new discoveries. The vital importance of this conference was framed in the science journal Nature in a point-counterpoint style article, “Does evolutionary theory need a rethink?” The authors note that “researchers are divided over what processes should be considered fundamental.” A division over basic processes at the core of any theory suggests that the theory could be incomplete, misleading to both research and conclusions, or wrong.

This is the article Randy’s talking about: Does evolutionary theory need a rethink?. You can read it on-line without a subscription. Let’s get back to Randy. After skipping an ark-load, he says:

Interestingly, divisions at the Royal Society illustrate an important point that creationists have been saying. Evolutionists often claim that they “have data” to support their position and imply that creationists have none. Creationists contend that they have the same data but interpret it very differently.

The big issue Randy talks about is natural selection:

Selectionism is fatally flawed for two important reasons. First, the actual findings of how adaptation happens are inconsistent with the ways it should be characterized per the modern synthesis, which are: undirected, random, gradual, and without any purposeful product. Yet, numerous mechanisms are being discovered that routinely characterize adaptation as highly regulated, usually rapid, repeatable, and with targeted goals that are even predictable.

The second reason is that selection is an inherently mystical concept — which the discovery of internal mechanisms in organisms is making easier to see. As far as we know, the environment is unconscious and, thus, the analogy comparing it to a conscious human breeder has always been illegitimate.

Darwin’s comparison of humans breeding farm animals for desirable features and what he described as natural selection was never intended to claim that nature was making conscious decisions. Randy ought to know better. He continues:

When selectionists invoke natural selection, they magically project onto nature intelligence and volition that they envision as exercising agency. Selectionists habitually summon selection to “act on,” “favor,” “work on,” “punish,” etc. an organism.

He goes on and on about that and then declares:

Evolutionary theory is in a “struggle for the very soul of the discipline” due to the discovery of pervasive internal mechanisms facilitating self-adjustments that is contradictory to current theory. Evolutionists are fully aware that division weakens their position against creationists and the high theological ramifications at stake. So, it is only a matter of time before they rally, rebuild, and counterattack with a new and improved version of their anti-designer theory.

Get that? Evolution is your “anti-designer theory.” But you can’t fool ol’ Randy. He knows what you’re up to, and he knows you’re in trouble. Let’s read on:

The precise reason for the division centers on the avalanche of new information that’s contrary to evolutionary theory. This same information solidly supports a theory of biological design. Creationists should be pressing this truth at every opportunity.

He finishes with this:

The theory that ICR is working on expects active, problem-solving creatures designed to track changing conditions to “fill the earth,” showcasing the wisdom of their Creator — the Lord Jesus Christ.

Did you get the message, dear reader? Your pathetic theory of evolution is in big trouble. Now you know.

Copyright © 2021. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

AIG Says Science Fiction Is Ungodly and Evil

This one will really shock you. It’s at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else.

Their article is titled Science? Or Science Fiction?, and it was written by Calvin Smith — a new name to us. Here’s their bio page on him: Calvin Smith. He’s the the executive director of AIG in Canada, which is very impressive. Here are some excerpts from his post, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

After we skip several paragraphs about his childhood fascination with comic book heroes like Spider Man, Calvin says

Pop culture has certainly helped shaped the consciousness of our modern world, and humanist thinking (the foundation of which is the story of evolution) has hijacked much of today’s popular entertainment. This isn’t a new phenomenon however, as some of the earliest and most influential science fiction and fantasy writers had an atheistic, naturalistic, and, of course, evolution-based mindset [The horror!], which spilled out onto the pages of their adventure novels and seeded the minds of their readers with such notions.

It gets better — or worse, depending on your worldview. He says:

Timeless sci-fi classics like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818), Edgar Rice Boroughs’ Tarzan of the Apes (1913), and Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot and The Foundation series (1940–1950) paved the way for more recent additions, like Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek (1966), and of course George Lucas’ Star Wars (1977), that have certainly made huge cultural impressions around the world. … They are pop-culture icons and household names, even in evangelical circles.

Where is he going with this? Slowly, Calvin reveals what he’s trying to say:

Mary Shelley, the woman behind the story of Frankenstein, was raised by her father William Godwin, an anarchist, philosopher, and political writer. … She was ill-treated by her stepmother and ran away with a married man she fell in love with as a teenager, Percy Shelley. She eventually married him after his wife committed suicide.

[…]

“Frankenstein’s monster” was born in Mary’s imagination during her escapade with Percy through Europe, as a challenge given by writer Lord Byron while she and Shelley were visiting him. In the story, Dr. Frankenstein defies the laws of nature by creating life: gruesomely sawing and putting together different cadaver parts and then animating the creature through the power of lightning. This concept, in a sense, put man on the same level as the Creator who created him, by having power over life and death. And it subtly promoted the idea that if a natural event like a lightning strike could bring something to life, perhaps God wasn’t needed “in the beginning” after all.

Okay, Calvin doesn’t like Mary Shelley’s work. What else does he have to say? The next few paragraphs are about Edgar Rice Boroughs and his Tarzan books, about which he rants:

With Darwin’s work imbedded in academia in the West, ERB also believed that the story of evolution was a fact and an immutable law of nature, and his promotion of evolutionary concepts, especially that man was simply a “higher ape” can be seen throughout his work.

After that, Calvin gets around to Isaac Asimov, a favorite of your Curmudgeon, But he dismisses Asimov’s immense body of work by quoting his declaration that he was an atheist. Then he moves on to Gene Roddenberry, who gave us Star Trek. He tells us that Roddenberry plagiarized a lot, and also:

He was also a womanizer who had two mistresses at the same time while he was married to his first wife (at the time of producing the first two pilots of Star Trek). He also had multiple extramarital affairs during his second marriage and actually bragged about it with his colleagues.

Then he discusses Roddenberry’s atheism, after which he dumps this on us:

As a true humanist, Roddenberry’s Star Trek promoted a gentler and kinder universe, left a phenomenal legacy, and reflected the socio-political challenges of the time, using science fiction to address those issues when few were able to so plainly. It also consistently promoted the idea of evolution [Gasp!] through the development of civilizations, the romantic involvement between different alien species, and the different degrees of evolved intelligence found on other planets.

Star Trek is well beloved by fans, including many Christians who appreciate its creative elements, but it is based on completely naturalistic concepts. [Egad, naturalism!] The entire premise is that humans evolved on Earth, while the Vulcans, Klingons, Romulans, and all of the other aliens evolved on their own planets. And then we all developed technology so we could go visit one another!

Surprisingly, when I’ve pointed out to church audiences that Star Trek is based on the story of evolution [The horror!], many seem surprised, like they never thought of it that way before — which only shows the power of being influenced without knowing it.

Now that we’re getting to the end of his long article, Calvin starts to give advice:

Science fiction and fantasy are not just entertainment. They contain ideas that can shape our worldview. And like anything we see, hear, or read, they can impact us, even if they are fictional. For mature Christians who know the Scriptures well and have the discernment to be able to recognize and reject anything unbiblical in a story while enjoying other aspects it contains, we still need to stay vigilant in not adopting or blending these ideas with what the Bible clearly reveals.

The preaching continues:

Sadly for today’s youth, many do not have much Bible knowledge and the discernment that comes with walking closely with the Lord. And looking for amusement in sources that differ from the truth of the Bible can lead us astray.

EgadStar Trek can lead us astray! Let’s read on:

We can still enjoy and appreciate the creative stories that people, created in God’s image, make (even if they aren’t Christians), but we need to understand that much of the entertainment we enjoy today comes from a worldview in diametric opposition to the truth of God’s Word.

There’s a bit more, but this thing is long enough. Well, dear reader, what should we do about all this horrible literature? All who favor banning it, raise your hands!

Copyright © 2021. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

AIG Says Public Education Is Anti-Christian

This is something you can’t learn anywhere else except at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else. Their article is titled Christian Education vs. Public School, and it was written by Brandon Clay, about whom we know nothing. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

We’ve made it to Memorial Day and your child’s school year is likely done. But we shouldn’t be so quick to forget about the lasting impact of school — especially for your own child. Have you ever considered, how many days will your child be in school by the time they finish 12th grade? Literally, how many actual days do you have to formally educate your child? According to National Center for Education Statistics, the range of days that states mandate for in-class instruction for kindergarten through 12th grade is 160–180 days per year. Taking the average of the range, that gives us 170 days/year or 2,210 days for 13 years of K–12 education, not including preschool. That’s a lot of days — or is it?

Okay, it’s a lotta days. What’s Brandon getting at? He says:

What will your child learn in those 2,210 days? Your son or daughter will learn biology [Hee hee!], grammar, algebra, history, art, physical education, sports, social skills, geography, and many other useful things. But underlying whatever education your child receives is a worldview. [Worldview?] A worldview is a lens through which your children will look at the world. It addresses origin, morality, meaning, and destiny among other areas. The worldview in the education they absorb, either directly or subtly, becomes the foundation for the rest of their life. And this worldview, by its nature, is religious. [What?]

Shocking, huh? Brandon explains:

Every school is religious, including Christian schools, homeschools, charter schools, and public schools. Whether the school is funded by a denomination or is consciously “secular,” schools will ultimately address the foundational areas of origin, morality, meaning, and destiny.

Skipping his quote from someone named Doug Wilson, Brandon he tells us:

Wilson’s point is clear. Regardless of where your child goes to school, it will be religious. It will address fundamental concerns in life, such as whether there’s a God, what he communicates to people, and how we should treat others. Education can’t help being religious because that is its nature.

Okay, that settles it. We all went to religious school. Brandon knows some of you disagree, so he explains:

Public schools in the United States actively teach religion. [What?] One aspect of a religious worldview is origins: the question of where everything, and of course humans, came from. Public schools in America are commissioned, under threat of legal action, to teach evolution as the origin story. And evolution is not observational science since it’s not observable, repeatable, or testable. [Gasp!] Instead, evolution is a religious doctrine that is dependent upon naturalistic principles, yet it lacks unambiguous evidential support. But that doesn’t stop public schools from teaching it.

Your Curmudgeon is shocked — shocked! Brandon then mentions a bunch of court cases, including Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, and he informs us:

Every challenge a school district or teacher has brought against teaching evolution in public schools has failed in the courts. The religious origins narrative of evolution is protected by law. When public schools get out of line, lawyers straighten them out.

Jeepers, he’s right! What Brandon calls the “religious origins narrative of evolution” really is protected by law. We’re only about halfway through his article, but Brandon summarizes what he’s said so far:

Public schools cannot support biblical Christianity because they are founded on a different, naturalistic religion. At its core, public education is anti-Christian. Going back to your child and those 2,210 days in the classroom: if she attends a public school, those 2,210 days will indoctrinate her into an anti-Christian worldview. Even if that is not the intent, it will be the effect.

We’ll skip the second half of Brandon’s article, because it’s all about how — regardless of what goes on in public schools — parents can teach their children The Truth™. Go ahead, read the whole thing. Then let us know what you think.

Copyright © 2021. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.