Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Highlights from a Creationist "Science" Book

I ran across this amusing/sad list yesterday that highlights some interesting excerpts from a creationist science textbook. Anything published by Bob Jones University Press will be entertaining, and this book doesn't disappoint. I especially love the section on electricity, which is number ten on the list. Can you imagine giving this explanation to a school-aged child in science class? "Electricity is a mystery. No one has ever observed it or heard it or felt it ... We cannot even say where electricity comes from." 

In some ways, what I find most interesting about this list is the author's commentary at the end. He says that, while he has no problems with creationist parents teaching their kids that God made everything, he does have a problem with books like this that essentially "trick" kids into a certain belief. "It's not only disrespectful to [children], it's disrespectful to your beliefs. It's a tacit concession that you don't think your beliefs can hold up in the face of a counter-argument... or that you don't think you can properly impart your beliefs to your children in an above-board way."

I'm in agreement with him except that he seems to miss the fact that "science" books like this and other propaganda are the very foundation for teaching creationism to children. Saying something like "If you want to teach your children that everything was created by God, I also have no problem with that at all," doesn't really mean anything if the only way to teach them that is by using the type of tool you thoroughly and awesomely lambasted.

I believe that it would be difficult to read this list and not interpret it as "anti-creationist," yet the author spends much time trying to convince us that it's not. What's seemingly at play here is the silly notion so many of us have that beliefs in and of themselves deserve respect. As human rights activist Maryam Namazie often says, "Respect is for people not for religions and beliefs."


  1. I'll recognize silliness, yes. Respect? Nah.

  2. Dear Liana, that's the picture on you header is true, good location in the earth, I'm from asia, nice to see your blog, have a nice day and good bless

  3. I have a small homeschool store and I actually SELL some BJU books...make me a bit ill.
    I had to think and think about actually carrying this type of book. I mean, did I think it was ethical to sell such misleading material????????
    As a business directed at homeschoolers, though, the decision to carry very little Christian materials has been a part of the lack of success in my business. When word got around that I didn't carry the big Christian publishers, my store went down the tubes.
    Even knowing that, my husband and I agree, we STILL couldn't carry such material for ethical reasons.

    So, we live with it.

    1. I attended a large homeschooling convention last year and had to sift through a lot of resources published by Christian companies. I can definitely understand why you wouldn't want to make money off people buying that garbage material for their kids.