I was at a homeschool convention recently and started flipping through Apologia textbooks… years ago before we were EC we used Apologia and really liked it. I have fond memories of my son colouring in the Botany Junior Notebook and that course is still one of his highlights from early elementary… so anyways, here I was flipping through one of the textbooks thinking to myself, "Are they really that bad? Can I maybe make use of them? Maybe tweak them a bit not to be too over the top YC?.. " when I came across an excerpt talking about how flying dinosaurs probably still exist in Africa. Apparently people have seen them but no one has captured the evidence on video yet. I was stunned. Really?? I put the book back on the shelf in a hurry. Not a chance Apologia. Not a chance. How do YC accept this nonsense? I just don’t get it. I’m glad we became EC before exposing my kids to much of this kind of thing.
Hum. Aren’t those called birds?
So weird. What book was it? I think I went through the “Exploring Creation with Biology” book and onward in high school, and that was the only one I remember YEC material in (evolution was referred to as “part theory, part unconfirmed hypothesis”), but I never used any of the ones for younger grades. But yeah… that’s pretty terrible for a “science” book. :-/
That is really interesting, thanks for sharing. I’ve started looking at material myself very slowly as my oldest would be going to Kindergarten this year. Not sure what we are going to do yet, but your post reminded me of this blog post that demonstrates some similarities between anti-establishment/anti-science type of movements that can end up with all kinds of wacky beliefs:
One of the most fascinating exchanges I ever read centered around a woman named Libby Anne. She describes how she was raised in a creationist (i.e. fundamentalist) household, and how she ended up becoming an atheist after confronting the real world outside of her family.
I’m not saying that everyone should become an atheist or anything like that, but it did give a really interesting glimpse into what it is like to believe these things. It is also interesting to see how leading YECs responded to Libby Anne’s story.
It interests me that she sees through Ken Ham’s errors now – or at least she sees through some of them. But the one falsehood of Ham’s she apparently still accepts is the one where he told her that his creation science is (was) the foundation of her Christian faith. Of all his teachings, how come she still (despite being enlightened now!) buys into that whopper? Why does Ham remain so magically and suddenly credible on that one special point?
I do already know the answer to my own question: because Ham is far from alone. As much as her family and community invested into that one message, it became the one thing “to live for” - an essential organ; an organ without which a body does not survive. Of all the hills to die on, so many have tragically picked that one instead of the hill at Golgotha.
Definitely. The sad part is that Ken Ham was right, to a certain extent. It sounds like she actually did build her faith on a particular reading of Genesis – or perhaps simply on her own ability to “defend” that reading – many were unintentionally taught to do exactly that. I at least appreciate her integrity to admit she was wrong – I’ve had to do that too, to an extent – it’s unfortunate that the rest of her faith went with it.
Thanks for this, @T_aquaticus, @Mervin_Bitikofer and @Laura. A troubling part of AIG and many other Christian ministries seems to be reliance on presuppositions, as in that excerpt, that an atheist or someone that disagrees with them is in rebellion–the Rebellion Thesis. They seem to base that on Bible verses like Psalm 14:1. Randall Rauser says that’s not an accurate reading in “Who’s the Fool?”.Who is the Fool? How Christians misread the Bible to attack atheists - Randal Rauser
It encouraged me a lot to read that. Thanks.
I don’t know how appropriate it is to discuss grander theological issues and paths to atheism in the Homeschool forum, but I am reminded of this quote from St. Augustine:
“If they find a Christian mistaken in a field in which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although “they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion.””–St Augustine, 401 AD
I wasn’t paying attention to what thread I was in! Thanks for the reminder.
… That is a good quote from Augustine.
I’m pretty sure it was the “Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day” textbook.
That’s interesting cause I consider myself as anti-establishment on many issues and yet very pro-science. Basically I like to think for myself and don’t follow what everyone else is doing/thinking, just because. For Kindergarten science there are so many great books out there. I really love the “Let’s Learn and Find Out” series.
Oh yes, I can totally see that. In fact that is the main reason why my quest to find the truth went into a hyperdrive a few years ago… I was terrified of this very scenario happening with my kids, and I can see it happening to a lot of families who raise their kids YC… especially since even if they go to a Christian university, most of them teach that evolution is true (thinking specifically of Trinity Western, here I know Dennis has talked about). So they are going to have a major faith crisis when they get into the real world.
This is very much Ken’s issue, and interestingly enough this was one of the breaking points for me when I broke off from the YEC view… let me explain… there was an old video I watched where he was being interviewed, and he shared that the reason why he held onto the YEC view was not because of evidence or facts - it was because his dad told him when he was a little boy that it HAD to be true, in order for his faith to be real. This is why he’s holding on. No amount of evidence to the contrary will ever convince him, because in his heart the two (YEC and the gospel) are intertwined.
I think if you read her stuff, you see Fundamentalism did a number on her in more areas than just science. The blog is Love, Joy, Feminism after all. She grew up in an environment that really had no place for smart women with questions. It seems to me she writes a lot more about gender issues and the abuse that was rampant in her circles than creationism.
What??? You mean not everyone’s world revolves solely around creation evolution stuff? [that was a sarcastic dig at how I feel sometimes – and maybe a few others around here too if they identify with it]
Seriously, though; I’ve heard it said we shouldn’t judge another until we’ve walked a mile in their moccasins. I’m sure where she’s at is probably totally understandable.
I even felt (feel) a bit more empathy for Ham after @Simone above mentioned what his dad taught him about faith. One does not easily walk away from such things.
In Ham’s reply to Libby Anne you can almost get a sense of Ham saying “Just be like me and ignore all that science stuff”. Unfortunately for Ham and for others, his approach isn’t going to work everyone.
Hopefully, more parents like Simone can see the dangers of using creationism as a foundation for belief if their goal is to guide their children into adulthood where christianity is a part of their lives. The parable of the foundations of stone and sand is probably a good one to take to heart in this particular situation. Believers and non-believers will still have their disagreements and debates, but science shouldn’t be one of them.
Right. I think I feel respect for Mr Ham when he says that; but not agreement. It’s nice to know that he does that out of respect for his father; but fear of losing salvation is not a reason to avoid questioning. I really like Greg Boyd’s “Benefit of the Doubt” and Randal Rauser’s “Is the Atheist My Neighbor” for validating questioning.
If I’m repeating myself in these recollections, I hope somebody will be decent enough to tell me. I wrote something like this on the ASA list years ago, but …I’ve been around here a few years now too.
I think it was in one of Ken Miller’s books (not a recent one) where he relays a story of running into Henry Morris in a cafe after they had just debated each other somewhere nearby. Miller said he half-expected Morris to give him a wink and a smile, along with an expected admission that he knew he was really arguing a silly side, but had to keep it up for his constituency. Instead, Miller was surprised by Morris’ earnest response: “Ken, I don’t think you realize what’s at stake here!”
There may be some errors in the above – even including the names of the two gentlemen. But it was an evolution-accepting professor and a leading YEC of the time. In any case, I remember being surprised that the author was surprised by this. Why wouldn’t he think these people were totally sincere! When roads have been divergent for so long, each with its own entourage; it becomes more and more difficult to identify with the diverged group or to imagine how they could possibly think a certain way. Meanwhile they are having the same reaction to you.