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Loch Ness monster proves Darwin wrong

ACCELERATED Christian Education (ACE) is, as its name suggests, a programme aimed at the stupidification of children from evangelical backgrounds. It has been around for around four decades, having been cooked up by Class A idiots in Texas in the 1970s.

ACE is back in the spotlight this weekend with the news that its material is to be used to teach children in Louisiana that, among other tosh, the Loch Ness monster really exists.

This is what ACE says about Nessie:

Some scientists speculate that Noah took small or baby dinosaurs on the Ark … are dinosaurs still alive today? With some recent photographs and testimonies of those who claimed to have seen one, 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.

Truth is Nessie is an elephant having a laugh

This bullshit is being dished up in a bid by religious educators to disprove Darwin’s theory of evolution.

As we reported here, thousands of children in the southern state will receive publicly-funded vouchers for the next school year to attend private schools that follow fundamentalist curricula.

Critics have damned the content of the course books, calling them “bizarre” and accusing them of promoting radical religious and political ideologies.

The textbooks in the series are alleged to teach young earth creationism; are hostile towards other religions and other sectors of Christianity, including Roman Catholicism; and present a biased version of history that is often factually incorrect.

Jonny Scaramanga, 27, who went through the ACE programme as a child, but now campaigns against Christian fundamentalism, said the Nessie claim was presented as:

Evidence that evolution couldn’t have happened … It’s a common thing among creationists to believe in sea monsters.

Private religious schools, including the Eternity Christian Academy in Westlake, Louisiana, which follows the ACE curriculum, have already been cleared to receive the state voucher money transferred from public school funding, thanks to a bill pushed through by state Governor Bobby Jindal.

Boston-based researcher and writer Bruce Wilson, who specialises in the American political religious right, compares the curriculum to Islamic fundamentalist teaching.

They are being brought up to believe that they’re at war with secular society. The only valid government would be a Christian fundamentalist government. Obviously some comparisons could be made to Islamic Fundamentalists in schools. One of these texts from Bob Jones University Press claims that dinosaurs were fire-breathing dragons. It has little to do with science as we currently understand. It’s more like medieval scholasticism.

Now before you go shaking your head sorrowfully, and mutter “only in America”, consider this: In 2009 the Times Educational Supplement reported that exams for an Evangelical Christian curriculum, in which pupils are taught that the Loch Ness monster disproves evolution and that racial segregation is beneficial, have been ruled equivalent to international A- levels by the National Recognition Information Centre (Naric), which guides universities and employers on the validity of different qualifications

Naric decided that the International Certificate of Christian Education (ICCE) is officially comparable to qualifications offered by the Cambridge International exam board.

Hundreds of teenagers at around 50 private Christian schools in Britain study for the certificates, as well as several home-educated students.

Scaramanga, a music lecturer who attended an ACE school in Bath as a child, said he was astonished the courses were judged comparable to international A-levels and O-levels.

In a complaint to Naric, he provided examples of the material taught on the courses, including the “Nessie” claim. He also pointed out that ACE teaches that:

Apartheid was beneficial to South Africa; reasons include the claim that segregated schools “made it possible for each group to maintain and pass on their culture and heritage to their children.

Scaramanga  was quoted in the TES report as saying:

Those who challenge the explanations given in the materials are described as ‘godless’, ‘anti-biblical’, and ‘foolish’. There needs to be greater public awareness of what these schools tell students.

Daniel Govender, managing director of Christian Education Europe, which is part of ACE, said the organisation would not comment to the press on what is contained in the texts.

Hat tip: BarrieJohn

 

37 responses to “Loch Ness monster proves Darwin wrong”

  1. Shane Tyson says:

    Having read Lord of the Rings at least eight times, I feel it thoroughly deserving that I award myself a degree!

    Maybe ‘apartheid’ is the answer. Religiots and the rational in different schools/unis. What a total farce!

  2. Debunkasaurus says:

    Where’s that damn rapture when you need it?!?

  3. JohnMWhite says:

    Daniel Govender, managing director of Christian Education Europe, which is part of ACE, said the organisation would not comment to the press on what is contained in the texts.

    Typical Christian cowardice (I find myself using that word a lot here). Too afraid to own their words, too small-minded and self-centred to not use them. They know they will be, pardon the pun, crucified if they actually acknowledge the fantasy and bile they are trying to pour into children’s heads, so they dodge any discussion of it. That’s what always bothers me about people like this – they know what they do isn’t acceptable in modern society, but they convince themselves it’s still ok if they do it, and perhaps they are even being gloriously persecuted if anyone has a problem with it. As long as they’re not bringing that problem up in their face, of course.

  4. Daz says:

    And this is where my charitable attitude of “they can’t help it; they’re honest but deluded” starts to break down. I simply cannot believe that those who are at the top of the ladders of schemes like this don’t know precisely how false the ‘teaching’ material is. They’re wrecking people’s educations—people’s lives—to make money. Bastards!

  5. Stuart W says:

    (Mr Blonde voice)
    Perfectly put, Mr White.

    Actually, I love the Loch Ness Monster legend although feel that in our photo-technology obsessed age there surely would have been at least one clear, unambiguous pic by now if Nessie really existed.

  6. AgentCormac says:

    Daz

    I am increasingly convinced that those who run religion know exactly what they’re doing – they don’t believe the garbage they dish up to the masses any more than we do. It’s all about one word: power.

  7. Trevor Blake says:

    I’d be happy as could be if a living plesiosaur was found in my lifetime. But my desire for something to be true is evidence only that I desire it to be true. The natural universe is large and strange and mostly unknown, facts that have me scratching my head and laughing with joy far more than the mean-spirited ghost stories of illiterate goat herders and horse thieves from thousands of years ago (in a word, religion).

  8. Stonyground says:

    If the Loch Ness Monster did exist how does that disprove Darwinism anyway? We know already that some creatures have existed for millions of years without evolving very much at all. Other creatures have changed over time by differing degrees. This all fits in with the modern understanding of biology, so what exactly is their point?

  9. the Woggler says:

    But people and dinosaurs did co-exist. I saw it in a film once, so it must be true.

  10. Broga says:

    @AgentCormac: I have come to the same view. Many of these christian top cats are smart, they know the score and I think many of them are as atheist as I am. However, they have spent long careers being revered and flattered by their ignorant and often semi-literate flocks. Say what they really think and what are they left with: opprobrium, contempt and exclusion. They are going to play the game.

    Years ago I was chatting with a curate. He said that if he preached from the pulpit what he studied at college the flock would tear him from the pulpit. He had to “interpret” what he had been taught and researched. I think many of the congregation feel the same. They just don’t want to think about it.

  11. barriejohn says:

    I don’t know what to make of these people. When I was a Christian I thought that I believed the Bible, but I obviously doubted it in my heart, as I eventually saw the light and freed myself from the shackles of “faith”. As I have commented before, I well remember the furore over “Honest to God” (Bishop John Robinson) when I was at college, and over the views of David Jenkins later on – both of whom were the type of articulate and intelligent churchman with whom one could have a challenging and thought-provoking debate, yet both of whom were “crucified” by the press. “How dare they call themselves Christian ministers when they don’t believe in the Virgin Birth, the miracles, or the Resurrection of Christ”!

  12. barriejohn says:

    I agree with Stonyground. Even if a living plesiosaur were found today (and there would need to be a large breeding group of them anyway), how would that “disprove” the theory of evolution? The coelacanth was supposed to have done that job years ago, if I remember rightly!

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/ev_disp.htm

  13. Matt Westwood says:

    “So, son, it says here you have A-levels in … sheesh, what *is* this? Creationism Awareness? Fundamental Truths? Anti-Evolutionitarianism? Hmm … okay, so tell me how you would program a computer to simulate a model of a solar system.”

    “I would pray to Lord Jesus and he would make the sun stop in its tracks! Just like Joshua!”

    “Er, ahem. Next!”

    I don’t think the few reamining competent engineers and system architects are going to be quaking in their boots at the onslaught of the young, fit and hungry competition.

  14. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    But dinosaurs and humans DO live together, we just call them birds these days.

  15. Matt Westwood says:

    That picture is interesting, by the way … it’s been suggested that elephants spent at least part of their evolution as an aquatic mammal, which explains the lack of fur, the bulk, the ear flaps and the snorkel. Could Nessie *really* be a colony of elephantoids who stayed in the water? Delightful thought.

    I may be wrong, but I think this is mentioned in Elaine Morgan’s fascinating “Aquatic Ape” hypothesis which raises similar anger amongst anthropologists as evolution does amongst rednecks.

  16. mikespeir says:

    Well, hey, God proves Darwin wrong! The problem is, there’s no good evidence for God, either.

  17. stargraves says:

    Ah – Nice one Graham Martin-Royle – I see what you did there…

    I love crypto-zoology though – that aquatic elephant puppeteer is a genius work of anti-genius – just because it’s bonkers – what’s the point of enjoying skepticism if it is limited to merely backslapping reality all the time – I like being kept up to date with what the mongolian death worm is allegedly up to these days, or chupacabra perhaps, etc – while it is all clearly as feasible as bollocks on a hatstand, it’s no less entertaining.

    What is scary though and damaging – is trying to pass their lunacy off as testable scientific truth. And as much as I deplore the intellectual-downgrade engineering that they are performing on their children, due to my concerning humanitarian secular nature and belief in equality of opportunity for all mankind, it does make me guffaw, and clearly give my children the competitive advantage on not being shite-spouting braindead ass-hats like the offspring of say, Kent Hovind!

  18. Stuart W says:

    I wonder, do ACE explain either why there is no mention of dinosaurs in the Bible?

  19. Stuart W says:

    Um, extract the ‘either’ from the above!

  20. Broga says:

    @barriejohn: I well remember the Honest to God debate. Then there was Teilard de Chardin. And if you go back to the 1860’s Henry Newman (en route now to sainthood I think) had a try at producing evidence for God. At least they were not slavering at the mouth fundies lusting at the prospect of anyone not of their belief spending an eternity in hell.

    I spent a bit of time around Loch Ness on holiday. I never saw any sign of the monster. I did have one moment of extreme fear but that was when my son, aged 14 at the time, set off to swim across the loch. I hauled him back after he had gone 50 yards.

  21. barriejohn says:

    But Stuart W, dinosaurs are CLEARLY mentioned in the Bible!

    http://clarifyingchristianity.com/dinos.shtml

  22. barriejohn says:

    The Accuracy of the Bible

    Some people believe that the Bible is not a scientifically accurate book, and that it is only a “spiritual book,” that forgot about dinosaurs or described them incorrectly. This is not the case. Nobody has ever proven that the Bible contains any inaccurately recorded information. (If you think someone has such evidence, contact us: and show us the evidence. We will post that evidence with our reply in our FAQ section for the world to see—literally.) You do not have to believe the Bible just because someone says you are supposed to. That is blind faith, and blind faith is something you do not need with Christianity. The Bible and Christianity have been proven to be true. (See our page called “How Do You Know The Bible Is True?”) There is no other religion or “holy writing” that can honestly make the same claim. You may also wish to get a copy of the book “Know Why You Believe” by Paul Little. It addresses the facts that support Christianity in clear and simple terms.

    Priceless!

  23. Daz says:

    Barriejohn

    But, but, but…

    All dinosaurs were Vegetarian!

  24. Marky Mark says:

    There is a fundamentalist theme park here in the bible belt of the ol USA that claim that humans and dinosaurs did exist at the same time. Since they cannot explain away the existence of these creatures do to the overwhelming evidence. They are saying that the carbon dating that science used is wrong since the earth is only 5000 years old. And since Adam & Eve were amongst the first creatures on the planet, therefore humans and dinosaurs had to exist together…and were probably friends as they have a model of a child saddled up and riding a dinosaur. And parents actually take their children there and I’m guessing that most are Appalachian inbreeds.

  25. Marky Mark says:

    Oops, barriejohn has the link…sorry I missed that!

  26. charlie says:

    Oh bother. I had no idea that Louisiana was that dumb when I moved here in 2000. As to Bobby Jindal, why did he convert to RCC? To get elected I suppose. Can’t have some Hindu as governor here in the deep South of the US of A.
    I fear for the kids who will be subjected to this crap. The education system here is bad enough. They have something called the “LEAP” test and most schools seem to only teach the test, so the students in public schools are already getting short changed. Now they add this crap of “xtian” education and “ID” on top of things. Any wonder why the US of A is falling far behind other nations of the world? This will bring us into the dark ages.

  27. […] Barry Duke Tweet(function() { var po = document.createElement('script'); po.type = 'text/javascript'; po.async […]

  28. JohnMWhite says:

    That is blind faith, and blind faith is something you do not need with Christianity.

    That’s pretty much the opposite of what Jesus said. Somebody hasn’t been reading their bible very carefully.

    I’m almost tempted to email them with a handful of inaccuracies in the bible just to see how they magically dismiss them, but I really am getting tired of arguing with people who will say black is white if a religious authority tells them to. It’s not productive, it’s demoralising and kind of disturbing since it’s not hard to imagine these people smothering me in my sleep if their faith demanded it of them.

    That’s obviously a bit melodramatic and I don’t truly believe the vast majority of religious people are complete psychopaths, but when you keep getting into conversations where reality and the definition of words just do not matter, and where every argument is pointed toward justifying a particular pet-hate or prejudice, then one can start to lose faith in people’s ability to actually understand what they think in their own heads.

  29. Phred says:

    Those poor, poor children. I can just imagine the cognitive dissonance they’ll carry around for the rest of their lives as a result of such “education”. So far as I’m concerned, this is nothing short of child abuse, and the perpetrators should be punished accordingly.

  30. barriejohn says:

    JMW: Precisely. The Bible calls for blind faith and unquestioning obedience. Nothing else will do. If you have just the very tiniest bit of faith and tell a mountain to move it will make off and deposit itself in the ocean. The mechanics of this is of no concern to anyone. As a Christian, I could see that there was definitely something iffy, if not subversive to faith, in all the “evidence” produced in support of Christian belief. Surely, to still believe in the face of mounting – even overwhelming – evidence that that faith was illogical was the mark of a true believer!

    But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty. (I Cor. 1:27 KJV)

  31. Robster says:

    If the lake monster proved Darwin wrong, why is it that a silent, invisible, inactive and completely ineffectual deity proves a belief in said deity is also wrong? Seems pretty obvious to me.

  32. There were some problems with the reporting of this story. It rolled from the Louisiana law that allowed publicly funded vouchers for Bible-based schools. I’m not clear how much these textbooks are or will be used so this MAY be blown out of proportion. This law has a good chance of being challenged as unConstitutional.

    What do living dinosaurs, the Loch Ness Monster and the Ku Klux Klan have in Common: http://wp.me/p21oZP-2No

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