5 Even Worse Lies from Accelerated Christian Education

Top 5 Lies Taught By Accelerated Christian Education has had as many views as all my other posts to date combined. Luckily, there’s plenty more where that came from. I bought several brand new PACEs with my own money this week so I could check what is currently being taught. Most of the evidence here comes from these newly purchased PACEs; this stuff is being taught today. By the way, if you wish to support my project, buying me a PACE (they’re about $3 + p&p) would be the most helpful way. Alright, let’s do this.

5. The Second Law of Thermodynamics Disproves Evolution.

“The first and second laws of thermodynamics demonstrate what the Bible tells about the creation of new matter or energy. Things change, but they degenerate. These laws also demonstrate that the Genesis account of Creation is consistent with scientific evidence.”

Accelerated Christian Education, Science 1096, p. 7

Two whole pages are spent on this argument. And, well, it’s not true. Next.

4. Mark’s Gospel Was Written in 50 A.D.

“In attempting to fix the date of this Gospel, the critics range from A.D. 44 to A.D. 75. Recent criticism is decidedly in favor of a date prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. It seems certain that this Gospel was written between A.D. 46 and A.D. 56, and the evidence as a whole points to A.D. 50 as the most probable date.

Accelerated Christian Education Basic New Testament Survey 98

Well, at least they admit there is a range of critical opinion. After that, everything heads south. In fact, the best estimates on the writing of Mark range from 65 to 80, with the scholarly consensus at shortly after 70.

But you know what? The date isn’t the problem with that paragraph. The problem is evidence: There isn’t any. What critics say this? What are their arguments? Why are the PACE writers “certain” it was written before 56? They don’t say. Maybe they have access to astonishing evidence that Mark was written two decades earlier than scholars believe. We just don’t know.

They teach in this way because they expect students not to ask any questions. In their God-given role as teachers, the students’ supervisors are not to be challenged. Obedience to authority is central to ACE, and students are required to accept what they are taught on that authority alone. This is a miserable way to teach. It doesn’t prepare you for the real world, where you have to weigh evidence in order to make decisions. Also, it’s just boring. Biblical history is a fascinating subject. It’s not the dates that are fascinating – it’s how we know this stuff. Teach it!

It gets worse. Although the quote above refers to 50 A.D. as a “probable date”, the word “probable” is not used again. By the time we get to the test, students are asked this question: “The date of the writing of Mark was____________.” And any answer other than the one ACE gives will be marked wrong. This, please remember, is what students in ACE  schools in Britain do instead of GCSEs and A levels.

It’s the same with all the other Bible books in ACE’s New and Old Testament Surveys, if you were wondering.

3. No Transitional Fossils Exist.

This gradual change from fish to reptiles has no scientific basis. For the change, to have taken place many transitional forms would have been developed. However, no transitional fossils have been or will ever be discovered because God created each type of fish, amphibian, and reptile as separate, unique animals. Any similarities that exist among them are due to the fact that one Master Craftsman fashioned them all.

Accelerated Christian Education, Science 1099, p. 30

Tiktaalik

Apparently, this doesn’t exist.

That’s right. No transitional fossils have been foundNone at allAnywhere.

About the second half: “or ever will be discovered.” That is not a scientific claim. Science can never make dogmatic predictions about the future. It has no place in a science text.

2. Scientists Believe the “Hopeful Monster” Theory.

This one’s obscene. ACE purposely misrepresents scientific thought in order to discredit it.

“In a desperate attempt to keep the ‘sinking ship’ of evolution afloat, recent ‘scientists’ have proposed a new theory. This theory states that certain organisms experienced (for some unexplained reason) a dramatic genetic disturbance that hurled them across the gap left by the missing links. This theory, called the ‘hopeful monster’ theory, has no scientific basis.”

 Accelerated Christian Education, Science 1107

The hopeful monsters hypothesis was proposed by one scientist, Richard Goldschmidt, and rejected by the scientific community. It has never been part of the scientific community’s thinking on evolution. In any case, it’s doubtful that even what Goldschmidt proposed was so ludicrous as the way ACE depicts it:

The Hopeful Monster Theory

What Scientists Believe, According to ACE

In their mendacious textbook, ACE give students the impression that mainstream scientists believe evolution works like this:

There were only fish. Then one day a fish mysteriously gave birth to a frog. Then there were reptiles… Then there were mammals… Then one day a monkey gave birth to a human and… voila! The human race.

From Social Studies 1098, describing how animals developed in the wake of Noah’s Flood (I wish I were making this up): “These were not evolutionary changes, for a bird never changed into a frog.”

And from Science 1096: “Dogs always produce dogs, never cats or other animals.”

This makes a straw man look substantial. So, do the PACE writers genuinely not understand evolution? Or are they purposely lying about it? And if the former, why are they writing about it?

Other PACEs criticise the old idea of Lamarckism, another straw man attack on evolution. I genuinely remember reading, “If you cut off a dog’s tail, its puppies will still have tails,” as though this were some amazingly insightful attack on scientific thinking.

1. Science Proves Homosexuality is a Learned Behaviour.

In the PACE materials on reproduction, science is taught alongside moralising with no distinction made between the two: both are equally factual. Under a section titled “Man’s Corruptions”, we find, unsurprisingly, homosexuality.

“Some people mistakenly believe that an individual is born a homosexual and his attraction to those of the same sex is normal. Because extensive tests have shown that there is no biological difference between homosexuals and others, these tests seem to prove that homosexuality is a learned behaviour. The Bible teaches that homosexuality is sin. In Old Testament times, God commanded that homosexuals be put to death. Since God never commanded death for normal or acceptable actions, it is as unreasonable to say that homosexuality is normal as it is to say that murder or stealing is normal.”

Science 1107, p. 10

Let’s just assume, for a second, that they’re right about all the biological tests showing homosexuals are the same as “others”, as they put it. That in no way proves that homosexuality is a learned behaviour. Lack of proof for proposition A does not constitute proof for proposition B. It’s a non-sequitur. And the purpose of teaching science has to be to teach proper reasoning and application of the scientific method. 

Furthermore, this is science. So what were these tests? What was the methodology, and what were the results? Can the data be generalised? Are the findings repeatable? If you’re not using the scientific method, it isn’t science. As I’ve already argued, the only way ACE can make their arguments work is to distort the scientific method. So that’s what they do.

Anyway, it seems there is a biological component in sexual orientation, so they’re lying about that, too.

So…

Do you think this type of education should be legal? Some people argue that teaching children misinformation is a form of neglect or even abuse, so it should be illegal. Others claim that civil and religious liberties are so important that we cannot outlaw fundamentalist education without undermining our democratic values. I will be exploring both arguments in future blog posts. For now, please let me know what you think in the comments.

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About Jonny Scaramanga

I grew up as a Christian fundamentalist in the UK. Now I am writing a book and blog about what that's like, and what fundamentalists believe.

Posted on May 28, 2012, in Accelerated Christian Education, Christianity, Creationism, Education, Faith Schools, Fundamentalism and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 129 Comments.

  1. Has to be the homosexuality one. They’re all despicable—especially when foisted off as Truth™ to children—but hat one has direct social consequences.

    • richard vallon

      Daz I did not vote that way- but putting it the way you did- I now totally agree with you.
      Of course as a child I was subjected to right wing Christian thought which said all fossils were placed here by the devil to fool us. Now they say the dossils do not exist. Now they say Gay people were placed here by the devil. Their goal- in the future to say gay people never existed.

      • Richard, it’s not central to the point, but I have to say that I’m in continual awe of people like you and Jonny, who’ve been indoctrinated and managed to think their way out of it. I was raised faithless (not atheist so much as left to make my own mind up, but with no strong religious influence), so I can’t know; but a little voice at the back of my head always wonders if I would have been able to do the same.

        Kudos. Folks like you truly are awesome.

  2. I agree that all of these are terrible, but I think the attempt to make teaching them to children illegal would have a backlash effect and would start a dangerous precedent.

    I think the best way to deal with this is to do exactly what this blog is doing- bringing attention to the issue, putting pressure on ACE and other similar organizations to change their curriculum, especially where their are clear social effects such as in the homosexuality or racism example you cited prior.

    Perhaps also we should develop a standard science curriculum with opt-out/replacement guidelines for people such as fundamentalists. Instead of studying biology they’d have to double down on
    science subjects that are non-controversial such as chemistry. To me ACE is filling a market “need” for junk science that emerges from the belief by a certain minority of parents that their religious beliefs and mainstream science are incompatible and therefore shouldn’t be taught to their kids. Remove the need for junk science and ACE would disappear like the Greek gods.

    • Thanks for your thoughts Rick. To me, the “dangerous precedent” you mention is the biggest downside of making this type of education illegal.

      The trouble is that the providers can not be persuaded that they should do something differently – as I’ve already argued, they don’t think, they know they are right.

      I think a standardised curriculum is worth investigating, but there are problems – who would write it? Whenever the British government does something on education, they always seem to make it worse.

      You’re right – spreading correct information is the solution. This isn’t a conversation we should even be having in 2012.

      • They don’t know…They believe they are right.
        Those who don’t know don’t know they don’t know….and they never will until they question their beliefs. If you can figure out how to make that happen, you are a genius.

    • Not accrediting them is not the same a making them illegal. These questions do not represent consensus scientific knowledge (they intentionally misrepresent scientific knowledge) and should not be accepted a legitimate science teaching.

  3. “Because extensive tests have shown that there is no biological difference between homosexuals and others, these tests seem to prove that homosexuality is a learned behaviour.”

    Your second, hypothetical example isn’t really equivalent, although obviously I agree that the original statment is ludicrous. The problem is the implication that a lack of evidence for a biological difference proves that there is none. You simply can’t do this. Lack of proof does not equal disproof; proof of the absence of something does not exist*.

    The irony is that religion relies upon this fact, because you can’t prove the non-existence of God either. Or the Loch Ness monster. Or purple flying elephants.

    *Although I can’t prove that.

    • Thanks for setting me straight, Sarah. I might edit this post in light of this, but not now because I am too tired to write anything even vaguely good.

      • I’ve changed it. For anyone wondering, I removed the following sentences from the section on homosexuality: ‘They might as well say, “Because extensive tests show that people who read the Bible tend to have children, these tests seem to prove that reading the Bible leads to pregnancy.” It’s an epic non-sequitur.’

        Sarah is right, my example demonstrates confusing correlation with causality, which is a different type of error from the one ACE makes.

        In fact, I’m still not entirely sure I’ve explained this correctly. I need to read a book on formal logic and try again when I’m awake.

        Well, it’s not my fault my reasoning skills are poor. I was educated by ACE.

  4. Seriously? The hopeful monster theory? Why not just tell children that x-men is a documentary?

  5. I was educated with ACE (home school & private school) for 7 years and A Beka for 4. Passed my GED a year early. I love reading about evolution and am a dedicated atheist. I can only speak for myself, but my religious education did me little harm, unless you consider the opportunity cost of what I could have been learning. Science and readily available knowledge via the internet obliterated my religious bubble in no time. Although I don’t approve of what ACE calls education, there are much bigger problems in the world. The availability of knowledge we enjoy today is very powerful and faith-based reasoning is very weak.

    • Thank you for coming by Sabrina. I welcome your comment and thought-provoking point of view, but I must admit I find opinions like yours a bit depressing.

      While I agree there are bigger problems in the world, and you might argue that I ought to spend my time on one of them, I do think this is a battle worth fighting. Education is important because it affects the quality of the future for life on our planet.

      It’s true the arguments are often weak. If you had an education system that teaches 2+2=5, or the sky is green, most students would see through that quite quickly, but that wouldn’t make it an acceptable way to teach.

      I also think that the method of instruction in ACE (individualised learning in carrels) is harmful, quite apart from the content, as is the way the system is designed to discourage inquiry and critical thought. And I think the opportunity cost you refer to matters a great deal.

      Not everyone is as good at reasoning as you, and huge numbers of ACE graduates never shake off their miseducation.

  6. They all do. Anything that makes a person ignore the truth in favor of some comforting little fairy tale is a crock.

  7. I was involved, as a new Christian, in IT, media & curriculum development managent in the UK offices. I am still a practising Christian and know that no system is perfect. I opted for this because of bullying in main stream schooling.
    My youngest two children went through the system, one is now doing a masters in computer science, the other was a very gifted child is a now reject because she wanted to question the system. I am also a reject because I questioned and “made trouble”. I was constructively dismissed after a mental health issue after a marriage breakdown. Not the norm you see divorce.
    You need to be totally compliment with them to be accepted. When you try to move on, you are blocked without references. They pay is awful for women and men are favoured in salary.
    My daughter now in her twenties should be a qualified teacher but instead getting the qualifications I should have let her persue years earlier.
    Some of the character training is good and lack of bullying a draw, but at what cost?

    • Thank you for commenting Christine. I’m glad to hear from a practising Christian. I want people to know I am not waging war on Christianity, just particular harmful practices within some churches and Christian groups.

      I too have found that they will not engage with me at all when I want to question the system.

      Thanks very much for coming by. I wish you and your daughter all the best.

      • I am a believer in Jesus, this Truth has never be disputed for me….( especially since I came to Jesus late in life!)
        I do want to say, though, that we quite using ACE after I discovered it taught LORDSHIP salvation!
        Second, I see that both sides of your argument is highly flawed: Both Evolution and Creation is a religion in itself- Be careful about disputing evolution with scientific “facts” I have a professor around the corner who teaches at a secular university (biology) who holds to creation view point. Science and God’s word can be reconciled. Here is the issue that I see: We must allow our children to see both sides of any argument, if we do not, they will later feel duped when they enter into a highly secular/ evolution society. I wonder if this is what happened to you? ACE does a poor job at showing the other side, I agree. But, seriously, you can’t really agree that the theory of evolution is true, just because of a few flawed reasons that the creationist proposed their theories? You do realize that science is a FLAWED area, right? You really believe that we are evolving into something better? and that the world is evolving into a better place? I hope that you are not walking away from Jesus because of human error? Tell me, when did God ever lie to you? Please don’t think that I am being to harsh, I just honestly care, even if I don’t know you.

  8. Well, I guess it depends on whether you think it should be legal to teach school children that women are inherently inferior to men, that fairies exist and influence events in the world, that cancer can be cured through prayer alone whilst chemotherapy demonstrates a lack of faith, or that humans never walked on the moon. All of these are beliefs. All are not demonstrable, but are matters of faith. Once one allows the teaching of lies as facts, where does one draw the line? Simpletons say, “Only my beliefs should be taught, because I am of the majority. But populations shift and majoriities change. Where will you be when you are no longer of the majority?
    If the teaching of beliefs as facts and the teaching of outright lies of facts is not illegal, then there are no lines, no boundaries, and the way is open to indoctrinate children with whatever beliefs appeal to the majority of the day.

  9. Hello,

    I just wanted to stop by and say thank you for this blog post. It was a great read including the comments. Keep it up!

    -A new Subscriber.

    • Thanks Leon, and thanks for subscribing. I hope I’ll keep providing stuff you find interesting. Please let me know if there’s anything you particularly want to read.

  10. Surely the government should be looking at these schools and the parents of children sent to them, with a view to banning them. We just do not need this bronze age thinking hindering our society in the twenty first century. Like Sarah Nash says, we cannot prove the non-existence of gods, however, we can put the burden of proof upon them and exclude their ludicrous ideas and opinions from the public arena until they have peer reviewed proof of the existence of their god and that he agrees with them.

    • Hi Ron. I agree, essentially. I’ll be looking at the case for making fundamentalist schools illegal in future posts. Speaking of peer review, I’ve in fact just sent an essay on this very subject to a couple of the best philosophy graduates I know, with a view to getting it published. I’ll keep you posted.

  11. No, this shouldn’t be legal. Religion should not be foisted off as science. Too bad the asshat in Canterbury can’t get as exercised about this as he can about gay marriage.

  12. “or ever will be discovered”. Actually, that is a scientific claim, one of the best! You see, the real test of any theory is not how well it explains past observations. There are an infinite set of theories that explain any finite set of observations. The real test of a theory is when it goes out on a limb and makes predictions.

    History is a science because it predicts all kinds of evidence never will be found; like british legal documents written in chinese ideographs. If it ever is found, we know that history is wrong and needs fixing.

    Eliezer Yudkowsky describes this as “Making Beliefs Pay Rent“. OR in a noted fanfiction, the “put-up-or-shut-up, stick-your-neck-out-and-make-a-prediction-or-stop-pretending-to-believe-in-your-theory rules of Muggle science.

    Of course, making a prediction that has already been disproved is considered a stupid thing to do in public.

    • Thanks for commenting. I agree with you in principle – science does make predictions. But there’s a difference between “According to the evolutionary model we would expect to find…” and a dogmatic THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN!!!111!!!

      Perhaps a real scientist could weigh in… This post’s had thousands of views. Someone with credentials must be watching.

      • Regarding Tiktaalik (the example you used as a transitional fossil): One can argue not only that this fossil fills a gap in our understanding of the transition from fish to amphibian, but also that its discovery was a fulfilled prediction of a paleontological model. Neil Shubin lays out in “Your Inner Fish” how he knew there was a gap, and what kind of fossil he might expect to find. Then he figures out where sedimentary rocks of the right age were exposed (arctic Canada) and after several field seasons of work, lo and behold, the fossil is there. In other words, the existence of a fossil like Tiktaalik, and the age of the rock in which it should be found, were prior predictions based on a previous understanding based on other fossils relevant to the transition to land. The way Shubin and his collaborators zeroed in on where it should be shows the robustness of their prediction.

        Oh, and on the “ever will be discovered” claim, that is eminently falsifiable. So much so that paleontology museums are full of the fossils that destroy it as a claim. The problem, of course, is that religious fundamentalists don’t accept that their ideas could *ever* be false, or falsified.

        And finally, I do have a credential (PhD, Integrative Biology, Berkeley). I had many grad student friends who could have given quite a tour through the UC Museum of Paleontology collection to anybody with an open mind. Thanks for all your advocacy!

  13. I was not raised in a christian enviorment, but when I became a christian these were some of the things I was taught.

    Now I feel if I was to raise my son according to ACE standards I would be doing him a dis-service, by denying him the chance to fully embrace science properly

    • That’s only one of the ways you’d be doing him a disservice. I sometimes feel that no education would be better than what happens in many ACE schools, because although there would be no learning, there would also be no destructive influence, and no prejudice to unlearn.

  14. Im a creationist, and Im still learning more about the teachings of ACE. I do believe in a young earth and I do believe that everything was created by God. The secular world have become to used to believing that the world is billions of years old that they cant comprehend that man actually walked along with dinosaurs. I cant believe the world is billions of years old, or even millions… Its hard to think that man is intelligent (like no other creature on earth) and yet we have only managed to successfully record history for the last few thousand years? what the heck were we doing for all those billions of years before that? looking at what mankind has achieved in the last 200 years, it surprises me that for billions of years we were apparently just blundering idiots…
    there is NO proof of an old earth! NONE – there is theory and carbon dating (which still really cant PROVE anything) but there is no proof of an old earth.
    the only way we really know what happened 4000 years ago is because of history that was actually written down by man. Yet the world believes the earth is billions of years old… I just cant get my heard around that at all. take a look at creation… how everything works on its own, from the starts to the smallest seed.
    ACE may not have all their cookies in a row, and I have not done my research on this… But why are you making such a fuss about it? its a private curriculum, people who use it, chose to do so on their own. Where as in public schools – the bible is not allowed (even though everything in it really did happen)
    where they do teach evolution and the parents who dont believe have no say.. where they teach falsely about israel and palestine
    where they teach about sex in elementary grades,

    this is a free country – and there is a lot of crazy stuff out there that you could really be more concerned about.
    Maybe you should open a bible and read it through.. and then read it again.

    • Hi “Bad”.

      You are simply repeating things you have been told which aren’t true. There’s no other way to explain how wrong you are about this.

      Carbon dating is not the only means we have of determining the age of the Earth. Here’s a Christian site on the subject:

      I’m not going to address the rest of your arguments. There are forums on the internet for debating Creationism, but this isn’t it.

      I have read the Bible, and it’s packed with errors. Read Dawkins’ “The Greatest Show on Earth” and Bart Ehrman’s “Misquoting Jesus”, and then come back and tell me the Bible is inerrant.

      I appreciate you coming here and joining in the discussion, but I do not allow Creationist debate here. Any more “proofs” of Creation you offer will be deleted (unless you have something brand new which has never been posted on the internet before, anywhere, by anyone, ever). Otherwise, you are welcome to join in the debate.

    • Bad, It’s nice to know you can throw away the sum of scientific knowledge because “you just don’t believe it”. WHILST COMMUNICATING ON A COMPUTER AND THE INTERNET!!

      Did you know that computers work on similar principles as carbon dating? It’s the same science. So if you don’t believe it, how do you explain computers and the internet?

      It is shameful that xtians like yourself will cherry pick what they decide is worth believing or not, whilst using technology that is directly related to what you dismiss.

      Sorry, had to be said.

  15. ps, you seem to read only one side of things.. did you read the Dawkins Delusion? in response to the God delusion?
    you read things like Misquoting Jesus, but what do you read from the other side to see if its possible to refute that…
    good research comes when you go into something with an open mind – read,research and study both sides.. and then make up your own conclusion.
    at the end of it all, and there will be an end… the choices you make will define your destination..

    I have found this site interesting, and its where I started my research when a friend asked me if I knew anything about ACE.

    I would never send my kids to an ACE school… deep deep down .. you will find some scientology roots..

    • I love that ‘open mind’ thing when creationists use it. It doesn’t mean what you apparently think it means:

  16. From looking at these posts, if you want to discredit ACE, I would be looking at the operation of the organisation closer rather than Christian beliefs. If you do this you are creating more persecuted Christians.
    All systems have flaws and that is where you can find fault with ACE more.
    Look into how the curriculum is created in the UK and how the certification is marked. See who controls the whole thing and find irregularities that defy the law in their operation rather than the same old attack Christians. I guess no system even the state is ever perfect, but with ACE at least within its offices, it defies the law. Anyone speaking out is silenced and character put into question.

  17. Just a comment as an afterthought is that many use ACE after a let down in state education in home school situations. I was such a parent. You do it in desperation as it is quite daunting to have your child ‘s curriculum to create. Many parents have difficulties and actually learn with their children. It is an easy option. Many are dissatisfied.

    • dissatisfied because your kids are learning logic and don’t believe your faith?

      • Many people are dissatisfied with the school system. Bullying, violence, drugs, lack of respect… and in some cases abuse from teachers to students. After my whole schooling experiencing levels of abuse that if I could prove, would shut the school down… it is no wonder that parents who’ve been through that sort of thing would not trust a school. Some of us do feel confident to put together our own curriculums, and some of us don’t. At the moment the govt regulations are getting so strict that it is hard to meet their requirements. HOwever, the ACE curriculum DOES tick the govts boxes.

        Did we learn logic at school? Not at all … we learned to accept what the teacher said without questioning. We didn’t learn how to read scientific research — we learned how to read the abstracts… we didn’t learn to question, we learn how to answer to get a good result in the test… the way the teacher thinks……

      • Hi Sarah,

        It’s sad to hear that you had such a terrible experience of school. I think the right response is to fight abuse wherever it occurs. In my view, moving over to ACE in order to avoid the problems you experienced just replaces one kind of abuse with another. And as we’ve seen on this site more than once, real physical and even sexual abuse can happen in ACE schools too.

        I find it bizarre that the ACE system meets government requirements, because the more I learn about education, the more I view ACE as the antithesis of what learning should be. Your school experience sounds awful too. I’m not convinced, though, that it’s representative. There’s a lot of propaganda from people like ACE about how bad secular schools, and Arizona State University’s David Berliner has done research demonstrating that it is misleading and ideologically motivated.

      • I was specifically talking about homeschooling. Every school I have taught at I have witnessed horrid bullying, and obviously the school I attended was abusive. It is partly because of my experince, but mostly because of the bullying that I consistently see in schools, that we choose to homeschool.

        With regards to homeschooling, personally, we use a very mixed curriculum with an emphasis on natural learning. However, the ACE paces fill a gap that no other system does. A curriculum that the child can work through almost unaided by the parent. This is great for parents who don’t know where to start with homeschooling. In our case, my kids finish the ACE paces in a short period of time (usually 1 month for 1 grade) – and the rest of the time we do natural learning. The ACE paces tick the government boxes, and we can learn in whatever way we like for the rest of the year. I know many parent with lots of children like ACE because it makes it possible for them to homeschool.

        With any curriculum there are pluses and minuses. I won’t say that I hold the ACE values on all issues. But when we disagree wiht ACE we are able to discuss with our children. They learn 2 points of veiw. The same as we would have to do if they went to school. Although, as a teacher, I am aware of more points of disagreement with the govt curriculum than with the ACE curriculum.

        There are elements of my education (for instance Grammar) which were not permitted to be taught in schools when I attended, and still aren’t taught in most schools where we are. Homeschooling allows us to teach some of those areas well, that if they went to mainstream school would be lacking. (Most of the teachers have terrible grammar and spelling, due to them being educated in the same system I was).

      • Well, in many cases the ACE view on things is utterly abhorrent, so I’m glad you don’t share it. I would worry, though, that you are being too complacent about these views not influencing your child. The opinions are stated very dogmatically by ACE. I know that I and many of this blog’s commenters adopted very extreme views during our education, which our parents didn’t realise we had.

        Grammar in schools is still a controversial issue. I agree that as things stand, many schools aren’t getting it right. I just taught a placement in a school and very bright pupils were doing all kinds of unhelpful things with punctuation. But the evidence has been clear for over a century now that, whatever the best way is to teach grammar, ACE-style drills are not it. Kids can learn those drills all day, and then totally fail to apply them to their writing. The latest report of Bridgend Christian School makes exactly this point.

        I also don’t think it’s a good thing that ACE provides a starting point for parents who would have no idea how to home school. If you don’t know where to start with education, you shouldn’t be doing it.

        I suspect that you are happy with a Young Earth Creationist view being taught. And that’s sad, because it is educationally detrimental, and it isn’t supported by the Bible any more than it is by science.

      • There is not one resource that i have ever found that I agree wtih completely. I did a science degree at university, and it was actually the evolutionists that were the most narrow minded. Evolution is still a theory, there are holes in that theory that aren’t taught in the first 3 years of university. I recall once being asked in a tutorial group “Can a creationist also be a scientist?” and everyone else in the class was saying that anyone stupid enough to believe in creation can’t be a scientist.

        I was the only one who is sceptical of evolution, and I argued that the belief of how the world began in no way effects someones ability to work as a chemist/physicist etc…. the university lecturer commented to me that I was the only one who would actually answer the question.

        Medical information and scientific information are handled in similar ways. people are taught part of the evidence… not the sum total. Doctors read the abstract, and not all the body of the study. Science students read conclusions, but not the evidence from which they come. There are holes in our medical knowledge as there are in our scientific knowledge.

        It offends me that children in school are being taught that evolution is a fact when it isn’t. It is one veiw on how the world began. My own children have learned both views, I have researched both too.

        I think creationists do themselves no favours with misquoting scientific evidence. Maybe it is that they don’t understand it — but they think they do. But I find too many holes in what they are saying. There is no point. I suspect it is lack of understanding.

        In the same way, if people really started reading into evolution, they would be unlikely to continue to believe it.

        YOu say you suspect I hold young earth view… actually I DON”T CARE. The earth may be young, it may be old.. but at the end of the day, no matter HOW he did it, I believe God created it. Every hundred years or so, Science will change its opinion on how old the earth is, and how it came to be. I’m not going to put my trust in science. No one I know was old enough to remember when the world began, and it has actually very little bearing on medical research and other scientific research that might forward our livelihoods.

        The end times and the beginning times I have this ‘I don’t care” approach. ACE curriculum teaches a commonly held view, it is good for my children to be aware of this veiw. The science musuem teaches another view, the kids are aware of that too. But I guess that comes from mixing natural learning with a curriculum – they get exposed to a whole heap of ideas etc.

  18. I think one of my favorite parts about the ACE argument against homosexuality is this:
    “Since God never commanded death for normal or acceptable actions, it is as unreasonable to say that homosexuality is normal as it is to say that murder or stealing is normal.”
    Now who hasn’t been reading their bible?

  19. I like the way “recent” scientists supposedly came up with the hopeful monsters theory, when Goldschmidt died in 1958. Recent?

  20. If you’re a Young Earth Creationists who is not threatened by the possibility of having your certainties challenged, you may find this website helpful:

    http://fixed-point.org/index.php/video/35-full-length/164-the-dawkins-lennox-debate

    Fixed Point hosts debates between Christians and prominent atheist thinkers like Dawkins and Hitchens. Debates can reinforce the widely accepted (false) idea that there are only ‘two sides to every argument’, but they can also help us to think constructively.

  21. thomas baszkowski

    In texas christian textbooks are now changing american history

    • Have you read Bill Bryson’s Made in America? Apparently all kinds of American sacred cows, like Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death” line, aren’t true.

  22. I’ve read many letters from believers in the religious experience. Many explain why I should do or not do something because the “Word of God” has rules about the subject. I don’t believe they are wrong in all cases, but, I would like to express an opinion which may be disturbing to some and thought provoking for others.

    First some caveats. I am not a learned man. I have not studied deeply the texts defining the faiths of the believers. I may sometimes use the wrong word or expression to describe a fact or belief. With that said, I have thought about these things for many years.

    The believers I speak of are diverse and call their belief systems by many names, primarily Christian, Jewish and Muslim. Because of our local culture most all of the writers are of the Christian persuasion. All these believe there is but one God. Silly, but they kill or hate each other because of or instead of this similar belief, I can‘t figure out which. It seems to me to be a totally ridiculous response to a belief in the same one God who has inspired the writing of books which are similar in content . Yes, this God has only stated his wants and requirements in certain Books which some humans have written down. According to them, under the inspiration of God. All the destruction is caused by individuals who purport to have the ability to discern what God wants either through direct contact or by interpreting the contents of these Books.

    The perpetuators of these first two named beliefs are called by many names from Rabbi to Reverend to Pastor to Pope. These people receive instruction in the beliefs and are declared by their teachers to be ready to propagate the that belief. To be sure, there are some people who declare themselves to be one of the propagators without benefit of being instructed. Any of these named people, instructed or not, may interpret the written word on which the beliefs are discerned in his own way.

    Let us take the two groups called Christian and Jews and ask some questions.

    First we must explain that these two groups base their beliefs on a group of writings called the “Bible”. Though both groups use the older portion, i.e., the Old Testament or Torah, only the Christians use the New Testament which includes the “Gospel”. Though men had to actually write the books, they are considered the Word of God. It should be noted that there are or were many writings considered to be included in this canon, but, it had to be decided, amongst men, which were to be excluded. This choice was not just done once but many times over the history of these writings.

    Why is it believed that the God of the universe would select a small insignificant tribe of desert nomads to be the ONLY humans to understand what he wanted in the way of obedience, societal behavior and worship? And why would He manifest Himself in the guise of a poor itinerant preacher of that tribe and say that He would sacrifice the human form He had acquired as expiation of the sins against Himself of all those who would believe that He in fact had done this? And why does this God require us to worship him? Is he of such low self-esteem that he requires his creations to acknowledge him, constantly? Isn’t this just all a human mind game trying to understand, with our logic, our place in the vast universe?

    How many humans existed when this God made this initial selection? Remember, the world had reached its first billion of living humans in about 1800 of the ‘Common Era’, or ‘Anno Domino’. Why didn’t he offer the same circumstances to ALL the humans then in existence? Are we to believe that God had offered this system to other tribes and ALL of them had turned him down? Nobody understood the significance of the offer except this one tribe? Are there no people in existence since this initial choice who merit the same treatment?

    This one tribe had the temerity and ego to suppose they were a “Chosen People”, which is probably understandable considering their leaders spoke to God. Many other tribes and people seem to have accepted this because this tribe was a successful group. This selected tribe developed a system of human behavior and society which followed reasonable, successful basic rules that became codified in various forms. The morality of these rules is the basis of our western laws and morals. Other parts of the world and its citizens developed similar codes of societal behavior.

    Now we find another group, the Muslims, followers of the faith of Islam. A group who believe that one man from the Arabian peninsula was privy to the revealed thoughts of Allah. He wrote them down some 500 hundred years after the God of the Christians sacrificed Himself and about 2500 years after the tribe mentioned above began their history with God and now a portion of the earths population believe that what this Arabian man wrote is the word of Allah (God ?). It is interesting that this man considered his families and religious beginnings to be descended from the above mentioned, “Chosen People”. Whether God and Allah are the same entity is in dispute.

    Each generation of Muslims have perpetuators of the belief whom they call Imam. For some reason, any Imam can interpret the writings of the words of Allah in any fashion he desires. Apparently, anyone who desires may call himself an Imam, there being no central authority on who has the knowledge and faith to be an Imam. Sounds eerily similar – what? Oh, these Imams may declare a fact or action to be the will of Allah and even though that action is against the basic rules of the religion the perpetrator acting under cover of that declaration will be treated as a hero not a criminal, at least by Allah, according to the Imams.
    ———————————————————
    Now some more questions.
    What explains the remains of humans and their endeavors found in various parts of the world which obviously predate the stories this small tribe ascribes to itself and its history? Is all the found evidence false or falsified? Is the science which dates these artifacts a sham or totally mistaken?

    How does one explain the fossil remains of obviously extinct forms of life? Did a creator make mistakes and those mistaken entities died because they could not compete for resources? How would an all knowing creator come to make a mistake? Does the previous existence of extinct forms of life fit into a great plan of this creator?

    How does one explain the differences in the human form? Are they merely different tribes created by God/Allah or are they mutations of genetic matter? Science says the genetic differences are miniscule but because they affect the outer appearance they are perceived to be wide differentiations of the human form by many. If they are genetic mutations then that proves that part of the “Theory of Evolution’, does it not?

    Many of the above questions presuppose one or another philosophical thought on the type of creator we are thinking of: One who creates and lets the accidents of nature and the free will of the created follow their own ways or a creator who plans all things and everything is predetermined. Even so, the other questions remain.

    Is the story of creation just that? A story to explain the world and its people to a relatively naive people. It is known that various tribes over the worlds surface have various creation stories and because the human mind is not very different in any of its manifestations the stories can be similar or different depending on the mindset of the proponents and their life experience. One who has never seen a mountain may believe the whole earth is very smooth while the mountaineer might believe there are no deserts or great plains where mountains cannot be seen.

    It is requested that all who claim that the word of God as explicated in the Bible or Koran, or explained by any one man be viewed as merely one opinion among many and not be used as the controlling, absolute law of the world. To use the general rules and common sense of these books is a good idea for they are, in many cases, the distilled wisdom of many people and their experiences. But, to condemn, kill or force any person to do anything because of the interpretations of these books or the pronouncements of a perpetuator of their belief systems is to avoid the greatest truth shining from it all: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!

    And how do we explain the remaining people of the earth? In the Asiatic and African regions a population of about 3 to 4 billion people have many religious beliefs which do not comport with the three mentioned above which require a written book to define the relationship between God and human. What are they – condemned to have no contact with the God of creation?

    Because there is no answer to most of the questions posed why can’t we just admit that there probably was or is some force or being which started this universe and we don’t know what it is or was.
    Accept that as fact and apply the Golden Rule stated in the previous paragraph because it has proved to be the one constant of human relationships which produces the greatest good.

  23. my god u make my day with this stuff, though its horrifying that these books are even in circulation and schools teach from them…. at least with other creationist or intelligent design books have qualifiers. still amazing thanks for bringing this to light, i never…. wow… im speechless

  24. I attended an ACE School from 1984 to 1993. Looking back it is amazing what I accepted as fact based on what I read in my PACE. One Social Studies PACE in particular stuck in my mind. I completed this PACE in Elementary. This particular PACE was attempting to teach me about the Muslim religion. It stated something along the lines of, and I’m paraphrasing because I can’t quite recall the exact words or PACE number, in order to become a Muslim, one has to repeat 3 times “I hate God” or “I don’t believe in God” or ” I don’t believe in Jesus Christ”. It was something along these lines. Any help would be nice. It would be quite a find to actually have such evidence for the lies that this system purports.

    Teaching these kinds of half truths and misrepresentations to impressionable children of 8 or 9 is extremely dangerous. However, it is a “slippery slope” to attempt to use the legal system to tell parents what they can and can’t teach their children. For this reason I do not believe that it is feasible to make such education illegal. I can only hope that parents will use wise judgment and common sense when it comes to the education of their children. It is unfortunate that people think it’s acceptable to misrepresent the facts and tell outright lies if it makes a point.

    It goes without saying that the style in which these PACEs are written would not be acceptable in any reputable institution of higher learning. Writing things such as “experts say” (what experts?), “critics say” (which critics?), or “studies show” (name the studies) is in poor form. How about using some citations from legitimate sources–and I don’t mean some so-called “not-for-proft” creation science organization that was bought-and-paid-for by ACE. Such organizations approach science with a subjective attitude, which goes against the very essence of science. Science is indeed supposed to be objective.

    When I was in school, questions concerning doctrine were discouraged. To question the authority of the Bible was and is tantamount to heresy. Therefore, it is impossible for a child to get his or her facts straight when placed in this sort of environment. This is mind control in its purest, most dangerous form. Another serious issue with me when it comes to this system is that the school that I attended sold this system to my parents by saying that the system allows a student to work at his or her own pace, so that accelerated students can excel while slower students wouldn’t be left in the dust, which is an issue with a conventional class room setting. This is a great doctrine; however, that’s not the way it worked. All students were expected to keep up with the accelerated students. Therefore if you failed to do this, you were made to feel as if there was something wrong with you, that you were lazy. I cannnot tell you how many times I had Bible verses about laziness and sluggards thrown at me as if they were firey darts. I would be spanked at school and then the teacher would call my parents and tell them that they were only allowed to spank me 5 times in one sitting, but I could and should be spanked more at home, and what I really lacked was discipline.

    I was able to deliver myself from this school in my 9th grade year, but the scars still exist. Please, don’t feel sorry for me! They weren’t able to break me–they were never able to break me even though they tried mightily. In my 8th grade year they took away my desk, which was in their little junior high/highschool room and forced me to stand at a desk, not sit; stand. I stood at an elementary desk for 5 months to be made an example of while all the 1st – 6th graders wondered what was wrong with this 8th grader standing at a desk in their classroom. I would not wish this on anyone, but because of this, my personal constitution grew ironclad.

    • Corey,

      Thanks for a brilliant and detailed response. I really appreciate it. It sounds like you’ve turned out OK, and I’m always glad to read stories which end well.

  25. All fossils are transitional fossils, because everything that is alive or has lived has evolved from earlier forms – ultimately single-celled organisms. What makes me angry about the lie that no transitional forms exist is that no evolutionary scientist talks about ‘transitional forms’ these days – its way out of date. Fossils are very rare indeed so it is not surprising that we have no fossils for perhaps 99% of the creatures that have ever lived. Instead, scientists look for other evidence, such as DNA, to see how evolution has happened.

    Ack, the Stoopid, It burns!

  26. [The first two-thirds of this comment has been deleted because it contains Creationist arguments, in violation of the comment policy – Moderator.]

    I have not owned ACE at that part, but the test for homosexuality may be the identical twin one. If homosexuality is a gene, it must show up in both identical twins, right? Well, it turns out only 44% of identical twins with both being homosexual. http://www.tim-taylor.com/papers/twin_studies/studies.html

    • This is, of course, a valid point. The same argument could be made for a learned behaviour, however, since twins not only share genes, but also parents and the environment in which they are raised.

      I saw a documentary a few years ago (I can’t remember what it was called, I’m afraid, so this’ll have to be anecdotal) about twin boys, one of whom had turned out to be gay. Even when they were as young as 2 or 3, the gay one liked to dress up in girls’ clothes, play with dolls etc. whereas the straight one was into cars and action men. Now, obviously, being effeminate obviously doesn’t make you gay, and playing with action men doesn’t make you straight – but my point is, these two people were wildly different from an early age, and that doesn’t show up in genes either. Could nurture really have such an effect so quickly?

      I really don’t know. It might be that subtle, irrelevant differences in upbringing can have some sort of ‘butterfly effect’ and homosexuality isn’t biological. It might be that there is a genetic difference in twins – like fingerprints – but we just haven’t found it yet. Personally, I feel sure that whichever is true, being homosexual isn’t a conscious choice, simply based on how I feel about my own sexuality; it doesn’t feel like a choice, it feels like I just am a certain way.

      Whatever the answer, the point is that we don’t know yet, so it is equally incorrect to claim that homosexuality definitely isn’t biological as to claim that it definitely is. Either way, I don’t see that it matters, and it certainly has no place in a science ‘textbook’ in an ethical context.

      • I would just add to Sarah’s comment that it seems the research consensus is that there is at least a genetic component to homosexuality. Therefore the evidence given above is somewhat cherry-picked. As Sarah says, we’re unsure exactly how it works, but there is evidence that genes behave probabilistically, which would account for some situations where one identical twin is gay and the other isn’t.

    • Our understanding of “identical twins” has outgrown your supposition and is absolutely incorrect. The human genome, even when expressed from one zygote changes. You have to ask the right questions if you want to find the answers

  27. I’m not a fundamentalist, but I am a Christian, and I homeschool my children. I was searching for a Christian science curriculum with workbooks, and I ended up here. Even though I do believe in God as Creator, you have convinced me that ACE is not the curriculum I want to use for my children.

  28. Hi – I’ve been lurking on your blog for a couple of days now. I’m a serious introvert – old habits die hard. I know it’s somewhat tangential to your topic, but I read this snippet on http://www.creationism.org:

    quote

    Children need to learn that they’re not an evolutionary “accident” but that God created and loves them. Evolution in practice, historically speaking, always does the most damage to the weakest members of society. Why play fair? Why be honest? Because we were created for a purpose.

    unquote

    The first sentence denies that humans are an evolved species. The second tacitly supports evolution, while saying ‘evolution is evil’. The last is a rhetorical question suggesting that without the purpose gifted us by God, there is no point in being fair or honest.

    Oh, and the most annoying lie, for me, has to be the ‘thermodynamics disproves evolution’, because entropy is one of those fiddly little concepts that trips up a lot of people, along with a small proportion of physics students.

    Life is a self-organising system which makes use of the free energy in its environment to maintain itself.The energy it makes use (like any other energy-using system) is fed back into the environment in a form that tends towards thermodynamic equilibrium, increasing the net entropy in the environment. Without free energy, life cannot exist.

  29. Fundamentalist teachings need serious vetting. Fine, so there are civil liberties and rights etc; why not relegate such inflamatory material under ‘specialist’? Then again it all depends on the individual how he or she digests the content. I reservedly doubt that professional academics would come up with batty conjectures like those at CEE namely Arthur Roderick and his lap dog, Colin Slater.

  30. I haven’t read this whole blog, but I am happy to find real discussion. I believe God wants us to discuss issues and not be robots. I believe the original Words of God, the originator of all life, are true. Especially over the past year-and a-half I have found some things that have been dogmatically taught both in the secular and religious worlds are mistaken, partial truths, or lies, as I have investigated various thoughts. I think that the different sides of opposition react strongly because we all want to be right. A real blessing came when I understood that the whole message of God is wrapped in these 2 actions 1)Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength 2) and thy neighbor as thyself. We can rarely can say, “evidence proves, always,” etc. I’ve definitely taken a new look at education. As someone said, “I don’t let school get in the way of my education”. I think that when Jesus was at the temple when his parents were looking for him at age 12 he was doing this very thing, reasoning. I think God wants us to reason and I also believe that only God can bring us to believe what’s in the Bible. My believing in the Bible doesn’t mean I have all the correct answers of truth, but I do try judge (issues, not people, that’s God’s job) in the light it. I believe that God will judge me according to what he has placed in my heart. Keep searching for truth. Because I believe in God’s love for me, I believe he will lead me to truth if I ask. We’re just too stuck on feeling like we have to have all the answers.

  31. I am aware that there are many beliefs in our world. And I choose to not discredit or slam any of them. I think that it is sad that you have to create this blog just to feel better about yourself. What others choose to believe is their business. I would rather believe that there is a God and find out there isn’t than not believe and find out there is! (Just saying)
    So, I am not slamming what you have found or discrediting the research you have done. Bravo for spending so much time in something you have passion about! I am glad to see that there are still people that research their opinions before voicing them.

  32. Whoever wrote this you must be a true retard. ACE PACES are a God-given testimony unto our lives.
    Just because you do not have a life and are just trying to make a few bucks by having other people by PACES for you, which we all know that is not what you are going to buy.
    My opinion would be GET A LIFE! OR GO TO CHURCH.
    Clean your home, or at least try to watch your children…
    Thanks

    • ADrian Sephans, Good day to you. I clean my house, am a Christian AND see to my children. I also know that if this curriculum was outlawed, it would SAVE many more young people and indeed families suffering as we have.
      Perhaps you should state your case as to why the curriculum is so good and open a true debate.

    • Your comment “GET A LIFE! OR GO TO CHURCH.” interests me, as does your follow-up command “Clean your home, or at least try to watch your children…”. What you are offering are binary choices in situations where free will would allow a combination of both options, which (in my experience from reading this blog and other material from both sides of the ACE argument) seems to be exactly the kind of thing proliferated by ACE: Believe in God OR be incorrect and burn in Hell; accept that Earth is between 6,000 and 10,000 years old OR be a bad Christian – I could go on. What really concerns me is that these kind of binary choices are being offered to young children who, in my experience, will almost always choose the perceived “good” choice when one of two options is explicitly presented as bad or wrong. In this way, the roots of fanatical belief are planted in early life and, as I’m sure Jonny would be happy to confirm, cause myriad issues when attempting to confront your beliefs in later life. I’m going to choose to ignore (this comment aside) your fascinating juxtaposition of choices – either “get a life” OR “go to church” – as the questions it raises about your perceptions of life, church and religion are too numerous.

      Even pushing to one side my view of Accelerated Christian Education as laid out above, your comments still offer odd decisions. I have friends who are followers of almost all major religions, with the majority of these being of one Christian denomination or another. Needless to say, I am aware of people who lead both excellent and fulfilling lives as well as active roles in their chosen religious communities, as well as people of all faiths who are capable of cleaning their homes and “watching their children” (even at the same time – recent advances in domestic science really are incredible!).

      On this point, would you please clarify what you mean by “try to watch your children…”? I can choose to infer this in one of two ways – either that, as a follower of ACE, you believe that – as the offspring of a heathen – Jonny’s children will stray to evil without its rigid structure (considering the tone of your comment it is admirable, if misguided, of you to have such consideration). Alternatively, one could choose to perceive this as a personal threat by yourself against his children – and that wouldn’t be very Christian at all.

      Final point – I have visited Jonny’s home and can profess that, along with his partner, he keeps it at an absolutely top-notch level of cleanliness. I’m not quite sure why you would assume that he wallows in filth.

      NB: Although not religious myself, I have no problem with religious people. I feel that everyone is entitled (within reason – these two words are very important) to their own beliefs, assuming that these beliefs don’t impact upon the lives, happiness or wellbeing of others. Civilised debate between followers of different faiths is to be encouraged – this way, we can all learn more about ourselves, others, and how to live harmoniously. What is not acceptable is to blindly write off all others as miscreants and non-believers who should be shunned or punished. Analogously, I am perfectly entitled to believe that a 2001 Ford Fiesta is the best car in existence, and that Fiat Puntos are a bad choice of car. I am equally as entitled to enter into willing discourse with a Fiat Punto owner to inform him of why I feel so strongly about the Ford Fiesta, and if he reciprocates this interest, to hear why he feels similarly about the Fiat Punto. However, what I am not entitled to do is slash the tyres of every Fiat Punto I encounter, daub “unfaithful” across the windscreens in paint/mud/bodily fluids, then flee before the owners are aware – this is what is known in civilised communities as a “crime”.

  33. Excuse my language but FUCK. I went to an ACE school for 9 years of my life exposed to this insane bullshit. I am now a staunch atheist at age 30,but what a hell of a psychological nightmare journey it has been for me. I’m literally shaking reading some of the articles on here. The daily realization that I was so thoroughly lied to is absolutely infuriating.

  34. I’m torn between the homosexuality one and the transitional fossils one. Because the first one will just fuel people who think they can beat it out of them, and the second one is just plain false. I should know – I’ve seen them for myself.
    Anyone heard of the platypus? Endemic to Australia, monotreme – ie, a mammal with reptilian characteristics such as laying eggs? There’s an area of dried up creeks that contain fossilised platypus skeletons from a wide range of years – 1000, 800, 500, 300, 100, etc. (Not the exact dates, but you get the idea). If you line them up in chronological order, you get a flip book of reptile to mammal evolution. You can physically see the skeleton gradually becoming more mammalian. It’s quite cool to look at, actually.

    I don’t get why it’s so hard to understand: a scientific theory is not the same as a normal theory, and everyone knows that evolution is 100% true – the only thing people disagree on is HOW. That’s what the Theory of Evolution is – explaining the most likely and supported reason WHY evolution happens. I’m so glad I went to a Catholic school – the Vatican has said for a while now that evolution is a fact and should be accepted and taught in every school.

    If you believe it’s necessary to get more than one flu shot in your lifetime, then you must by default believe in evolution. Simple as that.

  35. There is dishonesty in your blog subtitle – Examining Christian Fundamentalism. This site does nothing of the sort. “Examination” implies analysing evidence from both sides and presenting your findings. “Christian Fundamentalism” implies that you will consider other sources of fundamentalism. It would be more appropriately title Attacking Accelerated Christian Education. If that’s what you want to do, go ahead, just be honest about it.

  36. I’ve been studying with Ace for nine years now and i can honestly say that it is a great blessing in my life. Right, they may have some mistakes but they are humans! So, why not instead of looking for mistakes dont you look for all the good things they teach us? i am sure they will be more. And if you all think that homosexuality is not learned, then you must think that God condemned homosexuals since they were conceived. God is a God of love! It’s our choice to follow him, or to live the way we want to.

    • Or… have you ever thought about this… maybe there’s nothing wrong with being gay.

    • They not only have mistakes, they have flat out LIES. It may be a blessing to you but you are not being taught true facts about the world. You are living in a fantasy world. Once you attend a public college you will see how much you have missed out on. Trust me. I was in your shoes four years ago as well.

  37. I believe, these blogs are truly dangerous to people who read them, and I’m sorry but I have to say it. The information on these texts are not based on serious investigative work, yet the rise “Truth torch” as we would say in Mexico. If you’re going to talk of whether homosexuality is a learned behaviour of a genetic predisposition you should invite a geneticist and a psychologist from each theory to write their points of view. I’ll give you a free sneak peek, I’ve interviewed them, NONE will tell you there are 100% certain evidence to prove their theory. Yet the most likely answer seems to be the behavioral. And case studies can back this statement, testimonies, and the fact that genetic investigation about the subject does not exactly follow scientific investigation rules by the book. Yet as you say, the fact that there is not solid evidence to say genetic predisposition is the cause of homosexuality is not enough to support the other theory, yet common experience does support the learned behavior theory. How would you explain people that after religious experiences stop that behavior altogether? I can give you hundreds of testimonies of such events, me being amongst them. Now, imbeded on biblical doctrine is the fact that the payment of sin is to die, but by taking this paragraph out of context you make it seem that the Bible incites us to kill sinners when the central message can be summarized by the other part of that verse, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” Rom 6:23. My question in the spirit of science would be why don’t scientists take cases like those I mentioned seriously and make some research? I guess that’s where their scientific curiosity ends, sadly I might add.

  38. I am so glad I have found your blog. I am currently using it in a resource for my proposal paper at ETSU about the negative effects of ACE. I was a student and graduated from an ACE school and it absolutely kills me the garbage and lies that they pass off at those schools. I am pretty sure I had already discredited all belief in god by the age of 14 which is around the same time that I actually entered the ACE program. Going through this program only strengthened my views against religion , religious based education, and any form of a higher power. The stuff that they teach is almost laughable and the majority of it has absolutely no factual basis. It is just a brain washing tool. I can’t believe that this is even allowed to be taught. I lost three years of education due to this “educational” program.

  39. Homosexuality is in fact learned behavior. Since there is no “gay gene”, it is a figment of the imagination and an excuse from the gay community. Since homosexuality is not natural ( is not the result of biology) then why does it exist? It exists because of our sin nature. God created marriage in Genesis 2:18-19. However, Satan has created a counterfeit. We know it as homosexuality. God created marriage and Satan has perverted it. Being gay is learned. It is not natural. The Bible is VERY CLEAR about marriage as being ONLY between ONE man and ONE woman. A man liking a woman and a woman liking a man is natural. But a man liking a man and a woman liking a woman is unnatural.

    • Out of interest, why do you think homosexuality is wrong, other than ‘it says so in the Bible’? What harm does it cause?

      • Harm? The real harm to those homosexuals are not really physically it is spiritually. They will be fighting a hard battle by themselves and will only get hurt if they will not change. That is why I feel sad for them for they don’t know what the Bible says.

        For those homosexuals out there, you won’t be happy if you will try to please the world. The only source of happiness is God. So, repent your sins and accept Jesus as your personal Saviour and Lord through prayer: “Lord God, I believe and confess that I’m a sinner that in need of a Saviour. Please forgive me and I accept you as my personal Saviour and Lord. In the name of our mighty Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.”
        Homosexual is a learned behavior therefore you have the right to decide. Fate is not the one who will decide what will happen to you, it must be you.
        The only cure to homosexuals is not religion but Biblical Salvation.

      • Caroline, homosexuality is not a learned behavior. There are several species of animals that show homosexual tendencies, even when a female is present they will still choose males. And pleasing the world? What are you even talking about? My aunt has been happily with her partner for over 30 years.

  40. Based on this article, it kind’a proves that you’re not a Christian Fundamentalist. Maybe you have a different doctrine. Are you a Catholic or your religion is related to Born Again Christian? These have different doctrines but most people confused themselves by calling both of them Christians. Both are different. Do you know Biblical Christianity? I’m a Fundamental Baptist and uses the Accelerated Christian Education. It seems like you can’t just accept the simple truth of the Bible. I believe that you didn’t understand the Bible well.

    Many people are confused about these topics because they have different bases/beliefs. And the basis of Accelerated Christian Education is the Bible. ACE mostly uses King James Version of the Bible. You can use other Bibles but KJV Bible will be very compatible in ACE. For people who haven’t read the Bible or understand it, you might be confused or you might be agreeing to this article. Accelerated Christian Education will be mostly understand by Christians who have understood the Bible deeply. Accelerated Christian Education does not promote any religions. Accelerated Christian promotes: “no religion can save you, only relationship with God.” that is what you call Biblical Christianity.

    I understand the people who have different views on this article, it is because we have different basis and both of us are willing to fight for these basis. Parts of the Bible and Science sometimes fight because it disproves each other. It is only your choice whether to believe in the basis of the Bible or the basis of Science. As for me, I will stick to the basis of the Bible because the basis of science is still not clear.

    1. Science Proves that Homosexuality is a learned behavior
    If you have read the Bible, have you seen that a gay was born? It only means that once a person is born, he/she develops this immoral behavior due to different causes. It might be because of the environment that he/she is living, because of influence, or because of his/her belief. Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in a form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe (*wikipedia). “Being homosexual is NOT a fate, it is a choice.” Therefore, it is learnt.
    Based on this paragraph, you are pro-homosexual and you believe that it is their fate. But if you are a Christian Fundamentalist, you will pity those who are homosexual because they won’t be able to enter heaven. No matter what, God is not pro to Homosexuals. To be frank as a fundamentalist, homosexuals will end up in hell.

    If Homosexual is fate and not learnt, it only means that a gay cannot be a man again because it is his fate to be a gay. God wants homosexuals to turn their back again to God and change. If homosexual is learnt, then it means that you can be a man again! This learned behavior is a wrong behavior, so why not correct it now? It is your choice whether to believe in the basis of the Bible or the basis of the world and science.

    • Is it a coincidence that this comment was left on the morning of April 1st?

      • I didn’t notice it too, to be honest I laughed at it too. But fools are the people who will believe the opposite of what I just said.

      • And with that, I’m subjecting your future comments to moderation. I’ve allowed a number of your posts to run unmoderated so far, because I promised to let any fundamentalists have their say. I’m glad to have had your comments on the blog so the other side can be heard, but I feel you’ve crossed the line now.

        Sarah asked you what the harm in being homosexual is, besides the Bible saying so, and you have responded without any reasons or evidence, just an assertion that is spiritually harmful, based on your interpretation of the Bible. You have also posted in favour of Creationism, which is against my policy. Now you’ve said that everyone who disagrees with you is a fool. I know that you’re saying this on Biblical grounds, but I hope you’ll think about how arrogant and unloving it is to dismiss everyone who doesn’t share your beliefs.

  41. Ok, well, I taught at a Christian school using ACE, Valley Christian AOG in Vermont, Washington. I also had 8 years university science, biology and chemistry, a 3.84 graduate gpa (4.00 in my major). I understand thermodynamics and all of it quite well, as the world of “science” presents it and more. As far as basic, sound delivery goes, the ACE curriculum beats public schools, and I’d know about that, too, having attended 20 of them and worked in them later. I think you’re quibbling, or splitting hairs as they say, there are errors in the curriculum, but they aren’t that big a deal, and what you’re presenting is also a matter of opinion, and to some degree untrue. I say that because I’m one of those who have been born again, have seen Jesus Christ and the world to come with my own eyes, and God definitely created the world, ALL of it. My stint with the Christian school didn’t go well, I had to work everybody rather hard at first because the former teacher hadn’t required them to legitimately pass the exams for about two years, so they had to take twice as many and fail quite a few at first. By the 8th month they’d caught up and did an admirable job, I was quite proud of them. The board fired me, however, my wife 8 months pregnant and me w/o a job, a day after I explained to the parents why there were so many failed exams. I’m glad the students caught up, though, I’ll always miss them a lot.

  42. I actually go to an ACE school. I don’t agree with what they say most of the time, but I have to go with what they say in order to pass that pace.

  43. I am an ACE student, I entered this system in my first year of Middleschool and now I am in highschool. I personally love this system, and just because you have 5 reasons why to not like this system doesn’t mean it is bad. This system has taught me SO MUCH MORE than any other school would. It explains everything in a very detailed way. In my past schools I always failed math because I never really understood anything, but with ACE i pass every exam with more than a 90, and that’s saying something. Another really good thing about this system is that you CAN’T have less than an 80 on an exam, so before you know it, you have gained the really good habit of never failing a test. I don’t really want to list the thiusand reasons why ACE is awesome, but let me just say that if you have not studied in this system than you can’t really talk bad about it. In all the years I have been in this system I can honestly say that I have NEVER seen any weird learning facts/ lies in ANY book I’ve had. If so, I would have already left the school. But please, before writing an article about why ACE is bad, get your facts straight and learn a little but more about it .

    • Emily, Jonny DID study in the system. We went to an ACE school together for several years, so he is certainly qualified to “talk bad about it”, or as I would prefer to say, expose the truth. I can’t disagree that some of the points you make are valid (the minimum 80% passmark in particular). I remember reading how apartheid was beneficial (not mentioned in this particular blog and I believe the Paces have finally been revised to take it out). The arguments against evolution are flimsy and some are downright lies. There are many, many things wrong with the ACE system, Jonny just listed 5 of the worst ones. Ones that are more poignant to me are the ridiculous “modesty” standards that serve only to shame a developing female, the stifling of questioning, and the lack of sex education (all we were told was “Don’t until you’re married!” – our school had a higher rate of “illegitimate” children than any secular school). What happens at these schools is little more than child abuse.

  44. YOU REALLY TRYING TO DIM ACE’S LIGHTS -WE JUST HAD JOY AND MY SON IS AGIANT TODAY OIN THE BUSINESS WORLD.YES, YOU MAY DIFFER, BUT WHY …OH WHY….AS IF THEIR IS NO LIE IN ANY OF YOUR ARMOUR OR SITUATION.YOUR LIGHT DOES NOT SHINE ANY BRIGHTER FOR ME.

  45. Jonny, I understand that you don’t care for the system. As I read your article, it seems to me that your main argument is with 8th grade Science and Biology. I don’t agree with all of your points, but respect your opinion. As far as Math, English, Social Studies, Word Building, Literature, and the character traits… what are your concerns? I hear, basically, that you are not happy not having been exposed to evolution. It seems that as an adult you have rectified that situation. I agree that the wording in all Science PACE’s might not be the best. How is it child abuse to share your beliefs with your children? If I were an Atheist, it would be ok to share these beliefs. If I were Wiccan, who would blink an eye? Now, as a parent, will I teach my kids about evolution? Maybe, when they are older and can make their own decision. Regardless of what material is taught, children will eventually have to make a choice as to their own personal beliefs. As a Christian parent I must teach my children what is my understanding of what is right. As far as modesty, Emma-Leigh, it should have been taught like that to you. Modesty is an attitude more that what you wear. Should we be modest – sure, but there are vastly different definitions of modesty as well. For the record, I was educated with ACE and my children are as well.

  46. Here is my take:

    5. Second Law of Thermodynamics would perhaps be a great argument against evolution IF the earth was a closed system with no energy coming in from the outside. However, we have THE SUN. And also there are cosmic rays, meteorites, comets and many other things that mess up that theory.

    4. The Bereans were praised for double checking the teacher. Nothing wrong with keeping authority honest. There is a reason why the wizard does not want you to look behind the curtain.

    3. I could not care less about this. As a religious Zealot I can understand making the statement that science never will find transitional fossils. You look like a fool if it ever happens (or seems tohappen), but I can forgive zealous dogmatism.

    2. The only argument you need against evolution is the fact that the entire thing is built upon no foundation. No one knows how life came from lifeless chemicals. Crick and others have said that it seems impossible that life could have formed without having been brought here. Prometheus is more believable than God to these people.

    1. No temptation taketh you save that which is common to man. We are all born sinners. Homosexuality is sin just like any kind of fornication is sin. God designed men and women to function in a way that is obvious. DO you think that engineers like seeing their work bastardized? Do you think that a great artitst would appreciate seeing his work hanging in the Louvre with white out on it? Exponentially God hates seeing His design perverted. He has the right to call it sin. We are all born with an inate sin nature, but this biolgical predisposition to sin does not excuse us from the consequence of sin. And using science to justify it will not negate the fact that sin separates us from God.

    You have to be careful and use discernment with all educational materials. Truth is that Satan is working through the secular and Christian channels. Maybe some occultists have slipped into the hen house. By placing ridiculous things in textbooks they score a win win: the smart kids will see through it and turn against the Bible and the sheeple kids will stay dumb and make Christianity look like a farse (which is a huge ongoing tactic). Or maybe some of the people making these books are just hard headed idgets.

  47. Well, at the end of the day — maybe the curriculum needs to be updated as some of these things are based on older claims made by scientists, that are different to current claims… ANyway, evolution is still a theory,,, it has never been proven, and even Darwin himself recanted of it. There are so many lies taught in our schools, historical lies, scientific lies, medical lies.. the list is endless – but according to this article – all those lies are okay.. it is only the pieces of information from the ACE curriculum that the author of the article disagrees with that are wrong to teach children. In our schools one particular government party has so much power that the kids are taught that party is good. That is the only way that party ever gets re-elected – by brainwashing the children. I am old enough to remember some of the events in our history occuring, but the kids aren’t so they believe the lies. Schools also teach that evolution is a fact – when it is just a theory that has as many holes in the evidence as there is evidence to support it. That is an equally damning lie.

  48. I grew up 6th-12th grade in an ACE school. It ruined me for years. I didnt know how to carry on an intelligent adult conversation because i was for the most part uneducated in the things i should have known. They focus too much on their own agenda and not enough on the important things one will need to know in life. Finding a job is almost impossible. College was out of my league i couldnt keep up because i was missing general knowledge i would have received in a public school. I now do everything in my power to make sure my children are not subjected to such stupid inaccurate teachings as these and some the other crap I had to sit through. I didn’t only attend the school I was forced to attend the church too, and I was considered the worst child in town because I had my own opinions and I loved to share them.

  49. Ok, first up: I’m a Christian.

    Secondly: I’m *FULLY* aware that the science taught in ACE is complete and total horse crap. My kid and I laugh about it when we drive home from school. “Today we learned that the earth used to have a delicious candy coating!” He knows better. I don’t think all the kids do, I don’t think most of them do, but for most kids, school is about passing the tests and not getting yelled at by your parents and avoiding homework. It’s not about the timeless ineffiable quest for absolute truth, it’s about passing your geometry test and maybe getting a date. This was the same in any of the secular and Christian schools I went to, and I went to a lot of each.

    The fact is, no school is going to teach something entirely to my liking. Secular schools teach stuff I don’t like. Religious schools teach things I don’t like. Homeschooling curriculums taught stuff I didn’t like. We just accept this, deal with it, and move on. I’m not making excuses for them, mind you: the day my kid’s pace shows something truely dangerous or bad, like “Black people are inferior to whites” or “Gays should be rounded up and shot!” or “Hitler was keen!” or whatever, is the day I pull my kid out. I have not seen anything in ACE which is malicious. Propagandistic? Of course. But the worst thing I can say about ACE is that the people who formulated the science stuff were kinda’ dumb. I honestly don’t believe they understand how evolution works (And as a Christian myself, I have no problem reconciling evolution and creationism. First there was God, He said ‘let there be light’ and that caused The Big Bang, and then everything you atheists believe happened really did happen, and here we are. I don’t get why ACE has such a fuss with this when most Christian denominations accept Theistic Evolution, but, eh, whatever).

    One of the commentators talked about the bad experience they had, and how they got thrown out for asking questions. I had similar experiences. I went to a very good ACE school as a kid, they had a change in administration, and the new administrator quickly drove me, and roughly a quarter of the student body away. About 2 years after he started, he was fired, but it was too late to save the school. I’ve been to 3 ACE schools as a student, and 1 as a volunteer adult, and there’s a pretty wide range (In the US, anyway) in how the schools are run, ranging from ‘fanatical’ to ‘beyond lenient.’ THere’s also some lattitude as to which paces and subjects to teach. For instance, it’s no secret that ACE’s Bible paces suck. The school I went to 7th, 8th, and part of 9th grade in elected to simply not use them, and teach Bible some other way. ACE allowed this. So my point is that the character of ACE schools, and even the curriculum, differs wildly from one school to the next.

    I find the idea that “THis kind of teaching should be made illegal” disturbing. I agree that it’s generally sub-par, but it is in some cases the only viable option for kids who’ve been utterly failed by the system (As per mine, for instance), but in the ‘States, parents are expected to have some say in their children’s education. Education iis a state function, not a national one, unlike most other countries. The idea that “Parents shouldn’t be allowed to select the education their children get” is soooorta’ fascistic, don’t you think? I mean, I know it’s horse crap and you know it’s horse crap, and for all I know ACE itself knows it’s horsecrap, but what you’re essentially saying is “We can not allow them to teach this because it is not what we believe, and only the things we believe can be taught.” That’s kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinda’ fascistic, don’t you think?

    If they were teaching something evil, yeah, I could see it, but the worst thing you can accuse ACE of is being rather dumb.

  50. I am a recent ACE graduate, though you do make very great points I don’t think you should be speaking on whether ACE should be legal or not. What makes public schools right by teaching about evolution?(which in my opinion is a load of kak). If parents and students are fine with the education their children are getting, who are you to challenge it?

  51. This is brilliant and important work. Please do keep it up, it’s appreciated. I expect you get all kinds of people telling you off, but don’t listen to them. Fortunately, I wasn’t taught these foolish things, but I know people who were. It’s so debilitating. I don’t know how people manage to escape this kind of thinking and I can’t exactly blame people who don’t. My parents taught me all kinds of insane things about there being a god. It didn’t take with me, my brother and one of my sisters. But my other sister… oh dear. She is literally unable to have a conversation – any conversation, about anything – without explaining how good god is. It’s heartbreaking to watch: her view on life and her potential is so limited. Life could be so much better for her. And she’s raising her kids as fundamentalists. Watching her, her husband and three kids suddenly burst into hymn is indescribably awful. Her son in particular seems to have a curious and inventive mind, but that’s being taken away from him. Her daughters are both very creative. They love making things. But their drawings and models are all about god. It’s like they can’t think about anything without a not existing entity being the most significant factor. They’ll draw pictures of the family hanging out together and Jesus will simply be there, too. I can tell it’s Jesus because he has long hair, a beard and – absolutely inexplicably – a cross on his robe.

    That last part – the cross on Jesus’ robe – tells me so much about how these children are being mistreated. It demonstrates that they’re being taught to not think. To not question. It’s abuse and painful to watch.

    My other nephew draws pictures of Batman, which is obviously right and proper. There’s nothing at all wrong with Batman hanging out with the family, with a bat drawn on his chest.

    I might have lost focus. But anyway, that’s why what you’re doing is so important and why I’ll be clicking the donate button as soon as I can find it. And my wallet. Where did I put my wallet?

    • Haha! Thank you. Since the “33 jaw-droppingly bad…” post, I’ve had a lot of comments, but none of them have been from someone watching this happen to their family like you. It must be painful, but I (and other contributors to this blog) am proof that children raised this way can escape the mindset.

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