Drinking the Kool Aid

Well, it’s taken nearly a year, but my blog is finally starting to attract attention from hardcore Creationists keen to set me straight. Now abide these three: Donald McSanders, ‘seriously?‘, and napplegate. But the greatest of these is napplegate, who attended an ACE school and has come here to defend its greatness against the heathen attack. Keep in mind as you’re reading this that this is a successful ACE student – ie, this is how ACE intends for its graduates to think.

In fairness, I believe napplegate is using a form of his/her real name (N Applegate), and what appears to be a genuine email address, which already puts him/her a cut above ‘seriously?’, who anonymously writes to inform us “We were taught to read so that we could read the Holy Bible”.

You might want to do some research on the dates of the earliest written language vs. the dating of the Bible there, Chuck.

napplegate, on the other hand, is a genius. At one point, I genuinely had no idea if he was a Poe, but I’m now pretty sure he’s for real. Here are some highlights from his comments on the blog (which are in breach of my comment policy, but I’m finding them too amusing to delete).

napplegate on cryptozoology:

when you have over 1000 sightings of the loch-ness monster, your conclusion should probably be that there likely is a monster(a plesiasaurous) in there. That picture on the Japanese vessel was an actual photograph (link)

The last sentence is especially delightful. No one’s denying the picture was an actual photograph; it’s just that it happens to be a picture of a dead shark.

“As long as there are people who believe in the unreal…?” Nessie is real. There is another dinosaur in the Congo River called Mokele – Mbembe. The Natives in the area consider it sacred. An Evolutionist went over to see if this thing was real. He went to the natives to know more about it. They told him what it ate and where to find the plant it eats. He showed them some pictures of animals that live in the area like hippos and crocodiles. He asked them if they ever see any of those animals. The natives confirmed that they see them a lot. Thinking they were just saying “yes” to please him, he then showed them pictures of animals that only live in North America like the grizzly bear. The natives said that they had never seen those at all. The evolutionist then got in a boat and went down- stream a little bit. A little later, to his suprise, he saw Mokele- Mbembe. Relaying this to his science class later that week, he said that he was surprised that the dinosaurs had survived this long. This is a true story that took place in the late 1800″s. A group of Dutch settlers in the 1830″s went to the same area. Only one returned home. He reported to the Dutch government that there are dinosaurs in the Congo. (link)

These sightings of Nessie go back long before Darwin wrote his book.(The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection , Or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life. Aha bet you didn’t know the title was that long.) (link)

napplegate on genetics:

How does something as complex as DNA evolve from random chance? just one tablespoon of DNA decides everything about you. Mutations in DNA don’t introduce a new characteristic like giving a dinosaur feathers and wings, they are just pieces of DNA mixed up or scrambled. Take the word Christmas for example. You can mix up the letters, even take out letters and get different words. You would get the words Christ, mas, Sam, smart, ham, cam, stir, and mat, but you will never get words like zebra, queen, and phone because the letters are not there. You can never get a bird from a dinosaur because the information of a bird was not in the dinosaur’s DNA. The dinosaur might get an extra leg but that will not help him. The dinosaur cannot run any faster. Mutations cause a lot of disease but nothing that would improve it. (link)

Don’t stop, napplegate. Are you available for children’s parties?

napplegate on solar fusion:

Solar fusion is not a lie. A group of NASA scientists, (the American space agency, which specializes with cosmic science) measured the size of the sun over the period of a few years and found that the sun shrinks five feet per hour. If solar fusion does not happen, why are stars exploding and becoming novas and super novas? (link)

This is just brilliant. napplegate is here seeking to defend ACE’s argument that the sun is shrinking rapidly, and therefore must be young (which isn’t true). But the trouble is that napplegate hasn’t understood the argument. ACE are claiming that solar fusion is a lie, as it contradicts their argument. napplegate, by contrast, thinks that solar fusion = shrinking sun, so argues in favour of solar fusion.

Oh napplegate, at least attempt to understand the argument you’re making.

napplegate on the co-existence of dinosaurs and humans:

How are the human tracks along-side the dino tracks fake? FYI the top layer of silt was removed(as they were buried under a layer of silt on a riverbed) to see if they were fake. To the surprise of everyone, more human tracks were found along-side dino tracks. They removed six more layers only to find the same thing. Now you explain to me how one can make fake tracks on six layers of silt and setiment if each layer is supposed to take millions of years to form. (link)


So, of course, napplegate attended an Accelerated Christian Education school:

I attend an ACE school. I have never seen one shread of political bias, scientific inaccuracy, or historical event taught wrong that these morons who started this sight and similar sights allege that are in those PACES.

I’m a moron, apparently. And presumably he means “site”.

If you’re not bored yet, you can read the epic thread which started all this nonsense, over at Michael Barbour’s Virtual Schooling blog, where napplegate goes on at great length, without regard for evidence or paragraphs. And then you can read more of his comments on this blog, here, here, here, here, here (Wahey, more on Nessie!), and here.

So, ladies and gentlemen, I present you with a cautionary tale. Don’t send your children to Accelerated Christian Education schools, or they might wind up like napplegate.

Or, if you think napplegate seems like a sensible kind of guy, you could take his advice instead:

the public schools don’t just “teach” Evolutionism, they endoctrinate you to believe it. That is, they only show Evolutionism and do not present the case for Creationism at all in their books.

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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 February 21, 2013, in Accelerated Christian Education, Christianity, Creationism, Education, Faith Schools, Fundamentalism, School of Tomorrow. Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.

  1. The stupid is strong with this one.

  2. I must not try to debate napplegate. I must not try to debate napplegate. I must not try to debate napplegate. I …

    • To be fair, if you take a look at the epic thread (linked in the article), someone already has (and napplegate left feeling smug that he had won, judging from the tone of his last comment).

      • I’m attempting to read it, even now. (I assume napplegate’s carriage-return key has broken, by the way.) You should receive my bill for the paracetamol in the next post…

        I must say, though debating such people seems fruitless, I’ve always been of the opinion that just letting them speak and then pointing to their, erm, offerings, is a great way of showing just how bad the products of such “educational” systems can be.

      • Exactly my thinking with this post. Anyone want to argue ACE isn’t intellectually stifling now?

      • thatgeeknamedjon

        Trying to debate a christian is like trying to play chess with a pigeon. They won’t follow the rules, they’ll leave crap all over the board, and at the end they’ll strut around as if they’ve won.

      • There is no point in arguing with theists. An argument is premised on both parties having and opinion. The theist rarely, if ever, brings their own opinion to the argument. The best that can be hoped for in my mind is to leave the theist thinking about how to defend their own position in light of new information. Giving them ‘new to them’ information is never difficult. The trick is to hand it to them in ways that make them think about how to defend their position because they don’t have a power point or sound bite cheat sheet handy.

        “I have never seen one shread of political bias, scientific inaccuracy, or historical event taught wrong …..”

        Oh? What would be an example of a SHRED of one of those things? Lets start with scientific inaccuracy. What would be an example of this?

        I find that when theists have to talk at length on any topic they very quickly shut up…. err, run out of things to say.

  3. ashley haworth-roberts

    A scientist, who looks at the evidence, knows that it’s possible he or she could be mistaken about the past and that other views might be closer to the truth.
    Whereas an ideologue trusting an infallible, sacred, source text ‘knows’ – in public at least – beyond a shadow of a doubt that he or she is right and that ANYBODY who disagrees, even if they cite evidence supporting their claims, is most DEFINITELY wrong.

    • My brother always says, “Never argue with an idiot, they will bring you down to their level and beat you with experience

  4. I just feel sorry for this user. Although their rudeness is certainly not redeeming, it is the fault of the parents and the government for allowing this child to be indoctrinated so, and grow to adulthood still believing in these fantasies. Ignorance, although annoying, is not entirely in his control, although this case may be willful ignorance.

  5. Hmm, where have I heard these things before? Oh yes, in my ACE school.

  6. You know, I slightly regret the rude and snarky tone of this post. When I wrote it, I hadn’t fully taken on board that napplegate said “I attend [present tense] an ACE school.”

    This means 1) he is just a kid, and 2) he is the victim here. In fact, if you’d spoken to me at his age, I would have said exactly the same things, with just as much confidence.

    While napplegate’s slightly superior tone and occasional rudeness are not exactly endearing, I wish I hadn’t been so rude. It’s his teachers’ fault, not his.

    • This opens up the whole question of how to get through to people who are thoroughly indoctrinated and whether there’s an age at which that changes. These beliefs need to be challenged, and anything less than a robust and complete rejection of them gives them way more credit and respect than they deserve, and even the appearance of plausible claims.

      But you can challenge claims without being personally unpleasant, and robust isn’t the same as rude. There’s a spectrum, and if you’ve strayed towards the rude side, it’s not by much. It’s a very worthy sentiment, but don’t beat yourself up about it.

      Personally, if I’d had comments like that, I think I’d have posted them straight to Fundies Say The Darnedest Things. :D

  7. The thing I find amusing now that I understand evolution is that finding a dinosaur wouldn’t disprove evolution. I don’t think it’s going to happen but even if it did it wouldn’t mean that creationism is right. It’s such a common creationist misunderstanding, in the same vein of “if we came from monkeys why are there still monkeys”. It really annoys me because if everyone actually got evolution explained to them I think there would be far less creationists because for lots of kids accepting creationism doesn’t seem stupid because they don’t actually understand evolution.

    • That flaw is widespread; we have a man-made definition of ‘God’, with many attributes, and those who think that proving one proves them all. But even if creationism were true, it would only tell us about how the world was made – nothing about, for example, whether or not Jesus died for our sins. But these are the leaps creationists make: watches, therefore creationism; dinosaurs, therefore Jesus; I prayed and my mum got better, therefore kill the gays; etc.

      • Woe woe woe, who said anything about hating the gays. I heavily disagree with the jerks from Westborough Baptist Church in Kansas about God hating America and the gays. The Bible never teaches anywhere about hating anyone. On the contrary, in multiple areas, the Bible teaches things like “love thy neighbour as thyself” and that all man was created equal. At the same time, though, I disagree with the gays’ lifestyle and that it is wrong, but to say that God hates them too is wrong.

  8. Wow. That is some astoundingly bad science. I must admit that I stopped reading the “epic thread” right after he made it clear he considered creationism a theory. Anyone who puts it on equal footing with modern evolutionary synthesis isn’t worth arguing, since they’ve stumbled right out of the gate.

    I’m jealous, by the way. One year, and you have creationists knocking at your door? I ended up with a couple of trolls, but that’s it. I should actually be thankful since I probably wouldn’t have the time to screw around with them if they did come my way.

  9. Let me set the record straight. First, about the comment policy. I had no idea that my comments were against your comment policy. I saw no link to it or anything. Second, I want to appologize for using the term “moron.” I should have used a more polite term there. That just goes to prove that one is not automatically sinless when he becomes a Christian. He still has his sin nature. Salvation gives him eternal security that he/she is going to Heaven after death. It also gives him/her the Holy Spirit to guide them in life. Unfotionately, Christians, being human, don’t always follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance in our lives.

    • One more thing, there is one thing that I notice that ACE is wrong about in their paces. They mention in several places that certain things like the Loch Ness Monster and the nonexistence of transitional fosiles in the rock strata “disprove” Evolution. No piece of scientific evidence can neither prove or disprove Creation nor Evolution. No experiment can prove either one. Evidence may point to Creation, but it never “proves” it. Belief in either one is a mater of faith. No-one was there to see either one take place. You can’t see me typing this comment, but you see the evidence. I doubt that any of you have ever seen me in person, yet you believe that I exist and that you are debating with a person and not a computer. Having said all of this, I hope that I am not violating your comment policy, and if I am, I appologize.

      • Well, now. Evolution is an observable, much evidenced fact. One may dispute the mechanism—natural selection, sexual selection and so forth—but not the actual fact that evolution takes place.

        One could even argue about the amount of change which can be accounted for by naturally occurring evolution. But…

        Given that such processes have been observed directly, and that no reliable witness has yet seen a god, a demon, an angel and so forth (which you admit yourself must be taken on faith), which theory—natural or theistic evolution—makes the fewest, and least on-the-face-of-it fantastical, claims?

      • Daz, don’t make me close this comment thread! The comment policy is that no one’s allowed to post arguments in favour of Creationism, so it’s hardly fair to post arguments he can’t even reply to (though I agree with you, for the record). I think everyone’s had their say, at this point.

      • Oops! My bad. Sorry Jonny.

      • That’s alright! Just don’t want another EthnicMuse situation (I blocked him in the end).

      • Napplegate,

        your earnest nature is endearing. I can’t help but like you. To be honest you kind of remind me of myself, once upon a time. I spent eight years in an ACE school, from 1984 – 1992; age 6 – 14. I remember experiencing the exact same response triggers as you’re demonstrating here and in other comment threads. I remember thinking the same things when, after I finally went to public school at age 14, I overheard other kids discussing the contradictions and factual mistakes of the Bible. I say I only ‘thought it’ because I was socially awkward, perhaps from spending eight years in a cubicle, and also there were a lot more of them with more fists to go around. I can see you have a good heart, Napplegate. But how much of your thinking is truly your own? I’ve known all your answers myself. I was equally as certain as you that they made perfect sense and it was the unbelievers who needed to develop their reading skills.

        What happened, Napplegate, is that I was I taught the biblical stories when I was a young child. I was taught these things as fact. The flood, the ark, Isaac and Abraham, the plagues, creation, everything. However, this all happened before I had the power to rationalize effectively, and to decipher the probable from the completely implausible. In layman’s terms, I was indoctrinated.
        It took me literally years to undo the brainwashing. I was 33 before I could honestly say I was no longer being triggered by implanted ideas as put into my head by the adults in my life. Well-meaning as I’m sure they may have been, the fact remains that they stole my ability to decipher the evidence and made me incredibly bias against the actual facts of the world. In fact, just the other day I happened to read about the ‘Lucy bones’ found in Ethiopia back in ’74, and my knee-jerk reaction was to think, ‘Oh yeah, that old hoax.’ I then had to laugh and remind myself that it wasn’t a hoax. I had simply been told it was.

        Now, everyone has to come to their own conclusions, and no doubt you will have some heartfelt reply that you will take as a quality rebuttal to my thoughts. That’s okay Napplegate. You’re still young and you’ve got lots of time yet to fully grab this one life we get by the good bits. All I can suggest, when you’re ready, is to start reading books outside of the ‘acceptable’ in your circles. Bill Bryson’s, ‘A Brief History of Nearly Everything’ is a great place to start. I already know the first chapter will make you upset. But persevere, there is plenty of other good things in there. And maybe by the end of the book, the first chapter won’t seem to crazy.

        All the best to you Napplegate. As I said, I think you have a good heart. I believe it will serve you well in this life. Just keep reading everything and anything you can get your hands on. Don’t be afraid to read the ‘world’s stuff’. If your God is true, then I’m sure He’ll be able to handle you taking a few sides trips into what the ‘other side’ thinks. On the other hand, what do you have to lose?

  10. I assume by the full content of what Daz posted, he/she is refering to adaptation. Let me rephrase my post about no- one ever seeing evolution take place. No-one has ever seen true evolution( in the context of one basic animal turn into another via. mutations, ect.) take place, no experiment can demonstrate it. We do, however witness adaptation, (Daz referred to it as evolution) This is where animals adapt their characteristics to fit their environment. The Galapagos finches that Darwin observed had varying beaks that gave each finch diferent abilities in survival. It is, however, still a finch. It is not going to become a frog, a plant of some kind, ect. It will always be a finch.

    • No scientist thinks animals “turn into other kinds of animals.” All evolution is simply diversification within a clade. Humans didn’t stop being vertebrates, or mammals, or primates, or apes. We are still all those kinds of animals. Those animals simply diversified into the forms you see today, and this can be abundantly demonstrated through genetics, fossils, and anatomical comparisons. There is no other parsimonious explanation of the data.

      You’re right — a finch will never stop being a finch. But give it a few million years for adaptations and diversification to occur, and you will end up with new finch species all descended from their common finch ancestor. That’s all evolution is.

      If you understood evolution, Napplegate, you would probably find nothing to disagree with. I was a creationist like you once — and then I looked at the evidence for myself and realized I’d been lied to by my ACE teachers my whole life. Whoever told you that if evolution were true, a finch could evolve into a frog or a plant, was telling you lies about biology.

      • <Comment removed by moderator because it contained Creationists arguments, against this site’s comment policy. These were of the “what good is half a wing” variety.>

      • Alright, I’m going to ask you all to draw this comment thread to a close. I’d like to thank everyone for your contributions; there have been some great posts, but I’m not interested in policing a discussion on evolution vs. Creation. If anyone wants to do a guest post for the site explaining their view (that includes you, napplegate), you’d all be welcome.

        napplegate, your last comment does amount to arguments for Creationism, which are specifically against my comment policy, so I’ve removed it. Scientists are of course aware of your objections. If you’re interested in what they have to say about them, there are many books out there. You have, in another thread, already declined the offer of suggestions for books of this nature, so I won’t force any on you.

        Bear in mind, though, that the scientific community knows about your objections, but does not think they pose a problem for evolution. This means that either you know more about science than the scientific community, or the scientific community is full of dishonest people. Thousands of dishonest people, all in a big conspiracy to pretend that evolution is true and cover up the holes. Does that seem plausible?


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