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Win! Creation ‘science’ banned in UK state-funded nurseries

The headline of Friday’s Daily Telegraph screamed “Toddlers at risk from extremists“. The British Education Secretary has announced plans to ban teaching creationism is publicly-funded nurseries.

What it didn’t say is that, although the British Humanist Association (BHA) was the most prominent campaigner against creationism in nurseries, this was originally the subject of a letter-writing campaign by the readers of Leaving Fundamentalism. But I know you wrote the letters, so thank you.

We won.

Here’s a brief history of what has happened, and what it means. More importantly, an article in the TES last week may explain why ACE schools have been able to get away with so much.

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Evolution is a conspiracy!

I’ve chalked up another flawless victory and been published in the New Statesman.

As I write, the article is the top story on the Statesman‘s home page.

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Please share this one. My previous widely-published articles on ACE have been somewhat tabloid in style, all numbered lists and sections in bold. This is an attempt to raise the level of the conversation on the subject. Here’s the link:  http://www.newstatesman.com/2014/01/creationism-and-conspiracy-evolution-inside-uks-evangelical-schools

In a bid to do less blogging and more actual work, I’ve got really behind in sharing links with you, so here’s some more excellent reading if you have time:

Zack Kopplin did a thorough exposé at Slate about ResponsiveEd, the secularised version of ACE that’s currently gaining ground in America. I’ve previously written on that too.

Tyler Stoltzfus, past (and hopefully future) Leaving Fundamentalism guest blogger, wrote more about his life as an atheist at an ACE school for AlterNet.

I did a thing for AlterNet about the propaganda cartoon that lace the ACE curriculum, and how they seem to promote racism, sexism, and the intolerance of non-Christians.

Dana Hunter has started blogging about ACE too. She has purchased the entire 8th grade Earth Science PACE set and is going to review each one in turn. You may have noticed my strategy for 2014 is to get people who aren’t me talking about ACE (anyone who cares knows what I think by now), so this is a very pleasing development.

God or Gorilla?

W.A. Criswell’s Did Man Just Happen? is a creationist classic, first written in 1957 and revised in 1972, making it an early example of the modern creation movement.

Did Man Just Happen, W.A. Criswell

Found in the fiction section of all good bookstores.

It’s completely fucking terrible.

Now, I’m not aware of any creationist literature that’s good, but it’s hard to imagine much of it is worse than this. There are creationists who consider themselves rigorous scientists, and try to theorise workable creation models. Criswell is not among them. He was the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, and his argument consists almost entirely of assertion and irrelevancies. His characterisation of evolution is so far from what scientists actually think that the book could only be persuasive to someone who has never read any mainstream science, and never been taught to think critically. Such as – just for a hypothetical example – a student in Accelerated Christian Education.

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No more Nessie for Accelerated Christian Education

I suppose I can chalk this up as a victory. The new edition ACE PACEs do not mention the Loch Ness monster. Or, for that matter, a sea monster allegedly caught by a Japanese fishing vessel.

If you’ve followed this blog at all, you’ll know that Accelerated Christian Education has taught that the probable existence of the Loch Ness monster is one in the eye for evolution by natural selection. Making this claim public has been my biggest success. It has been quoted in articles on Salon, AlterNet, the Washington Post, the New York Daily News, the Guardianthe Daily Telegraph… Hell, even The Sun got in on the act.

The Christian Post ran a story on it, and they even got a quote from spokespeople for Answers in Genesis and the Discovery Institute… and even those guys said it was a stupid argument to make. It was an unmitigated PR disaster for ACE.  Read the rest of this entry

What Do Creationists Teach? A guest post by Jonny Scaramanga

A handy guide I wrote for Jesus Without Baggage about what Creationism is, and why it matters to Creationists.

Jesus Without Baggage

Today’s guestpost is by Jonny Scaramanga who blogs at Leaving Fundamentalism. One of Jonny’s areas of expertise is the teaching of creationists and he is perhaps the leading authority on the problems of ACE home school curriculum and learning systems, which teach creationism. On his blog, he also deals with other aspects of Fundamentalist Christianity. Be sure to visit there; it is one of my favorites.

Asking what Creationists teach is a bit like asking what Christians teach. It encompasses a lot of different doctrines. Broadly speaking, a Creationist is anyone who believes that God made the universe, which could include people who accept the theory of evolution, but think God started the process.

Dinosaurs with Humans

In the popular mind, though, “Creationist” almost always means “Christian Young-Earth Creationist“. These people believe that the book of Genesis is literally true. God initially made only two people, Adam and Eve, and everyone…

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