Previously, I shared a few excerpts from Delores Shimmin’s ”science” book, Matter & Motion in God’s Universe. From a single page, we saw that it’s about as much of a science book as The Day After Tomorrow is a nature documentary. What’s even more stunning is that it lists two engineers and three scientists (one of them a Ph.D. chemist) as “Professional Consultants.” I did quick searches on the three scientists and couldn’t find anything solid on the chemist and physicist, but the third is a parasitologist (who has a Master of Arts?) who just happens to work for the Institute for Creation Research. I checked out the IRC's website and it's full of many interesting studies, none of which seemed to have appeared in any scientific journals, or any publications other than their own. This might be because their graduate school only seems to offer degrees in Science Education, which I'm sure are just as legitimate as a Women's Studies degree from the University of Ike Turner (UIT's music department, however, is second to none).
As I said before, the best chapter of Matter & Motion is, of course, the one on evolution. I’m still not sure why some people in the Christian community feel intimidated by that particular subject. You’d think they would have learned their lesson 500 years ago with Copernicus. But again, being a chemist, I could honestly care less about their views on evolution. My one and only problem lies with how they present misinformation, unsupported theories and blatant lies in the guise of a science textbook geared for middle school kids, an age when many (such as myself) first become interested in the sciences. There is no greater (or worst) example of this than on page 287, which shows a picture of humans and dinosaurs co-existing.
Now, I’ll admit I’m no paleontologist, but I’ve been led to believe that humans and dinosaurs never actually lived together. In fact, it's been my understanding that most data suggests that they missed the opportunity to hunt and devour each other by several thousand years. Ms. Shimmin, however, seems to take a different viewpoint:
“They were, no doubt, the dragons mentioned several times in the Bible.”
No, I'm not kidding. This is actually what she says (and the boldface is her emphasis, not mine). She goes on to explain that
“Contrary to the beliefs of evolutionists, the dragons (dinosaurs) existed at the same time as men. It is highly probable that they eventually disappeared from the world (became extinct) after the Flood because of the drastic change in climate.”
[The following is written all-caps because I actually shouted this at the book, out loud, after reading the aforementioned page.]
THIS IS A SCIENCE BOOK MEANT FOR SEVENTH GRADERS! YOU’RE TRYING TO BRAINWASH IMPRESSIONABLE YOUNG MINDS WITH BULLSHIT THAT ISN’T JUST UNPROVEN, BUT ACTUALLY HAS A HUNDRED PLUS YEARS OF REAL SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH THAT POINTS TO THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF WHAT YOU JUST SAID!
All kidding aside (though I wasn’t kidding...I really did shout that, among other things), the problem behind ideas based on the concept of intelligent design is simple: they generally don’t follow the scientific method. Here’s the outline I use in class to sum up the scientific method.
Notice that the word “modify” appears, not once, but twice. What some people fail to understand is that evolution isn’t the same theory it was a hundred years ago. It’s been studied, examined, and modified numerous time and continues to be. Simply put, if you want the scientific community to take your ideas seriously, you have to follow the scientific method, you have to keep an open mind, and above all else, you must accept the fact that you may not know everything and what you thought you knew may actually turn out to be wrong. That's how we learn and how we grow.
But you know, I have a feeling that people like Delores Shimmin, Beka Books and the Institute for Creation Research actually know this, but choose to publish and support garbage like Matter & Motion because educating society, young and old, isn’t actually their top priority. Rather, it’s finding the easiest path to the quickest dollar, and there’s no path easier or quicker than preying on the ignorant (by which I mean uninformed, not stupid). If that is indeed the case, I honestly hope there is a God so he can send them to the worst Hell imaginable. They deserve no less.