ACE Revealed by Its Own Cartoons

Jonny sent me this rather eye-popping critique of several ACE cartoons. It’s got a jaunty little title – Life According to the Christian Education Curriculum, in Cartoons! – but don’t be fooled into thinking you can read this if your stomach is in an easily-nauseated condition right now. Fortify yourself before clicking.*

You’ll have to let me know which your favorites are. So far, I can’t decide between ACE’s Evil Atheist With Great Hair vs Lil Godbot, or Who Will Feed Me Now That Mommy’s a Feminist?! I do know the winner in the creep category for me, though:

Cartoon is two panels. The first shows a family in a living room. The dad is reading the Bible, saying, "'Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.' Racer, God is pleased when you obey your parents." The second panel shows Racer sitting on his bed in his PJs and robe, reading his Bible. Thought bubble reads, "I will listen and obey my parents."

Image courtesy Jonny Scaramanga.

To the people who write this stuff, this apparently isn’t horrifically creepy indoctrination – it’s just a good education. Show a kid evidence for evolution, on the other hand…

And to think I’ve signed on to read a whole grade of this shit. Including the tests. And those terrible cartoons. I’d ask you to save spare change for the Replace Dana’s Liver fund, but you’re probably going to need that money for your own transplant. I’m so, so sorry.

 

*If the pics don’t show, just click where they should be – they’ve been temperamental.

Cryptopod: It’s Got Legs

A long, long time ago in a life far, far away, I dated a clown. No, seriously, a clown. Well, aspiring clown. Phillip ran away to join the Circus Center’s Clown Conservatory. (Before all the coulrophobics in the audience freak out: he’s more like a Charlie Chaplin clown. I’ve never seen him in the disturbing makeup. It’s more about the physical comedy. And juggling. Love the juggling.) This is the closest I’ll ever get to one of my own running away to join the circus, and I’m damned proud of him. He’s now a certified professional, and he also does comics. Plural. It’s good to see that he did not run away in vain.

Now, it’s probably a moment right now in which you’re saying, “Ah, Dana – that’s an adorable aspect of your past, really, and Phillip is a very interesting and talented person, but this has bugger-all to do with bugs*.” To all appearances, you’re certainly correct. However, there is a reason why this ex of mine will always be associated with arthropods. Clowning had skipped a generation in his family, you see: he was following in his grandmother’s footsteps, but his parents were both biologists.

It is at this point that I need the biologists in the audience to begin paying close attention, as there is a moral in this story. [Read more…]

New at Rosetta Stones: Wherein Trees and Pyroclastic Material Meet

Our next installment of the Cataclysm is up at Rosetta Stones. In this episode, you learn how some trees could actually survive the fury of a lateral blast – with the help of some rocky debris. Enjoy!

 Trees protected by snowbank at Toutle station after Mount St. Helens eruptions. Cowlitz County, Washington. June 18, 1980. Image and caption courtesy USGS. The image is of many dead trees stripped of their branches, most leaning to the right, in a field of gravelly gray ash. One tiny, vibrant green fir tree is perkily alive in the foreground.

Trees protected by snowbank at Toutle station after Mount St. Helens eruptions. Cowlitz County, Washington. June 18, 1980. Image and caption courtesy USGS.

 

Adventures in ACE I: In Which Oddities Are Explored

I recently spent an instructive few months reading Jonny Scaramanga’s blog, where I learned just how screwed up Accelerated Christian Education is. Imagine a room full of young kids stuffed in study carrels (“offices,” in ACE parlance), sitting silent on hard plastic chairs while they’re taught truly-true Christian things from thin newsprint booklets. As they grind through their science lessons, they answer review questions such as:

Christ’s shed blood is the _______ of our salvation. (Science PACE 1085)

Welcome to the whacky world of ACE, where until recently kids were taught that the Loch Ness Monster exists (and is a plesiosaur – checkmate, atheists!). Considering this is an “education” produced by (virtually) the same company that supplies the supposedly secular Responsive Ed curriculum, and is taught to far too many kids in Christian private and home schools worldwide, we should pay close attention to their shenanigans.*

Let us investigate the violence done to the earth sciences, shall we? [Read more…]

Congratulations! You’re Going to Hell! 1. Hell is an Empty Threat

Hell pisses me off. It took one sick, evil fuck to come up with the concept of believe-or-burn-eternally. Brilliant, though: terrify believers and potential converts with the worst possible fate if they don’t do what you say, then give them relief from that terror by promising heaven if they just follow instructions. And really, it doesn’t take much to convince them, because you catch people while they’re young and/or vulnerable, ensuring those threats of eternal torment grip them and refuse to let go.

Of course, the people making this threat are generally sure they’re saved and have nothing to worry about. Or they’re just parroting what they were taught as children. And they don’t think of the consequences, don’t care, or actually want their listener to cower in mortal terror. [Read more…]

Wot Your Filthy Atheist Lucre Hath Bought

Oh, my darlings, you have filled my coffers with coinage with which to purchase freaky fundie stuff, and I have filled my shelf.

Creationist crap, plus some books debunking same.

Creationist crap, plus some books debunking same.

Mind you, this is only the beginning, and doesn’t show the books I’ve got on the Kindle. We’ll be busy for quite some time, and by the end of our journey, we will be able to wipe the floor with the Flood Geologist / Christian school graduate / Intelligent Design spewer of our choice.

Should you run across any titles you wish me to add, shoot me the info. We’re gonna have such fun…

Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education: In the Beginning…

For a while, now, I’ve planned a series on the kind of creationists who like to run around calling themselves geologists and invade GSA meetings under false pretenses. People like “Stone Stubborn” Steven Austin, who does real geology only to the extent it gives him a Trojan Horse into professional journals and meetings. These smarmy barstards have a distressing tendency to lie by omission, trying to lure actual geologists into associating with them by pretending they’re legit, and then telling their fundie flocks they’ve presented their work professionally, therefore their creationist crap is SCIENCE – only failing to mention that wasn’t open and avowed creation science they were presenting to the professionals.

But, you know, they’re kinda clownish, and I can just hear people poo-poohing their danger to the scientific community. Nobody outside of a handful of fundie freaks takes these Young Earth Creationist douchebags seriously, right? We’re not at risk like biology is, yo. No one’s boarding school boards trying to muck with the geology curriculum, so let the rabbits wear glasses and Steve Austin play totes legit geologist to the church-addicted crowd.

Um. [Read more…]

Keeping Up With the Creationists, Vol. I, Issue 1: Ain’t Just Private Schools, Kids

Hello and welcome to what I hope will be a weekly feature, Keeping Up With the Creationists, in which we peruse some creationist news and remind ourselves that, no, alas, creationism isn’t dead. It’s not even sleeping. It’s wide-awake and kicking in not only Christian private and home schools, but in our very own public school systems.

Yes, public. [Read more…]

Adventures in Biblical Literalism Vol. II: A Mighty Wind

This literal reading of the Bible has made me think God’s a rather flatulent fellow. Two lines of Biblical evidence point me toward this conclusion.

It begins right at the beginning. The ol’ KJV has it that, before God turned the lights on, the Spirit of him was moving on the face of the waters. But most scholars say that the NRSV is a more accurate translation, so let’s turn to it to figure out what this Spirit stuff is:

¹In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, ²the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God* swept over the face of the waters.

Wind being a polite euphemism for fart, I think we all know what that means: [Read more…]

Can You Recommend a Good Petrology Book?

You know those times where your woeful ignorance rises up like someone in a slapstick comedy and smacks you right in the face? Yeah, this is one of those times. Some recent research (having nothing to do with Christianist textbooks – yet) has caused me to again confront the fact I know bugger-all about petrology.

It’s about bloody time I fixed that problem.

So, my darlings, can you recommend to me a good beginner’s book about petrology? Preferably one that gives good coverage to as many types as possible? Hopefully one under $50? Do you have favorite websites, sources and such? Tell me all about them! I promise to give you lovely results. Lockwood and I certainly get around enough to find you some gorgeous examples of petrology in action, and I’ve already got a piece I’m working on that’s all about garnets in rhyolite. Oh, indeed.

Image is a calico cat sleeping on petrology textbooks. Caption says,

Evelyn’s kitteh Samira, being a petrology cat. Caption by Lockwood DeWitt.

Thank you in advance! You know I couldn’t be the science writer I am without you. I never forget it!

Also, have some slapstick comedy. Just because.