Creationist Science Fair Exhibit

An entry from the 2009 Twin Cities Creation Science Association (TCCSA) science fair:

goldfish

Essentially, this tells us that goldfish should be fed twice a day… because Genesis says we have dominion over them.

I think.

The notes to presenters tell you everything you need to know about what TCCSA sponsors think a scientist should be doing:

Five things to remember:
1. Know your material.
2. Be confident.
3. Communicate well.
4. Be thorough.
5. Pray your exhibit will witness to non-Christian visitors.

Those are *totally* the pre-requisites to winning a Nobel Prize.

(via The J-Walk Blog)

  • Polly

    I guess the dominionist mentality urges them to usurp science as well because I can’t see any other connection to science “creationism” can lay claim to.

  • http://sinnersaintshiksa.blogspot.com Modern Girl

    I don’t know….I would have to know more about where this picture came from before I could fully enjoy this picture. I want to know more about the kid, and the kid’s parents, and the school.

    And the child developmentalist in me is overanalyzing the motor skills of the child who made this. Look at the handwriting…how old is this child?

    Though, I do like that they brought a bowl of fish with them to school. That shows dedication and passion about the topic.

  • Richard Wade

    Five things to remember:
    1. Know your material.
    2. Be confident.
    3. Communicate well.
    4. Be thorough.
    5. Pray your exhibit will witness to non-Christian visitors.

    They seem to have inadvertently left out:

    6. Find your conclusion in the Bible first, then look for anything that supports that conclusion.

    7. Ignore anything you see in the world around you that contradicts what you’ve been taught in church.

    8. Pray that you can get a job in Daddy’s gas station.

  • Chal

    This just seems like you’re a big bad atheist picking on kids. :P

  • MrMarkAZ

    I see Ken Ham is hard at work on his next museum exhibit.

  • Sam

    This in no way shape or form represents all Minnesotans. It truly pains me to see something like this going on in my state. I’m all for science fairs but only when there is real science going on.

  • beckster

    You would think the first requirement for a science fair project would be understanding and following the scientific method. . . This looks like the work of a five or six year old kid, if that. I would be curious how old the kid is who put this together. I imagine he/she was very young. I went to the original website and I saw some other projects that looked like they were properly done, but couldn’t see the fine print :) I do wonder how the kid who did the research on sedimentary rock formations can really trust his parents when they tell him the earth is only 6,000 years old.

  • Erik

    Chal:

    This just seems like you’re a big bad atheist picking on kids.

    It’s either that, or eat them!

  • Desert Son

    5. Pray your exhibit will witness to non-Christian visitors.

    The exhibit does. It really, truly does . . .

    . . . but probably not the way you think or hope.

    No kings,

    Robert

  • Erik

    The TCCSA website with these “science” projects also links to some web comics that seem focused on lampooning science. Here’s a stunning example from one titled Monkey’s Cuz, which mentions evolution a couple of times as somehow related to act of fossilization.
    http://www.tccsa.tc/nuckols/monkeys_cuz/fish_fossil.html

  • Erik

    aargh, these comics are infuriatingly ignorant!
    http://www.tccsa.tc/nuckols/primordial.html

  • Scott

    Another excellant resource site is Science Toys

    dictionary.com is also an excellent resource. Perhaps while they’re spell-checking they can check the definition of science – in two birds, one stone stylie

  • Larry Huffman

    I have to seperate my views on this, because if this child is as young as the handwriting indicates, it is rather cute…bible verse and fundy conclusions notwithstanding. At the very least, any fish that find themselves in the care of this child should feel pretty safe about getting fed properly. :-)

    The real indictment should be on any adults who thought such an entry would meet the requirements of a science fair exhibit. Call the contest a ‘practical bible’ contest…or somehow tie it to scriptures, not science…if the idea is to make it faith promoting and biblical. Do not misunderstand, for a young child’s project…care and feeding of goldfish is an appropriate topic…but rather than a bible verse, something about the fish’s nutritional needs or growth would have been within the kids ability and made the project science worthy rather than joke worthy. (I am surprised it does not say at the bottom that proper care could allow the fish to grow big enough to swallow wayward prophets…with a verse from Jonah).

    And then there is the overriding culture of the fundamentalists who are feeling so threatened by science lately that they have to try to tie all of their doctrines to science somehow. I think this mentality is actually contributing to their decline, however, since it is allowing them to show just how ignorant of science they really are, without any help from the outside. Anyone…including a non-fundamentalist kid, would see how ignorant such a contest is. This contest, like the creationst museums we have seen, all seem to be desperately trying to find a foothold where there are none.

  • Miko

    The first four notes to presenters aren’t bad. Following them is certainly not enough to guarantee that you’re doing science, but if you’re not following them then chances are pretty good that you’re not doing science.

    I especially like “be thorough.” Some people tend to just jump to conclusions (that they’ve read in a certain… book) and let that influence their science. It’s good to know that they aren’t encouraging that here. Oh, wait.

  • Chal

    why did you link to those comics?

    I just lost all faith in humanity again. :(

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    It seems the fundies err in doing the steps of the scientific method backwards.

    They simply put the inference first to be consistent with the bible. Then creatively design an experiment (or choose what observations to make) to validate the bible-verse. Then restate the bible verse as a hypothesis. A nice little system. Of course, you don’t actually learn anything in doing it in this way but it gives you a nice warm fuzzy feeling inside.

    You shouldn’t call it science, though. Perhaps the “belief method”. Or “Faith based validation”.

    One could have all sorts of interesting exhibits in a “faith-based validation” fair. One is only limited by your imagination and your chosen holy book. No naturally occurring dependent variables required.

  • Anticontrame

    I’m sorry, but that’s really cute.

  • DeafAtheist

    First Michelle Bachman and now this? My move to Pennsylvania is looking more and more appealing. After all they have the Atheist Station there. http://atheiststation.org/

  • http://frodology.blogspot.com/ FrodoSaves

    Was this Ben Stein’s entry?

  • http://cyberlizard.com CyberLizard

    This stuff actually breaks my heart. I picture the little guy diligently drawing his poster, writing his paper and his proud little face as his project gets put on display for the public. He has no clue just what his parents are doing to him or what an object of ridicule his project will become. Every day, I become more convinced that this kind of religious indoctrination is tantamount to child abuse.

    On the other hand, I totally see the humor. My first impulse was to comment that this must be Ray Comfort’s entry ;-)

  • http://imaginggeek.blogspot.com Bryan

    Cyberlizard said:

    Every day, I become more convinced that this kind of religious indoctrination is tantamount to child abuse.

    Amen brother! Or whatever the appropriate atheist version is (do we have one yet?).

    Bryan

  • Brian C Posey

    In TCCSA’s defense. Right before the five things to remember there is a list on how to conduct an experiment. It reads just like the scientific method.

    The Scientific Method and Home School Science Fair procedures.

    I. Purpose. Propose a question or problem for which you are seeking an answer.

    II. Hypothesis. Turn your question or problem into a statement that presents the solution in such a way that it can either be proved or disproved (falsified).

    III. Research. Gather information and plan your experiment that will prove or disprove your hypothesis.

    IV. Experiment. Get equipment and conduct your experiment.

    V. Conclusion. Present what you have discovered.

    VI. Display construction. Make your board and table display.

    VII. Science Fair Day. You as the presenter are the key to a great Science Fair Day.


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