Two meaningless creationist ‘science’ lessons

This week, a woman who works in an ACE school in Canada joined the Facebook group Accelerated Christian Education Exposed (which you're welcome to join). To her credit, she was genuinely interested to learn why the group's members dislike ACE. Less to her credit, this was because she could not fathom anyone not loving ACE. The group is public, so I'll use her real name, Cindy.The thread she started ended up with more than 100 posts, with dozens of ex-ACE students explaining why they felt … [Read more...]

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Former student blows the lid off Emmanuel College’s creationist cover-up

In 2015 I was speaking at a geek convention, where I ran into two excellent people (and a lot of other excellent people, actually, but two I'm going to tell you about). One of them went to an ACE school in Oxfordshire, and the other one, who I'll call Esther, went to Emmanuel College, Gateshead. After my talk we all went for a curry, and as we were walking, Esther started talking about how she'd been taught creationism at the school.This is an explosive allegation. There was a minor media … [Read more...]

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Beware the Jelly Creationists

When I was little, my favourite bedtime book was The Fantastic Dinosaur Adventure by Gerald Durrell. Mum enjoyed reading it too, but whenever the story mentioned how many millions of years ago the dinosaurs actually lived, she skipped over those words. When I asked her what she wasn't telling me, she said something like "We don't believe that."At the same time, Mum was quite keen on what creationists call "Gap Theory". Genesis 1:1 says "In the beginning God created the heavens and the e … [Read more...]

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How to tell the difference between creationism and science

I finished my PhD thesis on Monday. No, don't start cheering yet. There's still a long journey between finishing a thesis and becoming a doctor, but at least at this point I'm unlikely to join the ranks of those who start a PhD and never finish.I'd love to tell you what's in it, but I'm going to wait until it's passed peer review and everything's official. I also found out tons of great stuff that I couldn't fit into the thesis. Annoyingly, I have to be careful what I tell you of that, too, … [Read more...]

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Don’t let creationism make liars of us all

At the AHS Convention on Saturday, I was lucky enough to meet Nick Lane, a biochemist at UCL and renowned expert on abiogenesis. He had given a superb talk, discussing experiments which promise breakthroughs in our understanding of how life first arose. To a former creationist, this is some of the most exciting stuff you could ever hear.I collared Nick with two minutes to go before the next talk and said I wanted him to know how thrilling it was to hear that stuff having been a creationist. … [Read more...]

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Ken Ham says teaching evolution is child abuse

On Monday, Answers in Genesis' professional mouth Ken Ham posted on Facebook:Intellectual child abuse: when kids are taught they’re just animals in an evolutionary process. This morning I taught kids the creation/gospel message!The young people today in Alabama learned they’re not made in the image of an ape -- they’re created in the image of God. Most of you will have heard Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss make the same accusation against the teaching of creationism. In this conte … [Read more...]

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Gravitational waves make me glad I’m not a Christian anymore

It's almost ten years since I went to a Sunday morning church service for the final time. Those old ways of thinking are now something from the distant past, and sometimes recalling them is like a distant dream. In fact, dream is exactly the right metaphor, because it feels like I was asleep for my first two decades on Earth.Occasionally, something happens that makes me remember the bad old days. Something like scientists observing gravitational waves for the first time. (If you're not yet up … [Read more...]

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Ken Ham’s Ark Park will get tax breaks after all

A federal judge in Kentucky has ruled that Ken Ham's Ark Encounter has a legal and constitutional right to a program of tax incentives worth up to $18 million.In case you don't know, Ken Ham is building a big boat in Kentucky and planning to tell people it's a replica of Noah's Ark. This, he believes, will make people want to become Christians and stop being gay. Ham's God really likes spending millions of dollars on vanity woodwork projects but really hates people who love other people … [Read more...]

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Noah’s Ark Found, Says Scottish Education Committee Member

Gust post by Paul Braterman.Yes, today is April 1st. No, this is not a joke.The Reverend David Fraser sits as a full voting member on the Education Committee of Clackmannanshire County Council. So if you live in Clackmannanshire, he helps decide educational policy for your children, and if you teach in Clackmannanshire, he is, in a sense, your boss.Be afraid. Be very afraid. What you see next is straight from the Reverend’s Church’s web site. And there’s worse to come. … [Read more...]

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Does creationism = homophobia? Creationists think so.

In January, I claimed creationism is inherently homophobic and misogynistic. Not everyone agreed; there was some discussion over whether I'd committed a logical fallacy. But I'll tell you who hasn't challenged my argument: creationists. They're in no rush to admit to being misogynists: they claim their particular brand of paternalistic sexism—'complementarian' gender roles—is in fact kind to women. But they're queueing up to admit that their belief in creationism excludes gay people.Last Mond … [Read more...]

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