So, you’d like to see better science education?

Aron and I have been involved together in opposing pseudoscience since before we met, and married. Of course, he has been at this twice as long and has an exponentially bigger footprint both on necks of creationists, and on people he has helped educate. I am one of those people. Ten years ago,he challenged me to provide a better explanation than evolution for origins. Of course, you know who already had all the answers going in. It didn’t end as badly as his recent challenge to OnceForgivenNowFree  with OFNF ignoring any evidence and then declaring victory. Even if it had, I would have still been wrong, and still ignorant like OFNF is.

I started out as a Christian homeschooler and the journey has taken me through being a theistic evolutionist at a Christian private school to even getting into a dust up with Ken Ham about his creationist homeschool curriculum. Along the way, I started teaching science in public schools.  Every now and again I get a student, who responds that planets, mountains, dogs, or whatever came from god, and they don’t “believe” in science. It often makes me sad to see how incurious dogmatic beliefs have made them. Of course, I reply but you do use science everyday, and show them why and where.

This is going to sound melodramatic, but Aron set me free from ignorance, and showed me things I would have never known growing up with a creationist background. And now I have had the chance to repay him by helping get him the support he needs to set more people free.

We started a Patreon campaign just nine days ago, so that he could make videos full time. Since then it has surpassed nearly every goal we set. Now next week, he will be devoting full time effort to making science education videos for secondary school with my help. When I got into it with Ham, secular homeschoolers would message me asking what I recommended in terms of science education given that most of the homeschool science curriculum are religious. The videos will be a resource for them, private and public school parents, and teachers. He also will be starting a new bi-weekly podcast with Be Secular’s Mark Nebo.  As I type this, he is within 50 dollars of his 1500 a video goal, and at that goal he will make a Phylogeny Explorer website for science students and scientists. He is going to have to set another goal to pay for part time assistance in loading millions of taxa.

All of the mostly positive support and trust people have placed in Aron has surprised him, and he will do his best to deserve their support. Most of all, we are grateful for the opportunity to help remediate some of the harm done by scientific illiteracy.  Really, anyone who says something like, “We are the magic rock apes!” has missed more than a few basic steps in biology.

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About Lilandra Ra

Lilandra Ra only believes things that have evidence to back them up. She will believe even unpleasant things that many people don't want to if that is what evidence points to.

Lilandra worked in public schools as a science educator and has also trained teachers on curriculum. She is a former creationist and the wife of Aron Ra and writes Living Science videos for his youtube channel. LVS are produced so that students, teachers, parents and adults can have free access to secular science education based on the Next Generation Science Standards.

  • Monocle Smile

    What an awesome project. As far as I know, nothing like a Phylogeny Explorer exists at all. This would be revolutionary. Best of luck to both of you on these endeavors.

    • Callinectes

      Wikispecies comes close but a lot of people are editing it at different levels of classification, and they aren’t all using the same literature to do so. So it has inconsistencies, and problems of biblical proportions.

      Human sacrifice, lumpers and splitters living together, mass hysteria.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    Really, anyone who says something like, “We are the magic rock apes!” has missed more than a few basic steps in biology.

    No matter – with a band name like that, how could they lose?

  • wordsgood

    Hi Lilandra,

    This an exciting project you are both pursuing!

    Are text transcripts of the show’s podcasts available anywhere? I have trouble watching and listening to long videos online (hurts my bean!), but would really like to at least read the show’s content.

    • lilandra

      The podcast is still in the works. I’m pretty sure we don’t have the manpower to transcribe the podcasts, I’m sorry to say.

      • Jasper of Maine

        You’d be surprised at how much people are willing to crowdsource such menial tasks.

      • Hank_Says

        Heck, I’d transcribe a couple in exchange for some traffic :)

  • Data Jack

    This is so wonderful! You guys are doing great work.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    “We are the magic rock apes!”

    Has that been claimes as a band name yet? Massive potential.

    • Psychopomp Gecko

      Their first major hit can be a cover of “The Bad Touch” by the Bloodhound Gang

  • Gerard O

    I wish Ken Ham would go and live on some island on the outer Hebrides.

    • SeKara1974 .

      Oy – don’t send him our way. The outback’s big enough to swallow him up ;op

  • grasshopper

    Aron and I have been involved together in opposing pseudoscience since before we met, and married. Of course, he has been at this twice as long and has an exponentially bigger footprint

    … because AronRa really is bigfoot. This video is the very first introduction I had to AronRa. The sasquatch story is a great laugh.

  • grasshopper

    … I reply but you do use science everyday, and show them why and where.

    I am wont to ask science-disparagers “have you ever lost your car keys, and how did you find them again without doing science?”

    As an example, the person who lost their keys might form the hypothesis that the keys were dropped sometime after parking the car but before getting to the front door of their house. The hypothesis is tested by retracing the route from the front door to the car and scanning the ground.

    If the search is unsuccessful then further data is required. A neighbour might observe that you walked from the car to the mailbox first. Such new data will cause you to modify your original hypothesis that the keys will be found between the front door and your car, and you will then test the modified hypothesis by searching from the car to the mailbox and from the mailbox to the front door. Unless you are like the drunk who lost his keys on the footpath one night and decided to search under the streetlight across the road because the light was better there.

    I was wondering, lilandra, if you could give some examples of how you enlighten your students with examples of everyday unwitting use of the scientific method.

    • lilandra

      Youngsters are natural experimenters. Even babies will test what cry gets their parents to respond. We form hypotheses before experiments. If you do_______(independent variable)then what happens to___________(dependent variable). AN everyday example is if you don’t do your homework what happens to your grades?

      In the science education videos we plan on using science history and discoveries to show scientific concepts.

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