Thousands of American school pupils are to be taught that the Loch Ness monster is real – in an attempt by religious teachers to disprove Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Pupils attending privately-run Christian schools in the southern state of Louisiana will learn from textbooks next year, which claim Scotland’s most famous mythological beast is a living creature. Thousands of children are to receive publicly-funded vouchers enabling them to attend the schools – which follow a strict fundamentalist curriculum.
The Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) programme teaches controversial religious beliefs, aimed at disproving evolution and proving creationism. Youngsters will be told that if it can be proved that dinosaurs walked the earth at the same time as man, then Darwinism is fatally flawed. Critics have slammed the content of the religious course books, labelling them “bizarre” and accusing them of promoting radical religious and political ideas.
One ACE textbook called Biology 1099, Accelerated Christian Education Inc reads: “Are dinosaurs alive today? Scientists are becoming more convinced of their existence. Have you heard of the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland? ‘Nessie’ for short has been recorded on sonar from a small submarine, described by eyewitnesses, and photographed by others. Nessie appears to be a plesiosaur.” Another claim taught is that a Japanese whaling boat once caught a dinosaur.
One former pupil, Jonny Scaramanga, 27, who went through the ACE programme as a child, but now campaigns against Christian fundamentalism, said the Nessie claim was presented as “evidence” that evolution could not have happened. He added: “The reason for that is they’re saying if Noah’s flood only happened 4,000 years ago, which they believe literally happened, then possibly a sea monster survived. If it was millions of years ago then that would be ridiculous. That’s their logic. It’s a common thing among creationists to believe in sea monsters.”
I'm lost. Even if Nessie does exist in what way does that disprove Darwin's theory of natural selection? If anything a creature which is adapted to a unique environment would tend to support Darwin, not argue against him.
We all know Americans can be really thick sometimes but this takes some beating.
Gareth - when it comes to the relgious fundies in the southern US normal reasoning doesn't apply. It's really unsettling that "schools" are allowed to teach idiotic crap like this just to push their flawed ideology.
Patty: Do not lump "Americans" all together. That's like looking at black people and saying they're all thieves. You wouldn't do that... would you?
Anonymous: It's a private school. People are paying for their kids to go there. Is it retarded? Of course, but so is religion in general. Do you really want to open that can of worms by letting the government tell a privately-funded entity what it can and cannot do? Because the next step was clearly spelled out by Mr Orwell some years ago.
Couldn't this be put down as child abuse?
If it was going to go on and pollute the rest of the world I'd just think that they've made their own bed, now lie in it.
Yes, dinosaurs are alive today.
We call them birds.
Just a story fraught with foolishness. Not going to happen. Just run up to get people huffing and puffing about evolution.
Interesting how the ACE textbook claims that "Scientists are becoming more convinced" that dinosaurs are alive today, yet they discount what the vast majority of scientists actually believe - that evolution is a fact. You can't simultaneously ignore science AND refer to it to support your batshit claims. Sigh.
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