Evolution in American Schools: The View from the UK

—Thanks to EB.

What Scottish people look like.

Our Man in Scotland informs us of a recent news item in Scotsman.com.  It seems some Christian-press textbooks have suggested that the Loch Ness Monster can help disprove evolution.  If the earth is really only roughly six to eight thousand years old, the creationist line goes, humans and dinosaurs must have coexisted at some point.  Relics like the Loch Ness Monster show that such coexistence continues into the present.BTW, the article cites as an authoritative reference frequent ILYBYGTH commentator Jonny Scaramanga.  In addition, the article implies that such notions are included in curricular materials produced by two leading Christian school publishers, Accelerated Christian Education and Bob Jones University Press.  I can’t confirm that these textbooks really contain such materials.  However, it is true that the coexistence of humans and dinosaurs has long been a key idea for many creationist intellectuals.

For instance, The Creation Museum of Ken Ham’s Answers In Genesis actively promotes the notion that human history is replete with evidence of human/dinosaur coexistence.  I visited the museum a while back and was struck by the emphasis on the ubiquity of the dragon motif in a variety of human cultures.  This served as proof, AIG contends, that humans throughout history have lived alongside dinosaurs.

Further back in twentieth-century history, the debate over the authenticity of the Paluxy River tracks   covered similar ground.  Creationists interpreted these fossilized footprints in Texas as evidence that humans and dinosaurs had coexisted.

Not surprisingly, mainstream scientists disagreed.  For mainstream scientists, the notion that humans and dinosaurs coexisted is simply impossible.  Even a rough understanding of the evolutionary “bush” of life shows that millennia separated the age of dinosaurs from that of humans.  But, of course, taking a Biblical worldview, it is just as obvious that dinosaurs and humans coexisted.  If God created the world, humans, plants and animals after their kind in Eden, then there must be some crossover between dinosaurs and humans.

With this understanding, it would be shocking for creationists to teach students anything BUT a hope that Nessie proves to be a plesiosaur.  If true, Nessie would bolster creationists’ claims for a young earth.

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  1. Thanks for the mention, Adam. I’m pushed for time but I’ll try to get back to give this the thought it deserves. Incidentally, you can’t confirm what the textbooks say, but I can: I own originals of most of them. If anyone wants scans or photocopied evidence, I can provide it.

  2. Ed Brandt

     /  July 1, 2012

    Now that I live in Scotland, it’s stuff like this that prevents me from correcting people who assume I’m Canadian. Just like we assume all Scotts drink too much and headbutt you for no reason (stereotype–they generally have a reason), Scotts assume we are all backwards-ass country idiots who…well, who could believe Nessie disproves evolution. I wish I had paid more attention in Sunday school and in science class. I clearly missed a great deal.

    John Fugelsang has a good take on this. “I have no problem, folks, with creationism being taught in science class, as long as evolutionary theory is taught in Bible study.” http://current.com/shows/viewpoint/videos/why-do-fundamentalist-christians-support-the-loch-ness-monster-john-fugelsang-explains/

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