I generally stay out of the whole Creationist argument (well, on my blog at least).

Let me be clear – I am an atheist.  Very staunchly so.  But other people write far better and far more cogently than I on the clash between creationism and science, and I’m quite happy to let them do so.

So today’s post will be a short one, and I will do my best to refrain from ranting.

I am NOT, however, amused.  Not at all.

Certainly, I’ve read the Bible, and I’ve heard about other Creationist texts and the scientific nonsense they espouse, but today I came across a textbook, currently being taught to 4th grade children, which set my teeth on edge.

I think the book’s called Science 4 (it’s not made clear), but of far more importance is the explanation of subjects, including the moon and electricity, within.

To quote the book on the subject of electricity:

creationist electricity

To be clear.  This is absolutely incorrect.  We know _lots_ about electricity.  Many, many books have been written about it. Much of our current technology would not be possible without our understanding it.  If you want to read a more detailed rebuttal, have a look here, for a start.

On the subject of the moon (you can read the entire chapter here, but beware, your jaw may permanently unhinge):

creationist moon

click to enlarge

Once again, not true.  While there remains debate, the current favourite hypothesis is that a giant impact explains the moon’s origin. Certainly, of the debate surrounding the moon’s origins, the ‘God created it’ hypothesis is seldom held out as a valid one.

A lovely long page on the various hypotheses can be found on the University of College London website. NASA has a research centre, CLOE, devoted to the subject.  There’s this, “Implications of isotope data for the origin of the moon“, written in 1986.  In fact, there’re lots and lots and lots of resources on the matter.

Update: New study proves Moon was created in massive planetary collision. Yop…

My point, for both examples, is that there’s a tonne of information which directly puts the lie to the flagrant lies being told by this textbook.  The problem?  I’m not sure the children being taught this will find that out in time.

Which is what really upsets me.

I’m not particularly interested in which deities people believe in, or their personal beliefs.  I become upset, however, when not only are people holding desperately onto their ignorance (which really does matter when it comes to the public influencing their politicians) but, even worse, passing it on to their children.

Children with this poor an understanding of how things really work are unlikely to do very well in the work force, especially against competitors who _are_ decently educated.  Nor are they likely to, through their votes, get their governments to make sane policy decisions.

And that?  That is a _terrible_ concern.

I’m so angry my hands are still shaking…