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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Still more on the AP article

Posted by jlwile on March 16, 2010

Apologia has gotten all sorts of E-MAILs and calls regarding the AP article, and they are overwhelmingly positive. Apologia has sent me some of the E-MAILs, but I thought I would post excerpts from one of them, because it shows how even state-certified teachers understand the effectiveness of the biology book I co-authored.

The E-MAIL started off pretty normally:

I am a home schooling ninth grader currently using Apologia’s Biology book and looking forward to Chemistry next year.

The student went on to say what other Apologia courses she had taken and how much she enjoyed them. However, this was the part that was really interesting:

As my homeschool education is also state approved, my books must be looked over to ensure that they meet state standards, and my work must be also graded by state teachers. The teachers who looked over my Biology curriculum were “extremely impressed” with the quality of the material and the assignments that reinforce the material. They were also very pleased with the Physical Science curriculum and easily gave me an A for the work. I currently have an A in Biology as well.

There are some homeschoolers who tend to choose a homeschooling option that is supervised by the state. Thus, while I would not call this the “traditional” method of home education in the U.S., it is not incredibly uncommon. In this mode of home education, state-certified teachers review the curriculum used, periodically test the student, and are responsible for issuing the student’s final grade.

As this student pointed out, even state-certified teachers understand the quality of Apologia courses, including the biology course I co-authored. The next part of the student’s E-MAIL indicates that a few people who comment on this blog (like Norwegian Shooter) would benefit from using Apologia books:

Apologia encourages its students to think objectively, to think for themselves, and not to just blindly accept whatever social agenda is being fed to them, or rather, being stuffed down their throats. Whenever a tough issue is encountered, it is examined from all sides before any conclusions are drawn. The authors have made an extraordinary effort to be as unbiased and objective as possible and to let the student see the facts…

Finally, the student directly addresses the nonsense spewed by the AP story:

As far as the debate that the Apologia Biology book dismisses evolution and Darwin, that is simply and plainly not true. What the book really provides is an objective look at the facts. Then the reader is left to draw their own conclusions on the issue. In fact, the authors state in the beginning of the chapter, “Clearly we have very strong ideas on how Christians should approach the theory of evolution, but we do not think that such opinions belong in a science textbook. …Instead we choose to approach evolution strictly from a scientific perspective. We will examine the theory and see where it stands in the light of current scientific knowledge.” That is what they proceed to do in the chapter.

This is not what Dr. Coyne and the other “high priests” of evolution want to hear! After all, a scientific assessment of evolution shows that it is nothing more than an unconfirmed hypothesis. They don’t want students to be exposed to such an assessment, as it will keep the students from blindly accepting their evolutionary dogma. No wonder Coyne was so upset about the biology book!

Comments

16 Responses to “Still more on the AP article”
  1. Jay,

    As for the emailer, did the student tell you how they answered questions about the age of the earth and common descent in their state-approved work? Are you sure they didn’t give the answer the state wanted? (crossing their fingers for God – wait that’s still a sin)

    I would love to have you ship me your HS biology text so I could educate myself. I’ll email you with my address. Send it COD (media-rate postage only, please) if you must.

    As for learning, don’t you feel left behind when non-creation scientists discuss current research like this post on polar bear phylogeny from Dr. Coyne? I mean, the evidence is from a polar bear jaw bone around 120,000 years old, so you have to dismiss it out of hand. Don’t you wish creation scientists could do science like this?

  2. jlwile says:

    Shooter, you really need to work on your reading skills. As the student clearly says, “my books must be looked over to ensure that they meet state standards, and my work must be also graded by state teachers. The teachers who looked over my Biology curriculum were “extremely impressed” with the quality of the material.” Thus, the teachers actually know what the text says. Unlike you, then, they actually READ to evaluate. They know the YEC stance and still approve it, because they know it is excellent preparation for university-level science. Since the tests are based on the book, if there is a question about the age of the earth, I am sure the correct answer (young) is what the test is looking for.

    While I am happy to send you the book I co-authored free of charge, I doubt that you will learn from it. After all, you have been reading this blog all this time and still have some warped, silly idea of creation science. Of course creationists don’t reject the jawbone out of hand. Instead, we just understand how nonsensical the value for its age is. Instead of trying to make conclusions based on nonsense, we look at the jawbone and try to figure out what conclusions can be reasonably drawn from it. Evolutionists have a very hard time doing that, but creationists are quite good at it. Also, creationists do research very much like that which Dr. Coyne posted. It it is called baraminology, and it is a very exciting field in creation science. In addition, it is a significantly more scientific way to approach systematics.

  3. I’d like some more details about the Biology curriculum the student is using, who are the teachers that were “extremely impressed” by it, what specifically did they say, and what are the educational requirements for homeschooling in that state. That’s the only way to evaluate your claims.

    What is with the conservative obsession with things shoved down their throats?

    “What the book really provides is an objective look at the facts.” That is a subjective statement. The evolutionists and creationists don’t even agree on what the “facts” are, so the claim of objectivity needs quite a lot of support.

  4. Ben Michael Fournier says:

    What it is Shooter is that you have presumed conclusions and any statements to the contrary must be incorrect in your sight.

  5. Of course I’ve heard of Baraminology. Color me unimpressed. Scientific, really? From my link:

    “The supremacy of the biblical criteria is explicitly admitted to by Wood and others (2003)* in their guidebook to baraminology, so all their claims of “objectivity” notwithstanding, the results will never stray very far from a literal reading of biblical texts.”

    From yours, which is terminology, not scientific evidence:

    “1. Scripture claims (used in baraminology but not in discontinuity systematics). This has priority over all other considerations. For example humans are a separate holobaramin because they separately were created (Genesis 1 and 2). However, even as explained by Wise in his 1990 oral presentation, there is not much relevant taxonomic information in the Bible.”

    Btw, do you have any papers on discontinuity systematics?

    For discussing actual scientific evidence, read this article on Common Descent. Another great example of evolutionists discussing evidence is from your favorite, PZ Myers, on snakes.

    Btw, you should register for the Research Blogging system.

    * Wood TC, Wise KP, Murray MJ. 2003. Understanding the Pattern of Life: Origins and Organization of the Species. Nashville (TN): Broadman & Holman Publishing Group

  6. Ben Michael Fournier says:

    Shooter shot, “which is terminology, not scientific evidence” but not everything in science has to be data. For example, consider John Dalton’s Atomic Theory

    “(1) all matter [is] composed of small indivisible particles termed atoms, (2) atoms of a given element possess unique characteristics and weight, and (3) three types of atoms exist: simple (elements), compound (simple molecules), and complex (complex molecules).”

    Link: http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/biography/Dalton.html

  7. jlwile says:

    Shooter, I am only going off what the student sent me in his E-MAIL. He said that his state-certified teachers reviewed the biology book and were “very impressed” and approved it for use in a state-supervised homeschool. I know that bothers you a lot, as do the myriads of success stories for those who used our courses. However, you will just have to accept it. Your (and Coyne’s) preconceived notion that a YEC science education is inferior just doesn’t line up with the facts. The facts show that it leads to a superior science education. Even state-certified teachers understand that.

  8. jlwile says:

    Shooter, I really don’t care whether or not you are impressed with Baraminology. You aren’t impressed with data at all. The only thing that seems to impress you is what your high priests tell you. You went to your high priests at the NSCE to find out what you should believe about Baraminology, and they told you to be unimpressed, so you are. Big surprise.

    The point is that you claimed creationists don’t do the kind of science Coyne blogged about. I showed that like most of your comments, you were completely wrong. Of course creationists do that kind of research, and of course it is more scientific than that which Coyne blogged about, since it follows what the data say.

    I have shown you already that the talkorigins site is incredibly deceptive. It is not surprising, then, that the link you gave me is full of all sorts of problems. You can learn about those problems here. Please note that once this refutation of the talkorigins article you linked was posted, the talkorigins author MODIFIED his piece SEVERAL times, without mentioning it to anyone. That’s just what you would expect from an incredibly deceptive site like talkorigins.

    To see how real scientific evidence is discussed by serious scientists, look at these references on baraminology:
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/arj/v1/n1/karyotype-variability-cattle

    http://creation.com/images/pdfs/tj/j20_3/j20_3_61-65.pdf

    http://www.creationresearch.org/crsq/articles/43/43_3/2006v43n3p149.pdf

  9. Actually, the student wrote that the teachers were “very impressed” with his curriculum, not his books. They only “looked over” the books. Being familiar with pedagogy, you should know that a textbook is not a curriculum. Can you at least tell me what state he is from?

    The only problem I have with a YEC science education such as provided by your books is that it is wrong on the age of the earth and the fact of common descent of all animals, including humans. I would guess that when I read your Biology textbook, 99% of it will be fine with me. Maybe even excellent, we’ll see.

  10. Ben,

    You are correct, Dalton’s theory of atoms is science. It provided a theoretical framework that lead to decades of robust science experiments. If Baraminology could do the same, I would accept it as science.

    Jay,

    Thank you for the first True.Origin link. I look forward to reading it.

  11. Ben Michael Fournier says:

    Shooter, the one particular article you read is one of the preliminary documents to provide a framework for taxonomic classification. There is also the criterion of viable hybridization for inclusion in a baramin. The word baramin is actually rather general, as has been the accusation on forum debates about the word “kind”, so this article intended also to provide general definitions which were more specific than just “kind” or “baramin” alone, by attachment of Greek prefixes mono-, holo-, poly-, thereby to provide a partial terminological base to work from.

  12. Ben, that preliminary document was produced 10 years after baraminology was introduced and it was 10 years ago itself. 20 years should be enough time to produce actual science.

    Also, anything that admits Genesis as its primary source is not science, no matter what it is.

  13. Ben Michael Fournier says:

    You say “admit” as if they were guilty of something, which perhaps in your mind they are. However, using the Bible as an ideological framework is just as valid as using atheism in terms of having an axiomatic foundation to work from in the development of subsequent models which posit predictions.

  14. jlwile says:

    Shooter, once again, you are speaking from ignorance. Our courses are NOT textbooks. They are complete curricula. I have no idea what state the student is from. The student didn’t mention that.

  15. jlwile says:

    Shooter, Baraminology is already more consistent with the data that evolutionary phylogenies. That’s why it’s better science.

  16. jlwile says:

    Ben is correct when he says “using the Bible as an ideological framework is just as valid as using atheism in terms of having an axiomatic foundation to work from in the development of subsequent models which posit predictions.” That’s Shooter’s main problem. He has his preconceived notions, and no amount of data will change them. One of his preconceived notions is to ASSUME the Bible is not a valid source of information. As he clearly admits, ” …anything that admits Genesis as its primary source is not science, no matter what it is.”

    That statement shows he is unwilling to think scientifically, as a REAL scientist does not exclude ANY possibilities until they have been falsified by the data.

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