What a Way to Bring in the New Year!

An aerial view of the Large Hadron Collider’s layout. The particle accelerator is used for high-energy physics experiments. (click for credit)

I wasn’t planning on writing a post today, but as I was going through my email, I saw a wonderful message from a homeschool graduated who used my curriculum, and I just had to post about it. I am keeping the person’s name and some of the professional details confidential (using square brackets to paraphrase and ellipses to cut), because I don’t want the person’s presence on a creationist blog to be harmful to his or her career. It’s sad that I have to do that, but many of the high priests of science are the most anti-science people on the planet, excommunicating those who do not accept their dogma.

Here is the wonderful message I received:

I am writing to thank you for your excellent high school science courses. As a homeschooler, I really appreciated the readability of the texts. The challenging material helped me to develop effective study habits, while your clear enthusiasm for each subject led me to develop a lasting interest in the sciences, especially physics. In fact, after working through Module 8 (“Gravity and Relativity”) of your Advanced Physics Course, I decided to pursue a career in physics. Though I didn’t really have any idea of what that would entail, I figured that your science courses would be an ideal preparation, and indeed they were! Largely due to to the strong foundation that your courses (Physical Science, Biology, The Human Body, Chemistry, Advanced Chemistry, Physics, and Advanced Physics) had provided me throughout middle school and high school, I was able to complete my BS in physics a year early. This helped me to be successful in the treacherous grad school application process, and I am now a [graduate student at a well-known university] pursuing a PhD in experimental particle physics; I’m [doing original research at facilities like the one pictured above]; these are goals that I have looked forward to for a long time. Your courses have been key in successfully beginning to achieve these goals…so thank you for helping to make all of this possible!

As one further note, I’d also like to add that I really appreciate how your texts touched on more advanced topics, even if only to ultimately concede that they were “beyond the scope of this course.” Though I found it a bit frustrating at the time, it really motivated me to keep pushing deeper into the subject, making it all the more satisfying to finally encounter the topic in a later class. For example, your brief description of solving the Schrodinger equation for hydrogen (page 50 of your Advanced Chemistry text) had me on the edge of my seat until finally reaching this problem in undergrad Quantum II. Currently, my Quantum Field Theory textbook tends to make the same sort of statements…and it reminds me of your superlative texts (though when I come across statements like these in QFT, it tends to make me relieved rather than frustrated – I’m happy to leave that particular calculation to the theorists!).

Anyway, I’m sure you get many messages like this, but I just really wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your texts and how much they have aided me in the career path that they inspired me to pursue…

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

There are so many wonderful things to say about this student’s message to me, but I will limit myself to two:

1) I love the fact that this person was “on the edge of” his or her seat because of a solution to the Schrodinger equation!

2) This once again demonstrates that Bill Nye has no idea what he is talking about when he claims that creationist materials are a detriment to science. This student learned junior-high and high-school science from creationist materials, and those materials inspired him or her to be doing the kind of original scientific research that Nye can only dream about doing.

12 Comments

  1. Kelli says:

    Awesome!! Science was a big fear for me when I decided to homeschool our four kids back in 1999. I began w/a first grader, so I had time & stumbled across you and your curriculum at a homeschool fair in PA. What a fabulous day that was!! Back then I still struggled w/ elementary science, but now you even have that. So I just want to say “THANKS” for taking the time to write all of your curriculum and then to also lecture about it at conferences! It has made a difference in our family!

    1. Jay Wile says:

      Thank you so much, Kelli. That means a lot!

  2. Susan T says:

    This is great! We SO appreciated your 1st and 2nd edition texts from 2003-2012, as our three students each progressed through Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry, Anatomy/Physiology. Our first/daughter had the strongest interest & emailed you a few times for better understanding of a question and you always responded so quickly/kindly/helpfully. Our second/daughter(voracious reader) started the texts earlier and studied A/P the same year as her sister; I have fond memories of their laughter/exclamations… from the basement of our old house, as they conducted the labs/dissections on the old concrete floor. Our youngest/son benefited from helping them as well. All 3 CLEPed Biology. Oldest aced A/P, Chemistry, Micro/Bio as a Nursing student. Second is a scholar, with full ride for PhD in History from Big school. Third was top/class now working on MBA at night while working full time for large health company/ministry. Thank you for your excellent texts & encouragement for homeschool students.

    1. Jay Wile says:

      That’s wonderful, Susan! Thank you!

  3. Alaska Nivanuatu says:

    Happy New Year Jay! Blessings to you and your family! May you continue to educate and inspire young people to excel!

  4. Rebecca says:

    Have you read anything about CERN? Many believe that it will be used to unlock the demons. CERN’s motto is the Hindu god Shiva. They put on demonstrations and performances that could be called antichrist. No Christian should have anything to do with CERN.

    1. Jay Wile says:

      Rebecca, I can definitively say that you are completely wrong. First, the motto of CERN is “maximum luminosity,” as it produces more results with more collisions. There is a statue of Shiva on the CERN campus. It was a gift from the country of India. There is a plaque next to the statue that explains why it is there:

      Hundreds of years ago, Indian artists created visual images of dancing Shivas in a beautiful series of bronzes. In our time, physicists have used the most advanced technology to portray the patterns of the cosmic dance. The metaphor of the cosmic dance thus unifies ancient mythology, religious art and modern physics.

      Second, throughout my 30+ years as a nuclear chemist, I have collaborated with several scientists who have done experiments at CERN. These scientists are from many different countries and practice many different religions. Some are atheists, some are Hindu, some are Muslim, some are Jewish, and some are Christian. None of them have discussed any “demonstrations and performances that could be called antiChrist.” Indeed, the Christians I know who have worked for CERN are serious, devout Christians who have no problems with the facility. I have discussed their spiritual life at CERN with them, and they say that while CERN itself is neither supportive of nor antagonistic to Christianity, there are many like-minded believers there. Indeed, there is a Christian fellowship organization made up of CERN staff and scientists.

      No Christian should have anything to do with spreading false accusations.

  5. Victor Ferreira da Silva says:

    I’m here just to wish everybody a Happy New Year! May God Enlighten us all in His everlasting grace, and may we make a good name of His Son, our savior!

  6. Scott says:

    Dr. Wile, you’re the best! You’ve been an inspiration to so many, a voice of reason in chaotic conversations and a just a great guy. May God continue to bless you and use you mightily.

  7. You have every right to be pleased when students using your curriculum go on to pursue careers in science. I’m so thankful that your hard work has inspired a new generation of scientists. No doubt many others have also enjoyed them (but only one of the ten lepers
    returned to thank Jesus). Good job!

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