In Louisiana School, Loch Ness Monster Disproves Evolution

“We are letting parents decide what’s best for their children, not government.” – Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal

We spend most of our time talking about the Republican War on Women and to be fair, it has eclipsed the Republican War on Science, though the two overlap.

But the War on Science hasn’t gone away and Republican opposition to the real world is as strong today as ever. We’re on a slippery slope to the day when Weather Priests replace Meteorologists and Climate Scientist becomes an arcane term.

We already know that the Grand Canyon was caused by Noah’s flood and that the Republican cure for drought is prayer. We know that if God gets angry over our sinning he kills birds, and if he’s really angry, people – through floods, typhoons, tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes. Everything science has learned about weather is tossed out the window in a frenzy of superstitious fear right out of the Bronze Age.

The earth, they insist, is only a few thousand years old, not 4.5 billion. Noah’s flood was only 4,000 years ago. But geologists know the Grand Canyon is 5-6 million years old. Humans have only been here for little longer than that (six to eight thousand years according to the Bible) though we know through science that the Bible is wrong, that humans have been around for 200,000 years.

We’d begun migrating out of Africa and Neanderthals were already in Europe 70,000 years ago. Heck, six thousand years ago we already had our first civilizations in places like Mesopotamia and India. Forget Adam and Eve and fig leaves and talking snakes.

They say that evolution is a lie and they can prove it by saying humans and dinosaurs lived together, even though science shows us that this also is a lie. But according to the Scotsman a “science” textbook” at Eternity Christian Academy in Westlake, Louisiana claims otherwise:

“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.”

Obviously, the logic goes, if dinosaurs are still alive today, evolution is a fraud. The book goes on to develop a conclusion based not on observable scientific fact but on the Bible:

Could a fish have developed into a dinosaur? As astonishing as it may seem, many evolutionists theorize that fish evolved into amphibians and amphibians into reptiles. This gradual change from fish to reptiles has no scientific basis. No transitional fossils have been or ever will be discovered because God created each type of fish, amphibian, and reptile as separate, unique animals. Any similarities that exist among them are due to the fact that one Master Craftsmen fashioned them all.”

Of course, scientists think no such thing. No scientist believes “Nessie” exists. Photographs have been doctored or misinterpreted, eyewitnesses debunked and sonar has proven nothing of the sort. Perversely, this “science” textbook uses science to debunk science.

In other words, something that cannot be proven to exist is being used to disprove something that is observable in nature and very provable through repeated testing.

As Rob Boston writes over at AU’s blog Wall of Separation, it’s very easy to laugh at this. Valerie Strauss at Washington Post’s The Answer Sheet says “This would be funny if it weren’t so, well, not funny.”

The book is Biology 1099 published by Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) in Madison, Tenn., and as Boston writes, though “Fewer than 40 children attend Eternity Christian Academy” at present,

Thanks to Gov. Bobby Jindal and compliant Louisiana legislators, 135 students may be enrolled there this fall. Many religious schools in the state have ambitious plans to expand in the wake of the taxpayer-funded windfall.

And as he goes on to point out, “the fact is we have no way of knowing how many other tax-supported academies in Louisiana use ACE’s materials. The publisher is popular among Christian fundamentalist educators and home-schoolers.”

The Scotsman reports that according Boston-based researcher and writer Bruce Wilson, who specialises in the American political religious right, this fundamentalist nonsense is taking place in at least 13 states and that upwards of 200,000 students are receiving this “education.”

Wilson goes on to say that, “One of these texts from Bob Jones University Press claims that dinosaurs were fire-breathing dragons. It has little to do with science as we currently understand. It’s more like medieval scholasticism.”

As I’ve said here before, the GOP is intent on returning us to the 13th century. The Texas school board announced they were there back in 2010 though they had gotten over it by 2011.

The results for children and for America could be catastrophic. Already lagging in science, America could fall even further behind. Of course, it’s no surprise that Louisiana has the biggest voucher program in the country. As Strauss writes,

This is where support of vouchers is leading us — to the public paying for a child to learn that the Loch Ness Monster was a dinosaur and co-existed with humans. This is important to Young Earth Creationists, who believe that Earth was created no longer than 10,000 years ago, not the 4.5 billion years estimated by science. They also believe that dinosaurs were on Noah’s Ark.

If people want to believe this and they want their children to learn it in school, that’s fine. The public shouldn’t have to pay for it.

Really, rather than laugh, we should cry over what is being done. We cannot save these children. We can only hope that as so often happens, they grow up, are exposed to our shared reality, and realize the world is not as their parents claimed. Unfortunately, the only way to debunk superstition is, as Carl Sagan observed, through science, and that science is not going to be taught in a Republican America.

Louisiana and twelve other states are only the beginning. If the rot continues, the history of the United States of America will become only a footnote, a historical curiosity – assuming the human race survives at all.

As a final note, University of California, Berkeley, hosts a site called Evolution 101 (a must read) and another listing misconceptions about evolution and natural selection, things every American ought to know, so please send them to all your fundamentalist friends and link them to every discussion you see online.

24 Replies to “In Louisiana School, Loch Ness Monster Disproves Evolution”

  1. “…The results for children and for America could be catastrophic. Already lagging in science, America could fall even further behind. Of course, it’s no surprise that Louisiana has the biggest voucher program in the country”…

    What is simply stunning is, that during the Rachel Maddow show (probably most of the MSN news hour programing), commercials by Exxon flood the air waves, pushing their programs for math and science in the schools! Apparently, their math/science programs aren’t in Louisiana?!…perhaps, they need to have a “wyurd Guv’na Bob’ie” down there…

    Stunning!

  2. this is simply the effort to make sure their religion And religious dogma comes first in as many lives as can possibly be reached. irregardless of the fact that it is completely false these people want the children to grow up blind. The pain of it is the children will at some point in their life learn how they were lied to. In the 50s they could’ve gotten away with that completely. But in the next 30 years as these kids grow up today science should be sufficiently advanced approve all of this stuff as bunk. Even though most of it is already disproved like the dinosaurs walking with people. That is so insanely ridiculous, and kind of shocks me as to how people would use that to try and influence others, Especially children. It simply doesn’t work

    These religions depend on falsehoods and fear. It’s too bad they don’t depend on what they are supposed to be, based on love for your fellow man

  3. It’s possible some Plesiosauri survived, but that photo was found to have been of a teapot. Meanwhile, those folks who claim a surviving Plesiosaurus disproves evolution won’t admit a surviving Coelocanth tends to support it.

  4. I’m not an advocate of violence but I think somebody needs to line these people up and slap the stupid out of them.

  5. Not sure any dino would have a 90 million year lifespan. But if there’s one, shouldn’t it have ancestors? Mom and pop, brothers and sisters? Cousins? Uncles?

  6. Yup, there are abundant “living” fossils all around us. For example different species of crocs, sharks, snakes, turtles, and insects have been with us since the Mesozoic.

    This is just another example of how these people don’t grasp the basics of evolutionary theory.

  7. I remember one photo analysis showed (I mean, look at the size of the waves) that the object was at most 2-3 feet in size, hardly a sea monster. But a tea pot fits very well.

  8. I remember laughing in Calvin & Hobbes when Calvin’s dad told him the sun sets in Albuquerque – that was funny – but it was also only a comic strip. This is an actual school.

  9. These folks operate in an alternate reality. They say, “show us the transitional fossils” and then when such evidence is presented to them, they babble something else that is totally unrelated.

    The fact of the matter is that there are a large number of beautiful transitional fossils. There are fossils that show dinos with feathers and wings, whales with hips and hind legs (at various stages of evolution), mammal like reptiles, and ape like hominids, just to name a few.

    I am reminded of the “debate” between Richard Dawkins and one of our creationists ( I saw it on youtube). The look on Professor Dawkins face was priceless because he couldn’t believe the idiocy of the woman, as she completely ignored all his rebuttals to her ridiculous arguments.

  10. It wouldn’t be the same one, of course, but things of similar description have been spotted far from Loch Ness, and once detected by sonar. Chesapeake Bay and off the Brazilian coast are two locations that come to mind.

  11. Actually, we’ve started calling these types Hammerheads, because they use deliberate, aggressive density as a weapon.

  12. Yeah. Have you seen the “evo devo” related experiments that can activate ancient throwback genes from a bird’s dinosaurian ancestry? They can “devolve” a bird, so to speak, so it develops raptor like teeth and a tail.

  13. The origins of the Hammerheads dates back further that Jackass-Neanderthal tribe*;we know that they are prolific breeders…no one quite understands how they actually give birth, but, we do know that they do and, usually after some kind of ritual of driving a pick-up truck in circles over and over…something they call donuts holes. Some of them are considered quite harmless, although most live on the margins of civilization and can be most hostile, aggressive to those considered as outsiders of their tribe.

    *The documentary movies “Jackass I, II, and III are devoted to giving civil society a timeline of these creatures evolutionary skills in so much that the Museum of Modern Art devoted an entire show to them!

  14. I read an article on the internet recently that discussed how having a theocracy in Turkey before it became a democratic republic crippled the nation in very significant ways. Turkey before Ataturk was used as an example. The Turkish people found theocratic government to be a barrier to their competitiveness in science and technology. It was discovered that allowing religion to trump science also affected the ability of the nation to defend itself. They finally had to face the fact that there could be no advancements in weapons development without science. This was a wake up call to the Turkish. These American dominionists who strongly advocate for more and more military spending don’t seem to realize that there is a strong connection between science and the modern military. If we’re not preparing more students to take on the scientific challenges of the future, we’re hobbling not only them, but our nation’s ability to compete with other nations, and we’re harming our national security.

  15. Shiva,The ONLY evidence I can think of for a Substantial number of Dinosaurs surviving are a strange&potentially deadly species known as Teabaggerus Deliberusjeebusarus,a Severely Mutated version of Elephants.They are easily spotted by The various Plumages they can display along with a most erratic&some would say infuriatingly shrill Vocalization style.At first thought to be a complex mix of ear piercing shrieks,screams,Catcalls,Hoots&Grunts.It has now been determined these Sounds are of actually no Value Survival-wise&only serve to help them display their Plumage,possibly for Mating Rituals.

    Most are terribly Dimwitted with deformed Brain Structure,easy to scare&when frightened quickly pick the least capable of their Herd to lead them to safety.They regularly practice Cannibalism.While Highly Protective of Pregnant Females of The Herd,once Birth occurs,all Herd Interest is lost&The Herd abandons The Mothers&Young.

    They should never be approached alone,as they are prone to attack without warning,&while it is usually just Minor Ear Damage,they have a hidden Appendage that can fire Projectiles using a highly explosive gas/carbon mixture they produce&the results,if attacked in this way are almost always Fatal.It seems they use this attack in response to their defective reproductive System of The Males,as they sadly are born with severely shrunken Sex Organs&do not complete coitus properly the Majority of The Time.The few in Captivity required Prosthesis for their Sex Organs&Daily Medication to propagate.

    It is thought this sense of frustration at repeated Failure results in their growing ever larger&more deadly appendages.Their Systems of Organization are very impressive,&they can always be found in large Herds.They have no Directional Capability&can only run to The Right,often leading to fatal Collisions with one another.They are not seen in successful co-existence with other Life Forms,as they seem incapable of adaptation or acquiring New skills&so stay exclusively to themselves.

    In recent Months,new Evidence suggests that The other Species in their Vicinity are slowly encircling them&beginning to make these Herds go Forward at a Rapid Clip.Several of them have already been found to have either defected from these Herds,or are dying out altogether.Signs Point to a Massive Die-Off coming after November of this Year,with possible Extinction in just a few short years,due to their inability to either compete with other Species,or adapt to a shared Habitat.I hope this Helps with expanding your Modern Day Dinosaur Knowledge!

  16. It is a most riveting, accurate, and complete description I have seen in a while, but this lumbering, primitive creature is not a dinosaur. It is a descendant of the genus Coryphodon, a bulky, disagreeable mammal weighing half a ton and equipped with the tusks of a warthog, but with a brain that could go through the U.S. post on two first-class stamps, making it the stupidest placental mammal that ever lived.

  17. Thank You Shiva,I try!Celebrating The Anniversary this past Monday of Custer finding things out The Hard way.:)My response to You was Originally an actual Conversation I had with a Staunch Tea Party Creationist over this Loch Ness Mess.I finally got so exasperated that Real Evidence had no effect on said Moron that I wrote That to Flame War him.But that’s NOT what Happened.

    The fool actually took it as that A Liberal could see things “His”Way&then proceeded to ask if He could send it to his Friends as a”Liberal”defeat.I let him.He actually thought this was a SERIOUS Scientific thing.HOW many outright hints does one have to throw?I truly thought He’d Get The Teabaggerus Deliberusjeebusarus.My ribs are now taped because I have bruised them from Laughing.Crying on the inside from The Sheer Terrifying Ignorance,but the fact that He Trolled his ownself because of his Fierce Pride on Being Crown KIng Idiot was more than my Funny Bone Could take.You really just can’t plan something like that no matter how hard you try.Tis Proof that Life evidently really DOES have a Liberal Bias…LOLOLOL

  18. Sadly, you can’t reason with these people because they are, well, unreasonable. If this were an adult choosing to live in ignorance, fine, but this is a community of people deliberately giving their children misinformation. Aren’t there educational and testing standards that must be met? How can this be? Oh wait……freedom of speech which must also mean freedom to lie. Shake my damn head…….

  19. (Sigh) Well, like so many other incidents, they believe lies. “Nessie” has been proved to be a hoax, time and time again, yet they insist on believing and therefore accepting the pseudoscience without examining the evidence or the convoluted and false logic that is inherent in pseudoscience.

    It reminds me of the “human footprints side-by-side with dinosaur footprints” found on the Trinity River in Texas, that the fundamentalists and dominionists still insist are real. The sad fact is that they were easily shown to be just more dinosaur footprints, until a local “Good Christian” modified them to look more like human prints (and has confessed to doing so). They are not above falsifying evidence or destroying anything that contradicts their worldview – that’s why the “Prove the Bible” archaeologists are banned from the mideast and hated by the REAL archaeologists, who examine the evidence and look to where it “points”. They are too well known for destroying anything that doesn’t support a literal reading of the Bible and have also been caught falsifying “evidence” to support a literal reading of the Bible.

    Could there be direct descendants of dinosaurs alive today? Yes, it’s conceivable although unlikely. Finding such, contrary to the thinking of the dominionists and fundamentalists, would only support and strengthen evolutionary theory. We’ve only recently found a small grove of the trees dominant during dinosaur times, and it’s possible that in some location, dinosaurs might be found (I would expect them to be descendants of the smaller ones). The problem is, fundamentalists (including dominionists) insist on looking at the Bible as an up-to-date science text, rather than, for instance, looking at the Bible as a severely outdated version. Our understanding of reality has evolved greatly since the days when the OT was written (especially Genesis, which they base nearly everything on) and they refuse to catch up.

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