Saturday, September 20, 2008

Back to crazy. In a good way.

Thanks for writing, everybody - it was a tough week, and you made it easier.

Now, back on track with homeschooling the kids and with my own coursework. Classes started this week! Yay! Looks like most of them will be relatively simple, and the one really challenging one will be great. I have labmates from biochem in *two* classes with me, which is a hoot and a half; we were scoffing that one course looked insufficiently hardcore, and then all were in seriously hardcore "neurodegenerative diseases" together the next day - much happiness all around.

So that's, um, pretty damn awesome. Said hi to the neurobiology guys, also ran into another former classmate or five, missed an attempted meetup with another. And after lecture on Wed., I took the kids to see the Batman movie! which was great! I had a wedding to go to last night, which was sort of an odd event but still good.

I'm emailing about volunteering a few hours a week in a neuro lab - we've been going back and forth a bit, mostly trying to find some time that I can go interview with them, which given the crazy this week, has been problematic.

My homework for a grad seminar is to do an online search on the topic I'm interested in (plasticity, for those keeping track). I got completely sucked in. My "mark this!" list is 156 articles. And that's just out of Science Citation - haven't even touched PubMed yet. It's really fun, reading along the article titles and going, hm, interesting, I actually know what the hell that is.

So when I checked email and found a digest from a homeschooling list I'm on, I took a quick look... and noted a helpful message about some fake science curriculum, online lessons in ... well, the only word that comes to mind is "crap." Voila, if you've the stomach for it (this is copied & pasted from the link):

Just look at the schedule:

Creation Science

September 22-October 28

Class One:
The Creation Week

Class Two:
Flood Geology, Noah and the Fossil Record

Class Three:
Evidence for a Young Earth and the Big Bang

Class Four:
Thermodynamics, Problems with Darwin's Theory, False Concepts

Class Five:
DNA and Protein, Ernst Haeckel, Human Senses

Class Six:
What Scientists Believe, Bad Science, and Hoaxes

When: September 22-October 28 on Monday
Where: Talk-a-Latte Conference Room Online
Time: 10CST-11:30CST
What: A Creation Science Workshop in Your Home!
Who: K-8th grade or anyone interested in the wonders of God's awesome creation!
How: Sign up here and reserve your seat!!

Excited? We are!

Gee, that's certainly exciting.

I just don't understand this mindset. Why must one's wonder at the universe translate to "my reading of this particular translation of Genesis is The Only Truth"? It strikes me as profoundly arrogant--the universe, and God if you believe in one, are far more complicated and beautiful and mysterious than a children's story. Even if I try and think religiously, I still don't get it.

Jarring, and weird: "Noah and the Fossil Record"?? Gosh, isn't it lucky that people who don't even feel competent to teach made-up nonsense have a handy resource? Boy am I relieved! I do wonder why they don't simply make up whatever they want to, rather than using somebody else's totally made-up stuff. I'm a little curious about what they'd say about thermodynamics - er, your hot soup cools off because...angels wave invisible magic coldness wands? Guesses welcome.

Every now and then, I get these little reminders of why so many people think homeschoolers are wackos. Sigh. I worry about kids going out into the world and making decisions based on bullshit, I really do. This is from an email list for homeschoolers in the Metro-West area of Boston, folks. Gah.

Rant over, now. Back to actual science.

Just for fun, I've set my template to translate (or maybe it's just transliterating) things into Hindi once in a while. So that's what's going on with the tags.

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Blogger Lucia said...

Are you kidding? Creationists totally love the laws of thermodynamics (which are laws because God Wanted It That Way, you silly English k-nig-ut), especially the second one. Why is evolution the silliest thing we ever heard of? Because of entropy. Things cannot evolve toward higher complexity via an inherently destructive process. QED.

Now go away, or I shall taunt you a second time!

2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anna-Karin said...

Hahahaha I love your "how the soup gets cold theory".

1:55 AM  

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