Creationist Diorama-Rama


Fossils at the Creationist Science FairLike all science fairs, you could tell which projects had parental help and which ones didn’t at the 2008 Home School Science Fair. The blue-ribbon winning project on dinosaurs and people roaming the earth together, with the color photos and the perfectly cut lettering, probably had parental help. The one explaining how a broken motor disproves Darwin's theory of evolution, with the roughly cut pieces of paper and the penciled in chicken scratches, probably did not.

Every diorama in the Home School Science Fair, which took place inside a shopping mall in Roseville, Minnesota, had a biblical quote attached to it. A young woman whose project involved teaching her dog how to run circles between her legs decorated the words: “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15) in pink lace fabric. This quote got to the crux of the science fair, in my opinion: parental commandment. These parents pulled their children out of school, away from their peers, and said, “Now prove that Darwin was wrong.”

Fossils DetailThe projects all used classic high school science language: Start with a hypothesis, move on to testing, and then draw a conclusion. The problem was that much of the science was backwards. In good science, you start with a piece of evidence and try to find a truth. With creationist science, you start with a truth (the Bible), and try to find the evidence.

Before I arrived at the science fair, I planned to engage some of the children and parents. I wanted to ask them about creationism and education. Once I got there, however, I was overcome with a sense of pity for the children. They stood around the suburban mall, in the prime of the most awkward years of their life, being forced to preach blather. I didn’t want to exploit them for a cheap laugh while their parents and the company Answers in Genesis (whose literature was scattered throughout the event) were so clearly exploiting them to proselytize. The children’s gangly limbs and bad acne reminded me how vulnerable I was at their age and how easily someone could have brainwashed me.

undefinedI overheard one parent saying, “One thing is for sure, a lot of learning has gone on this week.” I would change that statement a bit: I’d say a lot of indoctrinating went on that week. Hopefully, a good college professor, and a few years of therapy, will help these children turn all that “learning” around.

Bennett Gordon

4/10/2009 3:46:51 PM

I homeschool my kids and I was a public high school teacher before doing so. I think if the parents of public school children really had an idea of what went on at these schools on a regular basis they would be more inclined to homeschool their children too. It is organized chaos, and the children in the classroom can only raise to the level of the most annoying kid in their classroom. This is because that child is going to be the squeaky wheel and demand all of the attention while being disruptive. It is wrong for people that send their children to public school to automatically assume that everyone who homeschools is some kind of nutcase. We all choose to do it for different reasons. So this particular group of homeschoolers subscribe to a particular religion- so what? Does that make public school children and their parents more intelligent? No. If you think your children aren't being indoctrinated in other ways at public schools, think again. You have no control over how they are taught about sex, world religions or politics- and yes, they are being taught about other religions under the guise of history- just check out their history books for yourself - if they bother to bring them home.

Mandy L.
3/18/2009 2:31:23 PM

I would like to say that I hold a science BS from a state university and my husband is a doctor. We are both conservative, fundamental Christians. We are homeschooling our children for more than just 'religious' reasons. My mother and grandmother taught in public schools for 35 years. My grandfather was a public high school principal and his father was a public school superintendent. And there are more educators in my family. Does this qualify me as a teacher for my children? No. My love and knowledge of how my children learn and what motivates them are a better qualifier than my background. My base desire to research everything I can get my hands on to help them learn MORE than anything any school can ever teach them gives me more motivation than a minimally qualified, underpaid, slightly motivated, overworked teacher can ever have. Are there good teachers out there? YES. My mother taught me two years in math and had the best math program in county. But that does not replace a one on one, loving teaching environment where I can teach my children according to their bend. My children do not have to ride a bus or attend school with bullies, stand in line, wait on others to catch up so the class can move on, be afraid to raise their hand to clarify something because their classmates will think they are 'stupid' even though the same question was in their mind, worry about inane things like 'do I have the right kind of clothes, toys, games, car, house, neighborhood, etc.' One of our greatest presidents whom Obama is 'hoping' to live up to had only one year of 'formal' schooling, YET he became a lawyer and a revered leader of our country. Not all homeschoolers are equal!!!!

4/6/2008 11:50:41 AM

I just wanted to say to all of those out there who are bashing homeschooling, that I am a mother who homeschools two. I am not a person who homeschools my children in a "box" as a lot of homeschoolers do. My children know there are many different beliefs about how this world was created. They are now left with the chance to explore it in their own minds and decide what they want to believe in as God gives all of us a free will. The first child I did nothing but Christ - centered books and now she doesn't want those kinds of books anymore in her education. I learned that lesson and now with the second one I will not "shove" God down his throat. I am a Christian. I love God. I do not "hide" my children from the REAL world as they one day need to function in this world. I do not beleive the people who are writing negative posts in regards to homeschooling are being totally fair as they are putting all homeschoolers in a "box" - One of my kids is a special needs kid and he was in public school for awhile until I saw that his "emotional" state was being affected and his work ethics too. My son was starting to Hate learning and I would not have that. I decided to bring him home for awhile. He might eventually go back when he is older and can handle all of the crap that goes along with public school and still learn, because the main thing is about him learning in an environment that is healthy for him. I am a homeschooler who feels that homeschooling is not for every kid, it is not for every family and I am not against public school as both of my kids have been in it and I have pulled them out when I felt that public school was not a good enough education for them, not because I am a religious person, even though I do have a belief in God and some would call me religious I would call myself a Christian, I am human and I do sin like everyone else in this world and do not think myself better o

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