I decided in the end to call Rhonda Forlow’s alledgedly educational Science Education Essentials blog Ideological Education Essentials, as it rather fits.
The most recent posts on the site continue the “What’s in a Number” theme we saw in Shirley Ujeste?, with the two pieces (one for K-5, the other for 6-12) attempting to instil in the children on which these activities are to be subjected a fundi-mental distrust in any length of time longer than 6000 years. This post will focus on the K-5 post, What’s in a Number? Elementary Activities (K-5). Here’s the text of the first activity:
1. Have students construct a timeline by interviewing a grandparent or older adult. In the interview, they should ask the person to describe 5 to 10 major events in his/her life, including the dates for the events (at least the year). Examples include: birth, graduation, marriage, etc. After the interview, the students should construct a timeline of the adult’s life showing the major life events and dates. You may choose to have younger students include only 5 events in the adult’s life. Once finished, have students answer the following questions in a class discussion:
A. How old is the adult you interviewed?
B. How old are you?
C. Spread out your arms to show how big 1,000 is. How big is 1 million? How big is 1 billion?
D. If the earth is around 6,000 years old, is that young or old compared to you? Is the earth young or old compared to a billion years?
E. What do we use to determine the age of the world?
F. If you add:
the ages of the pre-Flood patriarchs from Genesis 5
+ the ages of the post-Flood patriarchs to Abraham from Genesis 11
+ apply an average age of 20 to the people in the genealogy from Abraham to Jesus given in Luke 3:23-34
+ the years since Jesus (our current year)
= the total should be around 6,000 years old. If 6,000 years is the age of the earth, would you say that is young or old compared to the number 4 billion?
There are two comments on this post as of right now, both from the same person. Their author is Christian Shorey, who is apparently a Professor of Geology at the Colorado School of Mines. His first comment is relevant to this first part:
I don’t understand 1C. What units are the students representing. Numbers without units are meaningless.
Which is very true. Additionally, knowing that small children are perfectly capable of describing a tall adult as “a bajillion meters tall” etc, I wouldn’t be surprised if more than one child inadvertently said the “wrong” answer. You can see already why I’m calling this Ideological Education Essentials. I don’t believe there is even any educational value in this task.
The second task is specifically for 3rd to 5th grade students:
2. For 3rd–5th grade students: Complete the interview as written in question 1. After the timeline is constructed, continue by defining and naming major periods in the person’s life based on any criteria the student chooses. Define and describe at least 4 major periods. Once finished, answer the following questions in a class presentation:
A. Explain how you created the timeline.
B. Explain the criteria you used to divide the periods listed on the timeline.
C. What similarities do you notice between timelines among the class?
D. What major differences do you notice?
E. What is the absolute age of the person you interviewed? Please include in the key of your timeline.
F. What are the relative ages of the events of the person you interviewed? Please include in the key of your timeline.
G. How did you determine the absolute age (year)? I.e., personal documents, history books, person may remember based on what they’ve been told about the time they were born, etc.
H. If the process of determining an absolute age involves referring to written materials, historical documents, and eyewitness accounts, what written materials, historical documents, or eyewitness accounts do evolutionists have to support billions of years?
I. How can a person who believes in creation support the theory that earth is about 6,000 years old based on the criteria of absolute age?
And again, Dr Shorey makes me obsolete:
Hi Dr. Forlow,
I am concerned that 2H is a bad analogy. We can’t use geologic principles to tell the age of a person, so why the strict reading that if we can’t use historical records then no records are available. That’s not true. We can use law of superposition, cross cutting relationships, sedimentation rates, lithification rates, metamorphic rates, law of inclusions, and radiometric dating as clocks. None of these are considered historical records, but they can all be used to give relative and absolute ages on certain rocks. We should explain this important distinction to the children as well so they can get the whole truth.
On an unrelated subject, the “absolute age” is in fact “relative” itself – to a year generally considered to be four years after Jesus was born.
The third and final task is the only ‘educational’ one in the whole post – “Visit a free math website that allows students to compare numbers up to billions.” Why didn’t she just say that?
Stay tuned for the 6-12 post, on which Dr Shorey hasn’t yet posted…