IEE: What’s in a Number – (K-5)

We present a new edition of Ideological Education Essentials! (Otherwise known as 'Science' Education Essentials)

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…


4 thoughts on “IEE: What’s in a Number – (K-5)

  1. I had thought that your excellent blog was rather a waste of time. You have been casting your pearls before swine. There is ignorance and pig-ignorance. ICR is engaged in a Gadarene slide down the left hand side of the bell curve. Things have gone downhill (what is the use of metaphors if you can’t mix them) since Henry II departed. But he did leave behind him a vast repository of pseudoscience, all to be found on the ICR web-site.

    We are now seeing a more dangerous phase in the devilish work of ICR. Ideological Education Essentials is pure poison.

    Dr Rhonda Forlow has excellent qualifications and experience but her specialty is in the education of students with learning disabilities, emotional disturbance, and mental retardation. She does not seem to have any scientific qualifications.

    She dips into the old ICR archives and accepts everything she sees as Gospel truth. Does she not know that every one of these spurious facts have been picked over by experts and found wanting? She is making stupid seem respectable.

    It is easy to see that she can manipulate the minds of the very young (or cognitively very young) with this nonsense. But what about the older ones? “What’s in a Number? Secondary Activities (6-12)” – a very wide age range but that is her choice. The holes are starting to show here.

    We are referred to a typical ICR article:

    This is post Henry II and is up to the standard of nonsense we have come to expect of ICR of late. (Does this woman not have any discernment?) The thing to concentrate on is a fuzzy JPEG (How standards are slipping) showing a sort of geological column with a Biblical timescale set beside it.

    How are the poor pupils are supposed to know Mesozoic from Paleozoic? How are they supposed to be able to argue that the Earth is 4 billion years old? She is not supposed to give the game away by letting them know how we measure it. At best we are going to have some very confused pupils. The great danger to ICR is that they go away and look things up for themselves.

    The Biblical history side seems to have little to do with the Bible. The true Biblical time span is very tight:

    ICR have given themselves 354 years to get most of the fossil record laid down, this includes an ice-age and a stone-age squeezed in at the end. What are the “Pre-flood Processes (Adam)” supposed to be and how did they lay down such a large chunk of the geological column? What are the “Post-flood Residual Catastrophes (pre-Babel)” and how did they lay down another chunk complete with fossils? Dr Forlow, your students are asking, they are going to look it up on the Internet.

    My brain aches. Perhaps someone else can take up points 2 & 3.

    Keep up the good work.

    • For the most part I have been doing this blog for the (mostly personal) amusement value, and because it does seem to be helping my own understanding of the concepts, rather than it being pariticualrly helpful to anyone. But I agree that this goes beyond that. Far beyond that…
      I appreciate your vote of confidence (although with exams coming up I may have to take a bit of a break soon).

  2. Pingback: IEE: What’s in a Number? (6-12) « Eye on the ICR

  3. Pingback: Spam and Censorship « Eye on the ICR


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