IEE: George Washington Carver

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

The week of Science Essentials posts from… I’m not actually sure at this point, it’s been so long, was on the subject of the aforementioned scientist and inventor. In other words, this was another ‘man of science, man of god’ week.

There seems to be a slight misconception about Carver’s inventions from what I can tell:

How many of you use glue for craft or school projects? Or use shaving cream to spell out words for early readers and spellers? Or what about washing your clothes using laundry soap? (I hope so!) If you use any of these, then you use items by the famous inventor George Washington Carver, who developed these and roughly 400 other products.

The actual situation seems to be that Carver developed cheaper alternatives to help economically struggling southern farmers. The Sumerians had shaving cream; but the aerosol kind that Dr Forlow is alluding to was not invented by Carver. Just a point that needs to be raised on the factual accuracy of this post.

The next two paragraphs do seem to be accurate background information, though I note that there is no references (both in the post and that I can find elsewhere) as to Carver’s beliefs both on biblical inerrancy and on Evolution. Nevertheless, Carver was clearly Christian.

Why is all this on a science blog, you may ask? Because it is important to teach your students about famous scientists who were not only brilliant, but who also believed and lived a life of belief in God. George Washington Carver was such a man. The epitaph on his grave depicts a life of character that I hope to mimic: “He could have added fortune to fame, but caring for neither, he found happiness and honor in being helpful to the world” (Wikipedia, accessed 1/11/12).

That’s not actually an answer to the question – if hers was a blog about teaching butchery (as in, meat cutting), would this be relevant there?

Which of Carver’s products is your favorite? For a complete list, click here.

I haven’t used vary many of the products listed – even assuming that the ones I use are descended from his inventions – but my favourite just from reading that list is ‘peanut surprise’, in that it comes after a rather long list of other peanut products.

There are a lot more comments now than there used to be. There are a good 12 here, although none of them are really worth commenting on.


The next post for the week was Everything Has a Cause:

In ordinary experience, one knows intuitively that nothing happens in isolation. Every event can be traced to one or more events which preceded it and that, in fact, caused it. We ask: “How did this happen?” “What caused this?” “Where did this come from?” “When did it start?” Or, more incisively, “Why did this happen?”

Click here for more information on Everything Has a Cause.

This is the First cause argument. It fails on a number of counts, one of which being the existence of events without cause, such as the nuclear decay of atoms. Nevertheless, the creationists still try to pass off the existence of a ‘law of cause and effect’, even despite it failing the definition in that bastion of scientific truth, Missouri House Bill 1227:

(10) “Scientific law”, a statement describing specific phenomena about the physical universe which has been verified by observation or experimentation and has no exceptions of verified empirical data. The statement may be described by formula;

But who’s to expect consistency from creationists?

There are two comments here:

The Law of Cause and Effect is essential to understanding the reason creationism is the only concept that fits with reality. Dr. Morris correctly pointed this out. Creation evangelism owes much to Dr. Morris’ explanation of this law. I’ve used it many times personally, particularly his quote “…since the universe is not a ‘multiverse,’ the god who created it could only have been one God, not two gods or many gods.” (Biblical Basis p. 37) People are really blown away by that, never having considered the implications.

See what I mean? And:

Every event can be traced to one or more events which preceded it and that, in fact, caused it. A refreshing point of view, I should say. 😉 Great…!


That’s enough of that. The next post consisted of the K-5 questions:

Please be aware of any nut allergies in your students before completing some of the activities below.

Very important disclaimer.

1)      George Washington Carver loved to talk to God while he was outside in the midst of nature. One way he did this was through painting. Have students paint a nature picture on a smooth rock.

2)      Make your own paints! (You may find an example here.) Use items around the kitchen to help, such as strawberries or blueberries, paprika, turmeric, or cinnamon, or the crushed petals of different-colored flowers.

3)      Make Sweet Potato Pie as a class while you reflect on the many things George Washington Carver invented using sweet potatoes.

4)      Great plant activities can be found here!

5)      Have students choose a vegetable or food staple to research (for example, onion skin). Once finished, have them brainstorm possible usages for that food in an invention. Choose one invention and present it to the class.

Nothing remotely related to creationism here. There are no comments on this post – next up are the 6-12 activities:

1)      Go on a Botany Hunt! Have students collect 10 specimens of flowers, leaves from bushes or trees, and weeds from around the school or house. They should keep each specimen in a separate plastic bag and classify it using a label listing name, description, habitat, and notes. Have the students share their findings with the class.

2)      If you have access to a digital camera and computer software such as “Painter,” this is a wonderful site on Painting Botanicals!

Clearly, they should all be using GIMP.

3)      Check out the lab Observing Osmosis in a Plant Cell.

That’s quite a nice experiment, at least in the way my class did it last year. It also serves as a good example of how thin on the ground Forlow’s teaching is – there is no background information here, no indication of the importance or function of osmosis, just ‘do this, do that’. This is really no way to teach.

4)      Dissect a peanut plant. Using the scientific method, have students answer the following questions: a) What can I do with a peanut? and b) What can I do with the shell and the seed? Have them complete a repeatable experiment in order to support or disprove their theory.

I’m not overly sure if that is the best application of the scientific method, but we’ll go with it.

5)      Have students interview a farmer to learn how crops are grown, rotated, and harvested, then have them present their findings to the class.

Are crops still rotated these days? I thought people used fertiliser. Not that I’m a farmer or anything. There are no comments on this post either.


Next was Ask Dr Rhonda:

What are the main points to teach my child about creation?

In keeping with last week’s post about choosing K-12 scientific resources that promote science from a literal, 6-day creationist perspective, this week I thought I would answer this question asked by busy teachers, parents, and church leaders. I put together a simple list of the basic creation points to teach a child.

Click here for Simple Points to Teach Your Child about Creation.

How do you break down the specific details of creation for your child?

The entirety of the given pdf is theology – there is no science, and certainly nothing that would help defend against arguments based on, say, carbon dating or anything else.

There are six comments here:

I’m not quite sure how to word this, but it seems to me that the list of “Creation Basics” could possibly be affirmed by someone with a progressive creation or framework view of Genesis. (Well, as long as they held to unique and separate creation of humans.) That may be a good starting point for discussion and examination of evidences (biblical and non-biblical) that would support a 6-day young-earth position.

Yes, the heretics can use it too! Oh dear…

Yes, Bryan, this is a simple list of creation basics to begin a discussion with children and students about creation. Many people I speak with on a regular basis have asked for guidance in where to start.

Forlow is apparently saying that they’ll get to the exorcisms later.

Nice summary but needs graphics….many Moms and Dads might use it but will be reaching for something that has color and shape to go with the suggestions. You would not have to do it, but a couple links might be good.

Yes, Forlow’s blog is rather light on pictures – all she has are stockphotos and the That’s a Fact videos, themselves filled with stockphotos.

Very straight forward (SIB-KISS, see it big-keep it simple sailor) for anyone looking for the truth and as What has suprised me are the number of churches that, politely put, avoid discussion on the topic of creation. Creation studies supports the rest of the Scriptures. Additionally, when has a human author ever written a book where the first chapter had nothing to do with the rest of the story. Keep up your great work.

There’s probably more than a few books that end their first chapter with “…and he woke up, sweating. The alarm read 06:00.”

The final comment (which is repeated twice) begins with:

Trying to get information to the youth at our church to counter the evolutionary teaching that they get at school. Here is what I think may be effective:

…and is filled, filled with PRATTs.


The final post for the week was the discussion starters:

Classroom Starters:
How many uses for the peanut did George Washington Carver invent during his life, and which one is your favorite?

For the older student: What character qualities do you think George Washington Carver demonstrated when he invented so many products from just one plant?

Dinner Table Starters:
Why do you think George Washington Carver chose not to become wealthy from his inventions? What can we learn from him?

For the older student: George Washington Carver wrote a list of virtues that included the advice “Be clean both inside and out.” What do you think he meant by this?

zzz Actually, according to wikipedia Carver only patented three of his inventions, none of which were commercially successful. It’s technically possible that he simply gave up on that aspect. Somebody will have to look it up….

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One thought on “IEE: George Washington Carver

  1. “…since the universe is not a ‘multiverse,’ the god who created it could only have been one God, not two gods or many gods.”

    But since the universe is widely suspected to be within a multiverse? Oh, sorry, “and burn the unitarian heretic witch!”

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