This morning I got an email containing a link to the most creative response yet to my article about homeschooling and teaching evolution. It was from homeschool blogger Pattycake, who, rather than writing me a note about how wrong-headed and close-minded and evil I am, actually re-wrote my original article to read the way it should have, from her perspective. Pattycake is apparently not a member of that large segment of the homeschool population, including Dawn of Day by Day Discoveries, which teaches their children legitimate science, including evolution, and not creationism. Note on the sidebar of Pattycake's blog that she links to Ken Ham's creationist propaganda site Answers in Genesis, describing it as her "Favorite Ministry."
And I wonder sometimes why this is such a difficult conversation to have.
Pattycake's rewrite of my article contains not a modicum of actual science, nor much in the way of intellectual honesty or even basic knowledge of what the theory of evolution actually says, but I have to give it up to her for taking the time to rewrite my entire article so that it lines up with her stridently Christian, unscientific point of view. The least I can do is throw up a link to her rewrite, which she posted at her blog Homeschooling from the Heart, and quote a few of the more . . . outstanding(?) passages.
In her rewrite of my article, Pattycake writes, "[Homeschooled children] are being robbed of a crucial formative experience by attending school with other people who are ONLY their age and being forced to interact with a diverse group of peers in a very negative social setting where bullying, drugs, violence and sexual harassment is a constant, not to mention the teachers who are lusting after their students." This is what some folks call "hyperbole," and what I call "fucking bullshit." I attended public school, and I graduated having seen a little bullying, some drug use now and then, two or three fights the entire four years I was in high school, but not much in the way of sexual harassment or teachers trying to fuck their students (Mrs. Fischer had married her student lover years ago by then!). These things are obviously serious issues, and just because I missed out doesn't mean they never happen, but it's just as unfair to paint public education with that broad brush as it was for me to assume that all homeschoolers are religious fanatics who spoon-feed their children creationist drivel in lieu of actual science education.
Pattycake also writes, "Instead of creation, which IS the keystone of the life sciences from the beginning of time, public schooled students are taught evolution — more or less as described in Darwin’s The Origin of the Species. That somehow by chance, a big bang set off a reaction that was the beginning of life, with virtually no good explanation as to how this came about. Only wild guesses. From there, life began, and man evolved from pond scum. " Notice how she replaced my mention of the Book of Genesis with Darwin's Origin of Species, as though it were the equivalent of the Bible to close-minded, dogmatic scientists. She ignores (or likely is unaware of) the fact that evolutionary theory, at least in some of its details, has been altered quite a bit since Darwin's lifetime. To suggest that Biology students in public school are somehow being taught directly from Darwin shows that Pattycake doesn't really have a handle on the subject.
She also doesn't seem to get that the theory of evolution deals with biology, not cosmology, which is why it's not surprising that it has nothing to say about the ultimate origin of life, let alone the universe. That's cosmology's area. Trying to discredit the theory of evolution for having nothing to say about the origin of the universe is like casting doubt on Kepler's laws of planetary motion because they don't explain how anaerobic glycolysis works. Pattycake is also unaware that the theory does not state that man evolved from pond scum. This is another oversimplification (and an inaccurate one at that) taken directly from creationists who have apparently never even bothered to learn what the theory of evolution actually says.
One more: "If you want your children to go far above academics, and find eternal purpose, you will also want to teach your child about salvation through Jesus Christ, the flood of Noah, and all of the great truths to be captured in God’s written Word." Reading that, and remembering that Pattycake identifies the theory of evolution — the unifying theory of biology — as "bad science," what do you suppose is her idea of "good science"?
Anyway, thanks for the link, Pattycake. I'm glad my promotion of the disproven, false, blasphemous, atheistic, secular humanist religious doctrine of biological evolution was at least worth the time it took to correct.