Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A mind is a terrible thing to waste

Meanwhile, just down the street:

A little Google search turned up dozens of churches using "Dino Detectives" for their Vacation Bible School programs this summer. It's pure, mindless YEC - but mindless in a way that is so empty I can't even begin to get excited about it. Mainly, it seems to just be a hook to persuade enthusiastic VBS teachers to buy a bunch of dinosaur-themed paraphernalia.

What I like best is the plywood dino. It's been known for decades that T-rex didn't stand upright with his tail dragging in the dirt, but those creationists - they just don't keep up with the science.


Anonymous said...

What does YEC mean?

Scott Hanley said...

YEC stands for young earth creationism (or creationist, depending on context). This is the belief that the Earth is only a few thousand years old, just as the book of Genesis would have it, and contrary to anything geologists or paleontologists would like to say on the subject. These are the folks who look at the Grand Canyon and imagine a humongous flood carving it all in a few days.

There's also an OEC, which freely acknowledges that the Earth is probably 4.6 billion years old, but still insists that there must be a Creator behind it all. These folks don't worry about Biblical literalism, and in a (very) few cases aren't interested in defending anything in the Biblical account at all. Mainly, they just still want to say "God did it," without quibbling over the how and how long.

One of the lesson plans for the "Dino Detectives" materials explicitly claims that the dinosaurs went extinct because they didn't get onto the ark with Noah (except that doesn't explain how the dove and the raven got onto the boat - maybe it's just that birds were the smallest dinos around and made the logistics easier?). That's YEC and it would be hilarious good fun except that - well, US schools are full of teachers who either believe this stuff or are terrorized by the parents who do.