Author Topic: Apologia Biology  (Read 2171 times)

DeterminedJuliet

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Apologia Biology
« on: May 04, 2012, 02:16:21 PM »
So. In my daily perusal of freelance writing ads, I came across a call for a writer to create content for a biology course. Upon further inspection, the ad stipulated that it be a "Apologia" based biology course. I had never heard of this before, so I did some Googling. Turns out, it's a creationist textbook.

Here's one module.


Now, I have to say that I've never examined creationist material at any length, but I found it pretty surreal to go through this chapter. I found it particularly interesting (distressing?) how they emphasize the distinction between "theory" and "natural law". They make it sound as though, after something "sciencey" has been "proven" a big committee of lab coats rubber stamps the idea into "law". Which is, of course, absurd. This is obviously set up so that they can later make the distinction that evolution is a "theory" and not a "law".

Anyhoo, I thought it might be an interesting case study. I've heard a lot of Creationist arguments before, but I've never really taken a close look at their teaching material.
"We’ve thought of life by analogy with a journey, with pilgrimage which had a serious purpose at the end, and the THING was to get to that end; success, or whatever it is, or maybe heaven after you’re dead. But, we missed the point the whole way along; It was a musical thing and you were supposed to sing, or dance, while the music was being played.

Tank

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Re: Apologia Biology
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2012, 02:31:03 PM »
I admire your tenacity. I read a couple of pages and started feeling nauseas. 
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett

Siz

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Re: Apologia Biology
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2012, 02:54:32 PM »
Here's the rub...:

Quote
You see, life is more than a collection of chemicals and information. There is something more.
Scientists have tried to understand what that “something more” is, but to no avail. The secret
ingredient that separates life from nonlife is still a mystery to modern science. Of course, to believers,
that secret ingredient is rather easy to identify. It is the creative power of God. In Genesis 1:20-27,
the Bible tells us that God created all creatures, and then He created man in His own image. Think
about it this way. Suppose you had a bunch of engine and metal parts and you also had instructions
that led you through all of the steps necessary to take those parts and make a working motorcycle.
Could you just throw the parts and the instructions into a pile and make a motorcycle? Of course not.

Even if you had all of the necessary parts as well as all of the instructions, you would still need to
exercise some of your own creative power to follow those instructions and make the motorcycle.
If we were talking about a living organism instead of a motorcycle, we could say that chemicals
are the “parts” that make up the organism and DNA is the instruction set that contains the information
necessary to assemble the parts properly. Nevertheless, if you just threw the chemicals and the DNA
into a big pot, you would not make a life. Some creative power must be exercised in order to take
lifeless chemicals and use the information in DNA to make a living organism. Of course, only God
has such creative power, and that is why all life comes from Him.

Stunning!


When one sleeps on the floor one need not worry about falling out of bed - Anton LaVey

The universe is a cold, uncaring void. The key to happiness isn't a search for meaning, it's to just keep yourself busy with unimportant nonsense, and eventually you'll be dead!

Tank

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Re: Apologia Biology
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2012, 02:56:40 PM »
^^^ Please tell me you didn't read it all just to find that?
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett

Siz

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Re: Apologia Biology
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2012, 03:35:33 PM »
Like DJ, I'd never really examined Creationist texts, so I saw this as an opportunity.

Beats working...!  ;D

When one sleeps on the floor one need not worry about falling out of bed - Anton LaVey

The universe is a cold, uncaring void. The key to happiness isn't a search for meaning, it's to just keep yourself busy with unimportant nonsense, and eventually you'll be dead!

Ali

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Re: Apologia Biology
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2012, 04:25:52 PM »
DJ - Did it happen to say what age group this text is geared towards?  The reason that I ask is that on one hand, I would assume that it is aimed at someone who is young, as they sort of talk to them like they are insensible, and assume that they have never studied the natural sciences before.  On the other hand, they use some words that might be difficult for a young elementary school aged child.  Point being, they assume that the reader of this text has the reading skills and comprehension to read and understand the word (for example) "metabolism", but is completely new to science.  What age group would that be?

DeterminedJuliet

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Re: Apologia Biology
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2012, 04:42:53 PM »
DJ - Did it happen to say what age group this text is geared towards?  The reason that I ask is that on one hand, I would assume that it is aimed at someone who is young, as they sort of talk to them like they are insensible, and assume that they have never studied the natural sciences before.  On the other hand, they use some words that might be difficult for a young elementary school aged child.  Point being, they assume that the reader of this text has the reading skills and comprehension to read and understand the word (for example) "metabolism", but is completely new to science.  What age group would that be?

The ad said it was for an online High School education program. It's probably safe to assume that it'd be material used for home schooling.
"We’ve thought of life by analogy with a journey, with pilgrimage which had a serious purpose at the end, and the THING was to get to that end; success, or whatever it is, or maybe heaven after you’re dead. But, we missed the point the whole way along; It was a musical thing and you were supposed to sing, or dance, while the music was being played.

Ali

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Re: Apologia Biology
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2012, 04:46:59 PM »
DJ - Did it happen to say what age group this text is geared towards?  The reason that I ask is that on one hand, I would assume that it is aimed at someone who is young, as they sort of talk to them like they are insensible, and assume that they have never studied the natural sciences before.  On the other hand, they use some words that might be difficult for a young elementary school aged child.  Point being, they assume that the reader of this text has the reading skills and comprehension to read and understand the word (for example) "metabolism", but is completely new to science.  What age group would that be?

The ad said it was for an online High School education program. It's probably safe to assume that it'd be material used for home schooling.

Aaahhhhhhh.   So it actually is safe to assume that some of them will have been "protected" from studying actual science up to that point.  Got it.

DeterminedJuliet

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Re: Apologia Biology
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2012, 04:51:51 PM »
FYI: I found it on oDesk, which is a freelance site. Clients post projects and contractors bid on them. Beyond the Creationist thing, I find it  disturbing that they'd have contractors bid on this sort of work. Do you really want to leave your high school material plan in the hands of the lowest bidder? Their budget for 32 lesson plans (complete with 1 hour presentations for each lesson) is $150. I can tell you right now that no writer or content creator worth their salt would even consider touching it for that amount of money. I shudder to think what those poor kids are going to end up with.
"We’ve thought of life by analogy with a journey, with pilgrimage which had a serious purpose at the end, and the THING was to get to that end; success, or whatever it is, or maybe heaven after you’re dead. But, we missed the point the whole way along; It was a musical thing and you were supposed to sing, or dance, while the music was being played.

Tank

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Re: Apologia Biology
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2012, 04:55:03 PM »
FYI: I found it on oDesk, which is a freelance site. Clients post projects and contractors bid on them. Beyond the Creationist thing, I find it  disturbing that they'd have contractors bid on this sort of work. Do you really want to leave your high school material plan in the hands of the lowest bidder? Their budget for 32 lesson plans (complete with 1 hour presentations for each lesson) is $150. I can tell you right now that no writer or content creator worth their salt would even consider touching it for that amount of money. I shudder to think what those poor kids are going to end up with.
$150/32 =$4.28! per hour of presentation!
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett

DeterminedJuliet

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Re: Apologia Biology
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2012, 05:04:46 PM »
FYI: I found it on oDesk, which is a freelance site. Clients post projects and contractors bid on them. Beyond the Creationist thing, I find it  disturbing that they'd have contractors bid on this sort of work. Do you really want to leave your high school material plan in the hands of the lowest bidder? Their budget for 32 lesson plans (complete with 1 hour presentations for each lesson) is $150. I can tell you right now that no writer or content creator worth their salt would even consider touching it for that amount of money. I shudder to think what those poor kids are going to end up with.
$150/32 =$4.28! per hour of presentation!

The presentations should be an hour, but I can guarantee you that it'd take much longer to create those presentations. I recently created a 20 minute presentation and I'm sure it took me 5 hours in total to create something that was properly sourced and actually looked appealing (though, I guess if you only use one source, that'll help cut down your time?)

And, in all fairness, there are contractors in India or other countries who can make a decent living at $4/hour. The only trouble is, when it comes to a job that is all about being able to communicate in English effectively (as opposed to doing code work, or something like that), a lot of them really struggle and the work ends up being sub-par. It's why I'm able to charge much more and still get clients. You really do get what you pay for in these cases. I've been hired to go back and edit some of the "cheapie" writing and it's really horrendous sometimes.

It's why I'm afraid the kids who get this lesson are doomed in more way than one.  :(
"We’ve thought of life by analogy with a journey, with pilgrimage which had a serious purpose at the end, and the THING was to get to that end; success, or whatever it is, or maybe heaven after you’re dead. But, we missed the point the whole way along; It was a musical thing and you were supposed to sing, or dance, while the music was being played.

Siz

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Re: Apologia Biology
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2012, 05:05:19 PM »
DJ - Did it happen to say what age group this text is geared towards?  The reason that I ask is that on one hand, I would assume that it is aimed at someone who is young, as they sort of talk to them like they are insensible, and assume that they have never studied the natural sciences before.  On the other hand, they use some words that might be difficult for a young elementary school aged child.  Point being, they assume that the reader of this text has the reading skills and comprehension to read and understand the word (for example) "metabolism", but is completely new to science.  What age group would that be?

All 'long' words are explained at some point in the text, so I imagine that it would be aimed at young teens.

Here are some study questions at the end:
Quote
6. What is wrong with the following statement?
“Science has proven that energy must always be conserved.”
7. Briefly explain the scientific method.
8. Why does the story of spontaneous generation illustrate the limitations of science?
9. Where does the wise person place his or her faith: science or the Bible?
10. Why is the theory of abiogenesis just another example of the idea of spontaneous generation?


And howsabout this little gem:
Quote
Well, if scientific laws are not 100% reliable, what is? The only thing in the universe that is
100% reliable is the Word of God. The Bible contains truths that will never be shown to be wrong,
because those truths come directly from the Creator of the universe.

How nauseous do you feel now?!

There are a full 8 pages given over to 'The Scientific Method' which contains all of the creationist propaganda. Remove these pages - and a few of the study questions- and you are left with what seems to me a fairly decent text.

When one sleeps on the floor one need not worry about falling out of bed - Anton LaVey

The universe is a cold, uncaring void. The key to happiness isn't a search for meaning, it's to just keep yourself busy with unimportant nonsense, and eventually you'll be dead!

Tank

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Re: Apologia Biology
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2012, 05:24:43 PM »
FYI: I found it on oDesk, which is a freelance site. Clients post projects and contractors bid on them. Beyond the Creationist thing, I find it  disturbing that they'd have contractors bid on this sort of work. Do you really want to leave your high school material plan in the hands of the lowest bidder? Their budget for 32 lesson plans (complete with 1 hour presentations for each lesson) is $150. I can tell you right now that no writer or content creator worth their salt would even consider touching it for that amount of money. I shudder to think what those poor kids are going to end up with.
$150/32 =$4.28! per hour of presentation!

The presentations should be an hour, but I can guarantee you that it'd take much longer to create those presentations. I recently created a 20 minute presentation and I'm sure it took me 5 hours in total to create something that was properly sourced and actually looked appealing (though, I guess if you only use one source, that'll help cut down your time?)

And, in all fairness, there are contractors in India or other countries who can make a decent living at $4/hour. The only trouble is, when it comes to a job that is all about being able to communicate in English effectively (as opposed to doing code work, or something like that), a lot of them really struggle and the work ends up being sub-par. It's why I'm able to charge much more and still get clients. You really do get what you pay for in these cases. I've been hired to go back and edit some of the "cheapie" writing and it's really horrendous sometimes.

It's why I'm afraid the kids who get this lesson are doomed in more way than one.  :(
I get the production ratio for presentations can be anything from 5:1 to 10:1, which makes matters even worse. And that is on top of the support material.
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett

DeterminedJuliet

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Re: Apologia Biology
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2012, 05:41:08 PM »
*nods* Crazy stuff.
"We’ve thought of life by analogy with a journey, with pilgrimage which had a serious purpose at the end, and the THING was to get to that end; success, or whatever it is, or maybe heaven after you’re dead. But, we missed the point the whole way along; It was a musical thing and you were supposed to sing, or dance, while the music was being played.

ThinkAnarchy

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Re: Apologia Biology
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2012, 07:02:52 PM »
I had to stop reading. My scientific knowledge is not strong, so the last thing I need is to subconsciously remember some of what is in that pdf.

"He that displays too often his wife and his wallet is in danger of having both of them borrowed." -Ben Franklin

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