The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Dogs: Devoted Carnivores

Spring is homeschooling the Kids, and as such, she's been buying (or being given) used textbooks (of various grade levels) for use in teaching. She just now brought home a metric butt-load (a technical term for “a lot”) of books. And it's not like we can afford to be all that picky.

One book she handed me, Investigating God's World (a Beka Book) has a very interesting chapter—“Dogs: Devoted Carnivores.”

As Dave Barry says, I am not making this up.

Turning to the “Dogs: Devoted Carnivores” section, I read:

The dogs on the Ark.

How many kinds of dogs can you name in one minute? All dogs, domestic or wild, are called canines by scientists. Did you know that all dogs—whether domestic dogs like poodles, cocker spaniels, Irish setters, collies, and Great Danes, or wild dogs, such as wolves, coyotes, jackals, and dingoes [dĭng″ gōz]—may have descened from just one pair of dogs that Noah took with him on the Ark? At Creation God gave dogs the ability to bear young possessing a wide variety of characteristics. Through the years, the different types of wild and domestic dogs that we see today have developed. No dog has ever turned into any other kind of animal, however. Dogs always produce dogs, never cats, mice, or monkeys.

This book is heavy with a literal interpretation of the Bible. For instance, in a section on “Men Who Saw Dinosaurs:”

Perhaps the most interesting story in the Bible about a man who saw a dinosaur is found in the book of Job. In chapters 40 and 41, God Himself describes two magnificent creatures that Job knew about and had probably seen. The first creature is called behemoth [bĭ ‧ hē′ məth]. In Job 40:14-21, we read that behemoth eats grass like an ox, moves his large tail like a giant cedar tree, has bones as strong as iron bars, can drink up a river, and “is the chief of the ways of God,” probably the largest animal on land. The word behemoth means a “gigantic beast,” possibly like the huge Brachiosaurus [brā″ kĭ ‧ ə ‧ sô′ rəs] or Apatosaurus [ăp″ ə ‧ tə ‧ sô′ rəs].

The second creature God describes in the book of Job is leviathan [lə ‧ vī′ ə thən]. Chapter 41 says that leviathan lives in the water, has terrible teeth and scales, and is very strong and fearless. Everyone that sees him is afraid. Verses 20 and 21 say that smoke comes out of his mouth! Leviathan sounds a lot like the stories you've heard about fire-breathing dragons, doesn't he? Maybe some of those “dragon” stories are really true. Scientists have found certain dinosaur skulls that have a strange “bump” on the top of the head. These bumps or crests were hollow and were joined to the dinosaur's nose by tubes. Some scientists believe the bumps could have been used to mix together gases which burst into flames when they were beathed out into the air by the dinosaur. Leviathan must have been some sort of large, powerful, fire-breathing “sea monster,” maybe like the huge Kronosaurus [krō″ nə ‧ sô′ rəs].

And here I thought those “bumps” on the top of the “dinosaurs” were “breathing tubes” since these “creatures” lived under “water.”

Silly me.

And oddly enough, they don't mention by name any of the scientists that believe in these “fire breathing dinosaurs.” Odd how that works.

Then there's the other book she handed me, Matter & Motion in God's Universe (also a Beka Book). This one has an entire chapter on “Science vs. Evolution” and has a section on (and I swear I wish I was making this up) “The Fossil Record Supports Creation, Not Evolution.”

Sigh.

As if Kansas wasn't bad enough.

Remove the pro-Christian messages (and really, these are books on science, not religion or philosophy) and they're are all that bad. I do like how they provide pronunciation guides for possibly tough words and they do cover a range of topics. But it's hard to get past stuff like:

2. How might the Flood have caused the extinction of the dinosaurs?

I mean, the answer is—it shouldn't have! As God said to Noah, “of every living thing of all flesh” (by twos, or by sevens, depending). So the dinosaurs shouldn't have perished in the Flood, unless you want to consider that the Bible is, in fact, infallible and God really didn't mean “every living thing of all flesh” but I'm not going there.

Satire just can't compete in today's world.

Update on Monday, May 30th, 2005

Ah, that explains it …

Update on Thursday, June 2nd, 2005

Then again, this could explain it as well …

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