Saturday, April 07, 2007


Just for the Fun of It!

The Ashfall Fossil Beds in Northeastern Nebraska.

Some 20 million years ago, rhinos, a carnivorous bear-dog, and giant pig-like animal called Dinohyus roamed the Nebraska grassland. Many of their remains are preserved today in the Agate Fossil Beds, often described as one of the most complete Miocene mammal sites in the world.

The Cornhusker state is also home to the Ashfall Fossil Beds where an abundance of well-preserved fossils, including several species of three-toed horses, barrel-bodied rhinos, and Aepycamelus, an odd cross between a camel and a giraffe, bear evidence to a catastrophic volcanic eruption that covered the ancient grassland in what is now Antelope County in Northeastern Nebraska with a two-foot thick layer of powdered glass some 12 million years ago.

Today, Nebraska is home to Jim Garretson, too. He's a creationist who plans to ignore the state's rich natural history into order to teach a more fanciful version. Garretson proposes to teach “Physics 2990: Creation Science” at McCook Community College in Southwest Nebraska.

Garretson's creation science class has already drawn a protest from Dr. Robert I. Price, an associate professor of Physics at the University of Nebraska in Kearney. Garretson's proposal, says Price, exhibits either "a profound lack of an understanding of science" or "an exceptional academic dishonesty." Either way, it's representative of a movement to expand the teaching of biblical creationism from its traditional base in Christian academies and bible colleges into public school classrooms.

According to the Southwest Nebraska News, Garretson's creation science class will explore the age of the earth, the earth’s beginning, and where the earth is heading (see, creation science does make predictions after all), the Garden of Eden, as well as life on earth before the flood and the major changes which have taken place since that time.

Apparently, the class is designed to be comprehensive. It will also examine dinosaurs "in the past as well as in the present" (someone let Michael Crichton know), the flood, ice ages, mountain formation, coal and oil formation, and the Grand Canyon.

"College should be a fun experience for students,” Garretson tells the Southwest Nebraska News. “Yes, there are always courses that are challenging and courses that may not be of interest, but are still required. But, once in a while, why not take a course just for the fun of it!”

Well, at least that's a selling point they haven't thought of out in Seattle yet.


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