Thursday, July 7, 2011

Bad science! No biscuit!

So my wife and i had a snarf-the-beverage-of-your-choice moment the other day, when we ran across this gem from the current year’s young women manual* (ch. 25, p. 91):

Explain that one of the primary aims of science is to discover additional laws. When scientists discover these higher laws and obey them, marvelous things can happen. The successful landing of men on the moon is an example of the importance of obedience. Men spent years concentrating on discovering and obeying the natural laws that governed gravity, jet propulsion, and other things. Their obedience resulted in the successful landing of a man on the moon.***

Um, no.

Or, for emphasis: NO!!

That’s not the way scientific laws work. Folks didn’t make it to the moon because they obeyed natural laws—those laws were going to be obeyed whether they wanted to or not. (Gravity doesn’t really care if you believe in it, after all.) Now, the successful application of their understanding, yeah, that was necessary. But choosing obedience? No, that had nothing—really, nothing—to do with it.

I mean, seriously—who vets these things?

* Why are the young women manuals so out of date? It’s like the church decided that all the rest of the manuals would have an up-to-date feel, but the young women could make do with a manual with a copyright date of 1994, but content that feels so, so much older.**

** Like the clearly made-up (i.e., not based on true events) stories that start “A girl and her friend were invited to a party…” that the church has (happily!) moved away from in its other materials.

*** And i’m not even getting into the fact that humans making it to the moon isn’t just before the girls-being-taught’s time, it’s before my time. Apparently, scientists haven’t done anything lesson-manual-worthy during my life.

1 comment:

Heather the Mama Duk said...

Wow. You know I was *in* Young Women in 1994. My daughter will be in YW in February. So she'll be using the *exact same* manuals? That's kind of insane.

You know, I've read that excerpt three or four times now and all I'm getting out of it is they figured out how to *dis*obey the law of gravity to get to the moon. Not exactly what the manual is trying to get across, huh?