We're actually trying to engineer a nerd (again, consider the parents), so weird is o.k. But if it's the kind of weird peddled by the anti-science brainwashing of the predominant home-school culture, then public school, here we come:
Two of the best-selling biology textbooks stack the deck against evolution, said some science educators who reviewed sections of the books at the request of The Associated Press.
"I feel fairly strongly about this. These books are promulgating lies to kids," said Jerry Coyne, an ecology and evolution professor at the University of Chicago.
The textbook publishers defend their books as well-rounded lessons on evolution and its shortcomings. One of the books doesn't attempt to mask disdain for Darwin and evolutionary science.
"Those who do not believe that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God will find many points in this book puzzling," says the introduction to "Biology: Third Edition" from Bob Jones University Press. "This book was not written for them."
The textbook delivers a religious ultimatum to young readers and parents, warning in its "History of Life" chapter that a "Christian worldview ... is the only correct view of reality; anyone who rejects it will not only fail to reach heaven but also fail to see the world as it truly is" [Dylan Lovan, "Top Home-School Texts Dismiss Darwin, Evolution," AP via Yahoo News, 2010.03.06].
At the point where a textbook presumes to tell my daughter that her answers on a science test determine her eternal salvation, my bad theology alarm goes off, and we seek intelligent instruction elsewhere.
Professor Coyne and Dr. Duncan Porter gave F's to biology texts from Apologia and Bob Jones University. Apologia founder Jay Wile, whom Coyne has previously critiqued for peddling substandard science materials, just shouts back that Coyne is a liar.
Professor Coyne's blog features some of the less than Christian responses he's received over his statements above, insults ranging from childish to vicious. I hate to say it, but the venomous "wackaloonery" aimed at Professor Coyne suggests a lot of home-schoolers—or at least their fundagelical advocates—have a severe deficiency of social skills... not to mention a commitment to willful deception.
I guess I'm just spoiled. I have an intelligent wife who has complete confidence in her ability (and our daughter's... once she learns to read and tie shoes) to believe in both a universe governed by scientific laws and a God who created that universe. Neither of the Lutherans in my household needs delusions of scientific persecution, threats of eternal damnation, or fairy-tale biology books to believe in the Bible and do God's work.