Some students at private schools in Louisiana are being taught that Scotland's fabled Loch Ness monster is real, a claim that is then held as evidence disproving Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, the Scotsman reports.
Thousands of students across the state are eligible to receive publicly funded vouchers to allow them to attend private Christian schools where textbooks published by Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) claim the monster was actually a dinosaur that existed at the same time as man, an assertion which conflicts with the theory of evolution.
The Times Educational Supplement, a British publication for teachers, published an article in 2009 that included an excerpt from Accelerated Christian Education's Biology 1099 textbook, which was published in 1995:
Are dinosaurs alive today? Scientists are becoming more convinced of their existence.
Have you heard of the `Loch Ness Monster' in Scotland? `Nessie,' for short has been recorded on sonar from a small submarine, described by eyewitnesses, and photographed by others. Nessie appears to be a plesiosaur.
Could a fish have developed into a dinosaur? As astonishing as it may seem, many evolutionists theorize that fish evolved into amphibians and amphibians into reptiles. This gradual change from fish to reptiles has no scientific basis. No transitional fossils have been or ever will be discovered because God created each type of fish, amphibian, and reptile as separate, unique animals. Any similarities that exist among them are due to the fact that one Master Craftsmen fashioned them all."
Loch Ness monster tour guide Tony Drummond, 47, told the Scottish Sun the curriculum is "ridiculous propaganda."
And Bruce Wilson, a researcher specializing in the American political religious right, told the Scotsman that one of the texts also claims "dinosaurs were fire-breathing dragons."
"It has little to do with science as we currently understand. It’s more like medieval scholasticism," Wilson told the paper.
According to Scotland's the Herald, one of the textbooks also provides a somewhat controversial look at the Ku Klux Klan.
"The [Ku Klux] Klan in some areas of the country tried to be a means of reform, fighting the decline in morality and using the symbol of the cross ... In some communities it achieved a certain respectability as it worked with politicians," the textbook reads, according to the Herald.
Other controversial school-related documents from around the country: