Monday, October 8, 2012

Try and Try Again....

After finishing up the first Chemistry 101 segment, Angel came to the conclusion that it may not be rigorous enough.  Though she enjoyed it, Chemistry 101 seems more suited for middle school.  The creators claim the first segment should take about 9 1/2 hours. It took Angel about 2 hours.  I'm not sure we gave it a fair shot after only one segment, but in the essence of time I'm looking at other options.

She's currently reading The Mystery of the Periodic Table and enjoying it.  I've spent some time skimming though Napoleon's Buttons: How 17 Molecules Changed History and I think it looks interesting. I'm thinking I'll have her read it while I try to figure things out. 

I created this sheet to go along with the book....

Napoleon’s Buttons: How 17 Molecules Changed History
By Penny Le Couteur & Jay Burreson

A.   Describe the chemical structure/properties of each of the following molecules.
B.   According to the authors, describe how each of the molecules “changed history” or influenced the development of civilization.  

Peppers, Nutmeg, and Cloves

Ascorbic Acid



Nitro Compounds

Silk and Nylon




Wonder Drugs

The Pill

Molecules of Witchcraft

Morphine, Nicotine, and Caffeine

Oleic Acid


Chlorocarbon Compounds

Molecules versus Malaria

I've also borrowed The Great Courses - Chemistry from the library.  I previewed the first lecture and it sparked my interest.  I'm going to have Angel watch the first three lectures this week and see how it goes.  I'm leaning toward going back to Apologia and using it as a spine along side The Great Course lectures.  

I've been pre-reading and skimming several other books.  I'd love to add some living books, but it seems most scientific books I find are based on the "big bang" theory or evolution.  As Christians, we believe in a young earth, a creator, and intelligent design.  

I really like the concept behind The Periodic Kingdom by P.W. Atkins.  Atkins explains the periodic table by comparing it to a kingdom, sort of an imaginary country.  He uses imagery and analogies in terms of terrain and geography to show how the location of each element on the table can be used to predict its properties.  

However after reading the preface and a few chapters, I smelled the stench of evolution.  I asked The Farmer, "What if I found a living book that teaches the periodic table...". He says, "Great, isn't that what you want?"  I say, "...but I believe it's based on evolution."  Then I read aloud this excerpt,
     "...It is a remarkable demonstration of the fact that the chemical elements are not a random clutter of entities but instead display trends and lie together in families.  An awareness of the periodic table is essential to anyone who wishes to disentangle the world and see how it is built up from fundamental building blocks of chemistry, the chemical elements.  Anyone who seeks to be familiar with a scientist's-eye view of the world must be aware of the general form of the periodic table, for it is a part of scientific culture."
Before The Farmer had a chance to answer, it hit me.  If we accept God as Creator and the Bible as His word, why must we "disentangle the world"?  We are attempting to teach a Biblical worldview, not necessarily a "scientist's-eye view".   

After further inspection, I found Chapter 6 starts out with the second sentence stating, 
" soon as our true universe came into existence, about fifteen billion years ago." and the third sentence, "At the big bang, the cataclysm that shook spacetime into being and marked the inception of our universe...."  

I accept God's word, the Bible, as fact.  Therefore, I don't need to experiment, theorize and hypothesize to disprove it.  I don't want or need to be part of that "scientific culture".  I prefer to revel in the beauty and marvel at His creation.   The Farmer agrees.  And thus it was decided we will not be using books steeped in evolution to teach our children, even if they are living books.  I think this is why I don't like science.  There's so much crap to cut through to get to the bottom line.   Wow...that got a little off.  Anyway, I'm still tweaking this high school chemistry thing.  I'll post a plan when we find a good fit :)

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