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Friday, July 06, 2007

Monument to BS Works Out Pretty Much the Way You'd Expect

Just outside of Cincinnati -- in Petersburg, Kentucky -- stands a 60,000 square foot, $27 million monument to gullibility, fanaticism, and the ability to believe the stupidest damned things despite all evidence to the contrary. Answers in Genesis's Creation Museum features exhibits showing humans co-existing with dinosaurs, offers 'proof' that there was once a global flood, and warns us not to judge Cain for marrying his sister.

Yeah, it's that nuts.

Creation Museum display of dinosaur with a saddleIt turns out that a literal interpretation of the biblical book of Genesis looks more like The Flintstones than anything you'll see on The Discovery Channel. We're told that dinosaurs were on Noah's Ark, despite the fact that a global flood would be a really good way to explain why they're extinct. The Bible itself offers plenty of evidence against this -- mostly in the way the ark couldn't possibly be big enough for dinosaurs, let alone all the species on Earth.

This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide and 30 cubits high.
-- Genesis 6:15


A cubit is an ancient unit measured from a man's elbow to the tip of his middle finger. Assuming Noah wasn't fifty feet tall, that's about a foot and a half. So it was 450X75X45. Far from being a massive cargo ship, it would've been a boat. Not that the good folks at the Creation Museum give a crap about that -- that's reason and reason is of the devil, I guess. Numbers and math, after all, were invented by arabs who didn't love Republican Jesus.

Then there's the fossil record. Creationists often point to some fault line someplace where the strata have shifted and a newer fossil has been found near an older fossil. This is supposed to prove that a primitive camel and a tyranosaurus, for example, were from the same time. But it's always surprised me that creationists bring up fossils at all. If the Earth is only 6,000 years old, as the Creation Museum would have you believe, you can't possibly explain fossils. If all these extinct creatures became fossilized, then where are the modern fossils? Where's the poodle and the chicken? Where are the fossilized tools made from carved bone, like fishhooks and sewing needles? Where's all the fossilized scrimshaw? Is there some sort of magic that only allows extinct animals to become fossilized? Obviously not, since we have fossils of animals who haven't evolved much, like sharks and crocodiles.

If I were a more superstitious man, I might consider the Creation Museum cursed. Since opening to the public in May, the museum's been nothing but trouble for Answers in Genesis. First, there was the 'Adam' controversy.

As part of a video exhibit on creation, an actor was hired to play the biblical first human, Adam. Not a lot of thought (or background checking) went into the selection.

Evangelical Right:

Linden and friendThe evangelicals behind the just-opened Creation Museum are up-in-arms upon discovering that they hired a Sirfuxalot Model (Eric Linden) to portray Adam in one of the videos they've been showing to children. Additionally, the AP reports that Linden also owns the domain Bedroom Acrobat, a sexually suggestive site where he has appeared posing with a transvestite.



On his website, Linden wrote, "Adam was the one who brought sin into the world, and apparently I have brought it into the Creation Museum, and for that I sincerely apologize... And that would be a paradox ladies and gentlemen." Or some sort of cosmic payback for pumping so much BS into the universe. Take your pick. The museum has pulled the video and, to my knowledge, it hasn't been replaced. This would leave a gaping hole in the creationist argument offered at the museum.

Next up, legal trouble. Let me quote myself here:

The latest problem is a lawsuit filed by an australian group alleging that founding nutjob, Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis, stole subscribers to it's magazine. "The court papers allege Ham used a database containing the names and addresses of 39-thousand subscribers to the two Australian-produced magazines - 'Creation Magazine' and 'The Journal of Creation' - to distribute his own magazine, 'Answers,' in December 2005," the report reads.

In a statement on the suit, AiG pretty much argued that good christians don't sue the pants off each other. "Their decision to litigate this dispute ... is at best troubling, and is contrary to the biblical standard for Christians in handling disputes with other Christians," it reads. [BS] to english translation; "We don't have a defense and we really like our pants..." Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of lunatics.


This 'good Christians are nice to each other' argument didn't last very long. After the group that filed the suit, Creation Ministries International, failed to see that suing AiG would be unchristian of them, Ham went for the jugular.

Cincinnati Post, via DefCon Blog:

As part of an attempt to destroy a fellow creationist group, Boone County-based Answers in Genesis raised questions about a colleague's marriage. At least, that's Creation Ministries International's version of events, as detailed in a report by a former chief state magistrate in Australia, Clarrie Briese.

Trying to discredit CMI Managing Director Carl Wieland to colleague Philip Bell, AIG founder Ken Ham suggested things about Wieland's marriage that weren't true, Briese found. "It is astonishing that respected leaders of Christian organizations would stoop so low as to resort to gutter tactics of the kind mentioned here," Briese wrote.


Astonishing? Hardly. Hypocrisy is just another weapon in the arsenal of the religious right, where every damned thing you do is stamped 'approved' by God. When the enemy is the devil -- and, if you're a religious nut, every enemy is the devil -- the ends justify the means. There's no reason to fight fair against Satan.

But, the final nail in the future of the project is the fact that just about everyone thinks it's nuts. According to The Enquirer of Cincinnati, a poll asked respondents, "Recently a Creationism Museum opened up in Kentucky. The museum portrays dinosaurs living alongside Adam and Eve as well as dinosaurs on Noah's Ark. Which of the following words best describes your view on this?" The choices were, 'literal Word of God,' 'biblically accurate,' 'bizarre,' 'biblically inaccurate,' 'scientifically unsound' and 'not sure.' A majority of respondents answered that the Creation Museum is 'bizarre,' 'biblically inaccurate,' or 'scientifically unsound,' with the largest percentage -- 48% -- answering 'bizarre.'

Not good news for the museum.

It may be that one of the best things to happen for reason in a good long time is the Creation Museum. Polls show that an alarming percentage of americans have doubts about evolution. But the poll above shows that, once people actually see creationist BS laid right out in the open, they also see how ridiculous it all is. On the opening of the museum, Greg Neyman, a christian geologist and founder of Answers in Creation which sees creationism as a threat to Christianity, wrote, "Those who will benefit least from the museum are the non-Christians, who are firmly grounded in their belief through modern science that the earth is billions of years old. They will see the museum, and recognize its faulty science, and will be turned away from the church. This will increase the already widening gap between the unchurched and the churched. This gap is the direct result of young earth creationism."

In other words, "Stop telling everyone that Christians are crazy!" Given the fact that the Creation Museum has become a better proof of Murphy's Law than of creationism, I really don't think Neyman has much to worry about. It's going to be hit by a meteor or swallowed up by an earthquake or -- the most likely -- go broke.

The Creation Museum, as I said, stands as a monument to gullibility, fanaticism, and the ability to believe the stupidest damned things despite all evidence to the contrary. With any luck at all, it'll also demonstrate the impermanence of all of those things.

--Wisco

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2 comments:

George, NZ said...

You're right about one thing . . . you're irritating.

Wisco said...

I guess that'll have to pass for an argument.