Thursday, July 10, 2008

Prepare to Disbelieve: When Eve Folicked With a Brontosaurus

The Creators of the Creation Museum Want You to BELIEVE ... in FEAR!

And Pebbles and Bam-Bam
Were Up To Their Usual Tricks!

The Creation Museum's motto is "Prepare to Believe". But think of it, That means wiping your mind clean of everything: making a blank slate and, above all, not questioning ANYTHING. Preparing to believe is rather like preparing to become a zombie. Maybe the Creation Museum will be able to employ full-time hypnotists: "I command you to believe!"

(London Times, May 27, 2007)

The $27 million (£14 million) exhibition is funded by evangelical Christians, who apparently believe that by reclaiming dinosaurs and fossils for their literal biblical interpretation of natural history, teenagers are less likely to look at internet pornography or get pregnant out of wedlock.

This sprawling 50-acre (20hectare) site is the latest effort to counter the evolutionary science taught in state schools that Answers in Genesis, the religious group behind the museum, claims has chipped away at the nation’s moral fabric.

It uses much of the same technology seen in mainstream museums. There are realistic moving, roaring dinosaurs and a lifesized model of a ship being built by animatronic craftsmen. In this corner of northern Kentucky the dinosaurs get to go on the ship, which happens to be none other than Noah’s Ark.

Eugenie Scott, director of the National Centre for Science Education, calls the museum “the creationist Disneyland”. Lawrence Krauss, a theoretical physicist at Case Western Reserve University, accuses it of spreading “documented lies”. The nature of the science process that's presented at the Answers in Genesis museum is very different from how science is really done by real scientists," said Eugenie Scott, executive director of the Oakland, Calif., group, which promotes the teaching of evolution in the classroom.

(From National Post, April 14, 2008 - Toronto)

Whatever its virtues, the Creation Museum doesn’t always exhibit Christian charity. It features a display of villains that includes Charles Templeton (1915-2001), a Canadian well-known two decades ago as a broadcaster, editor and author. In his youth he was a hugely successful preacher; together he and Billy Graham preached to vast congregations. Then Templeton lost his faith, by reading too much. Later he wrote Farewell to God: My Reasons for Rejecting the Christian Faith.

Testimonials in favor of the Museum

A.R., teacher, B.A in PsychologyI am so glad your ministry exists! I heard Ken Ham speak at the FACCS convention in Oct. 2007 and I have not been the same. I teach junior high science (earth and space) and I have made it my mission this year to educate the students on the facts and how to defend their faith! I have been using many of the AIG resources to make this possible! Thank you for helping me!

J.L., teacher/minister(ab theo and BS industrial education)I'm a high school teacher,teaching values and bible class..I am thankful to you that you opened our minds to biblical creation.

Uh, "opened our minds to biblical education"?? What were the kids' mind like before they saw the museum? Completely blank? Were they zombie teenagers?

Below is a collage of thoughts on Creationism, Intelligent Design, etc. At the very bottom is the captivating scene where Spencer Tracy confronts Frederick March in Inherit the Wind. It's one of the most compelling reasons for belief in evolution.

...and of course, Bush and Robertson being expelled from The Garden of Eden

Did God Create Adam and Eve or McCain and Obama?

Fact Is, Nobody Really Knows Who Created What!

Evolution has become a subjective thing in our world and not an established fact- thanks to creationists and the people who blindly believe them. This "Evolution is ONLY a theory" posit is a crock: to believe in creationism is insulting to an all-powerful God. The anthropomorphism of having God create something and seeing "it was good" is a shameful denegration of God. If God "wanted" humans to believe in "Him" and "told" them about his "wishes" by inspiring men to write down his "words" then He's not much of an all-powerful, all EVERYTHING God, is "He"? He was right to allow setting down ethical guidelines for survival in a book filled with poetry and imagery for the being who had not reached knowledge of who He was. Perhaps, however, God intended for mankind to evolve past a book of stories and metaphors. If there was any direction we were supposed to go, it was forward to new thoughts for the betterment of all so that all could survive. Christians believe in God. At least they say so. But many of them don't believe in humanity. They believe that man is weak and, while he has a certain capacity for good, he succumbs to evil. That's not really believing in humanity, is it? And there are those who believe that every person is born in sin. And that that sin is transmitted Man is to look upon his lot in life to overcome something he was born with. Man is born with guilt. And many Christians LOVE guilt. Their principles are built on guilt.

Going back to creation vs. evolution: it really comes down to two distinct schools of thought that have never been reconciled: God created everything directly OR everything evolved (with or without God). These schools of thought have been antagonizing each other for years, but never before have they been a concern for citizens of the United States when choosing a president. Religion has made itself prominent enough in the political sphere to warrant looking into presidential hopefuls' creation vs. evolution beliefs.
So what do our two prominent presidential candidates think about creationism and evolution?

(Think Progress, Feb. 12, 2007)

Yet, on February 23, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) will be the keynote speaker for the most prominent creationism advocacy group in the country. The Discovery Institute, a religious right think-tank, is well-known for its strong opposition to evolutionary biology and its advocacy for “intelligent design.” The institute’s main financial backer, savings and loan heir Howard Ahmanson, spent 20 years on the board of the Chalcedon Foundation, “a theocratic outfit that advocates the replacement of American civil law with biblical law.” (Emphasis my own)

McCain has an ambiguous record on whether he supports intelligent design in the science curriculum. In 2005, he said it should be taught:

Daily Star: Should intelligent design be taught in schools?

McCain: I think that there has to be all points of view presented. But they’ve got to be thoroughly presented. So to say that you can only teach one line of thinking I don’t think is - or one belief on how people and the world was created - I think there’s nothing wrong with teaching different schools of thought.

Daily Star: Does it belong in science?

McCain: There’s enough scientists that believe it does. I’m not a scientist. This is something that I think all points of view should be presented.

But last year, he said the intelligent design theory should not be taught in the science classroom:

“I think Americans should be exposed to every point of view,” he said. “I happen to believe in evolution…I respect those who think the world was created in seven days. Should it be taught as a science class? Probably not.

Barack Obama:

In one form or another, conflicts over the teaching of evolution in public schools have been an important aspect of the Christian Right's culture wars against modernity and the Enlightenment. Almost every Republican candidate for president has rejected evolutionary science; support for creationism has almost been a litmus test for Republican politicians. Barack Obama does accept evolutionary science and, moreover, he opposes teaching any form of creationism - including Intelligent Design creationism - alongside evolution in public schools.

So, we have one candidate who believes in evolution while making speeches to established Reconstructionists. Not the sign of a very positively principled person. Reconstructionists are fierce in their extreme theocratic views. Speaking at the The Discovery Institute is about as far right as you can get. And the other candidate may become more centrist (as he has in other ways) advocating that intelligent design be taught, but not in the science classroom.
The next few months will be interesting when it comes to these issues. The Christian Right will certainly MAKE them issues and MAKE both campaigns answer the question: Which Do You Believe In: Evolution or Creationism?

Obama: evolution of Cool

The Beginning of the End of Logic, Accountability, and Reason

Every Since the Creation Museum in Kentucky opened, young-earth creationism has been called "yabba dabba "science". You can see why so many people scoff at it. Kevin Padian, curator-University of California Museum of Paleontology in Berkeley and president of the National Center for Science Education, (an Oakland group that supports teaching evolution): "Propaganda houses like Creation Museum in the greater Cincinnati area do nothing but distort the truth and promote a lie. They feel they are needed because "our increasingly anti-Christian country must return to a belief in the authority of the Bible and be presented with the life-changing gospel message."
I don't care about what individuals believe, but when people twist their religion into something that not only abuses itself but also presents itself as scientific fact, I find that dangerous. Creationism should never pose as fact. Intelligent design, by definition, cannot pose as fact. The "just a theory" religionists do not tell you that in the scientific world, theories can be facts. Theories can be scientifically proved. Even Starbucks knows this:
Pushing "Intelligent Design" into science classrooms degrades and defeats the purpose of science. And modern day science is based on cause-and-effect reasoning. Take away reason, and there is no science. Yes, there are some "scientists" who promote intelligent design, but if you look closely at their credentials, they are not in the fields that would disprove evolution. Of course, critics of evolution, like Ben Stein, would have you think that ID people are being persecuted. The problem lies in the fact that these people were trying to teach ID as a science instead of religious propaganda.
"In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made School Boards." - Mark Twain (Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar)
That unfortunate description should be placed in every school board meeting room in the country. Many people don't know who is on their local school board - and what agenda is being pushed. Boards aren't necessarily made up of former teachers representing the different disciplines. Your local butcher might feel he has a flair for poetry so he helps decide on some of the literature textbooks. All school boards should have high criteria for a seat on the board - but they don't. Sometimes their only qualifications are that they have children in school. BFD.

School boards should be made up of people capable of making scholarly and reasonable decisions concerning the matter of the subject taught in school. In some areas of the country, certain titles are not only frowned upon, but banned because of the school boards' religious beliefs. The state of Texas is particularly noted for banning books.

Did we say Texas?

Genesis- VerseVisions Art

To the right is truly a wonderful piece of artwork by Mark Lawrence. He bases his creativity on Bible verses, so it's called VerseVisions Art. And while it is very sumptuous, it is not all that unique. All fine art is inspired by nature and shaped by imagination. Like the Maxfield Parrish below.