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Aug 10 2009

Creation Museum Part 3

It was time to finally enter the exhibit. I had already been tweeting away, but my friend Josh said he couldn’t get any service on his iPhone. Turns out I was one of the few people who actually had cell phone reception during the main part of the exhibit (I know both Hemant and PZ were having trouble with their iPhones too, and all of Mark‘s tweets tragically came in days later). This shocked me, since I have US Cellular. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of it – it’s a service provider located in Chicago, and if you get out of the suburbs, you have shitty service. I’m usually roaming and down to a bar or two. Inside the Creation Museum? Full bars. While no one else had service. That’s when I knew I had entered Bizarro World. Up was down, black was white, evolution was a lie, and US Cellular wasn’t crappy.

The entrance was remade to look like Antelope Canyon and was pretty cool looking. Actually, now that I think of it, many parts of the museum involved you walking through somewhat narrow corridors with seemingly no escape, since you had to walk through the entire linear exhibit before you could get out. A claustrophobic person would not enjoy themselves there. Anyway, once you make it through, you’re greeted with this sign:This sums up a major theme of the museum: Scientists and creationists are using the same data, but since they have different starting points, they come to different conclusions. Which honestly, is true. Scientists have the starting point of logic, reason, and background knowledge based off of many previous experiments. When they see data, they use those things to come to an appropriate conclusion. Creationists, on the other hand, have the starting point of the Bible, which is also their conclusion. When they see data, they try to figure out how to explain the data so it fits their already established conclusion. Oh, and let’s not forget that the creationist is a wise old white man, but the evil scientist is a young Asian man. Woo, let’s use xenophobia to further our argument. Anyway, so yes, this sign is true:But why? Because Creationists are delusional and full of crap. Just because Creationists can come a different conclusion doesn’t mean that conclusion is valid – especially when their starting point is a ridiculous book full of impossibilities and contradictions. I know I’m preaching to the choir, but this was a very annoying trend in the exhibit: taking scientific facts and twisting them in order to fit their preconceived ideas. And just for an example on how stupid some of these questions got:
Are you shitting me? You use the creation of artificial sapphires to support your claim that sapphire formation goes much quicker than we think? Again, they need to come up with crazy ways to distort facts (sapphires take a long long time to form) so they fit into their worldview (world has only been around for 6000 years). I don’t need to tell you this, but laboratory sapphires undergo much more extreme conditions that would be found on earth, so they can form faster. Of course, the Creation Museum would probably just tell you these extreme conditions were causes by the flood or fire that rained down on Sodom and Gomorrah or Xenu hurtling atom bombs into volcanoes – er, whoops, wrong fiction story.

And yes, there was much face-palming that day. Especially when I found out that God is a Caps Lock troll (who possibly inspired Popeye the Sailor):
This room started a related trend: Hating on human reason. We’d see these sorts of signs throughout the rest of the museum:
Human Reason on one side, God’s Word on the other. This drove me crazy for many reasons. One, it obviously implied that human reason is bad. The whole purpose of this museum is to promote God and the Bible as the literal truth and to expose the “lies” of science. Putting up Human Reason against what they see as the truth clearly paints it as wrong, the bad guy, evil. It pains me to see reason, one of the greatest virtues I think a human can have, be treated as a sin. It doesn’t surprise me, though – there have been plenty of Christians throughout history who have been against intellectual curiosity. I guess we should be thankful – they could have just as easily put “Satan’s Word” with scientific thoughts under it, which would probably make people hate us scientists even more.

The second reason this drove me nuts was just because the scientific truth was actually there! From the Reason vs God signs I read, they did a very good job at simply explaining scientific processes. To think of all the people who are actually standing there and reading the truth and not recognizing it drives me mad. It’s like watching someone play Marco Polo or Hot and Cold and just barely missing their target. They’re agonizingly close to the truth, but then they miss it. Sigh.

And yet another theme of the museum was that Science is Hard, God is Easy:

Again, I think I’ll agree with that! For most people, science is harder to understand than just waving your hands and saying “God did it.” Zeus hurtling thunderbolts was easier than understanding lightning. I say most people, though, because I find it nearly impossible to comprehend how insane God logic makes sense to people, since I was never raised religious. But I loved how they graphically represented this. See, science is winding and confusing and always changing, but God’s word is constant and perfect and immutable. Therefore, God’s word is correct.

Wait, what? If anything, the fact that science changes is what makes it so beautiful. It admits when it’s wrong and strives for a better truth. Yes, this makes it more complicated, and yes, means that some minor things we accept today may be false (key word: minor. We’re not going to discover the Earth goes around Jupiter or that evolution is false). But it is light years ahead of how much of God’s Word is true. All you have to do is crack open a Bible to see all that’s wrong within it. Just to make your blood boil even more, here’s a detailed view:I’m really not quite sure what the heck is going on in the evolution sign. Galaxies and solar systems are still developing (I don’t think I’d say evolving, but let’s not play the semantics game with fundies), they didn’t just stop once Earth was formed. I’m not too sure why the formation of coal is so important. Actually, it was at this point that I just stopped trying to figure out how any of this supposedly made sense. Facepalming rates increased greatly.

The “Science is Hard” and “God is Easy” didn’t end there, though. They also applied it to their version of human evolution. Well, not evolution, since they don’t believe in that. “Kind” variation generation or whatever the hell they were trying to suggest that was basically the same as evolution:
See, apes are confusing! They have lots of complicated branches and extinction events. But humans are perfect. They’re special. They’re just a straight line, going on unchanged throughout time. Unfortunately, I think this is a view I’ve heard from more liberal Christians that accept evolution: that other animals evolved, but man didn’t. Not entirely sure how that works: did man just poof into existence one day, after the animals had been chilling and evolving for all those years? My…brain…explode blaahhh!Yes, and we hope to keep it that way. This fairy tale nonsense deserves no place in schools. Just look how sad it made Vanessa!

(Thanks to Vanessa and Josh for extra photos)

Part1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9

33 comments

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  1. 1
    Veritas

    It makes me sad too, Vanessa.

  2. 2
    Veritas

    It makes me sad too, Vanessa.

  3. 3
    Joé McKen

    The pic that annoys me most is the fourth-to-last, with the winding trail of "evolution" creating the Universe, solar systems, planets, life, etc. I forget in how many languages we've already explained to these guys how evolution applies solely to explaining how and why life on Earth has developed as it has – NOT where it comes from, and CERTAINLY NOT how the world came into being.

    One wonders if these people are actually, literally, selectively deaf. I honestly don't see how else they can simply refuse to hear what they're told. Believing it or not is one thing; to corrupt it is another; but to completely and simply ignore it all … it confounds me.

  4. 4
    Joé McKen

    The pic that annoys me most is the fourth-to-last, with the winding trail of “evolution” creating the Universe, solar systems, planets, life, etc. I forget in how many languages we’ve already explained to these guys how evolution applies solely to explaining how and why life on Earth has developed as it has – NOT where it comes from, and CERTAINLY NOT how the world came into being.One wonders if these people are actually, literally, selectively deaf. I honestly don’t see how else they can simply refuse to hear what they’re told. Believing it or not is one thing; to corrupt it is another; but to completely and simply ignore it all … it confounds me.

  5. 5
    Fupi98

    These blogs are great. Keep 'em coming. At the same time funny, terrifying and infuriating. I really would like to go to one of these.

    As for how cooky god logic can make sense to people, as a now Atheist, raised catholic in a very christian/catholic country, I can tell you that god logic makes sense when you are young, because you are raised and taught (catholic grade school, catholic high school, and catholic university) to believe in this and nothing else (indoctrinated). And not only at home or at school, everywhere you turn, tv, radio and newspaper, god and Jesus are always interjected into the conversation.

    (This is off topic, but just this morning I was listening to a live radio interview of the Secretary of Education, and when asked if he was satisfied with the beginning of the school year, he actually said that he would only be satisfied the day he died, because he would then be with god. THE SECRETARY OF EDUCATION)

    Of course, if you even show signs that you believe in something else, you are scolded at home, or ridiculed by your friends, as young kids tend to do to anything that is remotely different.

    Thankfully, (and hopefully), as one gets older, and wiser, ones curiosity leads you to be exposed to science classes, college professors, books, different schools of thought and opinions, which in turn lead you to make your own decisions.

    If you are a free thinking, intelligent, individual, the choice is logical and obvious: science is the correct answer, because it evolves, accepts its limits, and corrects itself when it is wrong. IT takes all the data, studies it, tests it, and determines the right answer.

    This is why they have creation “Museums” and why you saw so many kids there, and why they want so desperately to get this into public schools. Get them while they’re young, and then keep them away from “liberal” and “elitist” universities, and you got them for life!!

  6. 6
    Fupi98

    These blogs are great. Keep ‘em coming. At the same time funny, terrifying and infuriating. I really would like to go to one of these. As for how cooky god logic can make sense to people, as a now Atheist, raised catholic in a very christian/catholic country, I can tell you that god logic makes sense when you are young, because you are raised and taught (catholic grade school, catholic high school, and catholic university) to believe in this and nothing else (indoctrinated). And not only at home or at school, everywhere you turn, tv, radio and newspaper, god and Jesus are always interjected into the conversation.(This is off topic, but just this morning I was listening to a live radio interview of the Secretary of Education, and when asked if he was satisfied with the beginning of the school year, he actually said that he would only be satisfied the day he died, because he would then be with god. THE SECRETARY OF EDUCATION)Of course, if you even show signs that you believe in something else, you are scolded at home, or ridiculed by your friends, as young kids tend to do to anything that is remotely different.Thankfully, (and hopefully), as one gets older, and wiser, ones curiosity leads you to be exposed to science classes, college professors, books, different schools of thought and opinions, which in turn lead you to make your own decisions.If you are a free thinking, intelligent, individual, the choice is logical and obvious: science is the correct answer, because it evolves, accepts its limits, and corrects itself when it is wrong. IT takes all the data, studies it, tests it, and determines the right answer.This is why they have creation “Museums” and why you saw so many kids there, and why they want so desperately to get this into public schools. Get them while they’re young, and then keep them away from “liberal” and “elitist” universities, and you got them for life!!

  7. 7
    Veritas

    Oy vey. Secretary of Education, eh? Well, he is entitled to that opinion, of course. He can live his life pining for the perfection outlined for him by religion – that's his choice. If he lets that influence…you know…educating, then I have a problem.

  8. 8
    Veritas

    Oy vey. Secretary of Education, eh? Well, he is entitled to that opinion, of course. He can live his life pining for the perfection outlined for him by religion – that’s his choice. If he lets that influence…you know…educating, then I have a problem.

  9. 9
    jemand

    the formation of coal is important because it ties into the "god put that there for us to exploit an therefore global warming and environmentalism is SATANIC!" crowd.

    I'm having trouble reading the picture… was it stressed more heavily in the "god's word" portion? 'cuz that would def. support my theory. Otherwise… I might be bullshitting. It also sorta depends on other stuff in the museum. Any other vaguely anti global warming rant anywhere?

  10. 10
    jemand

    the formation of coal is important because it ties into the “god put that there for us to exploit an therefore global warming and environmentalism is SATANIC!” crowd.I’m having trouble reading the picture… was it stressed more heavily in the “god’s word” portion? ‘cuz that would def. support my theory. Otherwise… I might be bullshitting. It also sorta depends on other stuff in the museum. Any other vaguely anti global warming rant anywhere?

  11. 11
    saudrapsmann

    Those human things are fucking scary!

  12. 12
    saudrapsmann

    Those human things are fucking scary!

  13. 13
    bananavan64

    Haha, that's me! It certainly made me very sad, especially to see all the children who were forced to go there.

    man, reliving the trip through your blog is even more terrifying than being there, since I can actually think clearly now…

  14. 14
    bananavan64

    Haha, that’s me! It certainly made me very sad, especially to see all the children who were forced to go there.man, reliving the trip through your blog is even more terrifying than being there, since I can actually think clearly now…

  15. 15
    Fraser

    The winding road of human reason and the straight line of God's word reminded me of something, and I finally realised it was Matthew 7:13-14 (King James version, natch).

    Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

    Even Jesus thinks the creation museum is full of crap.

  16. 16
    Fraser

    The winding road of human reason and the straight line of God’s word reminded me of something, and I finally realised it was Matthew 7:13-14 (King James version, natch).Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.Even Jesus thinks the creation museum is full of crap.

  17. 17
    BeamStalk

    What cracked me up about the man's logic vs. God's logic, is the use of Descartes. Descartes used cogito ergo sum to prove the God of the Bible. They don't even know their own history.

  18. 18
    BeamStalk

    What cracked me up about the man’s logic vs. God’s logic, is the use of Descartes. Descartes used cogito ergo sum to prove the God of the Bible. They don’t even know their own history.

  19. 19
    Veritas

    You're forgetting that Rene Descartes was a drunken fart, I drink therefore I am!

  20. 20
    Veritas

    You’re forgetting that Rene Descartes was a drunken fart, I drink therefore I am!

  21. 21
    Alex

    Loved this bit:

    "Especially when I found out that God is a Caps Lock troll (who possibly inspired Popeye the Sailor)"

    You're my new hero :)

  22. 22
    Alex

    Loved this bit:”Especially when I found out that God is a Caps Lock troll (who possibly inspired Popeye the Sailor)”You’re my new hero :)

  23. 23
    Nat

    This comment is directed at Joe McKen.

    Re: purposeful misnaming of non-evolutionary science as part of "Evolution".

    In the creationist argot, "Evolution" has become a convienient and emotionally powerful metaphor for the scientific worldview in general. This is a tactic, which has devloped so as to mentally associate as many inconvienient scientific facts as possible with the most visceraly unpleasent one, e.g. that we are animals who share a history with apes. Thus the uncanny valley is used to reinforce religious authority over various disconected subjects.

    To say it another way; religious authority is maintained by psychologically connecting, via word choice, the "I am not a damn monkey!" emotional response to other phenomenon which may be otherwise free of strong emotional content… like the age and extent of the Cosmos.

  24. 24
    Nat

    This comment is directed at Joe McKen.Re: purposeful misnaming of non-evolutionary science as part of “Evolution”.In the creationist argot, “Evolution” has become a convienient and emotionally powerful metaphor for the scientific worldview in general. This is a tactic, which has devloped so as to mentally associate as many inconvienient scientific facts as possible with the most visceraly unpleasent one, e.g. that we are animals who share a history with apes. Thus the uncanny valley is used to reinforce religious authority over various disconected subjects. To say it another way; religious authority is maintained by psychologically connecting, via word choice, the “I am not a damn monkey!” emotional response to other phenomenon which may be otherwise free of strong emotional content… like the age and extent of the Cosmos.

  25. 25
    Joé McKen

    Yeah, Nat, I'm well-aware of all that. =) I'm just wondering how much time it'll take for anything we evil evolutionists and atheists say to permeate through their abnormally thick skulls … That would be the day … =/

    (I mean, for frack's sake, open ANY article on "Evolution", from Wikipedia to online dictionaries, and they'll ALL describe how it's a BIOLOGICAL process and phenomenon … URGH. I hate idiots. Can't stand 'em. Should ship 'em off to a remote island somewhere, Isla Stoopid. Or something.)

  26. 26
    Joé McKen

    Yeah, Nat, I’m well-aware of all that. =) I’m just wondering how much time it’ll take for anything we evil evolutionists and atheists say to permeate through their abnormally thick skulls … That would be the day … =/(I mean, for frack’s sake, open ANY article on “Evolution”, from Wikipedia to online dictionaries, and they’ll ALL describe how it’s a BIOLOGICAL process and phenomenon … URGH. I hate idiots. Can’t stand ‘em. Should ship ‘em off to a remote island somewhere, Isla Stoopid. Or something.)

  27. 27
    Andrew

    I went to the creation museum a couple of years ago with some friends. All of this brings back memories, but everytime I see someone talking about their visit now, it's pretty clear that they've added quite a bit to the museum since the last time I was there.

  28. 28
    Andrew

    I went to the creation museum a couple of years ago with some friends. All of this brings back memories, but everytime I see someone talking about their visit now, it’s pretty clear that they’ve added quite a bit to the museum since the last time I was there.

  29. 29
    Mike

    I think the winding evolutionary trail is supposed to resemble an evil serpeant. Serpeant? Is that how you spell serpeant?

  30. 30
    Jesus Freak :D

    What that verse is referring to is that God is telling us that life with him is going to be hard…there will be struggles but that pretty much anyone can take the easy way out i.e. the wide gate…cause lets face it…its easier sometimes to just give in to things and not stand up. Although the narrow gate is harder…it leads to eternal life :D It’s worth it the struggles because anyone can just go with the crowd. I find some of these blogs both intersting and disturbing…but i do love how people are still out there trying to figure out God with human minds lol because trust me on this…when you actually experence God…u realise he and his creation cant be figured out by our limited thinking.

  31. 31
    Voykin

    They counterpoint the word of god with that of Descartes who was a theist. Fail.

  32. 32
    Janisaur

    I don’t even know where to start! I had so many of the same issues as you! The animatronic people creeped me out and their representations of evolutionary concepts were so ridiculous! It was at about this stage in the museum that I realized that none of what I was about to see was going to make any sense to me. Oh, and I died laughing at your comment about God being a caps lock troll!

  33. 33
    Gkwedlund

    I’ve actually heard this idea that man’s reasoning is different and God’s reasoning is a different kind of thinking.  It’s utterly absurd.  If taken to a philosophical conclusion, it means it’s better to just wing it.  Pick a holy book and fly.

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