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A shame

Ken Ham is very proud to have spent a half-million dollars to buy a genuine, rare allosaur skeleton, which will now be locked up in a non-research institution and used to gull the rubes. It’s all part of their grand plan to pretend to be a scientific institution, while doing everything in their power to corrupt the public understanding of science.

What a shame.

And of course they’re going to use it to lie to visitors. Here’s what Andrew Snelling, their pet pseudoscientist, says about it.

As a geologist, Dr. Snelling added that unlike the way most of the Morrison Formation bones had been found scattered and mixed, the intact skeleton of this allosaur is testimony to extremely rapid burial, which is a confirmation of the global catastrophe of a Flood a few thousand years ago.

Lovely logic. Because the bones this one example were unscattered, it somehow supports their claim that it was killed 4000 years ago in a global flood. What? There’s nothing in the distribution of the bones that can be said to support a particular age for the specimen, and even if it were killed in a flood, floods do happen — it says nothing about a global catastrophe.

And if unmixed bones equal Recent Global Flood, what does it say that they admit that “most of the Morrison Formation bones had been found scattered and mixed”?

The rest of the press release is revealing in that it mentions that money for this grand exhibit, and another half-million dollars, came from one family — one very, very rich family — with far more money than sense. Just another demonstration that being an idiot does not interfere with the process of getting rich.

Comments

  1. says

    I agree! A Real Museum! Not a stupid idiot crackhouse like what Ken runs! Besides a real dinosaur skeleton will do nothing to make the “museum” credible nor will it increase attendance and get out of the financial problems it’s having. I’m still favoring for the “museum” to close down due to lack of attendance and funds in the near future.

  2. Doug Little says

    Dr. Snelling added that unlike the way most of the Morrison Formation bones had been found scattered and mixed, the intact skeleton of this allosaur is testimony to extremely rapid burial, which is a confirmation of the global catastrophe of a Flood a few thousand years ago.

    The are not even trying anymore. Even a six year old would figure out that if there was a global flood then all skeletons should be intact based on Snelling’s reasoning, or is it just that Allosaur’s get buried quickly because of their stubby forearms or something.

  3. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Ham added: “While evolutionists use dinosaurs more than anything to promote their worldview, especially to young students, our museum uses dinosaurs to help tell the account of history according to the Bible.

    Um, yeah. Okay. “Those evil, evil scientists. They promote worldviews. WE tell the account of history according to the bible.”

    Sheesh.

  4. Al Dente says

    To paraphrase a certain fictional archeologist: THEY BELONG IN A REAL MUSEUM!

    But they have “top men” studying it.

  5. voidhawk says

    Wait, wouldn’t a massive global flood, complete with massive ground and soil upheavals be more likely to tear any poor animal left in its wake apart, rather than carefully preserving it?

    This is the damage a comparativelt tiny flood does:
    http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/48670000/jpg/_48670132_swat06.jpg

    I think Ken Ham thinks that perhaps it’s like Pompeii where everything was neatly covered in layers of ash and the water gently poured on top of it? (Warning: ash-covered Pompeii citizern at this link) :
    http://static.flickr.com/58/203072076_029b603b45.jpg

  6. Parse says

    And if unmixed bones equal Recent Global Flood, what does it say that they admit that “most of the Morrison Formation bones had been found scattered and mixed”?

    Let me get my creationist cap on for a minute:
    Most of the Morrison Formation bones had been found scattered and mixed, which is testimony to rapidly rising waters strong enough to tear dinosaurs apart, which is a confirmation of the global catastrophe of a Flood a few thousand years ago.
    In other words, heads I win, tails you lose.

  7. grumpyoldfart says

    A few weeks ago, this family gave AiG a $500,000 gift to help build the evangelistic Ark Encounter, with a full-size Noah’s Ark.

    The same family then heard of the opportunity to display a world-class dinosaur fossil inside the Creation Museum, and decided to do something else on top of its $500,000 gift: they have made a special matching gift offer. For every dollar donated to the allosaur exhibit and the general AiG ministry through November 15, this family will donate a dollar to the Ark Encounter—up to another $500,000. That would be $1 million!

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2013/10/18/news-dinosaur-fossil

    Here’s how it works: The mugs in the pews are handing over real cash to the Ark project, but most of the big money backers are merely promising to hand over their money once the project gets started – and only bit-by-bit. If the project stalls, the donations stop.

    The $500,000 Ham is talking about probably has the same strings attached.

    Ken Ham misrepresents the promised donations for the Ark as cash already in hand, and that encourages the hoi-poloi to pump more money into the project.

    Eventually, when it becomes clear that the Ark will never be built, the big money boys won’t have lost a cent but the hoi-poloi will find nothing left because all of their donations have been used to pay staff wages, yearly bonuses, and success fees. (success fees … lol)

  8. says

    PZ: “Andrew Snelling, their pet pseudoscientist”

    I couldn’t help but read this as
    1) a pseudoscientist who deals with pets (e.g., cats and dogs)
    or
    2) a pseudoscientist AiG keeps as a pet

  9. says

    Think of how far $500,000 would go in doing Jesus’ work of feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, healing the sick, etc. etc. etc. (Not to mention, of course, the good that also could be done if the bones, and the money to maintain them, were given to an actual science museum.)

    Disgusting.

  10. Richard Smith says

    Quodlibet (#12): Socialist! Why do you hate America so?

    (Okay, so this reaction is probably as much of a fossil as the allosaur by now…)

  11. Matt Walker says

    I hate to be the pedant here, but did anyone else actually read the article? Although I agree with the ideas behind PZ’s post, he apparently completely misunderstood or misrepresented what was actually said in the article re: the $500 000

    AIG did not “buy” the skull from anyone. It was donated to them. How PZ could have misunderstood this is beyond me.

    They increased their insurance policy by 500k to cover the skull. This is obviously not the same thing.

    They also received a separate 500k donation from a completely different family for the Ark Park, and are doing a donation match thing.

    obviously they are still misusing an important fossil. obviously they are wrong about the flood. but don’t fucking post incorrect information about an article. It makes you look like an idiot. Worse, it makes US look bad for putting up with it. Get your fucking shit together.

  12. Richard Smith says

    Matt Walker (#14): Too true! Nothing worse than someone writing an overwrought piece about an article they clearly haven’t completely read, missing such details as

    money for this grand exhibit, and another half-million dollars, came from one family

    Absolutely dreadful.

  13. RFW says

    I read the article at AIG. (Makes note to self: go wash eyes and brain. Use lots of bleach.)

    First it says “skeleton”, then switches to “skull”, and the photographs show only a skull. It isn’t at all clear which they have, but it sounds like AIG only has the skull, though the skull was found along with an intact spine and other parts of the skeleton,

    Skull or skeleton, I have to wonder if this fossil assemblage was excavated legally. Or was it illegally excavated from public land?

  14. objdart says

    While I find some humor in the antics of the creation museum and ken ham, I don’t understand why you would take the time to point out exactly which details they get wrong. I mean, it’s basically common knowledge they can’t figure out. It’s not like their claims are of the sort that make people scratch their heads and say to themselves, “Gee, maybe their really was a global flood 6000 years ago which left no worldwide trace whatsoever. And the fossilization process could maybe happen in just a few thousand years. Oh, and all of modern science is wrong, from radiometric and annual dating methods to chemistry, physics, biology, geology, oceanography, and, well, all the rest! I guess I have no choice but to accept that the alternative presented by a bunch of numbnuts headed by a guy with an Abe Lincoln beard and a fake Ph.D. must be right since it’s presented as an alternative.”

    This is not a criticism of your decision to go ahead and point out what he got wrong here, just that I don’t understand the reasoning. Also, I don’t need to understand the reasoning. This whole comment is basically rhetorical.

  15. numerobis says

    OK, Ken Ham yadda yadda. He’s been an idiot for decades, why should he stop now?

    But what I’m retaining from this story is that for a mere half-million dollars, I could have an allosaurus skeleton in my living room.

    Now *this* is a reason to make lots of money.

  16. Acolyte of Sagan says

    I thought the Creation Museum had been displaying a dinosaur for years. It isn’t one I’ve heard of but apparently it is so impressive that many of those who visited the place could talk of nothing afterwards but the phukkersaurus coming.

    Thank you. I’m here all week.

  17. Acolyte of Sagan says

    In the linked article, I was surprised to read that Ham had at least got one thing right, even if he does draw the wrong conclusion:

    The Creation Museum already has excellent dinosaur-related exhibits, including dinosaur eggs and bones plus realistic animatronic models. Also, a new dragon exhibit asks the question: “Were the many dragons of legend really dinosaurs?”

    Yes, Ken, they were, only not in the way you think (and I use the word ‘think’ completely wrongly). Oh dear, he was that close to actually getting it!

  18. says

    I read the article earlier and posted about it on Facebook.

    It says the skull was donated, but then says this “It is expected that about half the cost of the allosaur exhibit will be funded through the museum’s “Membership with a Mission” program. The other half ($250,000) will need to be raised through donations.

    In other words Ken is saying, people give us you’re money.

  19. WhiteHatLurker says

    I would like to see the AiG display card with an explanation of what the dinosaurs did to soooo piss off god to get themselves killed off completely. Weren’t they supposed to be saved on the ark-boat?

    AiG & Extinction – that’s just god’s way of saying “I fucked up making that species. What was I drinking?”

  20. sparkles says

    Looking on the bright side, this would be a GREAT cat tree. Just need to dig up the cash.
    Oh, I just need to view one of those internet advertisements… “Pastor Mocked for His ‘Biblical Money Code,’ Gets Last Laugh”.

  21. cactusren says

    Those of you thinking about buying dinosaur skeletons: please buy casts instead! The fossils themselves need to be kept in museum collections where they are available for researchers. However, there are many reputable dealers who sell high quality casts of skeletons (or individual bones or skulls). I recommend Gaston Designs.

    The best part is, the casts aren’t fragile, they’re light, and even a complete mounted skeleton will only cost around $50,000. Smaller skeletons are a few grand and individual bones are pretty affordable. And you know that the original specimens are still available for research!

  22. theignored says

    And of course Ham loves to ask for money. See what he says here:
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2013/10/14/writing-a-will-planning-trusting-giving

    Despite the best planning, we can’t be sure what will happen to the riches we leave behind here on earth, “”where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal”,” but giving to the Lord’s work is a way to “”lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven”” and set our hearts toward our eternal home (Matthew 6:19–21).

    Nice to see that he’s relying on good old human selfish self-interest eh? Yet they’ll deny it.

    About what Snelling said earlier about “confirmation” of their views? Hah.
    Look at how they treat things that go against their views, like the age of the bristlecone pine.
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/aid/v4/n1/biblical-chronology-bristlecone-pine

    The 8,000-year-long BCP chronology appears to be correctly crossmatched, and there is no evidence that bristlecone pines can put on more than one ring per year. The best approach for collapsing this chronology, one that takes into the account the evidence from C-14 dates, is one that factors the existence of migrating ring-disturbing events. Much more must be learned about this phenomenon before this hypothesis can be developed further.

    So…why is there a need to “collapse the chronology” in the first place?

    The exact opposite of science of course…they have a pre-arranged conclusion that they have to stick to.

  23. anchor says

    @ #28, cactusren:

    “Those of you thinking about buying dinosaur skeletons: please buy casts instead! The fossils themselves need to be kept in museum collections where they are available for researchers. However, there are many reputable dealers who sell high quality casts of skeletons (or individual bones or skulls).”

    Seconded!

  24. starcatherus says

    I would like to concur with a previous commenter. I would like us to ask the foundation that gave the skeleton and AIG to confirm the provenence of the Allosaurus.I want to prove that they are legally entitled to the skeleton, and it was not looted.I would also like to see any government paperwork attached to the skeleton ( section 106) . I think it’s worth investigating.

  25. nmcc says

    “…being an idiot does not interfere with the process of getting rich.”

    Indeed. Just look at Little Lord Fondled Boy’s favourite parasite, Todd Stiefel (“rhymes with Gormless Prick” … er… I mean “Gleeful”, as he helpfully explained on Dawkins’ website).

    Yeah, thanks to granddaddy and papa, about 300 million worth of gleeful, I’d say.

  26. woggler says

    Apparently Snelling is a real scientist because he has published ‘on New Zealand Larva flows…’ (From Mr Lie’s Facebook page). Larva flows? Yuck!

  27. lpetrich says

    From some years back: Will the Real Dr Snelling Please Stand Up?

    There appear to be two geologists living, working and publishing in Australia under the name of Dr Andrew A Snelling. Both have impressive (and identical) scientific qualifications – a BSc (Hons), in Geology (University of NSW) and a PhD, for research in uranium mineralisation (University of Sydney).

    Curiously, both Drs Snelling use the same address ([edited out]), which they share with an organisation called the Creation Science Foundation (CSF), the coordinating centre for fundamentalist creationism in Australia.

    But the really strange thing about this is that the views of these two Drs Snelling, on matters such as the age of the earth and its geological strata, are diametrically opposed. This article, the result of my extensive searches through the literature, highlights this remarkable coincidence and poses some serious questions of credibility for the Creation Science Foundation and for either or both of the Drs Andrew A Snelling.

    For convenience I refer to them below as follows:

    (a) Dr A A Snelling 1 – creationist geologist, a director of CSF and regular contributor to, and sometime editor of, the CSF’s quarterly magazine, Ex Nihilo (now CREATION ex nihilo).

    (b) Dr A A Snelling 2 – consulting geologist who works on uranium mineralisation and publishes in refereed scientific journals.

    Snelling 1 seldom, if ever, cites articles written by Snelling 2 and Snelling 2 never cites articles written by Snelling 1.

    One might expect Andrew Snelling to support Philip Gosse’s “Omphalos” hypothesis, but he doesn’t.

    More on him: Is Dr Andrew Snelling Bringing His Profession into Disrepute? and Flood geology, a house built on sand

  28. lpetrich says

    Another thing that Andrew Snelling could believe is the doctrine of the Double Truth, the truth of reason and the truth of revelation being different and coequal. Some medieval philosophers had supposedly believed that. The two truths here:

    The truth of reason: The Earth is 4.5 billion years old
    The truth of revelation: The Earth is 6 thousand years old

    He’s not exactly alone in the Two-Faced Creationist Club. He has such company as
    Marcus Ross
    Jan Peczkis / John Woodmorappe
    Jonathan Wells
    Nathaniel Abraham
    Guillermo Gonzalez

  29. David Marjanović says

    Those of you thinking about buying dinosaur skeletons: please buy casts instead! The fossils themselves need to be kept in museum collections where they are available for researchers. However, there are many reputable dealers who sell high quality casts of skeletons (or individual bones or skulls).

    Thirded through fifty-seventhed.

    Marcus Ross

    I’m actually sure that Marcus Ross isn’t a YEC at all; he just pretends to be one, so he can keep his job (good luck looking for another!) and presumably so his parents don’t disown him or suchlike. I wrote a comment about this on Pharyngula after his 2008 paper on 80-million-year-old evolving mosasaurs came out in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

  30. kevinalexander says

    If the skulliton is only 6000yrs old then there should be at least some organic material left.
    Unless there’s some kind of miraculous mineralization process.

  31. Artor says

    With any luck, Ham will go bankrupt soon, and a real museum can buy the allosaurus at cut-rate prices.

  32. says

    Will no one think of the allosaurus? The poor allosaurus? His poor allosaurus soul in allosaurus heaven! He will be an outcast among the most honored of allosauruses whose bones are in real museums. Oh the ignominy of it all!

  33. MetzO'Magic says

    If the skulliton is only 6000yrs old then there should be at least some organic material left.
    Unless there’s some kind of miraculous mineralization process.

    And if it’s mineralised, which it damn well has to be, then radiometric dating will show it to be at least 150 million years old. Can’t have that now, can we?