Hello, Kentucky

The daughter is flying away to lovely Paducah, Kentucky today (another drive to the airport for me, bleh), so I was thinking of suggesting that she visit Ken Ham’s brand-new creationist museum for me, as a kind of mole…darn it, though, Paducah’s almost as far out in the boonies as Morris, and it’s nowhere near the ‘museum,’ which is up somewhere near Cincinnati, and still has a year to go before it opens…so no super-secret evilutionist missions for Skatje this time, other than to temporarily increase the average IQ of the state for a little while.

I do have to say that that article ends on a nice note.

Scientists say fossils and sophisticated nuclear dating technology show that Earth is more than 4 billion years old, the first dinosaurs appeared around 200 million years ago, and they died out well before the first human ancestors arose a few million years ago.

“Genesis is not science,” said Mary Dawson, curator emeritus of vertebrate paleontology at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh. “Genesis is a tale that was handed down for generations by people who really knew nothing about science, who knew nothing about natural history, and certainly knew nothing about what fossils were.”

Ham said he believes most fossils are the result of the Great Flood described in Genesis.

That ought to be media policy: anytime they do a story on a creationist, get a strong, sharp quote from someone who knows some science to slap ’em down.


  1. Boosterz says

    Don’t blame us kentuckians just because Ken Ham infected our state. ;)

    We’ve done a pretty good job of holding the line on creationist nonsense here AND in a few short months we’ll be tossing our corrupt as hell govenor out on his ass.

  2. says

    I don’t think the article goes near far enough to smack down the creationist. Below the related content to finish the article is this quote:

    John Morris, president of the Institute for Creation Research in San Diego, an organization that promotes creationism, said the museum will affirm the doubts many people have about science, namely the notion that man evolved from lower forms of life.

    “Americans just aren’t gullible enough to believe that they came from a fish,” he said.

    Unfortunately many Americans are gullible enough to believe that they were made from clay or from a rib taken from Adam. Oh yeah, that’s much more believible than evolution.

  3. Henry Clay says

    Hello back.

    It sticks in your craw when you’ve spent the better part of your life trying to disprove the common misconceptions about the Bluegrass State and Ken Ham comes along. Unfortunately in this battle a lot of things get stuck in my craw. There’s still hope for us! I promise! Plus we make bourbon….

  4. Unidentified Reader says

    I worked on a congressional race in Kentucky a few years ago, and spent lots of time in Paducah (and actually lived a block from MSU’s campus in scenic Murray.)

    The candidate was the brother of the President of MSU, and so I spent quite a bit of time hanging out around campus and at his (the pres’s) home. One of the interesting facts I learned was that people in parts of South Africa can purchase a New York Times sooner than you can get one in Murray, Kentucky. It’s actuall faster for it to be printed in New York, put on a plane, and delivered to the dark continent, than for it to make it’s way from the printing plant outside St. Louis to Paducah, and then by courier from Paducah to Murray.

    That’s my random western Kentucky fact for today.

  5. John Pexton says

    Yo PZ, I send you some possible dates for a NDSU visit! Let me know if any work for you. Hope so. Bye for now!

  6. Phayze says

    I’m ashamed to stare my state with this alleged “museum”, but at the same time a morbid curiosity compells me to visit when it opens. I’ll just make sure to brush up on the index of creationist claims before I go. :D

  7. says

    When I saw this listed under Yahoo Science News yesterday, my second thought was, Teaching science from Genesis? You might as well look for a good crème brulee recipe there.

    My first thought was, Why is this crap listed under Science News?

  8. j says

    Oh, so that’s what Skatje was blogging about earlier in Norwegian. Online translators suck.

  9. Kelley says

    Easy there PZ. We’re not all ignorant, right-wing, religious idiots here in the Bluegrass state.

    Having said that, Ken Ham is a state-wide disgrace, as is that ridiculous joke of a museum. Should have sent your daughter to Lexington or Louisville. We’re much more fun (and enlightened!)

  10. says

    Looks like I’m not the only bluegrass stater to step up and say that we aren’t all a bunch of barefoot snake handlers. I’ll be going to the museum when it opens to do some photoblogging.

  11. Umilik says

    There I was thinking all christian wingnuts were of american descent. I stand corrected. Must have been the loneliness of the Australian bush and the preponderance of sheep there that warped this guy’s mind. And I don’t blame the sheep at all.

  12. gregory says

    “Ham, an Australian native who started the Christian publishing company Answers in Genesis in the late 1970s, said the goal of his privately funded museum is to change minds and rebut the scientific point of view.”

    Wow, apparently there’s been an improvement. Now creationists “rebut” science instead trying to convince people that they ARE science. Or maybe they were just thrown out of that niche by IDers.

  13. says

    I was informed a while ago, that they are building a republica of Noah’s ark, but it is not to scale and they are not testing it to see if it will float.

  14. says

    PZ, you’re the second ScienceBlogger in a week to dump on Kentucky, for the same reason. I cry foul! Ken Ham is not a native son. His group bought land in Boone County probably because land prices here are still pretty cheap. In Louisville, for example, you can buy a decent sized 3 bed, 2 bath house starting at 175K, in a “nice neighborhood.” You can do better in the hinterlands.

    Which is not to say there isn’t a lot of sympathy for creationism and ID here. Alas.

  15. Joe Martin says

    According to Google, I live just 37 miles away from this monstrousity and it’s not scheduled to open until Spring of ’07. Something is calling me to be a spanner in their gawdly works….

  16. Unstable Isotope says

    My hometown is Paducah, Kentucky (waves hello to the Murray person) and my parents still live there. Why is your daughter traveling there? Tell her to make sure she goes to the artist relocation area downtown. They’ve really revitalized the historic downtown and it looks great! There’s a building with a giant giraffe statue (sorry, no cephalapods). There are also murals on the floodwall which are pretty nice. There’s also the National Quilter’s Museum – if one is into that sort of thing.

  17. arch_fiend says

    Maybe Ham decided to locate in Boone County to offset the fact that nearby is a place called Sugartit, which isn’t all that far from Big Bone Lick State Park, which in turn is right down the road from Beaverlick!

  18. Charles says

    PZ, isn’t it rather “unscientific” to make generalizations about groups of people? I am referring to your remark about your daughter raising the average IQ of Kentuckians when she visits. If you want to generalize, here’s one: There are a lot of Kentuckians more intelligent than a lot of residents of Minnesota. Actually, that’s a fact, not a generalization.

    After seeing the movie “Fargo” last night, I don’t think any Minnesotan should be talking about his intellectual superiority over us “middle of nowhere” Kentuckians. I was, however, impressed with the crime-solving skills of the sheriff.

    Also, according to my map, Minnesota seems to be more in the middle of nowhere than is my state.

    I happen to live in Paducah and I’m sure your daughter will find many fun and interesting things to do, among them, I hope, is talking with some of the local folk who will show her that southern hospitality extends even to daughters of obnoxious university biologists.

  19. says

    That comment had nothing to do with Kentucky and everything to do with my estimation of my daughter’s intelligence. You know, I am expecting that she will be having a great time down there in Kentucky — I wouldn’t have let her go if I thought it was a state full of evil, stupid rednecks.