The 2008 Twin Cities Creation Science Fair

I’m sorry to say that I didn’t make it to the Twin Cities Creation Science fair this weekend, and Greg Laden didn’t either, which must explain why the TCCSA wasn’t afraid to post photos of the 2008 Creation Science Fair this time around. One UM professor did stop by, though, and we have his personal account.

As a perfect example of ID inanity, one student demonstrated irreducible complexity by taking a motor apart and showing that it didn’t work any more. Thank you, Michael Behe, for trying to make your feeble “insight” a part of the science curriculum.

It was the usual mixed mess we get even in secular science fairs: a lot of clueless students who don’t know how to do science, exhibit failures of logic, and who don’t really understand what they are doing, mixed up with a few kids who have the potential to be real science stars. This particular event is especially depressing, though, because the organizers impose all kinds of bizarre unscientific constraints on the kids (A bible verse on every poster? Come on.) and it doesn’t really matter how much potential a kid has — it’s going to be poisoned and stunted by a carefully fostered environment of ignorance that favors the appearance of science over any attempt at genuine inquiry.

I tell myself every year that I should go see this thing. Every year I feel the same sad discouragement at the prospect — it’s like going to witness a famine of the mind, with young children as victims, and I don’t think I could bear it.


  1. Richard Harris says

    J, no, the god thing didn’t say Darwin was wrong. It didn’t say anything about Darwin.

    According to its spokesmen, in that stupid bible book, they said that it made everything. But they also said that the Earth is flat. They weren’t necessarily stupid, but the modern followers are, or maybe in some cases, crazy.

    But maybe Billy would’ve still won, because the IDiots probably wouldn’t have noticed the error.

  2. firemancarl says

    Perhaps PZ just hit on a new tag line for ID. “Creationism, it’s a famine of the mind!”

  3. SusanG (RationalWikian) says

    Reminds one of tne kid who grew “stalagtites” of epsom salts, thereby disproving the age of “real” stalagtites. Is this a form of child abuse as much as physical cruelty?

  4. says

    I had a kid do the disassembled-motor-doesn’t-work thing at a science fair I judged about this time last year. (This was at a public middle school in Alaska.)

    Did the IDiots publish something that suggested this as a project? Or is this independently derived inanity?

  5. LisaJ says

    Oh, my eyes! They’re burning! Those pictures were incredibly disturbing. So so sad, these poor children. It’s really sad when you see how much work some of them have put into their project and how nicely put together they are – it just reminds you that these kids have so much potential and it’s just being squashed by moronic adults.

    Also, what was with that little girl in the black dress. She can’t be very old, but she seems to have prepared multiple projects. That poor poor child.

  6. Matthew says

    The kid with the motor has the most insipid hypothesis for how motors work: “Motors work by using energy.”

  7. says

    I read in the Jan/Feb 07 issue of Archeology Magazine that over 50% of Americans believe humans and dinosaurs coexisted. How much do you want to bet some of those folks are educators? Makes you want to go fetal, I tell you.

  8. Tony Popple says

    I used to walk through the poster contest every year when I lived in Maplewood. (It fit well into my weekly pilgrimage to the Barns and Noble Bookstore.) I never went there to cause trouble, but it is hard not to have some morbid fasination with the whole event. It is one thing to see children make these presentations, it is something else to see adults insist that it is the undeniable truth.

    There is something very Orwellian about their approach: “IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH”

  9. SWS says

    Uppity: A childhood friend used to claim that dinosaurs were mentioned in the bible. (His father — a professor with a Ph.D. in physics, not archeology or paleontology, of course — has done excavations with other IDiots for over 50 years now.) Both of them claim that the bible says there were animals with legs as big as tree trunks coexisting with ancient mankind. I asked them several times if those animals couldn’t be elephants or rhinoceroses. (Even at age 8 with fundy parents, I was a skeptic.) They never answered. They’d just look at me like they were sorry that I was going to hell.

    As for the photos, it looks like this “science” fair took place at a shopping mall. (Mall of America?) I suppose that was to lure more people into the homeschooling movement. I’m surprised shoppers didn’t heckle them about their warped views on science.

  10. says

    SWS – actually it was at the HarMar Mall in Roseville MN (just down the road from the Board of Education offices which will be reviewing the state science standards this year. And the sponsors the Twin Cities Creation Science Association actually tells students to have their bible verse on the posters to help convert the heathen shoppers. So in part it is to lure people.

  11. FRDiamond says

    Reminds one of tne kid who grew “stalagtites” of epsom salts, thereby disproving the age of “real” stalagtites. Is this a form of child abuse as much as physical cruelty?

    Child abuse and physical cruelty? As Jerry Seinfeld might say, “not that there’s anything wrong with that”, but what are you complaining about? They’re just bi-pedal carbon units conditioned by the environment to act a certain way, aren’t they? I suppose you could put them in re-education camps, but why the sanctimonious moralizing and hand-wringing in the first place over some insignificant, meaningless by-products of random mutation and natural selection that, like you and I, will all be gone and forgotten a hundred years from now?

    What basis do you have for your expectation that these particular concatenations of brute physical forces in the Twin Cities ought not be the way they are? How could they be otherwise? By what standard do you judge the evolution of physical forces as having produced something wrong with themselves? It doesn’t make any sense. You might as well accuse the moon of “abuse” and “cruelty” for its orbit around the earth.