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  1.    #1  
    "Creation Museum"



    Genesis on display at "creationist Disneyland"

    By Peter Slevin
    The Washington Post

    PETERSBURG, Ky. — At the Creation Museum, a fanciful Eden rises from the void. Adam appears, bearded and handsome, if slightly waxen. Eve emerges from his rib with luxuriant hair and a kindly expression. Trees blossom and creatures frolic, evidence that all started well in God's perfect world.

    Elsewhere, as the story develops, Cain stands over his slain brother, Abel; life-size workmen build a replica of Noah's ark, and Methuselah intones, "With each passing day, judgment draws nearer ... I can tell you, whatever God says is true."

    In another scene, a pair of ancient children frolic a few feet away from a group of friendly dinosaurs.

    "We wanted to show people there's no mystery with dinosaurs, we can explain them," said Ken Ham, a co-founder of the socially conservative nonprofit ministry Answers in Genesis that built the $27 million facility near Cincinnati.

    Scientists say there's a gulf of millions of years between man and the giant lizards, but according to the Creation Museum, they lived in harmony just a few thousand years ago. "People are just fascinated by dinosaurs, but they've sort of become synonymous with millions of years and evolution," Ham said.

    Despite the showmanship behind the museum opening in Petersburg on Monday, the evangelists who put it together contend none of the gleaming exhibits are allegorical. God did create the universe in six days, they say, and the Earth is about 6,000 years old.

    Biblical scenes are hardly a fresh phenomenon, either as expressions of faith or as missionary props. What separates the Creation Museum from its Bible-boosting brethren is the promoters' assertion that they can prove through science that the Book of Genesis is true. All of it.

    But in this latest demonization of Darwinian evolution, there is a sticking point: For the biblical account to be accurate and the world to be so young, several hundred years of research in geology, physics, biology, paleontology, and astronomy would need to be very, very wrong.

    "This may be fascinating, but this is nonsense," said Lawrence Krauss, a theoretical physicist at Case Western Reserve University and a vocal defender of evolutionary science. "It's fine for people to believe whatever they want. What's inappropriate is to then essentially lie and say science supports these notions."

    Eugenie Scott, director of the National Center for Science Education, calls the sparkling facility "the creationist Disneyland."

    Come Monday, when the museum opens, protesters plan to gather at the gates for a "Rally for Reason."

    The Creation Museum mocks evolutionary science and invites visitors to find faith and truth in God. It welcomes its first paying guests — $19.95 for adults, $9.95 for children, not counting discounts for joining a mailing list — just weeks after three Republican presidential candidates said they do not believe in evolution.

    Opinion polls suggest about half of Americans agree. They dismiss the scientific theory that all beings have a common ancestor, believing instead that God created humans in one stroke. Similar numbers say the world's age should be counted in the thousands of years, not billions, as established science would have it.

    For the record, mainstream scientists estimate the age of the Earth at 4.5 billion years, but don't try telling that to Ham, an Australian-born evangelist and former high-school science teacher.

    The busy ministry and its 160 employees produce a daily radio show, a magazine and 20 DVDs a year. Their offices are in the new museum, which has about 140 employees of its own.

    "When you're talking about origins, you're not talking about science," Ham said as charter members snapped photographs in an early walk-through. "You're talking about belief."

    Museum exhibits suggesting that man coexisted with dinosaurs — which fossils show became extinct millions of years before humans existed — rely on the notion that the evidence is simply open to interpretation. One sign sets "Human Reason" against "God's Word."

    The backers of the concept of intelligent design, which posits that living beings are too complex to have evolved from a primordial soup, take a similar approach, widely discredited by scientists.

    Designed to inspire Christian belief, the museum was largely built with contributions of $100 or less, although three families gave at least $1 million each, said Mark Looy, an Answers in Genesis co-founder.

    To put together a museum with pizzazz, the planners recruited Patrick Marsh, who created the "Jaws" and "King Kong" attractions at Universal Studios in Florida. The exhibits, backed by dozens of professionally produced videos, keep the action lively and the content coming: "to create something of a 'Wow!' factor," said Looy, who expects 250,000 visitors the first year.

    "We're going to blow people out of the water with how many people we'll get," Ham said. "A lot of non-Christians will come. You couldn't blow them into church with a stick of dynamite, but they'll come to this."

    The overriding goal is to convince visitors that the Book of Genesis is scientifically defensible, Ham said, for if Christians lose faith in the literal truth of Genesis, doubts about such matters as the virgin birth and Christ's resurrection, for example, will follow.

    "You're then telling the next generation they can reinterpret the Bible. Then what we've lost is Christian morality," Ham said.

    The museum also contains fossils, hung in large glass cases. Ham said most fossils were created by the massive flood detailed in Genesis. "The Bible doesn't talk about fossils, but it gives you a basis for understanding why there are fossils around the world," he said.

    One of the museum's slogans is "Prepare to Believe." The charter members touring the building already do.

    "This shows why the creationist view is so popular," said Bill Haney, a retired steel-company worker from Ohio who values the museum as a counterpoint to public education and the certitude of mainstream scientists, of whom he said, "They don't know what happened. They might be right. They might be wrong."

    Just south of the Creation Museum, with its animatronic dinosaurs, its planetarium and its Noah's Ark cafe, lies a humbler museum, off the beaten track. Just one room with glass cases containing rocks and old bones, it is in Big Bone Lick State Park, advertised as the birthplace of American vertebrate paleontology. Admission is free.

    The first sign inside the door begins, "Over 480 million years ago, an inland sea covered a large portion of the United States." In time, huge creatures arrived, mastodons and woolly mammoth. Tusks and teeth are in the cases, and a left tibia the size of a small child. A plaque notes that humans lived on the land perhaps 12,000 years ago.

    Since 1739, more than 250 skeletons have been collected at the site, some of them by explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, dispatched by President Jefferson.

    Among the onetime visitors was Ham. Asked about it last week, he said, "There's not much there."


  2. #2  
    Personally, I think if their poll numbers are reliable, it should inspire horror rather than laughter.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  3. #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas View Post
    "Creation Museum"

    [FONT="Times New Roman"]

    Genesis on display at "creationist Disneyland"

    By Peter Slevin
    The Washington Post

    PETERSBURG, Ky. — At the Creation Museum, ....................
    People are always telling me things that I did not want to know.

    "Doing right is not nearly so difficult as knowing right."
  4.    #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    Personally, I think if their poll numbers are reliable, it should inspire horror rather than laughter.
    Very true, considering 3 of the Repub presidential nominees do NOT believe in evolution.
  5. #5  
    I generally try to stay out ouf the political and/or religious debates/arguments that errupt upon these forums but after reading about this over the weekend I just have to chime in and say how utterly appalling this realy is...
    Grant Smith
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  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas View Post
    Very true, considering 3 of the Repub presidential nominees do NOT believe in evolution.
    Which 3 I wonder. Romney would be one, I assume.

    Edit: Nevermind. Found it. Brownback, Huckabee, and Tancredo.
    Last edited by Toby; 05/28/2007 at 07:42 AM.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  7. #7  
    What else would you expect from a bunch of theists?
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  8. #8  
    I dont like the term "believe in evolution" as if its some alternate religion. I much prefer "accept" or "convinced that its real". The amount of evidence however is so overwhelming that the unconvinced should really have to explain why.

    Surur
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by aprasad View Post
    What else would you expect from a bunch of theists?
    Humility? Charity? Instead we get hubris and righteousness. If there were a God, he would have to hold an acounting for what his followers have done in his name. Even if he were not as vengeful as they portray him to their children, they would still have a lot to answer for.
    Last edited by whmurray; 05/28/2007 at 12:18 PM.
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    Humility? Charity? Instead we get hubris and righteousness. If there were a God, he would have to hold an acounting for what his followers have done in his name. Even if he were not as vengeful as they portray him to their children, they would still have a lot to answer for.
    Amen.
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    Humility? Charity? Instead we get hubris and righteousness. If there were a God, he would have to hold an acounting for what his followers have done in his name. Even if he were not as vengeful as they portray him to their children, they would still have a lot to answer for.
    I tend to believe that the majority of people that believe in and follow God's teachings tend to have humility and are charitable folks.

    And there is no doubt in my mind that people have been held accountable for the lives they have lived...we just havent heard back from them.
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  12. fishera's Avatar
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    #12  
    OH YEAH! I heard about this amazing museum! *sarcasm* its a bunch of BS if you ask me.

    Leave the science to the scientists. Logic in that? lol
    Aaron M. Fisher
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  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas View Post
    Very true, considering 3 of the Repub presidential nominees do NOT believe in evolution.
    Americans are really difficult to understand for Europeans. If a European politician would state things like the above, or that he thinks earth was only 6000 years old, people would assume he has lost his marbles (this is no exaggeration).

    Those who are shocked by the high numbers of people who think evolution is a myth may find comfort in the fact that fewer than half of US people can identify Genesis as the first book of the Bible, and only one third know that Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount.

    "Approximately 75 percent of adults, according to polls cited by Prothero, mistakenly believe the Bible teaches that "God helps those who help themselves." More than 10 percent think that Noah's wife was Joan of Arc." (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...030102073.html)

    Another interesting article: "The Christian paradox"
    http://www.harpers.org/archive/2005/08/0080695:
    A rich man came to Jesus one day and asked what he should do to get into heaven. Jesus did not say he should invest, spend, and let the benefits trickle down; he said sell what you have, give the money to the poor, and follow me. Few plainer words have been spoken. And yet, for some reason, the Christian Coalition of America—founded in 1989 in order to “preserve, protect and defend the Judeo-Christian values that made this the greatest country in history”—proclaimed last year that its top legislative priority would be “making permanent President Bush's 2001 federal tax cuts.”

    Similarly, a furor erupted last spring when it emerged that a Colorado jury had consulted the Bible before sentencing a killer to death. Experts debated whether the (Christian) jurors should have used an outside authority in their deliberations, and of course the Christian right saw it as one more sign of a secular society devaluing religion. But a more interesting question would have been why the jurors fixated on Leviticus 24, with its call for an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. They had somehow missed Jesus' explicit refutation in the New Testament: “You have heard that it was said, ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also.”
    So apparently, scientific illiteracy is coupled with religious illiteracy...
    Last edited by clulup; 05/29/2007 at 07:52 AM.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  14. #14  
    But a more interesting question would have been why the jurors fixated on Leviticus 24, with its call for an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. They had somehow missed Jesus' explicit refutation in the New Testament: “You have heard that it was said, ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also.”
    As an ethical (but not religious) christian (little C), it strikes me as strange that many Christians (big C) ignore the New Testament, and rely on the Old, particularly Leviticus, for the their ethical guidance. Not only do they prefer Leviticus but they select within it.
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup View Post
    So apparently, scientific illiteracy is coupled with religious illiteracy...
    By some, maybe. Some say that ignorance is bliss.

    What is more appauling to me are those that possess "selective scientific interpretation" coupled with "selective religous interpretation" in order to advance their political and financial objectives by exploiting the "scientific illiterates" and "religous illiterates" in this country.

    Jesus would be oh so very proud of his flock of sheep.
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    As an ethical (but not religious) christian (little C), it strikes me as strange that many Christians (big C) ignore the New Testament, and rely on the Old, particularly Leviticus, for the their ethical guidance. Not only do they prefer Leviticus but they select within it.
    I find reliance on the "Old Testament" appropriate, as the "New Testament" is a record of fulfillment (realization, but not completion). The selective use is unfortunate, but understandable (though not justifiable).

    I have been studying in this area recently, and am finding that Christianity (big C) has branched off from its roots (Torah observance) despite the clear "New Testament" imagery of being grafted in.

    Based on that same study, I disagree with the author's determination that Jesus made a clear refutation of Leviticus 24. Jesus said he did not come to destroy but to fulfill.

    It is more likely (especially given that he says, 'you have heard' rather than 'you have read' or 'it is written) that he was contrasting his teaching with the oral traditions of the religious leaders, rather than the written Torah.

    In this case, I believe he was addressing personal revenge, rather than national justice. I find him teaching that it is appropriate for the duly appointed (elected) representatives to exact justice, in a manner in which the punishment fit the crime (an eye for an eye). However, it is not appropriate for a given citizen to take justice into his own hands and exact an eye for an eye.
    Last edited by shopharim; 06/04/2007 at 03:17 PM.
  17. backbeat's Avatar
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    #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim View Post
    It is more likely (especially given that he says, 'you have heard' rather than 'you have read' or 'it is written) that he was contrasting his teaching with the oral traditions of the religious leaders, rather than the written Torah.
    Nevermind that the common/poor [his primary audience] of his day and location were illiterate. Try working off the original Aramaic ... or just call Mel Gibson.

    In this case, I believe he was addressing personal revenge, rather than national justice. I find him teaching that it is appropriate for the duly appointed (elected) representatives to exact justice, in a manner in which the punishment fit the crime (an eye for an eye).
    Lacks any foundation.

    However, it is not appropriate for a given citizen to take justice into his own hands and exact an eye for an eye.
    Therefore, this lacks foundation also.
    Which edition of the NeoCon's Bible of Convenience are you studying?
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim View Post
    I find reliance on the "Old Testament" appropriate, as the "New Testament" is a record of fulfillment (realization, but not completion). The selective use is unfortunate, but understandable (though not justifiable)............
    The implication is that if one is to take any part of Leviticus as an ethical mandate, then one should take it all. Are you sure that you want to say that? People selct from Leviticus so that they can condemn their neighbor while protecting themselves. I know of no one who supports Leviticus in its entirety while accepting any part of the New Testament. Not only do Christians not do as Jesus would do, they do not seem to even understand what he would do.

    Perhaps the question "What would Jesus do?" is the most important ethical question confronting modern Christians. Even those who claim to speak in his name do not seem to get it.
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by backbeat View Post
    Nevermind that the common/poor [his primary audience] of his day and location were illiterate. Try working off the original Aramaic ... or just call Mel Gibson.
    Do not let him get your goat. No one can take such obviously irreconcilabe positions and expect to be taken seriously.
  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by backbeat View Post
    Nevermind that the common/poor [his primary audience] of his day and location were illiterate. Try working off the original Aramaic ... or just call Mel Gibson. ...
    I thought you of all people would appreciate that the common, poor, and illiterate would be most susceptible to the whims of those who (claim to) "speak for God."

    As a point of clarification, the "Jews" of that day (from all social circumstances) were very familiar with the Rabbinic traditions.
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