Bronze-level articleCreation Museum

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The divine comedy

Creationism

Icon creationism.svg
Running gags
Jokes aside
Blooper reel
As I head for the exit I have mixed feelings about the place. Sure, I think, it's wacky, but each to their own delusion, and at least the government isn't funding this. Then another party of wide-eyed, eager-to-learn schoolchildren is ushered past.
Guardian writer visiting the Creation Museum[1]

The Cretin Creation "Museum" (if you can call it a museum) is a $27 million amusement park located in Kentucky, USA just a few miles from Cincinnati.[2] Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis founded it[3] and it is devoted to the young earth creationist idea that "The Bible is true from Genesis to Revelation!"[3][4] — that is, in complete opposition to the scientific consensus and basic logic.[5]

The unaccredited museum[6] promotes the idea that "the Bible is the history book of the universe". This is somehow supposed to be in line with their idea that "facts don't speak for themselves" and that the Bible contains the "correct" way to interpret any and all evidence available in the physical world. A lot of the things they say are not even found in the Bible itself, and seem to be the product of people trying to think of ways to explain things further to make sense (if they can possibly make sense at all). They seem to be pulling most of it out of their ....., which is probably why it's so full of crap.

The Creation Museum - you will never find a more wretched hive of dumb and villainy.
Obi Wan Kenobi Atheist visiting the Creation Museum[7]

Ironically, the Creation Museum is located very close to the Big Bone Lick State ParkWikipedia's W.svg, "The Birthplace of American Paleontology" and one of the largest fossil finds in North America.[8]

Contents

[edit] Creation Museum "science"

I went to the Creation Museum and all I got was stupider
—Bumper sticker slogan[9]

Lawrence Krauss, director of the Center for Education and Research in Cosmology and Astrophysics at Case Western Reserve University (Ohio) (note: currently of Arizona State University) has stated publicly that the Creation Museum is both a "fraud" and "hypocritical" because:

It repeatedly misrepresents the process and results of science and distorts the scientific record. Yet in every case it takes advantage of the technical wizardry of science to get its point across, with a series of dazzling animatronic displays and explanations" [10]

Krauss debated AiG president Ken Ham in May 2007 on Fox News Channel’s popular program The O’Reilly Factor.[11]

The Creation Museum shows a heliocentric solar system and a spherical earth though the Bible suggests geocentrism and a Flat Earth. Ken Ham is inconsistent as he insists theoretically on Biblical literalism but in practise accepts scientific accounts of the nature of the earth, the solar system and the universe. Still these conflict with the Bible.[12]

Touring his "museum" is an exercise in chronic irritation, as every exhibit is a dishonest mess, all justified with that pathetic excuse of "One world, two views", and hey, this is just our opinion, and it’s just as valid as everyone else’s. Only it’s not. AiG doesn’t get to have their own facts. But this is also their weakness, and how we’ll win, eventually. Their big, expensive projects are monuments to the fact that prayers and the Bible are not enough, and they know it.
PZ Myers[13]

[edit] Dinosaurs

PZ Myers on his Aug 09 visit to the Creation Museum.
Humans and ancient dinosaurs did not live at the same time. It’s completely unreasonable. (...) [Science shows the earth existed for billions of years and no worldwide flood happened during the last 6,000 years.] We’re going to raise a generation of kids who are scientifically illiterate.”
Bill Nye the Science Guy[14]

Dinosaurs are common in the Creation Museum: after all, the kiddies love 'em, and they are therefore a depressingly effective tool for indoctrination. The Creation Museum contains numerous displays of dinosaurs coexisting peacefully with humans[15] despite the overwhelming evidence that dinosaurs died out millions of years before the first humans,[16] and in case that discrepancy comes up the place also has an exhibit showing a wrecking ball labeled "MILLIONS OF YEARS" striking the foundation of a church to reinforce the false dilemma that one must believe either all the Bible (except of course those parts the fundamentalists choose to ignore) or none of it at all.[17] The Creation Museum supports the view that all dinosaurs in the Garden of Eden were herbivores,[18] and when asked why T. rex had six-inch-long serrated teeth the guide will explain that those were for opening coconuts.[19]

The evidence that the Creation Museum presents for the co-existence of dinosaurs and humans is a verse in the Book of Job mentioning a behemoth[20], whose description creationists claim fits that of a sauropod dinosaur. This has been demonstrated to be false, but they still insist on spreading the falsehood.[21] It does not bother them that the same book that talks about the behemoth also talks about dragons[22] and how the behemoth and the leviathan will fight a mighty battle at the end of the world.[23]

On the BBC Radio programme Today (May 31st 2007), Ken Ham was interviewed about the Creation Museum. He provided an example of the "scientific evidence" that dinosaurs and humans had at one time lived together — it was a drawing on a cave wall which showed humans hunting what appeared to be dinosaurs.

  • Apparently, humans in the past were incapable of making stuff up so the cave paintings had to be accurate.
  • Apparently, humans in the past never found fossil dinosaurs and could never have developed painting from what they knew about the fossils.

The Creation Museum was given an authentic allosaur specimen which lived and died during the Jurassic period roughly 150 million years ago died during Noah's flood a few thousand years ago and proved the flood really happened. [24] The allosaur will teach children and adults young earth creationism. [25]

[edit] Blatant errors

A 40-foot-long animatronic sauropod dinosaur

Apart from the obvious, the place makes several mistakes with the models. Example models include a Tyrannosaurus rex dragging its tail on the floor in an upright position that would have broken its spine and an Iguanadon with skin completely different from fossilised imprints. Other mistakes stem from the fact that some models are clearly copied from Stan Winston's dinosaur designs from the Jurassic Park series rather than from actual fossil finds. Examples include a featherless Utahraptor sporting anatomically incorrect pronated forearms (its hands facing forwards instead of towards each other)[26][27] and a baby T. rex with oversized eyes and a short snout like the one in The Lost World. Not content with displaying ignorance of just dinosaurs, there are several incorrect reconstructions of Mesozoic flora, one example is a cycad plant reconstructed as little more than a giant pineapple.[26]

There is some indication that the dinosaur designs featured in the Ark Encounter will incorporate more scientifically approved dinosaur designs, or that at least Ark staff are acknowledging that perhaps the designs from Jurassic Park aren't entirely accurate: Spinosaurus is described in an official blog post as having heavily reduced back legs (reflecting 2014 discoveries),[28] and a video showing the construction of juvenile Tyrannosaurus models shows them with unpronated forearms and elongated skulls, in stark contrast to the broken-wristed, pug-nosed Lost World ripoff in the main "museum".[29]

[edit] Creation Museum conspecifics

I think they should rename the museum — not the Creation Museum, but the Confusion Museum ... As a Christian, I was dismayed.
—Lisa E. Park, professor of paleontology[30]
The "museum".

The Creation Museum is just the latest microevolutionary development in the creation museum kind. While no one has ever observed one creation museum kind giving birth to another creation museum kind, there is plenty of variation within the kind (micro only, of course). The closest extant relative of Ken Ham's creation is the Creation & Earth History Museum (formerly called the Museum of Creation and Earth History), endemic to California, and created by the Institute for Creation Research.

The 7 Wonders Creation Museum occupies a completely different ecological niche. Located as a missionary somewhere near Mt. St. Helens this spacious double-wide trailer offers guided tours of the monument to Creation by a loving God that all volcanoes represent, but particularly this one. For a mere $10 you can send your kids to a summer camp where they can learn all about how Noah's Ark dealt with lava.

Speaking of double-wide trailers, Patriot Bible University alumnus and federal prisoner ex-con Kent Hovind has been offering children of all ages an adventure of a lifetime at Dinosaur Adventure Land. This Florida landmark has fallen upon tough times; it seems to have been built without a permit. But it is still up and running, and for your tax deductible donation gift of $7 all the wonders of Dr. Dino can be yours.

While Ken Ham is getting all the big press, another major "creation museum" opened in 2008. Big Valley Creation Science Museum up in Canada offers all the wonders one comes to expect from a converted garage and the expert consultancy of Ian Juby.

As can be seen, there is a wide variety of trailers, garages, backyards, and abandoned warehouses vying for the money of Creation Science devotees. The question is whether Ken Ham's fully animated pumpkin-eating T. rex will be enough to overcome his competitors?

[edit] Attendance

One of the Craetion Museum's guests having the time of his life on the back of a triceratops statue.

By August 1st 2008, a little more than 500 days after opening, the Creation Museum announced it had admitted 500,000 visitors.[31] In the same amount of time, Disneyland had almost 21 million (21,000,000) visitors, although this is in almost no way relevant.[32] One month away from its third anniversary, the Creation Museum had its 1,000,000th guest.[33] In response, President and Co-Founder Ken Ham, stated, "We are excited to welcome our one millionth guest today, and we are grateful that God continues to bless this ministry with such strong attendance in a challenging economy."[33]

A never ending steadily reducing stream of True Believers have been attending the theme park. Attendance fell steadily over its first four years of operation and dropped by 10% in 2012.[34] [35] As of 2013 the Creation Museum was in financial trouble. [36] Still there are plans to tempt visitors back by building extensions with even more silly junk religiously inspired "education material." [37] Many attendees are public school kids on school trips.

school groups get an “educational group rate” and only pay $12.95 per adult ticket (chaperones and students older than 13 years old) as long as the group includes 15 people. Also, “once the requirement of 15 tickets purchased has been reached, we will provide one complimentary chaperone general admission (...) No matter how steep the discount, public schools can’t afford to miseducate our kids with religious pseudoscience like creationism.
Slate writer researching the Creation Museum[38]

The Freedom From Religion Foundation warned school districts that school trips to the Creation Musuem or to Ark Encounter are illegal due to Separation of church and state but it is feared not all will heed the warning.[39]

[edit] See also

[edit] External links/blogsnark

The following are various reports on the Creation Museum, usually based on actual visits:

[edit] References

  1. 'We don't have to be afraid of the real evidence' – Creation Museum
  2. MSNBC:High-tech museum brings creationism to life
  3. 3.0 3.1 CreationMuseaum:About
  4. "Police and Thieves", Murvin/Perry
  5. About.com:Geology
  6. "List of Accredited Museums". American Alliance of Museums. April 2013 (last update). http://www.aam-us.org/docs/accreditation/list-of-accredited-museums.pdf. Retrieved June 14, 2013. 
  7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVHWq0ZGE_Y
  8. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVHWq0ZGE_Y&feature=player_detailpage#t=92
  9. Bumper sticker quoted by amunptah777 on 9/24/2007 8:52:22 PM at Belief.net
  10. Kraus, L, 2007 quoted in "Museum of Misinformation", New Scientist, May 26th 2007, p24
  11. Source:Answers in Genesis this has to be a first: accurate information at AiG!!!
  12. The “Science” in the Creation Museum
  13. Smug and delusional
  14. A Noah’s Ark in Kentucky, Dinosaurs Included
  15. NYtimes:Adam and Eve in the Land of the Dinosaurs
  16. University of California
  17. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creation_Museum#Arrangement
  18. Fish feet:T-Rex are coconuts
  19. Science blogs:Pharyngula
  20. Abnormal Interests
  21. The truth about behemoth
  22. Accuracy in genesis
  23. The Franz Neumann Project
  24. Creation Museum Fossil Claimed as Proof of Noah’s Flood
  25. Something Big is Almost Here
  26. 26.0 26.1 National Center for Science Education - Anti-Museum overview
  27. Gregory S. Paul, Dinosaurs of the Air: The Evolution and Loss of Flight in Dinosaurs and Birds
  28. Forgotten Fauna: Spinosaurs, Ark Encounter (Dec 12, 2014)
  29. Forming the Second T. rex, YouTube (Jul 31, 2015)
  30. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/30/science/30muse.html?_r=1
  31. http://blogs.answersingenesis.org/aroundtheworld/2008/08/01/500000th-visitor-at-the-creation-museum/
  32. http://thedisneyblog.com/2008/03/14/disney-themepar/
  33. 33.0 33.1 "Millionth Guest Visits Creation Museum"
  34. Stern, Mark Joseph. "Darwin, dinosaurs and the devil." watoday.co.au, February 13, 2013.
  35. Creation Museum Attendance Drops for Fourth Straight Year
  36. Kentucky’s ‘Creation Museum’ in Financial Trouble Due to Declining Attendance (VIDEO)
  37. After Three Years Creation Museum Is Evolving (But Not In That Way)
  38. A Day With Ken Ham
  39. Atheist Group Warns 1,000+ Public School Districts: Don’t Plan Field Trips to Ark Encounter


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