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> Kentucky Opens Junk Science 'Creation Museum', are we surprised that this happens in backwater Kentucky?
kortikal
post May 26, 2007, 04:55 PM
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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."

Despite the showmanship behind the $27 million museum opening here Monday, the evangelists who put it together contend that 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 M. 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 C. Scott, director of the National Center for Science Education, calls the sparkling facility "the creationist Disneyland."

Come Monday, when the museum opens for business not far from Cincinnati, protesters plan to gather at the gates for a "Rally for Reason." Scott's education group reported that 800 scientists from Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio signed a statement expressing concern about "scientifically inaccurate" museum content.

The Creation Museum, a project of the socially conservative religious organization Answers in Genesis, 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 that 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 glorious 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 currently estimate the age of the Earth at about 4.5 billion years, but don't try telling that to Ken Ham, an Australian-born evangelist and former high school science teacher who heads Answers in Genesis. The busy ministry and its staff of 160 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."

One sign sets "Human Reason" against "God's Word."

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. 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.

The Creation Museum is located for easy access near an interstate and an airport on 49 acres of rolling hills where woolly mammoth roamed until about 10,000 years ago. Designed to inspire Christian belief, the facility 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, the designer 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 persuade 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. If there is no absolute authority and we're just animals, why not do what you want to do?" asked Ham, whose books include "Why Won't They Listen? The Powers of Creation Evangelism."

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," marveled 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."

Charles Leckie, a family doctor in Tupelo, Miss., wrapped a family vacation around a visit. On the way, they stopped at Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky, where Leckie challenged the guide's assertion that the rock formations are millions of years old. He asks why people should believe "so-called experts." After all, "they're all human."

The scientific evidence at the Creation Museum is a thin patchwork that targets a seemingly random array of research into Earth's development. The powerful eruption of the Mount St. Helens volcano, for example, is offered as an example of how nature's force could have carved the Grand Canyon in a matter of days, rather than eons.

Krauss, the physicist, recognizes that defeating such thinking is difficult. Disputing the young-Earth creationists, he said, is "like trying to explain to someone that the Earth is round if they don't believe it." He notes that historical records show buildings found in Egypt to be 8,000 years old, and that by scientific dating methods, artful human handprints in Europe go back 30 millennia.

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 located 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 Lewis and Clark, dispatched by President Thomas Jefferson.

Among the onetime visitors was Ham. Asked about it last week, he said, "There's not much there."
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Jellybean2
post May 29, 2007, 11:00 AM
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QUOTE


Despite the showmanship behind the $27 million museum opening here Monday, the evangelists who put it together contend that 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.

i don't necessarily believe that the world is that young... obviously the earth shows signs of being much older than that.
In Genesis Chapter one verse 2 it says " And the earth was void, and darkness covered the face of the deep."
Cleary states the earth was already in existence before God created the world we see today. The world was already created before...and something happened to cause it be in a period of "darkness".....quite possibly what scientist consider the Ice Age...
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Rick
post May 29, 2007, 03:48 PM
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QUOTE(Jellybean2 @ May 29, 2007, 12:00 PM) *
i don't necessarily believe that the world is that young... obviously the earth shows signs of being much older than that.

Isn't it possible that a sufficiently powerful god or demon created the earth in a short time with the dinosaur bones already in the rock strata, positioned in the layers according to the evolutionary tree sequence, with the potassium isotope balance adjusted to falsely indicated ages of millions of years?

It would not be possible if a sufficiently powerful deity did not exist.
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Jellybean2
post May 29, 2007, 03:52 PM
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QUOTE(Rick @ May 29, 2007, 07:48 PM) *

QUOTE(Jellybean2 @ May 29, 2007, 12:00 PM) *
i don't necessarily believe that the world is that young... obviously the earth shows signs of being much older than that.

Isn't it possible that a sufficiently powerful god or demon created the earth in a short time with the dinosaur bones already in the rock strata, positioned in the layers according to the evolutionary tree sequence, with the potassium isotope balance adjusted to falsely indicated ages of millions of years?

It would not be possible if a sufficiently powerful deity did not exist.

i have a theory on what I think happened from a theoligical standpoint...I have nothing to back it up..that is why it is merely a theory.
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Rick
post May 29, 2007, 04:28 PM
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You may be confusing speculation with theory. A theory has to have plausibility based on the known evidence, for example, the germ theory of disease formulated by Louis Pasteur.
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Jellybean2
post May 29, 2007, 05:42 PM
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then i correct my statement. I have a speculation of what happened. smile.gif
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lucid_dream
post May 29, 2007, 08:57 PM
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many fanatical christians of weak mind misunderstand what theory means because their preachers often tell them to disregard science because it is based merely on theory, as if theory were synonymous with wishful thinking, which the christians are accustomed to. They have great difficulty comprehending that theory is based on hard evidence, objectivity, and reason. Blame this sorry state of affairs on our educational systems and on misguided youth. However, I have no doubt that Reason will triumpth over the sad ignorance that calls itself religion (or more precisely, religious dogma).
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Jellybean2
post May 30, 2007, 04:39 AM
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QUOTE(lucid_dream @ May 30, 2007, 12:57 AM) *

many fanatical christians of weak mind misunderstand what theory means because their preachers often tell them to disregard science because it is based merely on theory, as if theory were synonymous with wishful thinking, which the christians are accustomed to. They have great difficulty comprehending that theory is based on hard evidence, objectivity, and reason. Blame this sorry state of affairs on our educational systems and on misguided youth. However, I have no doubt that Reason will triumpth over the sad ignorance that calls itself religion (or more precisely, religious dogma).

*shakes head* do you ever stop? Or is there too much "knowledge" in you head to keep your mouth shut for 10 seconds....
NO... my speculation is nothing anyone has put in my head but myself... stop priding yourself in knowing me so well and use the knowledge you have for something a little more useful than trying to insult me smile.gif and my beliefs
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