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Creationism Museum Opening in Kentucky 1166

Posted by Zonk
from the see-where-you-are-wrong-is-everywhere dept.
Noel Linback writes "A new creationism-espousing museum is opening in the state of Kentucky. According to a New York Times article the museum depicts humans and dinosaurs living together in traditional 'diorama' style exhibit. 'Whether you are willing to grant the premises of this museum almost becomes irrelevant as you are drawn into its mixture of spectacle and narrative. Its 60,000 square feet of exhibits are often stunningly designed by Patrick Marsh, who, like the entire museum staff, declares adherence to the ministry's views; he evidently also knows the lure of secular sensations, since he designed the Jaws and King Kong attractions at Universal Studios in Florida. For the skeptic the wonder is at a strange universe shaped by elaborate arguments, strong convictions and intermittent invocations of scientific principle. For the believer, it seems, this museum provides a kind of relief: Finally the world is being shown as it really is, without the distortions of secularism and natural selection. '"
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Creationism Museum Opening in Kentucky

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  • by ScentCone (795499) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @04:40PM (#19285573)
    I mean, the whiskey has to count for SOMETHING, right?
    • by kennygraham (894697) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @05:19PM (#19285909)
      several groups (both religious and secular) will be protesting [rallyforreason.com]. come join us!
      • by jfclavette (961511) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @05:32PM (#19286027)
        Now I'm torn between supporting young-earth creationnists or an organisation with a marquee on its website. Help me Slashdot !
      • by Lord Apathy (584315) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @07:30PM (#19287035)

        Why are you protesting? Who gives a shit? As long as they keep their creationist crap out of our schools, that's all I care about.

        • by tukkayoot (528280) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @11:50PM (#19288975) Homepage
          Why are you protesting? Who gives a shit? As long as they keep their creationist crap out of our schools, that's all I care about.

          This museum represents a direct attack on science. I give a shit because I happen to think that science and scientific literacy are important. The stuff presented in this museum is blatantly wrong, and ridiculous, and is a menace to the public understanding and enlightenment even without government support (though, I would not be surprised if the museum has not benefited at least indirectly from the tax breaks our government is too happy to give religious institutions.) The only educational value it has to serve as a case-in-point as to how excessive religious faith can obliterate any trace of rationality in an otherwise intelligent individual.

          Also, some schools (hopefully only private/religious schools) are undoubtedly planning field trips to this museum (an earlier article I read noted the parking lot which was designed to comfortably accommodate school buses). It's bad enough that parents and churches poison impressionable, helpless children's minds with this garbage, but now they'll have a multi-million dollar, Universal Studios caliber set of displays and presentations to even more thoroughly inculcate kids to this backwards, pre-medieval nonsense.
      • by flyingsquid (813711) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @09:09PM (#19287825)
        several groups (both religious and secular) will be protesting. come join us!

        Are you kidding? This museum is doing us a tremendous favor. If anything, we should send them money.

        The intelligent design movement managed to make creationism look vaguely scientific. Its proponents had academic degrees and wrote books; Behe is actually a biochemist. They didn't make patently absurd claims about world being 6000 years old, they didn't use the Bible as a primary source, and they didn't directly refer to God and Jesus in every third sentence. They didn't do science, but they did a decent job of pretending to, and made creationism look almost respectable.

        But if you want to see creationism made to look ridiculously unsophisticated and ignorant again, nobody could do a better job than this museum. Apatosaurus living with Adam and Eve? Dinosaurs on Noah's Ark? If you were trying to parody creationism, or create a strawman of all the worst creationist arguments, you couldn't do a better job. And the intelligent design guys- Behe and Dembski- will suddenly find that when they're arguing for creationism, people will be asking them if they believe that Jesus rode a Velociraptor.

        So I say, put the Genesis account on display, in all its glory, and let people see it. I think most people will leave thinking exactly what they thought when they came in: evangelicals will leave still knowing that every word in the Bible is true, people looking for a laugh will emerge thinking that while science doesn't have all the answers, it's a lot better than a bunch of ancient myths, and kids- well, I say, let them see dinosaurs and men living alongside each other. Because while adults like to be told what they already know, kids like to ask questions, and I think those dioramas will get them asking a lot of questions.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 26, 2007 @05:43PM (#19286123)
      The human mind only knows what it experiences (including the experience of receiving communication from others in any form). The accuracy of said experiences, as well as the soundness of the interpretation, is always questionable.

      Some people are very uncomfortable with uncertainty. They desperately crave a solid and unquestionable source for correct knowledge. So, in the absence of such a source, the mind will play games with itself to create one. Hence the popular religious trend of interpreting mythology as if it were history.

      It is true that scientific knowledge is not rock-solid. It is vulnerable to inaccuracy and just as questionable as any other kind of knowledge. So, the religious believers are correct in pointing this out. However, there is a very important difference of methodology at work. The scientific process is one of perpetual questioning and re-examination of fact, and hence of perpetual refinement of accuracy. The religious process utterly lacks this element, and as such it has no demonstrable means of approaching any kind of practical validity. That, however, does not prevent people from convincing themselves that their religion of choice is correct and unquestionable, and that any and all evidence to the contrary must be in error.

      So long as this thought process is confined to the realm of private institutions (museums, churches, clubs, and what have you), I am fine with it. Just don't go infecting public education with your myths.
    • An appeal (Score:5, Informative)

      by Puff of Logic (895805) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @06:05PM (#19286315)
      I'm attaching this as a reply to the first post in the hopes that it will be seen by people entering the thread and thus head off some inevitable posts. Creationists, this is addressed to you.

      Here goes:

      The word "theory" is not synonymous with the word "hypothesis" in science.

      Please, please try to remember this when you instinctively want to cry "but it's only a theory!" when talking about evolutionary theory. As has doubtless been explained to you ad nauseum by the scientifically-inclined, Theory is a designator that must be earned and requires a reasonable body of supporting evidence. So while indeed the colloquial allows the use of "I have a theory" to mean a hypothesis, this is not correct in science.

      Make whatever other arguments you will, but please stop making this elementary mistake. cheers.
      • Re:An appeal (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jcr (53032) <jcr.mac@com> on Saturday May 26, 2007 @07:17PM (#19286935) Journal
        Exactly: evolution is a theory, like gravity.

        -jcr

      • by khayman80 (824400) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @09:14PM (#19287865) Homepage Journal
        I've noticed that many slashdot articles about evolution seem to attract a sizeable number of creationists. Because of this, I've decided to address the serious (i.e. non-trolling) creationists that frequent slashdot in the hope that I can prevent you from making the same easily avoided mistakes that make so many of your brethren sound like ignorant cretins. Here are some common arguments that creationists use, and why I think that you shouldn't use them... unless of course you want to be ridiculed. Note: this is by no means a comprehensive list.

        (1) "Evolution is just a THEORY"

        This is the most common (and the most disappointing) creationist argument I hear on a regular basis. While it's true that evolution is a theory, this statement is made in an attempt to cast doubt on evolution by implying that evolution is akin to a wild guess that scientists came up with after a night of heavy drinking. Newsflash: it's not going to work. Most educated people understand that you're confusing the word "theory" (which means an explanation or model that is capable of predicting future events) with the word "hypothesis" (which means an educated guess). Calling evolution a "theory" isn't an insult. For the millionth time, I will repeat this: gravity is also "just" a theory (for example, google the "General Theory of Relativity"). I might even add that most scientists would consider evolution to be a better-supported theory than gravity, because of the fact that gravity cannot (currently) be quantized, despite decades of attempts. If you want to debate evolution, fine- but don't play these childish word games.

        (2) "But evolution has never been observed!"

        Most creationists, faced with the mind-numbingly obvious fact that viruses and other creatures (like those famous moths) evolve right in front of our eyes, make a distinction between micro-evolution and macro-evolution. Micro-evolution is "proven", they say, because it only represents a change in allele frequency within a species. Macro-evolution, defined as change from one species to another (aka "speciation"), is more of a problem for creationists. They often insist that speciation has never been observed outside of laboratory experiments. This is blatantly false. Many examples of speciation have been observed in the wild- for example check out this large list of peer-reviewed journal articles here [talkorigins.org] and also here [talkorigins.org].

        The next step that creationists take in response to this rebuttal is to claim that speciation proves nothing- only a change from one kind of organism to another will prove evolution. What's a "kind", you might ask? No one knows. Creationists will give vague examples, such as saying that a dog is a different kind of animal than a whale, but a rigid definition has never (to my knowledge) been offered or universally accepted by the major creationist organizations. It's just a convenient goal post which keeps getting pushed back every time new evidence is found. The fact is, speciation is rather easy to observe in organisms which breed relatively quickly. Observing the creation of, say, a new phylum or order could take many millennia. Unfortunately, human civilization hasn't been around that long. Plus, standard biological nomenclature isn't based on evolutionary criteria, so it isn't clear to me that equating a "kind" with a phylum or order is meaningful in this context.

        (3) "But Intelligent Design is different than Biblical Creationism! It's a purely scientific alternative theory."

        Don't try to pretend that "Intelligent Design" is somehow different than creationism. Especially don't try to pretend that it's a scientific theory. Seriously. No one's buying it. "Intelligent Design" is a disguise- a secular-sounding term thrown over religious creationism to try to smuggle it into a state-funded science class

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 26, 2007 @04:41PM (#19285581)
    And they rested on the seventh, but that was due to union regulations.
    • Some of the contractors might tell you it actually took a lot longer, but Satan just sent them here to deceive us.
    • by mclaincausey (777353) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @05:36PM (#19286059) Homepage
      Bill Hicks:

      You ever noticed how people who believe in evolution look a little bit less evolved?

      "I b'lieve Gawd created me in 6 days!"

      "Yeah, it looks like he might've rushed it..."
      • by mobby_6kl (668092) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @06:05PM (#19286321)
        Since you mentioned Bill Hicks, there's another appropriate quote:

        You know the world is 12,000 years old and dinosaurs existed, they existed in that time, you'd think it would have been mentioned in the fucking Bible at some point.

        "And lo Jesus and the disciples walked to Nazareth. But the trail was blocked by a giant brontosaurus... with a splinter in his paw. And O the disciples did run a shriekin': 'What a big fucking lizard, Lord!' But Jesus was unafraid and he took the splinter from the brontosaurus's paw and the big lizard became his friend.

        "And Jesus sent him to Scotland where he lived in a loch for O so many years inviting thousands of American tourists to bring their fat fucking families and their fat dollar bills.

        "And oh Scotland did praise the Lord. Thank you Lord, thank you Lord. Thank you Lord."

        Here's a video [youtube.com]
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by solafide (845228)
          But the word dinosaur was coined in the 1800s, while the KJV was translated in the 1600s. So it would be impossible to use words that would be coined in the future.

          On the other hand, the KJV does make mention of dragons, and the descriptions given of dragons do, I believe, fit that of dinosaurs.

  • by conigs (866121) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @04:42PM (#19285585) Homepage
    Just remember: not everyone who partakes in Christianity (big C or little c) believes the world was created 4,000 years ago. Some of us actually believe in evolution. (Well, us non-fundies anyway.)
    • by Ice Wewe (936718) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @04:50PM (#19285637)
      Wait... wait... wait. You're telling me that some Christians believe in evolution? Hmm, so if you're willing to compromise on evolution, why not gay marriage?
      That's it, I'm starting the Homosexual Creationism Museum which honors homosexual Neanderthals and dinosaurs.
      I think that's a fair compromise.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Mateo_LeFou (859634)
      Agreed

      "The other catastrophe, in the museum's view, is of more recent vintage: the abandonment of the Bible by church figures who began to treat the story of creation as if it were merely metaphorical, and by Enlightenment philosophers, who chipped away at biblical authority"

      As a poet, I'm offended by the phrase "merely" metaphorical.
    • by catbutt (469582) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @05:05PM (#19285785)
      Well the whole thing about God being perfect, but making humans flawed, blaming humans for being flawed, and then punishing someone else to make up for those flaws .....that seems a tad silly as well.

      Or do you just consider Christianity the idea that we should be nice to each other? Because I don't think Jesus invented that concept.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by JeanPaulBob (585149)
        OK, I see the jkorz has already replied, but I'm going to do so as well...but hopefully less inflammatory.

        Well the whole thing about God being perfect, but making humans flawed, blaming humans for being flawed, and then punishing someone else to make up for those flaws .....that seems a tad silly as well.

        Yes, that chain of four ideas does seem rather silly. What religion are you referring to? Christians don't believe God made humans sinful. He made us capable of making moral choices, but we're not p

        • by NMerriam (15122) <NMerriam@artboy.org> on Saturday May 26, 2007 @06:13PM (#19286395) Homepage

          He made us capable of making moral choices, but we're not punished for being able to sin--we're punished for sin.


          What sin? She ate a fruit when it was offered to her, by a being that God _allowed_ into the Garden. Yes, she was told not to eat the fruit, but was never told why or what the consequences were, despite God being omniscient enough to know he had created man with curiosity.

          Leaving completely ignorant and unsophisticated children alone with the greatest predator in the universe does not seem like a wise parenting decision.
      • by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @06:12PM (#19286387)
        I already have troubles with another part of the Genesis. Since God is omniscient and transcends space and time, he must have known that Adam and Eve will eat from the forbidden fruit of knowledge. Why did he punish them for something he must have known all along? Why did he let it happen first of all? Why did he put the trees into the garden of Eden, it would have been in his power (remember, omnipotent) to put them somewhere else so they could not reach it.

        Personally, I think God framed the humans. And such a God I should worship? I'd rather say, he wanted to kick the nudists out and needed some reason. But then I wonder, what reason would God need to do what he pleases? Who does he have to report to?

        Somehow, it doesn't add up.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by tftp (111690)
          Personally, I think God framed the humans.

          Here is another example. Let's assume I am programming my new robotic dog. I explicitly code a statement that says to not bark. Then I run the code. The dog runs around and then barks. What options do I have now?

          1. Throw the dog out of the window, declare that it knowingly offended and denied me, and make a law that all dogs of this type must be manufactured with intentionally built-in defects, from now and forever, as a punishment for the sin of this specific d
        • by dantheman82 (765429) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @10:43PM (#19288545) Homepage
          It is an interesting question, and one that has been asked before...I refer to things that could be based upon the Bible (I could quote references if desired). Of course if you throw out bits and pieces, it will become a tad difficult to argue.

          Men (and women) were made in God's image. Mankind was created with knowledge, righteousness, and holiness. And a free will, even as God Himself. All creation was good, as God had said. Mankind was also perfectly good. So, God presented the choice, which was not a malicious one. One tree, the "Knowledge of Good and Evil", was where Adam and Eve could (as the tree is self-described) know about evil as well as good. They had perfectly good trees throughout that garden to eat from, and thus the choice was not difficult really. Should they listen to the God they walked with every day? Or trust someone or something else...

          So, why would God, who knows all, allow this possibility? Because He wanted mankind to freely serve Him. Robots can be trained, people or animals can be "beaten into submission", but that is not the willing and free service of the Creator by the creature. And Luke's geneology refers to Adam as God's son, as he was created in God's image. So, as a parent, would you force your kid to always listen and totally protect them from every having any possibility of disobedience? Wouldn't that make you a tyrant?

          But why would God allow this, especially as a Father who knew His children would rebel in such a way? Because He had a plan for this that would bring even more glory to Himself (no matter if His children remained in their sin or returned to His loving arms), as well as bringing greater glory to the creatures who repent and return to Him than even if they never fell.

          God has chosen to have creatures made in His image (mankind) serve Him freely and willingly and perfectly. It was done before the fall, and can be done only in heaven for those who return to His loving arms and embrace His son Jesus Christ.

          I can't say that people naturally will like this concept of God much, who designs mankind in His image in order to serve Him freely and joyfully. People also hate the concept that those who do not do so but rebel against His fatherly care realize the miserable consequences here (to some degree) and in the afterlife.

          I guess if you've ever been a parent, and believe you should have some authority in molding your child in a moral and right way, you will understand a little what God the Father is like. If you have been a parent, and see the seeds of rebellion being sown and your good counsel being openly flaunted, you will realize in a very small way what it felt like to God. Some may wish their children to turn into little robots who always say "Yes sir" and "No sir" to their demands, and are never given the freedom to choose any wrong thing, and never are harmed or experience any negative consequences for anything. But then, to expect a spontaneous and free declaration of love from those children is impossible...
          • by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @10:52PM (#19288605)
            This was probably the best answer for the problem to date. Thank you.

            So God wants us to choose. Him or not him. Freely. There is no force involved, he wants us to choose his path, of course, but he would rather see us choose the wrong path than force us on the right one.

            Could someone please tell the fundamentalists?
    • by nattt (568106) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @05:18PM (#19285895)
      The logic and reasoning that points to the earth not being 4000 years old, and the logic and reasoning that points to evolution being what actually happened, also allow us to see through the charade that is christianity though. Now, if you were a deist, I could amost accept that, but christianity is just a bunch of made up stories. At least the fundies take their holy book by it's word. If you pick and choose from the Bible, you're demonstrating that you yourself have a much better sense of morals than the god you worship. If you've ditched the nasty bits of the Bible already, why not go the whole distance and ditch the rest. You know you want to!
    • by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @06:00PM (#19286271)
      Oh, faith can be a wonderful thing. As long as people don't make a religion out of it...
  • by arthurpaliden (939626) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @04:46PM (#19285609)
    We have lots of cave drawings of man with impressive animals like wooly mamoths and the like. So why are there not cave drawings of man with really impressive animals like the dinasaurs. I mean I I was impressed enought to paint the large elephant like creature you would think that a 20' high meat eating moster would at least reate a few pictures.
  • My favourite quote (Score:5, Interesting)

    by toby (759) * on Saturday May 26, 2007 @04:49PM (#19285633) Homepage Journal

    "It's a great place for children who are in public school and haven't really decided what to believe yet."

    Who ya gonna believe! GOD or some hairy liberal professor! [scienceblogs.com]

    Welcome to the 21st Century, America!

  • what I find odd (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nanosquid (1074949) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @04:52PM (#19285679)
    What I find odd is that the same people that promote this unscientific kind of bullshit still want the benefits of science and technology.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Opportunist (166417)
      What's odd about it? Wanting to Have the cake and eat it, too, is common practice today.

      Why shouldn't conservative religious zealots not jump on the zeitgeist from time to time?
  • Almost funny... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by John3 (85454) <{john3} {at} {cornells.com}> on Saturday May 26, 2007 @04:54PM (#19285699) Homepage Journal
    Ken Ham (President of Answers in Genesis, sponsor of the museum) would be amusing to watch if he wasn't so scary. There was a segment in the documentary "Friends of God" which showed Ken speaking to a group of children [youtube.com] about dinosaurs and evolution. His logical argument to the children was that since scientists weren't around 4,000 years ago but god was then we have to believe god and not the scientists.

    "Intelligent Design" groups have been running tours through legitimate museums, providing their own narrative in order to dispute the information provided by the museum displays. Maybe after this museum opens some atheist tour group so do the same thing...take tours through Ken's "museum" and provide scientific narrative to dispute his biblical nonsense.
    • Re:Almost funny... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by techno-vampire (666512) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @05:44PM (#19286137) Homepage
      Maybe after this museum opens some atheist tour group so do the same thing...take tours through Ken's "museum" and provide scientific narrative to dispute his biblical nonsense.


      Intelligent Design groups get way with their propaganda because the museums believe in free speech, and allow them to have their say. Do you really think that these fundamentalists will allow pro-evolution groups to spread their propaganda in the Creationist Museum? To them, free speech only applies when it's in their favor, not their opponents.

  • Best Protest (Score:5, Interesting)

    by moehoward (668736) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @05:12PM (#19285857)

    The best way to protest this is to get a couple thousand people to show up there and laugh for 5 minutes on queue. I recall a similar protest was done in India some years ago and it is brilliant.

    Just laugh as hard as you can at them for 5 minutes. Rinse. Repeat.
  • by Findeton (818988) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @05:14PM (#19285867)
    And on the Seventh Day... god rested by switching off the creationists brains!
  • Science is (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fermion (181285) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @05:15PM (#19285871) Homepage Journal
    The process of observing the world and drawing a logical set of self consistent conclusions. All sciences, especially the soft sciences, have bias, or systematic error, We will tend the local world view on situations that far removed in time or space. Such errors can be corrected by future research and a more diversified group of scientists. There is no attack on faith, as faith is what we believe, not what we use when we need to model a natural process.

    This museum, while attempting to provide a self consistent set of conclusions, fails to limit itself to observable and verifiable fact. In fact I feel it mocks Christianity by further limiting the power of the creator. Limiting such power has always been popular in the sinful human population that wishes to transfer power from the creator to itself. Just look at catholicism and the belief that certain religious leaders can speak for the almighty. For example, when I was growing up it was quite a popular belief that the creator put fossils and likes on earth as a test of fate. Those that continue to believe the bible even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary are those with sufficient faith to be saved. Now these sinful humans are trying to rewrite the bible and limit the power of the almighty by saying that dinosaurs existed and the grand canyon and the fossils were caused by the flood. You know, if the creator wanted a grand canyon, or fossils, or dinosaurs, or floods, or whatever, there is nothing to stop the desire becoming a reality, no matter what greedy and corrupt humans have to say.

    I wonder if the future will see this museum as an artifact of a time in Christianity when the leaders were more concerned with wealth and personal power than serving the almighty. If, perhaps, someone like Martin Luther will emerge to blog 123 ways that the christian church is corrupt, and call for a post-christian movement.

  • not a museum (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JustShootMe (122551) <rmiller@duskglow.com> on Saturday May 26, 2007 @05:18PM (#19285905) Homepage Journal
    I'd defend the right of the people who started this to continue on as long as they can support it, but I'm not sure it should be called a "museum". A museum implies some hind of historical accuracy.

    Perhaps "theme park", or "house of ill repute" instead?
  • by DeeVeeAnt (1002953) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @05:29PM (#19285989)
    It always amazes how these people underestimate the scale and beauty of "god"'s creation by so many orders of magnitude. Apparently their god would not have been subtle enough to make life which could adapt to a changing world? There is nothing in any science which confirms or denies god's existence. Imagine if they had won over the astronomers, we would have been stuck with a tiny god who could only manage one little planet, and one star. Now we know about the vast beauty of the stars and galaxies spread across the sky. Surely if you are going to believe in a creator, this sort of knowledge can only increase your respect for it? There I go again, trying to apply reason to religion. But why doesn't it ever work?
  • natural selection (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mistersooreams (811324) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @05:43PM (#19286131) Homepage
    Urm, even if you reject the scientific theory of evolution, it's just ridiculous to reject natural selection. You can easily observe it in your own lifetime, as Darwin did.
  • by arthurpaliden (939626) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @06:08PM (#19286353)
    OK, so man and dinosaurs lived together. That must mean then, that all the Biblical hero's were pansies. I mean all they did was kill few wolves (David) and enter a Lions den (Daniel) . If they were real hero's why did they not slay one of the T-Rexes that were wondering around eating everything in sight or enter a den of hungry Velosoraptors. Then they would have been real hero's.
  • by localman (111171) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @06:17PM (#19286435) Homepage
    ...is a recognition from both sides that evolution is not in opposition to the bible or Christianity. Many (most?) Christians know this already, but there are a few (like the folks that made this museum) who haven't figured it out yet. There are also many non-Christian evolutionists who think that evolution is counter to Christianity. I was raised a Christian, though I am no longer one, but I don't see that evolution contradicts the bible.

    The bible is full of events natural events that science has gone on to explain but which we don't fret about. Every time someone falls to the ground they were being pulled by a magical force which science later called "gravity". Does knowing the way in which gravity works, and the ability to predict its effects contradict the bible? No: people assume that God created gravity and that is the method by which he keeps people stuck to the Earth and the planets and stars in rotation. What about disease? When it was discovered that bacteria and viruses cause disease, and that we could control the effects to a large degree, was the bible's absence in describing the physical mechanism of disease a sudden point of contention? No.

    So why is it that natural selection, an obvious, elegant, and indeed predictive theory (see drug resistant pests) seen as something else? Why can't natural selection be the mechanism by which God brought forth first the plants, then the animals, and then man, as described in Genisis?

    He does not need to be a "God of the Gaps" filling in only that which we don't know. He can be God the architect, designer of all that which we do know, and also that which we have yet to discover.

    Personally, I don't believe in God, but most of my family does. I am continually surprised that they struggle so hard with evolution.

    Cheers.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by RodgerDodger (575834)
      Believing in evolution means you toss out large chunks of the bible, at least with the old testament. In particular, the acceptance of "Deep Time", required for evolution and geology, tosses away the idea that a diety created Earth only a few thousand years ago, put humans on it fully formed in a garden, then kicked them out into the wide word.

      Accepting evolution and other modern scientific viewpoints increasingly forces you to treat the Bible as a set of parables, not the literal word of God. And if it's j
  • Appalling (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Saraphim (797750) <sbrofeldt AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday May 26, 2007 @06:50PM (#19286705) Homepage
    I weep for America when, in otherwise legitimate media, the articles actually approach a topic from a superstitious angle: "... For the believer, it seems, this museum provides a kind of relief: Finally the world is being shown as it really is, without the distortions of secularism and natural selection." I'm not an American, but from what I have read of NYT's articles, I got the idea they was the kind of newspaper that would not stoop as low as to lend any credibility to superstition.
  • My own idea. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by prelelat (201821) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @07:44PM (#19287161)
    The question of creationism has always puzzled me. When I was younger I believed in it whole heartedly. Now that I'm older I have had to rethink my beliefs which I think everyone should do regardless of what you believe, you should always re-evaluate everything. But I don't think that the percentage of people that believe in Creationism are going to be compelled by a museum. I mean personal beliefs usually have some kind of variation between others (different religions and your own ideas), but I guess if you're in an organized religion they might be quite similar. I just don't think you can have a museum on Creationism, I think peoples efforts would be better spent on a museum of Religion. This would be more beneficial to everyone knowing the history of theirs and others beliefs. Knowing what is actually true about someone else's religion could help them to understand others as well.

    What I purpose is a place where you can go and be educated on every belief. I myself think that atheism requires just as much faith as a person who believes in god. Who are you to know for a fact that something intelligent didn't create everything, something had to come from somewhere no one knows so why it is that it has to be nothing. Frankly I haven't seen much come from nothing I haven't seen any proof of that so I don't know why people think that it takes less faith to believe that there is no god than it does to believe that there is. Frankly you will never convince someone who has a strong faith to switch in either direction. That is why I think that it fits in as well, I'm sure that there are a lot of people on Slashdot that will disagree with me. I've met quite a few in my travels and at work when the subject comes up. But I think that we can all agree that people generally need to make the decision themselves, be it one way or another.

    Back on topic I think it would be better to give a whole history of different beliefs such as Greek/roman gods, Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Atheism, and much much more. I think it would be more educational for people and help them with clarity on their own beliefs. I guess when I was younger I was exposed to all the differing views on everything so that I could make a more educated guess at the time in what I believe. Not that it would help much because I always wonder as I think most of you must.

    Of course this is all just my opinion, I'm pretty sure someone will disagree or say it wouldn't work or that it's no different than what is proposed. I just think it would be a good idea in my own head.
  • by CrazyJim1 (809850) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @09:02PM (#19287765) Journal
    The Bible tells a rich history of God with man. Why does man have to make up stories because there were certain details left out? I don't take sides with the young earth or ye old universe theory, but it bothers me when someone thinks they're so right they have to do something like this. It's almost as bad as bickering between denominations. Anyway, I know God is real, but that doesn't mean I know everything, and odds are neither does this guy.
  • by dragondm (30289) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @09:05PM (#19287799) Homepage
    ... I always thought Creationism belonged in a museum.
  • The God Delusion (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BillGatesLoveChild (1046184) on Saturday May 26, 2007 @09:29PM (#19287969) Journal
    A good book by Richard Dawkins who wrote 'The Selfish Gene'. Here's a summary:

    Richard Dawkins on why religion sticks: "There is no such thing as a Muslim Child. There is a child of Muslim Parents. There is no such thing as a Christian Child. There is a child of Christian Parents.

    My specific hypothesis is about children. More than any other species, we survive by the accumulated experience of previous
    generations, and that experience needs to be passed on to children for their protection and well-being. Theoretically, children might learn from personal experience not to go too near a cliff edge, not to eat untried red berries, not to swim in crocodile-infested waters. But, to say the least, there will be a selective advantage to child brains that possess the rule of thumb: believe, without question, whatever your grown-ups tell you. Obey your parents; obey the tribal elders, especially when they adopt a solemn, minatory tone. Trust your elders without question. This is a generally valuable rule for a child. But, as with the moths, it can go wrong.

    Natural selection builds child brains with a tendency to believe whatever their parents and tribal elders tell them.
    Such trusting obedience is valuable for survival: the analogue of steering by the moon for a moth. But the flip side of trusting obedience is slavish gullibility. The inevitable by-product is vulnerability to infection by mind viruses.

    Sociologists studying British children have found that only about one in twelve break away from their parents' religious beliefs."

    Remember the old consistency thing. People are loathe to change their mind:

    "It would be a severe disadvantage, for example, when hunting or making tools, to keep changing one's mind, so under some circumstances, it is better to persist in an irrational belief than to vacillate, even if new evidence or ratiocination favors a change."

    Douglas Adams: "Religion . . . has certain ideas at the heart of it which we call sacred or holy or whatever. What it means is, 'Here is an idea or a notion that you're not allowed to say anything bad about; you're just not. Why not? - because you're not!' If somebody votes for a party that you don't agree with, you're free to argue about it as much as you like; everybody will have an argument but nobody feels aggrieved by it. If somebody thinks taxes should go up or down you are free to have an argument about it. But on the other hand if somebody says 'I mustn't move a light switch on a Saturday', you say, 'I respect that'.

    Why should it be that it's perfectly legitimate to support the Labour party or the Conservative party, Republicans or Democrats, this model of economics versus that, Macintosh instead of Windows - but to have an opinion about how the Universe began, about who created the Universe . .. no, that's holy? . .. We are used to not challenging religious ideas but it's very interesting how
    much of a furore Richard creates when he does it!

    Everybody gets absolutely frantic about it because you're not allowed to say these things. Yet when you look at it rationally there is no reason why those ideas shouldn't be as open to debate as any other, except that we have agreed somehow between us that they shouldn't be."

    Andrew Mueller: "Pledging yourself to any particular religion 'is no more or less weird than choosing to believe that the world is rhombus-shaped, and borne through the cosmos in the pincers of two enormous green lobsters called Esmerelda and Keith'."

    Sam Harris: "We have names for people who have many beliefs for which there is no rational justification. When their beliefs are extremely common we call them 'religious'; otherwise, they are likely to be called 'mad', 'psychotic' or 'delusional' . . . Clearly there is sanity in numbers."

    Richard Dawkins: "The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodth

Thufir's a Harkonnen now.

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