Sunday, June 3, 2007

Anne's Extra New and Hot

The Creationist Museum that I wrote about in one of my previous new and hot postings finally opened last week on May 29 in Pittsburg PA. Apparently on Opening day there were lines and lines of people from all over the country waiting to see the museum’s impressive 27 million dollar exhibits. Mark Looy, a spokesperson for the museum said that on opening day, the museum hosted over 4,000 people. In addition to the curious people in line to see the museum, there were also protesters who attended the “Rally for Reason”. An airplane also circled overhead streaming the banner, “Thou Shalt not Lie”.

This is yet another example of the conflict between creationists and evolutionists happening right now. I still find it almost unfathomable that people in our country actually believe the content of the museum. For example, one exhibit near the life size Noah’s Ark depicts the failures of man. The caption reads, "Before man's fall, all animals were vegetarians. In a very good creation, no animal would die, so there were no carnivores." Other exhibits show humans and dinosaurs coexisting.

People who attended the exhibit, both skeptics and creationists agree that the exhibits are impressive. One article I read in the Cincinnati Enquirer says, “The museum, with its roaring Utah raptor and impressive computer-generated images of what Noah's Ark might have looked like plying the waves of a Great Flood, has a polish and professionalism of exhibits that would make documentary-makers, many museums and theme parks drool.” In fact, the museum is very oriented towards children. It presents them with a fantasyland, and at the same time frames all their information as the scientific mainstream.

All of this corresponds directly to the “fall of civilization” that Sam Harris warns about in his “Letter to a Christian Nation”. All of the impressionable children that visit the museum may leave with skewed perceptions of the world. One professor, Lawrence Krauss who attended the opening said, "Watching the people, and going through it, it's really sad, because you get the impression that a person who didn't know any better would come out of that really thinking science supported something, and also that science sets out to deceive.” I agree with him, and the protesters. The ways that the museum sets up dioramas and “factual” exhibits that don’t correspond to the scientific view of the world is very disheartening. When the U.S. is already so far behind other developed nations in terms of its acceptance of evolution, this is exactly what we don’t need for progress. The interesting articles that I read in the New York Times and The Cincinnati Enquirer can be found here:

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