Sunday, February 5, 2012

Saddle up the Dinosaur Pa!

“Saddle up the Dinosaur Pa!...

“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life,
nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'
Isaac Asimov

If it had snowed this year, this is how it would have looked down here in our valley

From where we sit here in our little Kentucky valley it’s just a short hop as ‘the crow flies’ from here to a special spot where visitors can leave the real world behind and be comforted in a place where science, and all it's inconvenient truths, hold no sway...the Creation Museum.  Now, this "museum" is quite a phenomena that has drawn over one million faithful from all over the world to view a strict biblical interpretation of the creation of the universe, complete with saddled dinosaurs (before “the fall” we all lived in harmony), a replica of Noah’s Ark (with dinosaurs on board...they REALLY like dinosaurs!), a movie on how the Grand Canyon was formed during the Great Flood, and other flights of literal fancy.  I should explain the part about the dinosaurs.  Since this account of creation rests on the ‘fact’ that the earth is only 6,000 years old there just isn’t enough geologic time to fit them in other than to say we all existed at the same time...all created in those first six glorious days.  After all that I’d have to rest on the seventh day too!  In fact, I don’t doubt that God created the Caribbean just so he could take a long cruise and sip mimosas on spanking new beaches to relax after such a big, and relatively successful, venture.  

This, by the way, is no church ladies’ Sunday school project , but rather a multi-million dollar enterprise complete with animatronic dinos designed by Patrick Marsh, who designed the "Jaws" and "King Kong" attractions at Universal Studios in Florida.  Did I mention that it costs 20 plus bucks to get in? Gods word doesn’t come cheap!

Creation Museum diorama ... young girl with her pet Velociraptor 

You can find much more information on the Creation Museum on line, but what I find so interesting is the amount of coverage this private enterprise gets in our local newspaper.  There have been a number of full page stories with numerous photos, endless editorials and articles. As a former restauranteur I know how much this free pr is worth! A single column of editorial space is worth ten times the same space of paid advertising...and did I mention it’s FREE!

So, of course, I felt compelled to write a letter to the editor, and since they declined to publish it I’m sharing it with you here:
I hope that when I get my funding together and open my Humpty Dumpty Museum that the Kentucky Enquirer (any relation to the‘National Enquirer’ ) will give me continuous coverage and thousands of dollars of free PR also.  It is my sincere belief that Humpty Dumpty really did fall off the wall and since I firmly believe it it must be true!  I will teach children that although the liberal media, and misguided teachers, have been telling them that Humpty Dumpty, Little Red Riding Hood, et al were merely fairy tales they were being mislead. My museum (note to editor...see, I call it a "MUSEUM") will teach them the true history of these much maligned historical figures.  Then, when they go to school they will be able to challenge their teachers and other students with the actual facts that Humpty really fell and sadly could not be put back together again.
If freedom of speech means anyone can cloak any idea in pseudo science and give those ideas legitimacy by calling it a “museum” then I should be good to go!   If the creators of the Creation Museum had just called it the Creation Church there wouldn’t be so much protest or concern for the wellbeing and education of our children.  By the way, why did Ken Ham have to go so far from home to open his museum, why is it here in Kentucky and not in Australia?  Could it be another case of “not in my backyard” syndrome or perhaps Australians are just less gullible?  How sad and humiliating that it ended up in our backyard.

Note: The creators of the Creation Museum have found they have such a gold mine on their hands that they are now proposing an "Ark Experience" theme park with a full scale replica of Noah's ark and of course...more dinosaurs.  Not only is this fundamentalist themed park already getting incredible free newspaper space years before it's completion, but the Governor of our fine state is offering significant tax benefits for this clearly religiously themed private venture. If you're thinking of applying for a job there however, but are not willing to sign a pledge that you believe in all the principles espoused in either the "museum" or theme park, you need not apply. Here's what it says on their own website: "All job applicants for the non-profit ministry of AiG/Creation Museum need to supply a written statement of their testimony, a statement of what they believe regarding creation and a statement that they have read and can support the AiG statement of faith."
How does that fit in with using public money for tax benefits?  Not only haven't they ever heard about science, but they also seem unaware of equal employment opportunities.  You can't even be a construction worker or plumber there without a signed statement of faith (meaning THEIR faith).

One final note: When substitute teaching a 4th grade class not too long back, the teacher had left some slides for me to show and discuss.  One was of a lake created by a meteor impact and the caption said it was formed “over 4 million years ago”.  Immediately four hands went up and each child explained to me that “that isn’t possible...the earth is only 6,000 years old”.  They said the scientists at the Creation Museum told them so and therefore they know it’s true.

Final, final note: A young friend of our daughter also reminded me that the earth was only 6,000 years old (her family had recently been to....well, you know) after hearing us discuss a 12,000 year old Native American artifact that we had recently seen at the Big Bone Lick Park Museum, also nearby.  Isn’t it interesting that Big Bone Lick State Park, so named for the mammoth bones found there and noted as the “birthplace of modern day paleontology”, and the Creation Museum co-exist in this part of Kentucky. Anyway, she explained to us that the artifacts couldn’t possibly be 12,000 years old as the earth is only 6,000 years old.  I mentioned that the dating is done by scientists using modern carbon dating techniques and how can she account for the discrepancy? She then said “my parents explained that to me...scientists need to make a living too so sometimes they just make things up!”  
And so there you have it!
At least that’s the view from my valley.

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