Originally Published 2007-05-28 08:32:39
I had to double check that I wasn't reading The Onion. See Creationist museum brings dinosaurs on board Noahâ€™s Ark. Here's an excerpt:
Opinion polls show consistently that half of Americans believe that humans did not evolve but were created, along with all living creatures, by God 6,000 to 10,000 years ago.
The museum has a series of rooms depicting the darkening of a world that abandons a literal interpretation of the Bible. Two teenagers, apparently indoctrinated with evolutionary teaching, are shown at home. The girl is talking to Planned Parenthood and the boy is looking at pornography on a computer. These images culminate in a wrecking ball, labelled with the words â€œmillions of yearsâ€, smashing down a church.
â€œDinosaurs are one of the icons of evolution, but we believe they lived at the same time as people,â€ Mr Ham said. â€œThe Bible talks about dragons. We believe dragon legends had a basis in truth . . . We like to say, â€˜Youâ€™ve captured them for evolution, and weâ€™re going to take them back.â€™ â€ All those fossils, some of which are exhibited in the museum, were created not millions of years ago but by the biblical floods.
In one exhibit two palaeontologists â€“ a light-skinned creationist and a dark-skinned evolutionist â€“ are shown digging up a dinosaur skeleton and, of course, reach different interpretations. The message is that it is OK, even scientific, to defy evolution.
â€” The basis of creationism is belief in the Bibleâ€™s literal truth. Most creationists believe the Earth is only a few thousand years old
â€” They believe that life did not evolve gradually through natural processes but was formed supernaturally by God
â€” The only changes possible in plants and animals are negative ones of degradation or extinction
â€” Natural processes are seen not as self-sustaining but as maintained daily by God. Miracles are thus seen as God's choice to do something differently
I'm so taken aback that I don't know where to start.
First of all, I don't see why the two ideas have to be so diametrically opposed. They can both be true. See the wikipedia entries on Theistic Evolution. Can't we all just get along?
Now, take the creation in six days story seriously and literally, and I'm once again speechless. T-Rex was a vegetarian that lived in the Garden of Eden? Right. And things degrade when left alone without God's direct influence? Where do I begin...?
Well, the first thing that comes to mind would take a lot of work to articulate properly, but I'll give it a quick shoot-from-the-hip attempt. The beauty of sex, aside from the obvious pleasantries, is that it allows for the recombination of DNA. That means that traits from two seperate entities gets combined, and the children are somewhat different from the parents. Add to that some environmental factors, like plenty of protein-rich food, and you get 7 foot tall dudes that can dunk a basketball before they fully awaken in the morning. Practice helps, but at some level, Michael Jordan just had really good genes.
Groups with diversity in their gene pool are more capable of adapting to their surroundings. They're typically stronger, faster, smarter, and considered more attractive. I'm not talking about people of color directly. I'm simply talking about diversity. Mixed kids are cuter and better at lots of things. I don't really want to point to significant groups, because I imagine that a bushman born in the Khalahari desert is lacking diversity in a similar manner to a man born in Tibet. And being of mixed race is not necessarily a meal ticket. It's just an extra card dealt during 5 card stud -- a slight advantage, not something out of science fiction. It also may not be completely obvious from appearances -- if you refer to yourself as "white" instead of "Irish" (or whatever European strain fits better), and you cannot determine precise lineage, then chances are you're pretty diverse, too. In other words, this doesn't just mean Tiger Woods. Angelina Jolie, Keanu Reeves, The Rock, Vin Diesel, and yes, Michael Jordan all count, too.
However, if this is true, then either it's a "miracle", or changes can and are made to the gene pool ever time someone procreates. And some of these are generally considered positive.
Then there's that trivial, minor issue of Carbon-14 dating (and, um, even if you don't understand how that works, dinosaur bones are made of STONE! Remains from 6000 years ago generally still have some CALCIUM in them, for crying out loud! How can they come from the same time period?). And the incredibly large teeth on a so-called vegetarian.
And, finally -- and this is the easiest argument I've ever posited -- why would any omnipotent being make a system that needed his constant upkeep? This is why we computer guys like to use Linux instead of Windows for running servers! They stay running without intervention. And we're silly little dorks that play video games in our 20s! Why would some all-powerful creator dude create a system he had to reboot every other day?
It's not like the dude has to keep releasing updates so that we keep paying for upgrades. What does he have, a quarterly prayer quota to maintain or something?
On 2007-05-29 06:37:50 Rob Dunn said:
Ahhhhh...the worst thing that Archeologists could ever find: Etched into ancient bedrock, a "Made for Microsoft Windows" Logo.
Don't you mean above "dinosaur FOSSILS are made of stone?"
I always wondered about the literal interpretation of a "day"...a measure of time determined by the spin of the Earth...which hadn't been created yet. If an omnipotent being existed and created the Earth, why not create it in an instant, instead of a day?
Good post - I couldn't believe this when I read about it either, but then again, there's all sorts of odd things out there. Just as there are all sorts of odd folks who will go and support it!
On 2007-05-29 17:19:38 Johnny Fuery said:
Fossils? What the heck are those? :-)
I really want to see a photo of what NPR's "All Things Considered" said was the first exhibit in a segment yesterday: two small children playing in a stream next to a couple of T-Rex hatchlings. Exciting stuff!
Jurassic Park 4, anyone?