Here are some scientific facts that I bet you were never taught in school:
• The Earth is only 6000 years old
• The Grand Canyon was carved by Noah’s flood
• Dinosaurs and man roamed the Earth together
These are just some of the amazing “scientific facts” that are presented to children and adults alike at the new Creation Museum opening today in Petersburg Kentucky. The center is the brainchild of Ken Ham who founded the nonprofit ministry Answers in Genesis, originally in Australia. Ham wanted to give believers a rallying point to help support “Creation Theory” as an alternative to Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and raised a staggering $27 million dollars in donations from like-minded Christians to help him do it.
After learning more about the center (I refuse to call it a museum), I can fully understand why many nations around the globe have come to think on the United States as one big joke. No other place in the world allows such assaults on scientific consensus and reason as we do. Long established facts, like the 4.5 billion year old age of the Earth, are allowed to be tossed aside in favor of religious doctrine. Children are encouraged to roam the exhibits of this place and learn that fossils are not the remains of animals dead for many millennia, but were all created by the massive flood detailed in the book of Genesis.
What year is this again, 1492 or 2007? I forget.
The so-called “Creation Museum” is just one symptom of something dangerous that has taken hold in this country. It’s called the assault on science. There are a wave of fundamentalists that see it as their duty to fight the growing tide of secularism in the United States. People in local, state and federal government have begun pushing their agendas and they will use any platform to do it. It takes many forms including the school board battles for Intelligent Design in Kansas, the so-called “attack on Christmas” and the fight against scientific consensus regarding global warming. The slow maturing of the nation and our growing intellectual understanding of the world is evidently too much for these fundamentalists to take. So we get this:
• The Bible must be taken literally.
• Christmas must never become just another “holiday”.
• Humans can’t possibly effect Earth’s climate.
I was born and raised a Catholic. I was baptized a Christian, attended Catholic school, had my first Communion and became an alter boy at a young age. I love God, Jesus and Mary, and when I pray it isn’t to the Flying Spaghetti Monster. However, I don’t believe in the story of Adam and Eve, and I don’t take the story of Noah and the Flood as a historical account. Does this make me a bad Christian? To me, being a Christian is more about how you treat your fellow man than about how old the Earth is. It means you have a special place in your heart for Christ’s teachings, and as such I try to make “Do unto others…” the guiding principal in my life.
“I believe in a God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings.” – Albert Einstein
Does the scientific belief in the “Big Bang” mean that God could not have caused it? Of course not, all things are possible in God. Couldn’t Evolution be just another one of God’s intricate and wondrous plans for how the natural universe works? And why must the Bible be taught as a literal account rather than a guiding collection of parables? Science and religion can co-exist, as long as they play on their own, separate turfs. I think I speak for a great many people who have had their faith hijacked, when I say I don’t want Noah in my museum any more than Ken Ham would want Darwin in his church.
UPDATE: This has all been said before, and brilliantly I might add, by none other than that uniquely American creation – The Simpsons. Perhaps there is hope for us yet.
UPDATE II: Seems like something of a minor sex scandal has hit the center. Could be a tempest in a tea cup, but I always find it interesting how those who claim the moral high ground are often found wallowing in the mud.
UPDATE III: A blog called BlueGrassRoots posted a walk-through of the center and the images and experiences shown are nothing less than startling. This place is full on, 100% religious propaganda pure and simple. After checking out this post, I actually felt sick to my stomach for all the parents who think substituting religion for science is acceptable behavior. Disturbing to say the least.