After several hours spent at the Rally for Reason, several students and I tried to figure out whether we wanted to go inside the Creation Museum. The upside would be seeing the museum first-hand. The downside would be that Ken Ham would get $20 of our money via the admission cost. (Actually, it was $15 with the coupons we had… but still.)
We decided to go into the museum. Even though we didn’t have the Creationist attire of khaki pants, tucked-in shirt, and neatly parted hair.
It should be noted that, outside major holidays, the museum is open seven days a week. What ever happened to resting on the seventh day? Isn’t that punishable by death?
You know, for the $27,000,000 they spent on the building, there were a few things they were missing out on:
- An air-conditioned place where we could wait in line to get inside. Instead, we waited in the the heat as if this was an amusement park.
- More air-conditioning inside. Walking through the crowded exhibits, the heat was getting to many people. In one area, there was a large fan… but that was it.
- An electronic credit card machine. Seriously. The long line was partly due to people wanting to pay with a credit card… and the machine being used to process the credit cards was one of those hand-held things where you slide the carbon copier over the cards. You’re telling me they couldn’t afford a computerized processor?!
Outside in the line to the museum, there was a man making balloon animals for kids. Because when I go to a museum, its credibility is always bolstered by a man making balloon animals…
Strangely enough, while in line, I was also handed a small plastic drinking glass with the Oreo label on it. There was nothing inside the glass… and there was nowhere to put it at the time, which was annoying. But is Oreo sponsoring this museum? Or do they not have any knowledge of this? And dammit, I’m still trying to figure out what the point of the glass was.
Anyway, I get inside the museum. Here’s what went down. (I should add that there are some great pictures that Zachary Lynn posted. I won’t duplicate his pictures. Just go check them out.)
One of the first things I saw was man and dinosaur living together… the man was exceptionally happy for some reason:
Then there was the timeline of fossils. Where all the geological epochs take the same amount of time. And no dates at all are provided…
Then I stepped into the line for the actual tour. You just walk through the exhibits on your own. I asked one worker how many staff members there were at the Creation Museum. She said over 300. And still, there were no tour guides.
One exhibit showed the consequences that had happened in a world where God was absent from the culture. It featured a collage of magazine covers in a dark hall with red, creepy light…
They had that collage along a very long wall. And they always used the same magazine covers. I saw the headline about the “New Atheism” from Wired magazine (“No heaven. No hell. Just science.”) used several times over. It was like they couldn’t find enough examples of God missing from our culture so they recycled certain images over and over.
Later in that same exhibit came my favorite part of the tour. While explaining how church life disappeared among young people as they got older, there was a sign that declared the alarming statistics of church attendance:
Now, they did not say “Almost 1 in 3…” or “Nearly 1 in 3…” They said “Only 1 in 3…” as if that was exact, then gave us the actual statistic of 30%. Maybe this math was brought to us by the same people who say π = 3.
There was another exhibit where there were dioramas of Noah’s Ark. Another area displayed a lifelike version of the Ark, still being built. Where they got the blueprints from, I have no idea. The Answers In Genesis people must have special editions of the Bible.
What was disturbing was hearing a mother near me telling her kids to look at the large size of the Ark and the small size of the animals. “That’s how Noah fit all the animals on the Ark!” She added that the Bible even told us how many cubits long the boat was (so it must be reliable). Her kids just nodded like this was the most normal answer in the world.
Do you realize how much effort it takes to not pull the kids aside and tell them their mother doesn’t know what she’s talking about?
Speaking of taking the museum seriously, it displayed a history of attacks on the church, including the worst one of them all…
The whole museum was structured so that the 7 Cs (Creation, Corruption, Catastrophe, Confusion, Christ, Cross, Consummation) were explained in order. While each of the first four Cs got their own section, we were whisked into a small movie theater to watch a movie about everything else, including Christ’s death and resurrection. The group I was with joked that they must have ran out of money after the first four Cs so they decided to lump the last three together.
Overall, and I know this isn’t exactly surprising, there was no science in the museum at all. When artifacts were presented, they were without dates. “Proof” for anything was given by a Biblical passage. And there was a dinosaur eating a pineapple.
Personally, I think it’d be a nice addition if they had a scale of some sort where you could have your IQ measured before and after you came into the museum. We all felt dumber after we left.
The whole experience reminded me of two quotations I heard the night before at the pre-rally.
My friend Herb Silverman noted:
Creationism is not good enough to be considered “bad science.”
Also, Frank Zindler, editor of the American Atheist magazine, said this:
We are witnessing the grand opening of what might fairly be called the Eighth… [Wonder] of the Ancient World. The Eighth Wonder is, of course, the museum in which the technology of the twentieth century CE is used to illustrate the scientific misunderstandings of the twentieth century BCE.
What a disappointing experience. You knew it was going to be bad. But who knew it could be this awful.
[tags]atheist, atheism, Rally for Reason, Creation Museum, Ken Ham, Creationist, Oreo, Zachary Lynn, New Atheism, Wired, God, Noah’s Ark, Answers In Genesis, Bible, Creation, Corruption, Catastrophe, Confusion, Christ, Cross, Consummation, Herb Silverman, Frank Zindler, American Atheists[/tags]