Sunday, May 27, 2007

Creating "Museums"

While I'm on the topic of museums, there's a new one opening Monday that deserves some coverage here. At the time of this post, the Creation Museum was to open in 16 hours, 32 minutes and 12 seconds. (Information conveniently provided on their website.)

Fortunately for me (and I am guessing, you too!), we can participate in this event from afar. You can see the highlights of this $27 million dollar project in a virtual walk-through. One netizen has already posted photographs of most of the exhibits. In the online tour, I am partial to the
"towering face of Grand Canyon along the front wall, while bones of dreadful dinosaurs hint of catastrophe"
"T. rex—the real king of the beasts. That’s the terror that Adam’s sin unleashed! You’ll run into this monster lurking near Adam and Eve. How’s this possible? Find out soon!"
It's not just about dinosaurs. You can also
"unravel the mystery of the origin of the so-called ‘races,’ and discover how the science of anthropology actually confirms the Bible’s history!"
I am guessing this has something to do with the Tower of Babel.

I am an advocate for bringing together people to talk about the elements of science and religion that are in conflict, so that we can better understand each other and better understand ourselves. There are plenty of scientists and believing people that honestly pursue dialogue. The Creation Museum and its supporting organization, Answers in Genesis, are not interested in this kind of conversation. Also from their walk-through:
"God’s Word is true, or evolution is true. No millions of years. There’s no room for compromise."
Except among the hundreds of thousands of scientists who are also religious.

Several articles have been written and syndicated about this story, and one from the Washington Post showed up in my Sunday Seattle Times. I appreciated the incongruence of two statements made by Ken Ham, the brains behind this operation.
"When you're talking about origins, you're not talking about science," Ham said as charter members snapped photographs in an early walk-through. "You're talking about belief."
But, to the national press reporter:
The overriding goal is to convince visitors that the Book of Genesis is scientifically defensible.
Wait a minute... I thought that "when you're talking about origins, you're not talking about science."

Another gem also comes from Ken Ham:
"People are just fascinated by dinosaurs, but they've sort of become synonymous with millions of years and evolution."
If you want to read more, over at the ScienceBlog Pharyngula, PZ Myers has assembled much more information than I could uncover in a week!

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