How Sex, Politics, Money and Religion are Killing Planet Earth

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Bronze Age Science – A visit to the Creation “Museum” in Petersburg, Kentucky

Sad. Sad is the singular word that kept popping into my head as I made my way around the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky this past Saturday. While I would normally reject supporting such an institution monetarily, my sister and I were on a road trip to Indiana to visit our uncle, and the “museum” was directly off our route. Morbid curiosity got the best of me.

The Creation Museum should not be called a “museum,” at all. The typical use of that word implies that some scientific method was at some time employed to offer an understanding about the objects held within said museum. No such methodology of science was employed at the Creation “Museum.” Instead, the establishment used a system of understanding that luckily was abandoned by the scientific community centuries ago, along with the Inquisition and the burning of witches at the stake.

In science, nothing is assumed. Natural “laws,” like Newton’s law of gravity, are arrived at through endless repetition and experimentation, yet even when the same result is achieved at every interval, such laws continue to be falsifiable. Nothing is etched in stone or scroll. Science knows no tyranny of text. More can always be learned and even the most paramount of laws are subject to change.

The entire Creation “Museum” is based on perversion of science. As a basic premise, creationists assume that the Bible is inerrant “word of God” and deductively draw conclusions based on that assumption. The problem is that the basic premise from which they draw their conclusions is inherently flawed. There is no scientific data to support the claim that the Bible is literally true. In fact, substantial data suggests the contrary premise: The Bible is a collection of stories, most definitely written by men who had only a Bronze Age understanding of the world.

Sad. And ironic. Throughout the “museum” the creationists have gone out of their way to try and prove that their restricted view of reality is the correct one. Displays contrast “man’s reason” to “God’s word.” Sadly, the “museum’s” developers must have been immune to the reality that the Biblical “God’s word” interpretation of the world pales in comparison to the “man’s reason” version they are contrasting it to. Furthermore, what they are referring to as “God’s word” is also man’s reason, albeit a 2000-3000 year-old version.

On one side of a display, man’s reason recounts the Big Bang, an expanding universe of infinite possibilities, and the phenomenon of life, ever-evolving into unique and diverse forms. On the other side, God’s word confines the miracle of creation to the static imaginings of a tyrannical patriarch on a hierarchical throne, created in six, 24-hour days, unchanging and limited for eternity by a dull, unscientific simplicity.

Here the fossil record decoded by man’s reason reveals a tree of life and a history of myriad organisms springing forth from primordial brine, evolving and entering into extinction in perpetuity. There, all that exists was placed upon an impossibly small ark, leaving the rest to drown in a single, cataclysmic flood. Nothing new will ever be made. The earth, in this view, creates nothing new, ever. Sad.

Children dragged to this “museum” are taught that the world and all its mystery can be explained within the pages of a single book, a book with words penned by men, who had no knowledge of the earth orbiting the sun, of a vast universe or of a spherical earth, 2000 years ago. In the bookstore attached to the “museum,” one can find entire curriculums that reinforce the narrow creationist view and an entire series of books entitled “Kid Answers” which provides scripted responses for those pesky children who insist on questioning everything, lest they actually develop open and inquiring minds.
I really wondered about this display. Why didn't the pterodactyls perch on the ark? And what about the dinosaurs that lived in water? Why didn't they survive?

If they are lucky, these children will learn in public school that the earth and the universe are in fact, much more miraculous than the imaginings of the minds of Bronze Age tribal, desert-dwelling patriarchs. Hopefully these children will learn that the greatest reality humans can enjoy is to seek knowledge, unlimited knowledge that is only constrained by the depth and reach of the human imagination.


  1. You are a far braver person than I. You couldn't get me to go to that place unless it was to burn it down.

  2. Thank you for visiting this "museum" and reporting what you found there. I would never go there myself, but I would be curious like you. Sad. Very sad.

  3. Ha! This place looks pretty comical. Humanity is so pathetically funny sometimes.

    And on a totally unrelated note have you seen this video by FOX News?
    It's freaking hilarious! I personally love video games and of course the environment, so having FOX News bash both of them at the same time is just comical.

  4. kalivin, thanks for the clip. What an unbelievable display of stupidity. After watching, I couldn't actually figure out what it was that they were criticizing in the green video game other than that it was obviously a liberal agenda:)

  5. Anonymous and DiAnne, I was going directly past, otherwise, I would never have supported such an operation. The good news is that I was there on Labor Day weekend and the place was practically empty. That made me feel good. The goods they are selling, apparently few are buying.

  6. Unfortunately, we have to face the fact that we live in a country where only 20% of people "believe in" Darwinian evolution to the exclusion of creationism "science". See the recent Fox News survey (conducted 100% via landline phone). The rubric of faith (i.e. "believe in") is being applied to science to suggest to people that they should have a choice. Science should not be something someone "believes in" but something someone learns as it has been established through scientific method. We have lost when we loose control of the language message and present creationism as a viable alternative to science. As the bumper sticker on my Frod 150 says.."Science Does Not Matter, Unless You Care About Reality". I fear for this country and am planning my escape.

  7. Karl, you are very wise. Unfortunately most people in this country think that science is just another choice of "belief." This is a complete and utter failure of the modern educational system. How can we hope to deal with all the problems in the world when most people think some tyrannical patriarch in the sky is going to save us from ourselves?

  8. You're probably familiar with PZ Myers and his blog Pharyngula. But if not, get over there and check him out. He frequently posts about this so-called "museum" and Ken Ham, the guy who runs it. He also posts regularly about creationists, intelligent design, and the Discovery Institute.

  9. On that sad day marking the 10th anniversary of 9/11, I was reading the article "Dems Fret Aloud Over Obama's Re-Election" and all the comments in my NYTimes. It looks like a lot of fellow Democrats want to throw Obama under the bus and I can understand their frustration. The number of people Obama has thrown under the bus would give me carpa tunnel syndrome if I had to type them all!

    I am really starting to get nervous that Rick Perry would run over Obama in the presidential election.

    I think its time we started supporting Hillary to challenge Obama in a primary. I'm hoping we can start a grass roots movement in the blogosphere.

    Let's face the facts fellow Democrats. Obama has really turned out to be a poor president who has been bought by the Multi-national banks and corporations. His only ability is to give smooth sounding speeches and campaign!

  10. Anonymous wrote:
    You are a far braver person than I. You couldn't get me to go to that place unless it was to burn it down.

    Amazing killing Mother you criticise Christians today for the Inquisition and the burning of witches at the stake (which happened hundreds of years ago) and yet you allow comments that encourage the destruction of property. You also fail to mention famous atheists like Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin who committed far greater atrocities than Christians.

    You wrote:
    Children dragged to this “museum”

    You know this for a fact, do you?

    How sad that you do not acknowledge those many Christians, Muslims, Hindus etc who are scientists and hold their personal faith and their professional endeavours without incongruity.

    The irony is that many Christians in Australia accepted the work of climatologists when climatologists who were also Christians spoke around the world at churches to recommend they not be taken in by climate change sceptics.

    BTW plenty of Christians (including myself) find these museums silly. Please don’t tar us all with the fundamentalist brush.

    Have a nice day.


    1. A small correction in your post, but Hitler was definitely a Christian. And neither he nor Stalin managed to do to anyone what the Conquista did to the Indians in South America, Mexico and Central America in the name of "God."

    2. Thanks for the clarification Aggie. The fanatical right always pulls out the line about Hitler being an atheist, unconcerned about the falsehood of the statement, never mind the non sequitur their analogy implies.

  11. Hi Matthew, I am sorry that you have misread my words. If you peruse many of my other posts you will note that I have nothing but respect for Christians who actually follow the teachings of Christ. The Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Scientists etc. who I have problems with are the ones who manipulate dogma and data in order to justify closed-mindedness, hatred, greed, bigotry and the destruction of nature.