Part 1: My Day Outside the Creation Museum

I spent the first part of my day at the Rally for Reason protest outside the Creation Museum.

The second half was spent inside the museum itself, which was created by the people who run Answers In Genesis (AIG).

Here’s the recap. There are a lot of pages of notes, so I tried to condense wherever possible.

As soon as I got to the rally site, there was already a plane flying overhead with some welcoming words.

Defcon

The protesters (of which there were many more than you can see in the next picture) were standing along the lone road that led to the entrance to the museum…

Entrance

… which meant that everyone who visited the museum had to get past them. This made for some interesting interactions.

Like the woman who drove past everyone screaming:

Y’all need so many prayers!

I don’t know how prayers for us will lead to her understanding science, but maybe she knew something we didn’t.

Not all the hecklers were drivers. Some came right up to us as we protested. One lady and her (relatively nicer) husband came by itching to start a fight. Besides provoking people through their proselytizing, they handed out Dum Dum lollipops which had a special message (a weak version of Pascal’s Wager) attached to the stick:

If there is no God……
A believer loses nothing at death.
If there is a God……
An Atheist loses everything at death.
Who, then, is being a dum dum?

Would anyone like to answer that last question…?

Since they were passing out Creationist propaganda, someone in our group felt it would be appropriate to hand the lady a science pamphlet. As soon as it was in her hands, she quickly threw it to the ground like it had a disease on it.

That was sweet.

Let’s get back to some more of the positive aspects of the day.

There was a lot of media coverage of the protest.

Media

Reporters from local, national, and international news were there. So were writers for Internet sites (including Salon.com). And there was one reporter who wouldn’t say where he was from…

That guy tried interviewing as many protesters as possible. I decided to talk to him. I don’t know why. I just wanted to see what he was trying to do. But here’s essentially how our conversation went:

Him: Do you believe in Evolution?
Me: Well, it’s not a question of “belief.” It’s as much a fact as anything we know.
Him: But it’s called the Theory of Evolution.
Me: Yes, but a scientific “theory” is more than just some random idea…
Him: Do you have faith in this theory?
Me: It’s not a question of faith. The evidence shows that Evolution is true.
Him: So you’re saying it’s fact?! Even though you said it’s just a theory?
Me: You’re twisting my words. Stop that. I’m gonna go now.

Later on, standing in line for the museum with a group of my fellow college-aged protesters, that same guy walked right in front of us and called out to (I presume) his family, ahead in the line. Somehow not noticing a bunch of young protesters wearing pro-atheist shirts, he started telling his family how he had “talked to the protesters” and got it all on tape! But then, those evil protesters kicked him out! So he was going to join the family in line!

Too bad he was lying. Here’s what actually happened: Since we were rallying on the grass (see above picture), the Man was interviewing people while standing on the road itself. This was expressly forbidden by the cops. The police actually escorted him out because he was violating the rules. But he neglected to tell his family that part of the story…

He wasn’t the only Creationist trying to cut in on the protesting publicity.

At one point, I was doing an interview, answering questions about my views on the museum. In the middle of talking into the camera about why the material in the museum was not Science, a lady interrupted me and started responding to what I was saying. Did I mention I was on camera at the time…? Her name was Jeannine Vest and she was there with her friend Kaye Fish. Both were mothers of young children (none were older than eight) and both had their Masters in Education degrees. They simply wanted to be at the museum on opening day. They came to our protesting area to hand us water. While they didn’t go inside, they said they would come back for a full visit very soon.

When the cameras turned off, I asked them why they thought the museum was a good place. They responded that there were so many museums… why not one with this point of view? They later added that there was no proof that radiometric dating or carbon dating were legitimate.

Oy. It’s so hard to engage in a dialogue with people who don’t even understand the basis of the discussion…

Ok. Back to the positivity.

Look! A picture of me with Nicole Smalkowski! Because she’s just awesome.

Nicole

There were many protesters who were veterans to the atheist cause. And, to my delight, there were many people who had never participated in an event like this before. The protesters were young and old. There were even some religious people in the crowd (though not as many as I would’ve liked to see).

Tim O’Connor and his fiancé Connie Brockman were among the newcomers. They weren’t affiliated with any atheist group but had heard about the rally via petitions against the non-scientific teachings of the Creation Museum circulating through some real museums in Cincinnati. They came to the rally because they felt that they were seeing a lot of “aggressive negativity from religion” and wanted to curb it. They were curious (as was I) why there weren’t more religious representatives at the protest.

Another newcomer was Michelle Duennes, an agnostic college student from the College of Mount St. Joseph. She came because science is a passion of hers– she wants to be a college professor one day– and she wanted to protect her passion. Michelle was surprised at the large turnout as she didn’t expect to see so many people at the rally. She had wanted other students from her school to join her and started a Facebook group for that purpose. But to her surprise, there was a backlash from some of her classmates. Incredibly, one of them said that protesting the Creation Museum was just like standing outside the arena while a band you don’t like plays inside.

If only it was as simple as not liking the material in the museum…

A girl named Robin, who at 14 called herself an agnostic (“or a Pastafarian”), felt that the protest was a good idea. She was frustrated, however, when people came up to her and asked where they could park…

Sophia Riehemann, on the other hand, was a veteran of the atheist movement. She’s only 16, but she has gone to Camp Quest since she was 8. Not only that, but she was also present at the Godless Americans March on Washington back in 2002. I asked her if she thought the rally was effective. She felt it was, adding she hoped children being driven past the protesters would see that there were other ways to view the world than the Biblical view they were being raised with.

The issue of whether the rally was effective or not was on the minds of several people. Thomas and Raina, a couple from Pennsylvania, said the rally might be effective… but they were there because it was for a good cause.

Ben Myers, a student at The Ohio State University, felt the rally was absolutely effective. He stated that we were there to show our dissent, which is the highest form of patriotism. I asked him how he was dealing with the Creationists in our midst. He said the way to handle them was through non-violent protest or dialogue, adding that dialogue wasn’t really their language. He was optimistic, though, that our mere presence there would reach a lot of people.

Carol Carlson was a theist in the protesting crowd. While she (obviously) supported what the pro-Science people were doing, she did have some concerns. She felt that there was an implication being made that anyone with a Southern accent was automatically ignorant. She also did not appreciate the atheist speakers who mocked Jesus and Christianity– that’s not what the event was for. I did enjoy the fact that she learned to be a liberal while in the convent. Yep, she used to be a nun. But now, she was out protesting with the rest of us.

By the way… here were some of the protest signs that amused me:

  • Dumbing down children is child abuse
  • Disclaimer: Views inside are not scientific
  • Absolutely Inaccurate Gibberish
  • Science loves you… love it back and accept it
  • Get your HAM and AIGs over there

Ooh. Last thing. Here’s a picture of a porta-potty at the rally site. I think we need to insert the letter “k” somewhere…

Skeptic

Coming up later: Part 2: My Day Inside the Creation Museum!


[tags]atheist, atheism, Rally for Reason, Creation Museum, Answers In Genesis, DefCon, Pascal’s Wager, Creationist, science, Salon.com, Evolution, Jeannine Vest, Kaye Fish, radiometric dating, carbon dating, Nicole Smalkowski, Tim O’Connor, Connie Brockman, Michelle Duennes, College of Mount St. Joseph, Sophia Riehemann, Camp Quest, Godless Americans March on Washington, Ben Myers, The Ohio State University, Carol Carlson, Jesus, Christianity[/tags]

  • miller

    If there is no God……
    A believer loses nothing at death.
    If there is a God……
    An Atheist loses everything at death.
    Who, then, is being a dum dum?

    God?

  • http://olvlzl.blogspot.com/ olvlzl, no ism, no ist

    I was with you till this:

    with a group of my fellow college-aged protesters

    go ahead, rub it in.

    So, it looks like it might have been fun? The “Creation Museum” will not be defeated through the use of reason but by making it the target of intelligent ridicule. I think you are better placed to do that than most of the big name rationalists. You’ve got a heart, the nasty style of invective most commonly seen is bad PR. You’ve got to win them over. The big mistake of those supporting evolution against creationism is that too many of them are more interested in pointing out how smart they are by making fun of people who might be on the fence between science and superstition.

    Read what Lawrence Krauss said in this story:

    Lawrence M. Krauss, a physicist at Case Western Reserve University known for his staunch opposition to teaching creationism, found himself in the unfamiliar role of playing the moderate. “I think we need to respect people’s philosophical notions unless those notions are wrong,” he said.

    “The Earth isn’t 6,000 years old,” he said. “The Kennewick man was not a Umatilla Indian.” But whether there really is some kind of supernatural being — Dr. Krauss said he was a nonbeliever — is a question unanswerable by theology, philosophy or even science. “Science does not make it impossible to believe in God,” Dr. Krauss insisted. “We should recognize that fact and live with it and stop being so pompous about it.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/21/science/21belief.html?ei=5090&en=1248e2f606e1e138&ex=1321765200&pagewanted=print

  • http://www.agnosticatheism.wordpress.com HeIsSailing

    I have been waiting for this trip report. It is amazing that the non-scientists are so very well funded. olvlzl is correct – this thing needs to be ridiculed to death. Why would Christians want to engage you by either quickly driving past saying you need prayer, or wanting to get in your face itching to fight?

    People in higher education like Jeannine Vest and Kaye Fish need to understand that this is not just a difference of ‘opinion’. I can have the opinion that the earth is flat and circular, just like Isaiah says, but I am dead wrong. If I spread that as fact, I will be quickly be brought to ridicule. That is not a difference of ‘opinion’, I am just dead wrong by making a fallacious assumption. There is nothing different here with the Creation Museum showing a different ‘opinion’ of our origins.

    I did like your last photo. Indeed – “When will the dark ages end?”

    I am looking forward to Part 2 for a peek inside the Halls of Knowledge.

  • http://reasonableatheist.blogspot.com Bart

    So, it looks like it might have been fun? The “Creation Museum” will not be defeated through the use of reason but by making it the target of intelligent ridicule. I think you are better placed to do that than most of the big name rationalists. You’ve got a heart, the nasty style of invective most commonly seen is bad PR. You’ve got to win them over.

    I agree with this, I think Hemant is a really good person to give atheism some good PR.

    “Science does not make it impossible to believe in God,” Dr. Krauss insisted. “We should recognize that fact and live with it and stop being so pompous about it.”

    I keep hearing things like this. But doesn’t science make it impossible to believe in the sort of personal God like most people believe in? I understand how it doesn’t make believing in the deist god impossible, but I really don’t think that’s what most people believe in.

    I’d be happy to have somebody prove me wrong.

  • diana

    Just curious – if creationists believe that dinosaurs existed (due to fossil evidence), why do they not believe that dinosaur fossils are millions of years old?

  • http://reasonableatheist.blogspot.com Bart

    Just curious – if creationists believe that dinosaurs existed (due to fossil evidence), why do they not believe that dinosaur fossils are millions of years old?

    They believe the dinosaurs fossils got put in the ground during the flood.

  • http://acosmopolitan.blogspot.com Anatoly

    Looks like a great time outside. They actually let you, crazy “evilutionists,” inside the museum? I’m looking forward to a write up of how that went.

  • http://olvlzl.blogspot.com/ olvlzl, no ism, no ist

    But doesn’t science make it impossible to believe in the sort of personal God like most people believe in?

    Now that’s something I don’t understand, myself, as someone who is not an atheist. If God is said to be “all powerful, all knowing, eternal and infinite” the such a God could include the attributes of a “personal God” but such a God would also have to include infintely more than that. To exclude more might make sense out of the assumption of anthropomorphism, but to to then not go beyond that would seem to be contradictory and, frankly, impious.

  • jtwurth

    I was at the rally yesterday. It was my first time at something like this. I live only 20 minutes from the museum and felt that it was too close to home to not participate. I am an atheist but not affiliated. I attended with two Catholic friends of mine.

    My friends and I also wished there had been more Christians there like Rev. Mendle Adams. It was very refreshing to hear from him. We also enjoyed hearing what you had to say and wish you had been at the microphone longer. While I think the rally was helpful and necessary I was disappointed to hear some of the negativity coming from the the crowd and that many of them focussed more on being anti-christian than pro-science.

    I am an atheist but my entire family is Catholic and so is my wife. I am frequently offended by atheist groups who claim intellectual superiority over all Christians. I am not the lone voice of reason in a family of nutjobs. My family and friends (while Christian) are not anti-evolution or anti-science. Many of them are educators and while they believe in the importance of a Catholic education they also believe in the importance of an education grounded in good science. Their kooky religious school has a 99.9% graduation rate and about a 98% rate of students who go on to higher education. As a resident of Kentucky I know that the public schools cannot come close to matching these numbers.

    I just felt it was important to point out that not everyone in Kentucky is as deluded as AIG and that many of these people are both Christian and rational scientists.

  • http://www.matsonwaggs.wordpress.com Kelly

    I’ve been so excited to read your report! I was really upset that I couldn’t make it.
    How frightening is it that two women getting Masters in Education could dismiss this as mere difference of opinion. Yikes. That makes me so glad that I’m working on an education degree. We need to make sure there are plenty of pro science educators coming into the field.

  • http://www.myspace.com/OhioRationalResponders healthyaddict

    It was such an excellent turn out!

    I too wish there were more religious people supporting us there though.. =/

  • Richard Wade

    But doesn’t science make it impossible to believe in the sort of personal God like most people believe in?

    Science doesn’t make it impossible for anyone to believe in anything. Belief can be a completely free agent in the mind, independent of all contradictory thought, knowledge, or experience. Science is not a state of mind, it’s a method of thought. It can be turned on and off. A person can understand the science behind light and color better than anyone and still believe that black is white, if he wishes. Most people tend to have more homogenous minds, but many have remarkable contradictions cohabiting in their heads. As long as they can maintain a modicum of function in work and relationships they do not fit the definition of mental illness.

    There’s a guy sitting in the White House right now who believes that the American people are fully behind his policies in Iraq. Check this out and marvel at the magic of the mind.

  • HappyNat

    Just curious – if creationists believe that dinosaurs existed (due to fossil evidence), why do they not believe that dinosaur fossils are millions of years old?

    Satan planted these fossils as a way to test our faith . . .

  • http://faughnblog.blogspot.com Adam

    While I disagree with you on the subject (I believe Genesis is accurate in every way, including scientifically), I really appreciate the way you presented the “other side” of the Creation Museum opening.

    I think one of the best things this museum will cause is debate. So many, though, have been hot-headed and not engaged in logical discussions about creation/evolution. Thank you for presenting a level-headed introduction to some of the goings on in Kentucky yesterday.

  • Miko

    Now that’s something I don’t understand, myself, as someone who is not an atheist. If God is said to be “all powerful, all knowing, eternal and infinite” the such a God could include the attributes of a “personal God” but such a God would also have to include infintely more than that.

    The philosophical argument there tends to go that personality is defined by limitations and god is defined by lack of limitations and therefore god cannot have personal attributes. I can’t explain it very well since I don’t believe it and have never heard anyone explain it well myself, but Smith goes into it in Atheism: The Case… if you’re interested in it.

    The scientific argument, however, is quite a bit stronger. The only reason that science would be unable to disprove an aspect of god is if that aspect were to lie completely outside of reality and to have to interaction with reality. Thus, by claiming that science cannot disprove the existence of your god, you are claiming that the god is not a part of this universe and does not interact with this universe through miracles, answered prayers, writing holy books, etc. If you have a personal god, it must be doing at least one of these things, and so is interacting with the universe, and so is scientifically testable.

  • http://www.imagineNOsuperstition.comindevelopment Dr. Stephen Uhl

    What a pregnant question photographed on the port-o-let: “When will the dark ages end?” I think these courageous and dedicated college-age youngsters can live to see the happy day when reason is respected more popularly. This can happen when their science teaching shows that all (yes, all) supernatural stuff is superstition. Imagine No Superstition (by a former priest-become-psychologist) shows where all the superstitious B.S. comes from and how to flush it completely and enjoy this real life.
    .

  • Nica Lalli

    Hi from New York….where I appeared on the show Fox and Friends this morning (at the horrid early hour of 6:20) to debate the dierctor of the musuem (Kenneth Hamm) outside of which you are protesting. That’s right it was the atheist author against the creationist with a musuem! I brought other “knowledge” to the discussion because I am also a musuem educator at the Metropolitan Musuem of Art (where, by the way we have objects that date to 8,000 BCE – a dilema for those who think that the earth is only 6,000 years old!) I started out by saying that this place is not a musuem, maybe a theme park or a family entertainment center, but since there is no valid study and research going on, I question the use of the word “musuem.”

    Anyway, it was a good 2.5 minute segment and I got some good comments in. But really, a debate is so hard to be had (on morning TV) and it dissolved into him telling me that I had an “irrational world view” because I DON”T believe in god.

    Well, I sure do wish I could be there. And I do want to see the big, bad dinosaurs!

    Good Luck!

    Nica Lalli (author of Nothing: Something to Believe In)

  • Kaye Fish

    Hemant, You were very friendly, you also stated you wouldn’t be taking us out of context and you did. Jeannine and I both have our Masters already and we were actually there to hand out bottled water to the protesters. You were absolutely correct on one thing though, it is difficult to have a conversation with someone when they have no knowledge base concerning the discussion.

    Kaye Fish

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Hemant Mehta

    Kaye– I didn’t mean to misspeak about that information. I was just going off of what my notes said. But I did correct it in the posting. Thanks!

  • Nica Lalli
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  • http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/~ludtke/prof/index.htm cautious

    For more hilarity, try watching a YouTube CBN interview of Ken Ham. Some of the commentary is purely priceless.

    “They [in reference to Hemant and other protestors] don’t want Christians to use science to support the Bible”

    Which science is that?

    “[They say] you shouldn’t be allowed to have such a museum, you shouldn’t be allowed to open”

    This is America, where stupid ideas are often given the opportunity to fight the free market and either languish or thrive. What is wrong of the Creation Museum is to lie and claim that they have science backing them up. They don’t, and to say they do is “bearing false witness”.

    “I’m glad I didn’t live with the dinosaurs, I’m sure you do too”

    People like this who flaunt an ignorance of prehistory just madden me.

    I can crawl into their way of thinking, I really do think I can. I can imagine a world with one single continent (hey, let’s even call it Pangaea), since supposedly continental drift all happened during the Flood. On this single continent, every terrestrial organism known in the fossil record and today lived. Every type of tree, every fresh water organism, every dinosaur, every amphibian, every insect, every reptile, every mammal, every bird, every hominid. In the world ocean, all the marine organisms ever, brachiopods and trilobites and ammonites and whales and plesiosaurs and mosasaurs and ichthyosaurs and sharks and bony fishes, all hung out. In the skies above, insects and pterosaurs and birds and bats flew.

    And for a while, it was good. Everyone was a vegetarian, and, more to the point, NOTHING died. No bird ever flew into a bat, no armadillo ever fell down a cliff, no mosasaur ever drowned. Organisms that now only live for a day (like, say, bacteria) apparently either did not exist or just didn’t die yet.

    Then Adam and Eve ruined everything. Suddenly, and out of nowhere, disease starts happening, parasites start parasiting, birds start eating bats, dinosaurs start eating mammals, sharks start eating whales, plants start eating insects. …meanwhile, human beings (all TWO of them) somehow survive in the world’s ultimate Battle Royale.

    That is the world of the young Earth creationist. Does this seriously sound more “likely” than that death has been around for a long time?

  • monkeymind

    I predict the Creation Museum will become a kitschy tourist destination, like the Mystery Spot or Carhenge in Nebraska. Sophisticated world travelers will go there to take ironic photos of each other posing with the smiling dinosaurs.

  • Mriana

    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?

    Yup! Exodus 31:15 says it is. Probably a couple other places too. It also breaks the 4th Commandment.

    Besides provoking people through their proselytizing, they handed out Dum Dum lollipops which had a special message (a weak version of Pascal’s Wager) attached to the stick:

    If there is no God……
    A believer loses nothing at death.
    If there is a God……
    An Atheist loses everything at death.
    Who, then, is being a dum dum?

    Would anyone like to answer that last question…?

    Well… If you are believing it our of fear or just to get that almighty reward, then you could possibly go to hell because it’s not belief from the heart, esp IF God does look at the heart. Either way, those who are Christians out of fear of hell or because they want to live forever in some idealistic concept of what they call heaven, they might not get what they want.

    Too bad he was lying.

    You know that is a sin too. It breaks the 9th commandment “Thou shalt not bear false witness against they neighbour.”

    Oh boy! How many more did they break? I guess they think they are better than us and know more about the Bible than we do, so they can do what they want- including cheat and steal. :roll:

    You know, I always thought the non-religious were better behaved then then some Christians- esp those of the Religious Reich. I guess they think because we aren’t religious like they are, we don’t know anything about the Bible. We know a lot more than they give us credit for, probably more than they do.

    Other than those things, it looks like you did have some fun too. Wish I could have been there. One of these days, I will be able to join in on some of these things. I promise I’ll be good and not point out where they are not following their own beliefs while I’m there. :lol: Then again, their reaction could be fun to see.

  • http://undiscoveredfuture.blogspot.com Rebecca

    I wish I lived close enough to protest…

  • http://tc2.atspace.com TC

    Ooh. Last thing. Here’s a picture of a porta-potty at the rally site. I think we need to insert the letter “k” somewhere…

    I don’t get it. Where in the picture do you say that a ‘k’ should be added?

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  • No Disrespect

    It should be noted that I see no need for a Creationist museum, but to each his own. Is the museum privately owned and operated? And if so, then what business is it of yours or anyone who shares your atheist point of view? Honestly, the entire protest was an exercise in stupidity and a self-righteous disrespect for people who do not share your point of view. I guess there are a lot of atheists who are oblivious to the fact that this is a country with freedom of religion or the lack thereof.

    I’m surprised that you didn’t see the irony in atheists going to protest against people who are representing their belief system when so many atheists do not appreciate religious people trying to convert them or attacking their views. It’s blatent hypocrisy to try to suppress their point of view while forcing yours, whether you beleive what those people are saying or not.

  • diana

    Thanks Bart.

    I wish one of the creationists would answer my question, though. Kaye, would you care to tackle it? Are you honestly saging that you accept the reality of dinosaur fossils, but not the scientific methods used to date them?

    I’m not looking to change any minds, here, I just want to understand where you are coming from.

    Thanks.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com FriendlyAtheist

    It’s blatent hypocrisy to try to suppress their point of view while forcing yours

    No Disrespect– The museum is privately owned and operated. And no one is trying to suppress their point of view (in fact, I think most atheists would be in favor of them being allowed to build the museum with their own money).

    What we’re against, and what we were protesting, is the idea that they are trying to say that this museum is legitimate science. It is not. They are blatantly distorting the idea of what real science is, and that is what we’re against. If they said this was a Bible museum, there would be no protest. But they did not do that. They said this was a science museum. And since atheists are in favor of truth, we protested. Hope that makes sense.

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  • Richard Wade

    I don’t get it. Where in the picture do you say that a ‘k’ should be added?

    Between the s and the e in septic. (hee hee hee) :)

  • http://www.cbourgeois.org/clint/html Clint Bourgeois

    I didn’t go to the rally, but would like to point out that Rev. Mendle Adams has been fighting Ken Ham since he moved into the area. I’m agnostic, but my wife and I are members of his church. He fits reason into his sermons every Sunday.

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  • http://tc2.atspace.com TC

    Richard Wade said

    Between the s and the e in septic. (hee hee hee)

    Thanks, I get it now!

  • Mike

    Just curious,

    Why do you people see the need to protest this? I mean, I’m not a creationist, but why not let people believe what they want to believe and leave them alone. Isn’t that what freedom of religion is all about?

  • Richard Wade

    Hi Mike,

    Your question is a legitimate one and deserves a thoughtful answer. I’m going to repeat part of an answer to a similar question on another posting:

    The protest isn’t about limiting anyone’s freedom of religion; it’s about protecting the integrity of science. Many of the people supporting the protest are Christians, and the speakers at the rally stressed this distinction over and over.

    The owners of the Creation Museum are cynically attempting to co-opt and hijack science to garner power and money from people who don’t have enough education to realize that they are being hoodwinked. We’re not concerned that they’re being deceived about God; they are being deceived that science supports these narrow views that want to portray a Biblical metaphor as literal fact.

    A few crackpots assaulting science is not a threat, but this is widespread, well organized and growing, and a threat to science is a threat to all of us.

    You owe your life to science right now. The clothes on your back, the food in your belly, the medicine in your veins, the technology you use every day for your livelihood were all brought to you by science, a discipline of thought that constantly demands its own correction. It has been spectacularly successful in making people’s lives better, safer, longer and more satisfying. So it has great persuasive power, and the people behind the Creation Museum want to steal that persuasive power for their own ends, to gain power and money by misleading the ignorant.

    Our civilization is now entirely dependent on a constant flow of good, reliable science. Creationism masquerading as science with slick exhibits, scientific jargon tossed around and twisted scientific theories threatens the integrity of science and misleads the public about what science is and what it does. Our civilization will crumble if we allow science to be corrupted by ambitious demagogues. Ambitious people of many different ideologies have attempted to do this.

    Christians should be outraged by this museum and many are because it co-opts and hijacks their religion as well as science.

    We want people to be well informed so that they can make intelligent decisions about their private lives and about social issues. The kind of aggressive anti-intellectualism and self-replicating ignorance that this museum promotes has made the United States the laughing stock of the rest of the world, has steered us into idiotic domestic and foreign policies and threatens the very freedom of religion that you ask about, as well as the rest of our civil liberties.

    If you think my remarks are overstating what is at stake then ask yourself if you would want to have the kind of “science” these people promote guiding the decisions of your doctor, the designers of the bridge you’ll be driving over and the plane you’ll be flying in, or the congressman representing your interests in Washington. It’s already worming its way in.

  • http://www.matsonwaggs.wordpress.com Kelly

    I just went to the ShellyTheRepublican blog and read their post about the protest. I’m speechless as to how ignorant they are.
    (see above-STR-The Freedom Blog)

  • Richard Wade

    Kelly,
    STR is satire in the same vein as the Colbert Report, mockery by exaggeration. Quite funny too when you understand. They deny that it’s tongue firmly in cheek, but even the way they do that is over the top and funny.

    Nice blog by the way.

  • http://www.matsonwaggs.wordpress.com Kelly

    Oh, good. Thanks for clearing that up. My satire radar usually goes off, so I’m bummed that I didn’t catch that!
    Thanks about the blog as well!

  • http://www.matsonwaggs.wordpress.com Kelly

    Oh, good. Thanks for clearing that up. My satire radar usually goes off, so I’m bummed that I didn’t catch that!
    Thanks about the blog as well!

  • Richard Wade

    Kelly, don’t feel bad, a whole lot of people assume STR is straight opinion. Growing up in my family I spoke satire before I spoke English, so I picked it up right away. There was a very long posting about it here several months ago. I was amazed people didn’t see through the joke but unfortunately there are redneck right wing nuts almost that crazy, so it’s understandable. Whenever STR finds out that people are calling it satire they come on and deny it, insisting that they mean it and it gets even funnier.

  • http://www.matsonwaggs.wordpress.com Kelly

    Good to know-now I can get a laugh out of it instead of feeling like I might vomit!

  • Mike

    Friendly,

    Interesting blog and posts. As a Catholic Christian, the approach by many creationists I find quite silly. I personally beleive in evolutionary theory (but I also see how a “creator” can use the evolutionary process). There are way to many creationists that give many beleivers a bad name simply because they want to chase after junk science to somehow prove a strictly literal interpretation of the bible (when many often will then also use verses metaphorically as well). Talk about speaking out of both sides of the mouth.

    In some ways I really support the rally. I personally think it makes many of us reasoning beleivers look foolish as if these people really represent all our beleifs. On the other hand, if they are privately funded, I kind of see the let them be stupid on their own side as well. I think sometimes protests only draw more visitors…

    Interesting (and friendly) conversation. I look forward to stopping in from time to time and at least sharing opinions in a nice open way. There needs to be more of this.

    Regards,

    Mike

  • Richard Wade

    Hi Mike,
    Good to hear your reasoned viewpoint. I hope you do stop in again. When you do, it would help if you distinguished yourself a little; there are more than one Mike posting here already, and it could get confusing. :)

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  • Panspermia guy

    I met Ken Ham once on my way from Hawaii to Greece (which included Patmos) during a long layover in a US mainland airport. As a YEC person myself since a youth from an agnostic family, degreed in chemical engineering and computer programming, I was asked to help with an article against evolution about the evolution of all whales from small dogs jumping in the water, which is belief of most evolutionists. Hawaii has a museum showing this so called Yum-yum dog even though there is no fossil evidence of this dog or any intermediates. They even added a whale/dog sound mix. I guess they had a time machine that took them back millions of years and recorded this dog to whale creature? Anyways, there should be many such fossils as well as millions of living transitional animals alive today. More proof that evolution is based on bizzare faith, not science. It’s much easier to believe an all powerful creator/savior made the whales from the start. Don’t get me wrong though, if Paris Hilton’s little lap dog Tinkerbell jumps in a big hotel pool and changes into a grey whale or some bizarre half whale/half chihuahua creature, I might believe in evolution too.

  • http://thatatheistguysblog.blogspot.com NYCatheist

    degreed in chemical engineering and computer programming

    Another data point for:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salem_hypothesis

    I’m not sure you’ll get many responses commenting on a blog post that is almost a year old. Try the forum:

    http://www.friendlyatheist.com/phpBB3/

    changes into a grey whale or some bizarre half whale/half chihuahua creature, I might believe in evolution too.

    If that happened I actually wouldn’t believe in evolution, because that isn’t what the theory describes. If Tinkerbell turned into a whale before my eyes I would believe in a supernatural creator god right there on the spot! Or at least David Copperfield.

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