Despite Ken Ham’s Wrangling, Creation Museum Left Off List of Places Every Kid Should Visit

Remember when Budget Travel was taking nominations for their list of “15 places kids should see before 15“?

The Creation Museum had topped the list thanks to constant voting from Ken Ham‘s readers. (And golf claps to them for out-Pharyngulating us.)

Now, the article based off the poll is out… and the Creation Museum didn’t make the cut :)

Our nominations process was fierce and brought out the full range of emotions in our audience — passion, joy, sadness, anger. You spoke up to nominate 562 attractions and voted over 138,000 times. So how did we arrive at the final list? As we explained in the rules, we used your votes — combined with factors such as geographic and thematic diversity-to guide our selection-making process. And we automatically eliminated places that had made our story last year.

I guess misrepresenting science and brainwashing children was also a dealbreaker for them, considering the Creation Museum didn’t make last year’s list, either.

Way to keep the list focused on quality locations, Budget Travel!

(Thanks to Deven Kale for the link!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • FSq

    If anyone finds Ken Ham’s response to this slight, I would love to see the link to the false-indignance!!!

    The creation museum is an abomination.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adam-Patrick/100000027906887 Adam Patrick

      Who wants to bet that Ham would play the victim and claim the evil, liberal, commie scientists are oppressing him?

      • http://profiles.google.com/jinxmchue Jinx McHue

         Results like this go a long way to prove that they are.

        • Binjabreel

          Yeah, cruelly oppressing them with reality.

        • Parse

          The ranked entries that they pulled for the article are:
          2, 3, 8, 15, 17, 22, 24, 27, 31, 35, 38, 41, 45, 51, and 52.  If Ham’s Creation Attraction was one of the only entries skipped, then I’d agree that this is oppression.  But it’s not.  It’s not even close.
          Do you realize that, by using such weak claims as proof of your being oppressed, you make it harder for us to take seriously other times Christians claim persecution?  You’re also reinforcing the negative stereotypes many non-Christians have of creationists.

      • Anonymous-Sam

         He already did awhile back when we rallied to vote.

    • Vw_bus76

      Ken Ham’s Response.

       https://www.facebook.com/aigkenham?__adt=6&filter=1

      Remember the Budget Travel site that asked for votes for the best places
      for children to visit? And the atheists tried to crash the site
      against the Creation Museum. Well the voting closed and the Creation
      Museum was number one. The site has now come out with its 15 top recommendations. Here is what they say:

      “Last year, we picked 15 US landmarks every child should see before
      they turn 15 and you didn’t always agree with our picks. This time we
      asked you to help us put together the definitive family vacation
      checklist. What made a monument worthy of inclusion? It needed to be
      fun, educational, and especially magical through the eyes of a child. It
      needed to inspire adults to tap back into that childlike sense of
      wonder. And it needed to have universal appeal. Of course, the surest
      way to rile folks up is to publish a list and this case was no
      different. Our nominations process was fierce and brought out the full
      range of emotions in our audience—passion, joy, sadness, anger. You
      spoke up to nominate 562 attractions and voted over 138,000 times. So
      how did we arrive at the final list? As we explained in the rules, we
      used your votes—combined with factors such as geographic and thematic
      diversity-to guide our selection-making process. And we automatically
      eliminated places that had made our story last year. The final list for
      2012 represents the best that our nation has to offer our children.
      (Psssst… want to see the top five winners by votes alone? Visit our
      nominations page.)”

      So guess which one was not in their top
      recommended list? Well you can check it out at their link (of course
      the ardently atheistic evolutionary Museums made the list

  • Abhishikt Jain

    So there is still hope in this world :)

    • http://profiles.google.com/jinxmchue Jinx McHue

       Yes, lots of hope that anti-Christian bigotry and viewpoint discrimination will prevail.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=553145445 Gordon Duffy

         or common sense at least.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tiffany-Jade-Brown/640358790 Tiffany Jade Brown

         Anti-Christian, you say? Didn’t realize there was anything anti-Christian about not wanting children to visit a place that denies rationality and science.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=500163078 K Douglas Horseman

        You want to talk about bigotry, look no further than Ken Ham himself. I’d rather not send kids to a place run by a man who feels comfortable saying in public that atheists should be drowned in the sea. 
        http://fatlip.leoweekly.com/2012/03/21/ken-ham-advocates-drowning-atheists/ I think that is pretty much the definition of viewpoint discrimination.

      • Fentwin

        Look at it this way.

        I firmly believe that you have every right to stand in the public square and profess your religious beliefs. Yet I also have the right to point and laugh.

      • FSq

        You really do not understand the difference between taking away a religious group’s preferential treatment and persecution are not one and the same.

  • http://straightupsocialist.blogspot.com/ shreddakj

    I’m just waiting for the conspiratorial creationists to claim that they’re being oppressed and censored again.

    • http://profiles.google.com/jinxmchue Jinx McHue

       How can you conclude that they’re not?

      • http://www.facebook.com/DocMonkey Mick Wright

         Nuh-uh. Burden of proof. First they’ve got to prove they are.

    • Parse

      Man, you’re lucky.  You start waiting for claims of oppression and censorship from creationists, and you get it in less than three hours.  I’ve been waiting years for them to produce evidence that meshes with everything else we know about the world, and I’ve never gotten anything.

  • Kyle Anderson

    Why even bother with fundamentalists? I know they are easy to pick on…but there are much more “worthy” opponents in terms of religious beliefs.

    It is idle to talk always of the alternative of reason and faith.  Reason is itself a matter of faith.  It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all.  If you are merely a sceptic, you must sooner or later ask yourself the question, “Why should ANYTHING go right; even observation and deduction?  Why should not good logic be as misleading as bad logic? They are both movements in the brain of a bewildered ape?” 
    –G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

    • Adam.B

      You’re presenting the same bad rationality as others have, that anything you don’t know 100% about is “faith” and all “faith” is equal.

      If I say I’m not walking through a burning building because I don’t wish to be burned would you say the opposite proposition of going into a burning building is equally as reasonable because we can’t be 100% certain that the fire does exist and will burn you.

      We use our capacity for reason because we must, the only alternate would leave us sitting in the mud doing nothing which gets use nowhere.

      The right question to ask  is what can we know within what we have to work with.

      • Kyle Anderson

        Why would you think that I am using the rationality that all faith is equal when the entire point of my post was to detract from fundamentalists whose faith I clearly disagree with?

        If anyone says that all faith is equal it is surely the person who has no faith, not the person who has a faith. It is always the amateur who can not make distinctions, not the expert. 

        With the burning building, you can be 100% certain that there is a fire…but only if you believe that your observations correspond to reality. It would only be if  you doubted your observations (in other words, if you didn’t have faith that your observations corresponded to reality) that you wouldn’t be sure and that going into the building might possibly be reasonable.

        You say that we use our capacity for reason because we must…and I say that we must believe that our capacity for reason conforms to reality in order to use it. You have to believe that implicitly even if you are hesitant to admit it explicitly. 

        • Anonymous

           “If anyone says that all faith is equal it is surely the person who has
          no faith, not the person who has a faith. It is always the amateur who
          can not make distinctions, not the expert. ” And how does one become an expert in faith? If faith is belief and trust in loyalty to a God, then the craziest hallucinogenic vagrants wandering about the streets are the pinnacles of faith expertise.

    • Adam.B

      Also if you wanted a more pragmatic reason as to why the ”bewildered ape’s” senses and reason should not be thrown out wholesale it is this, an organism who’s senses and reason doesn’t map to reality at least in part will not survive whether it be to predation/ starvation/ dehydration/ walking off a cliff etc.

      • Kyle Anderson

        I am not arguing that sense and reason should be thrown out, but if I were, that would be a nice counter-example.

        Even in this example, though, we still have to have faith that our reason conforms to reality. This belief underlies all of our actions. And, by your example, it is clearly not a blind faith but one supported by reasons (i.e. that we have survived until now). 

        I have survived until now, but in order to continue to survive I have to have faith that my thoughts will continue to conform to reality. The truth is that there is no guarantee that they will. Indeed, in old age many of us may cease to have thoughts that pertain to reality, and unless someone else protects us from ourselves, we will perish because of it.

        But even then, when our thoughts and senses are not realistic, I bet that we will still believe that they are. We would perish because we believed that they conformed to reality when they didn’t…but we would still believe it. The other possibility is that we would believe they didn’t conform to reality but were unable to find a way to survive with that knowledge.  I am sure this happens, but I think it is much more frequent that when everything else is gone, we will still cling to the belief that our experience corresponds to reality. 

        • Adam.B

          Sorry that I misinterpreted your post the only time I’ve ever heard a sentiment like your quoted portion is in the context of someone saying “how can you expect nature to select for a coherent working brain/mind.”

          In that mindset my comments were meant to provide a natural basis for a accurate
          sensory perception and reasoning not for them being currently right.

          But anyway after reading your second and third comments I fine my problem would be that I don’t fine that definition of faith to be very useful.

          As you said “Even in this example, though, we still have to have faith that our reason conforms to reality”.

          Assuming that we’ve scrutinized our reasoning of any given belief to the fullest of our ability and limit it to the extent of our doubt, the issue of does our reasoning/senses conforms to reality or do we just think so due to unknown factor X is (to me) a pragmatic one.

          Essentially if my ability to perceive reality is so compromised that I can’t/could never realize it, I end up with the same problem I have with solipsism, so what? Beyond acknowledging it there doesn’t seem to be much need or use for it (I can’t build or criticize with it).

          I guess to put it another way is if I’m in a room where I can only discern a door and I move to leave by it I don’t believe that it’s correct or meaningful to say I had faith there was a door and no windows, if that makes any sense…if it doesn’t I have to bow out since I’m out of ideas about how to articulate my thoughts on this.

          Also I would like to apologize for my other comment. I see I made you upset I’ am sorry it was not my intent to insult or anger you, I apologize.

          • Kyle Anderson

            Thanks Adam. Your replies make a lot more sense with the misinterpretation. I wasn’t really upset in my other response either, just trying to cut to the chase, so no hard feelings.

            I think that what Chesterton is really getting at in the quote I posted is that there is an axiomatic acceptance of reason that is implicitly done. Similar to how axioms can not be proved using a system based on them but are useful when accepted, so the use of reason can not be proved using reason but much can be done once we accept the use of reason.

            That accepting the “axiom of the use of reason” (I actually kind of like that) is what I am referring to as having a characteristic of faith about it. 

            The one thing one can not do is say, “I use reason because reason tells me to.” This is where what I am describing differs from solipsism*. Solipsism goes in a circle of doubt, you can always ask “how do you know?” and never be convinced. With reason, you can not use the axiom to prove the axiom, or you are actually not reasoning and the circle is broken immediately.

            This is really the root of the problem that I have with those who believe that they have a stranglehold on the use of reason and that all faith is by nature anti-reason. They fail to recognize exactly what Chesterton said, that “Reason is itself a matter of faith.” 

            *After rereading what you said about solipsism, I’d also like to add that I agree with you in that if you analyze something and find that you can not be sure whether your reasoning/senses conform to reality, that is the same as solipsism and not what I am trying to get at. I really want to strike at why we use reason at all in the first place.

    • http://criticallyskeptic-dckitty.blogspot.com Katherine Lorraine

       “Why bother” with fundamentalists?

      Cause it’s not rational Christians who are trying to turn America into Jesusland.
      Cause it’s not rational Christians who are actively reducing womens’ rights to “the kitchen and the bedroom.”
      Cause it’s not rational Christians who agree that gay people should be imprisoned, transgender people should be institutionalized, and those closeted should stay there.
      Cause it’s not rational Christians who think atheism is evil and atheists are the next Hitler.
      Cause it’s not rational Christians who want to bomb Planned Parenthood.
      Cause it’s not rational Christians who lie to our children about truths of science.

      I could continue to go on and on, there are so many more examples of this kind of abuse of religious power.

  • http://andybreeden.com Andy Breeden

    Because the fundamentalists breed, Kyle.

    • Kyle Anderson

      That is true. Unfortunately the arguments don’t just attack fundamentalists but caricature all faith as being equivalent to fundamentalism. This is untruthful and makes authentic dialogue very difficult when there is common ground.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=553145445 Gordon Duffy

         Faith is the problem. The fundamentalists are only a problem because they have faith.

        • Kyle Anderson

          That is quite the dogma :) 

          • http://andybreeden.com Andy Breeden

            Tough call. I think about that a lot. At the same time, it’s the fundies who seem to be taking their bibles and their faith seriously.

            Personally, I don’t mind if liberal theists are uncomfortable with the fundy caricature. Not when the fundies are rewriting history, trying to force creation “science” in schools, discriminating against gays, muslims, and others. Not when they’re prostituting their faith for political gain. Not when my kids are at risk in growing up in the world they want to create. No way, no how.

            Maybe more liberal theists should do something about the fundamentals of their faith and then they wouldn’t have to get their feelings hurt by any ridicule of their beliefs and their bible.

            Even the behavior of the folks at Westboro Baptist Church is biblically defensible. So that book deserves honest scrutiny.

            “Don’t whisper in my ear that you’re all not like that. Shout it in their ears.” – Dan Savage

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=553145445 Gordon Duffy

             fundamentalism is a symtom, faith is the disease.

            • http://andybreeden.com Andy Breeden

              I want to kiss Gordon.

  • Anonymous

    They remove the Creation Museum and include the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. That sort of behavior goes a long way to securing my business. Good for them.

  • http://profiles.google.com/jinxmchue Jinx McHue

    And you’re all proud of this?

    • http://twitter.com/Ryanhacun Ryan Hacunda

      The Creation Museum lies to children and promotes scientific ignorance. So, I can’t speak for everyone, but I’m quite happy it’s not on the list.

    • mkb

      Relieved would be the proper word; relieved that fewer children may be presented with distortions and lies.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=553145445 Gordon Duffy

        relieved is the best word. When you see they said the places needed to be educational, you can see why the Building of Lies was left off the list.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=553145445 Gordon Duffy

    “It needed to be fun, *educational*, and especially magical through the eyes of a child”

    there you go. It needed to be educational.

  • Anonymous

    I would like to think the letter I sent to BudgetTravel stating how insulting and ridiculous the AiG museum is made a difference. Maybe it did not, but I am pleased with the outcome regardless.


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