We Attended the Answers in Genesis Women’s Conference… and This is What Happened

Last weekend, Answers in Genesis — the ministry behind the Creation Museum — hosted a women’s conference focusing on modesty, marriage, and Creation. Unbeknownst to the organizers, I sent Kate (a contributor to this site) and Louise Kellar to the conference. The opinions expressed below are entirely their own. They wrote about their experiences separately and I have combined them into the narrative below. Since there was a lot of overlap, I’ve used Kate’s writing as the basis for the post with Louise’s observations in red.

Last Thursday, I packed my bags, plunked myself on a Megabus seat, and headed to Petersburg, Kentucky to get answers. Answers for Women, that is. I was ready to repent of my sins, recognize the scientific impossibility of evolution, and figure out God’s plan for my marriage. Or something like that.

The town consists of this ginormous museum and a B&B that seems pretty sketchy.

The conference started on Friday morning, but as part of the conference fee, we were given tickets to the Creation Museum, so Louise and I decided to spend the morning getting used to the museum and grounds. I definitely needed caffeine to get started. Unfortunately, the hotel we picked was also home to many of the other conference attendees, and in my sleep-fogged state, I accidentally wandered down to the continental breakfast area in shorts. After collecting two dirty looks for my bare legs (the horror!) I headed back to my room, feeling properly cowed, and changed into an appropriately long skirt.

Bibles in hand, we headed off to the museum. This was my first time there, and I was unnecessarily jumpy. Did we look too skeptical? What if my long skirt wasn’t long enough? Though I didn’t relax until we were halfway through the exhibits, I was put at ease when I was directed to sign in for the women’s conference.

The conference description included lines such as “Sadly, teachings like evolution, feminism, and others are becoming more prominent in the church. Are you equipped to respond to these challenges?” Yep, those feminists: always ruining the good word of God.

Five steps from the front desk, we were encouraged to take a picture against a green screen (which would later be filled in with hungry-looking dinosaurs). They told us to look scared… which turned out not to require a lot of acting on our parts:

Louise (left) and Kate in front of a green screen… I hope

No acting required

Off to the exhibits!

Actually, before we talk exhibits, a word about animatronic humans. They’re creepy. For the first hour, I was fighting the urge to say a chipper hello to the children playing near the dinosaurs… who turned out to be the product of gears and disturbingly realistic skin. By the second hour, I was jumping any time the actual museum visitors turned out to be breathing.

We started with a short movie called Men in White. An animatronic girl named Wendy sat on the stage next to her campfire and pondered God and evolution. BAM! Enter Gabe and Mike, angels in white overalls and wraparound sunglasses, there to convince Wendy (and those wacky evolution-accepting professors) that the truth lies in Creationism. We were also in the “special effects” theater, which meant we got shaky seats, surround sound, and — my least favorite — water sprayed in our faces. Properly educated and showered, we headed to the entrance of the museum exhibits — but not before passing a skeleton reading a Bible!

The museum was organized around the “Seven C’s” — that is, Creation, Corruption, Catastrophe, Confusion, Christ, Cross, and Consummation. Louise and I only made it through the first three — the place is huge.

Some highlights: Graffiti Alley (which explains how our secular culture is responsible for much of the evil in society) has little video clips on the wall. In one, a teenager is watching “pornography” and looking awfully bored while his brother is in the same room playing violent video games.

Creationists really don’t understand what people do while watching porn…

Speaking of animals, many of the displays had live ones, including chameleons, bright Amazonian frogs, and, of course, finches.

There was incest, too. In a display I certainly wasn’t expecting, the Creation Museum conceded that incest had to have occurred between Adam and Eve’s children. However, at the time, incest was totally okay; it wasn’t until later, they said, that genetic mutations came into being and incest became bad.

(Image via Pharyngula)

Overwhelmed with the anti-science, Louise and I decided to take a break to recharge and gather ourselves before heading to conference registration. So we headed into the basement, picked up our nametags and giftbags, and browsed the selection of books. I noticed many women examining copies of Atheism Remix, a response to New Atheism by the husband of one of the conference speakers. There were a lot of homeschool materials and almost as many books on becoming a good woman or wife.

The last time I saw so many books and DVDs by the same person (Ken Ham), I had unknowingly wandered into a Nuwaubian Nation bookstore where everything was written by Malachi York.

The conference (finally) started, albeit unofficially, at 3:00p, with Dr. Georgia Purdom.

Dr. Georgia Purdom: “The Genetic and Theological Reality of Adam and Eve”

This talk was open to the public and announced over the loudspeakers to the entire museum, but it was also the first event of the conference. About 200 people showed up, mainly women. The few men who were in the audience had their arms around spouses.

Dr. Purdom’s talk had two parts: (1) Explaining that scientists are wrong when they say that Genesis isn’t literally true and (2) saying that science proves that Adam and Eve were real. Confused? Yeah, me too. However, Purdom is one of two Answers in Genesis staffers with PhDs from secular universities (hers is in molecular genetics from Ohio State), so I was interested to hear how she would connect her training to her talk. (***Edit*** 5/16/13): Purdom points out that several AiG staffers have PhDs from secular universities. We apologize for the error.)

So, about those Adam and Eve characters — were they real people? Dr. Purdom seemed to take serious issue with this article from 2011 in Christianity Today and opened with some quotes from Christian scientists who argued that the Creation story was… well… a story. Her main argument seemed to be that it was a “matter of starting points,” and that the scientists were starting from a secular place, rather than the Bible. (Starting points would, unfortunately, be a running theme throughout the conference.) To prove her point, Dr. Purdom took us through a dizzying array of scripture that mentioned things real humans do: breathing, living, uniting in one flesh — the usual. She argued that since the verses mentioned real people doing real things, it was clearly not an allegory… which left me wondering, what does Dr. Purdom think an allegory would look like? For that matter, what about any work of fiction?

To prove Adam and Eve existed, Purdom just kept quoting Genesis, as if the attributes assigned to them could only happen to “real historical people.” She continued by showing and reading quotations from atheists about how Adam and Eve weren’t real people… which I concluded were the most accurate quotes of the entire conference.

Dr. Purdom also emphasized that because Jesus is supposed to be the “second Adam,” that proving Adam didn’t exist meant that Jesus wasn’t real either. Therefore, there was no way to give up ground to proponents of evolution — if you admit doubt anywhere, you’re bound to lose faith in everything. At this point, our friends from American Atheists made a surprise visit on the screen, thanks to their You Know It’s a Myth campaign. Purdom said, “It’s a problem when the atheists get it, and the Christians don’t.” In other words, atheists knew the connection and they didn’t believe in any of it, which was more intellectually honest, so to speak, than Christians who denied a literal Adam but believed in Christ. Vaguely affronted, I was glad when we moved on to the genetics.

Basically, Dr. Purdom had three points:

  1. Scientists say that chimps and humans share 98% percent of their DNA, but that’s only because they compare parts of DNA that line up. It’s really more like 76% (Which strikes me as still being pretty high, but apparently disproves evolution.)
  2. Scientists say that humans and chimps must have diverged from a common ancestor. We have 46 chromosomes and chimps have 48. There’s a theory that two chromosomes must have fused to become, in humans, Chromosome 2. This would be proven by finding telomere-like patterns within the center of our Chromosome 2. And we do! But we only find hundreds (which Dr. Purdom described as too few) instead of thousands. (Dr. Purdom offered up no proof, though, that thousands of telomeres were what secular scientists were expecting in the first place.)
  3. Scientists are wrong to say that we descended from a group of people since we only separated from the Tower of Babel 4,500 years ago. At this point, Dr. Purdom had blinded me with too much (pseudo-)science to sift through her explanation of the Institute for Creation Research’s work with single nucleotide polymorphisms.

Really, the entire talk boiled down to one idea: evolutionists are highly prejudiced, and Creation Scientists are starting from an objectively true point: the Bible.

At this point, we had a break and Louise began talking to one of the greeters. I notice that there was security everywhere in the museum. There were even concrete blockades at the entrance to the museum, spaced just close enough together to prevent an automobile from squeezing between any two of them.

As the conversation with the greeter continued, I finally asked her if the museum had a drug problem. She looked somewhat shocked that I had asked that, but I was referring to one of the security guards who had a dog with him. She told me very nonchalantly that it was not a drug dog, but a bomb-sniffing dog. “We get lots of bomb threats here!… In fact, when Ken Ham is around, he usually has a guard or two with him.” WTF Hemant? Sending us to a place with bomb scares?

[Hemant's note: For Science!]

Finally, the next talk — the first official talk of the conference — began.

Matthew Moore: “John’s Gospel: So That You May Believe”

Matthew was from Lamp and Light Productions, a company that re-enacts sections of the Bible for churches and religious colleges and, now, us. Really, there’s not much more I can add. It was word-for-word what you can find in the Gospel of John and it was certainly more entertaining than trying to read it on my own or listening to a monotone speaker in church, but I found myself waiting for the “real conference” to start. At the beginning of the presentation, Matthew said his hope was that we would come face to face with what we believed about Jesus Christ.

My conclusion? Still not God.

We specifically picked a row that only had three seats in hopes that no prying Creationist’s eyes would see our notes. Our hopes of that were quickly dashed when a lady, whom Kate had complimented on her sweater earlier, asked if the seat was taken. “Yes!” I wanted to scream. But, alas, maybe this woman would have something interesting to say.

The small talk between us began. After Kate mentioned she was from Chicago, the sweater lady explained, “I was listening to NPR and they said 50 schools were closing in Chicago; could they really to afford to close 50 schools?” Wait, what? This woman listened to NPR? Had we found another infiltrator at this conference? Nope. That theory fell after she went on a tirade about how Jon Stewart had offended her, so she quit watching The Daily Show. I felt there could still be a glimmer of hope for her, but nope, nope, nope. Turns out she wrote a children’s book for Creationist kids.

Steve Ham: “Created in the Image of God”

The last talk of the night came from Steve Ham (Ken Ham’s brother) and it was about how everyone was created in the image of God. (It’s what makes us human!)

At this point I was really dumbfounded that the first two speakers of the night were men.

In a twist I wasn’t anticipating, Ham conceded that while some of the Founding Fathers were clearly Christian, others may or may not have been, but that they said all men were created equal. This, somehow, tied into how evolution and millions of years and apemen were “barraging” against scripture and how we couldn’t believe that history. It was a “revisionist” history being taught against the scripture. Children were learning a philosophy and not a real history! At this point, communications broke down somewhat and I really had no idea what train of thought I was supposed to be following. The gist seemed to be that the worldly people were teaching history based on things people said, rather than things the people who wrote the Bible said.

Since the talk was about the sanctity of human life, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that abortion doctors came up, particularly Kermit Gosnell. Apparently, this is what happens when revisionist history believers take the Hippocratic Oath.

Next we moved on to one of the more creative arguments for Creationism I’d ever heard: The fossil record shows destruction (floods, volcanoes, etc.) and we know that destruction isn’t possible without sin. Since humans didn’t exist millions of years ago, sin couldn’t have existed millions of years ago, so the fossil record is incorrect. Checkmate, evolutionists!

We wrapped up our first night with more about the importance of valuing human life. (Interestingly, though Steve Ham talked about the horrors of suicide, euthanasia, abortion, and murder, Answers in Genesis is perfectly fine with the death penalty.) Finally, we received a reminder that our sons and daughters were failures — made in the image of God, but failed image bearers. So, don’t forget to look at your children as failures.

Ham also talked about how his daughter has an “evil dimple” and how his son has the “Ham thinking face.” What that looks like, I’ll leave to your imagination. Ham continued on about how his kids are created in the image of him and his wife and how he and his wife are created in God’s image. He soon catapulted into discussing the value of human life and how abortion and murder are wrong, invoking Hitler and eugenics and why Darwin is terrible and let’s not forget how Margaret Sanger loved abortion!

On that cheerful note, we were released.

Day Two! I definitely needed more caffeine for this one. Unfortunately, when I went downstairs, I found an impromptu worship service in the lobby and that the hotel was completely out of coffee. I beat a hasty retreat.

Mary Mohler: “Modeling Modesty”

The first speaker of the day was Mary Mohler, wife of Atheism Remix author Albert Mohler, who came here to teach us to be modest. She opened by pointing out that the world would think we were out of our minds to be at the Creation Museum on a Saturday morning talking about modesty.

Yes, yes I believe that…

Sadly, it was all downhill from there. Mohler opened by critiquing the fashion industry, which never talks about modesty, and unbelievers, who don’t have any intuition about how to dress themselves modestly.

Though Mohler was clearly a comfortable and confident speaker, she seemed to have little grasp of her audience, emphasizing twice that we didn’t need to dress like the people on “Little House on the Prairie” while more than a few Mennonite women sat in the room.

Mohler also concluded that the problem threatening Christian men and women is really “accidental immodesty.” To illustrate this, she referred to fictional characters (PDF) who wouldn’t be out of place in elementary school: Disorganized Delores, Frugal Frances, Bargain-Hunting Barbie, Dieting Diane, Hannah and her husband Hank, Postpartum Polly, Clueless Clarice, Stylish Steffie, and Pressured Priscilla.

The common theme seemed to be mocking plus-sized women: Dieting Diane is funny because she thinks she can fit into those jeans, Frugal Frances is ridiculous for trying to fit into that bargain top, and Postpartum Polly just doesn’t understand that she’s still too heavy to wear those clothes she used to fit into! Ha. Ha. Ha. This would resurface when bikinis came up; when pictures of celebrities with larger stomachs came on screen, there was an audible “ugh” from the audience.

It appeared most of these stereotypes were about body shaming plus-size women and letting us know that men are visual and we shouldn’t tempt them. I felt she was really saying that if you’re fat, wear a burka, and if you dress provocatively, all men will probably rape you.

Deuteronomy 22:5 also came up (“A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this”). Mohler explained that while this might sound like an argument against wearing pants, it was actually an argument against wearing boy-cut jeans. But, of course, make sure your girl jeans aren’t too tight! She gave the example of her husband, who owns jeans and a pink polo shirt, just as she does. But, when they wear them at the same time, you can tell who’s the wife and who’s the husband.

Joy Fagan: “Vessels of Honor: Our Identity and Calling”

The next speaker was Joy Fagan, a professor at Cedarville University. She started out with some jokes about how men and women are like objects.

Women are like egg-timers because, over time, all the weight shifts to the bottom!

Men are like trains because they always use the same old lines!

Freezer bags are male because they hold everything in and you can see through them.

Tires are male because they easily go bald and are often over-inflated.

Hot air balloons are male because, to get them going, you have to light fire under their derrière.

Web pages are female because they are constantly getting looked at and hit on.

Hammers are male because over the last 5,000 years they’ve changed very little and are occasionally handy to have around.

Women are like sponges because they’re “soft, squeezable, and retain water!” (Seriously, what was it with making fun of women and their weight? This hardly seemed like an affirming conference.)

So men are lazy and sort of useless, while women gain weight. Yep. Hilarious.

Joy’s main focus was the calling of women. We, women, are the vessels within the home of God, and we’re supposed to make ourselves valuable and useful. In order to become the most useful vessels, we’re supposed to heal ourselves, focus on our inner beauty, and complement the men in our lives.

Interestingly enough, she mentioned that she was very proud that she was a 45-year-old single female who had never been married. Her other comments also focused on how she didn’t like children very much. At this point, I was very confused because she seemed like an anomaly compared to all the other women at the conference.

Though Joy was a powerful speaker, her talk seemed a touch disorganized — wandering from how gender diversity was the most important kind of diversity (but only if it involved cisgender men and women) to how it’s not judgmental if you’re telling someone how making changes in their life would make them more godly. She finished her talk by talking about her work at Safe Harbor House, a safe house for women leaving sex work or fighting drug and alcohol abuse. I don’t actually want to snark about this — there’s little long term housing and support available for women in these positions. In fact, I wish atheists provided more institutions like these.

Lunch was salad and fruit — at a women’s conference? Really? Must all stereotypes be fulfilled? — followed by cupcakes. (The Creation Museum makes damn good cupcakes, y’all.) We accidentally ended up sitting at the same table as Joy Fagan and her mother, something I was really excited about. I wanted to know how Joy had gotten into running Safe Harbor House. After all, as an unmarried 45-year-old woman in a church focused largely on marriage and raising children, life couldn’t be easy. Unfortunately, when I tried to ask, Joy responded obliquely, telling me about the date she bought Safe Haven House and when they took in their first women. It’s easy to get burned out at conferences, but I was disappointed that Joy didn’t seem interested in interacting with anyone at the table.

Mary Mohler: “Embracing God’s Plan for Marriage in a World that Makes Up Its Own Rules”

Mary Mohler was back, this time to tell us about God’s plan for marriage. The first half of the talk seemed to be less about God’s plan and more about how those darn gays and secularists kept ruining marriage. Christians will soon find themselves on the edge of society, labeled as bigots, if they keep promoting what God wants for us! The horror! (Okay, okay, I’m editorializing a touch, but really, it was hard to keep a straight face.)

Mohler ranted about how cohabitation is the new normal. “Cohabitation = fornication and is sexually immoral.” She continued on by saying men need to love their wives like Christ loves the church. I’ve heard that many times but it still doesn’t really make sense to me. It seems like a circle jerk of illogical thinking.

Mohler emphasized that men and women are equal in value and worth, but have different form and function. Even though the Bible says that women are to submit to their husbands, it also says that husbands have to love their wives. She explained that the really difficult challenge was for men — they have to love their wives no matter what. And nobody ever talks about how hard that is for men!

We also heard about the two positions within the church on the relationship between men and women. One camp, headed by Christians For Biblical Equality, is all about egalitarianism (we’re all equal). However, they’re misinterpreting scripture because they’re ignoring the parts of scripture where men and women are given different roles. CBE also promotes marriage as a partnership, where spouses divide responsibilities by their expertise and availability — for example, if mom makes enough money for the family, dad can stay at home with the children. This sounded completely logical to me, but apparently it’s defying God’s will and therefore blasphemous.

The other camp (which, of course, is what Mohler promotes) is the complementarian position, lead by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. This theory suggests that men and women are equal in front of God, but have different roles and functions (i.e. women = housewives, men = breadwinners). Women aren’t supposed to disrespect the role of men and cause them to abuse their role. But everybody’s still equal! (Hemant’s note: Hello, Pastor Steven Anderson)

Mohler emphasized that this wasn’t a matter of becoming a “timid wallflower,” but about accepting the leadership of your husband without complaining. Also, even if your husband isn’t religious, you can convert him by submitting to him.

Dr. Georgia Purdom: “Biblical Authority in the Marketplace of Ideas”

Last on the agenda was another talk from Georgia Purdom. At this point, I was pretty disappointed by the lack of variety in speakers. Two days of lectures, but only five speakers, two of whom were men?

Dr. Purdom’s main argument seemed to be that Christians weren’t arguing enough using the Bible. (Which, I would think, is the least useful way to bring opponents to your way of thinking.)

To demonstrate that, we watched a clip of The O’Reilly Factor where Bill O’Reilly disdainfully says that the anti-gay-marriage side “hasn’t been able to do anything but thump the Bible!” It turns out nobody likes Bill O’Reilly, not even Creationists.

Opinions, we learned, are the problem. Leaving the Bible out of conversation is what’s getting the anti-abortion, anti-evolution, anti-marriage-equality crowd into trouble. In fact, Purdom doesn’t even want to hear your opinion! She wants to hear what scripture your opinion is based on. Also, the opposition can quote the Bible, too, but they’re doing it wrong and twisting it.

So, as I understand it, to argue with scripture you have to be right in the first place, and to be right in the first place you have to be arguing from scripture. What matters, we were told again, is your starting point.

She explained that “If we leave the Bible out of it, all we end up doing is sharing our opinion, without explaining its biblical basis.” Oops, I almost forgot this whole conference was about the Bible being the ultimate authority in everything. I hope she didn’t judge me for wearing a cotton/poly-blend sweater.

Then, it was on to moralism — the apparently seductive Gospel of Making Arguments Without Including Bible Verses. Enter an example from the Berenstain Bears (yes, the happy children’s books). Dr. Purdom seemed pretty ticked that there wasn’t any scripture in there either (I guess no one told her the Berenstain Bears were now Christian). The whole thing was just like the atheists!

She pulled up the American Humanist Association’s Kids Without God website, which uses Darwin the Dog to tell kids to be nice to people.

There’s no basis for that — evolution is all about survival of the fittest! Atheists don’t have to be nice, so they must be borrowing from the Bible! Checkmate, atheists! Meanwhile, my neighbors in the auditorium were nodding along.

At this point, I was still not sure how this talk had anything to do with social media, but then Purdom explained her rules about proper conduct on Facebook. She’ll ban you for crude language, ad hominem attacks, and if you are asking questions worded in such a way to be facetious. [Insert some Bible quotes here about what Jesus says about Facebook.]

She then read a long passage by Albert Mohler in which he asks: “If we remove morals from law, then how do we govern?” Purdom added on: “It’s a slippery slope. What’s next incest? Polygamy? Bestiality? You name it.”

Purdom closed her talk with a trailer for AiG’s summer Bible school. Though the clip is obviously melodramatic, I found myself squirming in my seat as she tearfully explained that it made her think of her young daughter because there will be very real and difficult consequences for Christians for speaking about their religion.

“There is a very real chance that my daughter will face imprisonment or worse for her faith. I honestly believe that. If it doesn’t happen to me first. [Cynical laugh] It may happen to her.”

Er… What?

A few uncomfortable moments later, after being told about the discounts available in the bookstore, we were finally — finally! — released.

A few final notes:

  • The conference and the museum staff were nearly all white. I ran into exactly one African-American woman working there and one African-American conference attendee.
  • There were lots and lots of kids walking around with their parents at the museum — most of them under the age of ten. The Creation Museum has really become a Christian family destination.
  • Louise and I had made a policy of not lying during the entire conference, which meant that we had a lot of conversations that went like this:

    Conference-goer: Are you enjoying the conference so far?
    Me: You know, I had no idea the Creation Museum was so big! I’d never been before! [Cue unnecessarily large grin.]
    Conference-goer: Yeah, it’s so great! I bring my kids here all the time.
    Me: [Cue unnecessarily larger grin.]

  • Though Louise and I don’t look as though we could pass for sisters, nobody ever asked how we knew each other or why we came to the conference together.
  • There was never any time set aside for Q&A after any of the talks — very disappointing.

I want to thank Hemant for this great opportunity. I know it has provided me with stories for years to come. Also, to Kate for agreeing to attend this conference with me. I really don’t think I would have left with a shred of sanity if not for her.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Gus Snarp

    Modeling Modesty? But I can plainly see ankles, wrists, even elbows! For that matter, I can see necks and faces! They’re not modest, they’re brazen hussies!

  • http://www.twitter.com/alansimpson jediofpool

    Thanks so much for this. It’s an excellent insight into how women are treated in the Creationist doctrine.

    As a side note, I was there last year, and fittingly, the place I felt most comfortable was “Graffiti Alley” ;-)

  • dats3

    I’ve thought about taking my son there, you know, for a good laugh. Seems like comedic gold to me. Thanks for attending and sharing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/davemuscato Dave Muscato

    wtf did I just read… Wow. It saddens me that this is happening in our country. No wonder we’re so far behind the rest of the world in education. Thanks for doing this, guys.

  • WazzyChick

    I am just thankful I didn’t have to go – cuz I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut around people like that . . .

    • C Peterson

      It’s especially hard to keep your mouth shut in face of the overwhelming need to vomit…

      • http://dinoharpist.blogspot.com/ Ch81602

        Tell me about it.

  • beatonfam

    I had to take a break halfway through reading this. My husband looked over and asked what on earth was I reading because if I rolled my eyes any more I was in danger of losing my contacts.

  • Lurker111

    More power to you two! Had I been there, I wouldn’t have lasted 10 minutes–I would have jumped onto a table and yelled “Bullshit!” at the top of my lungs. And probably been arrested.

    Of course, I would’ve had to have been in drag in the first place.

  • beatonfam

    I was curious about the B&B the ladies mentioned so I clicked on the links. You must go read the reviews. The owner has written vitriolic responses to any and all negative reviews. Grab a cup of coffee and put your feet up for some entertaining reading.

    • Kate Donovan

      We actually did this while we were planning the trip…and then decided to stay in a different town.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Sounds like a certain restaurant in Tuscon.

      • http://www.facebook.com/autumnsfantasy Jennifer Anker

        I love how viral they’ve gone. XD

    • GeorgeLocke

      There are responses to all of the the negative reviews, but I didn’t find them vitriolic. It just seems like a place that won’t appeal to everyone.

  • sam

    How much did 2 tickets to this conference cost? As valuable as illumination of this mental retardation might be, I’m not sure it’s worth supporting an organization that intentionally miseducates children.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

      Watch it with the ableist language.

      • sam

        I’ve seen good work from Katherine Stewart & others infiltrating “Good News Club” conventions in order to ascertain our opponents’ strategies to introduce religion into public schools. That information is worth the price of admission, despite the money filling evangelical coffers.
        Similarly, any AIG convention advertized to reveal novel strategies to get creationism into schools or public funding would be worth the price of admission.
        This event appears to have been advertized as, and delivered, the same ignorant tripe with which we are all familiar. Without faulting these two investigators in the slightest, it may not have been worth the effort (or the money).

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

          That part of what you wrote is a reasonable opinion. The ableist slurs were not.

        • 92JazzQueen .

          Actually AIG doesn’t endorse teaching creationism in public schools.

          • sam

            I meant the example as a hypothetical.

      • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ Tanner B James

        Really Michael, I work in the Psychology and Mental Health fields and the colloquialism “mental retardation” is still very commonly used. Matter of fact The world Health Organization still uses the term. Now you can go and on about how implying that someone has a developmental disability or an intellectual disability is an insult but our right to free speech supersedes your desire to be the moderator of this forum, perhaps if you ask Hemant, nicely, whether you can take on this role he might let you. But I suspect he will see that as a form of censorship. which is exactly what you are trying to do censor free speech. One would think that a scientist would cringed at censorship. But then maybe all you really know about the world is not of this world at all.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

          I have no desire to be the moderator of this forum, nor that speech be unduly censored. I have a desire that even subtle forms of discrimination – such as using a learning disability as an insult – not go unchallenged. I have that desire because the evidence shows that subtle discrimination is both harmful itself and enables more overt forms.

          • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ Tanner B James

            Well I’m glad you have no desire to censor or moderate this forum. But I will argue that both overt or subtle discriminatory remarks directed at theism or theists do have a place in our movement. First they are free expressions of thought and emotion. Secondly they are recalcitrant.
            Many here might believe that rising above the lowbrow nature of some of the theistic commentators shows them how mature and or evolved our community is (and how arrogant we’ve become) but many of us also don’t care and more specifically see that insults are fair play. I’m going to make the assumption you are of the former group. Secondly insulting a theistic commentator shows that we are not willing to make a compromise or any concessions towards coexisting with them. I’m in this group.
            This clearly shows to the theist that an insurrection has formed against them. That a few of us are willing to be just as hostile to them as they are to us. As a Militant Atheist I have a moral imperative to combat theism at every corner in order to avert theism’s preponderance over freedom of expression and thought. My tactics will be subversive, antagonistic and downright insulting.

            • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

              By all means insult people if you want to and have reason to – as you say, insults can be an effective tool. Just don’t use discriminatory or bigoted slurs to do so. There are plenty of other words to choose from.

            • Kate Donovan

              …and also super offensive to bystanders? That seems to do little for anyone, actually.

              • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ Tanner B James

                It is an acceptable quantity of bystanders. But then this is the internet are you really going to try to argue that nobody should be offended by something they have read here. Really?

                • Kate Donovan

                  No, I’m not, and I’d appreciate you sticking to arguments I’m making.

                • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ Tanner B James

                  “and super offensive to bystanders” offensive and offend both the same word. A bystander would be anybody who simply is just here to read the comments, unlike yourself, thus your argument is that no random person, who is just here to read the comments, should not find the content offensive or be offended by such commentary. Seems by all logic that is your argument.

                • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ Tanner B James

                  Terrorism and militant Islamic extremism certainly has done a lot, first it has insured that anyone pointing out this fact will be called an islamaphobe and secondly it has prompted many organization to live in unjustifiable fear. Just like this article has pointed out when the woman asked about the dogs and the security guard told her that they get a lot of bomb threats.

        • Pseudonym

          There is a difference between censorship and censureship.

          I don’t speak for Michael Busch, but I don’t want to see comments like that removed. I want to see them challenged so that everyone can learn.

          • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ Tanner B James

            I think I used the correct word. In the right context. The word you are thinking of is Censure which is likened to a rebuke or an admonishment, which it what I consider Mr. Busch’s actions were. Mr. Busch is criticizing a fellow forum commentator for using discriminatory language. This behavior is divisive in our community because it creates unnecessary resentments. Our White Tower, High Brow members should be able to ignore our more militant and hostile members. Y’all can stick to writing your critiques of theism and shore up your politically correct postures while we, the proletarians, will put those words into action. Y’all should be more apologetic to our cause. Condemn us publicly if you will but you know you need us.

            • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

              I do not care about “being divisive” if the alternative is letting discrimination and bigotry go unchallenged. Nor is tolerating discrimination and bigotry necessary.

              Also, something I keep having to say: political correctness is not inherently good, but neither is political incorrectness. Saying bigoted things is bad, no matter if what is said is socially acceptable or not.

              • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ Tanner B James

                I totally support what you are saying as long as it directed towards the right people. I think discrimination in any form sucks, I really do. It may not seem that way but I have felt it (I was diagnosed with a learning disorder and people often said horrible things to me.) It’s not how you are doing it but to whom, leave us out of it. Direct your refereeing at the theist bigots, in those cases I would rather have someone of substantial intelligence pointing out the flaws of their arguments. But not everyone in the Atheist movement has a Higher Education Degree. The idea that it requires a high IQ to be an Atheist is a myth. (obvious by my inability to make my point clear). We of the lesser intelligences don’t want to be admonished every time we make an erroneous statement. I have a purpose and intent when I write such words and I don’t take it lightly when I do, my cause is to illicit an emotional response from a theistic bystander. Get them to engage in the discussion, and keep them in it and then I generally pass that along to someone who has the mental capacity to formulate a sound and logical argument or to someone who can educate that commentator. Your job, in my opinion. But hey if you don’t think we need solders in the field starting skirmishes then well what can I say to that.

            • Judith Fursdon

              I think you’re confusing criticising theism, which I don’t think any of us object to, with using language that denigrates another group of people. Using the term ‘mental retardation’ as an insult is offensive to the intellectually disabled. I find that as acceptable as calling the niggers, or wogs, or sluts. They’re all terms that hurt the group they refer to, and it doesn’t matter how much they hurt the insulted, the collateral damage is not ok. I’m sure there are better ways to voice your disgust at theistic stupidities.

              • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ Tanner B James

                If you mean calling a intellectually disabled person a “retard” to their face then yes you are correct. Even I cringe at the usage in that context.
                Calling a religious wing nut and his movement mentally retarded, well in accordance to the archaic usage of the words, then it is being used correctly. Out of context certainly these words are offensive, but the posters context was correct.
                The usage of such colloquialisms diminish their impact. Suppressing the usage of the words only makes them more powerful and more hateful.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  The problem is these people aren’t intellectually disabled or mentally retarded. Those are medical diagnoses. So you’re comparing real, medical problems to people being stupid. It’s degrading to those who are ill or disabled to be associated with ignorant bigots, even by implication. It is never appropriate to apply a slur to people.

                  It also takes responsibility away from those who believe harmful, wrong, illogical things. “Crazy” or “retarded” are things a person really can’t help; the consequences can be mitigated, but they’re not things people choose. Using proper terms such as ignorant and bigoted, on the other hand, puts the responsibility for their actions squarely on the people it belongs to. There’s nothing wrong with Christian fundamentalists’ brains, they just choose not to use them.

                  Atheists are not above criticism. In fact, when atheists do harmful and hurtful things, we must point it out, because we know the harm that bigotry and exclusion can do. Sexist, racist, and ablist slurs are simply never acceptable language to use, and as atheists we really ought to be able to rise above such prejudices. That’s part of being a skeptic, after all.

                • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ Tanner B James

                  I don’t want to rise above it. Not in this or any forum. Outside in real life I might act or say something different but here I want to meet them head on, get right into their face and piss them off. Get a rise out of them. The Atheist movement is not equal in attitudes and intelligence, some people like me, want a fight, we want theists to feel insulted. We want them to lose their control and react emotionally. Some of us don’t speak as eloquently as many others, we are not as refined as many here claim they are, we like to get our hands dirty and act barbaric. We like to be subversive and rebellious. I give you an excuse to say, “Look don’t blame me, blame him. He’s the barbarian who wrote all those nasty things to you.” You might not like the purpose I serve but history has proven that for any movement to survive and propagate it is a necessary evil.

                • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

                  So insult theists! I’m not saying don’t do that. Call them stupid, ignorant barbarians if you like. Call them overzealous, unthinking sheep who wouldn’t know reality if it bit them in the ass. Call them unscrupulous hucksters without the brains evolved into a flea. I don’t care about insults one bit.

                  But don’t call them retards or cunts or niggers or faggots or any number of other slurs. Slurs are not merely insults. When you say “you’re a bad person because you are like a mentally retarded/female/African-American/gay person“, you are also saying that those are bad things to be. You’re only insulting the theist if you think those other things are bad things to be. You’re imputing inherent badness to those aspects of humanity, and that, right there, is unacceptable.

          • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

            I think we all avoid some words, and that doesn’t mean we’re being censored or that our free speech is infringed. I can still get my message across using more appropriate alternatives.

            If the message is really tied up in that exact set of characters I’d be a little more inclined to worry about making sure the right is maintained. But when it’s the set of characters, and not the meaning I’m trying to convey that is objected to, I guess I don’t see the problem with considering another set of characters.

            And I think I have something to learn by finding out why the objection rather than deciding I need to stand on that word. I know in times past when I’ve objected to some language, I’m pretty sure people who have gotten upset about it haven’t had any clue why I’m actually objecting.

            • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ Tanner B James

              Michael W Busch is constantly throwing out reprimands to commentators. Why? Only he knows. I really don’t care. If it were solely directed at theists then great but he has criticized members of our community as well. This type of behavior (like Atheism Plus) will create a division amongst members. He is intelligent enough to ignore such language. It is not the battle to be fought right now. When our movement reaches populations sizable enough to be in direct political opposition to the theists then maybe we can begin to educate our more ignorant members to the finery of higher intelligence and political correctness.

              • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

                I reject the notion that I cannot criticize members of a group that I am a member of. And, again, I do not care about “creating divisions” among atheists if the alternative is to passively enable discrimination and bigotry. I would not have society be dominated by atheism at the price of rampant sexism, racism, ableism, and all of the other forms of bigotry. Fortunately, it is not necessary to chose between promoting atheism and fighting bigotry.

        • Kate Donovan

          Hi, one of the writers here. I also work and study in mental health and I’d seriously question whether the community would be particularly interested in any member using actual designations to denigrate the religious. Yes, they’re used as delineations for developmental issues, no, it’s not cool to use them as insults.
          Also, no, neither of us are saying you should be *forbidden* from using it, we’re saying you’re a jerk for doing so.

          • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ Tanner B James

            see my later reply.

      • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ Tanner B James

        I deleted my comments because they add nothing to the discussion and I apologize for targeting you Michael. I guess I see things a little more clearly now, from your perspective, after doing some research and asking questions in /r/atheism. Trolling to be hurtful and insulting does little to add to the conversation but I can still troll, I just have to courteous and use a modicum of reason. We do adapt and evolve.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

          Thank you for writing this.

    • sam

      I had no idea what you meant by “ableist language” until I read everyone’s comments. It wasn’t a term I had heard before. Now I understand what you object to.
      I believe certain dogmas, like flat earth cosmology or creationism, retard one’s mental capacities. I believe most who hold those dogmas actively and consciously choose to participate in their own mental retardation; that is, due to emotional commitments, they willfully participate in holding these corrupting dogmas. It’s this active participation that is worthy of derision.
      I would never criticize a rancher who gets gored by a bull during the course of his livelihood. I would criticize a participant in the “running of the bulls” who gets gored. The difference is personal culpability.
      So I stand by using the term ‘mental retardation’. You are free to define that word however you like. You are free to be offended by its usage.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

        You are wrong to use the term. As Kate has explained, it is a formal designation and using it as an insult is entirely inappropriate.

        Nor are you correct that the ideas you mention “retard one’s mental capacities”. People who espouse those ideas do test lower on certain metrics of critical thinking, but critical thinking is primarily a learned skill. People of entirely normal intelligence can and do not learn this skill. This makes them wrong and poorly informed. It does not make them stupid, nor does it justify calling them “mentally retarded”.

        • sam

          Some fundamentalist religions & religious dogmas like
          creationism actively encourage credulity & discourage critical thinking. Critical thinking is a mental capacity. The capacity for critical thinking increases as the brain develops. The intentional celebration & facilitation of credulity retards this development. It’s entirely appropriate
          to denigrate systems of thought that intentionally retard critical thinking. Two examples:

          Tertullian, “and the son of God died; it is by all means to be believed, because it is absurd. He was buried & rose again; the fact is certain because it is impossible…After Jesus Christ we have no need of speculation, after the Gospel no need of research…My 1st principle is this. Christ laid down one definite system of truth which the world must believe without qualification.”

          Martin Luther, “Reason is the devil’s bride, a beautiful
          whore, & God’s worst enemy. Whoever wants to be a Christian should tear the eyes out of his reason. Tread her underfoot. Throw dung in her face. You must part with reason & kill her, or you will not get into the kingdom of
          heaven…Reason must be deluded, blinded & destroyed. Faith must trample under foot all reason, sense & understanding, & whatever it sees it must put out of sight & wish to know nothing but the word of God.”

          If you are actively engaged in convincing yourself that these statements are true, you are engaged in a form of mental retardation. You are facilitating synaptic plasticity events that, long term, will make overcoming this indoctrination very difficult. This kind of activity is morally culpable; trisomy 21 is not. But again, feel offended by anything you like. I don’t mind.

  • BobaFuct

    Louise and Kate deserve a medal for taking one for the team like that. I vaguely remember attending a Ken Ham lecture when I was maybe 7 or 8 (25 years ago, so looking at wikipedia, it must’ve been a “Back to Genesis” seminar). Thankfully, the Christian school I attended, despite being literalist evangelical, didn’t really use any YEC textbooks or anything, so I was spared all this bullshit in Jr. High/High School. But every time my mom visits, I needle her into an argument about creationism…her answer is always “The creation story just makes more sense than evolution.” Makes me laugh every time…

    • guest

      That’s 48+ hours of their lives that they’ll never be able to get back also. Congratulations ladies on making it through without cracking or being escorted out.

    • Miss_Beara

      “”The creation story just makes more sense than evolution.”

      =

      Science hurts my brain.

  • http://www.facebook.com/crystalwheel Crystal Bandy Thomas

    I haven’t been so entertained in a long time! Nor so thankful to be out of that insanity…

  • Sue Bue

    I don’t know how you did it with a straight face for days on end! I would have blown my cover in about five minutes, unable to restrain myself from rolling my eyes, emitting heavy sighs of disgust and uncontrollable laughter, or yelling out “Oh, for shit’s sake!” or “bullshit!”.

  • guest

    I wouldn’t have made it 3 minutes in that museum before being escorted out for multiple reasons. I’m sure that laughing to loudly would be one of the main reasons though. FFS, I can’t believe that there is a place like this and that many (stoopid)people seem to enjoy it or believe anything in it. Ken Ham’s “thinking face”…I actually laughed out loud when I read that.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

    hemant, we need to raise a fund to send these two excellent women to the next scientific conference in Hawaii. they’ve earned it.

    • LesterBallard

      Their heads might explode, being re-exposed to real science.

  • http://andybreeden.com Andy Breeden

    “The gist seemed to be that the worldly people were teaching history based on things people said, rather than things the people who wrote the Bible said.”

    Well put.

  • BG, ribbons in my hair

    So if God really wanted to populate the earth, why make only one man and one woman? Couldn’t he have made lots of them all at the same time?

    • Wild Rumpus

      …but that would require logic, but since God is omnipotent, He doesn’t need to do anything logically…

    • RobMcCune

      The pi = 3 crowd aren’t exactly the sort to think that through when making up a story.

    • JA

      If one looks at the bible, one sees two creation stories. The first implies that there were far more people than just two. Adam and Eve are mentioned by name and as the only two humans in the second version. On top of that, the two stories follow different sequences of creation.

      And then the two are blended together when people speak of ‘the creation’. I’ve pointed this out to various believers, and am typically met with blank stares or them saying “the second story is a Cliffs notes of the creation”, and refuse to see it any other way, when, even though they describe the same event, they are clearly different stories.

      • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

        In addition, Cain bore a mark so no one would harm him? Who? The only other people were his parents and his younger brother Seth. I guess Adam and Eve had even more children, but really that’s not that many people and the continent of Africa (where one assumes this is supposed to be happening) is an awfully big place to hide out from a handful of people. There are so many plot holes in this story, it’s hard to even know where to begin.

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        Purdome herself says that Genesis 2 is a ‘detailed version’ of the story focusing on man.

        There’s also the little issue of the Land of Nod, off in the East. Not sure who made them.

        • Paul D.

          All serious Bible scholars (people who actually do what Purdome says and read the Bible constantly, unlike pew-potato Christians) would disagree with Purdome about Genesis.

      • fiona64

        Yep. For real hoots and giggles, mention Lilith to a creationist.

        • Mario Strada

          There are so many incongruent stories on the Bible that apologists frequently have to tie their brains into pretzels to explain them away. The part i love most is when they have just finished twisting logic into knots and they look so proud of themselves.

          • observer

            Sounds like a pretty good cartoon from Naked Pastor or M J Shepherd.

      • http://www.facebook.com/samhuddy Sam Aronow Huddy

        Genesis was probably created as a genealogy, with Adam and Eve being as far back as they could go. Clearly there were other people around, they just didn’t know their names.

        • JA

          Maybe. But it doesn’t change the fact that there are two different creation stories in Genesis.

      • Spacetripper

        Not to mention that if god had taken a rib from Adam to make Eve, it would have contained Adam’s DNA and he would have made Steve.

    • beatonfam

      stop with all your logic talk

    • r.holmgren

      Ya because, there aren’t enough of us.

  • Michael

    People don’t get what “fittest” means in natural selection terms. Fitness means unlikely to be killed, and being nice to people makes it less likely someone will turn around and punch you and accidentally crack your skull etc. etc. leading to an early death.

    So yes, natural selection supports not being a dick.

    • Spuddie

      Actually fitness means unlikely to be killed before it can mate.

      Mayflies aren’t exactly built for survival into adulthood. They have no mouths or digestive systems. They only have 24+ hours to find a mate and procreate before starving to death

      But yes, not being a dick causing people to punch you to death is a very important sign of evolutionary fitness. =)

      • Anon

        Also, being nice to the person you want to mate with makes it more likely that you will end up mating with them in happy consensual sexytimes.
        In terms of human interaction anyway.

        • Michael

          Which is also important in evolutionary terms since happy consensual babymaking makes it far more likely that the baby will also survive.

    • ShoeUnited

      Actually, there’s a theorem as to why we (as humans) are altruistic. It’s a survival trait. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_equation

      Price figured out that the reason why we are altruistic is to ensure things like mothers saving their children so that there are more generations that altruism got passed on in the genetic code.

      Price started to believe in religion and tried to reject his own theorem. This bothered Price so much that he spent the last years of his life trying to prove that there is a God and that we can be altruistic by choice. He was determined to prove his theorem wrong.

      He did great things, but he died in such a way that’s actually pretty horrible. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_R._Price#Death

      • Mihangel apYrs

        unfortunate man.

        According to his religion he is now burning forever

        • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ Tanner B James

          In an eternal slow roast bbq pit

          • Spuddie

            [in best Homer Simpson voice] mmmmmmmm barbeque.

      • Earl G.

        It’s not just Price who had this concept. The evolutionary value of altruism (specifically in the forms of kin selection and reciprocal altruism) has been studied for decades by evolutionary biologists. Cooperative behavior exists in a huge array of animals and was around long before humans evolved. Basically, any type of animal with parental care or any type of animal that lives in a social group practices some forms of kind, cooperative, caring behavior towards others.

        • Isilzha

          And cooperation within the social group also means the group can cooperate to be aggressive to those outside the group.

    • fiona64

      Exactly. As I’ve spent far more time explaining than I really ever wanted to, not all evolutionary fitness is reproductive. The concept of reciprocal altruism as evolutionary fitness is apparently beyond some folks’ comprehension. /anthropology

      • Earl G.

        Hate to pick a nit, but all evolutionary fitness is reproductive by definition, as it is all about the relative effectiveness of each allele (or meme) at getting copied and passed on. But you’re right, reciprocal altruism, kin selection, cooperation, caring, and similar behaviors often enhance fitness. These behaviors often make their bearer’s alleles more prevalent in the population.

        • Michael

          By definition, all humans have alleles in common, thus being nice to people preserves those human alleles.

          • Isilzha

            *sigh*

      • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ Tanner B James

        And it is also now widely accepted that the human hand was partially adapted to be a fist for punching.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

          Only in part. Selection for tool use was much more important.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Snake65 Christine Snake Dizard

      In this context, how about survival of the most able to adapt?

    • hyphenate

      I have a theory. Homo sapiens had to be brutal to outlast other homo sapiens, so they evolved into savages in the physical. Neanderthals were eventually merged with homo sapiens, so the Neanderthals, who were less aggressive but more intelligent and creative, were the regressive personalities. If I had to make a guess, I’d say that those who are skilled with various artistic talents have more Neanderthal in them than the brutes who claim their far right heritage. They can’t help be belligerent and control freaks, while those who have more pacifistic tendencies were subjugated for so long. Unfortunately, at that time of our evolution, brutal capacity was more important.

    • Isilzha

      Um, no. It just means survival to reproduction. Sometimes that can mean KILLING competitors.

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    “but not before passing a skeleton reading a Bible!”
    Blasphemy, everyone know that skeleton’s are clear adherents to Santa Muerte.

    My problem with the morality picture is that I doubt most atheists would claim that they are more objective than the christian fundamentalist. Morality is fluid and changes in situations. I don’t want to make a universal claim about most atheists, but for me morality is relative and changes. Stealing can be wrong in one situation and perfectly ok in another.

    • Mihangel apYrs

      the only paradigm is relativism:
      sometimes it’s moral to kill – to save more
      steal – to feed starving
      lie – “am I going to be OK mommy?”

      A mature moral being is nuanced; absolutism is a security blanket

      • Earl G.

        Sounds less like relativism and more like utilitarianism.

        • Mihangel apYrs

          semantics? I won’t argue the philosophy since it’s not my forte, but the last example is a choice that has no material consequence….

      • Pseudonym

        You’ve never studied any moral philosophy, have you.

        • Mihangel apYrs

          no my training is as a scientist.

          Enlighten me.

    • Bdole

      Pssht! Typical godless atheist with no moral foundation. If only you understood the wisdom of god’s consistent moral code expressed so well by the godly prophet who wrote Ecclesiastes 3:

      There is a time for everything,
      and a season for every activity under the heavens:

      2 a time to be born and a time to die,
      a time to plant and a time to uproot,
      3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
      a time to tear down and a time to build,
      4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
      a time to mourn and a time to dance,
      5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
      a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
      6 a time to search and a time to give up,
      a time to keep and a time to throw away,
      7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
      a time to be silent and a time to speak,
      8 a time to love and a time to hate,
      a time for war and a time for peace.

      • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ Tanner B James

        I guess we are in the time of hate.

        • Bdole

          Biblically justified hate…so, it’s A-OK.

  • closetatheist

    Don’t these poor women ever get tired of being constantly pummeled with new reasons to feel guilty and unworthy?
    “OMG! I desperately rush out of my house, like, once a week to grab diapers with my whorishly tight pre-pregnancy shorts on because my post-pregnancy shorts that came past my knees had vomit on them and I didn’t have time to properly launder them! AHHHHHG, GOD IS SO DISPLEASED WITH ME! I have shamed my husband! I have shamed myself! I have now decreased in value to the Christian community! I deserve to burn forever!”
    There was a time when I would’ve believed that my worth to god and to men was judged by my outfits…and I’m pretty heartbroken to know that other women still feel like this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/roger.bauman Roger Bauman

    The God’s Word castle is cracking apart, and one of its gunners is shooting in the wrong direction.

    • Andrew L

      Roger, this is actually part of Ham’s schtick. His point being Christians who don’t take the Bible as literally as he does or interpret its meaning the same way he does, are hurting the Church. In place of science content, Answers in Genesis gives you these loaded, graphically-challenged explanatory diagrams. I suppose they have to talk about something, and, well, the science isn’t on their side.

  • Georgina

    Question for Mary K. Mohler, please explain how that nice little girl (pictured on the cover of Modesty playing a flute) is supposed to climb trees in that stupid dress?
    How is she supposed to run, jump and play football?

    • http://www.facebook.com/autumnsfantasy Jennifer Anker

      Girls shouldn’t be doing such fun activities. She should be inside the house learning how to press her daddy and brothers’ clothes. After all, she can’t be a perfect submissive wife if she has a taste of freedom and fun.

      • 92JazzQueen .

        Wow,that is just blatant stereotyping and generalizing.Maybe the girl just likes wearing skirts.

        • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

          Granted, this is perfectly anecdotal, but I’ve never met a small child who liked restrictive clothing, male or female. Some of the girls liked skirts, but they still wanted to run around and flop on the grass and climb trees in their skirts too. While it’s theoretically possible the girl just wanted to wear skirts that prevent free movement and stride and play, it seems pretty unlikely.

          • 92JazzQueen .

            Maybe they have pants for girls and it wasn’t on the picture.I mean a lot of little girls will run and climb trees regardless if they are wearing a skirt.Believe me they will do it whether it is with pants or skirts.

            • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

              Not that kind of skirt, they won’t. It’s damned near impossible to take full strides, let alone climb trees, in that type of skirt.

            • Anna

              You’re also missing the point. It’s not a problem that the girl is wearing a skirt. Plenty of girls who are raised in liberal, egalitarian households also wear skirts. However, those girls are not exposed to the body-shaming, sex-shaming tactics of fundamentalist Christianity, which make women and girls obsess about how much of their body is covered.

              There’s nothing with girls (or boys!) wearing skirts. The problem lies in teaching children that “modesty” is a virtue and that they should look upon their bodies as objects which they can use to tempt others. The teaching is always that sexual desire is a bad, bad thing, and the burden falls on girls and women to stop men from having sexual thoughts. This is the same mentality that leads to women in the Middle East being forced to wear burqas, so that no man will ever have a sexual thought about them.

              Sexual thoughts and desires are perfectly normal for both sexes to have, and even if they weren’t, it’s not up to women to police men’s thoughts. If those men are so concerned about “sin,” they can cover their eyes instead of demanding that women cover their bodies.

        • Anna

          There are fundamentalist groups in which women and girls are forbidden from wearing pants. The Duggar family subscribes to this viewpoint, and they are just one of many examples. The girl in the picture may not have had a choice one way or the other.

    • Carmelita Spats

      A more interesting topic to corral Mary K. Mohler would be to ask her what kind of birth control she uses/used. Her husband, Al Mohler, was head of the Southern Baptist Convention for a number of years and wrote a response to the defeat of the “person-hood” initiative in Mississippi. Mohler blamed the defeat (in MISSISSIPPI, of all places) to the acceptance of chemical contraception (pill/IUD) among Christians. He stated that the pill and the IUD are ABORTIFACIENTS which is exactly in line with Catholic teaching. Yuck . Mohler went so far as to say that the widespread use of chemical contraception makes everyone “a Harry Blackmun”. I would have LOVED to hear Mary K. Mohler discuss HER birth control use since she is fascinated with other people’s sex lives and reproductive habits as per her obsession with body shaming and Christian voyeurism.

      • Julian

        Perhaps she and big Al (double YUCK) have only done the filthy deed twice in their married lives, thus their two offspring. That’s twice more than most women could muster.

  • Andrew L

    The content of this conference and, well, the whole general presentation of fundamentalist Christians is so poorly reasoned and so poorly presented, one has to wonder if there is indeed a god. It’s the only way to account for the success of their numbers.

  • onamission5

    Oh good lawd, you had me at “a bag of drugs.” What kind of drugs? Advil? Zyrtec? Heroin? Coffee? The possibilities are endless.

  • BeasKnees

    “The fossil record shows destruction (floods, volcanoes, etc.) and we know that destruction isn’t possible without sin. Since humans didn’t exist millions of years ago, sin couldn’t have existed millions of years ago, so the fossil record is incorrect. Checkmate, evolutionists!”

    ….wait…what? Thank you ladies for this and kudos on keeping your cool.

    • http://www.facebook.com/autumnsfantasy Jennifer Anker

      I’m still confused what sins the other planets have committed.

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    I have to admit that I didn’t find any of this surprising, but you probably have readers who weren’t raised Fundamentalist and think we are making some of this stuff up. I’m honestly not that creative.

    Just one thought…evolution does favor those fit enough to survive. In my world being nice is a very useful survival skill. I don’t know if that works for everyone but I suspect millions of humans survive with niceness as their own non-basic skill. :-)

    • Mihangel apYrs

      “fittest” = “best suited”

    • Noelle

      Well sure. Nice, happy, cooperative children are more likely to be loved and cared for by the adults around them. That’ll get them to the point where they can reproduce. Nice adolescents and adults are more likely to attract mates who want to hang around and help raise the kids. Nice people make for good parents to raise the next generation. And nice people working together increases your chances of more humans making it that far.

      The real mystery is how so many assholes made it through.

      • http://vinimarques.com/ Vini Marques

        Unfortunately, assholes easily sniff each other out and mate.

  • JWH

    The “incest” bit reminds me of a funny line from “Late Night Catechism,” a hilarious (yet reverent) one-woman show I saw years ago. Sister (the nun) asks the audience, “Where did the wives for Adam and Eve’s son come from? It’s a sacred mystery. That’s’ Catholic for ‘we don’t like to talk about it.’”

    It ALSO reminds me that even among the faithful, this trend of literally interpreting the Bible came back into fashion only in the mid to late 19th century.

  • ShoeUnited

    I wonder if they’d have to change their displays from Jurassic Park when they finally figure out that most dinosaurs likely had feathers.

    • Earl G.

      That’s just evil science! There aren’t any dinosaur feathers in the bible!

    • SeekerLancer

      They’ll never put feathers on dinosaurs because they think evil evolutionists just started doing that to draw a closer connection with birds.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

      I’m not sure that’s true. It probably depends on if you include Aves in your count – and if you do, the fastest animal in the world right now (other than humans and our machines) is a small feathered dinosaur called falco peregrinus.

      But there I go with talking about science when people are talking about AIG…

  • Miss_Beara

    Mohler ranted about how cohabitation is the new normal. “Cohabitation = fornication and is sexually immoral.”

    Oh brother. These people are just a bunch of little busybodies. I would definitely move in with my boyfriend before marriage and it has nothing to do with “sexual immorality.”

    • SeekerLancer

      I went over and hugged my girlfriend and told her we were sexually immoral after reading that. We had a good laugh.

      Seriously though everyone should live together before getting married. It’s the only real way of knowing if you can stand living together BEFORE you get married.

      • Miss_Beara

        Exactly! People need to know if they are compatible in a 24/7 environment. People can act however they want on dates or staying at eachothers apartments, it is completely different when you live together. And if couples don’t plan on even getting married and live together, WHO CARES?!

        A former teacher of mine who is now a priest posted something on his facebook page about how cohabitation is one of the reasons why society is the way it is. Really. A man and a woman in a relationship living together is part of the woes of the nation, so they don’t just hate the gays!

    • Anna

      It’s like they’re stuck in the 1960s. Surely cohabitation hasn’t been considered cotnroversial, since, what, 1968 or 1969? Long before many of us were born, at any rate.

  • A3Kr0n

    I’ll never get to the end of this thing, because I just thought about something: Christians mention atheists, and explain why atheist are wrong. That means they know we’re alive! I don’t read things from Dr. Purdom or other Christians explaining why astrologers are wrong, or palm readers. But they target atheists. That means we’re not insignificant, but something they’re concerned about.

    • Anna

      I think it’s because it’s easier for fundamentalists to focus on atheists. By simplifying the issue to “Christian vs. atheist,” it’s easier for them to ignore all the moderate and liberal religious people who don’t agree with their take on theology or science. Evangelicals and fundamentalists talk way more about atheists than any other religious group seems to.

      • Alice

        And because a lot of them think you can’t be a “Real Christian” if you don’t agree with every single one of their opinions.

    • dj_pomegranate

      Many fundamentalists lump everyone who is Not Christian into the “atheist” category. If you aren’t sure about God, or used to believe in God, or might possibly believe in God, or believe in God but not their God, you are an atheist. There’s not much time spent on agnostic vs. deist vs. atheist vs. whatever. It’s often a catch-all term.

      • Anna

        That also explains their frequent “I used to be an atheist” spiels. If “atheist” is used so broadly, it can encompass pretty much everyone who stops going to church, decides not to pray, and/or gets mad at their deity.

  • SeekerLancer

    That slide with the Humanist castle and the Christianity castle fighting each other really says everything about these type of people. This is a war to them. Victory is nothing less than the end of anybody who doesn’t think like them.

    I had to laugh at all of the bomb paranoia. I want to think it’s all just for appearances, to make the museum visitors fear that there really is an angry army of radicalized non-believers waiting to storm the gates and blow the place down.

    Because atheist extremists commit terrorist acts so often, right?

  • Earl G.

    “even if your husband isn’t religious, you can convert him by submitting to him”

    Look out, atheist husbands! Your wives have an ace up their sleeves!

    • Earl G.

      #sarcasm

    • SeekerLancer

      That line was creepy. This is what basically came to my mind:

      “Are you a Christian yet?”

      “No.”

      *A dozen sex acts later*

      “Are you a Christian yet?”

      “No, just keep at it.”

      • Alice

        It’s like the time creeeeepy ol’ Mark Drischoll told women that blow jobs are a good evangelism method to use on their husbands.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1193650425 Cynthia Almy Savage

    I’ve always wondered-why doesn’t anyone bring up the fact that there are no jewish creationists?

    • http://twitter.com/johnnykaje K. Johnston

      Ben Stein comes to mind, although he’s more into intelligent design than YEC.

    • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

      There are a very small number, but overall, Jews value education far too much to fall for that BS. It’s a cultural thing.

  • beatlefreak9

    I think it’s funny that AiG uses the same silly cartoonish graphics with in a conference for grown women as they do with children…

    • allein

      Women are just tall children to them.

  • Anna

    Purdom said, “It’s a problem when the atheists get it, and the Christians don’t.” In other words, atheists knew the connection and they didn’t believe in any of it, which was more intellectually honest, so to speak, than Christians who denied a literal Adam but believed in Christ.

    I think she actually has a point. Sure, the liberal and moderate Christians are much saner, but they seem to sort their beliefs into “real” and “fake” based purely on what’s considered normal in society, not on what their scriptures actually say.

    I wonder if fundamentalists who deconvert are more likely to end up as atheists because they’ve been taught that there can be no middle ground between fundamentalist Christianity and atheism?

    • Pseudonym

      I think she actually has a point.

      Sure she does. The point is that only fundamentalists and some atheists believe that the Bible should be taken literally. Purdom believes this is says bad things about liberal/moderate Christians. Liberal/moderate Christians believe it says bad things about those atheists.

      Sure, the liberal and moderate Christians are much saner, but they seem to sort their beliefs into “real” and “fake” based purely on what’s considered normal in society, not on what their scriptures actually say.

      The dividing line between “liberal” and “moderate” is somewhat fuzzy, but pretty much anyone firmly in the liberal camp would agree with that, and wonder why anyone would think that’s a bad thing.

      At least that’s true of Protestants. Catholics of the more conservative variety would vehemently disagree, but only because they consider pronouncements of the church to have primacy over the Bible.

      I wonder if fundamentalists who deconvert are more likely to end up as atheists because they’ve been taught that there can be no middle ground between fundamentalist Christianity and atheism?

      I can only speak for myself. I was brought up in a very liberal Christian environment. I do not consider myself an atheist. If I was brought up in a fundamentalist environment, I think I almost certainly would consider myself an atheist.

      • Anna

        It’s not a bad thing. It means the liberals and moderates are much more sane and “normal,” but it doesn’t make sense to reject some claims from a purportedly holy book but accept others without question. It’s not logical. There’s no rhyme or reason to it. Some stories get labeled as myths because the culture no longer supports the more obvious superstitions (like talking snakes), but others are not labeled as myths even when they include outrageous fantastical elements.

        How on earth can anyone figure out why some supernatural things are claimed to be real while others are seen as obviously fake? At least the fundamentalists try to be somewhat consistent. They’re on the crazy train for sure, but at least they’re not disregarding huge swaths of a book that they believe has supernatural origins and was inspired by a god. Of course I’d rather hang around liberal Christians than fundamentalists, but the vague, wishy-washy, slipperiness of the liberals is not something I find intellectually admirable.

        I can only speak for myself. I was brought up in a very liberal Christian environment. I do not consider myself an atheist. If I was brought up in a fundamentalist environment, I think I almost certainly would consider myself an atheist.

        Right, because you would have been taught that middle ground is not possible. I don’t actually have any statistics, but I wonder if the number of deconversions of fundamentalists to atheism is greater than liberal or moderate Christians to atheism. The liberals and moderates were taught that they had options. The fundamentalists were not. I’d imagine that would lead to more of them chucking the whole thing entirely.

  • LesterBallard

    My apologies to Kate and Louise; but I had to stop after this ” Dr. Purdom took us through a dizzying array of scripture that mentioned things real humans do: breathing, living, uniting in one flesh — the usual. She argued that since the verses mentioned real people doing real things, it was clearly not an allegory… which left me wondering, what does Dr. Purdom think an allegory would look like? For that matter, what about any work of fiction?”

    I bet Harry Potter shit and beat off; he must be real.

  • http://lipstickandcombatboots.com/ Megan Hurwitt

    Thanks ladies, for breaking this down for us and for sitting through it, setting a great example for atheists, and not throwing things at the stage, which is probably what I would have resorted to. You deserve an award, both of you!

  • Kimpatsu

    “…a word about animatronic humans. They’re creepy.”
    Ah, the uncanny valley rears its head. Personally, I think Ken Ham is creepier.

  • http://twitter.com/Don_Gwinn Don_Gwinn

    So . . . the biggest gender/sex issue facing Christian women is that nobody pays much attention to how hard it is to be a good Christian husband? Well, I’m learning a lot.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Liz-Oshell-Shaw/1252733599 Liz Oshell-Shaw

    I am not sure how you made it through. I am not sure I could have done it without my head exploding. Nice article.

  • john

    So basically you both went to something you don’t believe in so that you could write an article criticizing those with whom you do not share the same views. I guess you really have nothing else to do.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Keith-Cumbie/100000954828019 Keith Cumbie

      John I will use little words so that you can get it.
      To search for answers is not a waste of time.
      Fundamentalism is the brain cancer of our time.

    • Kate Donovan

      Actually, the both of us went to something we don’t agree with because it was an opportunity to learn. I liked the people I met. I learned things about a community I’m unfamiliar with. Yes, I wrote an article–that’s why I went there. Yes, I snarked, if you’ve seen anything else I write, it’s a habit, and hardly applied only to those I disagree with. As someone working nearly full time who’s also a student and happens to blog regularly as well, I certainly had other things to do. I thought it was worth it, and I stand by that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Keith-Cumbie/100000954828019 Keith Cumbie

    There is nothing on Earth that you can do to fix stupid. Nothing. The best that you can do for yourself is to strive for intelligent understanding and stay out of the grasp of these simpletons. Keep them far enough away that they cannot drag you down.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

      The people who run AIG and most of the people who listen to them are not stupid. They are simply horrifically wrong and poorly informed. And both of those can be changed. It simply takes time and effort. If you want examples of that, consider how many people were once fundamentalists / young-Earth creationists and now are not. There are numerous examples among the bloggers here at Patheos (you might start with Libby Anne’s descriptions at Love, Joy, Feminism).

  • Carl

    So God is a moral relativist when it comes to incest?

    and genocide. and eating shellfish.

    • Anna

      That’s the thing that scares me the most about fundamentalist absolutism. They’re willing to defend genocide, slavery and torture, but only as long as their god is the one carrying it out.

  • http://ubuntulinuxtipstricks.blogspot.com maco

    They probably didn’t ask why you were at the conference together because they assumed you were friends within your Church congregation.

    • Kate Donovan

      Actually, we talked about being from different states (people regularly asked where we were from). So I have nooo idea why they didn’t follow up by asking how we knew each other.

  • Amy R.

    Thank you Louise and Kate. You’ve given such a detailed writeup of the Creation Museum that now I can resist the temptation to see that train wreck.

  • JKPS

    It’s terrible that the museum gets bomb threats, but hilarious that Louise asked if they had a drug problem. I would like to volunteer myself to go on a trip with Louise & Kate!

  • JKPS

    It’s terrible that the museum gets bomb threats, but hilarious that Louise asked if they had a drug problem. I would like to volunteer myself to go on a trip with Louise & Kate!

  • Rev. Dix

    This is the greatest thing ever.

  • Jane

    Hemant, have you offered Kate and Louise some kind of treatment for PTSD? Seems like they need it. I think *I* need it after reading their account! Criminy!

  • Jane

    Hemant, have you offered Kate and Louise some kind of treatment for PTSD? Seems like they need it. I think *I* need it after reading their account! Criminy!

  • http://www.facebook.com/clay.lahatte Clay LaHatte

    I went to a couple of hours of talks from creationist Kyle Butt. I don’t know how anyone could stand two days of this nonsense.

    And of course they have no Q&A. They cannot defend their nonsense.

  • http://www.facebook.com/frank.elliott.12 Frank Elliott

    One thing about the knock on Petersburg in the opening statement. The museum is not in Petersburg, it just has a Petersburg mailing address so please spare the good people of Petersburg your disdane. Petersburg is actually about 5 miles away from the museum and is a quaint little town. And guess what. These same idiots are building a new “Ark” theme park in Williamstown, Ky. just a few miles away from the museum…..God please spare us from these religious fanatics.

    • Kate Donovan

      I appreciate the correction!
      However, according to the museum, the Ark is a 40 minute drive from the museum Is this incorrect?

  • http://www.myfathershouse.squarespace.com/ A Christian

    Interesting article. It strikes me as funny that it sounds like many of these speakers were preaching to the choir (Modesty for Mennonites?) Maybe it isn’t that they have anything new to or radical to say, but because people buy it. I wonder how much of that goes on in churches, conferences, and Christian homeschool resources…

  • mb

    Georgia Purdom has posted a response to this.

    (not sure if this will post)

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson
      • mb

        Thanks for posting that link; I hadn’t been able to get it to post earlier.

        In that post she says:

        ….”But it’s not my “way of thinking” that I’m trying to bring people to! It’s not about my opinion vs. another person’s opinion. The point is to bring people to God’s way of thinking and to the good news of the gospel—and we can only do that effectively if we start with the Bible.”

        How does she not see that “God’s way” IS her opinion in this context. Her starting point and her opinion are the same thing.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          Watch her interview with Michael Shermer (elsewhere in this thread, or search youtube for “Michael Shermer Creation Museum”.

          She ‘knows’ the bible is true, and works from there. She’s so fixed on the worldview that the bible is literal and inerrant, and she’s simply can’t look at it any other way, no matter how much evidence there is.

      • Alice

        Well, there’s the cherry to top off her ignorance sundae.

  • ashley

    I have just posted the following at the British Centre for Science Education community forum:

    More unpleasantness from Ken Ham
    http://blogs.answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2013/05/18/atheists-secretly-attend-answers-for-women-conference/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+KenHam+%28Around+the+World+with+Ken+Ham%29

    “… propaganda, the typical misrepresentations, the usual negative comments, the typical mocking, the usual inaccuracies and usual lies, etc…”. What, pray, were these? Oh I see – the atheist bloggers made an incorrect statement about there being just two full-time AiG staff with doctorates (PhDs) from secular schools (universities). Big deal.

    Does Mr Ham provide a link to the atheist blog containing all the misrepresentations, inaccuracies and lies that he whinges about? Do turkeys vote for Christmas?
    HERE it is: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/05/14/we-attended-the-answers-in-genesis-womens-conference-and-this-is-what-happened/#comments

    Georgia Purdom wrote a much more charitable response:
    http://blogs.answersingenesis.org/blogs/georgia-purdom/2013/05/16/answers-for-women-2013-a-great-success/
    Mr A Haworth-Roberts

  • Roger Peritone

    Looks like Ken Ham has taken notice of this.

  • ashley

    I just clicked on Louise Kellar’s name and saw that she had tweeted about Ham’s OTT blog.

  • Infiltrating your blog :-)

    Why did these two “women” have to pretend? If they are so proud to be athiests, they should have been confident enough to be who they are. Seems to be that maybe they aren’t so secure in their athiesm. Just curious—doesn’t carrying a Bible negate their intolerant membership card? I would think that would be just to much for such “enlightened” and “intelligent women” who take on alter images and think in their misguided world they have accomplished something by “sneaking” into a Christian event? Their delusion is amusing but also sad. Do you people do this regularly at churches as well? Why not just walk in and say, “I am an athiest. I do not believe, and I think you are all uneducated imbeciles?” We know that is the case, Are you so afraid of how we might react? Are you afraid that rather than insulting and degrading you as you do us, that we might actually show love and make you feel guilty for your intolerance? Maybe that is why you were so nervous at first? Maybe God’s spirit really is too much for those who refuse to accept Him?

    • http://springygoddess.blogspot.com/ Astreja

      Well, “Infiltrating,” I think the tone of the conference would have been markedly different had the AiG crowd been aware that there were atheist attendees. Sometimes you need to just quietly observe if you want to get an accurate report, and if Kate and Louise had gone in there with bright red “A” lapel pins, it wouldn’t have achieved that objective.

    • kdmoregon

      Actually I think if they said they were atheist journalist they would have been kicked out. Check out Bill Maher’s movie Religulous if you don’t believe me… If you are so into showing love, then why so much hate towards gay and lesbian people? Double speak!

  • ashley

    Infiltrating your blog:

    The deception of Ken Ham in his blog is much worse than these women ‘pretending’ to be Christians imho. He is accusing them of unspecified lies in their blog.

  • ashley
  • Truth Seeker

    Don’t truly enlightened, intelligent thinkers welcome all ideas? Only fools reject reproof and refuse to look at other sides. Why then, do you delete comments from those who disagree with you? I am quite sure Dr. Purdom would entertain a respectful discussion. Why then do you refuse to do the same? Of what are you afraid? Proverbs 1:7 The fear for the Lord is knowledge, but fools despise widsome and discipline. Your fear will only lead to a knoweldge which you obviously reject. Be carful what you chase my friends.

    • ashley
    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Good point. What did Georgia say when you asked her why she didn’t allow comments on her blog?

    • mb

      I was banned from Purdom’s FB page when I left a respectful comment about an argument she was making based on some DNA information that did not in fact support her point. I expected she would correct her post or at least address my comment. Instead, my comment disappeared and I was banned from posting. This was a genetics detail and did not counter anything biblical. So I have no reason to think Purdom would necessarily entertain a respectful discussion. She might, but she definitely might not.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=682444984 Mickey Houlahan

      “Don’t truly enlightened, intelligent thinkers welcome all ideas?”
      Well, no. Some ideas are absurd. But you see what you did there – in order to have creationism’s juvenile fairy-tale apologetics entertained, you need to broaden your thesis to include ALL ideas.

  • Carpinions

    Thank you Kate and Louise for um, enduring that for us. I recall the writeup that PZ Myers did years ago when he went. He’s likely the number one reason there’s so much security. The CM had the security before from what I recall, but doubly so now that a secular ne’er-do-well infiltrated and ruined it for everyone else. =)

    Another thing I recall from PZ’s writeup is that the museum directs you to exhibits, rather than being an open format like ACTUAL museums, which let you explore as you will. It sounds like this “conference” used much the same philosophy, and was nothing more than an adult version of Christian Bible school, where people come to speak at you, rather than engaging in a discussion of ideas. No joke about the roster of speakers being so small; one wonders why…

  • dan

    seems to be full of mixed message to keep them oppressed. Not inducing your own free will but its okay to make fun of obesity.

  • Cindy Wilson

    To be friendly you sure are very sarcastic! Obviously the only reason they attended was to prove it wrong. Why do you even waste your time if you don’t believe in God? Why try so hard to dispute something you say doesn’t exist? Your PURPOSE doesn’t make since! if what you believe is fact, why do you have to prove creation is wrong?

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Your being offended by the mocking of pseudoscience but not with the pseudoscience itself is an issue with your ethical understanding. You might as well complain that the police are committing “kidnapping” when they arrest a rapist… except that Evolutionary Theory is better supported by evidence than is any rape case in history.

      People and their beliefs exist. They affect the world. These particular beliefs make people more ignorant and more dangerous. They promote poverty, disease and fundamentalism. If widespread belief in leprechauns caused people to deny, malign, and purposefully attempt to sabotage the very science that allows them to live healthier lives, would you condemn atheists who dared to speak out and assert that there was no evidence for leprechauns?

      Funny how you have never in your life had a complaint about Christians attempting (and failing without exception) to disprove Evolutionary Theory and, in so attempting, often succeeding at making children stupider.

    • kdmoregon

      Wow and we wonder how people could fall for such things….perhaps some good old fashion education might be a good idea………

  • kdmoregon

    This is hilarious! Thanks! I’m always curious how these creationist folks deal with the Adam and Eve issue… what race were Adam and Eve? From them came all the other races…how did that happen eh?! Damn incest and all…there is some explanin’ to do….

  • Clara Few

    This is interesting as I have been an orthodox Christian most of my life and have never been exposed to the type of teaching you encountered at the Creation Museum. I know a big group of Baptiats who think tis way, but that’s it for me. I have been in all kinds of denominations and nothing like this. I certainly, as a follower of Jesus, wouldn’t want to be lumped in with this group.

  • joe

    Yea…I can really how you come up with the name “Friendly Atheist”.
    Good one…hehe.

  • Abiogenisis impossible

    As a firm christian, ken ham seems to have done a sh iii tt job: he should have stated how adam and eve had extremely tightly woven genomes.
    More importantly, a point should have been “atheists do not have any examples of abiogenesis as evidence” and “lifefotms are always losing allelles and complexity over time.”


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