About 3.5 years ago, I went to the San Diego Creation Museum with a few others from Generation Atheist and since I blogged about it then, I wanted to share that hilarious and horrifying experience with all of you!
October 3, 2010
Creation Museum – San Diego
So about a week ago, at pharyngula’s prompting, I went to the open house at the creationist museum in San Diego with another atheist (though we also ran into several others there). I described the visit to a friend as fascinating and disturbing on many levels. I’ll start from the top.
We got there and parked, heading into the nondescript building with only the sign “creation museum” to guide us. Everyone was quite friendly, though I’m sure they weren’t expecting many atheists to show up, although they took it in stride when they realized how many of us there were there (more on that later). I took a small look into the museum portion of it before heading into the small room with a PowerPoint presentation about to start, titled as follows:
There was a long monologue before the PowerPoint started about how happy he was that there were so many people there (there were only like thirty people in the room, so I guess they don’t sell out like Dawkins does), how grateful he was to god to helping him (there was a LOT of thanking god), giving credit where credit was due or something. Then he introduced Dr. Joe Francis, who started on his PP presentation. Dr. Joe Francis introduced himself as a Jew turned creationist (which, as a cultural Jew myself, suddenly gave me the odd sensation I’d somehow dodged a bullet). He spoke about how cholera was created by god to break down shells in the ocean, and of course it’s a horrible disease for humans to deal with, but if we didn’t have cholera, the oceans would be overflowing with seashells! Then there was the arguments from design and complexity, the fact that all the viruses he was showing us look so darn intricate that they HAD to be created by god (just look at the ones that look like space ships!). It was all stuff I’d heard before, read before, the same arguments, just being explained by someone who was (apparently) a microbiologist (Note: when asked why there aren’t many creationist microbiologists out there, Francis said they are probably just all in the closet, shunned for their good Christian beliefs).
Francis continued with a not-so-subtle plug for pro-life, explaining what blastocysts are. I was tempted to ask, as a scientist, knowing the possible potential there is for gaining knowledge through stem cell research, what his stance was on it, but I knew what the answer would be, so I stayed quiet. He spoke at length about how not all viruses hurt people, how some of them helped immensely. And there was the inevitable citation of “kinds”, which made me cringe inside, as I prefer my scientists talking about genera and species; the word “kind” does not appear in the taxonomic hierarchy, thank you very much. But that edges into evolution, and we don’t talk about that. Francis ended the lecture on his firm stance that the bible is superior to any other foundation for science. Statements like that almost physically pain me. I left the room doubting this guy was a real scientist.
The entire time, I got the impression Francis thought he was talking to a bunch of five-year-olds. His tone was ridiculously condescending and infuriating.
After the lecture was over (and two lovely women named Debbie and Jennifer started asking questions Francis wasn’t happy with, prompting me to make a mental note to speak to the two of them later, which I did) I headed out into the museum. This is where I took many more pictures, because…well, they mostly speak for themselves. I’ll be doing a lot of talking for them too though. And I wanted to also note that there was a boy that looked about fourteen attempting to show the group of apparent atheists around, explaining how everything in the museum was right, and I just wanted to pat him on the back, say everything was going to be okay, and hand him a copy of The Greatest Show on Earth, but I know he’s probably too far gone.
The “geology” section. Just because you say it, doesn’t make it so:
These ones are, unavoidably, the ones that piss me off the most (the atheist cultural Jew who had twelve relatives die in the Holocaust):
I could, of course, go on for ages on how this infuriates me, but let’s leave it at this: if you’ve read Mein Kampf, you know Hitler was a Christian. What exactly does that say about him? And “survival of the fittest” is denounced by many scientists as being accurate in regards to evolution, by the way, as it implies “strength” rather than “adaptation”.
Several other atheists and I found this friggin’ hilarious. Apparently the creation museum is pro-legalization:
So the fact that without the Christian-Judeo bible humanity would be reduced to utterly corrupt horrible beings because there wouldn’t be anything worth living for is covered heeeeeeere:
And finally, after all these years, the answer!
Actually, I’m pretty sure scientists figured out a while ago that animals were laying eggs way before chickens were around. And they didn’t even have to cite Genesis!
There was a gorgeous cluster of animals in one of the tanks, including a ton of butterflies, but of course, note the dinosaur at the bottom, emphasizing that all animals were created at the same time. Yes, people, this is a creation museum.
The rationalization for sin (if you can call it rational):
The argument from entropy (I told you, there’s nothing new here):
Noah building the ark with the kids. So…can someone please explain to me why there’s a station wagon in the display…? (This got quite a laugh from some of us)
Reasons why Noah’s flood makes sense:
And this is why geology is totally not a respected field. And we found tons of rabbits in the Precambrian. >.<
How to use the bible for science:
How the ice age explains that pesky problem of Noah’s house not being within three miles of two of every animal:
An explanation of the flood, among other things:
Why worry about climate change at all? Jesus is coming back soon and then none of it will mean a thing!
I hated just about everything here. Any kids that come through here are being told this is based in real science, and it’s setting them up for a beat-down whenever they come up against a real scientist.
They had several placards about evolutionists. Darwin was apparently a Pagan:
And, exit through the gift shop. Don’t forget to pick up your copies of the creationism textbooks disguised as science textbooks!
On my way out, I ran into Debbie again, who was protesting the pseudo-science:
Good for her, but it would have been too exhausting for me. I’m glad I went, it was eye-opening to say the least, but I would have lost it if I’d had to defend reality for hours more after the hours I’d already spent there. I called it a day and took off back toward LA, turning on Darwin’s Origin of Species, narrated by Richard Dawkins, on my iPod, in an attempt to regenerate the lost brain cells.