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Creationism Museum opens in Ohio

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Author Topic: Creationism Museum opens in Ohio  (Read 503 times)
« on: June 03, 2007, 04:29:04 am »

AIG museum debuts
First day draws 4,000, protesters

By Peggy Kreimer
Post staff reporter

Cindy Sullivan of Colerain Township, who said she was representing Jesus Christ, walked from the museum over to protester Frank Zindler of Columbus, Ohio, the editor of the American Athiest Press, to share with him her views.

Build a Creation Museum, and they will come.

In the case of the Answers in Genesis $27 million Creation Museum that opened to the public Monday in Petersburg, "they" include families from more than 20 states toting children and Bibles, about 200 scientists, educators, students, atheists, and self-described "free thinkers" calling the museum's message "bunk," and news crews from as far away as Switzerland and Russia.

By the end of the day, everyone was declaring it a success, including the Boone County Sheriff's Department, which had a traffic unit monitoring the area for confrontations and traffic jams.

"The day was boring," said sheriff's spokesman Tom Scheben.

"No problems. The protesters were well-organized and well-behaved. The museum people kept the traffic moving."

The only problem was a misunderstanding between the museum security and a patron who brought his dog.

"They don't allow dogs on the grounds, except guide dogs," said Scheben.

The patron and the pooch left quietly, said Scheben.

The Creation Museum, created by the Answers in Genesis organization, is designed to persuade people that the biblical story of creation is literally and scientifically true - that God created the universe in six, 24-hour days, that the earth is 6,000 years old, and that dinosaurs and humans shared the same time period.

That all flies in the face of science and logic.

On Monday, a stream of cars from Ohio and Kentucky, Georgia and Tennessee, Colorado, Kansas and a dozen other states started arriving before 8 a.m. and continued in a slow, steady stream all day. Many waited more than two hours for the line to snake from the parking lot through the lobby, doubling back several times before reaching the exhibit hall.

Across the road from the museum, on a spit of farmland, nearly 200 protesters brandished hand-lettered signs at a Rally for Reason. Attorney Edwin Kagin, Kentucky state director of American Atheists and outspoken defender of what he calls "reason over superstition," organized the counter-event.

"I think we gave the message there are plenty of people who don't agree with the so-called science of creationism," said Kagin. "That's the message we were trying to get out, and I think we were successful."

He said he didn't expect to convert the museum's clientele, but he wanted to send a message to the wider public.

"We had news crews from France, Russia, the BBC interviewing our people," Kagin said.

Those same crews, as well as a plethora of newspaper, TV and radio crews from across the United States, also were interviewing the museum developers and patrons.

Cheryl and Ron Lutzow and their son, Joe, came from Chicago.

"I'm a product of public schools," said Ron Lutzow. "They taught me evolution. We're trying to raise our kids in the church. This shows the Bible is true."

James Martus of Mason, Ohio, came with his son's family and clutched his grandson's hand as he waited in line.

"When they're young they're more impressionable than when they get older," he said.

Martus' 15-year-old grandson, Cameron, is heading to college this fall to study astrophysics.

"After I get my degree, I hope to become a creation scientist and be a creation evangelist, spreading the message of creation," Cameron said.

That's exactly what the protesters see as the danger of the museum, said Kagin.

"They are presenting nonsense and myth as truth, and that is a great danger to the people, and particularly to the children of the United States," he said.

"An ignorant people is a weak people. To attempt to convince a younger generation that the rules and laws of science are not true and the world works in ways other than it does, and that the physical world was created by magic is a form of child abuse.

"For creationism to be true, all the laws of all the sciences have to be false. In a generation or two we can be back to writing on rocks and trying to hold back the darkness. Twenty-seven million is a lot of money. I wonder what that would do for real education. This is shameful."

Protest signs included biblical references that the earth does not move and whales are fish and bats are birds - examples, they said, of parts of the Bible that are patently not true.

Carol Carlson of College Hill, Ohio, is a former public school teacher and a former nun who said creationism as science scares her.

"Science is not being taught in our schools now," she said. "Exposing children to something like this when they have never learned the scientific method, that worries me."

"I've read the Bible. I just don't understand how you can believe on the first day God made the light but he didn't get around to making the sun and the moon until the fourth day. There are scientific problems with that view.

"I believe in God, and I accept evolution as a scientific fact. I believe God used DNA to create."

On a plywood stage in the Rally for Reason camp, Lawrence Krauss, a professor of astronomy and physics at Case Western University, talked about the dangers of using bits of science to justify preconceived notions rather than looking at the science first to see what it reveals.

"They chose what supports their view," he said.

In the line of patrons waiting to visit the Creation Museum, Rick Michelhaugh from Knoxville, Tenn., made the same argument about mainstream scientists who don't give credence to the creation viewpoint.

Michelhaugh works at Oak Ridge Labs in Oak Ridge, Tenn., and said geologic dating by radioactivity "is so full of holes it's worse than Swiss cheese."

"I'm ashamed that the scientists don't look at all the evidence. They look at what fits their theory. And they choose to ignore other evidence if it doesn't fit. That's bad science."

He and his wife are longtime supporters of the museum and hold a life membership. Monday was a celebration.

"I'm sure there are inaccuracies here," Michelhaugh said.

"I can go to a traditional museum of natural history and find mistakes all over the place. They've taken the Bible as a framework in which to look at the evidence. Everybody has a mindset, no matter what they say. To my mind it's a question of did it happen all by itself or did God make it happen. I know what I believe."

More than 4,000 toured the museum Monday.

"They've got a right to teach anything they like," said Kagin. "But just because they believe it doesn't make it true."
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« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2007, 04:29:52 am »

They came by the thousands to Petersburg, Ky., Monday to the debut of the Answers in Genesis $27 million Creation Museum.

Many were pleased as punch to get the biblical story of creation, and willingly stood in line for hours to get in.

Not all were eager, though, for it to open, as some 200 protesters stood outside to deride the message.

And to document it all, there were news crews from around the world.

All in all, it was a busy, busy day in Petersburg.

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« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2007, 04:30:31 am »

National Center for Science Education   
Defending the Teaching of Evolution in the Public Schools   
Reactions to creation "museum"

With the young-earth creationist ministry Answers in Genesis scheduled to open its lavish creation museum in northern Kentucky over the Memorial Day weekend, there is a great deal of concern among the scientific and educational communities in the adjacent states about its impact on the public understanding of evolution. NCSE executive director Eugenie C. Scott told ABC's Good Morning America (May 25, 2007) that her fear is that students will "show up in classrooms and say, 'Gee, Mrs. Brown, I went to this spiffy museum last summer and they say that everything you're teaching me is a lie.'"

Early reports from the museum suggest that its exhibits are just as scientifically misleading as expected. Edward Rothstein of The New York Times (May 24, 2007) offered a bemused review of the museum, which impressed him with its "sheer weirdness and daring." In a report in the eSkeptic newsletter (May 23, 2007), Stephen T. Asma, the author of a book on the history of natural history museums, said that skeptics will find the museum quirky and amusing, but added, "When I think, however, of the young children who are unprepared to critically assess the museum, my sense of humor fades."

Over 800 scientists in the three states surrounding the museum -- Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio -- have signed a statement sponsored by NCSE reading, "We, the undersigned scientists at universities and colleges in Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana, are concerned about scientifically inaccurate materials at the Answers in Genesis museum. Students who accept this material as scientifically valid are unlikely to succeed in science courses at the college level. These students will need remedial instruction in the nature of science, as well as in the specific areas of science misrepresented by Answers in Genesis."

Additionally, the Campaign to Defend the Constitution (or DefCon) is sponsoring two petitions denouncing the creationist pseudoscience on display at the museum: one for educators, signed by over 3500 teachers, and one for the general public, signed by over 15,000 signatories. "The main problem," Lawrence Krauss, a professor of physics and astronomy at Case Western Reserve University and a member of DefCon's advisory board, told the Lexington Herald-Leader (May 25, 2007), "is that this is a museum of misinformation." In his opinion column in the Louisville Courier-Journal (May 22, 2007), Krauss was similarly outspoken, describing the museum as "an educational travesty."

And a protest called Rally for Reason is scheduled to take place outside the museum on Memorial Day, with a press event to be held on the preceding Sunday. Rally for Reason's organizer Edwin Kagin told the Cincinnati Enquirer (May 25, 2007), "We want to let the world know that most rational people do not share the primitive world view of creationists that the Earth is only a few thousand years old, and that humans and dinosaurs existed at the same time." "Various groups, representing both religious and secular orientations, will join together to protest this destructive world view" at the rally, he added.

The editorialist for the Los Angeles Times (May 24, 2007) cut to the heart of the matter, lamenting, "Young Earthers believe the world is about 6,000 years old, as opposed to the 4.5 billion years estimated by the world's credible scientific community. This would be risible if anti-evolution forces were confined to a lunatic fringe, but they are not," citing the political influence of creationism. The editorial concluded, "With the opening of the Creation Museum, young people will be getting another side of the story. Too bad it starts with 'Yabba-dabba-doo!'"

May 25, 2007
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« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2007, 04:31:12 am »

Ohio, the latest battleground against wacky Christian fundies!  I'll be keeping my eye on all the misinformation being slung around there!

At least it was all built by private funds, still, what a waste of money!!!
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« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2007, 01:04:07 pm »

And how did they get the dinos on theark anyway, magic??

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