Monday, August 10, 2009

Creation Museum Part 5

Never fear, Creation Museum goer. After going through terrifying Atheistland, you enter a serene black tunnel dotted with Christmas lights - er, stars, I mean stars. You pop into a mini theater where they're showing a video about how God created the universe in 6 days. I have to admit, this is where the museum starts being educational - in the sense that I learned about a literal interpretation of the Bible. I was not raised Christian, nor have I read the Bible other that some select passages (which I feel guilty about, I mean to do it soon). I couldn't tell you what order God created things, or exactly what happened to Adam and Eve and their children, so this was pretty informative from a Bible as Literature point of view (if you ignore all the dinosaurs). Past that, absolutely hilarious. My favorite part of the movie was Adam and Eve watching brontosauruses as the sun sets:You pop out into a room showing various videos playing on loop. The first one I watched gave the same old "DNA is information, information can't randomly come about, therefore there is a God" argument. It then took a random word (don't remember what it was) and started rearranging it Text Twist style, this somehow being the best argument against evolution. Uh, what? Then a clip about irreducible complexity in the eye came on, and I got upset. I went on a mini rant to a friend about how stupid that argument is, and how octopuses have better eyes than vertebrates anyway...but then I had to stop watching or I probably would have started yelling at the screen. Then I found this brain breaking sign:...

This is where my brain officially broke during the trip, and I really felt like a part of me had died from the mind boggling ignorance. Let me take a big breath and swig of beer before I touch this one.

Okay, much better.

Let me break this down for you, in case it's not jumping out from that image. First came plants. Then came the sun. Then came DNA. See anything a little odd about that order? When I first tweeted my distress, I said "But...but...photosynthesis!" I'll admit that's not the best response. Theoretically plants can live a day without sunlight (since we are talking about 24 hour days here), and it may just be silly rather than impossible for God to make plants first. But the sun doesn't just produce sunlight - it produces warmth. There's no way plants could survive in the freezing cold of space for 24 hours - most of them have a hard enough time when the first frost comes. Of course, this is God we're talking about - I'm sure a creationist would wave their hands and say God protected the plants from dying with his magical powers, and that's that.

And then there's the little bit about DNA. How the hell did plants exist before the building blocks of life? Are you telling me that every plant cell's nucleus was empty, that not a single protein was made in 24 hours, that plants sat in suspended animation for 24 hours before God zapped DNA (and supposedly RNA) into every plant cell on Earth? Really? Does it make any sense for an all knowing God to create things in such an illogical, silly order? Or does it sound like the creation story is a myth made up by people who know nothing about biology or evolution, and now they're desperately trying to apply it to the story?

Brain broken, I decided to go take solace in Eden:Wait, what the freaking hell? What are penguins doing in the Middle East?! You think with all the dinosaurs, I would be desensitizes by now...but no. Dinosaurs existing with humans is pure fantasy, penguins in the middle east put me in an Ecologist Rage. But then I got a photo with a cute dinos and all was well:Om nom nom prehistoric pineapple.Not so sure if I was allowed to touch that. Whoops.

I think I'd like to take the time here to actually compliment the Creation Museum on one thing: it was extremely well made. Nothing looked cheap, all of the fake dinosaurs and humans were excellently made, and all of the signs had very nice designs. Of course, all of this makes me even more sad, because people are easily swayed by snazzy, professional looking things.

Moving on, we reach the bow chicka wow wow part of the garden. Well, I guess technically not yet, since there's no sin yet. I have to admit, Adam was kind of attractive, and some of these dioramas with Adam and Eve were oddly suggestive. I mean, what a romantic location:...with a velociraptor in the background. Can you spot it?Oh my! Naughty Adam and Eve! Keep those hands above the water, Children of God with Strategically Placed Hair! Oh, and in case it's been too long since the museum made a political/cultural statement, here you go:Oh, well that's good to know! Since we have a separation of church and state here, and they claim the only basis for heterosexual marriage is religion, then no problem approving gay marriage, right? Or more realistically, since the idea that Adam and Eve even existed, let alone that Eve was made from Adam's rib, is complete malarkey, and that's they're only argument against gay marriage, then equal rights here we come! ...I have a feeling my argument isn't going to go over well with them.

And just because I really like this photo:
Note the serpent lurking overhead and the fact that the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge actually looks more like grapes. Guess the Creation Museum didn't want to get involved with the cultural meme of the fruit being an apple. Right about then PZ randomly appeared behind us, so we slowed down a bit to be a part of the hilarity. Then it happened. They ate the fruit, and the museum went from being a peaceful garden of Eden to scary as hell again.

(Thanks to Vanessa and Josh for extra photos)

Part1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9

23 comments:

  1. I see the velociraptor! I see it!
    All this just makes me want to start quoting Jurassic Park,
    "Damn it, even Nedry knew better than to mess with the raptor fences!"

    "god creates dinosaurs. god destroys dinosaurs. god creates man. Man destroys god. Man creates dinosaurs... dinosaurs eat man. Woman inherits the earth."

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  2. Thank you for contributing my favorite quote from Jurassic Park <3

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  3. Ha – it's my fave quote, too. =P

    And that sign with the order in which the world and the things in it were created ... Nearly killed me, it did. I'd really, really love to hear how even these kooks can explain plants popping up before the very code that gives them – y'know, shape and color and function and existence and so forth – even existed (supposedly being created the very next day).

    The mind ... she boggles, y'know ...

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  4. Wait, wait, how does it go back to being scary again? Did that really happen, and if it did, where are the pictures?! D:

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  5. I kinda wished I could have been there, but I think my head would still hurt.

    I really, really do not understand how anyone but the youngest child could buy this crap.

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  6. Thanks for posting this, I've been enjoying reading about this and wish I could have been there for the trip. I'm glad you're posting this up cuz peopel should know just how fucked up that place is.

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  7. Thank you for sharing your Creation "museum" experience. I imagine it must have been a very painful experience for a biologist. I'm an historian and the pictures alone were enough to give me a headache! We have a Creation "museum" here in the UK, and while it would be interesting to compare (although I have a feeling ours is a bit like disused barn) I honestly don't know if I'd have the strength to visit the whole museum without Valium, or if I'd want to give them my money! Although if I were to give them money, it would definately be the £10 note with Darwin on it!

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  8. I want to point out the serpent did not have legs. The Bible says God cursed the serpent to crawl on its belly after the fall. So the serpent should have legs. Also the serpent is never called Satan, ever.

    Genesis 3:14

    So the LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this,
    "Cursed are you above all the livestock
    and all the wild animals!
    You will crawl on your belly
    and you will eat dust
    all the days of your life."

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  9. "BeamStalk said...
    I want to point out the serpent did not have legs. The Bible says God cursed the serpent to crawl on its belly after the fall. So the serpent should have legs. Also the serpent is never called Satan, ever."


    Ricky Gervais has a good take on that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_EXqdJ4L7I

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  10. My question is why are there no naval archtects on the net explaining why the Arc could not have been seaworthy?

    Ham says the Arc withstood the wind and seas for six months, but it seems that no Marine engineers are refuting this.

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  11. That's because marine engineers are too busy building ships to deal with this load of tripe.

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  12. Hey Froggie --

    Yeah, the Ark would've hogged like a sumbitch and likely broken its keel under the strain. There's a reason you don't build wooden hulls that big without steel reenforcement -- the difference in bouyancy between the center of the keel and the pointy bits at either end acts like balancing the whole shebang across a fulcrum, pushing up _hard_ at the center as bow and stern try to sit lower in the water.

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  13. How big do these nutjobs claim the Ark was, anyway? What sort of wood was it made of? I mean, even idiots like me should be able to look up the math.

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  14. Your "But...but...photosynthesis" tweet was the first I really noticed on the #creozerg feed. It kept me reading all day so don't discount that first, emotional reaction. Sometimes it's the truest.

    And now I read your blog!

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  15. Veritas, it was made from gopher wood according to the bible. There is also a size for it but it is in cubits so there is a rough guesstimate to how big that is.

    As Anonymous said, it would have snapped in two ont he first big wave. Plus in modern wooden boats besides being steel reinforced they also have massive water pumps. Water still gets in no matter how good you seal it. The thing would have sunk in a few days at best. Remember it rained for 40 days and 40 nights and there was an opening in the top of the boat.

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  16. @ Beamy: Gopher wood, eh? And yes, cubits is always a rough guesstimate. Lets the religious-types expand or contract the Ark as needed.

    Personally, I would enjoy doing the maths as a fun distraction from work. Or at least researching it, and seeing if I have the mental capacity left to do it.

    And though you wouldn't know this, I am aware of the problems with a wooden ship - being a certified small-boat sailor, as well as living in a sailing family on both sides (Navy & fishing). It's tough to grow up here without at least a rudimentary knowledge of boating, as well. The problems with the Ark are many, but the good ol' Christians can always pull the "Divine Providence" card from their ass.

    I think it needs three whites and three of any colour to play.

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  17. Ok, I'm a bit slow, but Eve's got boobs, right? Presumably, Adam's got his willy parts, too. Also, and I'm going out on a limb here, Eve has a forest of righteous truth betwixt her pins.

    My question: What are these body parts for? Were they having sinless sex before the "fall?" Seriously. Since they're, sigh, married, having sex 24/7 wasn't technically a sin, so were they at it constantly? There wasn't any TV yet, so what else was there to do?

    Man, this is all so depressing. Not a single part of this story holds together against even the smallest proddings of curiosity and yet these people can't (won't) see it. *Facepalm* indeed.

    Nice blog, by the way.

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  18. One big problem with the sun and light is that as photons are produced in the core of the sun, they are progressively passed from one atom to another. The time to go from core to the surface where they are released is in the range of 170,000 years, so unless god created those photons en route, those plants are skeeeerewed.

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  19. This is an article from 1983,but for the commenter who wanted to know if there were any articles showing the story to be wrong:

    ncseweb.org/cej/4/1/impossible-voyage-noahs-ark

    Sorry, can't get the HTML tags to work. Warning...some of the sentences will make you laugh out loud, and other will make you shake your head in amazement at the literalist's stupidity.

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  20. I presume that the penguin is there because of the claim that prior to the fall pretty much everything could live everywhere. That's also why dinosaurs with big sharp pointy teeth were able to survive on fruits. Or something like that.

    Wow, I regret not going to the museum on this trip. I really do need to go sometime.

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  21. The fun thing about the creation story, there are actually two of them. Genesis 1:1-2:3 and Genesis 2:4-2:25. You can read them at http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=genesis%201:1-2:25;&version=31;

    The differences lie in the order things were created. The differences aren't huge, but the creation of Adam and Eve is interesting.

    story 1 order, separated by days they were created:
    1) light/darkness
    2) sky
    3) land/sea, plants
    4) sun,moon, and stars
    5) birds, fish (creatures of sky and creatures of the water)
    6) Land animals, including humans. Both Adam and Eve were created at the same time in God's image.

    Story 2 order, the Bible does not say on what days these things happened or how many days there were:
    1) Heavens/Earth (Land, sky, light/darkness, sun, moon, and stars I guess)
    2) Seas (waters)
    3) Adam, made from dust.
    4) Trees in Eden (I'm assuming this includes all vegetation)
    5) Beasts of the field and birds of the air (nowhere are water creatures mentioned). Adam names these.
    6) Eve is made from Adam's rib, as a helper/companion.

    If anyone plans on reading the Bible, read The New Interpreter's Study Bible: New Revised Standard Version. This version contains lots and lots of footnotes. There are so many they might actually be longer than the Bible itself. The footnotes range from meanings of words and different interpretations of the original Hebrew and Greek to the historical reasons for the stories of the bible.

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  22. What I think is very funny is that the snake hasn't got any legs, when the bible says that he lost his legs after the fall of man...

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  23. @Jen: so what is in the Atheistland through which you pass first?

    @Samanthabella: The UK has a banknote with Darwin on it? Cool! Isn't that a casus belli on the same level as Iranian nukes, though?

    @Fleegman: I've never heard it called "forest of righteous truth" before. Very poetic. Did you just make that up or is there a subculture that uses it?

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