Monday, October 22, 2012

The Thinking Atheist visits Ken Ham’s Creation “Museum”

| »

The always enlightening godless YouTuber Seth Andrews, better known as The Thinking Atheist, recently went on a tour of Kentucky’s notorious Creation “Museum”, that monument to religious delusion owned by Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis. Below is a summary of the ten lessons he learned during his little escapade into Christian fundy-land:

Summary: (click the [+/-] to open/close →) []

Seth “The Thinking Atheist” Andrews goes on his first tour of Ken Ham’s “wretched hive of dumb and villainy”, the Creation Museum near Petersburg, Kentucky, on Friday, October 05, 2012. He first meets up with a few other skeptics from around the region who are also curious about the Museum. On their way over, Andrews disagrees that the Museum is a “literal interpretation of what Scripture says”, saying it’s rather a “literal interpretation of what Ken Ham says” and that there are other kinds of Biblical Creationists than Ham’s version of Young-Earth literalism.

LESSON ONE: Drop the coin.

There’s a coin funnel near the entrance that encourages visitors to “drop coins” and “watch the fun!”, which Andrews characterizes as “very telling”.

LESSON TWO: Kids love dinosaurs.

Dinosaurs (and other prehistoric beasts) are everywhere at the Creation Museum as skeletons, statues, animatronics and photo ops.

LESSON THREE: Dinosaurs love kids!

According to the Museum, dinosaurs – including carnivores like raptors – “coexisted with human beings” in the Garden of Eden “like pets or companions”. (A carnivorous dinosaur is depicted as grazing through vegetation.) The further they advance through the Museum, the more they see everything seems designed to appeal to children and “mold the[ir] minds”, and the message presented throughout is crystal clear:

LESSON FOUR: God is under attack!

Andrews wonders why an omnipotent and all-powerful God would be concerned about any human “attack”, but the Creation Museum folks seemed “pretty alarmed about it”. The Museum blames this on modern scientists who advance claims and theories that contradict the Bible, pitting “Man’s Word” against “God’s Word”, which disagrees with the notion of evolution and an old Earth and Universe. Instead:

LESSON FIVE: Humans descended from a dirt-man and rib-woman about 6,000 years ago.

Once upon a time, Adam and Eve enjoyed the beautiful Garden of Eden along with lambs, penguins and vegetarian dinosaurs. All was well, until …

LESSON SIX: Don’t listen to the snake!

Adam and Eve “angered God” when they fell victim to the Serpent’s temptation and ate the Forbidden Fruit, at which point they were evicted from Paradise and “the whole world went to shit”. Because:

LESSON SEVEN: When you disobey God, the whole world goes to shit.

Adam & Eve’s “single act of rebellion, thousands of years ago, is the reason we have starving children, predatory animals and wars, pain and crime and death the Nazis”. A&E’s sin even “destroyed the vegetarian diet”, even amongst the animals (and dinosaurs). In addition, adding to the “mountain of self-inflicted Cosmic Pain”, A&E’s sin is also responsible for:

LESSON EIGHT: Original Sin created weeds!

Then again, the global infestation of both weeds and humans “shouldn’t be a problem for us”, as …

LESSON NINE: God’s plan involved incest.

A sign reads: “Genesis 5:4 teaches that Adam and Eve had sons and daughters. So, originally, brothers had to marry sisters,” and, “All humans are related. So whenever someone gets married, they marry their relative.” Unfortunately, the evil of humankind would eventually boil over into the Global Flood. The Creation Museum spends a lot of time teaching visitors about Noah’s Ark, from how it was built to how the fossil record supposedly “proves” the Flood happened, along with showing how the stalls inside the Ark were maintained (showing more dinosaurs aboard the Ark). Everyone was invited to put together God’s plan to wipe out the vast majority of life on Earth “like a puzzle”.

LESSON TEN: Everything is our fault.

One recurring theme – “outside of how evil the teachings of Evolution are” – is that “God’s Word [is] never to be questioned, ever”. The phrase “God’s Word” is everywhere in the Museum, demanding trust and obedience, whilst discouraging visitors from relying on “Human Reason”, as our minds are “merely a conduit for misinformation” and “thinking for ourselves is what caused all of our troubles to begin with”.

Andrews summarizes his experience at the Creation Museum as “jarring”. He is sickened by how the “thousands of impressionable, insulated children brought there by religious parents” get brainwashed, and he’s angry that the Museum presents its deluded nonsense as “legitimate science”. The other skeptics are of the same mind, decrying how the Museum is so slick and well-made that it seems to hide the “terrible story” that festers within. They are similarly outraged at how many young children were running around inside the Museum, excited by all the dinosaurs and flashy visuals, possibly being led to believe the garbage information they were being fed was truth. They expressed their worries about what the existence of such a house of lies could mean for the future of scientific ability in the United States.

Ultimately, Andrews labels the Creation Museum a “slick, fanciful, high-dollar guilt trip” and “a church decorated with dinosaurs”. If he had been the one to name “this particular Kentucky attraction”, he would’ve called it “Jurassic Lark”.

Essentially, his visit reaffirms what every rational being already knows: Ken Ham’s pseudo-scientific farce is no more than a disgrace to human reason doubling as a trap for impressionable children who go there for all the pretty dinosaurs and leave with minds filled with bullshit. “Jurassic Lark”, indeed.

(via Friendly Atheist)