The Creation Explanation
And defining what creates what
Janet Kuypers, 05/15/09
Connections between the religious right and our government... Booming through our car speakers were all these connections, as we drove to Memphis for our weekend road trip. Chris Hedges was reading from his book “American Fascists: The Religious Right and the War on America,” which we had an audio CD for long drives like this one, and we were probably over half way through the audio CD set (and had already driven through Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and had just driven through Kentucky) when we heard the reader mention the “Creation Museum” in passing. W. Szewai (from New York) wrote in a review of this book: “At The Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, which “prove[s] that God’s word is true,” Hedges writes “The danger of creationism is...that it allows all facts to be accepted or discarded according to the dictates of a preordained ideology.” But their comments about the Creation Museum were much harsher than that, and when they mentioned in the book that it was in Kentucky (they did not mention where), I turned to my husband and said that we have to check at poet C Ra McGuirt’s house for an Internet connection in Nashville, so we can see where this museum is, and see if it may be close to on our way home from this weekend poetry trip.
Well, we made it to C Ra McGuirt’s house, we read poetry, played the guitar and sang, and even went over proof copies of the C Ra McGuirt Scars Publications book “nopoem.” All in all, it was a great time. But before we left Sunday morning to return home (with a second video camera for filming poetry on the road in 3 states), we discovered the Creation Museum was just a few miles out of our way on our trip home (thanks to http://www.creationmuseum.org/). Even though they charged an insanely steep entrance price to the Creation Museum, I just had to check out the “special effects” they used to explain how dinosaurs lived at the same time that humans did on earth. (I mean, I thought it would be totally fascinating to see how they justify what we’ve learned through science that otherwise disproves the Bible.) So, a little after noon EST (closer to 11:30 CST), we entered the Creation Museum. I had my husband’s camera ready (since I filled mine with video footage from the 2009 Cana-Dixie Union night of poetry readings) so I could somehow document our travels — and try to document how other people can alter the facts to justify their own unproven beliefs (you know, beliefs supported by no facts — I mean, that’s what faith is for, right?).
As soon as we paid our admission, a man asked to take our picture with a green screen. So we kept our pamphlets behind our backs and took a picture; then he asked us to look up at the scale models on the 2nd floor balcony and act “scared” to see the dinosaurs (because they were going to superimpose this image of us over images of dinosaurs). My husband did a much better job of play acting scared of dinosaurs for the photo, but we had our pictures taken and then entered the main hall for a walking tour to explain how the Bible modifies what science has revealed.
So I started going through the hallways with scale models and posters, and I started photographing everything (to help me remember all of their details). The first poster I found said that there are different views if people have different “starting points.” If you rely on human reason, for example, you can agree with philosopher Rene Descartes’ “I think, therefore I am,” but if you choose to rely on God’s word, you should agree that God said, “I am that I am.” Okay, if you jump to that conclusion, that you can support that God’s word is the key to the past, the present and the future, because the next Creation Museum poster explains that God is before all things (Corinthians 1:17), and since creation began at 4004 BC, “God’s intervention at key periods in history explains most of the world we see today.” (Okay, want a better description of what happened since 4004 BC? Creation and Corruption happened at 4004 BC, but Catastrophes on earth and later Confusion occurred closer to 2000 BC. Not much happened in earth’s history until 1 AD, where the posted explains that Christ was born, which is actually different from when historians say they believe Christ was born, but he was placed on the cross shortly afterward... which leads to the present, of “Consumption.” Thanks for the helpful poster, Creation Museum...)
Wow, this is fun, trying to compare how Creationism explains how God did all of this versus “human reason,” or scientific knowledge. (Granted, discovering our past scientifically is just a theory, since no one was there, but at least science uses evidence to come to its conclusions.) saw another poster that explained the creation of the Universe (this should be more my thing, since I’m so much more into astronomy than human history...). According to what we humans have learned, after the Big Bang, billions of years ago (which we have scientifically actually been able to discover remnants to explain what happened right after the Big Bang), galaxies evolved. (In more detailed terms large masses formed but could not sustain themselves so they started to break apart, the more permanent sustainable galaxies formed.). Then our own solar system (the Milky Way Galaxy) formed (which we are on the outer edge of, and when we see the milky band in the sky on a clear rural night, we’re only looking at our little slice of a small portion of the Milky Way galaxy). Then historically speaking, our own earth and moon formed (there is actually the Giant Impact Theory, which states that the moon was formed by a Mars-sized body that some scientists call “Orpheus” or “Theia” striking early earth – or earth mach 1, which formed our moon, which moves away from earth’ orbit about 1 inch every year, and as earth later hardened, allowed from the impact more land to rise over the water on earth, forming continents). But you see, in another comparative poster from the Creation Museum, on Day 1 (yes, they believe everything was created literally in 6 days, and have a film on it in the middle of this museum viewing) God decided “Let There Be Light” (which is different from the light from the Sun, which was formed on Day 4), earth was created on Day 2, land masses on earth were formed in Day 3, and the Sun was formed on Day 4. Oh, and keep in mind that this all happened “thousands of years ago,” instead of relying on the scientific evidence that the Universe for started “billions of years ago.”
Oh, okay, let me get back to the history of civilization here... Anthropologists have discovered dinosaur remains, and dated their living time in history, but here is another point where the Creation Museum argues with what science has discovered. For you see, throughout their museum they pose that people make these claims that these dinosaur bones were found, but then they ask, when did they live? How did they get there? Is this place on earth where they lived, or where did they move from? What caused their extinction? (Yes, they pretty much ask the who/what/where/when/why of major events in earth’s history.) They do this repeatedly throughout the museum, while never understanding that scientists have been able on many levels to answer these questions through science.
We even progressed to the next stage of the museum viewing, which explained that God placed all of the animals on earth along with Adam and Eve, and all were able to get along on earth.
Yes, even humans and dinosaurs.
Even though there is no scientific evidence that humans live at the same time in history as dinosaurs, the Creation Museum explains that they all lived together peacefully before Adam and Eve committed the Original Sin of eating an apple from the Tree of Knowledge (why would humans want knowledge anyway?), because all animals were vegetarians.
Okay, I’m a vegetarian, but I’d like to hear more about how they explain this all... The Creation Museum explains that all animals were vegetarians, and all could eat fruit and vegetables from the trees (which are not living things, according to the Bible, but are “green things”), but after Adam and Eve clothed themselves and lost favor to God, they made sacrifices to appease God, which is at the same time animals learned they could eat each other for food. And even though dinosaurs and large animals seem to be created for consuming animal flesh, and they have teeth to support the ripping of flesh for consumption, the Creation Museum explains that those dinosaur teeth are perfect for ripping through large hard melons, to consume the sweet fruit within the hardened shell.
(Okay, though I still don’t go for their explanation, I have to admit that’s a novel way of explaining their “My, what sharp teeth you have” strong teeth away...)
As we were walking through the Creation Museum and reading about these things, a woman and her two small children were also going through the museum exhibits, and she was talking to her kids (which were probably around 4 years old), reiterating the posters to her children (because if they could read it, I’m sure they didn’t want to), explaining to them (like this museum is the only proof they need) that God did create the earth and heavens in 6 days, and that humans didn’t come from any “tree of life,” but as a very direct descent from God’s will. So I tried to tune out what this mother was saying to her children, thinking that it wasn’t my business (I should know better, I’m a journalist and I should snoop more, I know), but my husband asked me if I was listening to the mother talking in the museum. I told him that I tried to tune her out, so he explained to me what he heard her telling her small children. Let me try to paraphrase what she was telling her children here:
“People who tell you how the earth was not created by God... Remember, they are liars. People who say the earth is billions of years old... They are wrong. God created the earth in six days, six thousand years ago. These people who ask you to think about these things... They are trying to deceive you. They are doing the work of Satan.”
Nice, lady, instill fear in the 4 year olds to make them believe in Christ as their Lord and Savior. I mean, this is what most dictators use to get people to do and believe what they want, use fear to keep people in line.
This mother was telling her small children that other people who don’t believe in the strict word of the Bible and rely at all on science are deceivers and liars. This mother was (and probably always is) brainwashing her 4-year-old children.
It’s sad that we had to hear this individual indoctrination during our viewing of the Creation Museum, because as we left her and her children in the darkened poster hallways, we entered a large room with scale humans in the jungles of the Garden of Eden (with probably smaller than real-life wild animals around them). The exhibits showed a man with deer, an antelope, a lamb, a monkey, a penguin (hey, penguins are only in Antarctica, with a select few penguins in the Galapagos Islands) and a flamingo (and wait a minute, flamingos are only in Africa, South America and the Galapagos Islands). The man looked happy hanging out naked with all of the animals of earth – except the dinosaurs, of course, which were in the exhibit near the woman. There was even an exhibit of a dinosaur biting at a melon to get the juicy insides for food.
(I’m sorry, I’m still stuck on this meat-devouring teeth and gastro-intestinal system designed for eating animal flesh, being something God designed to eat through hardened melons to get to the fruit inside. What a riot.)
My husband also said he heard this mother say to her small children as we passed the dinosaur exhibits and posters something to the effect of “See honey, people did live with dinosaurs...” as if she wanted to use this Creation Museum as a fact-based corroboration of her beliefs in the Bible, to help prove that these stories must be true to her little children.
So we passed through the human-animal “historically” living-in-harmony exhibits to watch the 5-minute video display of how the 6 days transpired to create our earth as we know it. The film ran in a repeating loop, so we could just sit down anywhere, watch the film, and be on our way.
There were more explanations, of things like how large volcanic eruptions at Mount St. Helens (with cooling ash clouds) can explain the cooling of the earth after the Flood, and that Lookit Canyon, Step Canyon, Engineers Canyon and Little Grand Canyon had mudflows that can cut canyons (the way they explain the Flood also did). You know, I could go on about the little details, but you can see some of the images and perspectives (other than perspectives straight from ) at Creation Museum Pictures at the Atheist Perspective (http://www.atheistperspective.com/creation-museum-pictures/).
While at the Creation Museum, I saw how that mother was telling her small children (who were young enough to listen to and blindly believe everything their mother said) about how God started everything in literally 6 days, and how man lived with dinosaurs (who were vegetarians; I’d really love to learn more about the vegetarian Tyrannosaurus, I really would, “my what big teeth you have for eating those hard-shelled melons...”). It truly scares me to think of how these religious organizations are selectively choosing what science has shown to support their beliefs, then saying every other scientific discovery is wrong. I wish people would check their premises before making these baseless decisions about what to believe in their lives... It is funny, when people try to make debatable arguments for their side of a case, that they will selectively listen to some facts, but ignore others, and hope that nobody will notice their omissions and support their theories as blindly as they do.
I know I just listened to an audio book about how religion is trying to change this country, but I suppose I had to spend the money to visit the Creation Museum, just to see the indoctrination on a micro-level for myself to believe that people can really think this way.
P.S.: If you want to see something funny, check out the Creation Museum Pictures, and see pictures they took of us superimposed over: the Garden of Eden, us both inside AND outside Noah’s Ark, a galaxy in outer space (which doesn’t look half bad), and dinosaurs (you know, since the Creation Museum explains how dinosaurs lived peacefully with us on earth before Adam and Eve’s Original Sin of eating an apple from the Tree of Knowledge, when all creatures on the planet were vegetarians)...