Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Dances with dinosaurs

.....could've been a movie with Kevin Costner from a few years back if the hardcore creationists had their way.

Recently I found a blurb in Dagbladet about a creation museum built in Kentucky to the tune of 27 M USD. The museum is owned and operated by the organization Answers in Genesis, which also publishes the wonderful Answers Magazine: Building a Biblical Worldview. These links are pure genious - with lead-ins like "For many years the notion that non-coding DNA was not functional (“junk”) actually inhibited science. More complexity than previously thought reveals the awesomeness of our Creator God." I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried - I am floored by their "awesomeness".

But I digress - back to the museum. Of course, the premise is that the world was created in six days, some time between 6000 and 10 000 years ago. Nothing new there; a disturbing number of US schools even teach this as an alternative to evolution. The cool part is that this organization fully merges the concept of dinosaurs with their - and I'm using the widest possible definition of the word - philosophy. So what does that get you? Dinosaurs lived side by side with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The museum contains several exhibitions demonstrating this fact, including dinosaurs propped up with saddles for riding, etc.

While I am all for questioning established wisdom - which is the only way to advance our collective knowledge - and testing the theoretical framework thus either strengthening or disproving it, Karl Popper style, there is no way good, adequate, halfway decent or even "not entirely crappy" science comes from molding your data after a pre-conceived conclusion. The fact that organizations such as these can scrape the bottom of the academic pool and gather a flock of scientists - presumably the ones who weren't competent enough to be snapped up by tobacco industry to show that smoking is harmless - to front some factual credibility is downright depressing.

I respectfully decline the invitation to join your hallucination.


Anders said...

Creationist are my favorite!
One more point: Creationist actually disagrees on how to interpret some phenomena. This, of course, only shows that they are real scientist...

I did see a hilarious stand up act that dealt with creationism, but I'm not going to try to repeat some of the jokes here. However, he had one good point: If the dinosaurs lived side by side with humans, how come they are not mentioned in the bible? I mean, having a couple of Tyrannosaurus Rex raving around eating sheep, Samaritans and the odd disciple, would surely be something that people would pay attention to and talk about...

Wilhelm said...

Like I said; disagreeing with or questioning conventional wisdom is cool, but "discovering" only the facts and theories which align well with your foregone conclusions SO ain't.

Neither is banning Oscar Wilde from the curriculum on grounds of him being gay, but that's another can of worms.