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Jesus Rode a T-Rex
November 13, 2007 7:36 AM   Subscribe

"Imagine, if you will, a load of horseshit." John Scalzi with everything you need to know about the $27 million Creation Museum.
"In the first room of the Creation Museum tour there’s a display of two paleontologists unearthing a raptor skeleton. One of them, a rather avuncular fellow, explains that he and the other paleontologist are both doing the same work, but that they start off from different premises: He starts off from the Bible and the other fellow (who does not get to comment, naturally) starts off from “man’s reason,” and really, that’s the only difference between them: “different starting points, same facts,” is the mantra for the first portion of the museum."
Don't forget the photo tour. [previously]
posted by Mikey-San (76 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
A friend and I wanted to go and take pictures. Shame he got sick and we had to cancel, it sounds like a blast.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:39 AM on November 13, 2007


That's so cute, the Creationists are playing museum!
posted by baphomet at 7:39 AM on November 13, 2007 [7 favorites]


Needs more horseshit.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:41 AM on November 13, 2007


Ooh ooh, can we pick with ancient religious text we start from? I'll take the Kama Sutra.
posted by DU at 7:43 AM on November 13, 2007


Previously.
posted by brain_drain at 7:48 AM on November 13, 2007


For those who don't know, that's Metafilter's own John Scalzi.

Dude needs to get himself back to Madison, WI to sign my (his?, our?) book. :-)
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:48 AM on November 13, 2007


Needs more horseshit.

The shit in this museum did *not* evolve from horses. It's based on a number of shits that were taken some 6,000 years ago by God himself. We collected his droppings over the seven days in which he made the heaven, the earth and everything within it, and each individual stool is an exact replica of one of His own.

As you can see, He had no need for All Bran.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:04 AM on November 13, 2007


Greetings From Idiot America
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:10 AM on November 13, 2007


The flickr set commentary is gold.
posted by Atom Eyes at 8:14 AM on November 13, 2007


Totally worth it for the captions and comments, e.g.: "Your adult-onset diabetes? Adam's fault. Your ingesting seven pounds of candy on a daily basis has nothing to do with it."
posted by supercres at 8:15 AM on November 13, 2007


Wow, I never heard this bit before.

I had assumed that believers would see animals eating each other as undeniably natural and therefore not Satanic or anything, but that's just astounding. I wonder if this means that there are more vegetarian or Vegan Christians than atheists.

I can't even figure out what the hell they're talking about here, though. Why are thorns an issue?
posted by zebra3 at 8:17 AM on November 13, 2007


"Adam's Sin", eh? Well, at least they're not blaming the whole thing on Eve anymore.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:20 AM on November 13, 2007


I see the Creation Museum as the greatest refutation of Young Earth Creationism ever. Their entire philosophy is laid out for you in a start-of-the-art exhibit.

It's like going through an old Soviet museum. There's no way any of this is true, but people believed it enough to put the money into building it.
posted by dw at 8:21 AM on November 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


THOU SHALT NOT TOUCH! Please.

Wonderful. Just wonderful.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 8:25 AM on November 13, 2007


From The Card Cheat's link above:

The kids run past that and around a corner, where stands another, smaller dinosaur.

Which is wearing a saddle.

It is an English saddle, hornless and battered. Apparently, this was a dinosaur used for dressage competitions and stakes races. Any working dinosaur accustomed to the rigors of ranch work and herding other dinosaurs along the dusty trail almost certainly would wear a sturdy western saddle.


OH FOR FUCK'S SAKE.

Excellent post title, Mikey-San. "Jesus Rode a T-Rex" would be a great title for a song.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 8:35 AM on November 13, 2007


"Imagine, if you will, a load of horseshit"

That has got to be the most brilliant use of the stroke-inducing clause "if you will" in the history of the world!
posted by Jody Tresidder at 8:35 AM on November 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


The irony here is that now I wish there was really an Intelligent Designer, and that he would use the full force of unexpirable copyright law to shut silly exhibits such as this down.

Or at least, isn't there a biblical edict against using dinosaurs in vain or something?
posted by the cydonian at 8:38 AM on November 13, 2007


I can't even figure out what the hell they're talking about here, though. Why are thorns an issue?

Genesis:
And unto Adam he said,
Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife,
and hast eaten of the tree,
of which I commanded thee, saying,
Thou shalt not eat of it:
cursed is the ground for thy sake;
in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee;
One could interpret this passage to mean that God made thorns after the tree incident as a way of punishing Adam for paying attention to his skanky snake-loving wife.

Since the fossil record includes thorns and dinosaurs, the only logical explanation is that thorns and dinosaurs were both present after the tree incident, which provides yet more proof (as if it were needed) that dinosaurs and humans shared the earth at one time.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 8:44 AM on November 13, 2007


Who knew The Flintstones was Scripture?
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:51 AM on November 13, 2007


Why are thorns an issue?

Same reason T-Rex was chowing down on the veggies: you can't have pointy sharp dangerous things in the Garden of Eden. It's all plushy velour 'till somebody eats an apple.
posted by ook at 8:54 AM on November 13, 2007


So, flickr lets you do these things it calls "slideshows". And people get all dewey-eyed about how flickr lets you "tag" stuff and mark it up, and write cool snarky captions.

But you don't get to see the captions in "slideshow mode". And you can't click "next" or "previous" to see the next or previous "slides" if you're in a mode that actually lets you see the captions.

Remind me again why flickr is so fucking cool?
posted by lodurr at 8:54 AM on November 13, 2007 [5 favorites]


Which is wearing a saddle.....

It's a joke, a very expensive joke. Gotta be.
posted by mattoxic at 8:55 AM on November 13, 2007


... skanky snake-loving wife.

If "snake-loving" is "skanky" in a woman, then ... you know, I just don't have the heart to finish that one.
posted by lodurr at 8:56 AM on November 13, 2007


And you can't click "next" or "previous" to see the next or previous "slides" if you're in a mode that actually lets you see the captions.

Click here, which is the last link in the post. Now click the first thumbnail in the collection. There. Comments below, next/previous links on the right.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:59 AM on November 13, 2007


These Creationists are too boring. I am waiting for the Flat Earth Museum.
posted by caddis at 9:01 AM on November 13, 2007


I'm fairly convinced this whole thing is a giant put-on, a large-scale effort to show mainstream people how nutty young earth creationism is.
posted by norm at 9:02 AM on November 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


This Creationism museum is truly a wonderful tribute to the idiocy of religion. Sadly, I suspect lots of people won't take it as the joke it is and will instead believe that there's some truth within those walls.
posted by jamstigator at 9:02 AM on November 13, 2007


I see the Creation Museum as the greatest refutation of Young Earth Creationism ever. Their entire philosophy is laid out for you in a start-of-the-art exhibit.
And how. It's one thing to flippantly say "the bible is the literal inerrant word of god" -- it's entirely another to try to demonstrate it. Good luck with that.

If I were the kind of person seeking authoritarian power from an ancient book...I don't think "literal truth" would be the most practical way to go. I would imagine that claiming you had special insight into the meaning of the words (thanks be, etc) you could more easily argue any position you wanted.

"Why shouldn't we raise taxes to support a school bond? Well, let me 'translate' this passage about money changers to you so you'll understand..."
posted by device55 at 9:05 AM on November 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


biblegod loves us so very much, he gave his only begotten son, etc., (implying that there may be additional sons who were not begotten, but cloned instead) but he obviously doesn't want all of us to get into heaven, because he cleverly simulated a fossil record to trick us all into believing that the earth is several billion years old! a crafty trickster, that biblegod, he must be watched warily at all times. it's worse if you're jewish, you had the covenant of abraham in the beginning, you were designated the chosen people from all earth's people, for awhile you were golden, but then that crafty trickster impregnated mary (my favorite treatment of this episode was in a comic book, where a dove representing the holy spirit flew up under mary's skirt, and the next panel depicted her as suitably stunned) and he announced that the failure to believe in this counterintuitive account would be punished by eternal damnation.

oh swell. we were born into a universe created by a god with some serious mental health issues. now what?
posted by bruce at 9:09 AM on November 13, 2007 [3 favorites]


Remind me again why flickr is so fucking cool?

It's because the interface is a nightmare. People eat that up.
posted by DU at 9:11 AM on November 13, 2007 [2 favorites]


People are really that confused by Flickr's interface? Wow.
posted by danb at 9:16 AM on November 13, 2007


Sadly, I suspect lots of people won't take it as the joke it is and will instead believe that there's some truth within those walls.

This makes me happy.

If THIS is the future competition from Jesusland my children face?

Well. Then the future is bright. Very, very, bright.
posted by tkchrist at 9:16 AM on November 13, 2007


flickr should remove slideshows, and limit all photosets to 5 pictures.
posted by the number 17 at 9:20 AM on November 13, 2007


It doesn't take much to excite you people.
posted by Sailormom at 9:21 AM on November 13, 2007


I'd like to know why Adam and Eve's nakedness is covered in the museum's Garden of Eden, when they are supposed to be without shame. The mannequins are also ignoring the edicts about not shaving.

Since the fossil record includes thorns and dinosaurs, the only logical explanation is that thorns and dinosaurs were both present after the tree incident.

But (as one of the Flickr commentors wrote) God created all the animals before the Fall, including insects that mimic thorns.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:22 AM on November 13, 2007


This is really the thing that got a big old "WAT?" (Image contains NSFW text) from me.
posted by sparkletone at 9:22 AM on November 13, 2007 [2 favorites]


More LOLXIANS? Please </yawn>. At least MeFi could switch amphitheatres for a while: Muslim creationism makes inroads in Turkey (more at Harun Yahya).
posted by cenoxo at 9:27 AM on November 13, 2007


Ancient Manure May Be Earliest Proof of Horse Domestication
posted by homunculus at 9:38 AM on November 13, 2007


The Branching Bush of Horse Evolution
posted by homunculus at 9:38 AM on November 13, 2007


cenoxo- haha! I never thought about Muslim creationism though of course Fundies of The Book all over the place would have it, I'm guessing. And they do have a point about Darwinism inspiring the Nazis.
posted by small_ruminant at 9:57 AM on November 13, 2007


Time to play Repel Bevets.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 10:07 AM on November 13, 2007


More LOLXIANS? Please .

Honey, The Passion wasn't a how-to show.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:10 AM on November 13, 2007


This entire museum could serve as the dictionary definition -- the real definition, thankyouverymuch -- of the phrase "begging the question":

God's word is true because God says it is. And since everything God says is true, we can take Him at his word. QED.

Hey, it is a useful educational tool after all! Now stop abusing BTQ!
posted by supercres at 10:20 AM on November 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


cenoxo: More LOLXIANS? Please

Didn't actually read the article, did you?
"There have to be people who believe this horseshit unreservedly, but I suspect that perhaps the majority of the visitors I saw were Christians who may not buy into the whole “six days” thing, but are curious to see how it’s being presented. To be clear, the “horseshit” I’ve been speaking of is not Christianity, it’s creationism, which to my mind is a teleological quirk substantially unrelated to the grace one can achieve through Jesus Christ."
posted by PsychoKick at 10:26 AM on November 13, 2007


Apparently, attendance is high. They've just gotten approval to expand the parking lot and add "amen"-ities to the site.
posted by tizzie at 10:27 AM on November 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'd love to have some insight into their audience response research. What do people actually think of the place? What do the operators think they think of it?

I'd also love to be able to give people tests before and after, to see if and how their attitudes changed.
posted by lodurr at 10:32 AM on November 13, 2007


cenoxo brings up an interesting point, namely that US is saved from being the most backward country wrt popular understanding of the natural world by . . . Turkey!

The chart.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 10:36 AM on November 13, 2007


Whatever I could say, has been said better earlier.

"And lo Jesus and the disciples walked to Nazareth. But the trail was blocked by a giant brontosaurus... with a splinter in his paw. And O the disciples did run a shriekin': 'What a big fucking lizard, Lord!' But Jesus was unafraid and he took the splinter from the brontosaurus's paw and the big lizard became his friend."
-Bill Hicks
posted by Hactar at 10:48 AM on November 13, 2007 [2 favorites]


This place is just down the road from Big Bone Lick State Park, the birth place of paleontology in the Americas (thanks in part to Thomas Jefferson and William Clark). Ah, the irony.
posted by gottabefunky at 11:05 AM on November 13, 2007


*brain explodes*
posted by Tehanu at 11:22 AM on November 13, 2007


It has to be a giant joke.

I mean, why else would they continually repeat, "MILLIONS OF YEARS REFUTES THE ENTIRE BIBLE!"
posted by blacklite at 12:00 PM on November 13, 2007


Serious question here: Other religions predate the spread of Christianity, and certainly predate even the earliest collection of stories in the Bible. And those religions (for example, Hinduism, each have their own take on "How Did We Get Here?". Now, the world--if it was indeed created--was only created once, right? Maybe I can answer my own question by saying that Creationist folks completely dismiss other versions of the story, but how can they justify saying their version of the story is correct in light of earlier versions of the story?
posted by emelenjr at 12:11 PM on November 13, 2007


Cuz they'z ignant heathen folk! Don't be talkin' no pagan in front of mah G-hawd!
posted by baphomet at 12:32 PM on November 13, 2007


Now, the world--if it was indeed created--was only created once, right? Maybe I can answer my own question by saying that Creationist folks completely dismiss other versions of the story, but how can they justify saying their version of the story is correct in light of earlier versions of the story?

Because the people in question don't view those religions as valid?
posted by spaceman_spiff at 12:34 PM on November 13, 2007


Maybe I can answer my own question by saying that Creationist folks completely dismiss other versions of the story, but how can they justify saying their version of the story is correct in light of earlier versions of the story?

Maybe they're never read any Bertrand Russell:

"I do not pretend to be able to prove that there is no God. I equally cannot prove that Satan is a fiction. The Christian god may exist; so may the gods of Olympus, or of ancient Egypt, or of Babylon. But no one of these hypotheses is more probable than any other: they lie outside the region of even probable knowledge, and therefore there is no reason to consider any of them."
posted by Dipsomaniac at 12:53 PM on November 13, 2007 [4 favorites]


Honey, The Passion wasn't a how-to show.

I'll take your word for it, Sweetie. Never saw it, didn't want to. Hollywood's much better at whipping up their own illusions than representing history.

Didn't actually read the article, did you? — "...To be clear, the “horseshit” I’ve been speaking of is not Christianity, it’s creationism, which to my mind is a teleological quirk substantially unrelated to the grace one can achieve through Jesus Christ."

Did so too. Scalzi is as entitled to his personal beliefs (and imaginations) about Christianity as the museum-goers are to theirs. However, there's little doubt that his abundant equine musings are also a slam to Christians themselves. Stand up in any group of believers (Christian, Jewish, Moslem, Hindu, Buddhist, etc.), yell Horseshit!, and note their response.

If Scalzi's 'review' had supported how many Christians feel about their faith's foundations), no FPP about it would have appeared on MeFi (other than to criticize him). There's no entertainment value, otherwise.

...namely that US is saved from being the most backward country wrt popular understanding of the natural world by ... Turkey! The chart.

Rotate that US row 90º CCW and you've got a close representation of the 40% of Blues that also accept Christianity literally.
posted by cenoxo at 1:05 PM on November 13, 2007


Of course the other religions aren't valid. They're not mentioned in the Bible.

QED.
posted by Chuckles McLaughy du Haha, the depressed clown at 1:05 PM on November 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


A perfect opportunity for the "batshitinsane" tag squandered.
posted by Kadin2048 at 1:08 PM on November 13, 2007


A perfect opportunity for the "batshitinsane" tag squandered.

Whoops. Fixed that. There's an evolution joke in there, somewhere.
posted by Mikey-San at 1:49 PM on November 13, 2007


Thanks for the explanation, Armitage.

Anyone know if there's a bigger version of that "where did Cain get his wife?" placard somewhere? Either you guys are reading it elsewheres or my eyes are getting old faster than the rest of me.
posted by zebra3 at 1:54 PM on November 13, 2007


emelnjr: Maybe I can answer my own question by saying that Creationist folks completely dismiss other versions of the story, but how can they justify saying their version of the story is correct in light of earlier versions of the story?

Joseph Campbell used to tell a story about meeting a visiting scientist, who happened to be Hindu. The gentleman asked him, conversationally, whether he was familiar with the current thinking on the dating of the Vedas. Campbell answered -- I forget the number, let's say for the sake of the story it was 5000 years. The man nodded, smiled, and then politely responded that he had been curious but of course, as a devout Hindu, he knew that they couldn't possibly be more than 4K years old since that's how old the world was.

He was serious. At least, according to Campbell.

Point being, people just decide to believe whatever they want/need to. Usually they can compartmentalize it enough that it's not a problem. Sometimes they can even compartmentalize it enough that they can make small talk about it. Where it gets to be a problem is when they expand their compartments to include us.

My wife likes to quote Morpheus [from, ahem, Matrix II], who when admonished to recognize that not everyone shared his beliefs, responded: "My beliefs do not require you to." You can live with that. The current crop of politically active young-earthers and their fellow-travellers in the ID camp, though, would control the political and economic world in such a way that our believes were practically required to be subordinated to theirs. We might not "have" to believe them, but we'd pretty much have to act as though we did.

(There's a relevant Simpsons reference here, too, but I'm too tired to look it up.)
posted by lodurr at 2:35 PM on November 13, 2007


Well, okay. There's a place called Big Bone Lick State Park. Now I am officially ecstatic I read this thread. Thanks gottabefunky!
posted by The Bellman at 3:25 PM on November 13, 2007


P.S. That is, in fact, the second best state or provincial park name I have ever heard. After this one, of course.
posted by The Bellman at 3:32 PM on November 13, 2007


Huh. The Church of Smedleyman creation myth perfectly mirrors evolutionary theory.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:38 PM on November 13, 2007


cenoxo: Did so too. Scalzi is as entitled to his personal beliefs (and imaginations) about Christianity as the museum-goers are to theirs. However, there's little doubt that his abundant equine musings are also a slam to Christians themselves. Stand up in any group of believers (Christian, Jewish, Moslem, Hindu, Buddhist, etc.), yell Horseshit!, and note their response.

Well, we can do just that; his blog article has gotten lots of responses from Christians who don't seem to be taking the article as a slam on Christianity, only as a slam on creationism. It almost as if your personal criteria for what constitutes a slam on Christians isn't necessarily the universal measure...

If Scalzi's 'review' had supported how many Christians feel about their faith's foundations

Ah, but it does.
posted by PsychoKick at 3:47 PM on November 13, 2007


as a devout Hindu, he knew that they couldn't possibly be more than 4K years old since that's how old the world was.

A devout hindu would know that the scriptures were written down only later (it was all oral before) and besides the Vedas claim the world is a lot older than the vedas. A lot.
posted by dhruva at 4:03 PM on November 13, 2007


The Church of Smedleyman creation myth perfectly mirrors evolutionary theory.

How's the afterlife?
posted by homunculus at 5:36 PM on November 13, 2007


...his blog article has gotten lots of responses from Christians who don't seem to be taking the article as a slam on Christianity, only as a slam on creationism.

For many people, it's hard to separate the two. As previously mentioned, everyone — however we may define ourselves — is entitled to their own opinions. To have others insult part of those beliefs as "horseshit" still leaves an undeserved stain. If the intent is to win people away from one faith and into another (Science) without merely ridiculing them, there are better ways to do it than throwing epithets all over them.

It almost as if your personal criteria for what constitutes a slam on Christians isn't necessarily the universal measure...

Well, I certainly hope so. But that's the overarching question, isn't it: is there a Universal Measure?
posted by cenoxo at 7:17 PM on November 13, 2007


Not all, and probably most, Christians do not believe in Creationism. The Catholic Church does not, and as far as the World goes, that is a lot, if not most Christians. We have a lot of crazy nut job types here in the states who find it easier to let some sub 100 IQ preacher with good hair tell them what the Bible says rather than interpret it themselves. The current Baptist church is such an abortion of the original Protestant revolt from the Catholic party line. They have come full circle back to authoritarianism from on high in the church, they just don't have a pope. Pathetic. The Enlightenment is lost on this crowd, and it is worse as at least the Pope's had brains. This crowd follows a bunch of David Koresh wannabes. When your spiritual leader is Jim Bakker, heaven help you.
posted by caddis at 8:03 PM on November 13, 2007


didn't need this [']
posted by caddis at 8:03 PM on November 13, 2007


Universal Measure

I'd wager that the only universal measure we can rely on is logical, systematic, deductions based on empirical measurements.

Science is not just "another faith". Even if you're going to denigrate it by calling it a belief system, it's the only one that can prove itself.
posted by flaterik at 9:41 PM on November 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


Universal Measure

I'd wager that the only universal measure we can rely on is logical, systematic, deductions based on empirical measurements.

Science is not just "another faith". Even if you're going to denigrate it by calling it a belief system, it's the only one that can prove itself.
posted by flaterik at 9:43 PM on November 13, 2007


cenoxo: If the intent is to win people away from one faith and into another (Science) without merely ridiculing them, there are better ways to do it than throwing epithets all over them.

First, science isn't faith. It is in fact the exact opposite, doubt. The scientific process is nothing more that the systematic application of doubt for the purposes of uncovering knowledge about how reality works, as well as constantly testing said knowledge to discover its limitations and develop practical applications. Even scientific laws aren't considered to be absolutely, eternally true; they are merely very, very, very probable. Humans are naturally uncomfortable with doubt, so it's a common mistake that many people, even many scientists, instead treat science as yet another faith-based discipline. It's certainly easier and more comfortable to do that, but ease and comfort don't equal accuracy.

Second, using tact and logic is all very well and good, but sometimes circumstances call for crass brute measures. Entrenched beliefs cannot always be shaken by reason and politeness, because sometimes the psychological foundations of said beliefs were not established by any logical method to begin with. Plus, people are very good at just tuning out and ignoring all those boring, polite appeals to logic. We're not wholly rational beings, which means that sometimes there really aren't better ways to start a dialogue than "throwing epithets all over them" and other appeals to crass emotion. Whether we then simply abandon them to flail in the emotional ghetto or make the effort to engage on a higher mental level is what really matters.
posted by PsychoKick at 9:58 PM on November 13, 2007 [4 favorites]


Anyone see the Nova show on Intelligent Design yesterday? Pretty interesting. Mostly related to the Kansas school board fiasco, where they simply took some documents and did a word-replace on 'creationism' in some documents and replaced that word with 'intelligent design', which clearly showed that their whole intent was to have the school begin teaching religion in science class.

And even when they lost, some of 'em were so *bitter* about it. 'It's just wrong, that's what it is! A travesty of justice!' A travesty of justice not to have our science teachers instilling religion in our students? Uh huh, sure, if you live in Wacko Land.

Seriously, this country is getting scarier all the time, with religious zealotry on the attack against reason and science. I won't be too shocked when The Crusades 2.0 begins, from the way things are going.
posted by jamstigator at 12:44 PM on November 14, 2007


Jamstigator, I was under the impression that Crusades 2.0 was already in progress, and has cost 800 billion so far.
posted by notsnot at 3:43 PM on November 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


Report Puts Hidden War Costs at $1.6T:
The economic costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are estimated to total $1.6 trillion _ roughly double the amount the White House has requested thus far, according to a new report by Democrats on Congress' Joint Economic Committee.

The report, released Tuesday, attempted to put a price tag on the two conflicts, including "hidden" costs such as interest payments on the money borrowed to pay for the wars, lost investment, the expense of long-term health care for injured veterans and the cost of oil market disruptions.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:51 PM on November 14, 2007


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