Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Monument To Stupidity

[A statue of the Flying Spaghetti Monster outside the Cumberland County Courthouse, in Crossville, Tennessee. It would be right at home in front of the Creation Museum. Image credit: Venganza.org]

I was just about to get back to an article I've been working on that talks about how the skeptics won one for once. An article in Skeptic magazine's online edition described the rise and fall of the 9/11 "Truther" movement, the group of whackos who wanted us to believe that 9/11 was either an elaborate government plot, a real-estate scam, or maybe aliens from another planet. It turns out, for once, that serious minds prevailed.

Then PZ Myers mentioned the Creation Museum, a huge monument to stupidity and religious fanaticism located right in the heartland of America:

It's awfully easy to forget Ken Ham's monument to malevolent ignorance, the Creation Museum, but while we're not visiting it, it's apparently doing a bang-up business, and they're even planning a major expansion. Stupidity sells, especially in America.

The Creation Museum is still there

Way to ruin my day, Professor.

If you're wondering what it's like, but you're not curious enough to shell out the money, Demonbaby has made that sacrifice already. He leads us on a tour of the place, after a brief but very insightful introduction:

For those of you who haven't heard about this yet (and I'm surprised how many people still haven't), The Creation Museum is the crowning achievement of religious stupidity - a shrine of ignorance that only America's chewy center could play host to. It's a $27 million dollar, 60,000 square foot state-of-the-art complex in Kentucky, designed to look and feel exactly like a science/natural history museum. It has elaborate dioramas of animals and nature, audio-visual presentations, animatronic dinosaurs, fossil replicas, diagrams of geological formations, and even a gift shop. But one small detail sets it distinctly apart from other science museums you've probably visited: There is not a single shred of science on display within its walls. Worse still, its very existence is a bold mockery of science itself.

Exploring The Creation Museum - America's New Mecca of Fanatical Ignorance

I especially loved this little anecdote:

The museum spends a lot of time with the flood, because that's the YEC method of explaining more or less everything: fossils, continents, The Grand Canyon, the Ice Age, Mt. Everest, and any other geographic or atmospheric phenomena that would seemingly require thousands or millions of years in order to exist. It's such a perfect explanation for every fossil record ever discovered, that Ken Ham's little butt-pal Buddy Davis wrote a fun song about it - a cheerful little children's tune called "Billions Of Dead Things."

Exploring The Creation Museum - America's New Mecca of Fanatical Ignorance

These guys make the Truthers look like Rhodes Scholars. He continues on with his depressing and yet entertaining tour of the museum, which I suggest you check out by clicking the link above. At the end he notes:

*AUTHOR'S NOTE: Since this article was published, it has been brought to my attention in the very lively comments section that, as recently as 2004, 60 percent of Americans take the Bible's account of creation as literal truth. Not 60 percent of Christians - 60 percent of Americans. I now remember hearing this statistic at the time - apparently it caused enough mental trauma to warrant repression. I tried to give people of faith the benefit of the doubt in my assumption that most Christians subscribed to a brand of Creationism which adheres at least slightly to reality. This, it seems, was a drastic mistake. In reviewing this article, please disregard all references to Young Earth Creationism as "fringe," and emphasize all references to "bat-shit crazy."

Exploring The Creation Museum - America's New Mecca of Fanatical Ignorance

[link from original]

Whoever said no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public was a cynical genius. In fact, he was a prophet who makes all the ones these bozos worship look like pikers.

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