Friday, March 21, 2008

I could have sworn I was reading "The Onion"...

if I didn't know this was ABC news:

Because the Bible Tells Me So? During Private Museum Tours, Denver Children Learn About Creationism

A company called BC Tours ("BC" stands for Biblically Correct) "take paying customers on tours of such places as the Denver Museum, the zoo, and fossil sites, giving an explanation of nature, biology and paleontology with a strictly Biblical interpretation."

Here are some examples of how they "interpret" paleontological evidence:

"Standing in the lobby of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Bill Jack and Rusty Carter pointed to the enormous teeth on the reproduced skeleton of a Tyrannosaurs Rex, and told a group of children and their parents that the fearsome T-Rex was really a vegetarian.

They said the T-Rex was vegetarian because at the time of the Creation, there was no such thing as death, so a T-Rex could not have eaten meat. There was no death until Adam and Eve ate forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge, they continued, and God's revenge was to curse the world with death."


And this is how they dance around some uncomfortable evidence:

Out on the museum floor, Jack and Carter stopped the group in front of a window display that contains samples of sandstone that have ripples created by water and fossils of ancient life. Bill Jack asked his group, "How do they date the fossil? By the layer in which they find it. They date the layer by the fossil and the fossil by the layer," he said. "That's circular reasoning."

In the next moment he stepped past and turned his back to a display on radiometric dating, the method by which scientists determine the age of rocks through the rate of decay of their natural radioactivity.

When later asked why he skipped the display, Jack said simply, "We can't cover everything."


And to think that I was shaking my head when one fellow CFI'er told me what her creationist sister-in-law does when she takes her children to a natural history museum. Faced with dinosaur exhibits, she covers the explanatory plaque with her hands and says to kids: "oh look, dinosaurs! They are only 3000 years old!" She couldn't hold a candle to Jack and Carter. :-)

It's kind of ironic that I found this article today. Just yesterday I went to a public lecture by Richard Dawkins, the famous evolutionary biologist and science popularizer. (I'll blog about a meeting with Dawkins later, when I organize my pictures.) I had to read this article to as not to get too comfortable in an illusion that reason will eventually triumph... :-)

1 comment:

Yama said...

"radiometric dating, the method by which scientists determine the age of rocks through the rate of decay of their natural radioactivity.

When later asked why he skipped the display, Jack said simply, "We can't cover everything""

Such sad, sad ignorance. If Jack were better informed, he would be aware that carbon dating of coal and diamonds messes up the many radiometric dating displays. C14 apparently decays to less that what can be measured, in 100.000 years or so, but has been found in measurable quantities in coal and diamond samples, supposedly millions of years old, or so museum visitors are told. Who to believe, the museum, or scientific fact?. Google it, much fun!