My Thoughts on Creationism

Before I begin this post, I have an announcement to make. It is the end of March and two things have happened.

1. I finally took my Christmas tree down. I put it up in December before I left for China and was too lazy to take it down when I got back. Eventually, I grew so used to seeing it that it blended in with the rest of the furniture until mum came to me and reminded me that it was there. Epic fail!

2. My Teen Vogue horoscope did not come true. I have no idea how I got a subscription to it. One day in the mail I got a sample issue and one of those little cards to fill out to get a subscription and… I didn’t fill it out and Teen Vogues kept coming. I usually just flip through it to laugh at the horoscopes and the last one said that the end of March would be the most romantic time for me the whole year. Well, I’m still boyfriendless. Epic fail!

And now onto more profound news…

I apologize for making such a long blog post that probably doesn’t look like it’s worth reading. I imagine that as you scroll down your attention is already slipping from fear of having to read all that junk. If you do read all of that, all the better, but at the very least watch the video at the bottom. It will most likely anger you without my profound explanation of why it so deeply pains me.

In Break the Science Barrier, Richard Dawkins filmed a scene in the Oxford Museum in a room filled with fossils and other treasures of science. He called the museum a “spiritual home” for him, saying that it was a wonderful place where you could find fascinating things and expand your mind.

Indeed, I as well have a bit of my own “spiritual home” in a museum. Every other weekend, I volunteer in the Space Odyssey exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. You know what? I love that museum with a passion, and not just for the free food that they occasionally leave in the volunteer lounge. Every time I go there, I have an absolutely splendid time.

The moment you walk in the door, the first thing you see are plesiosaur fossils hanging from the ceiling, and a T-Rex. Upstairs, they have even more fossils in Prehistoric Journey. Further into the museum, they have another ancient creature hanging from the ceiling, this time a fin whale. There’s a small mummy exhibit, a gems and minerals hall filled with shiny crystals and eye candy, an IMAX theater, and the Space Odyssey exhibit and planetarium where I volunteer, but most of the rest of the museum is devoted to diorama halls with taxidermied animals. It’s great fun just to walk through it.

But, I gain even more enjoyment out of volunteering there. DMNS is unique in that it has a small army of volunteers to keep the place from dying with the salaries of staff members. But also, the volunteers function as educators in the exhibits. It provides visitors with a much more interactive visit having an actual person to learn from. Sometimes, I’ll put things in vacuum chambers for them. Other times, I’ll give them a short tour of the Solar System using a computer program that has pictures of all the planets and some of their moons in three dimensions.

It really is quite a wonderful feeling sharing knowledge with other people. Occasionally, I’ll take out the spectroscopy cart. Some people may remember their Chemistry classes when the teacher sent electrical charges through little gas tubes and then gave you a spectroscope or little glasses. In case anybody needs a refresher, what happens is that when you have a lot of energy the electrons in the atoms will jump to a higher level of orbit, and when they come back down they release photons of light at different wavelengths depending on how far the electron fell. The spectroscope or little glasses function as a prism and break down the light released into the wavelengths which it is being released at. If you have, say, Helium, you’ll see two red bars, a yellow bar, a turquiose bar, a blue bar, and an indigo bar. Every element has a different pattern of bars.

I like to start by asking them if they’ve ever wondered how we know what the stars are made of. Of course they wonder how we know. You can’t exactly go to one… they’re millions of light years away! But, if you look at the light they’re emitting through a spectroscope, you can look at the pattern of bars and tell what is inside. I’ll explain this to them, and turn on a hydrogen or helium gas tube and hold up a short chart of elements and their patterns to let them try to guess. With younger children, it’s pretty much just pretty lights and that’s fine, but older children, even adults, will often have sudden moments of understanding.

“That’s so cool…” they say, and they don’t just say it the way you say “that’s so cool” when your friend gets a new cell phone. When they say “that’s so cool” it’s almost as if there’s an entirely different definition because their voices are so saturated with awe and wonder. I suspect that they’re not just saying it because of the pretty lights, but as a way of remarking about how amazed they are that they can understand it. I think that they’re remarking about how simple spectroscopy really is, and how cool science is when you understand it with little effort.

I absolutely love hearing them say it and seeing their eyes light up. It feels like I should be thanking them as they walk away to their planetarium show.

Another wonderful feeling I get is when I go up to Prehistoric Journey. I’ve heard that in some museums, they show dinosaur fossils with little or no mention of evolution. That’s not the case in DMNS. Evolution is everywhere in that exhibit. I love seeing families take their children there. After watching parents turn to their children and say that the universe is 6,000 years old every time I show them a 4.6 billion year old meteorite far too many times, it is deeply refreshing to see them turn to their children at a model of Lucy and say “did you know that humans used to look like that?”

Well, actually that statement is slightly scientifically inaccurate… but I won’t be too nit-picky. I love that exhibit because it educates people about evolution, the true story of how life got on Earth. But… then I saw this video on YouTube.

After watching that, do you feel angry? Annoyed? I assure you, it’s probably nothing compared to what I feel. Those poor children… those cute, poor children… You can tell that they are genuinely interested in science, but they’re having one of the greatest scientific truths kept from them.

I walked through Prehistoric Journey yesterday, recognizing all those places where those poor, poor, sweet children were being lied to and… it honestly brought tears to my eyes. Like I said, DMNS is for me as the Oxford Museum is for Richard Dawkins… a spiritual home. Mine has been invaded and is being tarnished by lying bigots.

We (the volunteers) are told that if somebody ever tries to argue with us about the age of the Earth, we are never going to get anywhere and should therefore get out of the argument as quickly as possible. The next time a parent turns to their child and say “the Earth is 6,000 years old!” I will do that, but not before I make this statement:

It is certainly your right to believe that, and it’s certainly your right to teach your child whatever you want, but I think that it ought to be your child’s right to know the truth, and at the very least it ought to be your child’s right to know that when I say that the Solar System is 4.6 billion years old it’s not a statement of faith but a statement backed up by evidence. Now, if you’re interested in knowing how I know that…

Update:

And in case anybody else decided to infer from my post that I am somehow a fascist, you can see the e-mail I sent to James Randi.

The Denver Museum is NOT ignorant of the BC tours, nor is it choosing to
remain ignorant. I took the opportunity to ask about BC tours after I saw
the video and blogged about it
(http://splendidelles.wordpress.com/2008/03/31/creationists-are-pure-evil/).

They are very aware of BC Tours and they despise them very much.
 
I once asked one of the staff members what I should do if a visitor insisted
on saying the Earth is 6,000 years old. That's when he first told me about
BC Tours, and how when they showed up, everybody would say "they're here" in
a spiteful manner.
 
Unfortunately, there is nothing they can do. The museum is a public
institution and people can go there and have their own tours if they wish,
so long as they don't harass anybody in the exhibit. That's the only time
when they're allowed to kick the creationists out.
 
They were able to get them to stop putting the museum logo on their website,
and got one of the "tour guides" to stop wearing a lab coat because they
want to make it clear that BC Tours do not represent the museum.
 
If there was anything more the museum could do, they would... But, to
protect our freedom of speech, we have to protect theirs.
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143 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by ZeroFive1 on March 31, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    Forgive me for not reading the entire post, but it’s labeling like this that causes religious hate and bigotry.

    Ignorant, maybe, but certainly not evil.

  2. Posted by splendidelles on March 31, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    Oh come on… even my traditional Roman Catholic astronomy professor hates creationists.

    *sigh*

    Read by title only…

  3. Posted by splendidelles on March 31, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    Certainly, ignorance is not evil… but actively spreading your ignorance when you know that you’re just going off of faith is.

  4. Posted by ZeroFive1 on March 31, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    Ok, now I’ve read the entire thing.

    Hmm… You’ve got a point, but for all you know, they think they’re spreading the truth.

  5. Posted by Trancer on March 31, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    Taking the comments into account, how about we say, “Creationism is Pure Evil”?

  6. Splendidelles: I certainly am sickened with you and do not agree with much of what these guys had to say or how they said it. However, I am going to have to agree with ZeroFive1 here. It seems to me to be a gross oversimplification and a commital of the genetic fallacy to label “creationists” as “evil” on the basis of just a few that you have viewed in a YouTube video. Moreover, a divine or supernatural agent creating and evolution are not mutually exclusive. Believe it or not, there are Christians and Theists alike that believe that God or a God-like being could have created through secondary means. In other words, it is certainly logically possible that God could have created through evolutionary means. Moreover, I don’t think that Evolutionists and the academic departments that push this theory are quite the bastions of academic freedom and truth that they claim to be, as if they are in contradistinction to those who back up their arguments by faith alone. For more on this, please see the upcoming documentary ‘Expelled’. If you really are open to the Truth, then at the very least you should give this movie a hearing…as opposed to rejecting it based on Darwinistic dogma. Dogma whether Christian or Darwinistic is not Truth-conducive…and their are plenty of bigots on both sides of the fence!

  7. Posted by splendidelles on March 31, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    Ah… yes… them Expelled folks want as much free publicity as they can get so they’ve got people all over the place telling others to go see it.

    I should have learned something from The Selfish Gene… be careful with your titles because far too many people will read things by title only. I would like to point out, though, that it only becomes an oversimplification with I say that ALL creationists are pure evil. Like I said, ignorance is not evil. It’s when you’re spreading your ignorance around knowing that you’re only going on faith that it becomes evil.

    These are not the first creationists that I have viewed. I check Answers in Genesis intermittently, and I’ve met many at school, on the internet, etc. And no, I don’t think that ALL creationists are evil. I eat lunch with one everyday.

    It is no surprise to me that there are some theists who believe in God and believe that God and evolution are compatible. Like I said, my Roman Catholic astronomy professor hates creationists. It’s not like I’ve never heard of Francis Collins or Kenneth Miller. Personally, I don’t think that they are compatible, but that’s what they believe.

    Now, “Darwinistic dogma” sounds a bit like an oxymoron. Darwin would have been the first to say that his theory was wrong if there was contradicting evidence, or something better. There is nothing better.

    Intelligent Design is not scientific. I have a post on that way far back in my archives… Lemme dig that out and…

    Here:

    http://splendidelles.wordpress.com/2007/11/26/intelligent-dark-age-ideas/

    If there really were a scientific controversy and the academics were suppressing it, that’s when the premise of Expelled might have some pull with me. There is no real controversy.

    Fin.

  8. Posted by monadahl on April 1, 2008 at 12:00 am

    Clinton, I agree that there are some evolutionists that are less than open to new ideas. In fact, both sides of the argument can be pretty intolerant. There is a difference, though, between what is shown in this video and what evolutionists do. Science teachers are not walking children through churches, pointing to things and explaining how it is “fiction” or more “artwork” than fact. I wonder how many of these children actually understood and believed the tour? Would some of them have preferred the scientific explanation?

  9. Catholics who hate creationists is a bit strong. I find it interesting that an atheist and astrophysicist provided evidence that Darwinian evolution is not even remotely possible. Dawkins’ neoDarwinian has been refuted by quit a few evolutionists. Yet, no matter what evidence exists the politics of the secular religion–also coined by a growing number of ex-evolutionists–continues to evangelize the world as to the assumed proof of their unprovable theory. If so, that would render evolutionist and their blind faith a much greater evil than Creationists.

  10. Posted by splendidelles on April 1, 2008 at 4:31 am

    Assumed proof? Have you seen a fossil lately?

    I’d be interested in knowing who this Atheist and astrophysicist is, and what his evidence was.

    The difference between faith and science is that science demands evidence, Daniel. We don’t just talk, we cite our sources.

  11. Posted by Bobington on April 1, 2008 at 4:32 am

    Ignorance IS evil.

  12. We have the fossils. We win.

  13. Creationists in general make me angry; creationists who deny children any real learning of science make me scream incoherently and want to throw things. I can understand EXACTLY how you feel when teaching people about spectroscopy–the process of science really is amazingly cool, and utterly self-evident when you understand it. For adult creationists, it may be too late to help them learn how wonderful science is, but for children there’s still time. I’d like to think the children on these tours at least get a chance to try out the spectroscope (at least that isn’t directly denying that “goddidit”). Hopefully some of them will catch the contrast between that simple demonstration of the scientific method and the word-twisting, biblically-correct nonsense their teachers are spouting.

  14. Those child abusers deserve to be kicked out of the gene pool.

  15. Posted by splendidelles on April 1, 2008 at 5:10 am

    Meme pool is more pertinent.

  16. Posted by The White Girl. on April 1, 2008 at 5:51 am

    Right on.
    You tell em. :]]]

  17. Splendidelles:

    Your post title is “Creationists are Pure Evil.” Where exactly then did you say that just “some” are? If you want to communicate that you weren’t trying to imply a categorical claim, then you probably should have made that more explicit in your post. Noted, you didn’t explicitly say “all.” However, if I say “Buddhists are idiots”, it is obviously not clear whether I am talking about some or all.

  18. Hey, idiot cretinist, why don’t you read the damn post before proving that you are a moron that is barely worthy of being in the fucking gene pool?

  19. Posted by splendidelles on April 2, 2008 at 12:34 am

    Oh God… do you really care about the title THAT much?

    Fine, I didn’t say that SOME creationists are pure evil IN THE POST. I didn’t say that ALL creationists are pure evil in the post or in the title either. What matters is that I made the case that those creationists in the video (the BC Tours guides, not the children of creationist parents) were doing something that is evil.

    I reckon that the same case can be made for Mr. Ben Stein as well.

  20. Oh, and Clinton…I’m a born again Christian, and even I think that you are unworthy of the gene pool.

    *snicker*

  21. Posted by acjc on April 2, 2008 at 12:40 am

    ?????????

  22. Posted by splendidelles on April 2, 2008 at 12:41 am

    Question? No?

  23. Posted by acjc on April 2, 2008 at 12:43 am

    I don’t get what is wrong with you athiests. Evolved Rationalist has a blog that praises creationist and now what is this athiests what’s going on??????????? why ?????

  24. Posted by splendidelles on April 2, 2008 at 12:46 am

    Ha… there’s nothing wrong with me…

    Evolved Rationalist devolved a little, unfortunately.

  25. Acjc,

    Have you ever heard of an epic fail?

    Praise the Lord for saving me from the evils of Darwinism!!

  26. Posted by James T Kirk on April 3, 2008 at 12:16 am

    When they kept referring to evolution and “creation” as antithetical views I felt like saying “Wait! hold the phone! I’m an Atheist!!??”

    I know many born-again christians who argue that the first chapter of genesis does not have to be taken as being one week long. The unsaid statement here appears to be “Your only a born-again christian if you are a hardcore young-earth creationist.”

    They are not defending Christianity or preserving those kid’s beliefs, they’re trying to force-feed their view of the bible and shutting out all the alternatives. And they criticize the education system for the same exact reason.

    Will these people actually obey the commands of the God they claim defend by not bearing false witness and not being hypocrits? I am embarrased both as christian and as a science student (I probably shouldn’t call myself a scientist being that I’m not one.)

  27. […] can we all agree to stop reading books by title only? Actually, no. Keep reading stuff by title only. It makes it much easier to tell you why you’re wrong when you do that, and it gives me […]

  28. Posted by Well, of course..... on May 10, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    …those that don’t look for the truth or desire to learn will only read the titles, and your title is one that tends to upset the types that only read titles, therefore…..

  29. Yes… I thought that I was obscure enough that such types would not find this, and I wasn’t thinking when I made this title. When an idea pops up in front of you out of thin air, even if it sounds good, treat it with skepticism. Always.

  30. If they are not being hypocritical, I don’t think the title applies. It’s unfair to accuse people of “reading by title only” when many people are going to find only the title objectionable, and agree 100% with the rest.

    The thing is, in one respect the creationists are RIGHT. This is the case of two opposing philosophies: yours is that there are natural laws that can be learned by observation; theirs is that there is god’s will that can be learned by the bible.

    When you argue that scientific observation does not support their point of view, you are arguing from the point of view of YOUR (to be fair, our) philosophy. To them, that doesn’t matter.

    If you drop a coin ten times in a row, and the first nine times it drops to the ground, but then the last time it flies into the sky, they can shrug their shoulders and say it is god’s will. You are going to be looking for a powerful magnet (or some other mysterious force).

    Even if you invade their territory and start reading the bible and find what you think are logical contradictions, to one who has faith there can BE no contratictions – there can only be mysteries.

  31. Perhaps I can’t change their minds. That is not going to stop me from saying what nags at me so much. They have the right to distort the truth for themselves… I have the right to defend truth.

  32. Angry? No. Amused? A little. However, it’s not the creationists who are amusing — it’s people who get so angry over this stuff. I think it’s funny because the anger seems baseless and programmed rather than genuine.

    The first thing a person should do upon feeling “angry” about this is to ask him/herself why they feel that way.

    Are you angry because the children do not get to choose what they are taught in their system of education? If that is the case, then I return that question back to you. Do your children choose the curriculum they are given in their own system of education? I was never asked about the curriculum given to me as a child.

    I was given several doses of misinformation during my education. In public school, I was taught that Christopher Columbus discovered America as he was trying to prove that the Earth was round. The idea that Christopher Columbus would have had to prove the shape of the Earth to anyone in his time is, of course, nothing more than romantic fancy presented to children in elementary school as a fact (at least, it was taught as a fact in my day — Second Grade/1986). I was also given a set story about things like the Revolutionary War only to grow up and discover that different countries often have very different histories that are used to explain single events (i.e., the British explanation of the Revolutionary War and the American “victory” is quite different). Few people are “angry” over these bits of misinformation, so why is misinformation about dinosaurs so aggravating?

    My guess, then, would be that people are not actually angry about the fact that these children do not get to choose whether or not they are given facts as education. Other than that, I don’t really see what exists in this situation that would conjure “anger.”

    The worst that will happen to these kids is that they will grow up having been given false information about the origin of species. They’ll grow up thinking that the Earth is 6,000 years old, that men rode dinosaurs, and that lions are meant to eat grass. Big deal. Since when is being wrong such a tragedy? Who here has never lost an argument? These kids will face bigger issues as they grow up – this crap will be the least of their worries.

    Even in making that statement, I am overlooking not only my personal experiences with this subject matter, but the confession of the museum scientist in the clip. He was raised to think as a Creationist, yet he does not. I was similarly raised, and I don’t follow the assumptions made by “Creation Science,” either. These kids will have the ability to choose what they believe when they’re older and are exposed to more materials.

    Why, then, would this situation create so much “anger?” Religion. Religion has become a hot-topic for people. There is a kind of Retro-Inquisition going on, right now. Religion makes certain people angry – even when they aren’t directly affected by it.

    It’s true that I don’t really expect much from the human animal and think that most of these kids will not become enlightened by science as they mature into adults. Rather, I think they will simply adhere to the easiest option – to stick to what one already “knows.”

    Easy options are amongst the human being’s favorite type. It’s easy to accept information without proper contemplation, so people do it. For instance, your anger over this particular subject suggests that you blame Creation, an abstract concept created by HUMANS, for certain evils in the world. That’s just naïve.

    Religion, and Creation through it, is just a story. It isn’t evil, it isn’t good, it isn’t anything without a human being’s manipulation to create, change or control it. In other words, “religion doesn’t kill people — people do.” You can’t be angry that these children are being given Creation as education without being angry at Creation as a concept. It doesn’t make sense to be angry at abstract concepts, but it does make sense to be angry at people who use them to do evil. What evil is being done here? Some kids are being made wrong. Is that really evil? They won’t grow up to be archeologists. It’s hard to find work as an archeologist, anyway. Thinking that the Flintstones is a documentary won’t prevent these kids from accomplishing great things. You can think that the Grand Canyon was made in a weekend and still be a successful and talented medical doctor – I’ve seen it.

    If you are angry at Creation and Religion – or so it seems — because they can potentially cause evil, then you must also be angry at the concept of home-schooling for making this kind of an education possible. Further, you should be angry at the concept that individuals are allowed to make decisions for their own children, because it enables concepts like home-schooling which in-turn enables insane curriculums wherein children are taught Creation as a fact. If you are angry at these concepts then you must also be angry at an innumerable number of abstract concepts in order to make any logical sense as a human being.

    Religion is not evil, it’s just silly. People are evil. Teaching kids that snakes can talk is not evil. A person who uses faith in Religion to manipulate children into sexual situations is evil. A person who uses faith in Religion to manipulate people into committing mass murder/suicide is evil. A person who uses faith in Religion to manipulate people into giving him/her free money is just a jerk. A person who uses faith in Religion to manipulate movies stars into believing that they are possessed by alien ghosts so they will give him/her lots of free money, I must begrudgingly admit, is kind of talented.

    You’re not angry. You’re bored.

    Thanks

  33. And by “innumerable number” I, of course, mean “d’oh!”

  34. Once again, the point of the post is entirely missed because of the title. I am fed up with the title. I have now changed it to something politically correct.

    The point is not that I’m bored. And it’s not necessarily that I think that the Creation is evil, because you’re right, that is naive (but Fundamentalist interpretations of the Bible can be).

    I am passionate about what is true. I am passionate about science. As you may be able to understand, I get very angry when something I love so dearly is distorted.

    And now that the word “evil” is officially out of the post title, can people please understand the content?

  35. […] alright… I wasn’t thinking at all when I wrote a post and titled it “Creationists Are Pure Evil.” I have since renamed it to My Thoughts on Creationism. Why? One too many people, this time, […]

  36. No, I read the entire thing. My point was hat your reason for being angry was not communicated in your blog. The reasons you give for being angry don’t make any real sense. You didn’t really seem to give it a whole lot of thought. It was all passion and no contemplation. Your passion is wild and baseless, from what I have read.

    It’s good to care about something, but it’s better to know why you care. Changing the title will not change the information you convey here. It is clear that your anger is a phantom emotion akin to a young punk kid’s need to blindly hate the government. It seems very programmed and forced. Your anger is definitely not because you love “truth” or because the children do not get to choose. Information in the video itself demonstrates that the children will get to choose. The children will eventually be exposed to “truth,” whether they accept it or not. You are angry because the situation deals with religion — you make that very clear.

    I was unaware of your age when I first sent my criticism, though it would have mattered very little. You will eventually understand that your “love of truth” is a subjective one and that “passion” for anything requires direction, reflection, and control to be meaningful.

    Here, you state you are angry but give shaky, easily deconstructed reasons for the anger. That makes your thoughts and interests seem fleetingly emotional and unstable.

    It’s strange to me that you did not think I read your entire blog.

    Thanks

  37. “It is clear that your anger is a phantom emotion akin to a young punk kid’s need to blindly hate the government.”

    … What does the government have to do with this? Sure, I criticize the government occasionally (who doesn’t?), but it’s not like I go “Oh! I’m bored… I’m going to get mad at the government!” I like a lot of the things the government does, honest. For one thing, they fund libraries, schools, even museums.

    “You are angry because the situation deals with religion — you make that very clear.”

    I believe that I was trying to make it clear that I was angry because I love to share science, and science is getting distorted for them.

    “You will eventually understand that your “love of truth” is a subjective one…”

    Ugh… postmodernism… seriously? Science may always be changing, but because it demands evidence for claims, it’s closer to the truth.

    “Here, you state you are angry but give shaky, easily deconstructed reasons for the anger. That makes your thoughts and interests seem fleetingly emotional and unstable.”

    I love to share science. It tarnishes that love when it gets distorted. I’m not the only one who feels that way. Are you saying that Carl Sagan, Richard Dawkins, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and just about anybody who gets mad at creationists are just whiney emotional punk kids who are bored?

    “It’s strange to me that you did not think I read your entire blog.”

    You said I was angry because I thought creationism would lead to evil. I assumed that you got that from the post title.

  38. Posted by Relas on May 11, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    Yes, there is general anger directed at religion coming from a dislike of certain… loud creationists.
    But the anger issue does not exist soley from atheism’s perspective. There is a large base of creationists who experience similar anger at evolution and science when it contradicts the bible. These are the ones fighting to kick it out of schools.
    Because of that, the source of anger at the video (for me at least) is knowing how easily children assume what they learn to be fact. And how these bc tours are using that. They’re taking advantage of the trusting, naive, growing minds these children have to implant strong convictions against science: a direct assault on secularism. And it’s far more likely these kids will grow up and keep these views, especially if their parents echo them at home consistently. These creationists are raising political weapons on science’s own home-base…

    Despite all that, you do have a point regarding passion. The idea of taking children into public museums–funded by the government, run and maintained by people who care about science and truth–and teaching that it’s all fiction is apalling. And subjective. Pure and simple. I have the right to that view. Elles has the right to that view too. And certainly can post a whole big blog post about it.
    And… what’s wrong with that anyway? Plenty of people LIVE for their passion. Musicians… actors… writers…
    If someone guided a group of children through a theatre, and taught them that plays–and acting, and the entertainment industry–was all pointless, and that these performers had nothing better to do but act like clowns, I’m pretty sure that would piss off some actors as well.

  39. “Are you saying that Carl Sagan, Richard Dawkins, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and just about anybody who gets mad at creationists are just whiney emotional punk kids who are bored?”

    Carl Sagan was a smooth fellow. He rarely harshed his mellow. When he did, it was over something worthwhile. This is trivial and intrusive.

    Tyson isn’t whiny, he’s funny. It makes him charming. You’re not funny — no offense.

    Dawkins is intelligent and useful as a human, but he is definitely whiny. He spreads himself thin caring about this kind of nonsense. If he didn’t write well I’d not like him very much at all.

    Regarding my statement about truth being subjective, I think you misunderstood. Truth is truth. There can be only one. I do not believe in the application of compromise in any argument over empirical matters. That is why I said the children will have the minor misfortune of growing up “wrong (as in, incorrect.)” However, if a person refuses — or is unable to — accept an empirical truth, then it is not a truth in thier brain. It’s none of your business what they must or choose to think. You don’t even exist in the equation. You can be disgusted all you want, but you are supporting the notion of stopping them from exercising a freedom simply because they believe in something you do not. I’ll take postmodernism over fascism all day long — you make more friends that way.

    Thanks

  40. I’m not saying that they don’t have a right to think that. I’m definitely not saying that they don’t have a right to be there either.

    http://www.randi.org/joom/swift/swift/swift-may-9-2008.html#i9

    I just feel sorry that children are being indoctrinated and brain-washed.

    Now, if you haven’t got anything better to do than attack my personality or call me a fascist with no grounds to do so… go away.

    If you want to persist in telling me that I shouldn’t be annoyed with creationists, go fry some bigger fish. I’m just a student. Why don’t you go tell James Randi off? Phil Plait?

  41. You certainly implied that something should be able to be done to prevent them from being in the museum. I listed a few other lies that are passed off as factual information in the school systems, you had nothing to say. My point in doing so was to demonstrate that your problem isn’t misinformation or lying to children, it’s religion. It follows that you want the people to be prevented from doing what they do, in the museum, because it has to do with thier religious beliefs — beliefs contrary tp your own. That’s not called anger.

    Given the fact that you weren’t able to explain why my analysis of your prose was incorrect, I was well within reason to call the piece a work of fascist rant. My only real objective is to point out that being hateful and cantankerous leads to undesirable idealisms, whether or not you are capable of perceiving it.

    Calling my criticism an “attack” is being a little more than slightly melodramatic. I had grounds for every comment made and explained each and every comment. You could have explained yourself, point for point, but you did not. This piece represents every bit of what I said. I would give anyone who wrote it the same crticism — I don’t believe anyone to be beyond criticism.

    Randi didn’t say that someone should get them out of the museum. He was reasonably concerned with whether or not they bother regular people who are there to learn while they take thier field trip. They do not, as stated by the curator. There would be no reason to “tell off” Randi.

    As for Plait, most of what he says is jocular. He uses facetiousness heavily when he makes his points, a la Jonathon Swift. He also has a habit of appologizing for things he says when he is called out on them as if they were meant to be taken literally.

    I enjoy some of your other pieces and I’ve enjoyed this discussion. You seem to be getting emotional about my criticism, so i guess that’s where it has to end.

    Keep writing.

    Thanks.

  42. I said that it is their right to teach their children that. I did say, however, that it ought to be the right of children to be given a proper education.

    As for the errors you were taught in your education, I was taught some erroneous stuff (the geological time periods had been changed before I was taught about the Tertiary and the Quaternary, actually) in mine. But I wasn’t INDOCTRINATED by these errors.

    As for the fact that my post shows emotion, I didn’t act on that emotion. I was expressing it.

    Be seeing you.

  43. Very eloquently put, Splended Elles. You’re totally right: lying to children is evil, as is willful ignorance. I wish you were allowed to be more forthright with science education, but I suppose you’ll have to make do with “You can tell your children whatever you want, but I won’t lie for you…”

    Keep up the great work!

  44. Posted by Gregg on May 13, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    at George Paul Davis III:
    “You seem to be getting emotional about my criticism, so i guess that’s where it has to end.”

    She poked giant wide holes in your criticism and then told you to leave. I don’t see this as emotional at all. Your criticism was not good and poorly constructed and raged against things clearly not in the original post. Way to hit your talking points (repeatedly)!

    at splendidelles: Your defense of your position was balanced and thoughtful. Keep up the good work.

  45. Nice Post!

    Thanks for defending science and reason. To have young people capable of holding their ground against ignorance and superstition gives us all hope for the future.

    Your future. My children’s future.

    And yes, museums are like my churches too. And it’s an open church, fill with knowledge and wonder, a big difference to the normal churches, filled with fear and deceit.

  46. I enjoy your post, splendidelles, as well as the sentiment expressed. I hope you continue reading and writing as often as you can.

  47. Posted by Aph on May 13, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    I am starting to suspect that Ol’ George has not read or understood the definition of fascist.

    It’s a shame Ol’ George casually throws big words around without thought of their meaning. I call that ignorant, but I am sure George has some other highly inaccurate word for it.

  48. Great post splendidelles. Ignore the trolls feasting on semantics.

  49. Posted by V on May 13, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    Nice post Splendidelles.

    Religion, and Creation through it, is just a story. It isn’t evil, it isn’t good, it isn’t anything without a human being’s manipulation to create, change or control it.

    First, no stories exist without a human being to carry them. Many of our “morals,” “ethics” and “truths” are linked to language no differently than our stories. And, language is inextricably human. This whole argument is an exercise of semantics. To say it is just a story is to avoid the real truth of the difference between how people treat this story and how people treat the equivalent story in Greek mythology. Probably nobody has died for talking smack about Zeus in the past thousand years. To call this just a story is like saying that the common cold and Ebola are both just viruses.

    Angry? No. Amused? A little. However, it’s not the creationists who are amusing — it’s people who get so angry over this stuff.

    You can be as amused as you want by how people get angry about it, but you should realize that legislators are making public policy decisions… very real, very far-reaching government policy decisions… based upon this story. These decisions impact everyone living in this country, paying taxes and benefiting from this country’s economy and infrastructure, regardless of creed or culture. These decisions can effect quality of life. People have every right to be angry about a decision made by someone else that results in a general reduction of quality of life. It is not an inappropriate logical deduction that this “story” can reduce quality of life because legislators are making uninformed public policy decisions as a result of it.

    Splitting semantic hairs is all well and good and you can certainly make an exercise of it if you want, but you should realize that you are no more separate from these issues than anyone else. If you are truly ambivalent or amused by someone making a decision that will impact your personal quality of life in a negative fashion, I feel genuinely sorry for you; such an attitude is self-destructive.

  50. I know exactly how you feel, and speaking as an astronomer I agree with everything you’ve said.

    Keep writing!
    -X-

  51. 14?

    Really? You’re only 14? I’m impressed! If only more people your age think like you…

    Congratulations on a beautiful mind.

  52. Posted by Jillian Callahan on May 13, 2008 at 9:01 pm

    Willful, deliberate ignorance is evil, and creationism is exactly that.

    By the way: We have fossils, the geologic column, genetic similarity, observations of adaptation in the wild and in the laboratory, a theory (evolution by natural selection) that is so well grounded that it can predict where to look for new fossils and when looked for they get found (see tiktaalik), and most importantly a method for finding and correcting errors (known as the scientific method).

    From that we derive predictive vaccinations, improved reactive medicine, and a deeper understanding of our own environment and what effects we can have on it.

    Evolution by natural selection isn’t some wispy idea on the fringes of science. It’s the core of medicine and biology.

    I hope that illuminates why it is dreadfully unwise to perpetuate what is not true.

    A splendid article, Splendid Elles. Well done.

  53. These people make me crazy, too.

    I loved that museum as a child, and took my own children there (until they became “too cool” for it). I still go occasionally to check out the traveling exhibits.

    Thank you for volunteering there, and keeping the flame burning. You are indeed splendid.

  54. Hi, Splendid Elles.

    Phil Plait directed me to this post. I also blogged about the video shortly after you did on Skepchick (I’m the only male contributor).

    http://skepchick.org/blog/?p=1263

    And I saw your comment on Randi’s site.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say, you have expressed many of the feelings I had on seeing that video, and I want to thank you your words.

    Keep up the good work.

  55. Posted by Veljko Petrovic on May 13, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    I rather liked the post. It was – dare I say it? – splendid. Heh.

    I’m afraid that I have to disagree with George Paul Davis III and his line of reasoning. First of all the manner in which the argument, such as it was, was advanced in an unnecessarily belittling manner. If I may be permitted to speculate, it seems that you started of with a firm decision regarding the moral character and intentions of the author and then seized on anything that could be made to support such a position. Of course I could be wrong but the impression is quite strong all the same.

    Now, the evil of Creationism and, indeed, almost all of religion is not so much that its adherents are wrong (which they are — oh so very wrong) but that they advance (with frightening zeal) a corrupt and crippling epistemology.

    It’s not that the children are being thought something wrong — we’ve all been thought something wrong either because of simple error (The Colombo bit of misinformation is an old myth that just refuses to die, it was spawned, I believe, in some novel) or because matters needed simplification (We’ve all learned that the interior angles of a triangle add up to 180 degrees — but that’s only true on a flat Euclidean surface). No, the problem is that the children are being thought to blindly accept the words of authority (the Bible, the Church and, by extension, God) and to hold on to such revealed ‘truth’ in face of mountains of evidence. This is not only the antithesis of science (which is based upon skepticism above all else) but also dangerous to the child. An adult with no critical thinking skills (And a such a religious upbringing as demonstrated in the original blog post is tantamount to a lobotomy as far as critical thinking is concerned) is easy pray for all manner of chicanery.

    Furthermore, confining children to a puny miserable six thousand year old universe is robbing them of the awe and grandeur of a scientific vision of the universe. This vision is their legacy as members of humanity and it is a poor thing to deny it to them. Of course I admit freely that this last point is more of an emotional appeal but I felt it needed to be raised.

    This, I believe, is the major issue with creationism: It cripples the mind. Of course, the fact that its supporters tend to be, by and large, vociferous, loud and willing to engage in any tactic as long as it advances their anti-scientific agenda. This would be the ‘liars for Jesus’ gambit (cf. Expelled).

    In a final note, I find your use of the term ‘fascist’ in this context odd. I assume you are referring to the fact that the author (quite reasonably) wished that the facilities of such a fine museum were not used to further the indoctrination of children. The method which she choose to use to deal with this is (in my opinion) quite commendable: she chose to fight misinformation with education. Which is as matters should be.

    For some reason you decided to equate this with fascism. Now, I may be misunderstanding you, but what you seem to find fascist about this is an expressed wish that these people would go away — indeed that they could somehow be driven away. At no point did the author mention government intervention and I am exceedingly skeptical that she intended to apply force herself. So this is hardly the invasion upon rights that you paint it as. Is this a bit of honest hyperbole?

    Further, the defining characteristic of fascism is not restriction of freedom of speech (though it does include it as part and parcel of the whole ‘totalitarianism’ shtick). Restrictions on the freedom of speech are quite common in various countries (I mean Great Britain has blasphemy laws!) and America is rather above others with its (just about) universal protection for speech (and is to be commended for it).

    I realize that this last bit was (more or less) nitpicking but, well, I’m a nitpicking sort. It’s a character defect.

  56. Posted by Tim Plausible on May 13, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    SplendidElles,

    You go. Excellent post – in content, tone, and style. Kudos.

  57. Posted by theobroma cacao on May 13, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    George Paul Davis III: don’t have the time to express what I really feel about your commentary, so I’ll summarize: you’re simply wrong. You sound like a sophomoric philosophy student, picking nits on terminology while ignoring the larger context. Presumably, you have looked around and have seen where rejection of rationality and mindless religious indoctrination (particularly of children) gets you. Your comments appear to assert actions have no consequences, that if someone rejects observed reality and empiricism, that it has no impact on others or society. This, of course, would be silly, so presumably you’re just blathering on to show others how intelligent you are.

    Thoughtful expressions of anger at such behavior, as Splendidelles has written, are entirely appropriate and proper.

    Theo

  58. Posted by Michael on May 13, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    This was a well written entry.

    For Pope Davis III,
    Anger is a negative, approach-motivated emotion often triggered by someone doing something that you see as negative and that you wish to resolve. For example, you might evoke anger if you walked into a church and started ridiculing their beliefs. A vocal Holocaust denier might also evoke anger as he tours the Holocaust museum. A person doing either of things would surely evoke anger if he posted such behaviors on YouTube.

  59. It is so refreshing to see such an intelligent and thoughtful post on the antics of new earth crazies. Bravo!

    And you were right – that video clip is infuriating! Keep up the good work of trying to educate these imbeciles.

  60. Posted by Coriolis on May 13, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    Fantastic! Sometimes it seems like the younger generation (how terribly old I sound) cares about nothing of importance, nor critical thought. Thank you for standing up for the truth. Keep shining a bright light on the creationist cockroaches– they can’t stand it when reason wins over superstition. Have you considered adopting one of their tactics? Printing up a small pamphlet (similar to the kind fundamentalists like to hand out) that details some of the reality of science, and lists sources they can go to for further information? Politely but firmly letting them know exactly why evidence wins over faith?

  61. Posted by Jacob1207 on May 13, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    I think if our goal is to eventually eliminate creationism so only good science remains it is actually counter productive to claim that it is “evil.” About half of Americans probably self-identify as creationists of one sort of another (the Young Earth Creationists are just one sort, Intelligent Design advocates are yet another) and calling them evil is not likely to win over any hearts and minds; it is likely to cause defensiveness and entrenchment. Much better, I think, to say “Creationists are wrong for these reasons…”

    I think the evidence shows that when people look at the evidence and arguments with open minds they come to accept the findings of science in great numbers (look at how the ID-supporting Dover School Board was so quickly voted out). But calling people evil isn’t likely to make them open minded. In the interests of science, can we try to use less value-laden terms?

    Finally, Christianity, properly understood, is in no way threatened by evolution or any branch of science. As the National Academy of Sciences has pointed out, science has nothing to do with questions of value and purpose, which are the ones that religion attempts to address.

    In the video, the museum director says that “nothing in biology makes sense without evolution”, almost quoting the title of Theodosius Dobzhansky’s 1973 essay, “Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution”; Dobzhansky was an Orthodox Christian and a very good scientist.

    As a Christian, I am not only annoyed and angered by BC Tours, but embarrassed as well. Everyone who is able to present the case for science should be doing so, but I think Christians who accept the findings of science have the biggest responsibility for ending this nonsense before it can do much more damage to either science or religion.

    Thanks for the blog post. Please try to avoid the “e word” in future entries (I mean evil, not evolution).

  62. Posted by Pat on May 13, 2008 at 11:20 pm

    The emotion is “rage.” The same rage you’d feel at anyone who’d casually toss aside the collective effort of thousands of people who held themselves to a higher standard than personal conviction: the standard of evidence. When that collective gift of the toil of millions of people over thousands of years is casually brushed aside with no explanation, it can be enraging.

    People don’t understand that knowledge is a gift from all of the past to the future. Language, writing, the collective recorded understanding of mankind that made the building they’re in and the fabric they wear and the buses they came in possible. All of it thrown aside because one part doesn’t “feel right.” If personal feelings dictated scientific discovery, anatomy would not be where it is. It is repulsive and frightening to confront much less cut into a dead person’s body. But without it, or the much more dangerous practice of cutting into a live person, many of those running the tour would not even be alive.

    Should we, by the standards of some, revive “humors” theory in prescribing medicine? Should I balance my phlegm and choler before I dollop myself with holistic herbs and chant to the local deity in addition to praying, because goodness knows they are equally valid ideas. The idea that “challenging is good” should not give way to “challengers are always equally correct.” That is an invalid extension, and along that way lies chaos and madness.

    Keep being enraged. You, at least, appreciate the gift that has landed in your lap.

  63. Posted by Todd A on May 13, 2008 at 11:28 pm

    Nice article. Too bad you caved to the whiny little concern trolls and changed the title. Creationists are willfully deluded, which is pretty much the same thing as pure evil.

  64. Posted by panningforgod on May 13, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    Teenagers, like creationists and Richard Dawkins, think they have all the answers.

    They don’t. None of us do. The only sure thing about human beings is that we have absolutely no clue whether we have a purpose or a just a biological accident.

    Searching for the answers, of course, is part of what makes life adventurous and worth living.

    What I fear is that militancy on both sites leads to the rejection of either religion or science. Militant creationists, foolishly using the Bible as laboratory notebooks, cause those with a scientific bent to be antagonistic towards religions.

    People like Dawkins, Myers, et. al, are doing a great job of wiping out public support for science among a non-trivial portion of the populace. If you don’t dislike them for their disrespect for your faith, you can at least dislike them for their arrogance.

    If you’re going to hate creationism, why not expand that to be distasteful of extremism in all its forms? There’s lots of that to go around.

  65. “Teenagers, like creationists and Richard Dawkins, think they have all the answers.”

    No, I don’t, actually. I used to think I had a vast (but not complete) knowledge of Astronomy. Then I found out about a guy named Phil Plait and that view was forever shaken.

    “If you’re going to hate creationism, why not expand that to be distasteful of extremism in all its forms? There’s lots of that to go around.”

    I said that they have freedom of speech. I said that they have the freedom to do those fool tours. I dunno, but I think that’s a bit far from extremism.

  66. Posted by Rock on May 14, 2008 at 12:33 am

    Very nice. Once holes are poked in his arguments, Wordy McSmugpants scurries away.

    I do think that literal* Creationism does do harm to society. Why are these people so hell-bent on believing in a literal interpretation of the Bible?

    Well, because their whole belief system is built on a literal interpretation of (selected portions) of the Bible. It’s based on the firm belief that the Bible is the True Word of God, so if the Bible says that homosexuals are an abomination, that women should be subservient to men, that all other forms of life are meant to be exploited by human beings without mercy, that non-Christians are dirty heathens, that being a Christian puts you in a special club that gets all sorts of goodies, that the world is going to end soon anyway so don’t bother trying to reduce fossil fuel emissions, etc., then it’s true.

    Most importantly, I think, is the Biblical notion that the universe was created for the benefit of humans, that humans are the most important thing in the universe. To acknowledge that the universe got along perfectly fine for billions of years before us, and that the world will keep on turning long after we’re gone, means accepting the idea that we are not number 1. This idea is a bit depressing and kind of scary. It’s a big ego-deflater, a trip in the Total Perspective Vortex. Emotionally, it’s hard to come to terms with. If you’re not super-important, then maybe you don’t have a God-given right to mistreat others. Maybe you have to actually think about the morality of your behavior. You have to look at life as the confusing, difficult, often morally ambiguous mess it often is, instead of just charging on ahead doing whatever strikes your fancy and letting God clean up after you.

    *That is, a literal interpretation of Genesis, unlike the view that many of my devout Christian friends take which is the Bible is using metaphor. I mean, imagine you’re God and you’re trying to explain how the universe works to human beings. At the time, there is no scientific study of physics, no algebra, no calculus, no chemistry, no biology, no genetics, etc. Heck, writing and the wheel have yet to be invented! The people hearing such a message are illiterate shepherds and nomads. They can barely do sums. How on earth could you explain how the universe works to these people? You can’t. So you use analogies and metaphors as best you can. Unfortunately, some of the poor dolts take it literally.

  67. Posted by Darth Robo on May 14, 2008 at 12:37 am

    I would say “evil” is pretty accurate for Creationism. Obviously not the kids who are too naive to understand, and perhaps not many of its practitioners (if that’s the right word) who were indoctrinated at an early age. But the teaching of Creationism is very insidious at its core. Heck, those creo “teachers” in the video were openly honest about creationist “theory” having problems and they actively engaged in their own circular reasoning while accusing science of doing the same thing (see the part about radiometric dating). Despite the fact the reporter pointed this out to them at the end, I doubt very much those “teachers” will change their “lesson” plan any time soon.

    The ONLY thing I would agree with George Paul Davis III on here would be that the museum IS a public place and people are free to hold and practice whatever beliefs they want. As for the claim that you’re a fascist, that’s preposterous. I agree that it’s gotta be frustrating having the creo school lying trip in there, but while I would normally agree with your idea to try to confront their claims the way you said at the end of your post, I would worry that either the creo teachers or parents might make a complaint to the museum and cause you trouble.

    One more thing, is run your blog how you want to run your blog. I totally disagree also with GP Davies’ III opinion of Phil Plait’s integrity at Bad Astronomy. Sure, people make mistakes when saying stuff (Lord knows I have) and it’s easy to do when writing about sensitive topics or ones that hold an emotional relevance to yourself. If you do think you’ve messed up, you can come back and say so. Few will disrespect you for it. Some may, but you’ll always find someone somewhere who disagrees with you on something. But as is on other blogs, this one is yours, and if you wanna stick to your guns on something you believe is right, then do so.

    Creationism is evil. It’s not like there’s no evidence to back that up, what with all the willful ignorance it engages in and the lying that is spewed out from the DI and their movies etc. And don’t let anyone say that supporting science equals atheism, or that bad-mouthing Creationism is the same as bad-mouthing religion in general; the two are not the same. I have no problem with religious people who accept science. I’d have no problem with creationists if they weren’t trying to force their beliefs onto others.

    And feel free to agree/disagree with everything I’ve said. After all, it’s just MY opinion. Kudos to ya.
    :-)

  68. Posted by Stephen on May 14, 2008 at 12:40 am

    Am I the only one who finds it ironic that a certain someone who accuses the author of being “bored” is spending a great deal of time trolling a comment board on a blog?

  69. Posted by Rock on May 14, 2008 at 12:47 am

    Panningforgood—

    Believing in something is not extremism. You’re assuming that all kinds of passion are equivalent, that all sorts of beliefs are equivalent. This is not true. Yeah, there are definitely some areas of ambiguity and debate, but not everything is up for this. For instance: a passionate belief abolitionism is NOT morally equivalent to a passionate belief in human slavery.

    Non-religion is not anti-religion. Not teaching Christianity in public schools (because let’s face it, people trying to get religion into public schools aren’t interested in allowing people to practice Judaism or Islam or Hinduism—they want their PARTICULAR brand of spirituality) is not the same thing as working to actively force children to become atheists.

    Pushing for accurate science education is not the opposite equivalent of teaching Creationism. The opposite equivalent of Creationism in the classroom would be a teacher addressing their students with a lecture called “God is dead.”

    Creationists are actively pushing schoolboards to force teachers to teach ID in science class. I don’t believe there is a great movement among atheists to force priests to talk about cell division at Mass.

  70. I have more hope for the future today, after reading your post, than I did before.

    Thanks for being a thinking young person :)

  71. Posted by Scott on May 14, 2008 at 1:10 am

    Give ‘em… errrrrr… dang it.. what was that “H” word again? Yeah… give ‘em headaches kid ;-) I’ve gotten tired of the “creation”istas who think the world is only x-thousands of years old, when we have art and tools and such on display that are dang near double the age they claim they could be at most.

  72. Posted by Andrew Murray on May 14, 2008 at 1:12 am

    Hi, a splendid site, and superbly written. I’m 34 and often struglle to communicate ideas as effectively you you do, kudos.

    I watched the vid..

    This actually happens? Disgusting. Your anger is understandable. Telling blatant lies is evil (as defined by the Bible). So to label these creationists as evil is pefectly valid.

    Expressing outrage at lies is a good thing, after all, if a holocaust denier were to preach like this at a war museum – the majority of us would get very angry indeed, and not just go -:

    ‘oh, well its their opinion.. and they are entitled to that view..’

    No. You would speak out against such deliberate falsehoods.

    GPD3.. lower school teaching is simplified, in order to allow understanding. This is built on progressively as you attain higher and higher levels of education. You were not being lied to. You were just being fed oversimplified explanations of complex issues.

  73. One of the most inspiring things I’ve read in a while. Don’t like the bastards get you down.

  74. And by “like” I mean “let.” Shoot…

  75. Posted by Scott on May 14, 2008 at 1:27 am

    Rock said:
    “Non-religion is not anti-religion. Not teaching Christianity in public schools (because let’s face it, people trying to get religion into public schools aren’t interested in allowing people to practice Judaism or Islam or Hinduism—they want their PARTICULAR brand of spirituality) is not the same thing as working to actively force children to become atheists.”

    And worse than that, they only want their particular brand of Christianity taught. In there eyes, any one who doesn’t believe in “their” views, no matter that they may be professing Christians, are as bad as the “evil”, “vile”, “heretic” atheist evolutionists. Despite what there Bible tells them, Love is NOT part of their religion… only beating the masses into shape is.

  76. Posted by Matt on May 14, 2008 at 1:30 am

    What a good insight into the intrusion that Creationism is doing in America. I live in BC, Canada and I’m very glad to say that currently evolution is taught without such intrusion. You’re very justified to be angry about such things as seen in the video you linked to. I (18) have been watching creationists evolve *sic* over the past few years and I am always dumbstruck how their modus operandi is always one and the same. Dictate the ‘truth’ from a book as they read it. There is no evidence presented to support such beliefs.

    I encourage you to fight the good fight and in cases where parents actively deny what you are telling their children to direct your attention more to the kids. In most cases children are simply doing what they’re being told to. Try to show the humor in their parents beliefs. I’ll be following your blog from now on… I just found it from Phil at badastronomy.com… he quite liked this post and wrote about it on his site.

    Cheers and hope you read this,

    Matt

  77. Posted by Andrew Murray on May 14, 2008 at 1:36 am

    Argh! that should read ;

    Hi, a splendid site, and superbly written. I’m 34 and often struggle to communicate ideas as effectively as you do, kudos.

    QED..

  78. Posted by Copache on May 14, 2008 at 2:11 am

    Me personally? I’m in love. You can have a boyfriend now <3

    So smart. I wish I was that smart when I was your age (which was only two years ago, so I suck ;-;)

  79. Oh No! You work at that museum? We saw the video you embedded above a few weeks ago. I am so sorry you are subjected to those ‘creationist tours’. How is the rest of the area? Full of evangelicals? How do you do it?

  80. Well, there is a high concentration of churches in that area, but Denver is two and a half hours away from Colorado Springs which is where Focus on the Family is located. The fundies are mostly south of us.

  81. Posted by Jason on May 14, 2008 at 4:32 am

    Impressive.. most impressive…

    I agree, thanks for being a thinking young person, if you have any tips on how you got that way and want to share it with a relatively new parent let me know :D

  82. Posted by Nic on May 14, 2008 at 4:50 am

    Wow, you give me new faith (heh) in the younger generation. Keep using that brain of yours, and don’t let the bastards get you down.

  83. Posted by Interested on May 14, 2008 at 7:31 am

    Thank you for this blog, I really enjoyed reading it and knowing it was written by a young person made it all the more enjoyable :)

  84. Posted by Stark on May 14, 2008 at 8:15 am

    I enjoyed your post, Elles, it infuriated me just the same. Glad to know someone wasn’t brought up a creationist batshit, my parents brought me up on “evolution is evil, god created everything”. Finally turned that tidbit around. :)

  85. Posted by Southstar74 on May 14, 2008 at 9:24 am

    Hi,

    I just read your msg (it was linked from the Phil’s BA site) I’d just like to let you know that I have the same problem in Italy where I live and i’ve got the vatican next door. But it’s usually not the average catholic that brings creationism and ideas of the earth being 6000 years old into play. Anyway I totaly know how you feel it is so damn frustrating sometimes when I hear people tell their kids “see these fossiles were planted here by the devil” (Jehova’s witnesses) or “see this is a monkey, humans were born from adam and came to the earth perfect”… I tried once to talk to these people but it’s useless. Anyway just want to tell you to keep up the good work, and that you can’t save them all so don’t get to upset!

    Cheers

  86. I’ve come from BA’s site. :)

    Creationists are willfully ignorant. I think choosing to remain ignorant and forcing your children to grow up ignorant when you live in a society built upon the fruits of science *is* evil.

    How often would religious people ‘allow’ atheists to come into their churches to talk about atheism? Very rarely, I suspect.

    My husband (a CERN physicist) did a podcast with a Dean in the Church of England recently (sorry for the spammage, but it’s an interesting science/religion discussion). They met when the Dean organised a public talk about science and atheism in his cathedral! If more religious people were like him, the world would be a wonderful place.

  87. It’s easy to remove the idiots from the gene pool. Just deny them the very medicines they don’t believe in. (Hint: Resistant infectious organisms.)

  88. Ignorance is evil; plain and simple. Good post, keep at it :)

  89. Posted by Tracy on May 14, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    Ignorance, in of it self, may not be evil, but willful ignorance is. When ID/Creationists ignore the evidence and perpetrate a fraud to the young who don’t know any better. That is quite evil.

    There are people who believe that anyone not of their “race” is inferior, they inculcate their children with that concept and will willfully ignore any evidence that is contrary to their belief. They often use religious texts to support their belief. That is in evil, an evil that can (and has) led to persecution & bloodshed.

    No matter how you slice it, willful ignorance is evil. The teaching of that ignorance is even more so.

    I admire your insight and depth of knowledge.

  90. Posted by Ando on May 14, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    Congratulations for being brave enough to fight the good fight against ignorance, especially in the increasingly theocratic and irrational land of USA.
    As a teen I used to welcome religious door knockers (yes, even in secular Australia, we have our share) in to my house, to attempt to convert them to atheism by pointing out various logical fallacies they held, and examples from the bible that showed what a shit the old testament god was, etc. I never succeeded, and now I live and let live. You have made me feel guilty I gave the fight away!
    A recent visitor to your fine country, I am afraid I didn’t visit your fine museum, but I did visit the Grand Canyon. I was pretty disappointed to not find a creationist tour, because it would have been doubly enjoyable as both a wondrous example of the power of wind, water and time, and a brilliant comedy act. I had to satisfy myself with the beauty and wonder of the place, rather than being quietly amused by some poor souls getting themselves in tangles trying to rationalise evidence with their childhood brainwashing.

  91. I’m totally impressed with your post! I wish my daughters will be so smart, so passion about science, about truth,
    Keep up!

  92. Great post. I’m glad to see that there are some people out there with such a drive to get the truth out to these kids. I think that your youth probably helps the case too. Science isn’t just stuffy old men in lab coats haranguing people from their lecture halls.

    I hope that you’re presence will mean that a few of these kids might start to wonder why their parents never told them that the world was so big and amazing and actually start looking for answers themselves instead of accepting the little god/little universe world of their parents.

    Rock on with your skeptic self!

  93. Posted by Helena on May 14, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    The creationists know they’re lying, they can’t be that stupid, and they lie to childern anyway. I have never seen anybody so smarmy as the docents in that video. They have the marks of being confidence ticksters all over them.

  94. […] I’ve now found the best blog entry every written about the topic, bar none. The post is by a DMNS volunteer who has dealt with these whackjobs in […]

  95. Posted by Klaus on May 14, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    Hi!

    Thanks for a very interesting post! Even old bags like me (hey, I just turned 40) are very interested in hearing about this, and it’s pleasantly well written.

    The video did upset me quite a bit – I did not want to finish it, as I’m not used to moronic arguments (my entire family are either medical doctors or scientists). The very idea that the T.Rex was a vegetarian…

    My father showed us the fascination of Physics (he’s a Prof in Physics, now retired), and thus the creationist ideas sound more than a little weird. Happily, here in Germany we don’t see these nuts very much.

    And that would be my explanation of the whole thing: they would be evil if they did this on purpose – but they don’t. They actually *do* believe this to be correct. They’re simply nuts, usually of a low intelligence.

    Oh, and Veljko Petrovic: thank you for your detailed post, which explains exactly what I feel :)

    Ciao,
    Klaus

  96. This is great! Holy cow, you are intelligent. I wish I’d had people like you in high school to steer my straight. I used to be a Creationist too. At least we know there is hope.

    I’m subscribing to your blog and putting you on my blog roll. Now you’ve hit the big time.

  97. Posted by fred edison on May 14, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    I think that people are a bit shocked that you are so direct and resolute in your support of science. But you know what, if they come into your house – a house built on sound scientific principles – and they speak falsely to children about what that place represents and the tales it has to tell, then you should have the right to speak with those same children and give them the rest of the truth as science has found to be true. Because the kids aren’t getting the whole picture from their BC group “leaders.” If they don’t like it they needn’t return. And I wish that they wouldn’t.

    It has become one of my pet peeves. I especially have a disdain for those who want to put creationism on the same level as science in the classroom. My answer to them is, absolutely not as long as there is an Earth to live on.

    The people in the video are plain out lying about science. They are using the name of science inaccurately and knowingly in a fraudulent manner on purpose. When the guy said that dinosaur displays were “artwork” then he is unquestionably lying to the children. He is giving them false and incorrect information, regardless if he believes it or not. Where does any sign in the museum say “this dinosaur display is 100% fabricated?” Another quote was that evolution is a religion. WRONG! Again, false and incorrect information delivered to children in a vain attempt to validate their narrow viewpoint of creationism. Deplorable actions to say the least.

    Do these BC people have any morals and integrity at all? They stole a logo and used it without permission on another web site. Not much character there. The Expelled! movie people used a quote from Wired magazine and worded it as if it supported the movie, until Wired told them to remove it or else. Not much character there. They tell children distorted lies. Zero character. I’m sure there are hundreds more instances of propoganda and blatant infringements if it was researched. It is certainly not beneath them to bend or break the rules, or tell some lies if it’s to their advantage. That doesn’t speak well for representing a religious belief.

    If they don’t want to accurately portray science and the long, tedious progression of research efforts it has taken science to accumulate the data, then they should not tarnish the good name of science to promote their religious belief. But they do it anyway.

    Science is based on evidence and does not need faith to sustain it. Creationism doesn’t need science because it is based on faith and already has all of the answers. Science never ceases to revise and update its findings when deemed necessary. Can you say that about creationism? No, and that’s why is is not and never will be considered science.

    To the 6000 or so year old Earth supporters. Please stay away from places of science. Let the people who want to learn about honest science do so without subjecting it your twisted interpretations, and to your deliberate misrepresentations designed to brainwash young and impressionable children. Lie elsewhere.

    Please excuse the rant, but it wouldn’t be the first time. :-) I appreciate what you think and your passion about it. Thanks for keeping it scientifically real.

    Discovered courtesy of the BA blog, FYI. I love astronomy and all that stuff too. Take care.

  98. Posted by CR on May 14, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    Hello!
    I, too, have followed a link from Plait’s BA Blog, and I’m not sorry I did so.
    I volunteer periodically at local schools, giving students presentations about the wonders of science, in the hope that they will be inspired to keep studying, to keep finding out about the universe around them. Science is just the method of finding things out, it’s not some nerdy thing as so often portrayed in contemporary American entertatainment, nor worse, a dogmatic belief system.
    It’s refreshing to see some of the children get excited when they understand a point I’m trying to make, or even simply to marvel at a beautiful image returned from one of our distant space probes.
    It’s even more refreshing to read this blog entry, and know that members of younger generations are thinking critically and making an effort to make the world a better place, especially when so many of the older generation are so focused on being willfully ignorant.
    I applaud your rationalism in the face of your anger, too. Such a better method of communication than just blowing up.

  99. Posted by Randy on May 14, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    Splendid Elles:

    Countering the BS we saw in that video clip with education is commendable, as several people have mentioned. But there’s an even better response — laughter.

    Based on the video, every other sentence is ridiculous. So just walk slowly by their “tour”. Then burst into loud and long laughter.

    In this country, we have a long and honorable tradition of being tolerant of other peoples’ views. But that doesn’t mean we need to keep a straight face when some clown says something ridiculous (like claiming that T-rex didn’t eat meat).

    So please, everybody who reads this, spread the word. Laugh at young earth creationists and other nut jobs. They have a right to speak, and we have a right — and a duty — to laugh at them.

    Laughter is good for you. Laughing at creationists might eventually be good for them, and those poor kids they’re deluding — or at least they might learn to shut up in public…

  100. Posted by CR on May 14, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    Um, I apologize for the seemingly random nature of my post… I forgot to add paragraph breaks, so everything got sort of mashed into one huge glob. (You’d think I’d be used to a lack of Preview functions from BA’s blog, but no, I just type away and hit Submit…) Hopefully what I tried to say wasn’t lost in the appearance of the text itself.

  101. Posted by Simple Guy on May 14, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    Another BA jumper here. Just wanted to say I found your post intelligent, well written, and passionate. I look forward to reading some of your other posts.

  102. Posted by Peter on May 14, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    Yet another BA jumper. Extaordinarily well written, great job.

  103. Posted by Thinking Man on May 14, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    Someone once said something like this:

    “I can’t change their (IDer’s) foolish viewpoint, so I mock them.”

    I can’t remember the exact quote, but that’s how I feel about creationists. You can’t reason with them, they deny the evidence. What’s left but to mock them, and make sure they can’t push their drek into the classroom?

  104. “Teenagers, like creationists and Richard Dawkins, think they have all the answers.”

    That seems a strange thing to say to someone who you’re accusing of arrogance.

    I fail to see how Elles’ status as a teen has anything to do with her arguments.

  105. Posted by Benjamin on May 14, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    I have to agree with the title. Spreading ignorance _is_ pure evil. And teaching children to be ignorant is beyond evil.

  106. Posted by phil on May 14, 2008 at 9:21 pm

    On the plus side, I think your average kid would see straight through those guys. In the uk many of us were forced to go to “sunday school” as kids. We could chant their mantras and perhaps they thought they had us, but we all knew it was garbage and very few of us go to their churches. It was obviously a sales-pitch. And the clothes were just dire.

    The concept of “evil” means little to me, but it seems like precisely the right label for religious fanatics who pick on kids.

  107. Posted by HawkeyeMD on May 15, 2008 at 12:21 am

    Awesome post. I’m another re-directee from Phil’s site, because he always points us toward the good stuff.

    Great writing, and I’m very impressed with your background and your passion for what you do as well. Never lose that, and keep fighting the good fight. We’re with you.

  108. Posted by SamDavid on May 15, 2008 at 12:29 am

    Well youre gettuing lots of hits. The Bad Astronomer has quoted you.. :-)

    Well I know how you feel. You cant argue with creationists since you dont know what flavor youre dealing with. Some are “cherry pickers”, same as religious moderates. Some others are more fundie.

    There are the hardcore creationists who believe that the earth was created 6000 years ago and that dinosaurs are satans way of messing with our heads.

    Then you have the moderates who think of creation and evolution and say that we evolved by someone’s design. Unless they can show me a radio carbon dated lab with test tubes synthesizing dna from 1 billion years ago, I’m not convinced along with a photo of God in a lab coat, I’m not convinced.

    This is just another attempt to get religion taught in schools. Pure and simple. I’m starting my “Discovery Institute of Scientific Research of the Flying Spaghetti Monster University” soon. Lets see them start talking about that too.

    And while there I’m also petitioning for the case of “Dark Sucker Theory” to be taught in schools.

    *Hi fives Splendid Elle*

  109. Posted by IBY on May 15, 2008 at 1:50 am

    I also get angry when science is distorted. Unfortunately, I sometimes get too angry and yell at people, which is something I have to work on. :) And I agree, teaching such ignorance to children is hard to bear. I used to think of creationism as valid once. Of course, I tried to see some of the arguements and I found scientific rationale much more satisfying, since there were sooo much evidence. I wanted to be a scientist back then, and it still gives me chills about what could happen to my scientific career if I still kept believing me. (no, I am not a scientist yet since I am in High School, but I doubt it will go well with me if I would have been stuck to a religious standard, and I was pretty zealous)

  110. Posted by CR on May 15, 2008 at 4:29 am

    Note to teens: stand by your rationality; don’t let others badger you into submission. It’s hard to do, as are a lot of things related to being a teen, but it’ll be worth it in the long run if you are true to yourselves. Integrity is a better thing than dogmatic obedience.

    Come to think of it, this note applies to anyone, regardless of age.

  111. Posted by CR on May 15, 2008 at 4:33 am

    Not to trivialze my last post, but I think I just came up with a nifty bumper sticker: “Be true to yourself; integrity is better than dogmatic obedience.”

    Perhaps that’s not bumper sticker material, though… too many big words!

  112. Posted by Adam on May 15, 2008 at 5:17 am

    Hey,

    I just wanted to say I enjoyed the post but even more so, I enjoyed your response to the idiocy of George Paul Davis III. At the point where someone starts to throw words like fascism around I would consider them too unimportant to bother responding to. Instead, you calmly responded to his points. I presume this makes you a better person then me.

    Thanks for the read.

  113. This is a “me too” response from the “I came here through Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy”.

    Great post. You’ve done well.

    Some will post caustic comments just to get a rise out of you and try to make you squirm especially where everyone can see it. Sometimes, it is best just to leave well alone, but in this case your defense was spot on.

  114. Posted by Mr. Beefy on May 15, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    I also came from the Bad Astronomy site.

    I can’t even begin to describe how happy reading your blog has made me. I have nearly despaired of finding any young people that haven’t been corrupted by the utter stupidity of the religious wackjobs. Maybe we aren’t doomed to a new Dark Age after all.

    Thank you so much for posting this.

  115. Posted by Calli Arcale on May 15, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    “Then you have the moderates who think of creation and evolution and say that we evolved by someone’s design. Unless they can show me a radio carbon dated lab with test tubes synthesizing dna from 1 billion years ago, I’m not convinced along with a photo of God in a lab coat, I’m not convinced.”

    I’m a moderate Christian, and I do not believe in Intelligent Design. If you follow the ID movement closely enough, it becomes clear that it has nothing to do with moderate Christianity. Rather, it is an offshoot of fundamentalist Christianity and hard-core Creationism. It was created as a deliberate wedge to influence people to become gradually more accepting of the idea of Creationism. Basically, they realized they were losing their war to get Creationism taught in schools in lieu of evolution, and so they have turned to ID as a sort of compromise, rightly recognizing that diluting evolution will lead more people towards what they feel is the “right” path — acknowledging divine creation.

    It disgusts me, quite frankly. It is a propaganda campaign intended to sow fear, uncertainty, and doubt and it is filled with *lies*. And this is all done in the name of Christ, which, according to some interpretations, means it is blasphemy and thus a mortal sin…. I don’t believe they’ll go to hell for it, but I do find it ironic that many of the most intolerant Christians are supportive of such behavior. I can only conclude that most fundamentalists don’t actually realize the depths of dishonesty that are involved. They trust their spiritual leaders, after all.

    *shakes head*

    When will they learn that critical thinking, freedom of speech, and the ability to question are not only paths to truth but also the only defense Christianity has against being usurped by the devil (metaphorically speaking)?

    Note: regarding freedom of speech, I loved your final line to Randi in your letter, Splendid Elles. “But, to protect our freedom of speech, we have to protect theirs.” You are an amazingly eloquent young lady. You have one heck of a future ahead of you. ;-) Go get ‘em!

  116. Posted by SamDavid on May 15, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    Calli,

    Youre right. I’m sort of Deist (I believe in a “God” – but whatever that may be is debatable and I definitely dont belive in what passes for “religion” now.)

    Sadly, most fundamentalists are so caught up in their beliefs that they dont realise that they have become what they preach against. This goes for any religion or fundamentalist.

    Spirituality is something personal. Meaning everyone has to find it for themselves. For me, I find it in the awesomeness of the universe and the fact that there is so much more out there compared to our egocentric lives. It definitely isnt something that you thrust upon another person.

  117. Posted by CR on May 16, 2008 at 4:52 am

    I posted this at BA, but figured I should post it here, as well. I’d laughed at the BC people’s assertion that meat eaters were vegetarians until Eve gave Adam the apple, and in a later post, mentioned the following:

    “I realize I made fun of the creationist idea that meat eaters were vegetarians until The Fall, but afterward, I noticed in seriousness that it shoots down one of their biggest arguments… if the animals on Earth are as God supposedly made them, then doesn’t the animals’ change after The Fall reflect that they AREN’T the same? I’m not saying it proves evolution, but it disproves their big ‘God created all life as it is’ argument.”

    Might be something to bring up in front of the children the next time the tour has the T-Rex discussion!

  118. Posted by DTdNav on May 16, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    Splendid Elles,

    Congratulations on a very interesting post, but more importantly, a beautiful mind.

    My family lives 100 miles north of you in Cheyenne and frequently come down to DMNS for the travelling exhibits. You must be one of those nice kids who help in the Space section (our favorite part by the way).

    I’ve never had the misfortune to witness a BC tour, but if I did I would find it extremely difficult not to interrupt their blather with an outraged cry of “BS!” Even though the DMNS employees and volunteers are discouraged from engaging in arguments, have you ever heard of other patrons getting in their face?

  119. Posted by Vic Bailey on May 16, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    Religion is a lot like politics they both lie to get the point across and most of the sheep believe it, if it weren’t for the freethinkers, we would still be in the Dark Ages, because Religion wanted to keep people in the dark. You would be put to death if you disagreed with religion. Then, Why is that not EVIL? Kill in the name of god that is what religion wants you to do. There are preachers telling people to eliminate people that don’t think like them. Freethinkers and Atheist don’t want to kill anyone, they believe in ” Live and Let Live”. Religion is like that ONLY if you believe like them.
    Religion even wants you to believe that this country was founded on Christianity. When it was founded to get religion out of government because of what religion did and tried to do to the colonial people. They knew that religion was a bad thing, just ask the people of Salem. In the name of regilion they killed so-called witches.
    Superstition is a funny thing, it works IF YOU BELIEVE IT, religion is a superstition. I was born and raised a Baptist, NEVER had a prayer answered, and the love of my life was killed in cold blood, and your god let it happen. I was an atheists in Viet Nam and I love my country and I still defend your rights, that you don’t think I should have because I don’t believe in your god.Thanks but NO THANKS, when your god tries to take
    your child you can thank a freethinker for the medicine he invented. Because your religion didn’t believe in medicine, because it was god’s will. He kills just for the hell of killing, I don’t.

  120. Before i read this I thought the same way i have bin writing my own blog which is private so i think this was
    a remarkable post.

    I live in Bronte and I loved how you expressed your feelings and stood up good job.

  121. Posted by Michael on May 19, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    splendidelles:
    Thank you for your post. In spite of the disturbing trend of creationists attempting to obscure the facts (=data) presented by the exhibits, I enjoyed reading about you love of the Denver Museum, an institution near and dear to my heart. My mother first took me there when I was five years old. I was so overwhelmed with what I saw I insisted that we return again the next day! Now, 50 years later, I have to privilege of being in science and remain in love with it. And, anytime I get to Denver, I still visit the Museum.

  122. Posted by teacherninja on May 22, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    Thanks for a great post. You made my day.

  123. Posted by Erotosthenes on June 5, 2008 at 4:22 am

    As a fellow Denverite, can I came trail the tour groups with you and provide corrections?

  124. Posted by Mark on June 12, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    Thanks for this. As a another person who LOVES to teach and volunteer at science centers, I applaud your post. I too am often confronted by the ignorance of the “young earthers” as I call them. There is little way to battle those who have choose the path of ignorance and to deny that which is so precisely (via the scientific method) presented. Good luck. Keep teaching. Keep spreading the truth about science, the earth, the universe and expanding young minds. I plan on using your response the next time I am challenged by these people.

  125. Posted by cdavidparsons on June 13, 2008 at 3:07 am

    It is a shame that you will have spent a great deal of your life spreading the lies of evolutionist dogma. The truth is much more exciting.

    THE BIGGER PICTURE IN THE DEBATE ON DARWINISM IS NOT INTELLIGENT DESIGN.

    The reason is elementary: the Discovery Institute and other ID proponents leave out the Triune God, Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Hence, Richard Dawkins can make the case for “aliens” seeding the earth.

  126. Look, I’m not a fan of censorship but trying to sell stuff in a comment counts as spam to me.

    Now, FOR THE LAST TIME Dawkins does not believe in panspermia.

    K?

  127. Posted by Dubious on July 5, 2008 at 1:12 am

    It´s sad to see such things. People who chooses to see what they want, and they doesnt look at the explanation just some feet away.

    Inteligency doesn´t make us human, it´s curiosity. Asking “why”. Looking for evidences.

    Nice blog! Keep it working, please!

    Greetings from Spainfor the work and time.

  128. Hola! Puedo hablar poco espanol, pero mi grammatica es suckage.

    Soy feliz personas son de Espana esta leer mi blog. Es cool.

    Spanglish for the win!

  129. Posted by RedGreenInBlue on August 5, 2008 at 7:35 am

    Excuse me:
    Testing:One, two.

  130. Posted by RedGreenInBlue on August 5, 2008 at 7:51 am

    OK, so list tags don’t work. On with the actual comment!

    @ cdavidparsons:

    “The truth is much more exciting.”

    Seriously? More exciting than:

    * The early descriptions of fossils, and the observation that similar fossils were found in the same position in the geological column in widely separated locations?

    * Darwin’s accounts of his fieldwork, and his hypothesis of random variation and natural selection?

    * Mendel’s work on the inheritance of simple traits in pea plants?

    * The discovery that DNA was the carrier of heredity, and the race to establish its structure and chemistry?

    * Palaeontologists’ construction of a consistent evolutionary tree based on geological age, location and morphology of fossils?

    * The development of modern genetic analysis, and the revelation that genetic homologies independently indicate virtually the same pattern of evolution as the fossil evidence?

    More interesting than all of that? Cool! Now, about the evidence for that Triune Thingummy…

  131. Just stumbled on this via your link back to it. As a museum employee myself, and one working quite near the Creation Museum, I understand and sympathize with your anger and outrage. Just wanted to say that I adore your blog, read it constantly and have held you as an example that teens can be brilliant and that museums do contribute positively to the world.

    Keep up the great work!

    S

  132. Posted by Flonkbob on August 12, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    Splendidelles, stick to your guns. In spite of the lukewarm “you’re not being nice to the ignorant creationsist” crowd, you are 100% right. Creationists ARE evil, if you consider spreading lies, divisiveness, self-righteosness, willful ignorance, and other nasty Fundie traits evil. I do.

    Anyone, ANYONE, who allows an ancient book of laughable myths to make their decisions about the world, in the face of clear and proven evidence to the contrary, is not fully human. Do I respect their beliefs? Hell no! Nor do I respect their persons. They shouldn’t be given any slack, they want to consign all of us the the same level of idiocy that they inhabit.

    Guess what? I’m not going along with it.

  133. I agree with Flonkbob. Creationists are scum. There’s nobody more immoral, more stupid, more dishonest, and more batshit insane than the creationists.

  134. Posted by KRB on April 18, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Explain the evidence you say exists to say that the earth is billions of years old and not 6,000. Don’t open your Darwin bible to find the answer, show me the evidence that you Darwin Disciples claim exists. Show me the millions of missing link fossils that have never been found. Explain to me the odds of one protein molecule (you need 239 protein molecules to form the most simple single cell) forming by chance out of unlife to life being 1 chance out of 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. That’s called math. (That makes the lottery look alot more appealing.) That is just one cell. Explain to me that if you follow the logic of evolution from a mathmatical point of fact, the universe would have to be thousands of trillions of years old, not a few billion, in order to even entertain the fantastic odds of life accidently forming and evolving. Explain to me how evolution is in direct conflict with the second law of thermodynamics. Do you even know what that law is? I’ll explain it to you, Genius. “Though energy in the cosmos remains constant, the amount of available energy to do useful work is always decreasing and the measure of unavailable energy is increasing. Everything then, is moving towards chaos.” I guess evolution must be the exception right? Careful, that might be considered a leap of faith. How is it that the majority of medical doctors in the world believe in intelligent design rather than evolution? Maybe because they know how complex life really is, after all, they deal with life for a living. You know what I’m tired of? You Darwin Disciples trying to sound scientific, and bashing anyone who has the good sense to look around and realize the awesome complexity of the world that we live in and know that someone created it. Show me the evidence… That is if you can go back in time millions of years to observe what you darwin disciples claim happened. Well, I guess you can’t do that can you? I guess you will just have to have faith that all you believe is true. Hmmmmmm…

  135. You’re joking, right?

    Start with radiometric dating. Then you may be interested in looking up the Miller-Urey experiment. And protenoids. The RNA machine which a guy named Czech won a Nobel Prize for because he discovered that RNA can catalyze it’s own splicing. Then you may be interested to know that lipids naturally form little spheroid shape-things like our cell membranes because of the hydrophobic/hydrophyllic thing. Then perhaps you should look up protobionts which are basically cell membranes which can actually do a few metabolic processes.

    While you’re getting a basic freshman education in biology, Genius, perhaps it would interest you to know that the second law of thermodynamics applies to closed systems.

    While you’re at it, visit a museum and look at the fossil record. Look up transitional fossils like Sinornithomimus dongi or Homo erectus or Tiktaalik.

    And thanks for that number by the way. How’d you calculate it?

  136. Posted by The Mad LOLScientist, FCD on April 20, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    Probability of life developing from non-life? 100%. It’s happened. Get over it, creos.

  137. Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, Creation and Evolution does not matter. Here is the bottomline. The United States had an increase of 13 Million people from 2004 to 2009. That’s only 5 years. In 25 years that will be 65 Million people. In 50 years that will be 130 Million people. In 100 years that will be 260 Million people. In 500 years that will be 1 Billion 300 Million people. Add that to the 300 Million people we already have and you come up with a grand total of 1 Billion 600 Million people in the United States by the year 2509. There are 195 countries listed in the world. What do you think the world’s population will be in 500 years? If there is poverty, starvation, global warming and a hole in the ozone layer now, what do you think these problems will be like in 500 years? Does the word “CANNIBALISM” mean anything? Save your generations from suffering a miserable and horrible end. Stop creating and if you have children tell them when they grow up not to create. I am 100% sure they will appreciate not being left behind to suffer that situation. Help spread this message to the entire world. +JC

  138. this was an interesting post, i’ll be sure to implement some fo what i read.

  139. great post! thanks…

  140. Thank you, I found this blog on google but I couldn’t subscribe =/
    could you help me?

  141. Maybe we should care more about when the earth die as we have done so many bad things…2012 is soon althought I know it is not in 2012, but if we continue what we are doing now, it is just the question about when.

  142. There’s certainly a great deal to know about this issue. I like all of the points you have made.

  143. […] up, The Other Ray leads us to this remarkable blog by a remarkable teenage girl –she’s only […]

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