Tuesday, December 2, 2008

dear cincinnati zoo

dear cincinnati zoo and botanical garden,

while i maintain fond memories of walking thru your memorable animal habitats, listening to concerts by my musical favorites on your grounds, and walking around your lit up winter wonderland with my family, i will no longer visit your park if you insist on contradicting your own goals by associating with the creationist museum thru a joint-ticket program.

you have been a part of the public school system of cincinnati since 1975, which i think is wonderful. but i also think that with such involvement comes responsibility. you have the responsibility to educate and inform students and the community about the natural world - without any influence from religion of any kind (see: separation of church and state, introduced by thomas jefferson).

if you would like to collaborate with organizations in cincinnati in order to broaden your community outreach, why not contact the well-known cincinnati museum center, whose facilities you already use?!?!

collaborating with the creationist museum contradicts your own vision statement and promotes their false message about the natural ways of the universe. as stated succinctly by theoretical physicist lawrence m. krauss:
There are many and varied ways that modern science has confirmed the history of the Universe, the Solar System, the Earth, and Life on Earth. All of these methods, while independent, are in agreement and they ALL tell us that Life, the Earth, and the Universe are many orders of magnitude older than 6,000 years. There is no scientific room for errors of this many orders of magnitude. It would be like measuring the distance between New York and Los Angeles, and determining it was less than 1 inch. In order to agree with a Young Earth Creationist picture, essentially every facet of modern science - on which we base every aspect of modern technology, our vehicles, our society - would have to be completely incorrect, implying almost everything we base our modern lives on would not work as it does.

please reconsider your recently acquired collaboration, as i would very much enjoy attending your "fesitval of lights" program again one day. not only am i contacting you today, but i'm also writing to the cincinnati enquirer, and city beat magazine, in hopes of raising awareness of this important issue.

a concerned (former) cincinnatian,
amanda


UPDATE: the zoo canceled their partnership with the creationist museum :) as reported by the cincinnati enquirer.

6 comments:

Cabbage Tree Farm said...

Here here, well said

Jeff Schaefer said...

Even more importantly, add that the zoo's LED Christmas lights suck! They're dim and have an electronic-blue glow.

ken bauer said...

I must agree with you. What is gained with this association? Are we going to revisit the famous "monkey trial" with all the current zoo animals?

heroineworshipper said...

More important is what would happen if the zoo wasn't government funded & how this applies to other recently government funded assets. Should home owers using goverment money to pay their mortgages be allowed to put up whatever religious decorations they want? Should car loans funded by government money be allowed for trips to church? Should credit cards funded by taxes be allowed to buy creationist media? Leaders are going to have to take some hard looks at where the people's money is being spent now that almost every piece of debt in addition to the zoos & libraries is being funded by the people.

Jeff Schaefer said...

I agree that the partnership is surprising. But, the Creationism Museum has a live nativity that fits the Zoo’s Christmas theme, while the Cincinnati Museum Center’s current special exhibit is Clifford the Big Red Dog.

I do agree that the zoo probably shouldn’t have partnered with the CM on scientific grounds. That’s a legitimate argument, but your letter sounds so intolerant and preachy by jumping all over the religious aspect. Separation of church and state has nothing to do with this.

In fact, the religious argument becomes hypocritical. You say the zoo (and I’d assume schools) have the responsibility to educate without any influence from religion of any kind. Then why are we content with school’s support of the ‘religious’ theory of human-caused global climate change? (‘Human caused’ being key.)

Environmentalism has become as much a religious belief as any traditional religion. The belief that man has drastic, lasting effects on global temperature is just as ridiculous as creationism. Yet, the environmental devout bully public institutional doubters. “The inconvenient principle of separation of church and state need not apply here... the left gets to decide that”.

If the zoo can endorse faith in global warming (which they do with many signs), then the zoo should be able to collaborate with other religions and viewpoints. Even ones that may counter yours and mine. God forbid commoners be exposed to a viewpoint that opposes academia. What are we afraid of here? Is the theory of evolution that feeble?

I wouldn’t have supported the zoo’s partnering with the CM, but now that they did, I’m really disappointed to see them be such wimps and back down so quickly to religious intolerance.

The more important issue is still those sucky LED lights... they suck. I bet the Creation Museum has good old, bright and warm incandescent bulbs.

astropixie said...

thanks for the responses. happy to report that they ended the partnership :)

pops - hee hee!

jeff - the theory of evolution isnt "feeble" at all - and thats exactly the point!