these fun memories happily flood my mind as i try to come to terms with a new feature of my hometown....
the creationist museum....
introducing the most ridiculous thing to come from religious zealots in a long long time... and it's located in the city where i spent my childhood and where most of my extended family resides. somehow i feel hurt by the presence of this museum.
i try to recognize, learn about, appreciate and accept that people in every part of the world live differently. no one else is like me (thats a good thing!) and i'm not like anyone else. these differences i cherish and i have no real interest in spending time pursuading people to believe in all the same things i believe in.... but i have an even harder time understanding how people think the universe is only 6,000 years old, than i have understanding how people still believe everything revolves around the earth!
Lawrence M. Krauss, a theoretical physicist, has said some wonderful things about this issue that i would like to share. please read his top 10 reasons why the universe, the sun, earth, and life are NOT 6,000 years old. he goes on....
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.
why should this be a concern at all? because 3 american republican presidential candidates stated that they do not believe in evolution. these men seek to lead the current superpower nation yet they reject scientific consensus on biology, geology, cosmology and physics because of their literal interpretation of words written in a religious book. to be frank, this scares that crap out of me!
i dont know how i knew when i was so young that the fossils i found were so old, but i'm glad i had the freedom to investigate my intuition and to arrive at my own conclusions. this intellectual freedom is severely denied by the stout belief in any single religious text... yet three men wish to continue spreading "freedom" around the world as they believe they are defending it in the US.
read other reactions at pharyngula's creation museum carnival
Scary, indeed. I know people like this, and some are even friends. I grew up and went to school in southern Indiana, also near this museum. These friends and I have very little in common now, yet there was a time when I could walk and speak that language. Weird, no? I wasn't raised that way, but some of my friends had been. At some point I realized that I did think differently, though I can appreciate that someone who is raised in a tradition where this understanding of truth is ingrained in a child will have a nearly impossible task in comprehending why someone would trust the scientific method.
The optimist in me reassures me that a museum like this will only expose the interpretations of these beliefs as unable to stand up to empirical scrutiny, but the reformer (Calvinist?) in me reminds me that we are too dense to comprehend said exposure...
ian - sounds like we had very similar midwest upbringings. thanks for sharing!
Crazy Christians, I too remember playing in the creeks and looking for and collecting fossils, I still have a whole basement of them. I cant wait to visit the museum, though, giving them $20 for admission is steep. Who are the 3 Presidential candidates you refer to?
(former) Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas.
Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado.
Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas.
Isn't it wonderful that we live in a country where one may choose to be ignorant in the name of God? :)
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