If you’ve visited here before, you know that I’m a “live and let live” kind of atheist. I don’t mind others who worship, pray, praise, etc. in the name of God. I still miss attending church on Sundays and still go with my family when I go back to my hometown. I can take away the sense of community and friendship and leave the Christian rhetoric behind. But the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky scares the hell out of me.
This is a museum that has impressive dioramas, interactive displays and more that focus on supporting the “young earth” theory of certain conservative forms of Christianity. This is the belief, based on the Bible, that the planet is less than 10,000 years old. Among the many instance of Creationism parting from the actual science of our earth’s history are the beliefs that Adam and Eve coexist with dinosaurs (you read that right, I’m sorry to say), the Grand was carved by Noah’s flood and that there is (of course) only one path to saving the earth and society. It doesn’t really explain how becoming a Christian will save the planet, but the Creation Museum isn’t long on real science.
Being a Christian doesn’t bother me. Being conservative doesn’t bother me. As long as you aren’t trying to brainwash whole families into turning away from scientific fact. There are many Christians (and Muslims and Jews, for that matter) who strongly believe in God, but don’t turn their backs on science. You can be both a Scientist and a Believer, unless your faith is of the Ken Ham variety. Ham, the founder of the Creation Museum, stresses that the Creation Museum is designed to give visitors the tools they need to defend against “attacks” on the Bible’s authority using geology, anthropology, biology and more. He even claims that science actually confirms the Biblical story of creation.
What alarms me is the pseudo-science and the platitudes of the Creation Museum’s message. It’s too easy to say that our culture is crumbling, disease is rampant and social ills are mushrooming because we’ve turned away from God. The Museum infers that if only the world would turn back to Christ, the ills of the world would fall away. That’s just too damned easy. It relieves future generations from having to actually do anything to save the world or improve the human condition. It also turns future generations against science so that scientific inquiry dies.
If the Creation Museum succeeds in its purpose, while the earth may be much older than it says, it could well die in less than 10,000 years. And who will there be to blame then?