Saturday, December 01, 2007

A Retard Runs Through It

What is wrong with these morons (link via Chuckling) and why, other than as an explicit warning, do they merit coverage?

Creationist ideas about geology tend to appeal to overly zealous amateurs, but this was a gathering of elites, with an impressive wall of diplomas among them (Harvard, U.C.L.A., the Universities of Virginia, Washington and Rhode Island). They had spent years studying the geologic timetable, but they remained nevertheless deeply committed to a different version of history. John Whitmore, a geologist from nearby Cedarville University who organized the field trip, stood in the middle of the fossil bed and summarized it for his son.

“Dad, how’d these fossils get here?” asked Jess, 7, looking up from his own Ziploc bag full of specimens.

Whitmore, who was wearing a suede cowboy hat, answered in a cowboy manner — laconic but certain.

“From the flood,” he said.

What was remarkable about the afternoon was not so much the fossils (the bed is well picked over) but the gathering itself, part of the First Conference on Creation Geology, held on the Cedarville campus. Creationist geologists are now numerous enough to fill a large meeting room and well educated enough to know that in rejecting the geologic timeline they are also essentially taking on the central tenets of the field. Any “evidence” presented at the conference pointing to a young earth would be no more convincing than voodoo or alchemy to mainstream geologists, who have used various radiometric-dating methods to establish that the earth is 4.6 billion years old. But the participants in the conference insist that their approach is scientifically valid. “We’re past the point of being critical of evolutionists,” Whitmore told me. “We’re trying to go out and make new discoveries and actually do science.”

Right, "science". Is that what they're calling this horse-shit now, this craven polluting of young minds? "Science", as opposed to schmience, requires using the scientific method of testing your hypothesis empirically. Does this sound like they are doing that?

Then in 1961, John Whitcomb, a theologian, and Henry Morris, a hydraulic engineer from Texas, published “The Genesis Flood: The Biblical Record and Its Scientific Explanations.” The book revived a relatively obscure, century-old theory of Noah’s flood as the most violent catastrophe in earth history. The flood, they argued, warped the normal geological processes and caused rapid transformations. Water from the skies and from within the earth (“the floodgates of heaven”) slammed into the oceans, killing the sea creatures and covering the “high mountains,” as it says in Genesis. For months afterward, the planet convulsed with earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes. After a brief ice age, the earth became the ecosystem we know today. Continents shifted; the water receded; the animals left the ark and spread over the earth.

Well, I guess that settles that. Why not just revise all astronomical knowledge while we're at it, call it "leftbehindology" or some such thing? Really, this stuff barely qualifies as claptrap or quackery; it doesn't even bother trying to pass the conventional giggle test. And now it's diluting and poisoning respectable universities.

The "large meeting room" of schmientists wield disproportionate leverage, because they tend to be bankrolled by politically motivated goons who understand that herd animals should be kept docile, and riled only when it's time to get them to go vote against themselves. This requires controlling -- and in this case, inventing -- "facts" and "information". I suppose gravity is God's punishment for eating from the Tree of Knowledge. Why not?

Their ideas are being showcased in the new Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., opened in May by a creationist group called Answers in Genesis, whose headquarters are nearby. With its wide-open spaces and interactive exhibits, the place feels like a slick museum of natural history, updated for the Hollywood age. Many of the exhibits were designed by Patrick Marsh, who helped create the “Jaws” and “King Kong” attractions at Universal Studios in Florida. Giant dinosaurs guard the courtyard entrance, promising fun and adventure. Inside, a replica of the ark leads you from seaboard to bottom deck, a rumbling theater replicates the flood, James Cameron-style. Lifelike models of Adam and Eve (who looks like the Brazilian supermodel Gisele B√ľndchen) frolic in a lush garden among the animals, including several dinosaurs.

The museum expected about 250,000 visitors in the first year. Instead, despite its $20 entry fee, it has had that many in six months, according to Michael Matthews, the museum’s content manager. Almost every day, minivans and buses from Christian schools fill the parking lot, sometimes after 10-hour road trips. The museum’s target group is the 45 percent of Americans who, for 25 years, have consistently agreed with the statement in a Gallup poll that “God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so.”

The museum sends the message that belief in a young earth is the only way to salvation. The failure to understand Genesis is literally “undermining the entire word of God,” Ken Ham, the founder of Answers in Genesis, says in a video. The collapse of Christianity believed to result from that failure is drawn out in a series of exhibits: school shootings, gay marriage, drugs, porn and pregnant teens. At the same time, it presents biblical literalism as perfectly defensible science. A fossil shows a perch eating a herring, evidence, they claim, of animals instantaneously trapped by catastrophic events after the flood. In a video, geologists use evidence from Mount St. Helens to show how a mud flow can cut a deep canyon in a single day. “This is what I see based on science,” said Andrew Snelling, one of the many creationist geologists at the conference in July who consulted with the museum.

Feh. I've said it a million times, and I'll say it once more -- this is not science, not schmience, not even religion. This is politics; these are people with a nakedly political agenda, bamboozling superstitious morons into seriously believing that if only we accept the literal truth of the Bible (which also, incidentally, encourages killing gays, not eating shellfish, not travelling with menstruating women, not wearing synthetic fabrics, etc., etc.), we can cut down on school shootings and pregnant unwed teenagers.

As a parent, I look forward to eventually sending my kid out into the college/job market to compete with these goobers. But as an American, I worry that if these idiots keep infesting our institutions of higher learning with their petulant nonsense, we really are going to be left behind. And apparently we'll deserve it.

1 comment:

cavjam said...

we really are going to be left behind.

I don't know if this is original, but I'm going to steal it.