After creeping 15 miles in the level 2 snow emergency, I’m at my hotel and a little tired. But, I want to share a few “knee jerk” reactions from my experience at the “Creation Museum” and the Nye vs Ham debate today before hitting the sack.
Regarding the “Creation Museum”:
I arrived at 2:15 pm so I would have a little time to look around the main exhibit areas before they closed early at 4 pm. I ended up getting a ticket to the “Stargazer’s Planetarium” for the 3:00 pm show, which lasted 23 minutes, so my time in the museum was a bit rushed.
I have heard many good things, even from atheists, about the “presentation” of the museum. I’d agree that the fit and finish of the joint was pretty good. The animatronics were nice. The main animatronic display in the main hall, fitted with a pond, two baby T-Rex dinosaurs playing, a little girl holding a modern, domesticated carrot, and a gray squirrel did seem like a bit of a “mash-up” though. The graphic design of most of the different displays was very good as well, not to mention a stellar dragon-themed gift shop. (I almost broke down and bought a copy of their, “The Homosexual War: A Biblical View,” DVD because I wanted to find out what all the gays were REALLY up to, but I didn’t want to stand in the check-out line)
That said, I was literally AMAZED at the lack of real scientific data for a “museum.” For a good portion of the exhibits, there was quite a lack of scientific or even pseudo-scientific data. I was quite taken back really. I first walked in the main entrance, through “Dragon Hall,” which is a large hall that has several displays drawing a correlation between Bible dragons and apparently real dragons from folklore. Then, as you begin the walk through the main exhibits: “Starting Points, “Biblical Authority,” “Biblical Relevance,” “Culture in Crisis,” and more, (see link directly below for virtual tour of the museum) the place starts to just feel like a big, philosophical/theological argument based on Ham’s chosen Ancient Text. I did not feel like I was actually in a museum of any kind. I don’t think I would have even back when I would have agreed with Ken Ham on the majority of his theology either.
Trying to make you scared of “sin,” evil secular agendas, suicide, hell, and more; the first half of the museum walk is a grand appeal to emotion. I would suppose for many who acknowledge Ham’s ideologies, getting whipped up emotionally before having weighty theological ideas implanted (or merely reinforced) into a mind primed by fear, must create a strong level of conviction for those beliefs. At the end of it, there isn’t an option left to disagree with the “Creation Museum’s” literal interpretations of the Bible AND NOT be evil, secular, a follower of “Naturalism Religion,” or in danger of eventual suicide, and/or illicit drug use.
Overall, the people at the Creation Museum did a very good job of making things streamlined at check-in and everyone was very nice and smiling genuinely. Though, I’ve never seen so much armed security at a private museum in America or “K-9 Units” walking through the crowd. Regardless, I support their right to have such security, though I wouldn’t have expected it there. They could put a manned .50 caliber machine gun on a turret in the parking lot for all I care. Just keep the safety on. I wouldn’t want one of my tires shot out if the guard sneezes with his finger on the trigger. (I kid, I kid)
Some of the kindly staff moving through the crowds, keeping an eye out, did seem to be a bit on edge though. When a group of what looked to be “secular religionists” like myself were laughing and looking at a pad of paper, I heard a staff person ask himself, “What’s going on here?,” with some worry and move near them to listen in. The staff must be concerned that the atheists are going to go full-on immoral at any moment, take a page out of the first chapters of Genesis, strip themselves bare, and run around naked…
I’ll keep this short, as I’ll write more later. Also, you can watch the debate for yourself at the link below.
I feel the most important thing to note from both Nye and Ham, came in the Q & A at the end. They were both asked, “What evidence would it take to change your mind.” (paraphrased)
Ham did not allow that ANY evidence whatsoever could changed his mind from the literal interpretation he has of the Bible and his personal revelations from God. He might deviate on some nuances about the details to a degree, but apparently not the basic “truth” of the Genesis account of creation, the Ark/Flood account, etc. He is a resolute and unchangeable no matter the “evidence.”
Nye had a ready list of potential evidence and data, which if they could be presented, would change his mind on important scientific items of note immediately.
All other things aside for now, I’ll assert that Bill Nye came out ahead in the “intellectual honesty” aspect of the debate. More to come!