Just when I've been thinking, "summer is here, living is easy; maybe I shouldn't hammer religion so hard," the Creation Museum has to open its doors and make me wish I had a hammer of Biblical proportions.
Oops, bad choice of words. Because the problem with the Creation Museum — a huge one — is that it treats the Bible as gospel truth rather than manmade fables.
So if Genesis says that the Earth was created just a few thousand years ago, then dinosaurs must have co-existed with Homo sapiens, no matter what science has discovered.
This ridiculous monument to religious credulity cost $27 million. Sadly, plenty of adults will fork over $19.95 to gaze upon the Creation Museum's impressive looking (so long as you look past their idiocy) displays.
Even sadder, children are going to come along. I'm with protester Edwin Kagin, who said:
Teaching children that science supports the Bible rather than evolution "is a form of child abuse" and "terrorism" that could plunge America into a new dark age.
Absolutely. Polls show that 40% of Americans believe that God created humans in our present form less than 10,000 years ago. Every effort should be made to get that percentage a lot closer to zero. The Creation Museum is a step in the wrong direction.
The Bible was written by pre-scientific people. They were human, not divine. They had no idea that dinosaurs even existed. Nor did they know any other purported "facts" (such as the Sun goes around the Earth) that weren't part of the limited knowledge base of those times.
Hmmmmm. You'd think that a divine revelation would include some hitherto unknown accurate information about our place in the cosmos. But none ever has — whether Christian, Muslim, Judaic, Hindu, Sikh, or whatever.
That doesn't bother the true believers. Museum visitor Kim Schiffman said, "Every word in the Bible is true. The whole evolution theory to me is ridiculous."
Well, Kim, as the Evil Bible web site points out, you must endorse ritual human sacrifice, rape, murder, and slavery (to name but a few Biblical barbarities), because these are spoken of fondly in your Absolutely True Bible.
You might also take a look at the many Biblical contradictions. I guess truth can be both true and false, because the Bible often likes to swing opposite ways.
Thanks to this sneak peek at the Creation Museum, I was able to get a look at how human reason is viewed there. Given the Bible's strong tilt toward superstition and myth-making, it isn't surprising that the museum gives reason short shrift compared to God's Word.
This means that if something was written by scientific ignoramuses hundreds of years ago, and has been given a stamp of approval by almost equally ignorant religious authorities, it should be accepted uncritically even if every reasonable brain cell in your body is screaming Wrong, Wrong, Wrong!
No, I haven't been too hard on religion. The Creation Museum helped me see that. So long as children are being taught that reality is to be fled from, rather than embraced, religious fundamentalism has to be fought.
I'm mildly worried about Islamic radicals. But I'm much more concerned about the Christian crazies right here in the United States. That's who really threatens American freedoms.
Such as the right to know the truth.
I think we need a Thomas Paine museum, featuring his major works, such as THE AGE OF REASON, a brilliant text. Should be required reading in all public schools.
Posted by: Todd Chambers | May 30, 2007 at 05:47 AM
I think you meant to say that the earth goes around the sun. Otherwise, well said.
Posted by: John | May 30, 2007 at 06:11 AM
Thanks for the sneak peek.
Posted by: Ashwin | May 30, 2007 at 08:30 AM
John, what I meant to say (and not too clearly) is that the "fact" of the time was that the Sun went around the Earth. And that's what was said in the Bible (so far as I know--I'm not a big Bible scholar).
Of course, the fact was mistaken. But if the Bible was written by people with superior divine knowledge, shouldn't they have known that the Earth goes around the Sun? Or that dinosaurs existed?
I believe it was Christopher Hitchens who noted that all of the animals mentioned in the Noah's Ark fable were existent in Biblical times. It would have been a lot more convincing if some mentions of extinct animals, like a Brontosaurus, had been included.
Posted by: Brian | May 30, 2007 at 10:35 AM
I saw something about this in the NY Times and I laughed and laughed. It reminded me of the Church of Elvis in Portland.
This confabulation tells me important things: that among the fundamentalist Christists, rigor for logical consistency is not a priority; that some statements are worth $27M at the cost of dialogue; any group that would put up cute animatronic dinosaurs can't be all that bad; said dinosaurs obviously never existed.
So the gautlet is thrown: where's the Naraka Museum, with Lord Yama collecting tickets? Or the DELL World of Annwn?
What about the kasha maze or the flying sant mat ride in the "Whole Foods Meditation Pavilion"in GuruLand?
Posted by: Edward | May 30, 2007 at 10:57 AM
Google "Krishna theme park" and you'll find that an "Indian Heritage Park" is being built in Bangalore. A lot of money will be used to pay for meals for poor children.
Krishna Park has to be more fun than the Creationism museum, no?
Though I think the "Fun House of Yama" or "Asura Kingdom" would be a sweet ride.
Posted by: Ashwin | May 30, 2007 at 02:51 PM
I share your dismay about Christian crazies....but I also think that Islam crazies warrant more than mild concern.
All fanatics are nutty as fruitcakes when it gets right down to it—even science fanatics.
Posted by: Bryan | May 31, 2007 at 07:35 AM
I agree. Muslim theology is a lot 'scarier' than Christian theology to me. Fortunately, the billion or so Muslims in the world haven't banded together to act on Mohammeds words as they are written. I would like to see a world under the dominion of fundamental neo-advaitism..."OK everybody, you're IT whether you know it or not and there's nothing to be done, so go home and don't worry about it."
Posted by: Tucson Bob | May 31, 2007 at 08:58 AM
Ashwin, Brian, Tucson, Tao
Guys, let's not point fingers at any religion or spiritual path and call them with names like "crazies" or "fanatics" and so on. Remember whenever one points a finger at somebody else, one can observe that there are other three fingers pointing towards him or her self. The basic foundation of any blog and discussion form should be based on love, respect, tolerance, and forgiveness for ALL and not slandering and name calling! There are good things in every religion/ spiritual path/ way of life. It is for people to choose the good things but on the contrary they remain entangled in useless debate, name calling, establishing their superiority and so on. Tucsan I agree that you are IT but I disagree that nothing else needs to be done - it is like I know that I am hungry and I know that I have food in my mouth but I don't need to move my jaws to chew it, take it down through mt throat into my stomach to satisfy my hunger. Conceptually, I know it for sure that I am IT but I would certainly want to realize it in my consciousness or awareness. Therefore, I need to do something, I need to move my jaws, and I need to worry about every though and every action and assess if it is taking me closer or away from my potential of my self realization of my being IT.
Posted by: Paul | May 31, 2007 at 01:49 PM
Paul, that's not being IT, that's being broken.
The distinction is that you are IT in a strictly non-conceptual way, and therefore nothing need be done: no thought to take, no action to perform.
So no other to be different from, which is essentially the functional disconnect of established religions. In-group hates out-group in every case.
I could say I am in the group that name-calls, and those in the group that do not name-call are wrong headed.
So, like, tag...
Posted by: Edward | May 31, 2007 at 03:14 PM
I was being a little facetious in my comment you responded to. I should have added that a neo-advaita Creation Museum would be a little boring...nothing inside!
However, I agree with Edward's response to your comment.
Posted by: Tucson Bob | May 31, 2007 at 04:42 PM
You first wrote:
"Ashwin, Brian, Tucson, Tao"
"Guys, let's not point fingers at any religion or spiritual path and call them with names like 'crazies' or 'fanatics' and so on."
Please make note of the fact that until now, I did not make any comments under this particular posted article.... and so therefore I did not "point fingers" or call any religion or spiritual path "crazies".
Paul wrote: "The basic foundation of any blog and discussion form should be based on love, respect, tolerance, and forgiveness for ALL..."
Who says so? That's just your opinion. A discussion forum is a place where people to express their views. Sometimes those views disagree and conflict with other's views. That is just the nature of debate. You'll just have to get used to it.
Paul wrote: "There are good things in every religion/ spiritual path/ way of life."
And there are bad things as well.
Paul wrote: "It is for people to choose the good things but on the contrary they remain entangled in useless debate..."
Debate is never "useless". It is very important, even essential, that people think for themselves and debate, rather than just going along with established dogma, religious or otherwise.
Paul wrote: "I agree that you are IT but I disagree that nothing else needs to be done..."
Thats probably because you don't understand what that really means.
Paul wrote: "Conceptually, I know it for sure that I am IT but I would certainly want to realize it in my consciousness or awareness."
There is nothing to realize. You say you "know", but then you say you "want to realize". If you already know, then there is nothing to realize. And there is nothing to "realize" anyway. Do you need to "realize" that you are a man? No, of course not. There is no doubt. Similarly, if you know your self, then there is nothing left to realize. Even if you do not know yourself, there is still nothing to realize. There is nothing lacking or absent which needs to be attained (or realized).
Paul wrote: "I need to worry about every thought and every action and assess if it is taking me closer or away from my potential of my self realization..."
Thought is endless, and it is also quite irrelevant. it does n ot matter what you think. Nothing that you do is taking you "closer or away" from anything. That is just a mistaken idea that you have that is binding you. Just let go of it. There is nothing to get "closer" to. I am sure you have heard it said: "Thou Art That". There is no such "getting closer". That kind of thinking will never reach the end. There is no end, because there is no beginning. There is nothing to achieve. Life is simply happening.
Paul wrote: "...of my being IT."
There is no "IT". Your being is simply only awareness. Everything else is just a thought, an idea. Actually, even you ("I") is just an idea as well. There is nothing that needs to be done. There is nothing to know. Life is just happening. Don't try to figure it out. You will never succeed. Just let yourself be. This ever-fresh moment of your life is all there is for you. There is nothing else to achieve and nothing to realize.
Posted by: tao | June 01, 2007 at 03:23 PM
I think Tao has said very well some things that could be helpful to you.
In language we use verbal/written symbols to indicate something, in this case we have been using the pronoun, 'IT' to indicate truth, reality, god, oneness, or whatever you want to call 'IT'. But in saying 'IT', we split one into two by implying that there is a subject (you, me, I) that perceives the object, 'IT'...
This which objectivises is That which is objectivised.
That which is objectivised is This which objectivises.
There is no objectiviser, there is no thing objectivised.
Objective FUNCTIONING of whole-mind(Oneness)is conceptualised by split-mind as subject and object. In Reality, there is neither.
Posted by: Tucson Bob | June 01, 2007 at 04:27 PM
Edward, Tucson, Tao,
Thanks to you all for all the comments. Very well said.
Posted by: Paul | June 04, 2007 at 10:14 AM
You challenge the bible as human written. I challenge you that it was God written by men moved upon by God himself.
Check out William Marrion Branham a prophet sent to this these last days of Earth (we have had two world wars, and there will be a third to finish us off). This man prophesied egg shaped cars, ran by themselves back in the 1933. Smoking would have a harder time then alcohol in the days of prohibition. Diseases that would make Cancer look like a headache (Ebola is pretty close, AIDS another)
Five cases of the dead being raised. A blind man healed in India. Read about him, even if you don't agree with him, the works that followed his life testify that the God of the Bible is still God and is a live and well and seeking souls.
Hear is links for you to check out.
(On a personal note I have experienced a couple of miracles - real ones - so sorry to tell you your ideal of 40% to 0 is wrong it should be the other way- God of the Bible is alive and well - unfortunately most people who claim the bible really don't believe it anyway or their life would be different).
Posted by: | August 11, 2007 at 06:56 AM
It was out forefathers coming to America, seeking religious freedom who started this wonderful nation. When any religion becomes a states religion (including Atheism - look at China and USSR what they did) it becomes a beast, and suppresses others contrary to it.
India is doing that; Islamic Nations do it; Catholic Nations did it, and some are on the road to it again; Atheist have done it; Pagans have to.
"Well, Kim, as the Evil Bible web site points out, you must endorse ritual human sacrifice, rape, murder, and slavery (to name but a few Biblical barbarities), because these are spoken of fondly in your Absolutely True Bible."
Hmm. History is full of Human beings doing this irregardless of their religious orientation. USSR an atheistic state did this also, so much for any group being right, I guess that is what atheists do best. Once USSR fell, we found a land raped and polluted far worse then the U.S.A., that is physicial, wonder what they did to their people.
Any group without a check and balance seeks to destroy others. Atheists seek to destroy all religious people, so called christians those contrary to them, moslems the same.
Yet Christ laid his life down, and it was the religious that persecuted HIM, using an atheistic Pilate (he said what is truth - if a pagan he would of said something else), as an instrument for their deed. A true Christian (there are a few - but very very few) would do the same as Christ.
Oh by the way the bible condemns rape, human sacrifice, murder. So you must not be reading the same bible as me, unless you don't understand what you are reading.
Just remember Atheists had their chance to prove they were different by the USSR, and didn't, and just as bad. They also in particular picked on the Jew too.
Posted by: | August 11, 2007 at 07:42 AM
To the person above who did not put a name in the name box when posting. (you should so readers can easily find your comments):
Here is another atheist website that challenges a belief in God, Bible, prayer etc. Does a pretty good job:
Posted by: Tucson Bob | August 11, 2007 at 09:03 AM
A response to the un-named commenter who wrote (in quotations):
"I challenge you that it was God written by men moved upon by God himself."
Prove it. Your "God" is just an idea that you have. The absolute fact is that the Bible was written by men. Period.
"Check out William Marrion Branham a prophet..."
So what. There have been many such Bible thumpers with all sorts of various ideas over the course of Christian history.
"...even if you don't agree with him, the works that followed his life testify that the God of the Bible is still God and is a live and well and seeking souls."
His life and what he may have believed doesn't prove anything. Furthermore, if your God is eternal and the creator of all souls, then why would God need to be "alive and well and seeking souls"? Your reasoning is faulty. You are obviously merely a blind believer with no real understanding of empirical knowledge.
So fyi (from wikipedia): "In the philosophy of science, empiricism is a theory of knowledge which emphasizes those aspects of scientific knowledge that are closely related to experience, especially as formed through deliberate experimental arrangements. It is a fundamental requirement of scientific method that all hypotheses and theories must be tested against observations of the natural world, rather than resting solely on a priori reasoning, intuition, or revelation. Hence, science is considered to be methodologically empirical in nature."
"When any religion becomes a states religion (including Atheism - look at China and USSR what they did)"
That is incorect. You don't know what you are talking about. Fyi, communism is not a religion. No government or state can make people be atheists or stop them from believing in God.
"India is doing that; Islamic Nations do it; Catholic Nations did it, and some are on the road to it again; Atheist have done it; Pagans have to."
Again, that is quite incorrect. Pure bullshit in fact. You are so very ignorant. India does NOT have or enforce any state religion. Not all Moslems nations do either. Nor do nations that are predominately Catholic force people to be Catholic. And as for Pagans? Are you stupid or what? You just don't have any idea what the hell you are talking about.
"...ritual human sacrifice, rape, murder, and slavery" ... "History is full of Human beings doing this irregardless of their religious orientation. USSR an atheistic state did this also" ... "wonder what they did to their people."
Apparently you are totally unaware and ignorant of the extreme toll of suffering and death that so-called Christians have perpetrated upon millions of innocent human beings over the centuries. It far exceeds anything that Communism or Islam has ever done.
"Yet Christ laid his life down, and it was the religious that persecuted HIM ... but very very few) would do the same as Christ."
The "Christ" is but a myth. It has existed in many cultures at different times and places.
"So you must not be reading the same bible as me, unless you don't understand what you are reading."
The Bible is no validation of anything.
"Just remember Atheists had their chance to prove they were different by the USSR, and didn't"
Get your facts straight. The USSR was a communist state, NOT an atheist state. Atheists don't bother anyone. Nor do Hindus or Buddhists. It's always the Bible thumping Christians, and the Moslems, and the ashkanazi Jews who are making lots of trouble and bothering everyone. Just like you are.
Posted by: tao | August 11, 2007 at 01:26 PM
Give Tao an honorary degree in dogma debunking...Tao,Ddb.
Posted by: Tucson Bob | August 11, 2007 at 01:37 PM