I wrote recently something along the lines of “Flat Earthers and Creationists know more about science and the way the universe works than Brannon Braga.” Braga, of course, is the long-time Star Trek writer who wrote such scientific howlers as “Genesis” (in which people de-evolve into shrews and spiders, neither of which would be in the human descent) and “Treshhold” (in which infinite speed causes people to evolve into salamanders).
Then I read this article on the Creation Museum in Cincinnati, and I realize I have to revise my opinion. As scientifically stupid as “Genesis” is (and it is, no argument), nothing can compare to:
Most geologists would say humans and dinosaurs were separated by more than 60 million years.
And those dinosaurs have very sharp teeth!
“So do bears”, says Ken. “But they eat nuts and berries! Remember, before the sin of Adam, the world was perfect. All creatures were vegetarian.” One of the dinosaurs lets out a rather contradictory roar.
What. The. Fuck.
The carnivorous instinct is hard-wired into so many species that it’s absolutely impossible that every creature could have been vegetarian. More than that, it takes more food to support a vegeratarian biosphere than a carnivorous/omnivorous biosphere. It’s simply inconceivable under any scientific standard that mutli-cellular Earth life could ever have been completely non-carnivorous.
And then we have this bit on Noah’s Ark:
All those rocks were deposited by flood waters at the time of Noah.
Though the Bible does not mention them directly, Ken Ham thinks there is no reason to suppose that dinosaurs were not still around at the time of the flood.
Indeed, he speculates that two of each may have been taken aboard the Ark (newly hatched dinosaurs are quite small so fitting them in would not have been a problem).
And what about the animals from other continents? Did Noah sail to Australia to drop off the kangaroos?
No, the flood waters lubricated a process called runaway subduction in which the continents subsequently drifted apart at a sprint!
See, this is just errant nonsense. Geology proves that the continents have been in place for a long time. Geology proves that the Grand Canyon is as old as it appears to be–two billion years. Geology of the moon rocks proves that the moon is, in fact, four and a half billion years old. Light coming from distant stars proves that the universe is approximately fifteen billion years old.
The only way someone can believe in Noah’s Ark carving the Grand Canyon and moving the continents to where they currently are and dispersing all the animals as they are is to believe that god would also fake the evidence of the Earth’s age and basically lie about the nature of the universe. If the evidence for the age of the Earth, continental drift, and the age of the universe is all fake, why?
This is the creationists’ way of thinking–science lies, and we can only trust in what the Bible tells us. But ask a creationist–does the Bible say anything about modern medicine, computers, the infield-fly rule? No, but all of these things work. Aristotle had lots of wrong-headed ideas about science, too, and it took Western intellectualism sixteen hundred years to get beyond them.
Science is not an enemy. The world around you was built with science, not religion. Religion may provide a moral framework, but as a scientific construct it fails the smell-test.
Something like the Creation Museum will only fuel the anti-intellectualism and narrow-mindedness of religious fundamentalism and radicalism by teaching lies and deliberate falsehoods. In many ways the United States is the product of the Enlightenment, but now we have fallen into an anti-Enlightenment and are experiencing a stagnation of the very intellectual vigor that birthed this country.
ETA (3:00 pm): It’s been pointed out to be by a long-time reader that I wrote about the Creation Museum back in August. So I did. I thought I had, yet I couldn’t find what I’d written. No matter, though. I think the inherent lunacy of the Creation Musuem is worth writing about again and again. Call me an implacable foe of superstition. The falsehoods, the intolerance, the ignorance that something like the Creation Museum promotes need to be illuminated. The problem is not that their beliefs are misguided. The problem is that their beliefs are lies, and particularly dangerous lies. Ignorance is not bliss. Sticking one’s head in the sand does not make the world go away.