What is the expected reaction of a rational, science-literate person who visits the Creation Museum? We’re talking, of course, about the Genesis-oriented place run by Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page.
The normally expected reactions would range from amusement, disbelief, shock, disgust, revulsion, or some combination thereof. A typical example was recently published in Scientific American, which you can see here: A Science Teacher Draws the Line at Creation. The author, Jacob Tanenbaum, who teaches fourth and fifth grade science, writes:
What disturbed me most about my time spent at the museum was the theme, repeated from one exhibit to the next, that the differences between biblical literalists and mainstream scientists are minor. They are not minor; they are poles apart. This is not to say that science and religion are incompatible; many scientists believe in some kind of higher power, and many religious people accept the idea of evolution. Still, a literal interpretation of Genesis cannot be reconciled with modern science.
As you can imagine, ol’ Hambo is red-faced, foaming-at-the-mouth, and sputtering mad about that. He and a few others have written Responding to the False Claims of a Scientific American Columnist. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
AiG’s Creation Museum is being challenged once again by the secularists, this time in the renowned magazine Scientific American. … Unsurprisingly, Mr. Tanenbaum’s “facts” about our exhibits aren’t exactly accurate.
Curious, aren’t you? Okay, let’s read on:
For instance, Tanenbaum claims that we teach, regarding the global Flood, that “Noah saved all animal species that we see today from the Flood.” This is a common equivocation that evolutionists make in regard to the animals on Noah’s Ark. As we clearly teach in the Creation Museum, Noah didn’t take representatives of every species of animal we see today — he took representatives of every “kind” of land animal (which is usually at the “family” level of classification).
Yes, and after the Ark came to rest only around four thousand years ago, those few “kinds” underwent an incredible, lighting-fast burst of — gasp! — evolution into the millions of different species we see today. They swiftly populated all the continents. Kangaroos hopped all the way to Australia (leaving no ancestral “kinds” along the way), and sloths swung through the trees from Mt. Ararat to South America. Hambo continues:
[Tanenbaum] claims, “Creationists begin with answers and work to prove that those answer are right. . . . Scientists who formed the idea of human evolution did not invent the idea and go looking for fossils.”
Quite so. But Hambo disagrees. He says:
[We] have an eyewitness account of the origin of the world — the Word of God Himself, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. We don’t have to rely on man’s ideas of how the world may have come to be, because the Bible tells us plainly how the universe and everything in it was created.
We’ve discussed that “eyewitness” claim in The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Creation Science, where we said:
Creationists claim that their evidence — scripture — is God’s uncontrovertible eye-witness testimony, which is far more reliable than the natural scientists’ unprovable assumptions about how things were in the unseen and unreproducible past. But there’s one little problem with that — the creationists don’t have the actual testimony of their eyewitness. What they’ve got is hearsay — the ancient writings of mere men who claim to have recorded God’s testimony.
Back to Hambo:
Tanenbaum also makes the same mistake that TV host Bill Nye made last year in widely watched YouTube videos and on TV interviews: he confuses historical science with observational science.
We won’t bother with that again. If you’re not familiar with the issue, see The Lessons of Tiktaalik. Moving along:
Tanenbaum ends the article stating that “if students do not understand how science works, we can destroy our country’s future or even threaten our existence on this old Earth.” Again, a student’s beliefs about the past (historical science) generally have little bearing on the experiments they perform in the classroom (observational science). Imagine what would happen if students actually applied a belief that everything came about by random chance over eons of time to a chemistry experiment. They might just throw the chemicals together, leave the classroom, and not return!
That’s definitely not worth a response, and that’s where we’re ending this thing. As always, dear reader, the choice is yours: Who ya gonna believe –Ken Ham or Scientific American?
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