Top Leaderboard, Site wide
Shop the Truthdig Gift Guide 2014
December 21, 2014
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Sign up for Truthdig's Email NewsletterLike Truthdig on FacebookFollow Truthdig on TwitterSubscribe to Truthdig's RSS Feed

Get Truthdig's headlines in your inbox!


Loss of Rainforests Is Double Whammy Threat to Climate






Truthdig Bazaar
Intellectuals and Society

Intellectuals and Society

By Thomas Sowell
$19.77

more items

 
Report

A World Where Lies Are True

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share

Posted on Mar 26, 2007
museum
AP Photo / Ed Reinke

An exhibit depicting two archeologists coming to very different conclusions while unearthing the same skeleton is part of the Creation Museum, now under construction near Petersburg, Ky.  Ken Ham’s $25-million facility will argue that God created the Earth and its inhabitants just a few thousand years ago—never mind what modern science says.

By Chris Hedges

“Before they seize power and establish a world according to their doctrines, totalitarian movements conjure up a lying world of consistency which is more adequate to the needs of the human mind than reality itself; in which, through sheer imagination, uprooted masses can feel at home and are spared the never-ending shocks which real life and real experiences deal to human beings and their expectations.  The force possessed by totalitarian propaganda—before the movements have the power to drop iron curtains to prevent anyone’s disturbing, by the slightest reality, the gruesome quiet of an entirely imaginary world—lies in its ability to shut the masses off from the real world.”

                        —Hannah Arendt, “The Origins of Totalitarianism”

In the middle of the lobby of the 50,000-square-foot Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., a 20-foot waterfall tumbles. Two life-size figures of children with long black hair and in buckskin clothes play in the stream a few feet from two towering Tyrannosaurus Rex models that can move and roar. The museum, which cost $25 million to build and has a sea of black asphalt parking lots for school buses, has a scale model of Noah’s ark that shows how Noah solved the problem of fitting dinosaurs into the three levels of the vessel—he loaded only baby dinosaurs.  And on the wooden model, infant dinosaurs cavort with horses, giraffes, hippopotamuses, penguins and bears.  There is an elaborate display of the Garden of Eden, where Adam and Eve, naked but strategically positioned so as not to display breasts or genitals, swim in a river as giant dinosaurs and lizards roam the banks. 

Before Adam and Eve were expelled from paradise, museum visitors are told, all of the dinosaurs were peaceable plant-eaters.  The evidence is found in Genesis 1:30, where God gives “green herb” to every creature to eat.  There were no predators.  T-Rex had such big teeth, the museum explains, so it could open coconuts.  Only after Adam and Eve sinned and were cast out of paradise did the dinosaurs start to eat flesh.  And Adam’s sin is a key component of the belief system, for in the eyes of many creationists, in order for Jesus’ death to be meaningful it had to atone for Adam’s first sin. 

The museum has a theater equipped with seats that shake and gadgets that spray mist at the audience as the story of God’s six-day creation of the world unfolds on the screen and the sound system rocks the auditorium.  There are 30-foot-high walls that represent the cliffs of the Grand Canyon, floors that resemble rocks embedded with fossils, and rooms where a “Christian” paleontologist counters the claims of an “evolutionist” paleontologist.  It has the appearance of a real science museum, complete with a planetarium, a gift shop and plaques on the wall with quotes from creationist “scientists” who have the title doctor conspicuously before their names.  It has charts, timelines and graphs with facts and figures.  It is meant to be interactive, to create, like Universal Studios, a contrived reality with an array of costly animatronic men and women as well as moving dinosaurs. 

Advertisement

Square, Site wide
The danger of creationism is that, like the pseudo-science of Nazi eugenics, it allows facts to be accepted or discarded according to the dictates of a preordained ideology.  Creationism removes the follower from the rational, reality-based world.  Signs, miracles and wonders occur not only in the daily life of Christians but in history, science, medicine and logic.  The belief system becomes the basis to understand the world.  Random facts and data are collected and made to fit into this belief system or discarded.  When facts are treated as if they were opinions, when there is no universal standard to determine truth, in law, in science, in scholarship, or in the reporting of the events of the day, the world becomes a place where people can believe what they want to believe, where there is no possibility of reaching any conclusion not predetermined by those who interpret the official, divinely inspired text.  This is the goal of creationists.

Other creationist museums are going up in Arkansas, Texas, California, Tennessee and Florida.  Museums are part of a massive push to teach creationism in schools, part of a vast Christian publishing and filmmaking industry that seeks to rewrite the past and make it conform to the Bible.  The front lines of the culture wars are the classrooms.  The battle is one we are slowly losing.  Twenty states are considering changing the way evolution is taught in order to include creationism or intelligent design.1  Only 13 percent of Americans in a 2004 Gallup poll, when asked for their views on human origins, said life arose from the strictly natural process of evolution.  More than 38 percent said they believed God guided evolution, and 45 percent said the Genesis account of creation was a true story.2  Courses on intelligent design have been taught at Minnesota, Georgia, New Mexico and Iowa State universities, along with Wake Forest and Carnegie Mellon*, not to mention Christian universities that teach all science through the prism of the Bible. 

The museum is an illustration of the movement’s marriage of primitive and intolerant beliefs with the modern tools of technology, mass communication, sophisticated fundraising and political organization.  Totalitarian systems usually start as propagandistic movements that ostensibly teach people to “believe what they want.”  This is a ruse.  This primacy of personal opinion, regardless of facts, destabilizes and destroys the primacy of all facts.  This process leads inevitably to the big lie.  Facts are useful only if they bolster the message. The use of mass-marketing techniques to persuade and convince, rather than brainwash, has led tens of millions of followers to accept the toxic totalitarian line by tricking them into believing it’s their own.  Ironically, at the outset the movement seemingly encourages people to think “independently” or “courageously.” 

At first all have, in the totalitarian belief system, a right to an opinion, or, in short, a right to believe anything.  Soon, under the iron control of an empowered totalitarian movement, facts become worthless, kept or discarded according to an ideological litmus test.  And once these movements achieve power, facts are ruthlessly manipulated or kept hidden to support the lie.  Creationism is not about offering an alternative.  Its goal is the destruction of the core values of the open society—the ability to think for oneself, to draw independent conclusions, to express dissent when judgment and common sense tell you something is wrong, to be self-critical, to challenge authority, to advocate for change and to accept that there are other views, different ways of being, that are morally and socially acceptable.  We are beginning to see the growing intolerance that comes with the empowerment of these ideologues. There is a bill in the Texas Legislature to strip all mention of evolution from Texas school textbooks and institute mandatory Bible classes for all students.  This is just the start.

And yet, coming from the modern age, these Christo-fascists cannot discount science.  They employ jargon, methods and data that appear to be science, to make an argument for creationism.  They have created parallel research and scholarly institutions.  They pump out articles in self-published journals to provide “evidence” that homosexuals can be cured, that global warming is a myth, that abortion can cause breast cancer, that something they call “post-abortion syndrome” leads to deep depression and suicide and that abstinence-only education is an effective form of birth control.  This pseudo-science has seeped into the public debate.  It is disseminated by nervous and timid media anxious to give both sides in every argument.  Those who have contempt for facts and truth, for honest research and inquiry, are given the same platform by the press as those who deal in a world of reality, fact and rationality. 

The movement desperately needs the imprint of science to legitimize itself.  It achieves this imprint by discrediting real science and claiming creationist science as true science.  All attempts to argue the creationists out of their mythical belief, to persuade them with logic, evidence, scientific inquiry and fact, will fail.  They have created a “fundamentalist science.”  They know they cannot return to the pre-Darwinian innocence that let them believe the Bible alone was enough.  They need, in the midst of their flight from reality, to reassure their followers that science, science not contaminated by secular humanists and nonbelievers, is on their side.  In this they are a distinctly modern movement.  They seek the imprint of science and scholarship to legitimize myth.  This is a characteristic they share with all modern totalitarian movements, which co-opt the disciplines of law, science, medicine and scholarship to give a modern veneer to their primitive and superstitious belief systems, systems that allow the rulers to dictate reality and truth.  The “paraprofessional” organizations formed by the Christian right, organizations of teachers, journalists, doctors, lawyers and scientists, mimic the activities of real professional groups.  They seek to challenge the legitimacy and the power of the traditional organizations.  The duplication of the structures and methods employed by the non-totalitarian world, the use of pseudo-science to dress up fantasy, is slowly undermining our legitimate scientific and educational institutions.  It is destroying the foundations of our open society.  It is ushering us into a world where lies are true.

* Correction: A representative of Carnegie Mellon University states “Carnegie Mellon University does not teach a course on intelligent design. The contemporary issue of intelligent design is sometimes raised in discourse in courses such as Christianity and Science: A Multidisciplinary Approach. This fulfills an elective in the religious studies minor.”

1 Scott LaFee, “Local scientists, doctors and professors talk about ‘intelligent design,’ ” The San Diego Union-Tribune, F-1, June 8, 2005.

2 Frank Newport, “Third of Americans Say Evidence Has Supported Darwin’s Evolution Theory,” The Gallup Poll, Nov. 19, 2004, http://poll.gallup.com/content/default.aspx?ci=14107&pg=1.


New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

By Kellina - part V, March 26, 2007 at 5:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Even if you could prove that God exists in some form, where is the proof that “he” has anointed any particular humans to be his representatives, and why are virtually all of those humans male? It’s an unfortunate fact that some people need approval from a supposed “higher authority” to run their lives, and usually that authority is in the form of a father-like god or earthly representative; this human failing is exploited to the hilt by lecherous, greedy churches. I agree with Martin Noble when he wrote the following in a piece for the NSS (National Secular Society [of England]): “The power of authoritarian organizations lies in the usurping of individuals’ right to choose what to believe, offering them instead the comfort of a parent taking responsibility for them in exchange for slavish obedience whilst offering the threat of punishment for transgression, the withdrawal of that parental love and worse eternity in hell. No wonder then that ridicule has little effect.” 

In this country, churches pay no taxes and their books are not scrutinized; they perform precious little charity work and even that is usually just for their own members. It is now relatively easy to become a reverend or minister and then set up shop to collect others’ money, all out of view of the government, which is in fact subsidizing prejudice and subversion of civil liberties (you can also obtain a divinity doctorate on the internet for $30; I guess every bit helps with the con).  The fact that some people take time out of their life to travel to listen to these “representatives of God” lecture them about their lives (and then pay them for the privilege) is absurd. Why pay a supposedly celibate priest to lecture you about your sex life, for example, or to tell you that women should be not “liberated?” (I’ve heard both.) No thanks. I’ll make up my own mind. And what about the scandalous practice of faith healing; it really does take religion to make a human stoop so low as to prey on the sick and needy, offering them false hope of a cure, and as usual it comes with a price tag.  I also resent the tax breaks going to pay for all these delusions when the same money could instead support research to improve the human condition, protect the environment, and make human life on earth more bearable.

What was truly devastating to me, the veritable nail on the coffin, was reading the history and sheer extent of the abuse of power by the Church. The Church slayed competing sects (e.g., The Cathars in France), destroyed or repressed any literature that contradicted the Church’s position or revealed their fraud, insisted on holding all masses in Latin so that people couldn’t understand the ritual, accused people of heresy just to steal their property, accused women of being “witches” when they turned down sexual advances by priests, in one case, killing an entire church full of women, many of whom were still nursing their babies, who then vainly clung on to the breasts of their dead mothers, screaming in horror. This work is covered in the Ellerbe book, so I won’t go into any more detail; suffice it to say that such abuse makes Hitler and Saddam Hussein look like patron saints in comparison.

Had enough?

Here are some excellent authors to check out, if you are open-minded: Dan Barker (Losing faith in faith), Sam Harris (The end of faith), Helen Ellerbe (Dark side of Christianity), and Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion). Please embrace logic, reason, and solid evidence rather than blind faith when attempting to understand the mindset of a freethinker.

Report this

By TJ, March 26, 2007 at 4:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

For a parallel on how this may play out over time in the United States, one should consider the disastrous effects that communist “science” had on the society and the economy of the old Soviet Union; “Science” based on its adherence to Marxist principles rather than the scientific method.

Report this

By Kol Klink, March 26, 2007 at 4:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As times grow harder for the ordinary people of the world churches and bars prosper.

The Muslims are so devout in their faith because the desert is a very tough place to make a life. The thought of a better after life with fountains of water, gardens, and plenty of fresh fruit is a glorious thought to cling to. To be martyred and go directly to this heaven is much better than the living hell of thirst and starvation that the desert offers.

Times are getting difficult in America and the majority remain ignorant of the reasons, so in desperation they turn to religion. After all, religion only requires faith, not thought, and so the NFL games are not ruled out. The minority of Americans that are aware of why times are getting harder in go to a bar…not all, but enough to notice an increase in the bottom line of a well run bar.

Soon the evangelicals will want to try prohibition again. Stock up on your favorite brand and hope to ride out the ‘new’ prohibition or find yourself a reliable bootlegger. One might even consider the profession of bootlegger as an employment opportunity that will be difficult to outsource.

Report this

By enemy of the people, March 26, 2007 at 3:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

These people are just flat-out (or is that flat-earth?) crazy. I mean they have some kind of mental illness and should be institutionalized.

Can anyone imagine the insanity that compells these sad people to spend Twenty Million dollars to build a museum to NOTHING?

I am not particularly concerned they will come after me next, small frog - large pond and all, but if they do…

Report this

By Lord Byron, March 26, 2007 at 3:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

My “lord”, DJ Johnson. You are one deluded, lost puppy. Who brainwashed you? School? Local parish? Family? The bible itself? A “good friend” showed you the light?

“We are created in the image of God.”  And who’s God are you referring to? Certainly can’t be my “god.”  I love how a religious person can presume to speak for me by proclaiming “we are created in the image of God.”  I do believe in truth, Mr. DJ. But my quest for truth has never led me down the path of a becoming a “true believer” like yourself. I was taught early to question authority and come to my own conclusions. From the evidence presented to me, I see scan’t reason to believe in some holy creator or “god.”  Jesus is not my creator and he doesn’t speak for me. And, sorry, but we don’t live in a “perfectly organized world.”  If that were true, humanity would not have purposely contributed to the extinction of numerous animal species and predicate that extinction with the notion that humans are “superior” to “nature” itself. “Our perfectly organized world” is rapidly becoming unsuitable for human habitation, let alone the hundreds of animals dying as a result of human made and human caused pollution of the earth’s eco-system.
“Liberalism is the fascism of our day?”  What are you smoking? I’d like some but since I want to retain a few marbles I will allow you to continue to indulge in the stupidity of your thinking.

Liberalism: c : a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties.

I’m not sure about the “essential goodness” of the human race but I do stand for protection of political and civil liberties. I do support your right to free speech, Mr. Johnson. But I don’t support your mixing of state and religion, in particular when living in a country who’s constitution reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

Your thoughts and opinions concerning the nature of life and the universe are best to serve you and no one else. The doctrine of separation of church and state while not expressly written in the constitution are definitely alluded to by the First Amendment.

For those of us who respect the advent of science and the continued intellectual development of the human brain, we find solace in recognizing our own limitations. The use of “God” had justified many a horrific human act and it is time we jettison such a childish and simplistic notion when trying to make sense of a competitive and cruel world.

“Elmer Gantry was drunk… And we shall yet make these United States a moral nation.”

My, my….as true today as when it was written…

Comment #60480 by DJ Johnson on 3/26 at 9:14 am

Without God there is no justice.  We are created in the image of God and we have a soul that will not die.  Where we choose to spend eternity is up to us. As for me, I prefer to spend eternity with Jesus. You all can believe you came from apes, but I believe God gave us the intelligence to know the truth.  All we have to do is look around.  How can anyone say this perfectly organized world is just happenstance?  Liberalism is the fascism of our day. The philosophy….shut up anything that goes against secular humanism.  Hitler would be proud.

Report this

By tyler, March 26, 2007 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think it is fine to believe in God, but it seems like there a lot of christians that might ‘lack faith’, and thus feel the need to justify to themselves their own beliefs by proving biblical stories as scientific fact.

Everyone who has SERIOUSLY studied the bible knows that it is filled with inconsistencies and contradictions, both chronologically and factually.  The fact that there are missing books, or volumes, from the bible that are even mentioned in the bible, is one of many evidences of that.

My question is, regardless of science or theory, how is knowing the timeline of the earth’s life in any way pertinant to one’s salvation?  If I believe in following the ‘Word of God’ as outlined in the bible, if I love my fellow man, do not judge, live an honest life, how does the age of the earth, or knowledge thereof, affect how i will be judged by God?

Its safe to say that if there is an omnipitent, all knowing, supreme being, his or her mind probably operates on an unfathomably higher level then ours.  So why do we concern ourselves with trying to figure God out?  Where is the faith in that?  The bible is meant to illustrate through stories and parables the basic morals and ethics that we should follow to become good people.  The Koran serves the same purpose.

Its only when people try to explain the bible scientifically, or chronologically, that confusion and tension surfaces.

If a God created this earth, then that God would surely understand EVERYTHING concerning the processes of life, making God the ultimate scientist!

I believe in a God, the God of Abraham (same God as all christians, jews, and muslims), and I personally feel that one of the greatest gifts God has given us are our brains.  Remember it wasn’t all that long ago when people (the church included) believed the earth was flat, or that the earth, then the sun, was the center of the universe.  I don’t think that scientific growth and discovery debunks God, or God’s existence.  It only debunks some people’s own interpretations of how God works. The bible is not a science manual, and was never meant to be, and we as mortal beings will NEVER be able to fully understand, or comprehend, all of the countless intricasies of God’s work.  That is the reason that the principle of faith exists!

Just as there was backlash and outrage when brilliant minds like davinci proved common knowledge of their day false, so scientists today are dealing with that same backlash and outrage.  At least today there are laws in place that keep scientists from being imprisoned for years until the rest of the humans catch up. (knock on wood)

Report this

By Michael Boldin, March 26, 2007 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I know this might sound strange to many people, but THIS is exactly the reason why I strongly believe that government should stay out of schools altogether.

Not taking either side of the issue here.  Why?  Because that’s not the problem.  When we give government the power to dictate to us what will be taught in schools, we give them the power to teach YOUR children something YOU don’t want them taught.

That goes for people who believe in creationism, and people who do not.  No matter what side you’re on, government involvement in our schooling is bad for you and your kids….

Politians have always wanted to use the schools to mold minds in the way that will help fulfill their aspirations of greater power.

Sure, we might find one or two that will use this power in a good way, but more often than not, we come across politicians who abuse power.

Make the schools a local, community affair. That’s enough rambling for me.  Here’s a good article on the subject:

Free the Schools!

Report this

By Ga, March 26, 2007 at 3:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Oh great!

Yet another article about Christianists trying to re-write and to control history and science as it is taught and talked about in this country.

Yet another 300+ comment thread as the debate between atheists, humanists and religionists goes on.

Will the debate never end? Probably not.

Here are just a few items for the religionists here:

1. The King James (and other modern English versions of) Bible cannot be the literal “Word of God” because it has been translated and re-written many times by humans with a direct intent to interpret it. This is a FACT that so many self-called Christians refuse to acknowledge.

3. The Bible is full of inconsistencies, full of torture, hate and death in various ways; endorses stoning, slavery and other terrible things. Yes there are beautiful things as well, but one cannot ignore the terrible nor call the Bible a good book to make laws by.

4. There are many Books of the Bible that have been left out of the modern versions. Ever hear from Adam’s other wife? Thought not.

5. Evolution is not about nor has ever claimed such silly things like “man descended from apes.” Evolution is about mutation and heredity. “Survival of the fittest” does not mean survival of the most “physically fit” as one thinks of a body builder or a super model, but means “most able to fit in with one’s environment.” Evolution has been widely proven. That is proven. As in proven by evidence.

I could go on.

The thing is, is that too many “Christians” ARE NOT EDUCATED because you live your lives “with just your faith to guide you” and you do not learn science, history, philosophy, etc.

Too many “Christians” live with a “faith” that they have been taught to believe at a very early age by an authority—a Church, although created by Men, that has as its basic rule and foundation a command of “Believe us for we are the absolute word of God.” How convenient!

How convenient that the Church tells you that we have dominion over all the earth and that they, the Church and their Books, are to be believed absolutely and that you need no ever believe (or learn) anything else as long as you simply “believe!”

I find Jesus—whom I believe in as I think that there is evidence of his existence—to be a truly great man. He may be the Son of God, but there is no evidence of that. The Bible is not evidence. A Church saying that He exists is not evidence.

But I beleive in Jesus’ teachings! Which is just like Buddha’s teachings! Which you would know if you were educated!

But one must believe, or at least one must allow it to be taught and considered, in evolution and in science itself! If one does not one creates a society of stagnation where invention stops. No more advancement at all!

That is why I am against “Christianity” as a religion that want to control what people read, see and hear.

Report this

By John P, March 26, 2007 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

These creeps are selling snake oil and they do so with out paying taxes! ?

1) Snake oil sales is no longer acceptable in the North. We call it fraud.
2) They should pay taxes but after they have cleaned up their act of course.

Absolutly amazing.  $25M?? Very scary too.

Report this

By Dr. Richard Blackmoor, March 26, 2007 at 2:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am always amazed at those who reject Darwin without reading him.  It is a misnomer to say that Darwin said we came from apes.
  Darwinism states that apes and man came from a common ancestor. Big difference.
  Science has given us our entire modern way of life. The way scientific knowledge is used has sometimes been destructive but there is no doubt we could not have the large population and standard of living without science.
  It is sad to me that few Americans even understand the scientific method, yet they know so much about celebrity gossip.
  Few “born again” christians I have met know the bible as well as I do.
  I read it and went to church and find nothing of value.  I certainly respect the rights of others to believe as they choose ,unlike the Fundies do. Re; gay folk
  Religion is evil when it is forced on people and replaces rational thought entirely.

Report this

By Enemy Combatant, March 26, 2007 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“T-Rex had such big teeth, the museum explains, so it could open coconuts.”

A long, long time ago when The Earth was very, very flat, a kid in red threads happened upon a happily grazing dinosour.

“My oh my, Mistah Rex, what big teeth you have!”

“All the better to crack coconuts with, my dear.”

Report this

By Hairybear, March 26, 2007 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wilderness Voice,
You are wasting your time.  People like DJ aren’t interested in the truth because they think they have the truth already.  Of course evolution is not happenstance.  But the literalists need to create a cartoon version of evolution to keep thier fundamentalist worldview from collapsing.  It is much easier to say evolution = atheism = Satan than to deal with the reality that much of what you have believed may be wrong.  Some just cannot deal with the uncertainty of not having a set of propositional truths to hang unto.

Report this

By Gordon S, March 26, 2007 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why weren’t all the animals turned into carnivores because of Adam’s and Eve’s sin? Was becoming a carnivore a reward or a punishment for the animals. And why did the animals get punished at all? Collective punishment seems unnecessary for am omnipotent God.

I actually believe in God, but all this creationist nonsense is an insult to the astounding size, majesty and energy of his universe, within which we are but a relative flyspeck. How do I know this about God? I don’t, but I can appreciate all of creation though science, and I have faith in the unknowable.

Report this

By Fred, March 26, 2007 at 2:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“They pump out articles in self-published journals to provide “evidence” that homosexuals can be cured, that global warming is a myth, that abortion can cause breast cancer, that something they call “post-abortion syndrome” leads to deep depression and suicide and that abstinence-only education is an effective form of birth control.”

Although Creationism is nonsense, there may be some truth in these claims.  How about providing research on these? Or, if you already have, provide URLs.

Report this

By Margaret Currey, March 26, 2007 at 1:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When the creation people say this earth is only thousands of years old, how come there is so much oil in the ground, it took many billions of years to make all the oil that has as yet to be uncovered.

Of course the Ark did not have dinasors because they had all died out by the time that man was on the scene.

There were many animals that lived and died before the civilization that was the middle east existed.

Man was complete in mind and body long before Noah. 

But the fact is somecreated this universe and it did not happen by accident.

Margaret from Vancouver, Washington

Report this

By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, March 26, 2007 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The thing to do, since it would be basically harmless, would be to stop arguing with those people, let them believe what they want, and they’ll eventually go away.  After all, if the consitiution does its job, there’s nothing to fear from creationists.  If a school system totally funds itself locally and the taxpayers want to teach the Bible in their schools, fine.  Whaddayou care?  The discourse, the dialogue has to move on to more important issues, like, finding the best wrinkle cream or litter box filler.

Report this

By Ted Smith, March 26, 2007 at 1:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris is completely on target with this issue.  What needs to be done is to find a way to confront televangelists, publishers, museums, etc. that are promoting these “ideas as science” and accuse them, at the very least, of perpetrating a fraud on the public.  They must be confronted, in a court of law, if possible & made to defend themselves so that their misinformation can be exposed.

Report this

By Bert, March 26, 2007 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Speaking as a heathen-american, I’m in favor of frequent public audits and reports on the activities of any religious institutions that are allowed to hold their business in our country, and especially any that get government funding of any kind.

Report this

By Kaneh bosm, March 26, 2007 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Small wonder the religious right loves the bush regime so much.  The poor and disposed that are being spit out of society due to the bush doctrine are lost and easy prey for the fascist christian extremists.

Report this

By Mike Bendzela, March 26, 2007 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One thing I’ve always wondered about:

WHO shoveled all that manure for the several months that Noah’s Ark was afloat, and HOW?

Report this

By a voice from the wilderness, March 26, 2007 at 12:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To DJ,

“God gave us the intelligence to know the truth…”  DJ, DJ, DJ, do you listen to what you’re saying???? 

Evolution is NOT “just happenstance.”  Evolution is a fact.  It’s a complex process by which those minute changes that advance the chances of survival in a changing world are passed on, while those that don’t are extinguished over time—hundreds of billions of generations.  Evolution explains why scientists are able to devise vaccines and antibiotics to fight diseases, and why the little buggers, those bacteria and virsus, are able to develop resistence to the drugs.  It explains why there are different breeds of cats, dogs, cattle, chickens, etc. and why people can “improve” those breeds by selective mating.  It also explains why so many golden retrievers and German shepherds have hip problems and why so many dalmations are deaf. We didn’t all come from apes, as creationists are so fond of saying.  We have a common ancestor, somewhere way back in our evolutionary past—an ancestor that was neither ape, nor human.

Since the existence (or lack thereof) of an afterlife is a matter of faith and not something that can be proven, I would posit that we live on in the memories of those whose lives we touch.  Those who try to live by the teachings of Jesus and others who were similarly wise, leave the world a better place and leave behind happy memories.  Those who ignore the wisdom of the ages and live lives of taking rather than giving, leave only pain behind, regardless of whether they may claim a deathbed conversion.

If God is the only source of judgement, then how is it that so many of those who preach the loudest about the need for “being saved” are those who cannot in any way be said to live Christ-like lives and who are so very free with their judgement of others? 

You see, DJ, you and I are different in that I don’t fear science, and I don’t fear those who may be different from me.  I know that there are universal standards that have proven themselves through time to help people get along peaceably.  We don’t all have to agree, but we are commanded to respect each other.  And that’s far more important than whether the earth is 6,000 years or 6 billion years old.

Report this

By Beau H. McLendon, March 26, 2007 at 11:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Christian movement is not without agenda. You can make clear comparisons, as everything is drawn from comparison, in relation to Christian and Secular movements. The Christian right imposes its self-contradictory doctrine not for the benefit of the people, but for control by gradual misrepresentation of fact and delusion. Then you have secular movements that seek to embrace a quality of life; an open discussion of life as opposed to dictating inane ways of life. It’s very clear that the Christian right gives something to the people, but what it asks for in return is subordination, thus control. The second you’re told not to think and to immediately believe in something written thousands of years ago is that same second in which you must think for yourself, authenticate yourself. Nobody is saying that one cannot have a religion, but everyone knows that religious belief is in direct opposition to education, science, and politics. Now if it is in a conflict with these prominent subjects, then there needs to be a mass realization that belief in something does not constitute a better life, but in fact a restriction of life. Where there are restrictions that hinder social welfare and science, isn’t it obvious what the problem is?

Report this

By stinkeye, March 26, 2007 at 11:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When you’re with the Flintstones
you’ll have a yabba dabba doo time.
A dabba doo time.
You’ll have a gay old time…uh, oh

Report this

By InsideOut, March 26, 2007 at 11:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

That this rate the totalitarian movements will soon have their own pool of suicide bombers.

Report this

By a voice from the wilderness, March 26, 2007 at 11:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris,
Clearly facts don’t sway the religionists who believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible.  Their favorite retort goes something along the lines of “Well, I have faith and you don’t.”  Logic doesn’t move them, likewise rational thought. Their minds are made up, so how can we communicate with people who think like that?  It would be fairly easy just to ignore them, but they’re a growing percentage of the population—and many of them have opted out of the institutions that historically taught rational, critical thought, prefering home schooling so they can “educate” their children.  Yet they can and do vote!

To Kellina (comment #60425),
The belief in a literal understanding of the Bible is really recent (early 20th century) in the history of Christianity.  I won’t speak for Chris, and I certainly agree that religious institutions have caused far more than their fair share of havoc.  But those don’t negate the value of the TEACHINGS of Jesus.  They still have value, even minus all the mind-bending things like a physical resurrection and the miracles the church has ascribed to him.  It’s easy to say the words, “I accept Jesus as my personal savior.”  Too many people see them as a get-out-of-jail-free card.  What’s far more important, and far more difficult is to live the teachings—caring for the poor, loving our neighbors (to say nothing of our enemies), resisting the temptation to judge, and so on.

I like to tell my so-called Christian friends that if Jesus did come back, he’d be really pissed at the mess we’ve made of things in his name! 

The more I know about science, about the vastness of the universe and the marvelous diversity of life here earth, regardless of where else it may exist, the more in awe I become at the wonder of it all.

Report this

By Mooser, March 26, 2007 at 11:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I would suggest the true believers use only medical treatments which are developed out of creation science. If evolution is a lie, the scientific medicine which aknowledges and uses evolution must be giving false results.

Report this

By Milton, March 26, 2007 at 11:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is freakin’ hysterical.  Ma! Pa! Grab the kids and the dog!  We’re all headin’ off to Creation Land!!

These evangelical christianists are a scream!  I mean, I just can’t help busting out laughing right in their faces at every opportunity.

Better than The 3 Stooges!

Report this

By David Flannery, March 26, 2007 at 10:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How does the old saying go:::::

Be afraid be very afraid….......

Religious nut cases of all strips are the most dangerous threat the human race has ever faced…..

Report this

By Broiler, March 26, 2007 at 10:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“totalitarian movements conjure up a lying world of consistency which is more adequate to the needs of the human mind than reality itself”
-Hannah Arendt

Thank you Hannah and Chris.
This partial quote sums up the Bush administration
for me. Whatever you have to make up to provide
the justification for your actions is fine. Much easier
for the brainwashed to believe that mysterious
middle-eastern terrorists destroyed the twin
towers than to believe our own government did so.

How is it possible that the only people in the
US that don’t believe in a “god” and don’t hold
to any religious (or humanist) code of ethics
are the public servants, the Bush administration
being first and foremost among those non-believers?
The great majority are kept helpless by the fantasy
of the “final judgement”. Don’t wake from your
slumber folks, enjoy the comfort of “The Matrix”.

“Guardian of the Emerald City Gates: The wizard?
But nobody can see the great Oz, nobody’s ever
seen the great Oz… even I’ve never seen him!

Dorothy: Well then, how do you know there is one?”

- The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Report this

By michael, March 26, 2007 at 10:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear Dj
 
No one I know says you cannot say or believe what you want to.  Just dont teach it as science and dont try to use public schools to cram your belief down other peoples throats

Report this

By Garry Minor, March 26, 2007 at 10:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In 1936 Sula Benet, a Polish Anthropologist discovered that in the original Hebrew of the Old Testament the word “kaneh bosm” had been translated by the Greeks in the 3rd century BC as calamus or fragrant cane. Benet contended “kaneh bosm” was cannabis. In 1980 the Hebrew Institute of Jerusalem confirmed “kaneh bosm” was indeed cannabis.
In Exodus 30:23, God instructs Moses to use 250 shekels of “kaneh bosm” in the oil used to anoint all Kings, Priests, and Prophets, for all generations, including Jesus. The title Christ means literally “anointed”. Kaneh is also listed as an incense tree in Song of Songs 4:14. The error was repeated in Isaiah 43:24, Jeremiah 6:20, and Ezekiel 27:19. There are 141 references to anointing and 145 to burning incense in your Bible.
If you know the Truth the Truth will set you free!

Report this

By DJ Johnson, March 26, 2007 at 10:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Without God there is no justice.  We are created in the image of God and we have a soul that will not die.  Where we choose to spend eternity is up to us. As for me, I prefer to spend eternity with Jesus. You all can believe you came from apes, but I believe God gave us the intelligence to know the truth.  All we have to do is look around.  How can anyone say this perfectly organized world is just happenstance?  Liberalism is the fascism of our day. The philosophy….shut up anything that goes against secular humanism.  Hitler would be proud.

Report this

By Garry Minor, March 26, 2007 at 9:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Kaneh bosm !

Report this

By godzooks, March 26, 2007 at 9:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Creationism undermines our basic understanding of science and rational thought. School boards have tried to slip this silliness into their curricula with desperate gimmicks like redefining “science” to include the supernatural, which is precisely what science isn’t. Next stop: the Dark Ages—a time when epileptics were treated with exorcisms, witch-burning was the cure for heresy, and people were arrested for claiming the earth moved. Anybody nostalgic for all that?

Report this

By AMIGO, March 26, 2007 at 9:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

HOT NEWS ! HOT NEWS !!
From the NYT - - -
NEW YORK (AP)—David Stockman, a former top budget official in the Reagan White House, and three others were charged Monday in an alleged securities fraud conspiracy that embroiled one of North America’s largest auto parts companies before the supplier collapsed into bankruptcy - - -
And so ladies and genteeeelemen,the’REGAN REVOLUTION’ CONTINUES - - - -

Report this

By Hemi, March 26, 2007 at 9:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If they can make the realities of 9/11 disappear
before our very eyes why not re-write history and
make the enlightenment disappear? Who will
stand up and put their own life and livelihood
on the line? Charlie Sheen? Rosie O’Donnell?
A few brave scientists and former government
officials that are being badmouthed as sore losers?

If you step up, you will be black listed. It’s
happening now and is there to be seen but I
predict that you will not hear from the Charlie Sheens
of the world for long. There will be lawsuits,
nightclub brawls, former mistresses or whatever
skeletons in the closet are needed to discredit
and silence the voice. Charlie Sheen might be a
moral low-life but that doesn’t mean he is not
speaking the truth when it comes to conspiracy.

Where are the just men and women with credible
backgrounds that can lead us through this? Where
is Neil deGrasse Tyson? Hiding at a skeptics gathering?
Don’t want to risk that public funding for Nova, now do we?
Where is David Kuo? Still soothing his injured faith
in the Bush administration? Where is John Glenn?
Too old and too battered at the hands of that creep Fred Thompson?
Where is Ted Kennedy? Well we know where he is,
but his teeth and his morals are still on the bottom of that
Massachusetts pond. Where is Karl Schwarz?
Still AWOL? Still finding jailhouse Jesus?
Still peddling your “I blew the whistle and
the neo-cons kicked me out of the club” stories?

Yes everyone is flawed. We’re all only human and
nothing more. That doesn’t mean we can’t rise above
ignorance and “evolve” into a better humanity.
Are the entertainers the only ones with balls?
The Charlie Sheens and Rosie O’Donnells will be
chewed up and spit out by the media. And we will
watch and think they had it coming. “Look what flawed
individuals they are.” But even the most revered among
us are flawed and if we cower to the Bushes, Robertsons
and Falwells of the world we will have a reality where
intelligent design is taught at Carnegie Mellon. You’ve
got to be kidding me.

What a disgrace. What a crime.

Report this

By GW=MCHammered, March 26, 2007 at 8:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Like all past Gods, today’s divine too will one day be myth.

With Religion, man exploits man. With Communism, it’s the exact opposite.

Corporatism and Churchism should stay 500 yards from Government at all times.

Belief is a subjective reaction to that which exists independent of opinion… reality.

The power of human consciousness lies not in dogmatic hocus-pocus but in dogged pragmatic focus.

The irony in ‘Intelligent Design’ is that if a designer exists, their genius lies in drafting Evolution.

~GW=MCHammered
—————————————————————————

“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.”
~CHARLES DARWIN, Introduction to The Descent of Man (1871)

“Indeed, Design is not a real alternative at all because it raises an even bigger problem that is solves: who designed the designer? Chance and Design both fail as solutions to the problem, and the other one regresses to it. Natural selection is a real solution. It is the only workable solution that has ever been suggested. And it is not only a workable solution, it is a solution of stunning elegance and power.”
~RICHARD DAWKINS, The God Delusion, page 121

Report this

By dick, March 26, 2007 at 8:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

superstition abounds, especially in the US, and it can cause us much harm, as history shows.For example,it incites folks to eagerly murder each other. Organized religion is based upon mythology and superstition , but is represented as being factual.

Report this

By Jaded Prole, March 26, 2007 at 7:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Try as they might, all these efforts will come to naught. One cannot put the genie of science back into the bottle of mysticism.  Though such idiocy will always have a following among the fearfully ingnorant, knowledge cannot be undone in the larger society—if it could we could undo the knowledge that leads to atomic weaponry but such attempts will always fail.

As for private fundimentalist schools, it would seem to me that depriving children of knowledge is a form of child abuse that should be punishable by law. Such schools should not be acreditted. Children have a legal right to education and parents that stand in the way of that access should lose legal custody just as they would for other forms of child abuse.

Report this

By Tim, March 26, 2007 at 7:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here is an example of the logical thinking you can expect from a creationist: When hearing that humans and chimpanzees have 95% commonality in their DNA, suggesting they may be related, the individual stated that the bodies of humans and sponges are both 90% water, but that doesn’t mean that they’re related.  Water is a molecule of three atoms and two elements; DNA is a complex molecule that determines genetic identity.

Report this

By Vic Anderson, March 26, 2007 at 6:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In a world of intrinsic evolutionary truth, their fantasy will collapse from the weight of its own falsity.

Report this

By Expat, March 26, 2007 at 6:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A truly educated and informed citizenry is the best defense against this form of repression.  But this citizenry must be brave and vocal and risk, risk everything.

But it still scares the hell out of me.

Report this

By jhm, March 26, 2007 at 6:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you for this, as painful as is for me to read about “Creation Museum[s].”

I would differ from your analysis only in the final paragraphs, where you speak of this as being uniquely modern in the way that the movement feels a need to affect the trappings of science.  The professional scientist is a distinctly modern invention.  Previously, I wonder if the general populace, undereducated by even American standards, really distinguished between the rich and powerful gentlemen scientists, and the rich and powerful non-scientists or even the rich and powerful clergy?  Ideologues affect whatever form respected sources of opposition might have.

Report this

By Mark Smith, March 26, 2007 at 6:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris, thank you - keep investigating and writing.  We need you. 

Creation pseudo-science needs to be ridiculed and exposed for what it is.  Your work gives people the facts and the confidence to argue and persuade rather than just nauseously and politely nod when confronted with creationist arguments.

Thank you!

Report this

By writerman, March 26, 2007 at 6:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The first paragraph sounds like the beginning of science fiction novel; which in a way is an accurate description of “creationism”, it’s really fiction science and very dangerous fiction at that.

How the tide gets turned back towards common sense and rationality is a really big question which I’m not sure about.

Looking at the Big Picture I think we may have begun our entrance into the post-democratic age, and as if this wasn’t bad enough, we’re also apparently at the end of the age of enlightenment. I have a feeling were in real danger of sliding into a new dark age. An age were “belief” “gut feelings” “mythology” and “irationality” will make a ghastly comeback.

The “reality based” community had better get its act together quickly.

The fact that Americans appear to “believe” so much that is demonstrably false in such overwhelmingly large numbers is deeply troubling. Europeans have for years been surprised at just how religious Americans are. But I’m not sure that Americans are really that religious, at least not in a Christian sense. Seen from my perspective it’s almost as if the “Christ” has been removed from fundamentalist “Christian” belief. Aren’t many of these people really heretics, followers of a strange, bizarre, and dangerously delusional form of psuedo-“christianity” which is a cover for militant form of toalitarianism - Fascism, if you want to call it that?

If we get through this valley of the shadow of death and finally emerge on the other side, out into the sunlight again. I believe we may look back on the current period of neo-conservative, fundamentalist rule, in pretty much the same way we look back with incredulity on Nazi rule. How on earth could such disreputable gang of loonies, we such a ridiculous set of crack-pot ideas ever take over the running of Germany? A country with the highest standards of education in the world and a strong and rich culture and a passionate belief in science and technological innovation. I realise this is controversial, but I believe these neo-cons are comparable to the Nazies in many ways, and are the most dangerous and destructive political group to assume power in the West since Hitler and his gang. I suppose that’s the key phrase - the most dangerous group since Hitler.

Report this

By Kellina, March 26, 2007 at 6:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Nice work, Chris. I think you are right on the money when you say that pushing pseudo-science means a start on the road to totalitarianism.

It’s not just creation “science,” however, that could be faulted. Why believe in any “invisible man in the sky?” Anyone who claims to endorse religion in any form (sky god alone, sky god plus son-of-sky-god, sky-god plus son-of-sky-god plus later prophet) is delusional.

If someone tells you (in person or in print) that they have the ability to interpret an invisible supernatural being’s wishes, look out! Here comes trouble. They are using myth-making to achieve their ends—to get followers, get money, get laid, whatever. If it’s not verifiable, falsifiable, subject to the scientific method, then be very suspicious.

What I don’t understand is how you can know all this yet still claim to believe in God, in Jesus, etc. It’s ALL bullshit lies. If you suscribe to these lies, in whole or in part, then you are either stupid or part of the myth-making machine.

Which is it, Chris?

Report this

By Felicia Cathey, March 26, 2007 at 6:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Is it any wonder that European scientists refer to us as nincompoops on a radio broadcast this year!  Is anyone surprised that we are falling behind in the study of math and science.

Report this

By kikz, March 26, 2007 at 5:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

religion is a disease of the mind.

Report this

By James Yell, March 26, 2007 at 5:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Now isn’t that interesting? Lies are never true, but some lies can kill you and frequently do.

I read a novel years ago about a drug that would take the mind back in time, but the body was still in the present. The characters would walk about in this world, but think they were following the events in the past world and of course they eventually wound up on a bridle path in the past, but their bodies were standing on a railroad track in the real world. A nasty mess.

It also occurs to me to ask the question why did Islamic Society go from being a culture that nurtured Science and was on the forefront of creative thought and then over the centuries they became uninterested. It wasn’t that Science was less interesting, and since they got blind-sided by those who continued and became more interested in Science, it couldn’t be said that Science had become less important.

What happened was the Mullahs decided that the Koran had all the facts humanity needed and like the Catholic Church, they proscribed the practice. If we aren’t careful the Christian lunatics will do the same thing to our culture.

By all means if you need Religion than do so, but don’t forget “you have no right to inflict your Religious convictions on others”. If you judge, you will be judged too. If there is a GOD it is his business not yours.

Report this

By Keith Kalkwarf, March 26, 2007 at 4:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is a truly frightening senario for rationally thinking people, a world where religious leaders dictate what is taught as science in the classroom. It’s bad enough that they are able to do it in their own religious schools, but their ability to infiltrate into public school is scary indeed. While the courts may prevent the legislation from moving forward for awhile eventually even the judges will b replaced with people who thimk like this, if rational people don’t start doing something. And this goes to show that the continued finacial support of churches is dangerous.

Report this

By MotleyPatriot, March 26, 2007 at 3:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Noah loaded baby dinosaurs huh?  What a feat that was since dinosaurs lived, what?  65 million years ago?  and by creationist’s the Earth is only 6,000 years old?

Guess they just couldn’t explain away those pesky dinosaurs, so, just play with timelines????

Despicable.

Report this

Page 4 of 4 pages « First  <  2 3 4

 
Monsters of Our Own Creation? Get tickets for this Truthdig discussion of America's role in the Middle East.
Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
 
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 
 
 

A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Zuade Kaufman, Publisher   Robert Scheer, Editor-in-Chief
© 2014 Truthdig, LLC. All rights reserved.

Like Truthdig on Facebook