Pharyngula

American superiority…RESTORED!

Earlier, I was mildly perturbed that Canada was leading my country in the cheesy science “museum” race; this is, of course, a race to the bottom. Scott Hatfield has come to my rescue, though, and sent in some photos of Carl Baugh’s double-wide “Creation Evidence Museum” which is surely one of the tackiest examples of creationist silliness in the country—although, when you get right down to it, Ham’s opulent exhibit is just this same thing with buckets of money thrown at it.

You also might be able to find a picture of Scott in here if you’ve been wondering what he looks like. Hint: he’s not the guy in the purple robes in the last picture.

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Now that’s pure Velveeta. It’s going to be hard to find a “museum” cheesier than that — I might have a shot at it this July, when we make a trip to the Pacific Northwest. If we go by it, I may stop in at the creationist “museum” set up near the base of Mt St Helens, which from the outside, looks even shabbier than Baugh’s.

Comments

  1. #1 Carlie
    May 31, 2007

    Why does it look like Mr. Rogers is telling lies about the solar system in the last picture?

  2. #2 PZ Myers
    May 31, 2007

    That’s Carl himself. He’s often wearing one of those Mr Rogers-style sweaters, at least when I’ve seen him on the Trinity Broadcast Network. It must make him look “folksy” or something. It would probably also burn beautifully in the pure O2 atmosphere of his hyperbaric chamber.

  3. #3 Steve P
    May 31, 2007

    Phew, I’m soo happy those darned Snow Mexicans didn’t one up us again.

  4. #4 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    May 31, 2007

    Evolutionary theory requires millions of years in the formation of coal in order to afford time for the development of living organisms whose fossils are found in coal deposits. However, laboratory and field research has demonstrated that coal is formed rapidly and in vast quantities. These vast coal deposits are unsullied by other material. The conclusion is drawn that actual research indicates a young age to the Earth that contains such coalified materials.

    SCIENCE! Refute that heathens!

  5. #5 The Reality Based Dave
    May 31, 2007

    I’ve got to look up the addresses to these places! I’m driving from StPaul to Crater Lake in late July to meet up with 2 sibs & my father. We haven’t all been to the park (at the same time) since my father worked there as a naturalist in ’72.
    When I do a road trip, I take extra time to wander. The last one was 5000 miles.

  6. #6 Scott Hatfield, OM
    May 31, 2007

    PZ: This is just SO gratifying. I can’t believe how quickly you can put stuff like this up on your site, and I’m pleased as punch to make a contribution. Got to live up to that OM, dontcha know.

    Anyway, for those of you who’ve wondered what $5 for the whole family will get you, there it is. Believe it or not, the last two pictures are virtually the entire ‘museum’ as seen from the back. All that’s missing is the little old lady behind the counter who takes your money and who can sell you fossil replicas or creationist coloring books.

    Anyway, thanks, PZ. You made my day!

  7. #7 Ed Darrell
    May 31, 2007

    Sheesh, it’s been five years or so, but I attended a Carl Baugh fete in Glen Rose, featuring Duane Gish — Baugh was kicking off a campaign to raise $12 million to move from the double-wide to a larger building “built in the shape of the Supreme Court, for a special reason.” (I never could figure out what the special reason was, and when I asked, Baugh went off on some tangent that left me unwilling to ask more.) Gish and Baugh were to tour the nation asking for money — they were off to Chicago later that week.

    To the best of my knowledge, nothing more has come of Baugh’s museum-in-the-shape-of-the-Supreme-Court. If Texas had an ambitious attorney general, there could be an investigation. But zippo. Ole Anthony at the Trinity Foundation couldn’t offer much information, either (Trinity Foundation keeps track of the finance shenanigans of TV preachers and other Christianity hangers-on).

    Baugh’s museum is just outside the Dinosaur Valley State Park, where one may see real dinosaur prints in the Paluxy River. It also features the two cheesy fiberglass dinosaurs from the last New York World’s Fair (1964?), great camping, and God’s answer to creationist museums, i.e., real nature. Here’s the site for the State Park — come visit when you get a chance: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/dinosaur_valley/

    Some of the footprints from the Paluxy were stolen by those mercenaries from the American Museum of Natural History: http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/dinosaurs/trackways/whowasthat.php

  8. #8 Dan
    May 31, 2007

    I think the only thing missing from that “museum” is a Space Invaders video game.

    And, my god! Look at the beauty in that stunning portrait of a 1979 Eric Estrada walking on water. Is that thing velvet?

  9. #9 llewelly
    May 31, 2007

    Well, I can’t find Scott, but check out the guy on the right of the first pic. Leather jacket, skin head, glasses, PZ Myers beard, and lots of teeth. Anyone that creepy must be an atheist – and probably a pirate to boot.

  10. #10 KiwiInOz
    May 31, 2007

    Hmm. I don’t know why, but I expected Scott to have more hair. And he reads much taller than he looks. 😉

  11. #11 forsen
    May 31, 2007

    Curse and drat! I was by no means prepared for this stellar level of ultimate cheesiness… my camp meter just exploded. Who am I supposed to sue for this – the guy in the purple robe?

  12. #12 CrispyShot
    May 31, 2007

    U-S-A!! U-S-A!! U-S-A!! U-S-A!!

    waitaminnit…

  13. #13 jurymember
    May 31, 2007

    This “museum” does immediately strike me viscerally as tacky trailer-park trash. And then my more logical & fair side overrides that gut reaction & reminds me that it is about what ideas are more useful, no matter the gilding, not the money-poor or money-rich presentation of them.

    Of course science wins.

    But as the creationists spend more money ala Ham to make slick presentations, I can an envision a scenario which I hope (& would pray if I believed in an omnipotent, rational being) never materializes: in which the scientific viewpoint loses monetary backing & then in which we would be relegated to such cheap displays.

    Of course then the creationists would ridicule us for our tacky displays compared to their costly ones. But because they would, does not mean that we should. Maybe if it were useful, but of what use is this?

    Its just that I don’t like stooping to creationist lows. (Or, at least, doing so when I think that no useful thing will come of doing so except a little gleeful mean-spirited whoop-ass.)

    These monetary-poor displays of creationist lies are no more pathetic than their monetary-rich displays.

  14. #14 Binary Jones
    May 31, 2007

    Carl Baugh was in fine form on his recent tv show. Apparently there used to be thin layer of water in the atmosphere only a few molecules thick, and this acted to amplify some sort of divine music.
    He also said that when you slow down the chirping of crickets, it sounds like “A celestial orchestra”.

  15. #15 forsen
    May 31, 2007

    I can an envision a scenario which I hope (& would pray if I believed in an omnipotent, rational being) never materializes: in which the scientific viewpoint loses monetary backing & then in which we would be relegated to such cheap displays.

    If that would ever happen, Thor forbid, I hope we’ll at least have the dignity to NOT sell our message with pink amusement park wall-paintings and guys in crimson cardigans. This is the aesthetical anti-thesis of framing – to make your message appalling by wrapping it in a package of extremely low-brow, tacky taste (which, in this case, suits the message perfect). Can people of science, regardless of budget, really have this abysmal taste? I dunno.

  16. #16 Carlie
    May 31, 2007

    Not only does Scott have a Molly, but he’s cute, too? Some people have all the luck.

  17. #17 Carlie
    May 31, 2007

    Oh, and if you want to see a cheap, cheesy, yet scientifically accurate museum with a lot of science-historical importance that is just freakin’ cool, check out the Petrified Sea Gardens in upstate New York.

  18. #18 Kristine
    May 31, 2007

    Dang! I always imagined Scott in a purple robe…

    Well, anyway, I think resurrection stories are based upon the legend of the victim/hero who travels farther than the rest of us and emerges intact. Scott qualifies. 😉

  19. #19 Ribozyme
    May 31, 2007

    I didn’t find the Petrified Sea Gardens particularly cheesy. No amusement park wall-paintings, only a very minimal infrastructure (which, in my opinion, interferes as little as possible with the beauty of the scenery). The scenery is beautiful. Alas, it seems to be no longer open to the public, at least in part.

  20. #20 afterthought
    May 31, 2007

    Oh, and if you want to see a cheap, cheesy, yet scientifically accurate museum with a lot of science-historical importance that is just freakin’ cool, check out the Petrified Sea Gardens in upstate New York.

    Bummer that it is closed due to storm damage. ;^(

  21. #21 Susannah
    May 31, 2007

    “He also said that when you slow down the chirping of crickets, it sounds like “A celestial orchestra”.”

    So that explains why, when we ask creationists for the actual data behind their claims, that’s all we get to hear; the chirping of crickets. So we’re supposed to slow that down and listen; I get it now!

  22. #22 Carlie
    May 31, 2007

    I know. I usually send my classes there for extra credit. 🙁 They have to do a photo journal to prove they really went there, including taking a picture of themselves with the guy who runs the little store (he’s been a very good sport about it). I didn’t mean cheesy in the overly illustrated style, more like kitchy, maybe. It is unique, however described.

  23. #23 Cody
    May 31, 2007

    I took some pictures of this “museum” a while back, and PZ linked to one especially creepy image of Ronald and Eve.

    Here’s an index to some others, and here are some select images to complement Mr. Hatfield’s:

    The cheesiest miniature of the Ark ever.

    A curious mind’s intellect soiled by lies.

    Our message to the young lad.

    What.The.Hell?!

  24. #24 Scott Hatfield, OM
    May 31, 2007

    (piratically)

    #9: Arrrr, that be me!

    #10: It be the questions I be asking that shivers away me follicles!

    #16: Awwwww….I mean, arrrr….

    #18: And sure if it be Joseph Campbell’s archetypes ye be speaking of, I would’ve surely pictured ye as the Goddess, Madam Shimmy!

  25. #25 Matt the heathen
    May 31, 2007

    Great field work Scott Hatfield!!

    Hopefully I’ll be able to repay the favor. My officemates and I are plotting a field trip to the Big Valley version this summer… I’ll make sure to take pictures…

  26. #26 lawilson
    May 31, 2007

    ” I might have a shot at it this July, when we make a trip to the Pacific Northwest. If we go by it, I may stop in at the creationist “museum” set up near the base of Mt St Helens, which from the outside, looks even shabbier than Baugh’s.”

    I happen to know Lloyd and Doris Anderson (the owners/operators of the Seven Wonders “Museum” (…er done battle against) personally, they are going to love you *grin*.

    Their little operation off Spirit Lake Highway is a lot cheesier then the Candadian Museum. What consists of a “muesum” piece is a few photos of the eruption of Mount St Helens, bookstore and large lecture area. Lloyd is a retired minister (does not know a thing about science, but he is more than happy to give his version of what “science” should be like). And if you ask him nicely, he is even willing to take you on a tour of Mount St Helens.

    Bone up on ICR’s Steve Austin, because he is considered as the “ultimate authority” by the Andersons on the events impacting the May 18, 1980 eruption.

    I am in the dog house with the Anderson’s right now (according to Lloyd, I am an enemy of Christianity and the Bible), because I refused to acknowlege Ica Stones as legitimate evidence that humans and dinosaurs once co-existed (and for demonstrating Steve Austin is a fruad), but I sure love to watch encounter PZ. Enjoy!

    PS: The 2004 eruption is continuing and by July, Crater Glacier (which was split apart by the growing lava dome) will rejoin in front of the old 1980’s lava dome.

  27. #27 T. Bruce McNeely
    May 31, 2007

    O.K. guys, you win!
    I don’t see how we Canooks can beat a DOUBLE-WIDE createonist museum.
    I mean, that is sheer red-neck genius…

  28. #28 Sivi Volk
    May 31, 2007

    “He also said that when you slow down the chirping of crickets, it sounds like “A celestial orchestra”.”

    Right. Maybe my neuroethology prof was doing something wrong. Because slowed-down chirps sound an aweful lot like… well… chirps, but slower. Less buzzy, more beepy. Certainly not orchestral, once you separate out the stridulations into individual chirps.

  29. #29 Binary Jones
    May 31, 2007

    You callin’ Carl a liar?

    For shame…

  30. #30 craig
    May 31, 2007

    Oh man, if I only had some spare cash. I just thought of a fun gag that would go over well here in FL.

    There’s a busy plaza nearby with a recently emptied storefront. All you have to do is come up with a couple of months rent, some cash for a huge “Creation Evidence Museum” sign and some “welcome” and “grand opening” banners.

    Then you videotape the fundies reactions as they come in to a totally empty place, all white and sparkling clean but barren. Post the videos on the web for entertainment.

  31. #31 craig
    May 31, 2007

    wait… actually, there would be one thing in the museum. A donations box near the door.

  32. #32 Don Smith, FCD
    June 1, 2007

    Carl Baugh is one of the most entertaining creationists. His ideas are so much wackier than the rest that I just can resist watching his show. I think the best one was all the galaxies zooming apart at superluminal speeds in order to get where they are in just a few thousand years!

    I have to say, on one of his shows I heard him justify his making stuff up and it went roughly like this.

    1) If the creation story was not true, there would have been no Garden of Eden, no Adam and Eve, no Serpent, no Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and most of all no original sin.
    2) Without original sin we could potentially live a life without commiting sins of our own and therefore be able to get into heaven on our own merits.
    3) If we can get to heaven on our own then there was no reason for Jesus to die.
    4) If Jesus died for no reason, then Christianity is false.

    Pretty sound reasoning, if you ask me.

  33. #33 JohnnieCanuck, FCD
    June 1, 2007

    @#3 Mexicanos de la nieve.

    Interesting concept. We want a fence just like you made for our compadres. No fair playing favourites.

    This is thoroughly OT. I found this funny/sad article while researching the width of the 5525 mile swath that runs across the bottom of our country. It’s 20 feet, btw.

    http://tinyurl.com/yovd6n

  34. #34 Kseniya
    June 1, 2007

    Not only does Scott have a Molly, but he’s cute, too?

    Yes Carlie – he’s cute, too! Scott so TOTALLY rocks in every way! And he gets around, yes he does. I swear I saw him at the CVS in Coolidge Corner. In the toy department. I picked him up and played with him! It took practice, but with a few well-nuanced strokes of the magic stick I could get all his iron filings hair sticking straight out of his ears like his head was on a spit! It was SO COOL!

  35. #35 Curt Cameron
    June 1, 2007

    A couple of months ago, I was visiting Dinosaur Valley State Park with some friends. I had arrived first, and was waiting for my friends while parked next to the building at the entrance. I was standing outside my car, and parked next to me were two ladies, with the park map lying on the hood of their car, studying it carefully. They were only about five feet away from me.

    Having been there several times, I helpfully asked if there was something they were looking for. They asked me if I knew where the tracks were that showed the dinosaurs walking next to humans. A little surprised, I asked “are you joking?”

    “No, were very serioius.”

    “You’ve been to that Creation Evidence Museum down the road?” (the CEM is about a mile away, the first thing you come to when leaving the park and heading toward town.)

    “Yes, we just came from there.”

    I helpfully explained that there were some tracks scattered around that were oblong, somewhat like a giant human footprint without toes, but these were from large plant-eating dinosaurs and not from gigantic humans. I don’t know what they thought, but I resisted the temptation to tell them that Baugh is considered insane even by other young-earth creationists.

    I was going to recommend that they see the great set of prints near camp site #1, which goes completely across the river and you can take off your shoes and walk right through them. Those are my favorite. If you ever get a chance, it’s pretty cool. A couple of weeks ago (I was in DisneyWorld so didn’t go), several friend families went to the park, and one buddy of mine who’s a paleontologist (specializing in micro-fossils such as pollen) got permission from the park to take some samples for analysis. The other visitors were impressed I heard.

  36. #36 Kseniya
    June 1, 2007

    *panic*

    Where’s that damned Un-Send Post key? Where is it? Where? WHERE?

  37. #37 Stephen
    June 1, 2007

    Then you videotape the fundies reactions as they come in to a totally empty place, all white and sparkling clean but barren. Post the videos on the web for entertainment.

    Might be an idea there for a slightly more serious museum: one room chock full of fossils, blind cave fish, Galapagos finches, geological charts, explanations of the genetic code, etc, etc. And a second room of exactly the same size and shape, as you describe. Advertise it as the museum that gives “equal space … ”

  38. #38 llewelly
    June 1, 2007

    Sweet. Nobody corrected me when I referred to Scott as an atheist. Never thought I’d sneak that one by people here…

  39. #39 Observer
    June 1, 2007

    Oh man, that is hysterical. Great roadside attraction find, Scott. Florida has lots of stuff like that, too, but that is really cheesy. I think the guy I saw dragging a big cross on the side of the highway was on a pilgrimage to that place.

  40. #40 Monado
    June 1, 2007

    We still have the world’s largest dinosaur. Go to the virtual tour to see the view from inside the dino’s mouth!
    (That’s not an offer you get every day.)

  41. #41 Kseniya
    June 1, 2007

    Sweet. Nobody corrected me when I referred to Scott as an atheist. Never thought I’d sneak that one by people here…

    Hah! Don’t flatter yourself. Nothing was snuck by nobody, nohow! We knew you were trolling.

    Well, I did, anyway. *sniff*

  42. #42 Observer
    June 1, 2007

    We still have the world’s largest dinosaur. Go to the virtual tour to see the view from inside the dino’s mouth!
    (That’s not an offer you get every day.)
    Posted by: Monado

    Canada also has the world’s largest Easter egg.

  43. #43 Ichthyic
    June 1, 2007

    Pretty sound reasoning, if you ask me.

    so many of these people seem SO CLOSE to realizing what a bunch of hooey they are hanging on to…

    then it usually just fades into a haze of denial and projections, like they forgot to take their meds for a day.

  44. #44 Shawn S.
    June 1, 2007

    “Darwinists go in, but they don’t come out.”

    I should be their PR manager. XD

  45. #45 Carlie
    June 1, 2007

    Pretty sound reasoning, if you ask me.

    Believe it or not, I heard this exact argument in a sermon just a few weeks ago. It’s one of the favorites of that bunch, closely related to the Easter version (if Christ never rose from the dead, then Christianity is false). I sat there thinking “Oh, you’re so close!

  46. #46 Robster, FCD
    June 1, 2007

    Craig,

    Just make sure you take out a very big insurance policy on your museum. That place won’t make it a night in Florida, especially if you put it in Pensacola.

    Gotta think big if you want to play with those ever so tolerant creationists. 🙂

  47. #47 sinned34
    June 1, 2007

    Canada also has the world’s largest tree crusher! Yeah!

  48. #48 PZ Myers
    June 1, 2007

    Why would Canadians want to crush trees? If you crushed all the trees, and then you used the world’s largest snow melter, there wouldn’t be anything left.

  49. #49 Monado
    June 1, 2007

    Carlie said,

    Believe it or not, I heard this exact argument in a sermon just a few weeks ago. It’s one of the favorites of that bunch, closely related to the Easter version (if Christ never rose from the dead, then Christianity is false).

    As my logical friend MsEditor would say, “And the problem with that is…?”

  50. #50 Monado
    June 1, 2007

    Carlie said,

    Believe it or not, I heard this exact argument in a sermon just a few weeks ago. It’s one of the favorites of that bunch, closely related to the Easter version (if Christ never rose from the dead, then Christianity is false).

    As my logical friend MsEditor would say, “And the problem with that is…?”

  51. #51 Carlie
    June 1, 2007

    But Canadians also have rocks.

  52. #52 Fatboy
    June 1, 2007

    I’ve been in trailer museums before, and single wides at that, that managed to cram in much more artifacts than that museum.

    Scott, was there any actual “evidence” of any kind? Or just that video, the mural, and the velvet Jesus?

  53. #53 Scott Hatfield, OM
    June 1, 2007

    There are a few photographs of Baugh’s ‘excavations’, during a drought some two decades ago, where they have some prints that are enthusistically labeled (with a typewriter, on pieces of card stock, glued to the photo) as ‘human prints’. He also claims to have a hammer embedded in ancient rock, and they have a replica of this for sale. My understanding is that every expert who has examined this ‘evidence’ is unimpressed. If my memory serves, Glenn Morton has a lot of stuff on Baugh. If interested, you might contact him here:

    glennmorton@entouch.net

    Peace…SH

  54. #54 Deanna
    June 1, 2007

    “Snow Mexicans”? That’s a new one on me. I’m more accustomed to being called “a dirty commie socialist”.

  55. #55 jba
    June 1, 2007

    “I think resurrection stories are based upon the legend of the victim/hero who travels farther than the rest of us and emerges intact”

    … Joel from MST3K?

  56. #56 Dylan Stafne
    June 1, 2007

    Awww…
    I almost feel bad for the little ‘museum’. It’s so dumpy and drab-looking.

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