Pharyngula

“Fed up”, not “Afraid”

A columnist for the Cincinnati Enquirer is quite irate about the fact that we squelched the zoo/creation museum deal. If you read his article, you’ll discover a theme.

The live Nativity at the Creation Museum will have an actual, living, cud-chewing camel. Frightening.

There will also be goats and sheep. Terrifying.

Cuddly lambs might seem harmless to the average visitor, but some people are scared witless by the possibility that some innocent, devout secularist could accidentally wander onto the grounds of the Creation Museum and get exposed to radioactive Christianity or other dangerous ideas that should be outlawed.

The writer, Peter Bronson, hammers on this idea over and over — that scientists are afraid of creationists. By imputing a false motive to our actions, he goes farther and farther astray into never-never land, building up this astonishingly elaborate house of cards.

He does get one part halfway correct, though. He quotes another article on the Enquirer:

“Asking me to ‘tolerate’ this kind of worldview is akin to asking me to ‘tolerate’ illiteracy. Both are problems of education and intelligence. Creationist thought is … naïve, it is anti-intellectual, and it harkens back to pre-enlightenment thinking. I don’t have any tolerance for that.”

Got that? Creationists are stupid, illiterate, naïve and backward.

Naïve and backward is quite correct; they are promoting bad old ideas that have long been disproven. I do not think creationists are stupid — creationism is a deficit that you can overcome — and most are literate to some degree. If only Mr Bronson actually understood what he wrote, because it explains so much more than his “fear” thesis. We react as we do to the proposals of creationists because they are wrong. We aren’t afraid of such absurdities at all, it’s more of an intellectual commitment to addressing falsehoods.

Once again, though, the creationists have caught me brandishing my cyber pistol.

“It’s a little sad that the zoo would cave in to a cyber war,” Ham said. He believes most of the protests came from people who don’t live anywhere near Cincinnati – instigated by P.Z. Myers of Minnesota, a “godless liberal” blogger-atheist who has made a hobby of spiteful attacks on Christians, Christmas and the Creation Museum.

“They’re the ones who are being intolerant,” Ham said. “We’re not afraid of creationists going to the Zoo and seeing their messages about evolution. People have to stand on their own beliefs. It’s not up to us to say you can’t go to this place or that place.

And a fine, entertaining hobby it is, too.

And they make it so easy when they mischaracterize everything so grossly. Did anyone say people can’t go to the Creation Museum? Did anyone block the ability of the Creation Museum to sell tickets? Is anyone afraid of the Big Dumb Ham? Why, no. All that happened is that they were told they can’t borrow the good name of a legitimate educational and scientific institution when they are shilling for their museum. That’s it.

It makes me wonder: If the science is so unshakeable, what are they afraid of? Why wouldn’t they welcome a debate? Why not encourage open-minded exploration? Isn’t that what scientific inquiry is all about?

Again, abandon that premise. We are not afraid. The real issue is that this is a settled scientific question, long resolved and with growing evidential support, and there is little point in continuing the discussion.

Anyone who has had kids knows this situation: when they discover the word “why”, they learn that it is a tool for starting an unending conversation. Give ‘em an answer, and they just say “why” again; explain that, and it’s “why” again; the game keeps going until the adult gives up in exasperation. We all know that the kid is not trying to think or get a complete answer — he just wants attention. We can answer for a while with patience, but at some point we have to stop and insist that the child exhibit a little more honest curiousity to trigger more answers.

Creationists passed the point of honest inquiry long ago. I would suggest to Mr Bronson that he go through his little essay and try replacing every instance of the word “afraid” with “exasperated” and he might see his way through to a little more truth.

Or maybe not. The rest of his essay reveals that honesty is not a word he’s interested in.

The obvious adult answer to the protesters is simple: If you don’t like it, don’t go. Buy your ticket to the zoo and enjoy the Festival of Lights. Your experience will not be contaminated by the opportunity to see the Creation Museum’s live Nativity. There is no proven scientific risk of catching contagious Christianity from merely touching a ticket.

But it seems like the only thing Americans have really perfected in the past 30 years is the art of being mortally offended by ridiculous trivialities. So here we go again. Some insecure secularists get scared by ideas they fear, and off we go – another brick wall of political correctness must be built to shield feeble minds from taboo thoughts and theories.

I suppose next they will try to ban Santa Claus because all that stuff about reindeer pulling his sleigh pulled across the sky has not been peer-reviewed in a scientific journal.

Christ would probably be outlawed too by the Secular Police, but his name’s on the holiday.

I repeat: nobody said you can’t go to the Creation Museum. Nobody is worried that you’ll catch Christianity from a poorly done pseudo-museum. Nobody is threatening to ban Santa Claus or Christianity, either. But these baseless accusations are just so useful to inflame the martyr gland of the poor Christian majority. I have to feel sorry for them — their sense of self-worth seems to reside in a belief that they are persecuted for their beliefs, and it’s just so hard to maintain when you’re a dominant majority trying to force-feed religious absurdities on people with educations.

Comments

  1. #1 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    December 6, 2008

    I have the waaaaaaahmbulance on Speed dial. Should I give them a call?

  2. #2 'Tis Himself
    December 6, 2008

    Another fundie playing the “we’re so persecuted” card. Poor fluffies.

  3. #3 Sid Schwab
    December 6, 2008

    It’s the annual dance of stupidity. As I said in this post (or in response to a comment thereto), ever since they banned lions in the colliseum, Christians have had persecution withdrawal.

  4. #4 melior
    December 6, 2008

    I don’t think radioactivity really works as an analogy for annoying Christian proselytizing. Radiation is undetectable and lethal. It’s more like really stinky farts.

  5. #5 Ozzy
    December 6, 2008

    Evolution is a theory in the same sense that creation is a theory. Neither have been proven through rigorous scientific method, though I would have to say that the theory of creation is winning in that category. All attempted “proofs” for evolution have fallen flat in that they can be equally explained by other theories. And judging by your tone and word choice in your blog entry I would have to hand it to you for demonstrating a clear lack of honest inquiry.

  6. #6 logoseph
    December 6, 2008

    For more on the intersection of science and over-use of the question “why?” see the following dialogue. Good for a few laughs.
    http://tinyurl.com/dangerouswhy

  7. #7 melior
    December 6, 2008

    All attempted “proofs” for evolution have fallen flat in that they can be equally explained by other theories.

    Such as the Theory of GodDidIt, for example, and um… lots of other ones Ozzy can’t recall right now.

  8. #8 Nerd of Redhead
    December 6, 2008

    Shall we get Mr. Bronson his bottle and blankie to comfort him? He seems to have a little trouble dealing with the real world.

    Ah, the old debate. The proper place to debate is in the scientific literature. The creationists have been putting up a good, er, sorry, no battle where it counts.

  9. #9 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    December 6, 2008

    Evolution is a theory in the same sense that creation is a theory. Neither have been proven through rigorous scientific method, though I would have to say that the theory of creation is winning in that category. All attempted “proofs” for evolution have fallen flat in that they can be equally explained by other theories. And judging by your tone and word choice in your blog entry I would have to hand it to you for demonstrating a clear lack of honest inquiry.

    An you are 100% dead wrong. Creationism isn’t a theory in the scientific definition of theory. There’s a good reason for that. Creationism isn’t science. it’s theology.

    And as far as the Theory of Evolution, go into a biology department of a major university and say that.

    oh and, podunk Bible colleges don’t count.

    But since you brought it up, name one research project supporting evolution that you find to be wrong. Then tell us why it is wrong.

  10. #10 logoseph
    December 6, 2008

    @5:

    Nice try, but creationists don’t say it’s a “theory” because one of their ever-drying well of arguments is that evolution is “just a theory” while creationism is TEH TRUTH OF TEH LORD.
    I’m calling Poe.

  11. #11 Owlmirror
    December 6, 2008

    Evolution is a theory in the same sense that creation is a theory.

    Liar. Evolution is based on the evidence. Creation is a made-up story based on a book thousands of years old, often contradicted by the evidence.

    Neither have been proven through rigorous scientific method, though I would have to say that the theory of creation is winning in that category.

    Liar. Evolutions is science. Creation is religion.

    All attempted “proofs” for evolution have fallen flat in that they can be equally explained by other theories.

    Liar. Fractally wrong, too.

    And judging by your tone and word choice in your blog entry I would have to hand it to you for demonstrating a clear lack of honest inquiry.

    Pants on fire.

  12. #12 David Wiener
    December 6, 2008

    Ozzy,

    Regarding the word ‘theory’, to quote Vizzini, “I do not think that word means what you think it means”. Evolution is backed by a huge body of evidence from various disciplines that reinforce each other. Creationism relies on ‘goddidit’. The two are not equivalent.

    And you don’t need to be a scientist to understand this (I’m just a simple programmer, myself). The evidence is easy to access – just get off your lazy, dumb ass and check it out.

  13. #13 Travis
    December 6, 2008

    Can you elaborate on these “proofs” you find so lacking? What “proofs” have you rejected and how have they been explained by other theories?
    Also, I really dislike the word proofs. You prove things in math, you find evidence for things in science, evidence that leads you to decide a given theory is true.

    And what predictions has creationism made? What studies were done to test these predictions? What evidence have you found that leads you to think it is true? And I don’t mean what criticisms of evolution you have, I mean evidence for creationism.

  14. #14 Dawn
    December 6, 2008

    @Ozzy…thanks for the LOL. You obviously don’t understand the scientific use of theory or your wording would not have been as it was. Since I’ve had a frustrating day, I appreciate the laugh.

  15. #15 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    December 6, 2008

    bah damn it

    blockquote fail. Should end after the first paragraph

  16. #16 Michael Hawkins
    December 6, 2008

    This is so dumb. Peter Bronson needs to actually take a university level biology class. By making shit up, he is doing the creationist crowd no favors.

  17. #17 Nerd of Redhead
    December 6, 2008

    Evolution is a theory in the same sense that creation is a theory.

    Sorry Ozzy, evolution is a scientific theory back up by hundreds of thousands of scientific papers. Creation is a religious theory to try to force fit facts to fit the myths in genesis. To state that they are equal is a baldfaced lie. Science is not refuted by religion, but only by more science. Tell the creationist they need to publish in the scientific literature.

  18. #18 Nerd of Redhead
    December 6, 2008

    Ozzy, if your imaginary god exists, please supply some physical evidence for it. The evidence must be able to pass muster with scientists, magicians, and professional debunkers.

  19. #19 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    December 6, 2008

    I’m calling Poe.

    unfortunately ozzy has been poluting all the ken ham threads. I’m thinking not poe, but some Ken Ham admirer who’s feelings are hurt by us calling his idol a gigantic lying sack of dino feces.

  20. #20 Taz
    December 6, 2008

    I would like to thank Mr. Bronson for openly admitting that the scientific validity of creationism is exactly the same as the scientific validity of flying reindeer.

  21. #21 logoseph
    December 6, 2008

    Oh, I didn’t know he had a history. I guess I was falling into a his trap-believing what I wished to believe, that people aren’t seriously that crazy.

    @12: BTW, Vizzini is the one who misunderstood. Inigo Montoya informed him that that word does not mean what he thought it meant.

  22. #22 Ethan
    December 6, 2008

    If you guys keep feeding the trolls, then natural selection will start to favor them.

  23. #23 Sastra
    December 6, 2008

    On one of the other threads, I tried to explain to a creationist that the issue with the two-for-one ticket association with the Cincinnati Zoo had nothing to do with suppressing the ideas of the Creation museum. It was about separating evolution from creationism. I used the analogy of the Creation Museum forming a marketing alliance with a local casino: if you bought your family tickets to the Creation Museum, you would get to see the girlie shows for free!

    If the patrons and supporters of the Creation Museum objected and had that little promotion deal pulled, is that an example of them trying to shut down the casino? Suppressing people’s right to “make up their own mind?” Or would it be a simple recognition that the values which the Creation Museum stands for are in direct conflict with encouraging people to take the family for a day at the casino?

    The scientists and zoologists at the Cincinnati Zoo are promoting evolution. The Creation Museum is promoting young earth creationism. From the standpoint of mainstream science, YEC is not “just another theory.” It is not a theory at all. It is educational debauchery.

  24. #24 reindeer386sx
    December 6, 2008

    Why not encourage open-minded exploration? Isn’t that what scientific inquiry is all about?

    Ummmm… yes it is. Thanks for asking! I guess!

  25. #25 mayhempix
    December 6, 2008

    Ozzy:

    You are ignorant.
    Fudamentalism does that to you.

  26. #26 Jeeves
    December 6, 2008

    Yeah, this Bronson guy is a hoot. Believes there is a War on Christmas as far back as 2000. Was that before O’Reilly and Hannity started yelling about it?
    http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2000/12/24/loc_bronson_its.html

    He is also a hypocrite because he advises people who don’t like the creationism/zoo deal to “not go” as it doesn’t affect them. Shut up and sit in the corner, in other words. Yet, he is one of those people who is scandalized, absolutely scandalized when someone curses on TV or you see a woman’s leg above the knee. Why doesn’t this jackass just change the channel if he doesn’t like it?
    http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2004/02/03/loc_col1bronson.html

    In other news, Pat Sajak is a moron.

    http://www.humanevents.com/search.php?author_name=Pat+Sajak

  27. #27 Teh Merkin
    December 6, 2008

    I used the analogy of the Creation Museum forming a marketing alliance with a local casino: if you bought your family tickets to the Creation Museum, you would get to see the girlie shows for free!

    That is a really nice analogy. Anyone with half a brain should be able to get that. Oh wait…

  28. #28 mayhempix
    December 6, 2008

    “Spelling Police”

    Fundamentalism

  29. #29 reindeer386sx
    December 6, 2008

    All that happened is that they were told they can’t borrow the good name of a legitimate educational and scientific institution when they are shilling for their museum. That’s it.

    Yeah, and Peter Bronson pretends as though that possibility completely escapes him. He doesn’t mention it at all. And that’s unbelievable.

  30. #30 Rey Fox
    December 6, 2008

    “I tried to explain to a creationist that the issue with the two-for-one ticket association with the Cincinnati Zoo had nothing to do with suppressing the ideas of the Creation museum. It was about separating evolution from creationism. I used the analogy of the Creation Museum forming a marketing alliance with a local casino: if you bought your family tickets to the Creation Museum, you would get to see the girlie shows for free!”

    I notice that nobody has addressed this point in their persecution blatherings.

  31. #31 druidbros
    December 6, 2008

    I have the waaaaaaahmbulance on Speed dial. Should I give them a call?

    Yes, please and tell them to bring the EXTRA large diapers….

  32. #32 druidbros
    December 6, 2008

    you would get to see the girlie shows for free!”

    I notice that nobody has addressed this point in their persecution blatherings.

    ummmm….girlie shows are not usually free….
    There does that address the issue?

  33. #33 Inoculated Mind
    December 6, 2008

    PZ, I suggest a good response to this columnist would be to contact the newspaper and tell them you are writing a letter to the editor to address the baseless accusations that their columnist has made.

    In that letter, introduce yourself by your credentials, and experience in defending good science education from anti-science movements such as creationism. Emphasize the educational mission and how it was compromised by the creation ‘museum’ deal. Toy around with the silly notions of the columnist, and finally, compliment the zoo for its flash decision.

    I think such a letter would have a pretty good impact, including that fact that it would bring the battle to the columnist’s own turf and make them uneasy.

  34. #34 Shamar
    December 6, 2008
    I have the waaaaaaahmbulance on Speed dial. Should I give them a call?

    Yes, please and tell them to bring the EXTRA large diapers….

    And LOTS of warm bottles!

  35. #35 Newfie
    December 6, 2008

    Taz

    I would like to thank Mr. Bronson for openly admitting that the scientific validity of creationism is exactly the same as the scientific validity of flying reindeer.

    You have to pick a silly myth and stick with.. Ken chose the Flinstones as a documentary myth..

  36. #36 raven
    December 6, 2008

    It makes me wonder: If the science is so unshakeable, what are they afraid of? Why wouldn’t they welcome a debate? Why not encourage open-minded exploration? Isn’t that what scientific inquiry is all about?

    Bunch of nonsense. There has been a “debate” between creationism and science dating back nearly 2 millenia. St. Augustine had some hard questions about it in 400 AD. They lost centuries ago.

    They should pick on astronomers for a while. 400 years after Copernicus and 20% of the US population still thinks the sun orbits the earth. This just tells you that no matter how simple or obvious reality is, 20% of the population isn’t going to get it.

  37. #37 Dave Newton
    December 6, 2008

    their sense of self-worth seems to reside in a belief that they are persecuted for their beliefs

    That’s a good way of putting it.

  38. #38 JM Inc.
    December 6, 2008

    “”Anyone who has had kids knows this situation: when they discover the word ‘why’, they learn that it is a tool for starting an unending conversation. Give ‘em an answer, and they just say ‘why’ again; explain that, and it’s ‘why’ again; the game keeps going until the adult gives up in exasperation. We all know that the kid is not trying to think or get a complete answer — he just wants attention. We can answer for a while with patience, but at some point we have to stop and insist that the child exhibit a little more honest curiousity to trigger more answers.””

    Awww, PZ I’m surprised your kids ever learned anything. This isn’t the case at all. I know very specifically that I wanted answers to questions when I did that as a youngin’, except I used the phrase “how come?” I remember my parents eventually got me to agree to ban on the phrase “how come”, and it frustrated the hell out of me for the rest of my childhood.

    Come to think of it, I’m still exactly like that – it’s quite problematic sometimes, because I can’t fill in blanks at all. I really do need everything explained in exhaustive detail or I can’t put it together.

  39. #39 MC
    December 6, 2008

    “And what predictions has creationism made? What studies were done to test these predictions?”

    For starters

    http://www.icr.org/index.php?module=articles&action=view&ID=329

  40. #40 MC
    December 6, 2008

    “This just tells you that no matter how simple or obvious reality is, 20% of the population isn’t going to get it.”

    Then why do 50% of the population reject evolutionism?

  41. #41 Glen Davidson
    December 6, 2008

    The writer, Peter Bronson, hammers on this idea over and over — that scientists are afraid of creationists.

    It’s the only “explanation” allowed by those versions of Xianity. Evolution has to be false, a sin, something conjured up by the evil forces (ultimately Satan) arrayed against them. So all who disagree must fear the “truth” of creationism.

    That’s a given, though. What shows ID to be the brother of creationism is not that it states precisely the same things (one needn’t be a literalist to be an IDist), but because it can only tar our support of good science as a kind of reaction against god and the truth .

    Only the details are different between a hell-fire preaching creationist and an IDiot at the DI. The spirit is exactly the same, to smear any opposition as being opposed to the truth of god. That’s why the DI supported Expelled, both because it has no evidence in favor of ID, and because it thus has to claim that evolutionary theory exists only in opposition to the Truth of GodTM.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  42. #42 Feynmaniac
    December 6, 2008

    Ozzy,

    Evolution is a theory in the same sense that creation is a theory

    In the sense that both are attempts to explain phenomena and make predictions than yes they are both theories. In the sense how well the it holds up evolution is a theory that has been consistent with all evidence and is in the same category as the theory of special relativity and quantum mechanics.

    Creationism on the other hand belongs in the same category as flat Earth theory, phrenology and astrology. Astrophysics and geology tells us that the universe and the world are much older than 6,000 years old.

    A quick look biology will show you that several animals resemble one another. Common descent explains this much better than these creatures simply just having popped out of existence. Also, many animals have features which wouldn’t be expected if they were designed. For example, Mexican tetras live in deep caves. They are born with eyes but lose them as they grow up. If someone was creating a blind fish from scratch why would they bother giving them something they will just lose and don’t need? The appendix is also another example of these vestigial structures, one who has no function at all. This is highly inefficient from an engineering point of view.

    So Creationism is a theory, a theory that is dead wrong.

  43. #43 Sastra
    December 6, 2008

    druidbros #32 wrote:

    ummmm….girlie shows are not usually free….
    There does that address the issue?

    Well, that was needed. My understanding is that the original marketing deal was that, if you buy a ticket to one attraction, you got into the other attraction for free, or at a discount. It was promoting tourism, and businesses trying to help each other out.

    But if one of the attractions felt that they didn’t want to take part in the promotion for an attraction which was in direct conflict with what their institution stood for — and pulled out of the deal — that’s not an example of intolerance or suppressing people’s right to choose. I had to use the “girlie show” at the casino, because casinos are, as far as I know, free. They generally don’t make you pay to gamble (with the exception of Bingo.)

    The Creationists need to recognize that the issue isn’t about their “right” to be Creationists, or to go to the zoo if they want. They can also go to casinos if they want. But they wouldn’t want AIG promoting casinos. And the zoo cannot promote pseudoscience.

    It’s not the Christianity. It’s the pseudoscience, the so-called “theory of Creation.” If some Christians think it’s a package deal, then all the worse for them. They’ve put their religion into direct conflict with science.

  44. #44 Nerd of Redhead
    December 6, 2008

    MC, supplying already refuted evidence is bad form. Your god doesn’t exist, so creationism is just a religious fraud to bilk the gullible like yourself.

    Science is hard. Too many people take the easy “goddidit” out. But ask them to prove god with physical evidence, then watch them squirm. They lie to themselves.

  45. #45 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    December 6, 2008

    For starters

    nope.

    I certainly do not accept the ideas put forth by Barnes and Humphreys, concerning the physics and history of the Earth’s magnetic field. However I do not believe that I have treated either with any undue harshness. Barnes, despite his considerable background in physics, did a horrible job, committing numerous blatant and trivial errors along the way. Humphreys never takes Barnes to task, and goes out of his way to avoid criticizing him at all. While Humphreys does a much better job with his physics than did Barnes, Humphreys is not out of the intellectual woods either. He has a strong tendency to over-interpret results, and to over-emphasize the degree to which his theories are predictive in nature, or to which they are congruent with reality. His mix of divine intervention and physics is quite natural for a creationist, but not at all acceptable to the non-creationist. Moreover, it is not consistent with an unbiased scientific investigation, in that it presumes what the result will be before the experiment is done. As is my custom, civilized critiques, comments and inquiries are always welcome, and I will do my best to respond. For those of you impressed by credentials, or who wonder if I am “qualified” to write such an article, I will point out that I have B.S. (1978) and M.S. (1985) degrees in physics, from California State university at Los Angeles, as well as a decade’s worth of experience as a radio astronomer studying the magnetospheric environment of theouter planets.

  46. #46 castletonsnob
    December 6, 2008

    I think Ozzy’s gone off his medication again.

    SHAAARROOON!

  47. #47 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    December 6, 2008

    Then why do 50% of the population reject evolutionism?

    A combination of ignorance, gullibility, and an emotional tie to their religion and the leaders of said religion that lie to them.

  48. #48 strangest brew
    December 6, 2008

    ‘He doesn’t mention it at all…that they can’t borrow the good name of a legitimate educational and scientific institution … And that’s unbelievable.’

    Not when ya pimping for jebus…tis okay to omit relevant but contrary information…

  49. #49 Graculus
    December 6, 2008

    All attempted “proofs” for evolution have fallen flat in that they can be equally explained by other theories.

    OK.. name one.

    Name one(1) **scientific** **theory** that explains the **evidence** better than the theory of evolution.

    -I suggest that you look up the meaning of the emphasized words before replying.

    Of course, that is assuming you will reply, which I’m not betting on. Trolls never answer the questions.

  50. #50 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    December 6, 2008

    ozzy came through, shat on three Ken Ham threads and then ran off. I doubt he’ll be back. I bet his feelings are really hurt though because we used naughty words and were critical of his hero Ken Ham.

  51. #51 raven
    December 6, 2008

    MC the braindead troll:

    Then why do 50% of the population reject evolutionism?

    For the same reason that:

    1. A century and a half ago the same percentage of the US population thought keeping slaves and buying and selling them were OK. They were so convinced that they nearly destroyed the USA in a bloody war that killed millions.

    2. 400 years ago, the population believed witches and demons roamed the earth, causing diseases and other catastrophes. They were killed by the tens of thousands.

    3. Last century, a group of technologically savvy Europeans decided to fix their problems by massacring 6 million Jews.

    4. 2 millenia ago, everyone knew that Apollo Helios dragged the sun across the sky every day in a chariot and the earth was flat and the center of the universe.

    What large segments of a population believe has nothing to do with what is true. We can’t vote on what reality is or should be. This is called “magical thinking.

    Half the population have IQs less than 100. Creationism is the domain of the dumb and ignorant. You are one of them, obviously.

    BTW MC. Two thirds of the world’s population are nonXians. If xianity is true and god and the kid are all powerful, all seeing, beings, how come the majority of the world’s population can’t see it? Using your (faulty) logic, it would indicate that they are false myths.

  52. #52 Lowell
    December 6, 2008

    “and the leaders of said religion that lie to them.”

    And this, to me, is the crux of the matter. The Creation Museum actively lies to children too young to defend themselves. That’s its main function.

    Bronson tries to make it sound as if the CM simply illustrates biblical creation stories in its displays and such. But, it also tells children that those stories are true and that the things they (might) learn in science classes are untrue.

    A legitimate educational institution like the Zoo shouldn’t have anything to do with that, and neither would Bronson if he had any integrity.

  53. #53 Travis
    December 6, 2008

    MC: Have you read the talk origins pages dealing with it? I am not an astronomer but I do have a physics degree and just reading that webpage I had a few concerns and after quickly checking out talkorigins I see those concerns have already been written about in at least 2 places.
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/magfields.html
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/helium/zircons.html

  54. #54 Wowbagger
    December 6, 2008

    Wait, someone tried to use something to do with Neptune as evidence for creationism?

    To my memory the bible says that the stars are set in the firmament. Does it even mention that some of the celestial bodies are different types, i.e. planets vs. stars? I’m going to hazard a guess that it doesn’t; I have a feeling those writing the early bible didn’t have too many telescopes at hand.

  55. #55 bugbear
    December 6, 2008

    Speaking as a past resident of Ohio…Columbus, btw, home of OSU and a wonderful town to live in…

    The posters on Pharyngula may not be realizing the steel-reinforced-brick-wall-backwardness that is the general (not always of course, but too common to be dismissed easily) attitude of Cincinnati.

    Cincy has a nasty history of racism, political and religious fundamentalism and general mean-spiritedness with respect to immigrants, gay folk, and, well, outsiders in general. The city, despite its size, is really very insular and religious.

    Don’t expect many people there to be happy about ANY challenges to their mindset, or that you might change their minds.

  56. #56 Rey Fox
    December 6, 2008

    “ummmm….girlie shows are not usually free….
    There does that address the issue?”

    If by “address” you mean “dodge”, then yes.

  57. #57 bendyball
    December 6, 2008

    Thank god you guys are stuck with Ken Ham. Please don’t send him back here to Australia.

    Here are a couple of quotes from Voltaire

    “I have only ever made one prayer to God, a very short one: O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous. And God granted it”

    “It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.”

  58. #58 CalGeorge
    December 6, 2008

    Peter Bronson is also a Bush fanboy, judging from this idiotic story:

    http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2004/09/28/loc_loc1abushbronson.html
    [...]

    “I believe the most solemn duty of a president is to protect the American people,” Bush twanged. “If America fails to show resolve, we will drift toward tragedy. This is not gonna happen on my watch.”

    The crowd went wild.

    He had a good line whacking John Kerry, offering a preview of their debate on Thursday: “It’s been a little tough preparing for the debate,” he said, “because he keeps changing his positions, especially on the war. I think he can spend 90 minutes debating himself.

    [...]

    When Bush shook hands on his way out, the faces of women almost glowed as he approached, looking beatific and swoony like Joan of Arc winning the grand prize on The Price is Right.

    “We were standing for five hours and I would stand for five more,” said Robert Welch of Scottsdale, Ariz., who stayed over for Bush after his 50th Hamilton High School reunion.

    “Kerry is just trying to tear things down,” said Margie Murray of Mason.

    From West Chester, I could see from here to Election Day – and it looks like Bush Country is a lot bigger than the experts thought.

    What a moron.

  59. #59 Iain M
    December 6, 2008

    Bronson was almost right with this bit:

    Some insecure [Christian]ists get scared by ideas they fear, and off we go – another brick wall of political correctness must be built to shield feeble minds from taboo thoughts and theories.

    and now it’s all right.

  60. #60 Duvenoy
    December 6, 2008

    Ain’t skeered….

  61. #61 quasarpulse
    December 6, 2008

    They should pick on astronomers for a while.

    Noooo! You keep them! You keep them!

  62. #62 Marc Abian
    December 6, 2008

    There will also be goats and sheep.

    Obviously there will be. The Christians must be the only patrons the Creation Museum has.

  63. #63 David Marjanovi?, OM
    December 6, 2008

    Then why do 50% of the population reject evolutionism?

    Only in America, dude. Only in America.

    (And Turkey.)

    Peter Bronson is also a Bush fanboy

    How predictable. How boringly predictable.

  64. #64 MH
    December 6, 2008

    MC #40 asked “Then why do 50% of the population reject evolutionism?”

    I can only assume that you are talking about the population of the US. The populations of other developed countries don’t seem to have a problem with the theory of evolution. I believe that religious creationism theories (of all flavours) abound in third-world countries, though.

  65. #65 JoshH
    December 6, 2008

    Here is another post from the same site with more fun claims of false persecution (it’s a letter to the editor…so beware).

  66. #66 druidbros
    December 6, 2008

    Posted by: Rey Fox | December 6, 2008 5:25 PM

    “ummmm….girlie shows are not usually free….
    There does that address the issue?”

    If by “address” you mean “dodge”, then yes.

    ummmm …this was what is commonly referred to in modern day parlance as a ‘joke’. Maybe you’ve heard of them?

  67. #67 breadmaker
    December 6, 2008

    so what about the easter bunny?
    does it discredit the museum if they incorporate the easter bunny… bunnies did evolve from something else right?

  68. #68 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    December 6, 2008

    so what about the easter bunny?
    does it discredit the museum if they incorporate the easter bunny… bunnies did evolve from something else right?

    The notion of discredit involves there being some credit due to begin with.

  69. #69 druidbros
    December 6, 2008

    oh MC, the number of people who believe in something makes little difference. What matters is the empirical evidence. There was a time when 99%+ believed that the sun revolved around the earth because the Pope said so. And thats just one example of the church being on the wrong side of reality.

  70. #70 Traffic Demon
    December 6, 2008

    David Wiener @ #12

    Quoting Inigo Montoya, you mean?

  71. #71 Rey Fox
    December 6, 2008

    “ummmm …this was what is commonly referred to in modern day parlance as a ‘joke’.”

    I like jokes, but yours seems to be under deep cover.

  72. #72 druidbros
    December 6, 2008

    OUCH…..

  73. #73 druidbros
    December 6, 2008

    Obtuse maybe but then humor is subversive.

  74. #74 Insgihtful Ape
    December 6, 2008

    The columnist truly needs to see Sexpelled(parody of Expelled), contending that proponent of Stork theory(for birth of babies) have been unfairly discriminated against.
    “If the Sex Theory is unassailable, what is the “Big Sex” so afraid of?”.
    Seriously, it is amazing that they talk about “getting offended over trivialities” when it hasn’t even been a week since they made those ridiculous protests over the atheist sign in Washington state.

  75. #75 notedscholar
    December 6, 2008

    Hmm.

    Personally, I’m in support of any instance of stopping museums from working with each other.

    But the arguments in this seem particularly good.

    I think that many Christians involved in productions like this tend to have persecution complexes.

    NS
    http://sciencedefeated.wordpress.com/

  76. #76 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    December 6, 2008

    Noted scholar

    Are you high?

  77. #77 FlameDuck
    December 6, 2008

    I suppose next they will try to ban Santa Claus

    Ban? Whose talking about a ban? But if you had an institution that seriously suggested the Santa Claus Mythology, was an accurate science and you tried to gain credibility by using a real science institution, like MIT to bolster your science credentials, you’d probably get shredded too. Even if you could find a few people at MIT wearing Santa hats.

    Evolution is a theory in the same sense that creation is a theory.

    Wrong. Evolution is a corroborated theory, in the same sense that creationism is a disproved hypothesis. So a more correct analogy would be to say that, creationism is to theories, what concrete is to food.

    All attempted “proofs” for evolution have fallen flat

    Really? Well it’s a good thing science doesn’t work by proving hypothesis’ then. It works by falsifying them. You can come up with all kinds of ways to “prove” creationism. But you only need one to falsify it. Read Genesis. In Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them”. Oh but wait, there’s more. In Genesis 2:7 “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” and later in Genesis 2:22 “And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man”.

    Whoops! Creationism positively falsified by the only thing that supports it – The Bible – has two distinct and completely different hypothesis’ (as they are untested) on creationism. But guess what? Even if Creationism were true, and we knew this for a fact, through actual divine intervention (and not this by proxy divination he’s been doing the last several thousand years), creationist still need to come up with an explanation as to why not everyone in the whole world has the exact same DNA. Well evolution explains this by generational mutations. Your move creep.

  78. #78 Teleprompter
    December 6, 2008

    @ Jeeves #26

    Yes, I’ve always had my suspicions about Pat Sajak, hehe.

    Ever notice how he always holds the hand of a female contestant when she goes up to guess for the Bonus Round? My mother once said that if Pat tried to do that to her, she’d smack him.

  79. #79 Pierce R. Butler
    December 6, 2008

    For well over a decade, it’s been a reliable rule of thumb that accusations from right-wingers indicate what they themselves are up to (consider all the adulterers turning purple with rage over l’affaire Lewinski, for one example, or more recent braying about hijacked elections).

    Bronson, in this light, raises the question of just what frightens (terrifies!) the Bushophile hyperchristian nowadays. A review of their general recent output answers that in three words (the middle one is “Hussein”), but since PB doesn’t mention that bugaboo, let’s let that one slide for now.

    Zipping past the giggle-worthy projection of “spluttering insults, condescending arrogance, defensive personal attacks and irrational name-calling”, consider Bronson’s penultimate line:

    It’s the notion that someone might believe in something they don’t.

    Maybe Seth Godin can help him with that. Rationalists can’t, just as a fish would have little advice for a human afraid of water.

  80. #80 bgbaysjr
    December 6, 2008

    Bronson’s little screed is the best case of “struck dog yelps” I have seen in a long time. The greatest threat to their fragile fortress of belief is, of course, real knowledge about the real world. Why else would reason and the scientific method terrify them so?

    If they didn’t have so much power, it would be more entertaining. Christiopaths believe that Jesus promised promised promised his followers would be persecuted “in his name” and, as I vaguely recall, that it would be a sign of his imminent return. Unfortunately for them, they are in fact not persecuted in any significant way in most of the world, so are forced to make do and read any challenge to their hegemony as the long-promised persecution that would herald the End of Days (TM). Hence the absurdity of the War on Christmas (TM) and Expelled. “See!? SEE?! They’re persecuting us and banning us! We are the blessed! And Jesus is coming soon!”

    Of course, it has been almost 2000 years since Jesus promised promised promised that some who had heard him would still living when he returned, so…

  81. #81 Nes
    December 6, 2008

    D’oh! #74 beat me to it when I was off checking my facts (what an outrageous concept!) and ended up falling in to the Wikipedia problem (20 open tabs…). I’ll post it anyway :P

    Bronson:

    But it seems like the only thing Americans have really perfected in the past 30 years is the art of being mortally offended by ridiculous trivialities.

    Like, say, the response to a billboard that simply said “Imagine No Religion”?

    Moron.

  82. #82 clinteas
    December 6, 2008

    The worry is really,how irreconcilable the 2 positions are,and to what degree creationists just cannot computewhere we are coming from.This persecution complex transcends everything,we have talked about it a lot recently and seen quite a few of those comics havent we.

    And it is because of this persecution complex that there is just no rational discussion to be had with these people,and thats where the big divide and the whole trench thing comes from IMO.

    Christo-zombies have a god-given right to critisize and point our where we are wrong in their opinion,but do it to them,and its persecution,intolerance,being hateful.

  83. #83 David Marjanovi?, OM
    December 6, 2008

    Christiopaths believe that Jesus promised promised promised his followers would be persecuted “in his name” and, as I vaguely recall, that it would be a sign of his imminent return. Unfortunately for them, they are in fact not persecuted in any significant way in most of the world, so are forced to make do and read any challenge to their hegemony as the long-promised persecution that would herald the End of Days (TM). Hence the absurdity of the War on Christmas (TM) and Expelled. “See!? SEE?! They’re persecuting us and banning us! We are the blessed! And Jesus is coming soon!”

    The Gospel According to Mark
    13:30 Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.
    13:31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
    13:32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
    13:33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
    13:34 For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
    13:35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
    13:36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
    13:37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

    Emphasis added. Discuss.

  84. #84 mindlesley
    December 6, 2008

    We have only 5 free to air TV channels in Sydney. As a perennial insomniac I often watch late night movies to bore me to sleep. Over last 5 years religious conmen/women have taken over one commercial station after another bending minds 4 money. Is there no escape. I know turn TV off but what do I do when really tired and can’t read. Don’t tell me!For unmistakeable instance of evolution in action see development of MRSA and other resistant bugs from +++ use of antibiotics. Legs are being amputated like in Crimea. Also liver-eating viruses like Hep. C develop strains that are immune to various anti-virals. Lastly ever looked at cell structures under electron microscope. Remind you of anything? Remnant bacteria etc. + viruses trapped in human cells. Did yr god have a kangaroo loose in his top paddock (Aussie for was he a lunatic)?

    Best of Luck for the summer solstice, Mindlesley. xxx

  85. #85 Crudely Wrott
    December 6, 2008

    Here are two very easy methods to understand what the scientific meaning of “theory is:

    1) As you travel over the road en route to your destination with full confidence that you will arrive safely and on time, reflect on the Theory of the Internal Combustion Engine.

    2) Take this approach whenever you flip a switch, answer a phone call, purchase bath towels or design and build an addition to your house. You will always take recourse in Theory when you need to know how to approach a problem. When a search for an answer to some question leads past the “helpful hints” variety of research you need to dig a little deeper. When you do, Presto! there it is-Theory.

    As relates to 1) above, the TICE answers questions such as: Is it possible to make practical use of the knowledge that a little bit of fuel vapor mixed with air will burn vigorously and release a large amount of energy? Is it possible to design and build a device that mixes and burns a fuel/air mixture under controlled conditions and uses the energy released to provide useful work? (Like rollin’ them wheels?)

    That’s what Theory is. The guidebook; the user manual. Theory does not propose to be full and reliable truth. It is the topo map of the state of the art, depicting the state of current knowledge in terms of confidence and evidence. It shows the general lay of the land. It provides a means to navigate to any particular point on the map. What it does not do is specify precisely what is at that point. You have to go to that place yourself to find that information and for that effort you apply the Theory.

    That the Theory of the Internal Combustion Engine is not “just a theory” is demonstrated every time you back out of the driveway. It works.

    (pardon, is that your ring-tone?)

  86. #86 RickrOll
    December 6, 2008

    Did your god have a kangaroo loose in his top paddock?

    -favorited!

  87. #87 Mindlesley
    December 6, 2008

    As far as sleeping goes I should be alright then. Like your use of irony, David. Mindy xxx

  88. #88 David Wiener
    December 6, 2008

    Um, my bad – got the quoter and the quotee reversed. Errr.

  89. #89 clinteas
    December 6, 2008

    Ahem,

    mind @ 84,

    *looks at his watch,checks with puter clock,rechecks*

    Mate,its 1230,isnt this a bit early to be,ya know,on the grog?

    Good point about the religious nutters on the night programmes tho,I do a lot of night shifts,and every time you sit down for a cuppa,there’s some televangelist nutcase on TV in the tearoom.

  90. #90 deep
    December 6, 2008

    The sheer love of persecution that some of these people have is horrifying. It’s like every time you smack them they just say “more, more, MORE!” It makes me wonder why no more “Clergy & Dominatrix” scandals haven’t come to light.

  91. #91 William Gulvin
    December 6, 2008

    Anyone who has had kids knows this situation: when they discover the word “why”, they learn that it is a tool for starting an unending conversation. Give ‘em an answer, and they just say “why” again; explain that, and it’s “why” again; the game keeps going until the adult gives up in exasperation.

    I’ve found that telling a kid who’s on that kick that “it’s magic” often works, at least for a while. Clearly, there are too many adults for whom that answer still works.

  92. #92 B. Scott Andersen
    December 6, 2008

    Though not as close as the zoo, I’m sure the Salem Witch Museum here in Massachusetts might be open to a ticket combo deal–assuming all those Christians don’t hold with that whole “Suffer not a witch to live” thing. I’m just sayin’.

  93. #93 shonny
    December 6, 2008

    Maybe the IDiots’ ‘museum’ should be renamed ‘The Museum of the Blown Light Bulb.’ There is a vacuum inside, and no [en]light[enment] is emitted. Ever.
    As to give that temple of absolute ignorance anything else than deafening silent contempt . . .

  94. #94 William Gulvin
    December 6, 2008

    13:32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
    13:33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
    13:34 For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
    13:35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
    13:36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
    13:37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

    Emphasis added. Discuss.

    And what I say unto this is what I say unto all the nutters around these parts, that I, a total heathen, can easily divine the arrival of the rapture. It stands to “reason” that the rapture will most certainly occur on the very same day and at the very same hour that Hell freezes over!
    That gets ‘em. Then I laugh.

  95. #95 druidbros
    December 6, 2008

    13:32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. 13:33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. 13:34 For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. 13:35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: 13:36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. 13:37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

    Sound just like Santa Claus…except we know he comes on Dec 24th !!!

  96. #96 george.w
    December 6, 2008

    I suppose next they will try to ban Santa Claus because all that stuff about reindeer pulling his sleigh pulled across the sky has not been peer-reviewed in a scientific journal.

    Goodness, not at all, as long as they’re willing to admit that creationism is on par with Santa Claus. With that stipulation they can put decorations about creationism anywhere they want.

  97. #97 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    December 6, 2008

    Sound just like Santa Claus…except we know he comes on Dec 24th !!!

    Only once a year? What is Mrs. Claus doing wrong the rest of the year??

    *pours another Bourbon

  98. #98 madame_zora
    December 6, 2008

    I’m from this embarrassing city of Cincinnati, and I can assure you our atheist meetup group added our voices to the list. The sad thing is, we have one of the countries’ most elegant REAL museums here. I seem to recall the zoo teaming up with them in the past, so this thing with the creation “museum” was distressing indeed.

    No way can we let our actual scientific institutions have their credibility lessened by nonsense such as this. By the speed of the removal, I’m guessing this unholy liaison was approved by a person of lesser authority- at least I’m hoping. I took my anthropology class at the zoo back when I was studying at UC, my daughter indulged her curiosity at the living world there. To me, that is sacred and not to be defiled by religious anti-science.

  99. #99 William Gulvin
    December 6, 2008

    It’s like every time you smack them they just say “more, more, MORE!”

    As any successful evangelist could tell you, it’s more like “Hit me, beat me, make me write bad checks!” Or rather good checks to a bad cause.

  100. #100 Miguel
    December 6, 2008

    Yeah, I’m also “afraid” of astrology, homeopathy, and the faeries at the bottom of the garden. Nah, not really. Sorry Mr Bronson, but mystical nonsense doesn’t scare me.

  101. #101 Randy
    December 6, 2008

    The best part was the end where he compared Jesus to Santa as examples of unscientific thought.

  102. #102 notedscholar
    December 7, 2008

    Dear Rev. Big Chump at 76 or so,

    You are aptly usernamed.

    And to answer your question: no.

    NS
    http://sciencedefeated.wordpress.com/

  103. #103 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    December 7, 2008

    Are you sure?

  104. #104 Voltaire Kinison
    December 7, 2008

    Ozzy (#5) was great with Black Sabbath, but too much alcohol pickled his brain.
    Ozzy, Evolution is a theory the same way Gravity is a theory.
    Creationism is a “theory” the same way Santa’s reindeer can fly because of the “they’re magic theory”.
    Alllll Abooard!!!! Ha HA Ha HA hA ha HA ha HA!
    (Oooops…Sorry… post Sabbath solo Ozzy..)

  105. #105 Alan
    December 7, 2008

    My world and welcome to it. One of the reasons the Cincinnati Enquirer has been borderline unreadable for much of my thirtysomething-year lifetime is that it employs buffoons like Bronson as featured columnists. This is very typical of his writing, and, as you can see, he has no qualms with spouting off from a position of willful ignorance. I remember anti-evolution columns from him going back at least ten years. Mostly he writes about Andy Rooney/Larry King things-I-can-see-from-my-window type things, but he always does it with that patented Cincinnati self-absorption and uninformed self-pride. So nice to finally see him called out for his vapid ramblings and misplaced sense of expertise.

  106. #106 Rick R
    December 7, 2008

    “inflame the martyr gland of the poor Christian majority”

    Heh. That’s awesome.

  107. #107 blf
    December 7, 2008

    … assuming all those Christians don’t hold with that whole “Suffer not a witch to live” thing.

    I once had a long entryphone conversation (I was not about to open the fecking door!) with some cultists (don’t recall which particular christian brand there were selling) on that. I wanted them to explain why the church killed numerous women in the Middle Ages for being witches. (To wind them up I used the controversial figure of 11million.)

    Unfortunately, the conversation went in circles. They refused to believe that there was any such order in the babble, or that the church had anything to do with the witch-burnings. (They didn’t challenge the 11million figure, and–to their credit–didn’t deny witches were burnt.) I couldn’t recall which passage in the babble contained the instruction to kill witches, so was in a poor position to refute either point.

    Anyways, and no huge surprise here, there are some christians who don’t know they are supposed to kill witches, that the babble says they are to do so, or that their fellow cultists have done so. Whether or not they’d object to an actual attempt to kill one, I don’t know. (And I have no recollection of ever hearing an apology or admission of error for that particular Holocaust against European Women.)

    The weird thing is this conversation was in England!

  108. #108 MickyW
    December 7, 2008

    “I have to feel sorry for them — their sense of self-worth seems to reside in a belief that they are persecuted for their beliefs, and it’s just so hard to maintain when you’re a dominant majority trying to force-feed religious absurdities on people with educations.”

    I could quote several scriptures here (don’t worry, I won’t). But yes, martyrdom is literally seen as a blessing from God, and they actively seek it out. Most western Christians today haven’t a clue what real persecution is, of course. But that doesn’t stop them trumpeting their problems in an attempt to place the idea that their fantasy theme park might sell a few less tickets on a par with the stoning of Stephen.

  109. #109 Arnosium Upinarum
    December 7, 2008

    PZ: “Give ‘em an answer, and they just say “why” again; explain that, and it’s “why” again; the game keeps going until the adult gives up in exasperation. We all know that the kid is not trying to think or get a complete answer — he just wants attention.”

    Bingo. Kids don’t do it for the understanding or insight. Their motivation is selfish and immediate gratification.

    PZ: “I have to feel sorry for them — their sense of self-worth seems to reside in a belief that they are persecuted for their beliefs, and it’s just so hard to maintain when you’re a dominant majority trying to force-feed religious absurdities on people with educations.”

    Bingo again. Once again (as per Bonnie Cox’s performance letter, as posted later) we are treated to the spectacle of the total denial of truth. That’s There is a pattern to it: first, take on a belief, any belief, and people will endeavor to defend it. That much is clear. Then there is the higher-order pattern wherein an adopted belief recursively acts upon the maintenance of that belief: under no circumstances must that belief be dislodged by forces (like evidence and information) “attacking it” from outside. Hence “unshakable faith”, and so on.

    So what do we get when we put these two together?

  110. #110 Moggie
    December 7, 2008

    “Frightening… Terrifying… scared witless… what are they afraid of… scared by ideas they fear…”

    Bronson exhibits more projection than a film festival, but it’s not surprising. Christianity thrives on fear: fear of death; fear of eternal punishment; fear that the universe, and one’s place in it, may be purposeless; fear of having to think. They have a hard time understanding that atheists aren’t similarly ruled by fear. After all, that would mean that there’s an advantage to atheism, and that can’t be right!

  111. #111 brokensoldier
    December 7, 2008

    There is no proven scientific risk of catching contagious Christianity from merely touching a ticket.

    No, but with this deal there was the chance of their Creation Museum gaining a little bit of credibility from the Zoo by way of osmosis…if they believed in osmosis, that is…

  112. #112 ZT
    December 7, 2008

    This URL points to another newspaper column from Ohio on this topic: http://beta.mansfieldnewsjournal.com/article/20081207/OPINION02/812070302

  113. #113 dave s
    December 7, 2008

    Wait a minute, they have a live nativity? Wow! Think they’ll get her to give birth on Christmas morning?

  114. #114 khan
    December 7, 2008

    BTW, notedscholar has been trolling many forums.
    I think he has timecube as a mentor.

  115. #115 Nerd of Redhead
    December 7, 2008

    Yeah, notedscholar is neither noted nor a scholar. Just another ignorant troll.

  116. #116 Nix
    December 7, 2008

    When did PZ attack Christmas, anyway? I thought he celebrated it, just like every other atheist in the Western world? (Or at least celebrated *something* around the Solstice, even if just that the days are getting longer again and eventually all that snow will melt and we’ll be able to eat something other than stale potato.)

  117. #117 mindlesley
    December 7, 2008

    Druidbros and David,”…but of that day and that hour, knoweth no man…” not pissed but lost my watch on acid trip in 1960′s and never replaced.

    Also not got it together to do the links thing. But if you like Shakespeare (or even if you don’t) see my actor exhusband/best friend Beatnikcass on Utube. Also tells how his father kills Rommel (got lots of hate mail from Hitler fans) and speaks out to defend getting drunk under railway bridges.

  118. #118 Nerd of Redhead
    December 7, 2008

    Nix, PZ celebrates Squidmas, which coincides with Xmas, and has many of the same traditions, with cephalopods in place of religious figures. Many of us celebrate the holidays in some fashion. I’m in the middle of decorating our big tree (no conifers were sacrificed) for the Redhead to impress her friends.

    This thread was on a different topic, but got sidetracked at the end.

  119. #119 Badger3k
    December 7, 2008

    re: 83 – well, of course, no one knows when it will happen – there are no clocks on it, after all, but as every True Christian ™ knows, there will be signs and portents. These portents fortell the coming time when they will be raptured up to heaven to drink and watch the poor schmucks on Earth get tortured (and worse), all the while laughing it up. One of these signs is surely when other people laugh at their beliefs, as there is nothing worse than that. Poor marytrs. Surely you remember when St Paul was mocked to death? No? I’m sure it’s in there somewhere.

    Seriously, though, the most obvious sign is the appearance of the Fire Giants, and the resurgence of the Midgard Serpent. Everyone knows that.

  120. #120 Twin-Skies
    December 7, 2008

    Longtime lurker here, just decided to offer my two cents.

    I cannot express how freaking sick and tired I am of hearing people like the dude from the Enquirer try to invoke the persecution card to carry their own personal biases.

    I am a Catholic, and quite frankly, I imagine even my Jesuit professors would have loved to bitch-slap the curators of the Creation Museum for their blatant lies.

    I’m probably asking for it by posting my religion, but please understand there are many like me in the faith who are just as pissed off as you guys are with ignoramuses like Ham and Hovind giving us a bad name.

    I’m not here looking for a fight.

  121. #121 brokensoldier, OM
    December 8, 2008

    Posted by: Twin-Skies | December 7, 2008 10:47 PM

    I’m probably asking for it by posting my religion, but please understand there are many like me in the faith who are just as pissed off as you guys are with ignoramuses like Ham and Hovind giving us a bad name.
    I’m not here looking for a fight.

    I seriously doubt you’ll find any sort of animosity or directed retribution here because you identified yourself as a person of faith. It is actually quite the contrary, with the caveat that your comments and ideas put forth on this board stay within the bounds of reason, you’ll be welcomed with open arms.

    This is the main difference between the two sides in this debate. The Creationist museum advocates want to cry oppression – not out of genuine oppression, but rather because it will get them invaluable publicity and sympathy support – and demonize their opponents when things like this happen, because it is easier to control your base when you stereotype your foes and engage in group-think, often quite incorrect, about the other side. Here, I believe we all pride ourselves on being open to any commenter, and we base our responses and opinions not on uniformity of worldview, but rather on the merits of your arguments.

    Hope to see you around again more.

  122. #122 Sgt Skepper
    December 8, 2008

    My favourite line:

    “Some insecure secularists get scared by ideas they fear”

    Is this guy seriously a journalist? He gets paid for his writing skill?

  123. #123 Cincinnati Kid
    December 8, 2008

    Bronson is part of the conservative cabal that runs Cincinnati. Instead of the creation “museum” being a laughing stock, idiots like him defend it. Another reason why I’m moving ASAP.

  124. #124 Ann
    December 8, 2008

    Bravo on the last two sentences!

  125. #125 zer0
    December 8, 2008

    I have to feel sorry for them — their sense of self-worth seems to reside in a belief that they are persecuted for their beliefs, and it’s just so hard to maintain when you’re a dominant majority trying to force-feed religious absurdities on people with educations.

    Damn PZ… that’s crazy quote-worthy goodness. Huzzah!

  126. #126 Mandy
    December 12, 2008

    Did he just compare belief in creationism with a belief in Santa Claus? There’s much more evidence for Santa. Who used to leave me presents when I was a kid?

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