Pharyngula

The ark builders

Apoplexy is such an antique disease. I’d hate to die of it, just because is so unfashionable, but every time I read one of these stories about Answers In Genesis, I feel an attack coming on.

Yeah, they’re working on building a replica of Noah’s Ark. It’s all part of their plan for defrauding the public. The author talked to people at the existing creation “museum”, and hit one of those points that spike my blood pressure.

When I was at the Creation Museum I got talking to Greg Duck, an industrial courier who was visiting from Texas. He said his favourite part was a video where a creationist paleontologist who is digging alongside one of his peers says: “I start with the Bible. My colleague does not. We come to different conclusions because of our different starting points.” Duck said: “That is tremendous perspective.” I asked him if he believed in creationism. “Oh yeah,” he replied. “You’ve got to follow the facts.”

It’s the first lie the Creation “Museum” hammers at you: ‘we’re all using exactly the same evidence, it’s just that we’re using that same evidence plus the bible.’ Yet the reverse is true.

What AiG doesn’t tell you is that there is a vast and consilient array of facts that demonstrate that a dinosaur fossil, for instance, is over 65 million years old. We’ve accumulated all these methods that lock together to agree on the age; and these are the same methods that lock together to support modern technology. They provide for a gigantic library of facts tested and reinforced by reality that testify to the age of the earth.

The Bible has one brief poetic passage on its first page that gives a cursory, non-specific, unverifiable assertion by authority that the creation was brief and teleological, with no date specified. Some Christians, not all, have interpreted those passages to mean the earth is less than 10,000 years old. In fact, historically fundamentalist and evangelical Christians have accepted the old age of the earth; this demand that it must be 6000 years old is a fringe belief that was made mainstream by fanatics in the 1960s. It requires actively rejecting the majority of the data, the testimony of the rocks and stars, in order to make a completely nonsensical claim.

The gullible courier is not following the facts. AiG has to hide the facts and lie about their determination in order to make this utterly outrageous claim that they are taking the totality of the information into account.

Besides being built on lies, their intent is simply vile. They are true believers in Old Testament morality.

Marsh, the ark designer, has similar concerns. He said he had watched humans “become more sensual, more dangerous, more self-centred” – just as they did in the licentious society punished by the biblical flood. As a reminder, before park visitors reach the ark they will walk through a stucco-walled sin city filled with the evils of pre-flood society, which he has decided will include prostitution, torture and cage fighting. On the other side will be a Tower of Babel and a ride themed on the plagues unleashed on Egypt, among them a river of blood and swarms of locusts. “We basically have retribution through this whole thing,” Marsh said.

Shouldn’t it bother us all that the basis for their arguments about morality are built on fear of a retributive event that didn’t happen? That we’re supposed to quiver in fear of a godly wrath that is nothing but a falsified myth?

Comments

  1. #1 Eric Lund
    April 8, 2013

    the evils of pre-flood society, which he has decided will include prostitution, torture and cage fighting

    And this differs from “post-flood” society how, exactly? If God was supposed to be teaching humans a lesson with Noah’s Flood, He didn’t do an effective job of it.

  2. #2 Roger
    April 8, 2013

    My favorite line from it is a quote from your quote, Eric:
    “…which he has decided…”

    Umm, yes: because that’s how evidence works. You decide what you want to believe or incorporate, and then shape everything else to fit your ideal. Ergo, if the earth is 6000 years old (and it MUST be 6000 years old), then one can simply decide what evidence is valid and what evidence is not.

    (In the case of the Creationist museum, I’m not sure how they differentiate valid and invalid evidence, since virtually all evidence would disprove absolutely everything they proclaim).

  3. #3 Eric Lund
    April 8, 2013

    In the case of the Creationist museum, I’m not sure how they differentiate valid and invalid evidence

    Simple. If you can make it fit the Bible without too much contortion, it’s valid evidence to them. Otherwise, it’s invalid. Thus you are allowed to have dinosaurs for Adam and Eve to ride, but they can’t have come into existence earlier than a day or two before Adam. Nothing in the Bible precludes the existence of dinosaurs in pre-Flood times, but no literal reading of the Bible permits dinosaurs to have gone extinct before humans showed up.

  4. #4 david
    April 8, 2013

    Cage fighting seems to be entirely consistent with old testament morality.

  5. #5 Mooser
    April 8, 2013

    Well, you sorta got to look at it this way: at least these people announce in advance they are hoaxing you. I’m sure if God wanted to inform me that the bulk of science is wrong, He would have no problem getting in touch with me. It’s not as if I don’t make myself available. And not a peep about it.
    Just think, if there was no religion, these same people would be using, or rather mis-using science or junk science and selling supplements or goat-glands or something.

  6. #6 bill hunter
    Atlanta
    April 9, 2013

    They use computers to promote their belief that the earth is ~6000 years old. Computers are based on transistors, Transistor design requires a working model of quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics provides the models for radioactive decay rates, Radioactive decay rates provide the basis for radiometric dating. Radiometric dating verifies the age of the earth is ~4.54 billion years. The fact that their computers work when they promote their arguments is proof their arguments are wrong.

  7. #7 Cat
    Melbourne, Australia
    April 9, 2013

    As someone who is a Christian, I find it seriously embarrasing that there are nutjobs like that who claim to be Christians. If only they bothered to honestly consider what Jesus would say about all this scamming.
    Creationists are missing out when they deny all the science because evolution is awesome. I really hope this stuff doesn’t make it’s way into the school system.

  8. #8 David Marjanović
    Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin
    April 9, 2013

    I really hope this stuff doesn’t make it’s way into the school system.

    In the US it’s already there. It’s not in the official curriculum for public schools, sure, but even there many teachers don’t dare mention evolution for fear the kids and their parents would raise holy hell.

  9. #9 Douglas James
    Victoria BC, Canada
    April 9, 2013

    Go ahead build your ark. But.. don’t use any modern tools or materials to do it, and restrict your workforce to the same number of individuals Noah had available in the Bible (ie his family). This would actually be a very good experimental effort to prove the Bible correct. I expect your efforts would fail. And even IF you succeeded in building it, it still would NOT prove anything about whether the story is actually correct or indeed ever happened. Also, consider building the replica in a location that would provide easy access to a large body of water. I’d love to see the thing sink.

  10. #10 Francesc
    Spain
    April 11, 2013

    The hardest thing is to put together the animals all around the world, even if they allow -sometimes- a little of evolution so that they can justify a far lower number of individuals. Building the ark -wich, I agree, probably couldn’t float- doesn’t seem so hard.
    Anyway, the flood “proves” that Noah and his family had: syphilis, gonorrhea, clamydia, crabs, candidiasis… and any other disease and particularly STD known by humans; as the organisms responsible didn’t dissappear with the flood and every other potential carrier.
    It seems Noah was involved in a lot of sexual activity with several partners in order to save those species, of course following God’s commandements.

  11. #11 hotrats
    April 11, 2013

    In the case of the Creationist museum, I’m not sure how they differentiate valid and invalid evidence

    When every 5-year-old knows that ‘The Flintstones’ are make-believe, I don’t think evidence is a significant issue for the CM.

  12. #12 brightmoon
    April 11, 2013

    there was this great really catchy tune on youtube about kent hovind being a f***tard a few years back ..forgot who it’s by but this brings that song right back into the forefront of my mind …IIRC the title of the film was “tribute to kent hovind ” can’t get YT here at work (sigh)