When some 70 paleontologists took a break from their conference and dropped in on the Creation Museum, the universe experienced a momentary spike in incredulity. NY Times has part of the story:
The museum welcomed the atypical guests with the typical hospitality. “Praise God, we’re excited to have you here,” said Bonnie Mills, a guest service employee.Indeed, I'm sure some of the American PhDs must have felt a little ashamed or embarrassed with having their foreign colleagues come face to face with Backwater, USA.
“I’m very curious and fascinated,” Stefan Bengtson, a professor of paleozoology at the Swedish Museum of Natural History, said before the visit, “because we have little of that kind of thing in Sweden.”Some scientists, though, are also believers. What was their take? Here's Lisa Park's response:
"I think it's very bad science and even worse theology -- and the theology is far more offensive to me," said Park, a professor of paleontology who is an elder in the Presbyterian Church....and...
"I think there's a lot of focus on fear, and I don't think that's a very Christian message... I find it a malicious manipulation of the public."
Daryl Domning, professor of anatomy at Howard University, held his chin and shook his head at several points during the tour.Too many people actually believe that the comical presentations of the Creation Museum are fact, so this story is only one of gauging scientists' reactions, which ranged from bemused to appalled. Perhaps it will ignite a spark in the group, letting them know that the fruits of their labor are so easily ignored. Sure, we have traditional museums which try to be entertaining while being educational at the same time and, by comparison, the Creation Museum should be seen as nothing more than a curiosity - like Graceland, or the world's largest ball of twine. But at its heart, the Creation Museum demonizes the scientists, placing them at the root of the world's evils. It is explicit in its words and animatronics that religion cannot coexist with science, because one must surely bring down the other. The paleontologists, after chortling and eye-rolling, should have felt deeply offended because their short tour in the funhouse is insignificant to the hundreds of thousands who have passed through, many of whom agree with the museum's views.
"This bothers me as a scientist and as a Christian, because it's just as much a distortion and misrepresentation of Christianity as it is of science," he said.
The museum’s presentation appeals to visitors like Steven Leinberger and his wife, Deborah, who came with a group from the Church of the Lutheran Confession in Eau Claire, Wis. “This is what should be taught even in science,” Mr. Leinberger said.