Monday, September 20, 2010

Questions for the Creation Museum in Santee, CA This Saturday

The creationism museum outside San Diego is having a special show and tell day this coming weekend, Saturday 25 September from 9 to 5; I'm posting this only if you want to go represent the good guys so the little kids that get dragged in there hear a responsible adult politely objecting.

I have yet to go inside this place and I won't be there Saturday. I have to admit I'm curious, never having been to such a place. I'm partly held back by something that Jonathan Whitmore (President of RationalThought@UCSD) has said: that these kinds of places exist for the purpose of creating confrontation, in an atmosphere where rational discourse is difficult or impossible. In other words, when you go in, you're in their territory, and rhetorically they're already halfway to accomplishing their objectives.

However, if YOU should happen to go, I would be most honored if you would ask any or all of these questions to whomever might be on duty. (If you do, please let me know in the comments.) Clarence Darrow had the best idea. You don't talk to these people about the details of biology, because they don't know them anyway; you ask questions about religion (since that's what this discussion is about) or you ask "meta" questions, about the argument or the claimants themselves. So here are a few I've collected:

- FIRST AND FOREMOST: why, exactly, are they so concerned about the theory of evolution being advanced? (This one is by far the most important.)

- Why would the people who own the museum deal with an in-your-face evolutionist institution like UCSD? Is money really that much more important than their principles? (Background: I believe the museum is run by the same people who run Scantibodies, a clinical diagnostics firm, which I've seen with my own eyes collecting specimens from the campus clinic at UCSD.)

- Is the Vatican evil? (Since they've said that evolution is true.) What's worse, promoting evolution, or molesting kids? (See if they have to think about this one.)

- Has evolution moved forward out of ignorance, or an active conspiracy? If conspiracy, how can so many people be involved (billions by now)

- Where are the creationist medical advances and biological discoveries? Where are the creationist biotechnology companies? Is it because they can't get funded, on account of the conspiracy? (Which would suggest the capitalists of America are staunch evolutionists.)

- What's worse, an Islamic creationist, or an evolutionist? In what ways, specifically, are the Islamic creationists wrong? (If you know details of other creation myths, by all means ask about them, but it's really only effective with living religions who are potential competitors to Christianity. Creationists are more often willing to grudgingly admit that the ancient Greeks might have had some detail right, because there are no ancient Greeks trying build Parthenons near Ground Zero.)

- How many atheist creationists are there? Why so many more Christian evolutionists than atheist creationists?

- Is the theory of evolution on the way out? If so, specific predictions: at what point in the future (guessing now) do they think 10% of scientists will change their minds? (Or some other measurable yardstick that you can make an explicit bet about, even if the stakes is just bragging rights.)

- Personally, to the attendant you're talking to: does he or she personally make sure not to invest in Old-Earth evolutionist companies like biomedical and oil exploration firms?

- How is creationism different than geocentrism, pre-germ-theory medicine, vaccines-cause-autism, i.e. theories which the creationists will likely agree are outmoded or held by politically distasteful sorts?

- What is their tax status, i.e. 501c(3), etc. (Fair question!)

1 comment:

Debbie said...

I am thinking of going. I would probably sit outside across the street with my sign: "THOU SHALT NOT LIE"

I've been inside this particular museum, and hate to admit it, but it's beautifully done. It sickens me to think that this will be the only "science" museum some of these people will ever visit.

If I venture inside, I'll take your questions with me.