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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

does the creation museum support evolution?

Kenneth Chang says yes.

The descendants of the ark dog include foxes, states one of the museum signs. This is pretty incredible if you don’t accept the theory of evolution. Dogs (and wolves) have a genome of 78 chromosomes. The red fox has 34 chromosomes. By most any measure, dogs and foxes are different species and yet here in the Creation Museum, it was stated that foxes had diversified from dogs, with major changes in appearance and genetic make-up, in an incredibly short time of less than 4,500 years — far, far faster than an evolutionary biologist would claim.

So I suppose this would be called evolution, of a kind. The Creation Museum faces many difficulties in putting its chronology together in such a short time frame.

In a separate article, Chang notes:

Tamaki Sato was confused by the dinosaur exhibit. The placards described the various dinosaurs as originating from different geological periods — the stegosaurus from the Upper Jurassic, the heterodontosaurus from the Lower Jurassic, the velociraptor from the Upper Cretaceous — yet in each case, the date of demise was the same: around 2348 B.C.

2348 B.C. is the creationists' date for the Great Flood. According to the musem, some 50 species of dinosaur apparently were included on the ark, but afterward were unable to cope with the changed environment and soon died off. Why God would order Noah to load these behemoths onto the ark, knowing that they would not survive anyway, is left to the imagination.

The scientists' visit to the museum was the idea of Arnold Miller, professor of geology at the University of Cincinnati.

“Too often, academics tend to ignore what’s going on around them,” Dr. Miller said. “I feel at least it would be valuable for my colleagues to become aware not only of how creationists are portraying their own message, but how they’re portraying the paleontological message and the evolutionary message.”

Dr. Bengtson noted that to explain how the few species aboard the ark could have diversified to the multitude of animals alive today in only a few thousand years, the museum said simply, “God provided organisms with special tools to change rapidly.”

“Thus in one sentence they admit that evolution is real,” Dr. Bengtson said, “and that they have to invoke magic to explain how it works.”

To me, that's the most inexplicable thing about today's creationists. They essentially acknowledge that evolution occurs, but they remain skeptical about the well-understood and well-documented driving forces behind it. What's the point?

I'm not alone in failing to understand:

“I think they should rename the museum — not the Creation Museum, but the Confusion Museum,” said Lisa E. Park, a professor of paleontology at the University of Akron.

“Unfortunately, they do it knowingly,” Dr. Park said. “I was dismayed. As a Christian, I was dismayed.”

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At 7/16/2009 5:15 AM, Blogger James Higham said...

I'm a Christian but have a great problem with creationists trying to do things they were never exhorted in the gospels to do.

At 7/16/2009 7:38 AM, Blogger BruceA said...

That's exactly the problem I have with creationism. I don't see anything in Jesus' teaching to suggest that building an alternative fossil museum is more important than feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, or taking care of the sick. Maybe they are using a different translation.

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