Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Friday, September 23, 2005

The Creationists are Coming! The Creationists are Coming!

Greg Linscott at Sharper Iron.org links to a fun article found at the Il Filosofo blog which highlights how the fine folks at the Museum of the Earth in Ithaca, N.Y., plans to deal with shirt collar grabbing fundamentalists who hassle museum volunteers with questions challenging evolutionary theory.

According to the New York times article cited by blogger Austin Matzko, some hapless docent - that's a fancy word meaning "volunteer" to the museum - was seized upon by a gang of creationists who dared to force the naturalist drone to defend her world view. After 45 minutes of getting hammered by the theists, the retired biology professor needed to take a break and excused herself from the discussion.

Handwringing museum officials, worried of future onslaughts to their already tenuous naturalistic philosophy by creationist fanatics, prepared a training session to provide advice to museum staff and volunteers on handling those visitors who "reject settled precepts of science on religious grounds." Read here: "who don't bow the knee to our materialistic naturalism and the consensus of materialistic naturalists." (see a previous entry highlighting Michael Crichton's important speech on the concept of "consensus.")

Museum director, Dr. Warren Allmon, "told the volunteers that when they encounter religious fundamentalists they should emphasize that science museums live by the rules of science. They seek answers in nature to questions about nature, they look for explanations that can be tested by experiment and observation in the material world, and they understand that all scientific knowledge is provisional - capable of being overturned when better answers are discovered." (emphasis mine)

Blogger Austin points out the withering inconsistency when he writes:

Let me see if I understand. Someone questions some of the "settled precepts of science" by referring to "techniques for dating fossils" and "the second law of thermodynamics," and how does the guide reply?

She pulls out her handbook for dealing with "religious fundamentalists" and gives pat answers about how "science museums live by the rules of science," saying that "they understand that all scientific knowledge is provisional."

"Settled rules of science" that can be overturned when better answers are found?

Now, it may had been that the beleaguered former biology professor did encounter some ruffian Christians who asked stupid questions and were swaggering to pick a fight. My gut tells me this may not be the case, though other websites mentioning this encounter claim it was. Whatever the case, I find museum officials and their docent underlings to be annoying if they refuse to defend their interpretative methods and beliefs. The arrogance of these people to carry on as if they are infallible and above any critical questioning is downright cultish and obviously reveals the sinful heart of men attempting to spin any excuse to deny their accountability to their creator.

The Ithaca museum has a .PDF document on-line at their website providing suggestions on handling non-Darwinian objectors. I haven't read it fully yet, but I did notice one line that tells me these museum people are embarrassingly ignorant of what biblical creationist actually believe, and they are really responding to a cartoon strawman version of biblical creationists.

The document defines creationisms as,

...the belief that the Earth and its life were created, essentially in their modern forms, by a supernatural power.

If that is their working definition of what creationists believe, then their poor docents are doomed when they argue with any creationist. No biblical creationist believes this about life on earth, especially the part about life being in a modern form, or that God created all life as we know it now, meaning all forms of dogs, cats and other varieties of animal life. I defy Dr. Allmon to produce for me one creationist who holds to this definition.

Still, Christians who attempt to engage mind darkened biology professor on the nature of interpreting paleological evidence need to do so in a manner winsome as ambassadors for Christ. That means have good questions which challenge the core beliefs of the naturalists. Answers in Genesis has even prepared a list of arguments creationists should not use. It may be wise to read over them if and and when you choose to button hole the docents at your local history museum.


Blogger Joanna Martens said...

i read the same article in our Los Angeles times...
The volunteers were told that when in an arguement and you can't find your way out, say you have to use the restroom. Whatever happened to good 'ole fashioned "I don't know"?

9:59 PM, September 25, 2005  
Blogger Katy~The Country Blossom said...

I love Answers in Genesis...and have been reading some of Ken Ham's Answers book! My mind has always come up with questions that I couldn't understand how it all could make sense...but Ken really explains things well and although, I don't grasp some of the more technical stuff, I do love how he puts it all together! I am thankful for how God works in Ken's life and sooo glad what we are able to learn from him! :)

7:10 PM, October 04, 2009  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home