Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My Trip to The Creation Museum.

You won't believe me, but I went with an open mind.

First off, The Creation Museum is located about 30 minutes west of Downtown Cincinatti, in a field off a small country road. Before I drove through the gates, I had to have the right intro music. I could have thrown on some loud heavy metal music, only to further the stereotype of atheists as goth baby eaters; I also could have thrown on some flaming remix of a Cher or Abba song, only to notify the security guards that a homosexual was about to infiltrate. But, instead, I searched within the crypts of my iPod and found CeCe Winans' Anybody Wanna Pray With Me?. For a museum in Kentucky, I'm sure I offended somebody.

The parking lot had hundreds of spots, but maybe 40 cars. As my friend and I parked the car, a tractor giving hay rides came chugging by us. A few kids and their grandparents rode, but that was about it. As we found our way to the entrance, no one but a perky security guard was standing out front. By his side was an adorably lazy bloodhound named Mater.

The museum itself was somewhat unsatisfying. At only 70,000 square feet, the structure could hardly be called enormous. In addition, for being The Creation Museum, I expected a big sign yelling its name; instead, there was just a small marquee above the door. It was so forgettable I didn't even take a photograph.

The entrance is completely unadorned. Unlike stepping into the Smithsonian's Natural History museum, where you are greeted by the awe-inspiring and intimidating Tusked Elephant, you walk in and there is a small concession stand selling tickets. Of course there wasn't a line. Heck, there wasn't a soul in the whole place besides us!

After buying out tickets, we went in to the small movie theatre showing "MIW: Men in White". There were about 50 seats; four were taken, two of those being my friend and I. "Men in White" starred two angels (neither who looked like Will Smith or Tommy Lee Jones) sent to counsel a girl questioning her faith. To put it kindly, the bad acting and even worse special effects came alongside an interactive theatre that violently shakes your chair, spits water in your face and blows a fan through your hair. The gimmicks coincided with the biblical stories of the creation and the flood, but instead of providing some eye-opening experience, it just made me laugh. While God was busy killing off millions of his own creations, I couldn't stop the hysteria of watching an angel wear a raincoat and having squirts of water splash onto my forehead. At one point my friend leaned over and said, "This is so bad you'd think it was a parody on The Daily Show".

We left the theatre and made way for the actual exhibit. It should be noted that The Creation Museum, unlike any respected museum, really isn't the kind that has seasonal exhibits. Instead, they only feature (for $21.95) the biblical journey of creation! It's a tour of small rooms that clearly were thrown together on a budget, each room a different theme. The exhibit progresses with little-to-no actual science, though jam-packed with plenty of wild assertions. Any philosophy major would have a heart attack over the innumerable amount of fallacies. I lost count of how many times I read claims such as, "The evidence suggests...", yet none of the supporting evidence was shown. For example, a claim was that, "The Evidence suggests Lake Hopi was formed after The Great Flood". Yet, after searching the whole museum, there wasn't an inch of this so-called evidence, not even a reference!

Another claim with no evidence was that radioisotope dating is completely unreliable because it is "hundreds and hundreds of assumptions that are based on assumptions that come from other assumptions". Of course they did not explain what radioisotope dating is, nor did they explain what these so-called assumptions were, nor did they even make a stab in the dark at it. All they said was, "It's wrong and can't be trusted".

In the entire museum, there was not a single fossil. There was a replica of one fossil, Archaeopteryx, but even that replica didn't focus on the science--instead the supporting plaques spewed out the same hackneyed conspiracy of how this was a made up fossil.

There was an entire room devoted to "same evidence, different perspectives", saying that both creationists and scientists study the same evidence, but Creationists instead come with the belief that the bible is 100% accurate, and thus they make science fit its way into that mold. Unlike scientists, who continually question everything and do everything within their will to remain objective, these Christians admittedly are perfectly fine with their bias and would rather manipulate evidence than question a text written by cavemen. So much for that pesky scientific method.

Each room was a yawn at best, carrying the silly idea of Adam and Eve coinciding with dinosaurs, who just "naturally went extinct". (All of them.) There were plaques quoting scripture and somehow trying to connect the verses to modern day scientific explanations of natural phenomena. And of course, the grand canyon came from the flood. Their proof? Well, Mount St. Helen's changed after the volcano eruption, and thus it's possible for a few days of rain to create an overwhelming canyon so vast it has the world standing in awe. Riiight.

My expectations couldn't have been lower. I know the mentality of fundamentalists; I used to be one. But even I was surprised at the utter disgrace that is The Creation "Museum". There was no science, no sense, nothing to be impressed by, and it was over in less than an hour. Even the dinosaurs, supposedly the greatest draw, were nothing I haven't seen in an aisle at Wal-Mart. As a student I fortunately only had to pay $8, but even that was a ripoff. I wanted to dearly apologize to the family of five I saw who no doubt paid $109.75 plus tax!

Fellow atheists, learn from my mistake: there is absolutely, positively nothing about this debacle that is worth seeing. This is not like Expelled where you should see it just so you can say you know first hand how bad it is. No. Instead, The Creation Museum is kind of like choosing between a white wedding cake or one made entirely out of horse shit. Sure, people always like more options, but sometimes its better just to trust common sense and admit that you don't have to test an idea to know it's a bad one.

Pissed off at having to spend $16 in order to possibly lose IQ points, my friend and I hopped back into my car, plugged my iPod in, and found the perfect song for my getaway. With stellar efficiency, Fergie's Glamorous blared out the windows, and the line "If you don't got no money take your broke ass home" seemed to fit so well, because after being robbed by The Creation Museum, I had no problem heading home and far, far away from that awful "museum".