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Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Scientist Visits the Creation Museum

posted by on November 29 at 11:45 AM

… that insists the earth is 6,000 years old and finds 500-million-year-old fossils in a nearby Wal-Mart parking lot.


Tom Robey—a friend, colleague, and recent bioengineering PhD—traveled to northern Kentucky and visited the Creation Museum.

So why visit? Well, there’s the curiosity of it all. According to the traffic director in the museum’s parking lot, more than 500,000 people have visited the museum since it opened six months ago. That’s a whole stink of a lot of people to see a little animotronic cavegirl feeding velociraptors carrots. Maybe I don’t see them as enemies, but if ever I am going to be an informed contributor to the dialogue on science and religion, shouldn’t I have visited the crown jewel of creationist science? The guy (Matt) who checked my paperwork as I left the Alamo rental car lot told me that the museum was totally worth my time. Museums are, after all, the place where (insert topic here) comes alive.

The Creation Museum, to those of you who might be blissfully unaware, depicts the biblical creation story as literal truth. Did you know the universe is about 6,000 years old? Created in six days you say! Dinosaurs drinking from the rivers of Eden? Tell me more—over a burger at the Noah’s cafe, of course.

In a delicious bit of irony, the Creation Museum is built on top of one of the richest fossil beds in the world and near the birthplace of vertebrate paleontology. Want to find an at least 500-million-year-old fossil? Head over to the nearby Wal-Mart parking lot.

I hedged my bets that I could find something good if I sought out that beacon of American consumption. I was hoping for something like I bought as a 10 year old from the Field Museum of Natural History. I wasn’t disappointed with the 45 minutes I spent scrambling over clay-slickened rocks behind the bargain center’s loading dock…In under an hour, I had unearthed ample evidence of life extinct for more than 500 million years



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God is just tricking you to test us. He put that fossil in the parking lot... or maybe Satan did. They are both so silly sometimes.

Posted by robo | November 29, 2007 12:03 PM

While the irony of the location is amusing, the fact that he went there only to be turned away by the ticket price is... well... why'd I read that again?

John Scalzi wrote a much better report about what the museum is actually like:

Posted by Chris B | November 29, 2007 12:50 PM

wait a minute--dude found that fossil in a wal-mart parking lot? thats crazy. astronomical odds, no?

Posted by jz | November 29, 2007 12:51 PM

It's also amazing the work god went to fold and fault and lift and crunch and crush everything just to make it all look exactly as it would have if in fact it was the result of billions of years of plate tectonics, erosion, and glacial scoring.
This raises the following dilemma. Either the earth really is the result of billions of years of natural development or god is insane.

Posted by kinaidos | November 29, 2007 1:11 PM

I wanna know what happens with the velociraptor after the pretty cave-girl runs out of carrots.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | November 29, 2007 1:21 PM

Diamonds aren't expensive because they take 6000 years to form.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | November 29, 2007 1:26 PM

Hmm. I always thought earth was created on Magrathea.

Posted by louley | November 29, 2007 1:29 PM

well at least they've finally solved the long debate over what hairstyles were like in dinosaur times--looks like a Dorothy Hammel-Do really attracted those Velociraptors...

Posted by andy niable | November 29, 2007 2:10 PM

my friend Greg Courtney posted a couple videos on YouTube just after the opening of this insult to every rational person on the planet, digging up countless fossils adjacent to the Creation Museum site. growing up in Cincinnasty/Northern Kentucky, i thought all rocks were mostly fossils. how you could like there & rationalize them away with Jesus is fucking remarkable. have i said that monotheism sucks lately? cuz it does.

nevertheless, i am going to visit next time i go back to Cincy, just for the Schadenfreude.

Posted by max solomon | November 29, 2007 2:28 PM

LIVE there. not like there....

Posted by max solomon | November 29, 2007 2:29 PM

@9: Dude, use the Shift key. What's wrong with you today?

Posted by Greg | November 29, 2007 4:03 PM

Thanks for the reference, Jonathan.

Chris B: I went to KY for an entirely different reason & the museum is only 10 minutes from the airport. there are a hundred great reviews of the museum. i was happy with the drive-by.

jz: not just behind the wal-mart, but in road cuts, stream beds, and grave sites.

thanks for all the visits! it's nice to get a bump from seattle's only blog.

Posted by Thomas Robey | November 29, 2007 7:36 PM

A few errors to correct, just coz I'm anal.

The deposits, being late-mid-Ordovician, are 465 million years.

The trilo you've posted is an Elrathia Kingii, from the Cambrian. A better example of a trilobite from these beds would be an Isotelus or a Flexicalymene.

/yes, I'm very anal.

Posted by Frank Habets | December 2, 2007 9:54 AM

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