Creationist museum admits to evolution.

While flipping through photos of the new Creation Museum in Kentucky, I came across a picture of a sign explaining the origins of the many species of rhinos:

Creationist Sign

“Diversified into perhaps 300-400 species?” That, of course, is just another way of saying they evolved.

Silly creationists!

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

18 replies on “Creationist museum admits to evolution.”

  1. Well, to be fair, this is consistent with the definition of “microevolution,” as far as I understand it, which is not really contentious, even amongst the flat-earth crowd.

    Of course, the distinction between micro and macro evolution is ridiculous, but these people seem to be consistent on this–again, as far as I understand it.

  2. Microevolution wouldn’t account for divergence of a large animal such as a rhinoceros into “200-300 species” in a “couple of centuries”. You’d pretty much need a whole ‘nother biology for that, or of course specially targeted divine engineering.

    I’ve been wishing I had the time and the resources to mount a website called (or whatever, that particular domain is taken). It would be an online museum dedicated to the proposition that the traditional Santa Claus story is literally true. It would have displays along these lines:

    REASON SAYS that Santa Claus could not pack toys for the entire world’s children into a single sack.

    THE STORY SAYS that every toy received by every child comes from Santa’s wondrous sack. And scientific research supports the story. Astronomers have discovered many “black holes” in the universe, super-dense stars containing millions of times the normal amount of matter. Scientists have calculated that if Santa stores his toys in the form of black-hole matter, he could carry enough toys for 3 billion children in a sphere the diameter of a golf ball!

  3. Isn’t writing copy for the Creationist Museum a tough enough gig without you guys piling on? ;)

  4. Microevolution wouldn’t account for divergence of a large animal such as a rhinoceros into “200-300 species” in a “couple of centuries”. You’d pretty much need a whole ‘nother biology for that, or of course specially targeted divine engineering.

    I’m not saying it’s not preposterous, just that it doesn’t mark the museum admitting to evolution to a degree that creationists haven’t before.

  5. This sounds to me like that 24% that believes in both creationism and evolution. God created everything, if not directly then indirectly by giving it the ability to evolve into something more. So it fits the creationist mold for some.

  6. Good point, Jason. And I know (or, rather, strongly hope :) that the overwhelming majority of biologists would be very happy to see people holding that position. There’s nothing about evolution that is even vaguely inconsistent with God. Good on this museum for realizing that, if inadvertently and in only one exhibit. :)

  7. “This sounds to me like that 24% that believes in both creationism and evolution.”

    I just brought this up on my blog (continuing from waldo’s prior creationist post). It’s general/basic creationism vs. strict creationism. Using the termanology might help with confusion around here. General being the 24% who are just saying that however things work, god’s at the start of it and probably the end, while the stricties are the folks that think the universe isn’t trillions of trillons of years old and Genesis should be taken word for word.

  8. Is it possible that maybe evolution was the process through which a higher power created us? If everything evolved from some lesser complicated form then when I can’t help but wonder where the most simple form came from. How can you get something out of nothing? I am just throwing a few thoughts out there. I really don’t fall solidly on either side.

  9. And that, UVA08, is the point that science will forever be silent on. There is nothing that you’ve said that in any way incompatible with evolution. I’ll bet that a substantial percentage of evolutionary biologists probably support that notion.

  10. UVA08:

    There lies the biggest problem for most people, I think, in going with evolution: the idea that if we gradually were built up from nothing, then are we anything now? The simplest life does seem to be little more than contained chemical reactions, like the little sqwiggles running across the screen of a game of Life Genesis. Which brings one to ponder the idea that if an ant functions by a series of basic triggers, than could the human mind be nothing more than the same only, replicated to a point where the triggers – the reactions are so complicated that we assume them to be consiousness? Is it like the way that a chord is made of notes and a note is made of vibrations sped up to a mathematically pleasing point which often is fast enough for us to no longer distinguish the actual frequency – the individual beats of vibrations with our own ears? THAT logic jump is why people don’t like evolution, that and it brings question to the bible with it’s pesky dinosuars. But the funny thing about something from nothing is that Adam was a gollum made from mud. Be it the simplest life form or mankind, it would seem the bible dosn’t have a problem with life from elements. And even if the above is true about consiousness, its lack of account for souls is more the fualt of religion not clearly explaining the soul than sciance not knowing where to stick it in the picture. It’s a concept, not an organ, and trying to make sense out of it is usually about as effective as asking a monk about the tao.

  11. While I agree that the 24% probably interpreted the question as being about creation rather than creationism, I would disagree about that belief being any form of creationism. To say that would be to say that anyone who believes that God created the universe believes in creationism, which muddles the terminology rather than clarifying it. There are indeed two schools of creationist “thought”; Young Earth Creationists who believe that the world was created six thousand years ago, and old-earth/”scientific” creationists who just believe evolution is false. Religious people who simply believe in divine creation are neither one.

  12. Jim E-H:

    You’re right. I shouldn’t state what the 24% are as if I know, since it’s all guess work.

    “To say that would be to say that anyone who believes that God created the universe believes in creationism”

    Well, yes. I’d argue that to believe that God created the universe IS a form of creationism, which I called the general form (and did a better job explaining on my blog). Though I see your points otherwise and agree with the further breaking down of strict creationism into young earth and old earth.

  13. No, there is not a “need” for belief in divine creation to be a form of creationism (and I’m speaking as a nonbeliever myself.) It does not clarify the terminology to make up a new term that no one else uses to describe a group that encompasses vastly more people and lumps them as a subcategory of a bloc that includes the anti-evolutionists. It just muddies the waters; if your goal is clarification, just leave them out of it.

  14. I did not coin the term strict creationism, (a.k.a. biblical creationism) I am simply saying that creationism is the philosophy of the concept of Creation. It’s the term for the subject. Under this umbrella term are many different forms of creationism, ranging from minimal implications of general theism (poly or mono) to more specific forms as you have listed of biblical creationism. Like how Atheism can be used as the umbrella term for religions like Buddhism and for some irreligionist beliefs.

    I’m not trying to muddle anything. Along with Wikipedia and Wiktionary, I looked at a few definitions from dictionaries old and new, online and on my shelf. What I found is that the older or lesser quality (with the exception of my Oxford) all only acknowledged Biblical creationism as I’ve defined it specifically and you have argued it as the totality of creationism. More recent dictionaries of merit however seem to agree with my definition though, acknowledging (as did) the term to be weighted towards the biblical but not limited to it in meaning.

    From Merriam-Webster:

    : a doctrine or theory holding that matter, the various forms of life, and the world were created by God out of nothing and usually in the way described in Genesis — compare EVOLUTION 4b

    In this case “usually” strikes me as an inclination of its users and not of its potential. Much like how seculars are often presumed to be atheists and not followers of Roger William’s view that political power interferes and corrupts the church.

  15. It is not the goal of science to prove or disprove the existence of a “higher power”. The scientific method is a rigorous and reliable way to evaluate the validity of a hypothesis. The “theory of evolution” is an attempt to explain how species developed over time and the influences that impacted that development. One cannot reasonably ask of nature “why?” but only “how”. The theory currently has so much evidence supporting it that it is accepted by most scientists, like the theory of gravity. The evidence is clear. The development of the opposable thumb in pandas for example is a matter of survival. Pandas eat bamboo in large amounts, and the opposable thumb makes it far easier to strip the bamboo leaves from the stems thereby enhancing the survival of those pandas that exhibited this mutation. Clearly the development of a big brain assisted greatly in our survival, just as the existence of camouflage improved survivability of chameleons. Nothing in the theory of evolution refutes or supports the possible existence of a magical, omnipotent Supreme Being.

    The hypothesis that this supreme being created everything is probably untestable, but there is certainly an absence of scientifically verifiable fact to support that existence. The idea that only a magical being could create this complex and wondrous place is not a compelling argument to the scientist. After all, it was once believed that only a magical being could blot out the light of the moon, a phenomenon we now understand as a simple matter of the shadow of the earth coming between the moon and sun. And a solar eclipse is no longer considered by most people to be an act of God or of demons, but simply the fact that the moon can come between the sun and earth, blocking its light.

    Perhaps the fire of this debate is fueled simply by the misunderstanding of science, scientists and of the theory of evolution. Religious people are threatened by the idea that science is leaving God out of the equation, when in fact the theory is silent on the existence or nonexistence of God. Religious people of past centuries, insistent on defending their faith, silenced, tortured and killed those who believed that the Earth was not the center of the universe. Religion has survived the universal realization by humans that the Bible got this element of universal topography wrong, and religion will survive the ultimate admission that it’s impossible to build a boat of the dimensions specified that could have held a pair of every specie, and the food to feed them. And religion will survive the ultimate admission that the theory of evolution is correct in describing the means by which random mutations are selected by “survival of the fittest” and that this mechanism is sufficient to explain the way superior mutations became dominant in species to the ultimate exclusion of those species which lacked them.

    In any case, science is always open to new evidence, and theories can change to adapt to that evidence. The heart of the political debate between evolution and creationism, is that religious people want a religious belief to be taught as an element of science in school. Not everyone believes in that magical supreme being, and even many who do (like me), object to the idea of anyone’s specific religious belief being taught to everyone’s children in a forum sponsored by our government with our money. Let religion be taught in the home and in the church. Our secular nation forbids state sponsored religion, and thank goodness. Look at those nations ruled by religious fanatics and thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster that we are free of that kind of coercion.

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