23 December 2005

Creationists vs. Museums

The NY Times ran an article about creationists invading science museums, back in September. I didn't report on it at the time, partly because the article was on everyone's lips - my students even told me about it - so I thought it unnecessary.

If by some chance you missed it, you have a second chance to get it as fresh news, from ABC! An Ithaca, NY, museum has created a guide and workshop to discussing evolution, ID, and creationism for volunteers and employees at museums.

The guide provides information on the scientific method (using observations about the natural world and the rules of logic to test hypotheses), the theory of evolution, creationism and intelligent design.

It also offers a script for how to answer frequently raised challenges, such as, "Is it true that there is lots of evidence against evolution?" Answer: "No. Essentially all available data and observations from the natural world support the hypothesis of evolution. No serious biologist or geologist today doubts whether evolution occurred."
At the Ithaca museum, volunteers take a six-week paleontology course before working the museum floor. The guide instructs volunteers that when they encounter evolution critics, they should emphasize that science museums live by the rules of science.
As a final note, the book tells guides that they cannot "win" against a convinced creationist.

"The most you can hope for is a respectful exchange of views," it says.

(ABC News)

I like the last part. I wonder if creationist camps teach their evangelists that they cannot win against convicted evolutionists. I wish they would.


Yong said...

Hi, your site is my new "Blog of the Day" for the next 7 days. Thank you and enjoy your stay.

Jonathan Foley said...

This is precisely why the religious right has been so successful,they blanket all areas of society with material derived from talking points. Everyone is on message all the time. Liberalism and the Left only tends to target its base rather than trying to dervice support from seemingly opposed sectors of society. Having the same information pounded into your head by various forms of media is very effective, even on those with a seemingly firm ideology. The repitition widens any cracks or doubts that an individual might have.

zandperl said...

Thanks! Mayhaps "Blog of the Week" would be a better phrase? :) Merry Christmas, and I hope our readers can exchange points of view!

*sigh* Liberalism and rational thought do not NEED to be identified with each other, just as not all conservatives are religious fundamentalists. I think that's a picture the religious right are trying to paint against liberals, that we're immoral godless heathens. It's really frustrating to me when people assume that just because I'm a godless heathen that I'm going to eat their babies or something.

Yong said...

Your suggestion has been taken. Drop by to see the new button as well as a better ad location. Thanks for your suggestion! Enjoy your Christmas.

Thomas Siefert said...

Completely out of context. In Australia there is a magazine called: "Women's Weekly". It only comes out once a month but reflecting that in the name would probably have invited a string of jokes.
Well that's all I had to say, I'll go now. [sound of door closing and sound of footsteps going down the stairs getting fainter].