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My blood pressure is a bit high today.

The front page of today's Cincinnati Enquirer:

(I was going to link to the article, but I can't seem to find the same version that's in the paper. here is a version of it.)

This is followed by four pages of sycophantic coverage of Ken Ham's monstrosity, with only passing mention given to the ideas of "science", "reason" and "evidence".

Of course, I had to do something to fix this. So here's my improved version of the article:


( 35 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 20th, 2007 10:38 pm (UTC)
Currently biting my tongue, as someone posted how excited they are about this idiocy opening on one of my homeschool lists. Wanted SO BADLY to say "Yep, I'm planning a group tour as well, but we'll bring our own guide thanks. An actual scientist who can go exhibit by exhibit and point out exacty how STUPID this entire waste of money is."

But I didn't. Don't want to start a flame war. Or do I? *sigh*

I just have so very little patience with this sort of shit. It costs us - homeschoolers - a lot of credibility. Makes me nuts. I may go and reply to her about a group outing when I'm calmer, but my knee jerk reaction is to ask "Did your mother take drugs to make you that stupid, or were you dropped on your head as an infant?"

Probably not a helpful comment. *sigh*

Please, though - be sure to write in to the paper and give them your opinion on what the cover should have said. They do print them, if they're articulate and not cursing.
May. 21st, 2007 11:41 pm (UTC)

You're right. That kind of attitude does make it more difficult for homeschoolers. I found one of the brochures from one of the groups that had a booth set up for the Ohio Virtual Academy event and had a good laugh over some of the curricula descriptions.

A piece of advice for interacting with museum staff and other science programs: let them know upfront that you accept evolution, though maybe in not so many words. Have one of the kids mention something blatantly Darwinian or referencing geologic time. You'll get a much better level of education from most instructors by doing that. While I know that most of the homeschoolers in Cincy aren't creationists, I still tend to come at the topic of evolution more slowly if I know that I'm interpreting to a group of homeschoolers. In fact, I'm fairly certain I've had run ins with some of the creationists on your lists. :p

Please, though - be sure to write in to the paper and give them your opinion on what the cover should have said. They do print them, if they're articulate and not cursing.

I'm working on an editorial right now. I was incredibly frustrated by the lack of science represented in Sunday's articles.
May. 22nd, 2007 12:22 am (UTC)
Well, now I see I spoke too soon. Go you!
May. 22nd, 2007 07:31 pm (UTC)
And how sad is it that we NEED to let scientists in a SCIENCE museum know we're not nutjobs upfront?


Maybe I just need to get some tshirts off thinkgeek.com or somesuch about evolution, and all that. Walking advertisements probably wouldn't hurt either.
May. 27th, 2007 04:33 pm (UTC)
Evolution Support TShirts
like this one (http://www.cafepress.com/dorid/3045011)?
May. 20th, 2007 10:42 pm (UTC)
LOL I like your rewrite!

But I kind of want to see this museum just to see what it has in it... if it's free. I am not paying for that.

It is pathetic that the Enquirer chose that headline though...
May. 20th, 2007 10:53 pm (UTC)

Borgman's cartoon about the Creationism museum. *g*
May. 20th, 2007 11:07 pm (UTC)
Just showed George the cover of the paper... he said "They'd be the ones that framed Spiderman."

So... we need to do a tour. My kids are all excited now to learn about evolution - more than the basics they know already, that is - so they can go to this place and play "Spot the Stupid." True wants to read more about it before we go so she can show you how much she knows. LOL!

What's your schedule like? Is there any way we could do a day trip? I'll email you too....
May. 21st, 2007 11:23 pm (UTC)

I want to go through it first before I'm comfortable taking anyone else through. Would they mind waiting a bit? It will give True some extra time to catch up. ;)

Would you like recommendations/lendings of some books that I think do a good job of explaining the basics of the theory? It would give her somewhere to start researching. And I have one that I think Liam would enjoy as well!
May. 20th, 2007 11:47 pm (UTC)
Heeee! I like your version much better. Says it all, really. Succinct. Elegant. BIG RED LETTERS.
May. 21st, 2007 12:40 am (UTC)
...and I suppose radioactive isotopes that can accurately date the origins of dinosaur fossils back millions of years are just red herrings placed in the rocks by Satan to lead people off the path to true Salvation?

Also, has anyone considered that if there was a velociraptor on Noah's Ark? It would have eaten Noah.

I love you rewrite, though. *giggles*
May. 21st, 2007 11:27 pm (UTC)
...and I suppose radioactive isotopes that can accurately date the origins of dinosaur fossils back millions of years are just red herrings placed in the rocks by Satan to lead people off the path to true Salvation?

Sadly, I've heard exactly that argument used.
May. 21st, 2007 11:30 pm (UTC)
...well. I'm just gonna go and hit my head against my desk now.
May. 21st, 2007 02:40 am (UTC)
Yeah, I wish your version was what the paper had printed, as it is I think it's rather sad that they're giving that place even that much credibility.

BTW, I'm back in Cincy:).
May. 21st, 2007 03:23 am (UTC)
I figured your head was gonna exploded when you saw that. I know mine did. It's bad enough the fucking thing exists, but for the Enquirer to not only cover it, but give it a huge front page spread is ludicrous.

If they gave the Museum Center that kind of coverage, maybe it wouldn't have such financial difficulties.

May. 22nd, 2007 12:01 am (UTC)
We actually broke even again this year.:) But yeah, it would be nice to have coverage. What I would really like to see is the Museum Center sending in its own articles about the whole evolution debate. It's sad that a physicist from Cleveland (no disrespect to Krauss. I agree with everything he said.) is the one writing big op-eds about the AiG "museum". Why hasn't anyone from one of the institutions around Cinci. thrown their hat into the ring?
May. 22nd, 2007 12:21 am (UTC)
Why don't you? You are an excellent writer, you certainly know the topic, and you know the enemy well. I'm not saying that you should speak for the Museum Center, but there's nothing that says you can't express your own opinion as a student of paleontology.
May. 21st, 2007 04:28 am (UTC)
"Welcome to the 10:00 news. First up, did man walk among dinosaurs? A new study shows that-No, they didn't. Diane?"
May. 21st, 2007 04:48 am (UTC)
I can't help but wonder how difficult it would be to sell them a set of poorly grounded lightning rods for the roof?
Would the Enquirer run an equally large, front page article reading "Creationist Museum Struck by Lightning, Burns to the Ground"?
May. 22nd, 2007 12:02 am (UTC)
::snickers:: Now there's a headline I would approve of!
May. 21st, 2007 02:14 pm (UTC)
Creationists say it is wrong to believe only parts of the Bible, or to use it as allegory.

Oh for Godde's sake! (Literally.) And I suppose these people avoid cotton-polyester blends and shellfish, keep slaves, and believe that intercourse constitutes marriage? I suppose they all give all they own to the poor, take up crosses, and follow Jesus in a literal fashion? I suppose they would subject disobedient children to death? That if their right eye offends them, they cut it out?

Every single person on earth who calls him or herself a Christian picks and chooses which parts of the Bible to believe literally, and which allegorically. Every single one. To claim otherwise is bloody-minded hypocrisy and wilful blindness.
May. 30th, 2007 02:34 am (UTC)
Ken Ham tried to make that argument on the O'Reilly Factor and was shot down with *exactly* that argument. You'd think after hearing the refutation a few hundred times, it might just sink in. Unfortunately, it never seems to.
May. 22nd, 2007 07:17 pm (UTC)
Oh, heck yeah! I know I've seen a few blogs where folks go point by point refuting the mythology, but they're aimed at adults. I'd love a few resources aimed at kids... esp. sources I won't have to go back and correct.

That's one thing I remember about all the history I was taught in school.... they start with one thing, then next year say "Well, that wasn't entirely the truth, but THIS is..." then the next year, the same thing over again...

I'd like to get the "college" version of things into them, so they don't waste all the time I did trying to get over the crap they taught in lower grades.
May. 30th, 2007 02:32 am (UTC)
I'll get a list together, hopefully this week.
May. 28th, 2007 05:55 am (UTC)
Top 10 Reasons Why the Universe, Sun, Earth and Life Are Not 6000 Years Old
A five-page PDF suitable for printing out and passing out.

May. 30th, 2007 02:29 am (UTC)
Re: Top 10 Reasons Why the Universe, Sun, Earth and Life Are Not 6000 Years Old
Already printed that one out. Lawrence Krauss's editorial in the Enquirer is also worth reading, if it's online. His last line, about how any school who tries to use public funds to take a field trip there should be sued, is well worth keeping in mind.
May. 29th, 2007 09:56 pm (UTC)
Image leeching
Hope you don't mind me using your image (at e-st.net/blog) (i linked it to here, so you shouldn't :) I won't if you don't allow that kind of thing though.

Keep spreading the truth!
May. 30th, 2007 02:28 am (UTC)
Re: Image leeching
Not a problem! Glad you liked it!
May. 29th, 2007 10:53 pm (UTC)
Hi there-- I got to your lj via a link in Pharyngula's Creation Museum Carnival, and wanted to say hello. If only the Enquirer were as succinct as you made it..

I used to live in Cincinnati, and was a volunteer in the Museum of Natural History and Science at CMC. I only worked in the paleontology lab briefly, but spent a lot of time guiding people through the Cave, Ice Age, and Dinosaur halls. Unsurprisingly, we had visits from creationists-- including those specifically affiliated with AiG-- quite frequently. They passed out flyers explaining their "origins alternatives" and told my coworkers that they were going to hell. Interestingly, there was a lot of disparity in how our museum supervisors told us to respond. While the Youth Program directors encouraged us to politely turn the conversation away from evolution, my supervisor at the paleontology lab told me to as bluntly and flatly disagree with the creationists as I liked. Those were always entertaining arguments.

I've since moved to Portland, Oregon for college, where I find there are a lot fewer rabid lunatics in general circulation. I won't be visiting Cincinnati again until December, but when I do, hopefully there will be an opportunity to visit the Creation Museum and pass out a few flyers.

Good luck staving off the creationist hordes.
May. 30th, 2007 02:27 am (UTC)
I know you! This is Emily from MNH&S. Since there were more people in the Youth Program of varying science backgrounds, we had to make it as non-confrontational as possible. Having an educated group of volunteers, the Paleo Lab has a bit more freedom to do as they like! :)

Anyway, it's nice to hear from you, and good to know that you're still keeping up the fight against the nujobs!
May. 30th, 2007 02:35 am (UTC)
nutjobs. Apparently I lose all ability to type at some point in the evening.
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