Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Kentucky tourism board promotes the controversial Creation Museum

Transcript of today's show:

A Kentucky scientist is furious at the state visitor bureau for it's favorable description of the controversial Creation Museum. The bureau's tourism web site praises the museum as an alternative to natural history museums "that turn countless minds against Christ and Scripture."

Daniel Phelps, president of Kentucky's Paleontology Society, who calls the museum and 'anti-museum', is speaking out against the visitor bureau's actions. He says: “Natural history museums don’t turn people against religion. If they did, there would be regular protests outside those museums.”
[source: The Cincinnati Enquirer]

Editor's Note: Within days after this story originally broke, changes were made to the descriptions of the Creation Museum on both the Northern Cincinnati and the Northern Kentucky tourism web sites. Both web sites have removed the phrase "This 'walk through history' museum will counter evolutionary natural history museums that turn countless minds against Christ and Scripture."

Phelps review of the Creation Museum

The rebuttal of the Creation Museum

Listen to the 1-minute broadcast of this story [mp3]

Sound Off: Science & Faith. Our point/counterpoint regulars Shelley (the voice of science) and Peter (the voice of faith), comment on the story.

The Voice of Science: Shelley Greene, Ph.D., comments:
I agree with Mr. Phelps: natural history museums have co-existed quite respectfully with the church. This is evident in the fact that they do not post any material that discounts religious belief, nor do they post propaganda slogans or displays that attack religion. Like so many who have a fundamentalist orientation to the science/religion schism, Mr. Ham believes he and his museum are under attack by the scientific community. Perhaps this fear of attack is a misinterpretation of the threat that modern science poses to Biblical cosmology generally. For example, could it be that the Old Testament stories of the origins of life (conceived during a time when humans believed the Earth was flat!), are profoundly threatened by scientific theory that posits the universe is billions of years old?

The Voice of Faith: Peter Williamson, M.Div., comments:
This is much ado about nothing. The Northern Kentucky Convention & Visitors Bureau simply picked up copy from the Creation Museum’s website and quoted it word-for-word, as they likely do for all businesses they feature on their website. This certainly doesn’t mean that the publicly funded Convention & Visitor’s Bureau is suddenly endorsing creationist belief nor that the Bureau is calling those who attend natural history museums “non-believers”. This is just another example of scientists so threatened by another point of view they have to lash out about any misunderstanding no matter how miniscule.