Skeptics visit the "Museum of Creation and Earth History"
Dr. Karen Bartelt
Dr Bartelt is an Associate Professor of Chemistry
at Eureka College, Eureka, IL 61530.
As disappointing as the science was in the Museum of Creation and Earth History, I noted that their grasp of history was no better. Non-Christian and non-Western cultures took plenty of hits.
An entire wall was devoted to criticizing "the Greeks" and their "anti-Christian philosophies." One wonders if they knew which one came first; how can one be 'anti-Christian' when Christians do not appear until 5-600 years later? Connecting the ancient Greeks to the theory of evolution was the main focus of this exhibit. Anyone relying on the ICR museum as a sole source of information would come away with the following ideas about Greek civilization: The Greeks were said to have made great contributions in "science, math, and general learning", but they also promoted several "evolutionary cosmogonies." Under the heading "Greek evolutionists" came information about Democritus, who, it was said, determined that everything was made of "fundamental, indivisible" particles called atoms. This is accurate -- Democritus was way ahead of his time regarding atomic theory; how this applies to evolution is beyond me. Other great philosophers and scientists were simply sorted into pantheists: Pythagoras, Aristotle, Zeno; and atheists: Thales, Democritus, and Epicurus. No details were given, and none of their exceptional achievements were mentioned. The Greeks were further blasted for promoting a "man-centered philosophy", and there were separate descriptions of Epicurianism, Gnosticism, Stoicism, and Neo-Platonism, especially in the context of how they are detrimental to Christianity. Neo-Platonism was singled out as having "influenced Augustine, Gregory, and other early Catholic theologians". (emphasis added)
A montage of relatively grotesque artifacts, some from Central America, surrounded the following explanation of what the ICR calls "Evolutionary Pantheism": "Evolutionism - that is, the denial of a transcendent personal God as Creator of all things - can be traced back to ancient Sumeria, which probably means to Nimrod. The world itself is taken as the ultimate reality. Its various "forces of nature" (personified as gods and goddesses) are then assumed to be identical with the actual spirits (associated with the stars) who have "evolved" all things into their present form. This system of pantheism ("all-god") became equivalent to polytheism ("many-gods"), involving astrology, spiritism, and idolatry. Atheistic evolutionism soon followed, and dominates much of American academia today, but many more cultures, religions, and people (including Eastern mystical religions, animism, and New Age Occultism) have followed some form of pantheistic evolutionism." Note the interesting definition of "evolutionism", and the attempts to link it with other things feared by fundamentalist Christians: astrology, spiritism, New Age, and Eastern mysticism -- (practices which are avoided by the bulk of "evolutionists"). The reference to Nimrod is classic Henry Morris Biblical scholarship -- in "The Troubled Waters of Evolution", Morris places Satan and "perhaps...Nimrod" atop the Tower of Babel "...to plan their strategy against God and His redemptive purposes for the post-diluvian world (Morris 1974:74-75)."
Rather than presenting "Earth History", it was obvious that the main objective of these exhibits was to link the theory of evolution to cultures perceived by the ICR as anti-Christian, atheistic or pantheistic. Evolution is much more loathsome to most ICR museum patrons if it is perceived as being anti-Christian rather than simply being neutral on the existence of God, and I think that this concept was well-developed by the ICR.