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Museums Training Docents to Deal With Creationists4 min read

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In this very interesting NYT article entitled Challenged By Creationists, Museums Answer Back, museums are experiencing a need to combat the rising tide of disbelief in evolution. But they still haven’t admitted that there are credible doubts even within the scientific community. They are still holding to the view that doubters are merely religious zealots, not thinking people.

1. Evolutionists are having to address the growing tide of disbelief in their belief system.

What’s funny is that they in general view doubters as religious rubes.

Dr. Durkee and scores of other volunteers and staff members from the museum and elsewhere crowded into a meeting room to hear advice from the museum director, Warren D. Allmon, on ways to deal with visitors who reject settled precepts of science on religious grounds.

No allowance here for those who reject evolution on logical and scientific grounds.

2.  Why are anti-evolutionary ideas so popular?

Dr. Allmon, who directs the Paleontological Research Institution, an affiliate of Cornell University, began the training session here in September with statistics from Gallup Polls: 54 percent of Americans do not believe that human beings evolved from earlier species, and although almost half believe that Darwin has been proved right, slightly more disagree.

“Just telling them they are wrong is not going to be effective,” he said.

Instead, he told the volunteers that when they encounter religious fundamentalists they should emphasize that science museums live by the rules of science.

Again, the reference to “religious fundamentalists.”  Why is this belief system so pernicious?  Not because people are in the grip of religion, but because science is in the grip of atheistic materialism, unwilling to face obvious contradictions and challenges to their beliefs.  They are so busy pleading “but we follow the rules of *science*” that they don’t see that they are doing science with one hand while practicing evolutionary faith, ignoring facts, and claiming their faith as science with the other.  And the left hand doesn’t talk to the right.  And everyone sees it but them.

3.  Who is not listening?

There is more than one type of creationist, he said: “thinking creationists who want to know answers, and they are willing to listen, even if they go away unconvinced” and “people who for whatever reason are here to bother you, to trap you, to bludgeon you.”

Those were the type of people who confronted Dr. Durkee, a former biology professor at Grinnell College in Iowa. The encounter left her discouraged.

“It is no wonder that many biologists will simply refuse to debate creationists or I.D.ers,” she said, using the abbreviation for intelligent design, a cousin of creationism. “It is as if they aren’t listening.”

I agree that creationists are sometimes belligerent, and they should not be.  But I’m sure they are frustrated with the lack of empathic listening from scientists, and the apparent lack of self-evaluation in science (assumptions wise) – science is not hearing that their primary assumptions are under scrutiny, and they keep saying “but this is settled” when it is so in their minds only.   They need to publicly re-assess their assumptions or risk losing more public credibility.  They are not fighting religion or ignorance, but rather, are suffering due to their unyielding and unquestioning commitment to evolution as fact, which is steadily eroding their credibility with those who come into contact with the facts and fallacies of evolution.

There need to be better, more visible  answers to the challenges to the assumptions behind radio dating, the circular reasoning behind strata dating, and answers to creationist claims of a global flood and other stuff.  I’m sure the “answers” exist out there, but they aren’t reaching their intended audience.

The NYT article is worth a read.