Sunday, October 24, 2010

My trip to the Creation Evidence Museum in Glen Rose, Texas

This past Saturday I went to the Creation Evidence Museum in Glen Rose, Texas. 
Admission is two dollars, and if I ever find myself in that part of Texas again, I'll gladly pay three. 

The Creation Evidence Museum is the work of Dr.(sic) Carl Baugh.  Go here to read about Baugh's academic credentials. 
Now that I've done some reading on the guy, this place might replace Lee Harvey Oswald's grave as my favorite destination to take out of town guests. 
Cedric Katesby, get ready.  If you ever make it to the U.S., we're going. 

The place is a shapeless mass of....things and ideas and stuff that "isn't even wrong" and generic rocks and hyperbaric chambers and glass cases of unrelated fossils and evangelical kitsch. 

You begin your museum experience with a 30-minute video of Dr. Baugh explaining how the fossil record proves the 6-day creation account found in Genesis.  I can't find the exact video on YouTube, but this one works just as well....
Don't bother watching or listening.  While you're reading, just hit play and let the pseudo-scientific gobbledygook bathe you in the hyperbaric chamber of Dr. Baugh's mind.  More on the hyperbaric chambers in a moment. 

Baugh's timeline is illustrated by a series of paintings, each one illustrating the condition of our planet on that day of creation.  A lot of his focus is on a "canopy" that was once over the earth (about 10 miles up), and this canopy of hydrogen and oxygen (known in academic circles as "water") remained in place until Noah's flood.  All land was in one mass until the flood, and it was only then that North America split off from Europe, South America broke away from Africa, and a sprinkling of fossils found their way onto mountaintops.  Or something. 

Here's some of the general flavor of what Baugh claims was going on during one of the creation days.  I don't have the patience to figure out which one....

The harmonic creation was established to endure forever. A crystalline firmament suspended above the planet filtered out short-wave radiation, and with its physical structure in place universal radio signals serenaded the earth with morning melodies. Planets in the Solar System were distributed at harmonic intervals on a large scale, consistent with the energy fields living seeds produce on a small scale.

I could write for days about that last sentence.  Planets in the Solar System were distributed at harmonic intervals on a large scale, consistent with the energy fields living seeds produce on a small scale.  What does that mean?  Is it possible for it to mean anything?  The planets were distributed at harmonic intervals?  And these intervals are "consistent" with the energy fields that seeds produce?  The (musical) intervals are consistent with the energy produced by seeds?  Ahhh....but it is on a smaller scale.  The seeds, as compared to the planets.   

Baugh continues:

The radiant sun transformed and ruled the day, and its glowing energy extending into the firmament illuminated the night. The reflecting moon added a romantic invitation to the sky. The stars produced measurable references by which time could be told; their colors and formations were as varied and imaginative as eternal reflection could appreciate.


Ok, on to the hyperbaric chambers.  You'll never know it by going through the museum, but there are two hyperbaric chambers in the place.  Unless you're in the know, you'd think they were some leftover East Texas oilfield equipment, painted white and outfitted with some Disney-esque control panels and viewing windows.  Here's an explanation from a previous visitor, a guy who didn't have nearly as much fun at the museum as I did:

The Creation Evidence Museum also includes a large magenta-windowed "hyperbaric biosphere" in which Baugh claims to have recreated "earth's original pre-flood environment" (Figure 3). According to Baugh, the biosphere — which is connected to an oscilloscope — increases organisms' life-spans by 300%; it also detoxifies copperheads' venom. Near the biosphere is an aquarium in which Baugh grows "vegetarian piranhas." Baugh believes his discoveries support the vast life-spans of biblical patriarchs such as Adam (who allegedly lived to be 930), and the harmonious environment (that is, no carnivores or death) before Eve introduced sin into the world. Baugh hopes to grow dinosaurs in the biosphere. On the museum's walls, visitors can view paintings in which pre-flood children play with a baby Apatosaurus in the nearby Paluxy River. Visitors can purchase these replicas, as well as books, posters, and other materials such as certificates honoring recipients as "visionaries" for "supporting truth in education."

Get it now?  The hyperbaric chambers recreate life the way it was before the flood, before the "canopy" of hydrogen and oxygen came flooding down on Noah. 
Another item of interest is this:

See the human footprint covered by the dinosaur footprint?  That proves that humans and dinosaurs existed at the same time, right?  And that we really could have an earth that's 6,500 years old.  Readers wanting to scoff at this discovery can go here, and scoff up a storm. 
All I'm going to say is that compared to all the other dino tracks in Glen Rose, this thing is a little too perfect. 

There were other exhibits that proved Creationism by using the pictograms found in Mandarin Chinese.  The display only offered a hint of the theory.  You have to buy a DVD to get the full story. 

There was something going on in one display of meteor fragments, comparing the meteors to the 7 seals and trumpets in the Book Of Revelation.  I never did figure that one out. 

They have a massive painting of Noah loading all the critters onto the ark.  Note the soon-to-be-drowned scoffers in the bottom left corner.  Velociraptors are strangely absent. 

You can purchase paperback copies of Noah's Ark: A Feasibility Study in the museum gift shop. 

And they have Brontosaurus neckties with this verse from Job 40:15 - "Now look at Behemoth which I made along with you - he eats grass like an ox". 

Get it?  Get it?  Along with you?  Like, at the same time?  And your footprints are all mixed up with each other? 
I'm gonna start going to NFL games and holding up that verse in the end zone. 

Here's an entry for The Apostrophe Abuse Blog.  In a freakin' museum, ferchrissakes. 

But the main thing you'll notice is the big statue.  You hesitate to ask who it represents, but in the back of your mind, you know.
As you go through the museum, the statue's unblinking eyes look down on you and your group, lovingly, compassionately, but also giving the impression that he's not going to tolerate any dissent.  In his right hand he holds the names from The Lambs Book Of Life....  Or perhaps they're the names of The Just And The Unjust?  The Tibetan Book Of The Dead? 

We'll never know what he is holding; his Sphinx-like gaze betrays nothing. 

You ask why he's there, why Dr. Carl Baugh's Creation Evidence Museum has him up there, larger than life, looking down and casting judgement on believer and skeptic alike. 

I have no freakin' clue. 

But yeah, overlooking the entire Creation Evidence Museum is a massive statue of Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry. 

I loved every inch of this place.  Loved it, loved it, loved it. 
Some of the pics came from Flikr. 


Dr Ralph said...

I read your link on "Dr." Baugh's academic credentials. I don't feel so conspicuous now about my self-anointed title of "Dr." At least my Master's Degree is from an honest-to-god accredited university.

One interesting tidbit I gleaned from that link: the California Graduate School of Theology (which may or may not have granted him an honorary doctorate) also granted an honorary doctorate to "Pastor" Terry Jones, whose recent hi-jinxhave caught the media's attention.

Small world, eh?

Hot Sam said...

Oh, come on. Meteors. It's so obvious in Revelation 8 and 9:

And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.

And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.

Whenever I read Revelation 9:7-10 I always envision attack helicopters:

And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Two bucks? It's practically a giveaway!

Count me in...

Anonymous said...

Two dollars to have the laugh of the century, a give away. Wondering whether this is a Monty Python sketch or not. If this is taught to children as fact I would call it child abuse.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

For what it is worth, The Aggie is ordained by The Universal Life Church.

Thanks for the insight. It's not that often that I need theological guidance.

Get yer Israeli butt over here. I'll graciously cover your admission fee. BTW, why hasn't Israel built one of these? We have one in Kentucky and this one in Glen Rose. I'd love to see what you boys could do with the concept. All of our Adams and Eves look kinda Scandinavian, and this needs to be corrected.

JT said...

They seem to have improved their digs since the last time we passed by on our way to the state park.

We've never stopped, but might have to after reading your review. Are there people to argue, um, discuss the displays with?

Gary Larson said...

Hey! There is a wardrobe malfunction in your first picture, and I can see the nipple on the left breast! HAWT!

You should go back there ASAP and point out to them that they are making The Baby Jesus cry and are going to rot in helfire for all eternity for this blasphemy. It says so right in Teh Bible.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who lists their high school diploma as a degree should not be called a doctor of anything. He area of expertise is with Theology and nothing more. Since reality doesn't fit how he thinks it should be, he just makes it up and everything is better that way.

BeamStalk said...

My family usually stops at the state park on Sundays so the "museum" is never open. I have wanted to visit the place for awhile now. Your pictures and descriptions are exactly as I imagined the place to be.

Three Ninjas said...

Yeah, I've seen photos of those "vegetarian piranhas". They're just pacus, which are closely related to piranhas, but not piranhas. And they're quite common in South America as well as Wal-Mart pet departments.

Anonymous said...

That was some of the funniest stuff I've read in a few months. Religion does make people crazy, and apparently makes them unable to parse language for meaning. I can't wait till rational people take over the planet.

Cedric Katesby said...

Cedric Katesby, get ready. If you ever make it to the U.S., we're going.

Oh, yes please. I find this kind of stuff incredible. I'm drawn to it like a moth to a flame.

I see your "Dr" Baugh and I raise you a Ken Ham.
$27,000,000 worth of Kentucky museum can't be wrong.

Jonathan Elliot said...

Oh. Oh dear. I mean, I knew some of these guys were fruitbats, but... how embarrassing.

Yeah, I'll go see that for $2 too! Great advertising :) I'll put it on my itinerary for my next visit from New Zealand.

Plenty of born-again christians are quite happy with evolution and an old earth - some with REAL science credentials. I felt I should stick up for the fact that not all christians are loonies (i am neither).

Jonathan from Spritzophrenia

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Glad to have you here !

Anonymous said...

Isn't it obvious? Oh, maybe not.
That's Tom Landrie's Dallas Cowboys football playbook.

B Woodman

wv: batone => bat one. But which one is the more bat?

Anonymous said...

Planets at harmonic intervals:

Geek Goddess said...

I was taking some of my skeptical friends there in 2007, but unfortunately the heavy floods at the time covers the *real* footprints, and we decided we didn't want to make do with merely a fiberglass cast. I now wish we'd gone.

John Hattan said...

Wow, that's quite a bit more deluxe than I remember. I went down there about ten years ago, and it was a doublewide trailer. Baugh's brother lived in an attached single-wide, and he'd come out and press the "play" button on the slideshow when people showed up.

We had to leave after about ten minutes when my wife got a case of the giggles.

Anonymous said...

From Francen,
From France,

These so called museums set up by crooks upset gravely the American kids. Here is my experiment.
In 2003, we organized an exchange with a Seattle family for a daughter. of mine. And in return we welcomed Angie, 16, to tour southern France during the summer holidays. By pure luck we had the opportunity to pay a visit the Niaux Cave in France ( Ariège region) and join a team of paleontologists visiting this cave usually closed to the public. After a walk in a corridor ( 1 km long), we reached a large room with a low ceiling. On the walls, paintings dating back to 80 000 BC (buffaloes, horses, birds, hands ..) Angie understood perfectly what the paleontologists were talking about. Then we came back to the outside world. Angie asked me if i really believed these paintings were painted 800 centuries ago. She was in full confusion
The next day we visited the Man of Tautavel museum. where a human skull 800 000 y old is shown to the public and where a specialist of the Paris Museum ( henri de Lumley) was lecturing. At that moment, i understood Angie has been educated in a school where science courses were based on the Bible. She had tears in her eyes and as the lecturer was perfectly bilingual, he explained the details to her. The blow was extremely hard and we made our best to make her understand she was not guilty of anything.

Anyway, i was very surprised. Back in my high school days, we read Elmer Gantry and watched the film with Burt Lancaster. And our English teacher was a priest. What happens to the US Educational system seems to me extremely dangerous as, as far as i understand, there is no standard curriculum for each grade, because school boards choose the teachers they want...

More info :

Randonymity said...

The people at the museum don't have any idea how Chinese characters are put together. (I only have a cursory knowledge of how Chinese characters work, and looked up most of the information online: googled "chinese etymology".) The words they bolded represents parts of the Chinese character (called radicals). Usually when coming up with new words, there are two types of radicals used: one for meaning, and one for pronunciation. "Walking" is the left radical (the two dots and the squiggle running underneath), and this radical is for the meaning of the word. The rest of the character is actually another word meaning "announce", pronounced gao. This was chosen (possibly arbitrarily) because it sounds like the word for "create" which is cao/zao. The sign also goes on to describe each of the radicals within this word. It erroneously says that the top one is "dirt/earth" when it is actually "cow". The square does mean "mouth", but there's nothing for "breath" in the word.

Their deconstruction of this Chinese character is ridiculous. If you look at the character for "mother", it contains a radical that means "horse" because these two words sound similar, not because somehow moms came from horses (or that there was any story about a mother and a horse).

What the creationists are trying to do with this exhibit is prove that their story is the correct one because random elements of it can be found in other cultures. They do this without any real knowledge about the history of the culture or how the words came to be (like failing to understand that the written words are related by sound as well as meaning).

Now you don't have to buy the DVD to find out what they're going to say =] Hope you find this informative.

Randonymity said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TarrantLibertyGuy said...

Whited - I was giggling... and giggling... and then Tom Landry showed up and I burst out laughing like I hadn't in a long time (since the Caramel Pie Story). I knew Coach Landry had a connection, but now it's all spelled out, in perfect Mandarin. Coach Landry is Jesus. And he rode a dinosaur to Sunday school. And God is white. And Republican. It all makes sense now.

Sam said...

This guy came to the church my mom forced me to go to about 11 years ago and told us all this crap, showed us photos and "fossils," then asked if there were any questions. My best friend Mark and I asked MANY questions, most of which were debate type, as neither of us were Christian, just forced to go by our parents, and MR Baugh couldn't answer any of them, or made a point to change the subject. They ended up telling us to quit asking questions.

Unknown said...

After skimming through your website.Im happy to see your blog as it is just what I’ve looking for and excited to read all the posts.


Unknown said...

If Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris were taught this instead of evolution maybe they wouldn't have walked into columbine wearing shirts that said"natural selection" and hunted down blacks and Christians on Hitlers birthday...

The Whited Sepulchre said...

But there's a problem with that, Mike.
It wouldn't have been true. And all the feeling and wishing and emotion and good-will in the world can't change that.
We evolved. I've embraced it. It makes me love the world more, not less. I swear, I see animals and bugs differently, now that I see us as kin.
And I also feel a deeper connection to people of other races, believe it or not. They evolved with darker or lighter skins and different eye colors to adapt to their environments. My skin and hair and eye color is the result of the exact same process. Not good, or bad, but just different.
Are there differences in intelligence? Not when you spread out the continuum.
One other thing that embracing evolution has made me see more clearly.... religions evolved. All of them. Mine and yours.

Anonymous said...

Well that statement just proves it.YOU did evolve from primordial ooze.

Don W said...

We all have known from childhood that when someone is dedicated to slandering someone's life or work, it's usually twofold: 1)Jealousy 2)You haven't achieved what you wish in life, thus you think trying to discredit others make you look better.

I think not!