Originally posted on An American Atheist.
Creation “Museums” are popping up like toadstools all over the country, the latest of which has sprouted in San Diego County, California, and appears to be wasting no time in its effort to lower the nation’s collective IQ through its administering of antiquated blarney, despite the fact that their ideas have been old hat for well over a century.
Religious beliefs tend to not be very concerned with whether or not ideas are true, but rather how tenacious they are. One comes to this realization while reviewing the current religious explanations for myriad phenomena only to discover that, despite having been completely and utterly refuted for decades or even centuries, they remain completely unchanged or merely redressed in freshly creased slacks, hoping you won’t discover that they’re still wearing the same skidmarked undies beneath a new fashionable pretence.
A good example of a stagnant explanation hoisted up to credulous masses is the argument equating complexity with design, first formulated in 1802 by William Paley in his book Natural Theology, which goes something like this:
1. X is very complex and was designed by humans—an intelligent agent.
2. Y is also very complex.
3. Therefore Y must have also been designed by an intelligent agent.
This formulation has been refuted for over 150 years due to Charles Darwin’s discovery of natural selection, a natural process whereby complex organic forms can arise from simple beginnings because of the interaction between environment, organisms, and (as of then) yet-to-be-discovered packets of information, today called genes. Creationists still, despite this refutation, eagerly drag this perceived Holy Grail-of-an-argument out as if its surface, now a faded and cloudy patina, still reflected the light of profound insight of an even deeper truth.
And now here is John Nelson, tour guide of the new Creation “Museum” in San Diego County, dragging out this old “too complex to have evolved” canard for all to see.
One of the main things we are trying to point out is the complexity of the human anatomy … how complex the eye is, how complex the heart is, how complex the entire circulatory system is and so on . . . . This is all evidence of a Creator and not evolution.
I find it truly baffling that a religion and its many adherents have created such a dense, vacuum-sealed bubble around themselves that not even the world’s greatest scientific discovery has been able to make it through to them. And it’s not because they haven’t heard about Darwinian evolution either. No, it’s because they have constructed a flimsy house of cards which is their belief system, and have been indoctrinated to reject certain things as false, lest the whole house come tumbling down. Rejecting one idea as false is certainly easier than discarding their previous tapestry of belief to begin weaving anew. And you know what? That’s fine! Be as ignorant and as impenetrable to reason as you like. Really, I couldn’t care less. But please, in the process, don’t try to pass your bogus theology off as science by constructing ridiculous theme parks and fun houses under the guise of them being rigorous research institutions or legitimate museums.
If these people were indeed performing actual research, if they had actual museums housing artifacts and true scientific collections instead of dopey animatronic dinosaurs adorned with saddles in an attempt to bridge the yawning 65 million year gap between their extinction and our appearance to imply that, not only did we coexisted with dinosaurs, but we rode them, then they should have no problem substantiating the following claim the museum makes, emphasis mine.
This is important for Christians and non-Christians to have available to them information that validates and supports an Intelligent Creator,” he said. “It’s very important because people are not taught that via the media or the public education system, but we know that it’s true. The museum is a great resource for that.
Where is this information that shows that a Creator exists? It exists only in the minds of the ignorant, completely unchanged since first formulated over 200 years ago by Paley, the last 150 of which it has not had a leg to stand on. Yet it persists, as it will continue to do, as long as people remain afraid to truly wonder.