Idaho to host another gigantic waste of money and space

There is delusion and there there is delusion that costs a heck of a lot of money. One Creationist museum is too many (in Kentucky) and it shows. The museum is short on visitors and has a floundering Ark project. Now, Idaho decides that it’s more conservative than Kentucky and builds another monument to antiscience.

Creationist museum feels right at home in Idaho – LA Times.

The Northwest Science Museum’s board of directors has big plans here in one of America’s most conservative states β€” where the population is more than 80% white, the electorate voted for a Republican president in the last seven elections and prayer is top of mind.

When the group finally raises the necessary $150 million, its members plan to erect a 350,000-square-foot facility with a full-sized ark that will rise above Interstate 84 somewhere between Boise and Nampa.

Lutz and Executive Director Douglas J. Bennett say their museum, which opened in June, is different from the dozen or so others dedicated to Creation Week across the country.

Like Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History or the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, its website says, the Northwest Science Museum will focus on natural history β€” but presented from a biblical point of view and dedicated to the belief “that creation science can explain the evidence we see in the world around us and that it is not just religion.”

What a joke. A depressing joke. To claim such a ridiculous premise is insulting to educated people in Idaho – every teacher, doctor, computer programmer, pharmacist, dentist, farmer, etc. who do what they do thanks to the progress of scientific research. Idaho and American society in general is privileged because of scientific advances. To make a mockery out of what we know about the world and life in it is a disgrace. The Bible is not a science book (or even a history book, at that). It does not matter how much of the local population is conservative Christian, just how many times can they pay to visit one place? The original Creation Museum is publicly floundering with funding no matter what sorts of gimmicks they have to add to attempt to increase attendance. This is just all around stupid to add another Bible-based side show.

To quote Bill Nye, the Science Guy, “the country will fall behind other nations who do educate their kids in real science rather than the pseudoscience of creationism” because learning a fantasy isn’t going to help us prepare, innovate, and, ironically, create what we need to solve problems in order to prosper the 21st century.

  29 comments for “Idaho to host another gigantic waste of money and space

  1. Peebs
    March 25, 2015 at 6:29 PM

    Perhaps if they lost tax exemption they would enter the real world.

  2. L. Barth
    March 25, 2015 at 6:55 PM

    The guy that runs it is a geologist? What is the matter with him?

  3. FNM
    March 25, 2015 at 6:56 PM

    Welcome to Idaho… a lawmaker thinks a woman can swallow a camera and have it come out the vagina… a representative thinks it is ok to pray over sick children while they suffer and die as long as the parents believe it is God’s will. This fits right in with the Idaho Legislative mentality. They will probably pass a law for taxpayer money to build it.

  4. March 25, 2015 at 7:22 PM

    There are delusional people in all walks of life.

  5. Colonel Tom
    March 25, 2015 at 8:02 PM

    A theme park is not exempted from property tax, as is a place of worship. The exemption that might be going to court is a refund of sales tax given to most new businesses that locate into the Commonwealth. Kentucky has invoked some special provision to deny the Ark blasphemy their refund of sales tax, hopefully it will stick. There stupid billboard blighted my morning commute until recently, and I don’t need to have my blood pressure raised. The billboards made no economic sense to me at.

    There appears to be considerable debate upon the financial health of the Creation not-museum. Attendance has slacked since opening, but still as high as the original estimates filed with the state. Hard to say how much of that was the economy or poor management. Or it could be that people went to Kentucky Kingdom instead, where we do have a membership. Some very promising rides this year.

  6. Colonel Tom
    March 25, 2015 at 8:05 PM

    My personal experience, and I swear present company excepted, is that the percentage of doodleworfs are much higher in the rock watchers.

  7. GrahamH
    March 25, 2015 at 9:20 PM

    Full sized ark – is that for the 2 of every kind, or the seven? Or is it the one with the magical properties that the wizard in the sky endowed upon it to fit everything in – and if so who is going to make THAT happen?
    Full sized does suggest that they know the actual dimensions.

  8. Headless Unicorn Guy
    March 25, 2015 at 11:11 PM

    Oh, they DO know the actual dimensions — 300 cubits long x 50 cubits beam x 30 cubits high. Depending on the size of a cubit; the various known cubits average out to around half a meter, so that gives us 150m x 25m x 15m.

    What I never get is why they always give the Ark a prow (and sometimes even a ram bow, like the one in the Kentucky Creation Museum’s theme park). The Ark didn’t have to maneuver, only float. And “Ark” means “box”, not “ship hull”.

    I remember an old picture from one maritime museum that did have a (hypothetical) Noah’s Ark diorama. Their Ark was a long rectangular box, the lowest deck being a simple raft hull with a two-deck superstructure above it. Again, their rationale was that it didn’t need to maneuver, only float, and Noah was probably not a shipwright and would go for the simplest design. So why do they keep giving it a ship hull with a deckhouse amidships?
    Though a “weathervane” on one end like in the above JPEG (presumably from the Kentucky Creation Museum; it matches the promotional pics of the theme park) would make sense; it would catch the wind and make sure the Ark “lay a hull” with one end into the wind, allowing it to ride out rough water in a stable position with minimum chance of rolling.

  9. Headless Unicorn Guy
    March 25, 2015 at 11:27 PM

    Here’s where I first found out about the Ark Theme Park project, over at Internet Monk five years ago:
    The comment thread stretches over two pages; read ’em all for some real freewheeling.

  10. BobM
    March 26, 2015 at 12:57 AM

    Thing is, you’ve seen one creation Museum you’ve seen them all. That’s much more true of creation museums than others I think. After all, when you have human beings riding on dinosaurs, and a bit of fake geology what else can you do? Well – I guess Noah’s Ark :-).

  11. Tom
    March 26, 2015 at 1:59 AM

    The way that creationists try to imitate science reminds me of the Cargo Cults that built wooden replicas of refrigerators etc.

  12. L. Barth
    March 26, 2015 at 7:29 AM

    I think it is for 2 of every kind. They fit because they take only baby dinosaurs.;)

  13. March 26, 2015 at 9:00 AM

    I think Bill Nye is wrong – though he shouldn’t be. Belief in nonsense is not limited to the US.

    Here in South Africa, almost everybody this computer programmer knows is seriously religious. (Not creationists, at least.) Almost every other programmer I’ve met is religious; the doctors I know are religious; everybody else in my family is religious; I stand very much alone as an atheist and skeptic. It doesn’t help that as a recovering addict, the assumed “correct” way of doing recovery involves a “spiritual program” that’s filled with woo, logical fallacies and false hope. (Excuse the rant – it’s been a bad day.)

    Much of the time it feels like we are regressing – not progressing at all.

  14. skeptictmac57
    March 26, 2015 at 9:56 AM

    This story has completely put me off of my mashed potatoes πŸ™

  15. March 26, 2015 at 10:45 AM

    He was talking about the US but he didn’t say nonsense was limited to the US. So, he’s not wrong in this case.

    We will never get rid of superstition and religion. Never. We just have to learn to manage it to make better decisions in the world. It’s always going to be an effort. I’d say it is getting better, by a lot. But it will never be ideal.

  16. Colonel Tom
    March 26, 2015 at 11:56 AM

    Seven of each domestic (food) animals, two of everything else.

  17. glowby
    March 26, 2015 at 3:02 PM

    If they seriously wanted to show that Noah’s story was true, they’d first build the ark according to biblical specs and launch it on the ocean. I think they probably considered it but consulted with actual engineers, who inevitably would have told them: “That boat won’t float.”

    Building it on land (again) is a tacit admission that it could never be seaworthy.

    Now, if they built it with modern materials and got the thing to float, the next logical step would be to load it up with 8 people and a variety of animal kinds, and lock them all up inside for 370 days with whatever biblical-style supplies they thought they needed.

    I wish some creationists were crazy enough to try it. It would be amusing to say the least.

  18. skeptictmac57
    March 26, 2015 at 6:28 PM

    You’re forgetting the “With God, all things are possible” loophole. You can mount any number of logical arguments against their beliefs, but unless they want to play by naturalist rules, you can never overcome the ‘and then a miracle happens’ defense.

  19. Peebs
    March 26, 2015 at 6:39 PM

    I have to agree with skeptictmac57. According to the bible the ark was built from gopher wood and nobody seems to know what that is (I’m willing to be corrected on this, I’m using my much impaired and fallible memory).

    All the creationists will say is;

    “We used the wrong wood”!

  20. glowby
    March 26, 2015 at 7:18 PM

    Yes, they’d ultimately have to fall back on that loophole. However, at present they maintain that much of the story is factual and reasonable. It was an actual boat, not a magical one. Its remains are still here with us somewhere. Life aboard the ark was maintained through labor. God wasn’t sweeping out the stalls.

    In a sense, they DO want to play by naturalistic rules. That’s ostensibly what creation “science” is all about: fitting science and the bible together. Ostensibly.

  21. glowby
    March 26, 2015 at 7:27 PM

    Even if they agreed on what gopher wood is (was?) or selected some other type of suitable wood, they could say, “Well, they just don’t grow those trees like they used to!”

    Either way, it would be amusing to see them try.

  22. j
    March 27, 2015 at 2:58 AM

    I agree with you… my disagreement, which may be based on insufficient information, was with his assertion that the US will fall behind other countries that do educate people scientifically properly.

    I think all nations are just as bad. Or am I wrong? Is science education really that poor in the US?

  23. LBarth
    March 27, 2015 at 7:16 AM

    Sounds like an idea for a reality show glowby.

  24. Gary Crowell
    March 27, 2015 at 12:48 PM

    In a state with ~1.5 million population (and the bulk of that population is more than 100 miles away), in a location that serves about 250,000 local residents, and 350 miles from any other major population center. What sort of a business plan is this? Oh, because, you know… religion.

  25. Colonel Tom
    March 27, 2015 at 3:05 PM

    The Creation blasphemy does have location going for it, it is within a half day’s driving of many major population centers. Idaho, not so much.

  26. Rich
    March 29, 2015 at 6:12 AM

    Original Sin affects everything, see, even carpentry skills. Even as the thing was sinking they’d be using the loopholes like a lifebelt.

  27. Geoff
    March 30, 2015 at 4:53 PM

    β€œThat boat won’t float.”

    Don’t be silly. With the “hand of God” ™, you could build it from spit and chewing gum and fly the ark to the moon.

  28. Geoff
    March 30, 2015 at 4:55 PM

    Check your timeline. The ark came after ye olde Fall. πŸ™‚

  29. Elian Gonzalez
    April 19, 2015 at 9:43 PM

    If they want to be fleeced, let them be fleeced. And remind them that as “conservatives,” they don’t need state or federal funds to cover the inevitable cost on any level. They can pray the debt away.

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