liz_marcs (liz_marcs) wrote,
liz_marcs
liz_marcs

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Mythic Creatures from the American Museum of Natural History...and a Post About Fairytale Science

hat tip to idragosani for pointing me to this entry from the science blog Pharyngula by PZ Myers.

I found this link in the round up of news, scientific, and blogger reaction to the new Creation "Museum" opening on Monday.

Instead of paying attention to those anti-science nuts with too much money, go visit the web site of mythic creatures at the American Museum of Natural History (there's a link to resources there).

Better, if you're in and around NYC, go visit.

*shakes head*

I'm floored that in this day in age, something like the Creation "Museum" could even open, let alone open debt-free.

It reminds me of a story:

When I was in sixth grade, a bunch of us little snots (I say this because all sixth graders are snots, really) decided to trip up our science teacher, who just happened to be a fearsome nun we called Sister Yoda (because she looked like Yoda, and she was a master of wielding a ruler on misbehaving students).

For, lo, the day came when we asked, "So sister, how can you teach us religion during religion period and then turn around and teach evolution during science period?"

(Yes, we got the evolution overview in sixth grade, which I found out later is not normal practice.)

And, lo, Sister Yoda said onto us, "Because in religion period I'm a religion teacher. In science period, I'm a science teacher. The first teaches you the why, the other teaches you the how. Those are two different questions."

Then she smiled this pleased little smile. Looking back, it was almost Buddah-like. It was if she knew that question was coming and had practiced that answer just so she could blow our little snotty-kid minds.

That, or she'd been hit with that question by so many snotty sixth graders that experience told her that truly intelligent students would be trying to trip her up with that question.

Ahhh, Sister Yoda. You were a wiser woman than we knew.

In any case, my mother had something of a similar experience when she was in school, only in her case it was high school. I can't count how many times I heard this story.

Her snotty class hit up their biology teacher (a nun, naturally) with the same question. "How can you teach evolution?"

According to my mother, the nun thought about this a moment and said, "Well, let me ask you something. When people are born, they start out as babies and grow to adults, right?"

I imagine at this point that there was some scattered giggling here, because of course that's true.

The nun then poses the whopper of a question, "Now, say you have a baby and it never grows up. The baby never changes, never learns, never gains new skills. Everything remains the same. The baby keeps looking like a baby, thinking like a baby, and the baby remains a baby forever. You'd worry. You'd know something was wrong. You want that baby to grow up and change and become an adult, right? Because that's what should happen with babies."

I can imagine the eye-rolling at this point as every kid in class thinks, "Well, duh!"

Then the nun drives the point home, "So, if humans think that it's right and good that babies grow and change and adapt to their environment, how on earth can you think that God would want any less from humanity?"

Now, while I've offered two small fairytales to argue against one big one, they're telling ones, I think.

It's possible to be a deeply religious person and still know that creationism, the young earth "theory," and intelligent design is total bunk.

Hell, I know deeply religious people with scientific training and working in scientific fields, and they would never — not for one second — call evolution "a lie."
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