Saturday, August 8, 2009

Insights on Insights on the Creation Museum Visit

One of the tweets about #CreoZerg contained a link to the site of Pastor Tom Estes, a man whose name I recognized from blog comments in defense of the Creation Museum. Estes’ blog contained a couple of articles relating his shared experience with the SSA group at the Museum which I thought were enlightening and a little baffling as to his point of view.
His first post described the visit itself beginning with him introducing himself to P. Z. Myers in the parking lot. He mentioned how relieved he was to not have to identify himself in front of hundreds of atheists, although he didn’t say why. Perhaps he thought they would pummel him with copies of Darwin’s writings. Anyway, Estes determined from his exchange of 5 or 10 words each that P. Z. was sarcastic.
Inside the Museum, Estes sat with Looy, the co-founder of AiG and one of the VP’s but later got up and listened to and watched the atheists go through the exhibits, but they were disrespectful, made fun of what the exhibits said and wore T-shirts that were against the rules (Actually, at least one student was taken to the restroom and ordered to turn his shirt inside out. Apparently he had ruined a family’s entire vacation by displaying a slogan with which they disagreed.) Furthermore, they said things like “That’s stupid,” without elaborating on why and he heard someone say he wished he had a 2 way radio to hear P. Z.’s comments. Oh yeah, the group looked like a bunch of misfits, and P. Z. was on an ego trip basking in the adoration instead of learning all the science there.
Incomprehensibly, what Pastor Estes seemed most concerned about was that someone might recognize him and take his picture! He even thought he caught some people surreptitiously trying to take a picture while he wasn’t looking. What is that about? Does he think the camera will steal his soul? Does he think his picture will be sent to freethinking hit men? Does he fear we will all draw a mustache and goatee on his picture and put it on a dart board? Sorry pastor, I don’t think anyone really wants your picture, except maybe to show a friend that this is that guy who was commenting on Pharyngula. As for hit men, I think you’ll find that when someone stalks and kills a person because they disagree with their beliefs, the atheist is usually the victim and the Xian the shooter.
As for P. Z. Myers, he is a hero to a lot of us and we’d never gotten to meet him before. Everyone would like to hear what he says, not because we’re little lost lambs in need of someone to define what we should think (that would be the Xians again), it’s because he is a Doctor of Biology and a college professor who is an expert on the science that is being desecrated in that museum. Plus we all admire his fashion sense.
Pastor Estes’ follow up article was a rebuttal to the post about the museum in Pharyngula. I think the Pastor’s view can be summed up by this quote from him: “In this statement he seems to show his complete lack of understanding in what the Creation Museum stands for. Obviously Ken Ham, Mark Looy, and the rest of us idiotic Bible believers believe in the flood, and if you believe the flood happened around 2348 BC, then naturally the fossils would be dated from that time.” He really thinks that starting with an untenable assumption and the cherry-picking and misrepresenting a few scientific facts so they appear to support his claim, is science. Quoting William Watkin from the ABC article about CreoZerg, "Everything they said about sediment deposition, about Mount St. Helens … anyone in first year geology would say 'wrong from top to bottom,”.
This is the whole point of what Estes saw and heard. This SSA group consisted of college students, college graduates, teachers and professors, who all know more about real science than he does. Of course they called things stupid without elaborating. They had all studied enough biology, geology, anthropology, paleontology, history, chemistry and physics, etc. to know why the entire museum and almost all its assertions are not scientifically honest or valid. One of the greatest exceptions being the display that talks about the irrelevance of race in our acceptance and love for the whole Human population. That was good.
If Pastor Estes would take a few undergrad science courses at a state university he might understand the difference between what Ken Hamm calls science and what people who actually do science call science. Then maybe he could put himself in the shoes, just for a minute, of someone like P. Z. Myers who has spent his entire adult life studying and teaching real science in real educational institutions and museums and see what a huge insult to and attack on every honest educator and student in the world this shrine to ignorance and propaganda, the Creation Museum, really is. And that's the Hard Truth.


MikeTheInfidel said...

"he heard someone say he wished he had a 2 way radio to hear P. Z.’s comments."

I'm almost certain he made that whole bit up, too, just to fit his delusions.

Estes is a piece of filth, really. He lied about not knowing how many people were going to come, and he lied about whether or not he came there wanting to talk to PZ.

NeverTheTwain said...

Nice post. I'm still jealous. And where did you get the t-shirt?

Nomad said...

About being afraid of people taking his picture, perhaps I'm stating the obvious here but I think he was stoking his martyrdom fantasies. It wasn't that long ago that PZ's blog had a British priest talking how his wife was terrified that someone might kill them because he spoke out against the atheists on PZ's blog. He used this irrational fear as further evidence of how very very bad the atheists are and how very very good he and his kind were.

There was never a hint that any threat had been made against them. But it's a standard part of the story as they're told to believe in it. Sure, Christians are pretty much the ones with all the power in the US, some states go so far as to prohibit an atheist from holding public office. But part of the fundy fantasy is to believe that they're an oppressed minority, so they concoct these fantasies wherein the atheists are out to get them.

To Pastor Tom he was in the lion's den (even if he was really in Ham's den), this is his form of street cred. He dared to stand in the midst of atheists, he can go back and tell war stories to his flock now.