Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Think of the Children!

Have you heard of the Creation Museum? No? Probably for the best, it means you don't hang out in a crowd that believes the world is 6000 years old.

For those who don't know, in summary: The creation museum is to the creationists what The Museum of Natural History is to..well...everyone else. Frustrated that they did not have a building dedicated to their (ahem) science, the creationists took it upon themselves to build such a thing so as to "educate" the masses.

Admittedly, I shouldn't really care. The museum isn't going to convert educated adults, and the uneducated adults probably already believe all of this. The first amendment guarantees the right to say whatever they want to. If they want to use the Bible as a source of actual history, scientific or otherwise, it's not going to affect me, right?

The problem is not the adults paying money to visit this museum and learn about Adam and Eve and their pet dinosaurs, it's the adults paying money for their children to visit this museum.

Children are supposed to trust their parents, especially given that their parents are their primary source of survival. Naturally, they believe everything their parents tell them. They are telling them that scientists are liars, and are going to hell for not believing the literal interpretation of the Bible.

Where does that thought process naturally take you? If you don't trust scientists, then you won't trust doctors, you won't get vaccinated, you won't get proper medicine. If you don't trust scientists, you won't trust engineers, and you won't trust any modern technological advancements.

If you don't trust scientists, you only have religious leaders to believe, the ones that say condoms do not prevent the spread of AIDs, and immodestly dressed women cause earthquakes. You believe that treating your child through prayer and not accepted medical practices is okay. You believe that treating some people differently than others is okay.

But is this enough evidence to step in and say enough? Undoubtedly for some families these fundamental religious indoctrinations become harmful not just mentally but physically, and that's not okay. Once we draw that line though, we enter a dangerous territory where attacking one set of religious beliefs becomes attacking all religious beliefs. We start forcing people to believe in evolution as opposed to allowing free thought and freedom of speech. Children are being hurt, and growing into adults that will continue the cycle, but how can we stop it without becoming them?

This post by Jen at Blaghag.com and her review of the Creation Museum, specifically this post, is what got me started on this.


  1. There was a Law and Order episode similar to the vaccination thing. In the episode a mother didn't trust doctors and refused to vaccinate her child, he ended up getting small pox and passing it to a little girl who died from it. They tried to put the mother of the boy on trial but it failed.

  2. Do you really believe everything your parents told you? Mine used to tell us that sugar cereal was "vacation cereal," and that they don't sell it in the grocery stores...

    My point is that yes, it's important to make sure kids get the facts, but even if they don't immediately, they'll go to school and meet and engage with people with differing opinions. Creationists aren't new-- they're quite a bit older than evolutionists, and yet science is doing fine.

    Also, we need to hang out.

  3. @Carolyn: we TOTALLY need to hang out.

    and I agree, thankfully most schools teach evolution and children are able to get both sides of the argument and hopefully decide for themselves. but there's a large group of people that home school their children to hide them from this information, or send them to the few schools that do not teach evolution. They don't let them watch TV for fear of them being exposed to contradictory ideas.

    Point being: Most religious families don't fall into the category I'm talking about, and raise normal, healthy, children. In most cases the children WILL learn about both sides of the argument. It's the ones that won't that we need to be concerned about.

    @Charmed: That's interesting. Not enough people understand the concept of "herd immunity." If we really took that concept to heart, it would not be too difficult to see how she really put her whole community at risk with her decision.