This appeared in *Sacramento News and Review*, a weekly publication in Sacramento, CA. Mar
This appeared in *Sacramento News and Review*, a weekly
publication in Sacramento, CA. March 24, 1994. Marghe Covino
works for "Project Tocsin", an organization that monitors the
Creationism Made Easy
By Marghe Covino
Nestled unsuspectingly in an industrial park fronting a freeway
in Santee near San Diego is the 17-year-old Museum of Creation
and Earth Science. The large, converted warehouse is the object
of devout pilgrimages from tourists and schoolchildren
throughout the state; true believers who walk through the
gallery listen to guides "debunk" evolution, extol biblical
lore and, thus, explain the origin of the earth.
I set out from Sacramento last winter on my own pilgrimage to
the museum-- to find out how creationism is taught and what its
teachers are really advocating. See, I used to think the aim of
creationism was straightforward: to get a new version of
evolution (like the earth is less than 10,000 years o1d) taught
in America's classrooms. But a walk through the museum
indicated a deeper, even more frightening goal. The aim
involves proclaiming the "truth" of creationist beliefs
_globally_, linking the American right-wing with other
fundamentalist religions from around the world.
Just after entering the museum comes a sign on the wall
proclaiming that most "other" religions are evolutionary and
therefore inferior at best and apostate at worst. Biblical
passages are quoted to demand that each visitor decide "where
he stands on this vital issue." One sign proclaims, "The Tree
of Evolutionism bears only corrupt fruits, Creationism bears
Following that, one begins the tour, first strolling through
Genesis with its bright wall murals of space and planets.
Presented, among other things, there is "scientific evidence"
debunking the Big Bang theory and, moving on, the issue that
God used 24-hour days during the Creation, (no trying to get
around it by saying that the term "day" can be interpreted to
mean millennium--you must believe the absolute inerrant Word of
God). And that's not all.
Signs also announce the news that "many top astronomers are
abandoning the Big Bang theory." Raised concrete and bright
paint outline the earth and the cosmos as we move through the
next doorway (flanked by formed concrete trees and artificial
greenery) to the Garden of Eden. Much is made over God's
directive that man has "dominion" over the earth and its
creaures. Indeed, the algae- ridden fish tank, the little
finches with scant food and water, the tarantula with none, the
mice climbing an endless wheel to escape their cramped, airless
cage, the poorly kept lizards and snakes were there to prove
dominion in no uncertain terms. "The billions of fossils of
both men and animals in the rocks of earth speak of sin and
death-- not the evolution of life-- they must ALL be dated
AFTER Adam's fall," a sign proclaims.
The Flood exhibit is next, replete with theories about God
putting most of the large animals in a "hibernating state," a
three-dimensional mural of the inside of the ark; and "space
photographs" of the mountainous region in Ararat where the ark
was purported to have landed.
Strobe lighting and water sounds then dumped us out into the
Ice Age. A guide intoned to the schoolchildren: "All of that
water had to go somewhere, so it probably was sent into making
the glacier in the Ice Age. The dinosaurs were in the ark and
when the Ice Age came they were caught in it and that's how
come their bones are found in various places, because they were
left by the glaciers."
The Ice Age room was replete with concrete-formed blue-painted
stalactites and chilly temperatures. Everything leads to the
inescapable conclusion that this is a young universe. (Even
director Stephen Spielberg fell victim to this view when
Orthodox rabbis in Israel declared his movie, Jurassic Park,
heretical because it depicted evolution, which is contrary to
the fundamentalist belief of the earth's age.)
Several sets of displays held odd collections that seemed
unrelated: monarch butterflies in one cage; a melted 45 rpm
record, a paintbrush, a rusty hook and a melted lab flask.
Still another display held a lengthy pictorial discourse on
Mount St. Helens and then moved on to the unreliability of
radiometric dating. Still another high-tech plastic sign gave
"scientific" instructions like "To determine the geological age
of a fossil: Do NOT use depth (where found); do NOT use type of
rock; do NOT use radiometric dating; do NOT use stage of
evolution, DO use the Word of God."
Cheap knock-off pottery and artifact displays-- heavy on the
shekels and menorahs, oil lamps and widow's mites were in the
same location with Greek and Egyptian artifacts, human fossils
and something called "Post-Flood Man." Still another sign
states: "Cave men were not human, but weaker, probably
degenerate descendants of those migrating away from the Tower
of Babel." Of course, Babel was the hotbed of "evolutionary
pantheism, polytheistic idolatry, astrology and occult
The Egyptian, Sumerian and Greek civilizations were dismissed
as "man-centered, anti-Christian philosophies." Citing
Epicureanism (341-271 BC) and Zeno's Stoicism (336-264 BC) as
"opposing Paul's preaching," the Creation Museum blithely
ignores the fact that the theories were expounded prior to
Paul's existence. Socrates, Plato and Aristotle are dismissed
as "atheistic" or "pantheistic." Meanwhile, animism is
described as the basis for the religions of "uncivilized
tribes" and also the basis for Hindus, Buddhists, Shintoists,
Confucianists and Muslims.
The Aztecs and Incas came in for more bashing about their
behavior-- heathenism and human sacrifice-- as we moved on to
the final display, what the guide called "our wall of infamy."
On one side of the hallway were the "Bible-believing
scientists," while evolutionists on the other side included
Friedrich Nietzsche, Andrew Carnegie, Karl Marx, John D.
Rockefener and Charles Darwin ... and his grandfather. Nazism,
Communism and racism were listed as "the fruits of evolution."
The final display was called The Decadence of Pre-Columbian
Indian Societies. It was the culmination of the tour and
featured the opinion of former California Congressman William
Dannemeyer (that well-known pre-Columbian scholar) on the
justification for killing and enslaving the Indian peoples. It
reads: "Homosexuality was quite common in many pre-Columbian
Indian societies. Columbus discovered, with disgust and dismay,
that both the violent Caribs and relatively peaceful Arawaks
practiced sodomy. Cortez also found that sodomy was rampant
among Indian tribes in Mexico. The priestly caste of the
Cempoallan tribe, for instance, indulged in sodomy and
homosexual prostitution was common among the community.
"Due to constant internecine warfare and ecological abuse the
Mayan civilization had already collapsed by the time the
Spaniards arrived. The residue left of that once-mighty culture
was a people that had retreated into abject barbarism.... It
had become decadent and self-indulgent. The pleasure-obsessed
upper classes were sacrificing human beings, indulging in
orgies and practicing sodomy without shame. The shocked
Spaniards put the Mayans' leaders to the sword."
People, over 27,000 visitors have been through this "museum"
during the past year. I urge you to go experience it for
yourselves. Look. See the past and project the creationist
future. It's mind- blowing. It's free ... and worth every
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