Thursday, June 09, 2005

Creationists Attack Zoo With Bullshit

        You would think that a zoo would be a place where children could get basic, unbiased information on the cute, little animals that they hold so dear. Unfortunately for Oklahoma, the creationists have gotten out of their cage and have started to fuck up the childrens' minds.

         The Tulsa Zoo will soon have a display which depicts the creationist account of the origin of life, specifically a display of how God created life in 6 days and then rested on the 7th. Religious idiots "argued" that this display would counterbalance the other religious icons which are already present in the zoo. This is a reference to a statue of the Hindu elephant god Ganesh, which is located in front of the elephant exhibit.

                            

         Now maybe it's just me, but I don't think that children even realize that that's a religious symbol. And even if they did, I don't really think they'd feel inclined to worship an elephant god when in the background they can see an elephant shitting on his own food. Zoo employees said that the zoo is not in the business of advocating religion and explained that the displays like the elephant display are to teach children about how other cultures view the animals. Sadly though, the Tulsa Park and Recreation Board makes these decisions, and sided 3-1 with the ridiculous creationist shit. Hey, at least it's a children's story at a children's attraction.

        This story actually hits a little close to home for me. While I don't live in Oklahoma anymore, I was born and raised about 30 minutes from this zoo. The Tulsa zoo was a frequent destination for field trips and the like, and I'm disappointed to see creationists put their crap into something as innocent as a zoo.

        For those who haven't noticed, the religious fundamentalists are on the march. They will not give up and they will not give in. They are in direct opposition to things that have made America great, such as reason, debate, science, separation of church and state, freedom of speech, and equality for all citizens. It is important for us to get off our lazy asses and do something about it. Let your opinions be heard by your communities and convince your family and friends of the danger that these people pose to the American way of life, and due to the America's place in the world, also to freedom abroad.

     "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing"
                                                            Edmund Burke

25 comments:

Damon said...

That's funny stuff.

Aaron Kinney said...

Funny, but also alarming. Fundies are emboldened by their victories in the political realm and they are becoming more fundamentalist because of their shrinking numbers (although they still make up a huge amount of the population).

What is happening is a polarization. The moderates and lefties are going more left, and the fundies are going more right. Its splitting the country it two: The coastlines in blue vs. the south and middle areas in red.

I know what side Im on! Down to fundys! Up with reason! Up with humanity!

And down with God!

Damon said...

Actually I thought it was funny because it was a post that seemed to center on censorship, to some extent, but then ended up talking about rising up and exercising the right to free speech.

Delta said...

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by censorship. Religious symbols on public property, paid for by public funds, isn't an issue of free speech. It's separation of church and state. When I said that the fundamentalists were against free speech, it was more in the sense of how they try to declare things "vulgar" and get them banned from TV, the airways, public discourse, etc.

Aaron Kinney said...

Creationism belongs in a Church, and evolution belongs in the Zoo. Simple as that.

Angie said...

If there are other religious items at the zoo, not sure anything can be done to stop this one. But what we can do as parents is to talk to our own children, and share with them our feelings of religion vs evolution.

Damon said...

"Religious symbols on public property, paid for by public funds, isn't an issue of free speech. It's separation of church and state."

If George Bush were taking orders from the Vatican, or Billy Graham or someone like that, that's when it would be an issue of 'church and state'. Simply putting up different views of how animals might or might not have come into existance isn't exactly a big 'church and state' issue. I mean, you could argue that it is, if you want, but that seems a little petty to me. If they took away the evolutionary examples and replaced them strictly with Christian Idiology, that would be a different story.

Rick said...

You'voe got a lovely site update about freethought. I am currently reading your other stuff. I found your site by following your comment left on my blog. Food way to network.

Delta said...

"If George Bush were taking orders from the Vatican, or Billy Graham or someone like that, that's when it would be an issue of 'church and state'."

I don't think that the president has to be taking orders from religious leaders for a violation of church and state separation to occur. It is actually interesting to think about how the president might actually be taking orders from these people, however, in a indirect sort of way. Bush wants maintain his voting bloc of the Christian right. He listens very closely to what these people say. And yeah, that looks like pure democracy up close. But then when you pull back a little bit, you see that these voters are pretty much taking what the Vatican and what Billy Graham say as true, often as if it were revealed to them from God. So these two people (and a few other religious big wigs, like Pat Robertson) almost completely control what at least part of the members of the Christian right believe and consequently, how they vote. Well...don't quote me on this argument ever, I thought it would just be fun to throw it out there.

"Simply putting up different views of how animals might or might not have come into existance isn't exactly a big 'church and state' issue."

We can't put up every single view that someone has when we educate our children. First off, it probably confuses the kid. Secondly, it really just wastes their time on a bunch of bullshit theories and they don't learn the real science as much as they should. Scientists believe in evolution, having successfully completed steps that follow the scientific method. Creationism is not backed by any science whatsoever. None. So who should decide what our kids learn in science classes (or at the zoo, which is supposed to be scientific as well)? Now I guess I'll play devil's advocate, but maybe scientists should! Having a religious person dictate what is taught in a science classroom is like have a ballerina coach the football team.

And Rick, thanks. I added a link to your site on my blog listing.

Damon said...

"We can't put up every single view that someone has when we educate our children."

If you look at America today, there's really two beliefs on how the world came into being that stand out. Creationism and Evolution are definitely the two with the largest followings. Putting up a sign that shows these two views is really not all that troublesome, and there probably aren't too many kids who are going to take either one to heart without someone reinforcing what the sign says at some later time...be it the parents or the teachers in school.

What gets me is that evolutionary theory starts with every bit as much 'magic' as creationism.

You see, there's this little tiny blob, about the size of a marble, which contained everything in today's universe. The ball wasn't created by anyone or anything, it just simply existed. And one day, the ball exploded, and shot shit clear across the cosmos.

Sounds about as absurd as saying 'There's this all-powerful deity who simply existed which created the universe by just thinking it into existance.'

Delta said...

As you might imagine, it's not very easy figuring out what happened billions of years ago. Hell, humans have only had electricity for a few hundred years, it's going to take time. The thing about the scienfific origins is that they are subject to change, to new evidence. Someday we'll have better technology or a better grip on science and we will be able to more fully explain the origins of well, everything. It's a matter of time, and it might not ever make sense to everyday people. Our interpretation of quantum mechanics is pretty non-physical and things happen that you really don't expect. Same thing with relativity.

The religious explanation is, of course, not subject to change. While scientists today, with their supercolliders and satellites, are unable to determine exactly how things began, some guys living in a shack thousands of years ago knew EXACTLY what happened. That's pretty amazing.

As for evolution, it's a better supported theory than the theory of gravity.

Damon said...

That's the thing, though. If you believe in the story of creationism, then you believe that it wasn't just 'some guy in a shack'. You believe that the words came straight from an all-powerful being.

That makes all the difference in the world.

Of course, if you do believe it just came from some guy in a shack, then it's just a bunch of horseshit anyway, and shouldn't even matter to you.

If they had put up a sign which talked about storks bringing all the baby animals to the mommy and daddy animals, would it still have bothered you? Would it have made you write a post about the injustices of living in a world where people shove their agendas down your throat?

I AM said...

This is mostly off topic, but I had to mention it because this is about zoos. The most disturbing thing I ever saw in a zoo was the "Gumbo Trail" at the New Orleans zoo. They have critters used in Cajun cooking in tanks with recipes for each one next to the tank. I'm not an animal rights activist, but that's just in bad taste (no pun intended).

Delta said...

Well, I know that they think that it came from an all-powerful being. What I meant was that current-day scientists, with all their equipment, still don't know how everything started. However, the guy in a shack with no electricity and essentially no understanding of the world, supposedly did know, regardless of how he discovered that information. I think that that's funny.

And yes, if they did put a description of how storks are involved in the process of how life is made and they were being serious about it and actually trying to convince children that that was the case, then yeah, I would be upset. If everyone knows that it's just a joke then who cares, no one will take it seriously. The problem is when people do take it seriously.

And really it's all comes down to proof. If creationists can prove, scientifically, then that would a different story. I would want it in textbooks, at the zoo, and I would be writing about it in a whole different way. But for them it's not about scientific proof, it's about faith. However,faith has no place in the scientific community and certainly not in the scientific method.

Delta said...

Haha I AM, I've never been to the New Orleans Zoo, but I used to live in Lousiana. In all fairness though, the food is quite delicious.

Aaron Kinney said...

damon said:

That's the thing, though. If you believe in the story of creationism, then you believe that it wasn't just 'some guy in a shack'. You believe that the words came straight from an all-powerful being.

That makes all the difference in the world.


Yes it does. It makes a difference in that believing some all-powerful being dictated crap to ancient sheep herders, takes this from the realm of science and
Zoos, to religion and Churches.

Superstitions like creationism should not be pushed in public, scientific centers like Zoos.

Words are deadly said...

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www.tearsnwounds.blogspot.com

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~Mindy

Delta said...

For those who want to save the time from checking that blog out, here is an excerpt from it that will give you the basic idea:

I love Jesus with all my heart. Ain't nobody going to take my God away. He's Mine, and he loves me. He's my Redeemer, Restorer, Rebuilder, and Rewarder. Jesus is also My father in heaven and he comforts me when I'm sad or hurt. He hugs me when I have done good and he will always love me for ME. AMEN!!!!!
God Rules!!! Always has, Always will !!!!!


If you do go though, be nice, she's a 10th grader =)

Delta said...

Woah, I just realized how old a 10th grader is. She can drive for christ's sake. Hmm...perhaps it is time to raise the driving age.

He hugs me when I have done good

If I ever feel a squeezing on my chest when no one else is around, I'm going to assume it's a heart attack, not god hugging me.

Damon said...

"Superstitions like creationism should not be pushed in public, scientific centers like Zoos."

A plaque on the wall isn't exactly 'pushing'. If there was a guy smacking kids on the head for laughing at animals pooping in their food, and yelling 'Those are God's creatures!' that would be pushing. And besides, zoo's aren't science centers. They're zoos. There's a bunch of animals there so people in Chicago can see what a tiger looks like up close. Sure, there's science going on somewhere, but chances are there's some praying going on somewhere too, and that doesn't exactly make it a church.

About 50% off topic, is it so impossible that there's actually an omnipotent being that created stuff? I mean, if everything's here, and it had to come from somewhere, isn't it as likely something put it here as it that it just came into being?

Delta said...

Great, I don't mind getting off topic. I was getting a little weary of the last one myself.

"is it so impossible that there's actually an omnipotent being that created stuff?"

Actually, the answer is yes, it is impossible. Omnipotence is a attribute that is logically impossible, as this popular argument goes. Could god create a rock that is so heavy that not even he could lift it? If he could create the rock, then he is unable to lift it, thereby making him not all powerful. If he can't create it, then there again, he's not all-powerful. This isn't an insult of course of anyone's diety, it's just that omnipotence is a logically impossible characteristic.

If you throw out omnipotence, and then ask if a god could exist, then well that depends. What other attributes does this god have? Some renditions of god could logically exist, although there is no evidence for them. There is nothing against ninja turtles existing in real life. Hell, at least they would be part of the natural world that we've observed, not some supernatural world that has never been observed as existing. But yeah, ninja turtles could technically exist. But does it make sense to believe in them? Does it make sense to dedicate your life to them? Of course not. Same with god.

"I mean, if everything's here, and it had to come from somewhere, isn't it as likely something put it here as it that it just came into being"

I hear that a lot. For some reason it's assumed that if you say that god created everything, you escape the problem of not knowing how everything began. But you don't, in fact, you just created an even bigger problem because now you have to be able to explain how god came about. If you say that god doesn't need a cause, then I would argue that matter then, does not need a cause.

soihgior44 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
soihgior44 said...

delta

"The rock that cannot be lifted" is a misguided argument. This argument suffers from the logical fallacy of Question Begging because the truth of the
conclusion is assumed by the premise. That is to say, "a rock so heavy that god cannot lift it" is a hidden assumption that omnipotence is impossible. However, the argument is irrelevant because there are other means to show that omnipotence is contradictory.

Delta said...

Hmm...I've actually never heard that criticism before. I see what you're saying, and I always thought that the nature of the question simply revealed how silly the idea of omniopotence was and wasn't an actual flaw in the argument. However, I'm a physicist, not a philosopher, so I can definitely be wrong. Even if omnipotence is still impossible (from the arguments you mention), I still don't want to be using flawed arguments. I'll look into this, thanks for pointing it out =)

Delta said...

Good news, the board decided to scrap the plans after a public outcry to the creationist exhibit resulted in a decrease in donations. Way to go Tulsa!