Almost two weeks ago now, a group of atheists (about 285 of them, which may have included some agnostics) affiliated with the Secular Student Alliance (SSA) visited our Creation Museum. Dr. Jason Lisle of our staff did a presentation for this group and others visiting the museum that day on the topic of his latest book The Ultimate Proof of Creation.
Some of the atheist attendees have posted online comments, stating that Dr. Lisle’s talk was not a good argument at all; Dr. Lisle says that the argument is conclusive and that no one has been able to refute it. We’ve now posted an audio recording of this debate so that you can hear the presentation and decide for yourself:
By the way, Dr. Lisle and I will be speaking at a major “Answers for Darwin” conference in Portland, Oregon, next month. If you live anywhere in the region, we hope you can make the drive to attend this free conference.
Another “Reporter” Promoting Falsehoods—for StarTribune Newspaper in MinnesotaI put “reporter” in quotation marks because this particular writer is more of what I would call a commentator rather than an objective reporter. When Devin Powell came to the Creation Museum two weeks ago along with the 285 atheists/agnostics and asked for an interview, he could not give any media credentials or even a business card when asked by our staff. By the way, one of this man’s associates—we found out later—was with the small group of atheist protesters outside the Creation Museum on the day we opened; this lady never even came into the Creation Museum, we understand, yet she wrote a scathing attack on the museum.
On Sunday August 16, The StarTribune (Minneapolis, Minnesota) printed an article by Mr. Powell on the atheists’ visit to the Creation Museum, and it contained outright demonstrable falsehoods, such as:
1. In writing about the atheist professor from Minnesota who led the group, the “reporter” states:
Why does a biologist known as a fierce critic of creationism travel more than 800 miles and pay $10 to visit a creationist museum in rural Kentucky?This is an attempt by a so-called “reporter” to imply something that isn’t true. The professor was already signed up to attend a conference for secularists (organized by the Secular Student Alliance—SSA) in Columbus, Ohio (a 2-hour drive from the Creation Museum.) This professor, as he reported on his blog (and as the SSA group also reported on its website), because the conference was not too far from the Creation Museum, decided to organize a group to visit. So, he didn’t travel more than 800 miles just to visit the Creation Museum, as this writer falsely suggests.
But there were even more serious errors in his reporting . . .
2. The “reporter” states:
The $27 million Creation Museum was built by the nonprofit organization Answers in Genesis, whose president and CEO, Ken Ham, is on a mission to get creationism into science classrooms nationwide.False! Our mission has never been “to get creationism into science classrooms nationwide.” Had this person done even a little bit of research about us, he would have found a number of articles where we discuss such a matter and where we have commented on other similar claims.
As background to this, let me say that Answers in Genesis believes that the culture changed over the decades because hearts and minds were changed in regard to God and His Word—therefore, the only way ultimately to change the culture back to a more Christian one is to see hearts and minds changed to stand on God’s authoritative Word.
AiG’s main mission is to disseminate information that is currently censored from much of the public. Now, those who take our information and use this to influence others (whether they be in politics, school boards, curriculum committees, or whatever), then that is then being “salt and light” as they believe the Lord has called them. However, the mission of AiG has never been one to “get creationism into science classrooms nationwide,” but to stand uncompromisingly on biblical authority, preach the gospel, and give answers to the skeptical questions of this age to equip Christians and challenge non-Christians. So, you won’t see us going to the courts, state legislatures, etc. to “to get creationism into science classrooms nationwide.”
3. The writer continues:
Last month, for example, Ham attended a meeting of the National Education Association and passed out creationist DVDs and books. He was quoted in a press release as hoping that teachers “see how the Bible is confirmed by observational science.”Another falsehood. I never attended the NEA conference in question and thus never “passed out creationist DVDs and books.” Now, a caucus, independent of AiG, has a booth at the NEA conference each year, and the leader of that caucus has invited AiG to participate in that booth for more than 12 years. A few AiG staff (but it has never involved me) and other volunteers attended the NEA convention in San Diego last month at the invitation of this caucus. AiG provides literature to be handed out and also helps coordinate literature from other sources.
I totally applaud these efforts and encourage our staff to participate. But the point is that the reporter was wrong to state that I attended an NEA conference.
4. The writer then quotes me as if he had been talking to me personally about a statement I made by the atheist professor—but in actual fact, he took this quote from my blog. He never spoke to me personally, and I never “replied” to him about a claim (see the word “replied” in his statement):
“Our own, full-time Ph.D. scientists and many other scientists who work in the secular world provided the research for the museum scripts,” replied Ham.Of course, this poor research is intended to put AiG, the Creation Museum, and me in a bad light. It’s sad that major newspapers like the StarTribune would allow such tabloidish reporting.
The article appears on the newspaper’s website.
Mark Looy Responds to False ReportingAccordingly, AiG’s CCO, Mark Looy, sent a letter to the editor of the StarTribune. It appeared in the paper on Tuesday.
It is a shame when someone writes an article (August 14) about an atheist visitor to our Creation Museum but doesn't bother to interview our staff. As a result, he got something completely wrong about our mission.
The museum and our parent organization Answers in Genesis are not trying to “get creationism into science classrooms.” As we have stated to countless reporters and on the web, we do not believe that creation should be mandated in public school science classes. Our view is that something forced on teachers will probably be taught poorly, especially if the instructor already teaches evolution in a dogmatic way. That is why we have always stated that we will not go to courts, state legislatures, or school boards to mandate creation teaching.
At the same time, we argue that teachers already possess the academic freedom to bring up the massive problems with evolution. That is one reason we engage educators one-on-one at conventions and give them materials, hoping they will encourage students to use their critical-thinking ability and see the bankruptcy of the evolution belief system. This is not mandating that creationism be taught in schools.
By the way, the writer could not produce any media credentials when he toured our Cincinnati-area museum with the atheist professor; we thus asked that he use our prepared statement about the well-publicized visit rather than our granting him an interview. If he could have presented his credentials (even later), we would have agreed to an interview, and his mistake about our alleged mission would have probably been prevented. He may have also avoided the error of stating that our president, Ken Ham, was at July's NEA convention distributing materials when he was in a different city on those days.
Mark Looy, CCO
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