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In regard to the Field Museum's near Evolving Planet exhibit, the unsuspecting public does not realize that there is “storytelling” going on … in the guise of what is called “science.”
In a recent interview with Discover magazine,1 John McCarter, the highly vocal CEO and president of the world-famous Field Museum in Chicago, responded with the following when asked to comment on whether or not the purpose of science museums has been changing:
It seems museums have switched from being repositories of artifacts and information and history to being advocates for a specific viewpoint.
McCarter added: “I don’t think I’d call it advocacy. Again, I call it storytelling. For example, when we open our Pre-Columbian America exhibit in 2007, we will focus on a wonderful collection of artifacts … what we are doing now is using the artifacts to tell a story … .”
The major part of the interview with Mr. McCarter concentrated on the Field’s new $17 million exhibit called Evolving Planet. See our reviews of the exhibition at A Field Trip to an Evolving Planet and A Visual Tour—With Commentary—Of the New Evolving Planet Exhibit in Chicago.
In regard to this ardently evolutionary exhibition, the unsuspecting public does not realize that there is “storytelling” going on … in the guise of what is called “science.”
In response to the question, “Why did the museum create this exhibit?” McCarter declared: “The fundamental goal is to improve scientific literacy.” However, the sad thing is that the way the exhibit portrays the issue of origins is promoting what I would call “scientific illiteracy”!
Let me explain. When most people hear the word “science,” they think of computers, jet planes, modern medicine, cars, electricity, cell phones and so on—our modern technology. The technology we are blessed to use today is a result of man gaining knowledge about the physical world (e.g., the properties of metals, and how they can be used to develop machines, etc.). This is knowledge that is based on what we can observe and repeatedly test in the present—a process commonly referred to as “operational science” or “observational science.”
Now, when it comes to the issue of origins (the topic of the Evolving Planet exhibit), this is very different from the observational science that has helped produce our technology. “Origins science” involves beliefs about the past that cannot directly be tested—beliefs about how the universe and life arose when there were no human witnesses.
Most visitors who go through evolutionary exhibits like Evolving Planet don’t realize that they are being subject to “storytelling” about the past. It’s a story (evolution) that is based on the belief that everything can be explained on the basis of natural processes. It’s a religion of naturalism or atheism, even though a deity or “holy book” is not mentioned in this exhibit. A gullible public is being indoctrinated in an intense atheistic “storytelling” to lead them to think about life the way the scientists who constructed the exhibit want them to think.
Even if some of the scientists involved in the exhibit claim to believe in a god (or even the God of the Bible), the fact is that the exhibit portrays the origin of life as having occurred by natural processes—with no God involved at all. Thus the public is being indoctrinated in an anti-God religion … and in the guise of what is called “science.” But again, this is actually “origins science,” which is totally different from “observational science.”
The Answers in Genesis Creation Museum (to open next spring) is going to take the same facts (dinosaurs, other fossils, etc.) that the Field Museum uses, but tell a different “story” of origins—a true “story.” It’s from the Creator who was an eyewitness, and had the true history of the universe written down for us in His Word, the Bible.
The Creation Museum, though, will do what the Field Museum doesn’t: it will teach the truth about the difference between “operational science” and “origins science.” In that way, true scientific literacy will be greatly enhanced for the visitors who see the various exhibits.
At the same time, AiG will clearly show that observational science (the science of genetics, for example) overwhelmingly confirms the history (true “story”) recorded in Genesis, but does not confirm the evolutionary history (the false “storytelling”) as promulgated by the Field Museum and other secular natural history museums.
And museum directors like John McCarter—be warned! The more you indoctrinate your visitors in the “story” that life and the universe evolved by natural processes, the more you are helping to mold the thinking of the coming generations concerning their morals. After all, if life is the result of natural processes, then who determines right or wrong? Why does anyone have a right to say what is good and what is bad? (See, for example, The Relevance of Creation.)
As the Bible states concerning the Israelites:
In those days there was no
king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes (Judges 17:6).
Evolutionary storytelling is teaching people there is no “king” over them—they “own” themselves and are not accountable to anyone. Thus, we can expect to see people becoming more and more consistent with their belief in naturalistic origins, and moral relativism will pervade the nation—and it is!
What a refreshing change it will be for people to be taught how to think correctly about science and origins when the Creation Museum opens next spring.
Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.