It’s a Different Way of Knowing

And further speaking of religious tyranny and the optimistic idea that truth will triumph ‘in the end’, PZ discussed and quoted from an interesting item the other day.

Inside the flagship lab of the National Center of Atmospheric Research, a dozen home-schooled children and their parents walk past the offices of scientists grappling with topics from global warming and microphysics to solar storms and the electrical fields of lightning. They are trailing Rusty Carter, a guide with Biblically Correct Tours. At a large, colorful panel along a wall, Carter reads aloud from a passage describing the disappearance of dinosaurs from the earth about 65 million years ago. He and some of the older students exchange knowing smiles at the timeline, which contradicts their interpretation the Bible suggesting a 6,000-year-old planet.

And so on. The usual dreary, stupid, head-in-the-sand dreck; the usual depressing display of adults telling silly lies to children in the guise of teaching them.

Museums around the country, meanwhile, have been adding training and workshops for guides to address religious-themed questions. At the Denver museum, chief curator Kirk Johnson says Biblically Correct Tours at least exposes children taught only about creationism to other ideas. Still, Johnson says: “Their message is quite backward and intellectually dishonest.”…Carter, who has a degree in biblical studies, admits feeling somewhat intimidated when he first gave tours, knowing scientists were listening. “I used to think, ‘What are they thinking? Are they going to come out and correct me?'” he says. Johnson, the curator, was raised a Seventh Day Adventist. He says he rejected the idea of a 6,000-year-old Earth when, around age 10, he became curious about fossil layers. “It’s an interesting kind of arrogance to dismiss something that you don’t know a lot about,” Johnson says of the tour guides.

Yes, it is. It’s even more interesting when people with that kind of arrogance call other people ‘arrogant’ for failing to bow to ignorance, as that Haggard prat did Dawkins. Johnson escaped the ignorance, Carter remains mired in it and works to mire other children.

And then things get sinister.

The tours are not all fun and games, with the guides claiming that evolutionist thinking supports racism and abortion. This happened on a recent NCAR tour, when Carter told a dozen children and their parents abortion was an act of natural selection carried out by humans. Other tours suggest Hitler was playing his version of survival of the fittest by favoring whites, and note that museum dioramas of early humans have black “subhumans.” “My contention is evolution kills people,” Jack said in an interview. “It’s not that evolutionists don’t have morality, it’s that evolution can offer no morality. Ideas have consequences. If you believe you came from slime there is no reason not to, if you can, get away with anything.”

Right, because you know how slime is – not a moral bone in its body.

Teri Eastburn, an educational designer at NCAR, said she would never engage in such discussions during a tour. She said the complex welcomes anyone, but notes in-house tours only espouse scientific views of the world. “We try to explain it using evidence that we find in the natural world, whereas religion is dealing more with spirituality, ethics and morality, which science does not deal with at all,” she said. “It’s different ways of knowing. How people reconcile the ways of knowing is an individual choice.”

And that’s the most disgusting quote of all. That is tragic. The know-nothing dishonest bat-loonies teach children fairy tales as truth and accuse ‘evolutionists’ of anything and everything, while the other side simpers and fawns and drivels about spirituality and science’s complete separation from morality, and (oh please no not that) different (ow, ow, ow!) ways of knowing and an individual choice. It’s enough to make you spew. Talking about a 6000 year old earth is not a ‘different way of knowing’, it’s a pack of lies! And teaching it to children as if it were true is not an individual choice, it’s a very collective one, and a violation of the rights of said children.

And yet we’re cheerily told that lies don’t matter as long as the truth is around somewhere – in the bottom drawer of a filing cabinet behind a stack of boxes of 1947 calendars in the sub-basement of the annex of the archive building in Grub’s Corners, North Dakota. Pardon me if I fail to be convinced.

4 Responses to “It’s a Different Way of Knowing”