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Challenged by Creationists, Museums Answer Back
The New York Times ^ | 9/20/2005 | CORNELIA DEAN

Posted on 09/20/2005 7:02:45 AM PDT by Right Wing Professor

ITHACA, N.Y. - Lenore Durkee, a retired biology professor, was volunteering as a docent at the Museum of the Earth here when she was confronted by a group of seven or eight people, creationists eager to challenge the museum exhibitions on evolution.

They peppered Dr. Durkee with questions about everything from techniques for dating fossils to the second law of thermodynamics, their queries coming so thick and fast that she found it hard to reply.

After about 45 minutes, "I told them I needed to take a break," she recalled. "My mouth was dry."

That encounter and others like it provided the impetus for a training session here in August. Dr. Durkee and scores of other volunteers and staff members from the museum and elsewhere crowded into a meeting room to hear advice from the museum director, Warren D. Allmon, on ways to deal with visitors who reject settled precepts of science on religious grounds.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; US: Colorado; US: Nebraska; US: New York; US: North Carolina
KEYWORDS: creationuts; crevolist; crevorepublic; enoughalready; evobots; evonuts; museum
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How to deal with mobbing behavior by creationists. And a big bump for my University of Nebraska colleague Judy Diamond, who is helping train museum staff to deal with the behavior.
1 posted on 09/20/2005 7:02:47 AM PDT by Right Wing Professor
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To: PatrickHenry

Ping for the list


2 posted on 09/20/2005 7:03:52 AM PDT by Right Wing Professor (Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory - John Marburger, science advisor to George W. Bush)
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To: Right Wing Professor

But I thought that science should not be taught as dogma. That's what's happening here.


3 posted on 09/20/2005 7:04:01 AM PDT by thulldud (It's bad luck to be superstitious.)
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To: thulldud
But I thought that science should not be taught as dogma. That's what's happening here

If visitors challenge the presentations, the explainers are instructed to listen "and then explain the science and the evidence."

How is that dogma?

4 posted on 09/20/2005 7:05:41 AM PDT by Right Wing Professor (Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory - John Marburger, science advisor to George W. Bush)
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To: Right Wing Professor

I'm guessing that it all started as the creationists say, then went on, as the evolutionists say...


5 posted on 09/20/2005 7:06:59 AM PDT by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: Right Wing Professor
From the article: "It is no wonder that many biologists will simply refuse to debate creationists or I.D.ers," she said, using the abbreviation for intelligent design, a cousin of creationism. "It is as if they aren't listening."

Well, this is a big "DUH!"

6 posted on 09/20/2005 7:07:58 AM PDT by Aracelis
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To: Right Wing Professor
...ways to deal with visitors who reject settled precepts of science...

s/settled precepts of science/dogma/ig;

7 posted on 09/20/2005 7:09:08 AM PDT by thulldud (It's bad luck to be superstitious.)
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To: Right Wing Professor
I sure hope they use that Spaghetti Monster in their seminars.
8 posted on 09/20/2005 7:09:27 AM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: thulldud
I thought that science should not be taught as dogma

Religion is taught as dogma.

Science relies on observation, evidence, and testing of hypotheses. A very clear distinction.

9 posted on 09/20/2005 7:09:47 AM PDT by Aracelis
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To: Right Wing Professor
Creationism and Evolutionary theory are NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE CONCEPTS!

Evolution has NOTHING TO SAY about the "creation" of life.

10 posted on 09/20/2005 7:09:55 AM PDT by bikepacker67
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To: Right Wing Professor

I don't see the conflict. It is after all a museum and natural history should be expected. I don't expect a natural history lesson from a church.


11 posted on 09/20/2005 7:10:28 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Never a minigun handy when you need one.)
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To: Aracelis
Well, this is a big "DUH!"

Read the context. It's clear she means it's the creationists/IDers that aren't listening.

..and so, of course, I agree. Duh!

12 posted on 09/20/2005 7:11:37 AM PDT by Right Wing Professor (Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory - John Marburger, science advisor to George W. Bush)
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To: thulldud

I'm sorry, but the docent in a museum is not "teaching dogma." She's there to present what the museum exhibits. Period. If creationists have an issue with what the museum exhibits, harrassing volunteer docents isn't the way to express it. These jerks are no better than left-wing "activists" in their approach, and these tactics will not do anything to further their cause.


13 posted on 09/20/2005 7:12:21 AM PDT by DGray (http://nicanfhilidh.blogspot.com)
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To: Right Wing Professor

Gee, I always thought that creationists belived in the literal meaning of The Book of Genisis whereas MOST people who don't believe in Darwin's theory advocated Intelligent Design, but why bother making that distinction?  They're all just a bunch of crazy Bible thumping fundamentalists who want to take us back to the 1700's, right?

although almost half believe that Darwin has been proved right, slightly more disagree.

Sure he was proven right!  It's not like his finches have hybridized from 14 to 6, right?  Oh, they did?  Well, at least we have fosil evidence that traces man back to apes.  We don't?  Oh...  Well, at least there's evidence of one species evolving from another and that by logical extention- oh, we don't have that either?  Well, let's just shout them down then.

Owl_Eagle

(If what I just wrote makes you sad or angry,

 it was probably sarcasm)

14 posted on 09/20/2005 7:12:38 AM PDT by South Hawthorne (In Memory of my Dear Friend Henry Lee II)
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To: The Ghost of FReepers Past; ohioWfan; Tribune7; Tolkien; GrandEagle; Right in Wisconsin; Dataman; ..
ping


Revelation 4:11Intelligent Design
See my profile for info

15 posted on 09/20/2005 7:14:04 AM PDT by wallcrawlr (http://www.bionicear.com)
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To: Owl_Eagle

"Well, let's just shout them down then."

Lots of that from both sides of the argument. I don't have any use for any of those folks.


16 posted on 09/20/2005 7:14:17 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Never a minigun handy when you need one.)
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To: Right Wing Professor

Surely even the evolutionists on this forum can agree that this is a waste of our tax dollars. If anything, we should all be against the evolution of big government.


17 posted on 09/20/2005 7:14:26 AM PDT by sheltonmac (QUIS CUSTODIET IPSOS CUSTODES)
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To: Right Wing Professor
Read the context. It's clear she means it's the creationists/IDers that aren't listening. ..and so, of course, I agree. Duh!

Geez! Too much caffeine this morning, Doc? I'm on your side!

18 posted on 09/20/2005 7:14:54 AM PDT by Aracelis
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To: Right Wing Professor
Museum of the Earth

19 posted on 09/20/2005 7:15:37 AM PDT by eastsider
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To: thulldud

I find it interesting that when creationists want to imply that an idea is worthless trash, they call it religion, and when ID advocates want their ideas to appear respectable, they call them science.


20 posted on 09/20/2005 7:16:32 AM PDT by js1138 (Great is the power of steady misrepresentation.)
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To: Owl_Eagle
They're all just a bunch of crazy Bible thumping fundamentalists who want to take us back to the 1700's, right?

Pretty much. You seem to be on the road yourself.

It's not like his finches have hybridized from 14 to 6, right?

Huh? 14 what to 6 what?

Well, at least we have fosil evidence that traces man back to apes. We don't?

We do.

Well, at least there's evidence of one species evolving from another and that by logical extention- oh, we don't have that either?

We do.

21 posted on 09/20/2005 7:17:42 AM PDT by Right Wing Professor (Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory - John Marburger, science advisor to George W. Bush)
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To: Right Wing Professor
How to deal with mobbing behavior by creationists. And a big bump for my University of Nebraska colleague Judy Diamond, who is helping train museum staff to deal with the behavior.

Pretty funny, we usually only see this kind of behavior from evolutionist. Looks like the creationist are joining in the fun. Of course, this kind of behavior never solves anything, whether discussing science or sports.

22 posted on 09/20/2005 7:17:48 AM PDT by D Rider
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To: thulldud
But I thought that science should not be taught as dogma.

It shouldn't. But mobbing a docent of a museum is on par with the anti-American thugs who mob Friends of the Border gatherings.

This crap is just idiotic grandstanding. If these people were really interested in questioning these scientific concepts, they should attend classes at the local college and discuss it with an instructor.

...but I guess that wouldn't get any press, now would it?

23 posted on 09/20/2005 7:18:42 AM PDT by Prime Choice (E=mc^3. Don't drink and derive.)
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To: Aracelis
Geez! Too much caffeine this morning, Doc? I'm on your side!

Yikes sorry...well at least I agreed!

24 posted on 09/20/2005 7:18:56 AM PDT by Right Wing Professor (Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory - John Marburger, science advisor to George W. Bush)
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To: Owl_Eagle

Is the Platypus evidence of a beaver evolving into a duck, or a duck evolving into a beaver?


25 posted on 09/20/2005 7:19:13 AM PDT by shekkian
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To: thulldud
s/settled precepts of science/dogma/ig;

You've lifted a phrase without respect to its context. The "settled precepts of science" include the Scientific Method...a self-correcting discipline of research. The phrase does not mean that the book is closed by any means on the theories of our origins. As we accumulate more data, hypotheses and theories are refined, redefined, or discarded as needed.

26 posted on 09/20/2005 7:19:28 AM PDT by Aracelis
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To: D Rider

Excuse me, when havee evolutionist ever mobbed a church Sunday school class that teaches creationism, or a Bible college, or anything? Name ONE incident.


27 posted on 09/20/2005 7:19:38 AM PDT by DGray (http://nicanfhilidh.blogspot.com)
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To: D Rider
Pretty funny, we usually only see this kind of behavior from evolutionist.

Yeah, I sure remember the last time I was in church and an evolutionist crashed the service by challenging the book of Genesis.

Waitaminute...that was just a figment of imagination. Just like your claim.

28 posted on 09/20/2005 7:19:48 AM PDT by Prime Choice (E=mc^3. Don't drink and derive.)
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To: Right Wing Professor

29 posted on 09/20/2005 7:20:09 AM PDT by JohnnyZ (I'm marrying a woman before they make gay marriage mandatory!)
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To: stuartcr

Evolutionists have no idea why inert molecules should ever feel "compelled" to reproduce at all. Why bother consuming energy to create copies of a string of molecules? What is the force that 'forces" this to happen?

Elaborate and intricate processes that require the storage and release of energy in order to reproduce themselves require a motive force.

Once started, why continue? There is a motive force behind life.

"Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe -- a spirit vastly superior to that of man." -- Albert Einstein


30 posted on 09/20/2005 7:20:13 AM PDT by Mark Felton (Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.)
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To: Aracelis

"Religion is taught as dogma. Science relies on observation, evidence, and testing of hypotheses. A very clear distinction."

Well except for the whole Global Warming business.
And teaching of Nazi scientists regarding lesser races.
And phrenology.
And doctors who study "harms" of silcone breast implants, mold, dairy products or whatever the liberal boogeyman of the day is.

Note I am not saying evolution is junk science by any stretch --- just pointing out that scientist are people and they have their dogmas and boogeymen, too.

Ask the president (former president?) of Harvard.


31 posted on 09/20/2005 7:20:58 AM PDT by MeanWestTexan (A good friend helps you move. A great friend helps you move a body.)
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To: shekkian
Is the Platypus evidence of a beaver evolving into a duck, or a duck evolving into a beaver?

Neither. God had some extra parts left over, so He stuck 'em on a variety of animals "Down Under". ;)

32 posted on 09/20/2005 7:22:36 AM PDT by Aracelis
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To: Right Wing Professor
Museum of the Earth

That must be one huge building.

33 posted on 09/20/2005 7:22:36 AM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: Right Wing Professor
The more these people engage in these antics, the less appealing the concept of "Intelligent Design" becomes to the average American.

Thank God.

34 posted on 09/20/2005 7:23:09 AM PDT by Prime Choice (E=mc^3. Don't drink and derive.)
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To: Larry Lucido
Museum of the Earth

That must be one huge building.

It's almost as big as my seashell collection. Y'seen it? I keep it at the shore.

35 posted on 09/20/2005 7:23:52 AM PDT by Prime Choice (E=mc^3. Don't drink and derive.)
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To: MeanWestTexan
Ask the president (former president?) of Harvard.

Actually, I think a majority of scientists at Harvard supported him. Steven Pinker, bête noire of the IDers around here, backed Summers strongly.

36 posted on 09/20/2005 7:23:59 AM PDT by Right Wing Professor (Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory - John Marburger, science advisor to George W. Bush)
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To: shekkian

"Is the Platypus evidence of a beaver evolving into a duck, or a duck evolving into a beaver?"




Odd that you'd mention the platypus, one of the very unusual animals on the planet. The monotremes are one of the very groups of animals which make a very good case for evolution.

You don't know much about monotremes, it appears.


37 posted on 09/20/2005 7:24:20 AM PDT by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: DGray
"Excuse me, when havee evolutionist ever mobbed a church Sunday school class that teaches creationism, or a Bible college, or anything? Name ONE incident."


The evolution doctrine gets the ideology and buildings all paid for by the tax payer 5 days of the week. Public school is the house of worship for the evolutionists.
38 posted on 09/20/2005 7:24:46 AM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: MeanWestTexan

"scientist are people and they have their dogmas and boogeymen, too."


Good point. That's why I get so irritated with junk science even when I agree with a theory, it tends to obscure good science.


39 posted on 09/20/2005 7:25:17 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Never a minigun handy when you need one.)
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To: MeanWestTexan
just pointing out that scientist are people and they have their dogmas and boogeymen, too.

Quite true, but ethical scientists strive to eliminate bias. Most clergy I have encountered are completely closed to notions or concepts other than what they learned in seminary.

40 posted on 09/20/2005 7:26:14 AM PDT by Aracelis
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To: Owl_Eagle

Do you have anything to say that isn't factually wrong?


41 posted on 09/20/2005 7:27:00 AM PDT by js1138 (Great is the power of steady misrepresentation.)
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To: MeanWestTexan
Well except for the whole Global Warming business.

"Global warming" is not science either. If anything, it's mutual assent to ideology masquerading as science.

Check out Michael Crichton's most excellent presentation on the subject: Aliens Cause Global Warming: Why Science-by-Consensus Isn't.

42 posted on 09/20/2005 7:27:27 AM PDT by Prime Choice (E=mc^3. Don't drink and derive.)
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To: Just mythoughts
That argument has nothing to do with the original charge. No evolutionist MOBS a place where creationism is taught to drown out the teacher. Nice try at deflection, though.

You have a choice on whether or not to send your children to public school or to go to a public museum based on the fact that those public institutions don't happen to 100% support your personal religious interpretation of the way the world works. I'm sorry you're PO'd your tax money goes to things you don't like, but you know what? T.s., my friend. My tax money goes to many things I don't care for. That is life in the big city.

43 posted on 09/20/2005 7:29:07 AM PDT by DGray (http://nicanfhilidh.blogspot.com)
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To: Mark Felton
Evolutionists have no idea why inert molecules should ever feel "compelled" to reproduce at all.

Hey, why does this inert pen feel "compelled" to fall to the floor when I let go of it?

Why bother consuming energy to create copies of a string of molecules? What is the force that 'forces" this to happen?


44 posted on 09/20/2005 7:29:14 AM PDT by general_re ("Frantic orthodoxy is never rooted in faith, but in doubt." - Reinhold Niebuhr)
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To: Just mythoughts

I sure hope they use that Spaghetti Monster in their seminars.

I love the Spaghetti Monster. Everything you need to know about religion in one place.


45 posted on 09/20/2005 7:30:09 AM PDT by grayforkbeard (Precision weapons win battles. Bombing the whole country flat wins wars)
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To: Just mythoughts
Public school is the house of worship for the evolutionists.

Yeah. They do nothing but teach evolution ALL FRICKIN' DAY.

Do you have any idea how ridiculous your statement comes off? Get a grip! Sheesh.

46 posted on 09/20/2005 7:31:23 AM PDT by Prime Choice (E=mc^3. Don't drink and derive.)
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To: MineralMan
Looking at your tagline, I don't think you're going to change your mind because of me.

I'm not a professional naturologist. I just care about how they taste. My previous post was tongue in cheek.

I do, however, invite you to present your case.

47 posted on 09/20/2005 7:31:38 AM PDT by shekkian
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To: DGray

"That argument has nothing to do with the original charge. No evolutionist MOBS a place where creationism is taught to drown out the teacher. Nice try at deflection, though."


They are quite civilized in their protectionism of their ideology, they use the judicial branch, and the Department of Education. The evolutionist after all sit supreme above the rest of the subhuman, mentally frail and weak minded species.


48 posted on 09/20/2005 7:32:05 AM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: Aracelis
"Science relies on observation, evidence, and testing of hypotheses."

Every hypothesis and theory is an act of faith.

Furthermore, the more science has advanced the more it has validated the Bible. Cosmology is in total disarray since the latest scientific dogma about the expanding universe has been totally destroyed by learning that galaxies are accelrating away from each other, not the reverse as the dogmatic science of our high school textbooks had previously taught us. The founder of modern science and the scientific process to which you allude was a strong believer in Christ and the truths of the Bible. (Sir Isaac Newton)

The next major advance in science was by Einstein who himself believes God must be behind everything.

The greatest mind in quantum electro-dynamics, Feynman, also believed God must be behind physics because he could not believe how certain universal constants came to exist without Him.

It is also no coincidence that science and engineering have flourished in a Christian environment. As Jefferson noted, Christianity allows for the greatest expansion of the mind and science.

"There are more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than any in profane history." -- Sir Isaac Newton, father of modern science

Perhaps you weould like to lecture Sir Isaac about scientific processes and their obviation of Biblical truths?

"It has been my experience that the disbelief in the revelation that God has given...is more prevalent among what I may call the camp followers of science than amongst those to whom science is the business of their lives." -- Dr. Alexander MacAlister, Biologist, Physiologist. Professor of Anatomy at Cambridge University

49 posted on 09/20/2005 7:34:31 AM PDT by Mark Felton (Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.)
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