In the beginning it was the Creative Genius known to us as
On his first �day� of creativity, Walt drew a little
likeable mouse, Mickey; starting with him a world of animated make-believe. And
for the next five Walt-days, he went on to create many stars which illuminated
the screen, inviting us to smile and, even more importantly, to dream: Snow
White, Pinocchio, Donald Duck . . . and countless other characters who took
life form to the delight of young and old.
Finally on the seventh Walt-day, known to the more senior
amongst us as the Glorious Decade of the 50s, Walt extended an invitation not
just to Americans but the entire world to share in all his creative genius; to
take a repose from the harsh reality of life and a fearful Cold War at a
temporal paradise appropriately named the Magic Kingdom: Disneyland. And that
grand opening day, July 17, 1955, became the end of Disney�s genesis . . . and
the very start of ours in that Garden of Eden located in California�s
oranges-adorned Anaheim. (Unfortunately, the few oranges now left in Anaheim
are those pictured on the city seal.
Just over a half-century later, on May 28, 2007 -- Memorial
Day, perhaps to add a touch of patriotism to the event -- a new grand opening
took place at the other end of North America, a suburb or two away from
Cincinnati, in the small Kentuckian community of Petersburg. This time what�s
being celebrated is the biblical history of humankind from Genesis to the Book
of Ham (not Ham-Al Kem, or Ham Radio . . . but Rev. Ken Ham) by way of a
state-of-the-art animatronics, $27 million theme park named, or rather baptized
by some zealous Christian believers, as the Creation Museum. A place where K.
Ham, Australia�s evangelical re-gift to America, can symbolically nail on the
museum�s front door, Genesis 1 to 11, much the way Martin Luther did in 1517
his �95 Theses� on the door of Schlosskirche (castle church).
The �new reformation� has just begun with this Book of Ham,
the pope being replaced this time by that product of man�s enlightenment that
we know as science. And in this museum, science is being redefined under the
pretense that our minds are too dull with the color of reason and need to be
rejuvenated with a coat, perhaps two, of bright faith. Coats that are expected
to cover up all that �nonsense� about evolution, including such writings as
Darwin�s �On the Origin of Species.�
So here we are in this incredible America of ours, in this
first decade of the 21st century, 38 years after Neil Armstrong walked on the
moon, walking with the heels of our shoes pointing forward in blatant defiance
of science; science as a body of knowledge attained and accumulated by
systematic study, and organized by strict general principles.
In this 60,000-square-foot mausoleum of truth, intended to
show the history of man in a compressed period of 6,000 years, the comic-book
material of humans sharing time with dinosaurs is both risible and deceptive.
Pre-Noah�s ark and post-Noah�s ark major deception performed via a transfusion
of all-purpose pseudo-science by academic-credentialed transfusion-givers.
For a person who a very long time ago visited the cave of
Altamira in Northern Spain; one who stood in awe and reverence at this
pre-historic Sistine Chapel with 15,000-year-old paintings by humans without
biblical credentials; and one who broke spiritual bread with these first
Cantabrians, one can only feel sadness in such display of arrogant ignorance.
By taking the writings in the Bible in literal manner, creationists fail to
give an indication of faith, but instead a demonstration of lack of perspective
Religion and science do not have to be mutually exclusive, but
reason and unreason, a priori, are. If science shies away from religion by the
way it defines itself, why can�t faith leave science well enough alone and not
enter science�s domain with its very own set of rules?
Half of Americans believe in creationism and not evolution,
and two-thirds contend that creationism should be taught side by side with
evolution in a science class. At least, that�s what pollsters are telling us.
And after realizing the quality of some of the people we help elect, and the herd-mentality
in so much of our population, perhaps those poll results do indeed tell the
story, presenting us to the world in a very unflattering, but nonetheless
Hopefully many around the world still remember us as the
nation that produced Disney, who brought joy to untold millions throughout the
world. Disneyland, the place and the concept, has been something pride-worthy
for America to share with the world. I have a strong feeling, however, that
this Creation Museum is something strictly for home consumption, seasoned to
our taste, but very definitely not fit for export. Not this theme park . . . for
a museum it certainly is not!
� 2007 Ben Tanosborn
Tanosborn, columnist, poet and writer, resides in Vancouver, Washington (USA),
where he is principal of a business consulting firm. Contact him at email@example.com.