Creation Museum Heading For Choppy Water

Posted by Phil Ferguson on February 17th, 2015 – 1 Comment – Posted in Uncategorized

Creation_Museum_logoThe “Museum”

The Creation Museum is run by Answers in Genesis and promotes “Young Earth Creationism” in this case about 6,000 years.   They believe in a “literal” reading of the bible.  Of course, it is their “literal interpretation” and anyone that reads the bible “literally” but gets a different interpretation is wrong.  The logo (right) says it all, “prepare to believe”.

From Wikipedia…

The 60,000-square-foot (5,600 m2) museum cost $27 million—raised entirely through private donations to AiG—and opened on May 28, 2007. In addition to the museum proper, the facility also houses a special effects theater, a planetarium, and a gift shop, and serves as the headquarters of AiG.

Since it opened the “museum” added several other features:

A zip line (over a pond) called the “Screaming Raptor”

A petting zoo

Camel Rides

A sky bridge (think rope bridge)

An insect collection

A Carnivorous Bog Garden

A Butterfly / Hummingbird Garden

A “Rainforest”

and a real Allosourus skeleton.

Many people have visited the “museum” and AiG says that more than 250,000 people visit per year.  The first year had over 400,000 guests.  In 2009 I went PZ Myers and 300 of my best friends.    The place is beautiful.  You can buy a lot of cool stuff with $27 million.

Most of the “exhibits” show a panel that contains “Human Reason” on the left and “God’s Word” on the right.

Human Reason

The “Reason” side often contains factual errors or distortions about science.  The other side contains Ken Ham’s opinion on the bible.  As the photo shows above Ken uses the bible to support his position, “Reasoning is God’s gift to Humankind, but He has instructed us to use the Bible as our ultimate starting point (proverbs (1:7)…”

Here is Proverbs 1:7…

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

There is no instruction here suggested.  Additionally, you need to replace “fear of the LORD” with “Bible” and change “Beginning of Knowledge” with “ultimate starting point”.  So in classic christian style, you need to rewrite your sacred book to get what you want.  I will point out that Mr. Ham completely ignores the second half, “…fools despise wisdom and instruction”.  Mr. Ham is not open to wisdom or instruction so……

I also found it hysterical that the “original” model for “Adam” may have been involved with porn.

You can see all of this and a dinosaur with a saddle for just $29.95.

 The Ark!

The next big addition is going to be the ARK Encounter!

background-construction-wide_sm

 

They claim to have $18 million of the $30 million needed to build the thing.  This is down from the original amount of $172 million.  Recently, Ken reported that they have started to pour some concrete in a hole.  They are using huge machines, concrete and steel just like Noah would have done.  Ken also tells us….

“Space-age technology is being used at the Ark construction site!”

They also have to build a cistern to hold 50,000 gallons of water.  This was required by local fire code.  Ken claims that this (except for the all of the concrete and steel) will be the largest wooden structure in North America.

As you may know AiG was hoping to get an $18.25 million in tax credits from the state of Kentucky.  The state has now come to its senses after learning about some job requirements.  AiG wants all employees to sign “statements of faith” to be considered for the jobs.

“Employees at Ark Encounter don’t just have to believe in God; they have to believe in Christ, the Holy Spirit, Satan (as “the personal spiritual adversary of both God and mankind”), Adam and Eve, “the Great Flood of Genesis,” a 6,000-year-old Earth, and the eternal damnation of “those who do not believe in Christ.” All employees must follow “the duty of Christians” and attend “a local Bible believing church.” Just for good measure, employees must oppose abortion, euthanasia, gay rights, and trans rights.”

New Law Suit

Mr. Ham and his minions are now suing the state of Kentucky!

The ministry is asking a federal judge to compel tourism officials to place the ark project back into the incentive program.

The lawsuit also argues Kentucky’s action violates religious freedoms protected by the First Amendment, along with the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment and state laws.

Here is a video from Mr. Ham.  Does he have a case?

Finances

From a blog post at Pharyngula…

AIGFinances

One of PZ’s readers, Brian, made this cool chart with data from Answers in Genesis’s 990 tax forms.  It does not look good.  While AiG brings in around $20 million per year the “museum” is losing about $3,000,000 per year.  That place is costing them a fortune but, they have found a way to collect more money from the suckers…. The ark!

Brian sums it up pretty well….

The most interesting conclusion I have come to is that the Ark Project is quite clearly an effort to gain a massive cash injection into the organization given the losses they have been sustaining due to the Creation Museum’s operation.

They are losing money while collecting millions for the boat.

Future

If Mr. Ham can’t find a new source for lots and lots of money (or win his lawsuit) his boat may never open.  At this point, I expect they may actually get the thing built (or partially built) and then the creditors will come looking for their money.  With a little luck maybe you can get your own ark in a bankruptcy auction!

The Phil Ferguson Show – 109

Posted by Phil Ferguson on February 16th, 2015 – Be the first to comment – Posted in Uncategorized


Guest – Jamila Bey & Karl Wulff

This week is my good friend Jamila Bey!

This handy summary from WIKI…

Jamila Bey is an African-American journalist and public speaker. She was host of a weekly radio program The Sex, Politics And Religion Hour: SPAR With Jamila on Voice of Russia, and writes for the Washington Post‘s blog, She the People. Before working for the Washington Post and the Voice of Russia, Bey spent around a decade working as a producer and editor for National Public Radio, including for Morning Edition.

Jamila on religion…. (also form Wiki)

Besides for her journalistic activities, Bey is notable as an outspoken African-American atheist, who has publicly stated that she believes religion to be actively detrimental to African-Americans, suggesting that religion both contributed to the physical enslavement of African Americans, and continues to contribute to their mental enslavement. she significantly objects to the common characterization of the civil rights movement as a religious one, acknowledging that although churches were significantly involved in the movement, “humans did all the work.”

You can learn more at her web page.

she is also on Twitter…

220px-Reason_Rally_DC_2012

Talking about Bankruptcy law – Karl Wulff

Karl’s Web site.

He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Webster University in 1993 and his Juris Doctor degree from Oklahoma City University School of Law in 1996. Prior to attending university Mr. Wulff served in the United States Navy on board the amphibious assault aircraft carrier U.S.S. Tripoli (LPH-10) in the air department from 1987 to 1989 and later on board the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Saratoga (CV-60) as a reservist, earning the Sea Service Ribbon and the National Defense Medal. Mr. Wulff is a member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) and is a founding member of the Bankruptcy Association of Southern Illinois (BASIL). A frequent speaker at seminars on the topic of bankruptcy law, Mr. Wulff’s practice has been concentrated in consumer bankruptcy for more than seventeen years, during which time he has represented over four thousand individuals and small businesses in bankruptcy cases. Mr. Wulff is admitted to practice in Illinois and Missouri, as well as the United States Judicial Districts of Southern Illinois, Central Illinois and Eastern Missouri.

Bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives – Would Make Student Loans Dischargeable in Bankruptcy

Wulff-Karl-J-2004-150x150

 

 

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NOTE: This post is part of an ongoing education series. This information is for educational purposes only. This information does not constitute investment advice. Please consult with your financial advisor before taking any action.

Angry Atheists Shooting People

Posted by Jim Newman on February 13th, 2015 – Be the first to comment – Posted in politics

chapel hillI’m sure all have heard by now how an atheist shot three people. That such a story has been so popular as an atheist attack shows how unusual it is to find an atheist doing violence, much less one killing three people. I suppose it comes as little surprise to atheist feminists and simply sexism-aware people. They have seen the split in atheism from the facile “no gods” to full on derived social justice warrior, where sexist BS has been called free speech. Death threats have been too prevalent against them, fellow atheists. And they have made a lot of attention over it and created change. Religious people have had a field day saying aha, it’s true, atheism doesn’t provide a moral compass.

For one thing atheism isn’t a magic morality bullet that overcomes every immoral urge. In this case the guy had had problems for some time that weren’t properly treated. For which we can rightly blame the lousy health and counseling system in the US. He should have been treated long ago. For another we can blame the lack of support of background checking and licensing of weapons because somehow licensing is considered an abridgment of freedom. Finally, we can blame the rampant and mostly earned distrust in the police.

Much has been made of how these three Muslims were wonderful people but that matters little, we don’t evaluate murder based on the kindness of the victims. But that they were Muslims makes many want to to call this a hate crime. While that is questionable, it seems likely he could have killed others, it is more worrisome that it will fuel others to think it is OK to kill Muslims. This euology can be seen as a means  to show Muslims as being good people. It is also pathetic that the victims had been harassed before and did not feel they could ask the police for help–like so many others who know going to the police often yields little unless you’re ethnically and often gender appropriate.

The call against atheism is absurd in spite of the obvious rareness of atheist motivated crime. Where in an atheism-promoting text is there any advice to kill or harm people? Where are there any stories, allegories, or psychological truths that provide the slightest shred of motivation to harm people. The worst that can be said of the most extreme Anglo atheist literature is to mock. There is no atheist ideology that can be blamed. This incident is an easy opportunity to distract from the attention to their own violent and violence inducing sacred texts.

Jim Newman, www.frontiersofreason.com

Vaxxing Love Shots, Vaccinations for Love

Posted by Jim Newman on February 9th, 2015 – Be the first to comment – Posted in politics

VaccinationThe recent outbreak of Measles has finally put educated, better-off liberals aswamp in the same sickening boat of denial shared by the likes of conservative hucksters Glenn Beck and Paul Rand. These New Age Hippie descendents share a common distrust of government at last; with the added bonus of hating Big Pharma. While they may assiduously upgrade recalled child seats and buy bicycle helmets for their tricycling four year olds they have no desire to stuff pins and needles into the bodies of their children enough times they would look like large, moving, organic pincushions if allowed to remain.

I certainly was there 20 years ago as I considered whether I could avoid the mass herding effect of the sheeple who like those who followed religion obeyed authority with the kind of blind trust and loyalty that led the 300 to their graves. Perhaps so many shots weren’t necessary. Perhaps we could delay them. Perhaps a bit more mature immunity system would resist possible reactions more surely. Perhaps some shots weren’t necessary. Certainly different ones would be required when they travelled abroad later in life, and they could catch up then.

For me encountering school programs as an adjunct to homeschooling stood me face to face with the evil nurse ratchets who mandated we vaccinate unless we could come up with a religious exemption, which was of course impossible in our case. I certainly wasn’t going to claim to belong to a secular religion. So they laid their hands on my son, strapping him to the bed with their erstwhile arms, and laid the needles to him to got him caught up. He did not die but I’m sure that memory remains embedded for life and not to my benefit.

Years later my family stood in front of the Supreme Court, quite by accident, on the same day as parents were protesting mandatory vaccinates. Always ready to join a good protest at hand I sought to go but my brilliant wife gave me a look so soundly negative that all the evidence I vaguely held in my head flew away and I knew she was right: the vaccination program is essential. It was a year or so later that the research by the fraud and huckster Wakefield came out as completely faked in order that he might gain fame and sell his alternate products.

In order to debate my antivax friends here in this odd hybrid of a small college town, in the backwaters of West Virginia, shadowed by DC a short hour and half away, I have complied a common set of questions and denials with short answers. They undoubtedly won’t work but it’s worth a try. I know because I tried them in my Facebook Universe. One, a friend for 17 years, stoutly called me a fool and shill for Big Pharma and he with others continued posting articles on how vax’s kill, cause cancer, dilute the species, or are completely unnecessary. Another continued posts where if one only feeds one’s children properly and maintains a positive attitude, all will be well. Goodness knows what we’ll do with the poor that can’t do such things.

  • Loving parents have to watch their children get what many kids call or feel or think is a bee sting near 40 times as vax’s. Sad but yes.
  • Loving parents have to see their children get welts, be uncomfortable many times from vax’s. Sad but true. Demand research for better delivery method.
  • Many involved, educated, better-paid parents feel the loss of autonomy over their children from the fetus on. Vaxxing seems like loss. No, too dangerous anyway.
  • Some have a chicken pox party for protection. Not possible for most and many get get too sick.
  • Since most people do them some don’t really need to because so many are protected. A privileged position few can follow.
  • Vaccinations are too new to know what they do. George Washington vaccinated his troops. Ben Franklin advised to do them.
  • Science seems like a fashion show, one year we deny fats, another we don’t; what’s bad for you this year might be Ok next year. Sympathetic but progress is made; vaccines are time tested.
  • Vaccinations make Big Pharma money. No, Vaccines are a loss or break even. High blood pressure, heart and stroke, acid-reflux, bipolar-schizhophrenia, and antidepressants are the most profitable with Lipitor first. New vaccines are beginning to make money which is good as we need more research.
  • Vaccines are about our personal freedom. And the freedom to infect others?
  • It’s impossible to make vaccinations mandatory. Vaccinations are mandatory in two states already, Mississippi and West Virginia.
  • Everyone is experiencing alienation loss of autonomy and control. Anti vaxxing seems like a safe rebellion. It isn’t, find another.
  • Many parents who see abortion as a woman’s autonomy issue, extend that to child rearing. Yet accept bike helmets and seat belts. True but so?
  • Flu vaccines are dirty and difficult to keep from being contaminated. Yes, but they still work and save lives and reduce income loss from sick days.
  • Some parents believe their faith will protect them and their children and if sickness occurs it was due to a lack of sincerity or good work. Reconsider how your faith works.
  • Thinking their child won’t travel or be exposed to other people outside of their small community lends a sense of safety. Kids do leave.
  • Many people believe food and well being stave off many problems and diseases; vax’s seem unnecessary if one does the right things. Many diseases thrive in healthy populations. Look at healthy Native populations that were decimated by communicable diseases.
  • Since there is no viewing of consequences when vax’s work, people lose sight and intensity of need until diseases return. More education is needed.
  • I have seen many kids get sick after a vaccination. There are so many vaccinations and kids get sick often enough that correlation seems like causation. The stress of a doctor visit and the child feeling your stress also adds to the difficulty.
  • Why do they have to give shots at birth or so many at once. Because they can’t be sure people will show up again. Change the health care process here.
  • For many people, news on whether or not to incorporate a new vaccine makes it seem like vaccinations are sometimes optional. Those that seem optional, that don’t save lives significantly, aren’t mandatory.
  • Your logic is insufficient–it doesn’t convince me. Look at photo’s of these people who have measles, it’s not mild. Look at these people with polio in iron lungs in the past. Listen to this sound of a baby with whooping cough.

Jim Newman, www.frontiersofreason.com

The Phil Ferguson Show – 108 (Old 401(k) & Atheists On Air )

Posted by Phil Ferguson on February 3rd, 2015 – Be the first to comment – Posted in Uncategorized


Guest – “Cash” from “Atheists On Air” Podcast (more below)

Investing Skeptically….

Top 5 Reasons To Move That Old 401(k) – NOW

The Bureau of Labor Statistics say that the average person will have 11 different jobs between the age of 18 to 44. That is a new job every 2.4 years.

 

There are several things you can do with that old 401(K)

1. leave the money in your former employer’s plan;

2. roll over the money to your new employer’s plan, if the plan accepts transfers;

3. roll over the money into an IRA;or

4. take the cash value of your account.

read more »

The Godless Witch and Female Blasphemy

Posted by Jim Newman on February 2nd, 2015 – Be the first to comment – Posted in Free speech

femenInna Shevchenko writes female blasphemy is essential to atheism.

It is pleasant to enjoy fully, without compromises, the freedom of speech, to enjoy blasphemy. When it comes to ideas – and let’s not forget that religious creeds are themselves ideas – we should be able to analyse, criticise, mock and do whatever our fantasies allow us to imagine, whether it is offensive to one or not.

It is very offensive to me, as a woman, a feminist and as an atheist, what is said by the Pope and Islam’s Imams. But I don’t start wielding a Kalashnikov; the most violent thing is do is pull my shirt up in front of these people, as a form of protest or just for fun, to see their red cheeks.

They say religious people have convictions. Well atheists have convictions too. Both should be able to express themselves without fear of being shot, whipped or imprisoned.

There is a tendency to draw back from criticism lest we offend but let’s be careful of what that means. As people might request that a sexist-racist-bigoted speaker not be allowed to speak to an opposing community, people must also demand to be heard by those who would quiet them.

The popular criticism of offense police is cried by those in power who facilitate the offense. They may think they are seeking free speech but they quell and mock those with whom they disagree, as then turn and say do not mock me, not wanting free speech to run both ways.

When Justice Holmes penned his free speech support he was also demanding that Vietnam protestors stop their protesting on campus, passing out leaflets, free speech. Free speech claims can be a hammer to enforce a particular view.

Female blasphemy is the most successful vehicle for secularism and freedom of speech. It is a demonstration of our common progress. By expressing rebellious atheism and committing blasphemy, we can destroy the unquestionable myth of super power and holiness that was built around religious ideologies, therefore creating free debates and showing the path towards a global liberation of society.

Jim Newman, www.frontiersofreason.com