Creation Evidence Museum

Coordinates: 32°14′14″N 97°48′23″W / 32.237125°N 97.806301°W / 32.237125; -97.806301

Temporary museum building
New museum building
The first hyperbaric biosphere

The Creation Evidence Museum, originally Creation Evidences Museum,[1] is a museum in Glen Rose in Somervell County in central Texas, USA. Founded in 1984 by Carl Baugh for the purpose of researching and displaying purported evidence for creationism, the museum purports to show that the Earth is only six thousand years old, and that human beings and dinosaurs coexisted.[2] These views contradict the scientific consensus.[3][4] The museum exhibits also dispute that the age of the Earth is approximately 4.5 billion years, and that the dinosaurs became extinct 65.5 million years before human beings arose.[5]

Contents

History and projects

The museum was founded by Carl Baugh, a young earth creationist, after he came to Glen Rose in 1982 to research claims of alleged fossilized human footprints and dinosaur footprints in the limestone banks of the Paluxy River, near Dinosaur Valley State Park. He claims to have excavated 475 dinosaur footprints and 86 human footprints,[6] which form the basis of the museum as well as other exhibits.[2][7] The prints have been examined by scientists who concluded they are a combination of admitted hoaxes and misidentified tracks.[8][9] Baugh does not have any accredited degrees.[10]

Since 1993 the museum has been housed in a doublewide trailer, while a new greenhouse-like building is being constructed with donations.[1] Baugh remains the director and main speaker for CEM.

The museum sponsors continuing paleontological and archaeological excavations among other research projects, including a hunt for living pterodactyls in Papua New Guinea,[1][11] and expeditions to Israel.[12] Materials from the museum have been recommended by the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools,[13] but the NCBCPS curriculum has been deemed "unfit for use in public school classrooms."[14] A Creation Evidence Museum poster is displayed in the Tehran museum of natural history.[15]

One of the museum's research projects is a "hyperbaric biosphere", a sealed chamber designed to reproduce the ostensible atmosphere of the Earth before the Flood, which will allegedly allow extended lifespans, and larger physical sizes. It is claimed to have tripled the lifespan of fruit-flies, and detoxified copperhead snakes. A much larger version is under construction in the new building.[2][6]

In 2001 Baugh and Creation Evidence Museum were featured on The Daily Show where Baugh likened human history to The Flintstones and the show poked fun at his claims about the hyperbaric biosphere, pterodactyl expeditions, and dinosaurs.[16] On March 11, 2006, KDFW, a local affiliate of Fox TV, in Dallas Fort Worth aired a news report on Baugh's museum and claims.[17]

Exhibits

Displays in the museum include:

  • The "London Artifact", also known as the "London hammer", an alleged out of place artifact. This is a hammer "of recent American historical style" alleged to have been found in Ordovician period rock (Baugh has also claimed it is in Cretaceous rock) in 1934 in London, Texas.[18] It was examined by scientists who concluded: "The stone is real, and it looks impressive to someone unfamiliar with geological processes. ... Minerals in solution can harden around an intrusive object dropped in a crack or simply left on the ground if the source rock (in this case, reportedly Ordovician) is chemically soluble."[19]
  • The "Burdick Track", allegedly a human footprint in Cretaceous rock. Glen J. Kuban and Geologist Gregg Wilkerson wrote that anatomic errors on it indicate that is was carved from limestone, similar to other tracks that were carved in Glen Rose.[20]
  • The "Fossilized Human Finger", allegedly a finger with tissues replaced by Cretaceous stone. There is doubt about its authenticity since it was not found in situ, and cannot be conclusively associated with Cretaceous formations.[21] Even if it were real, it does not provide evidence for creation or against evolution.[21]
  • The "Meister Print", allegedly a human sandal print crushing two trilobites in slate. The print is "questionable on several accounts" such as the shallowness of the print, spall patterns, striding sequence, and similarities to the Wheeler formation.[22]
  • The "Hand Print in Stone", allegedly a hand print in Cretaceous rock.[23] Baugh has provided no evidence it was in situ in any Cretaceous bed, nor allowed experts to inspect it.[24] Creationists have been critical of it too.[25]
  • The "Alvis Delk Cretaceous Footprint", allegedly a human footprint partially overlapped by an Acrocanthosaurus dinosaur footprint in Glen Rose limestone.[7][26][27][28] This was deemed "not a convincing human footprint in ancient rock" by biologist Glen J. Kuban and called a "blatant fake" by biologist PZ Myers.[29]

The "Burdick track" and "fossilized finger" were featured on the controversial NBC program "The Mysterious Origins of Man", aired in 1996 and hosted by Charlton Heston.[30] Creationist Ken Ham criticized the production in the February 1996 Answers in Genesis newsletter in a review titled "Hollywood's 'Moses' Undermines Genesis."[31] Ham attacked fellow creationist Baugh's claims, saying, "According to leading creationist researchers, this evidence is open to much debate and needs much more intensive research. One wonders how much of the information in the program can really be trusted!"[31]

Criticism

All of the museum exhibits have been strongly criticized as incorrectly identified dinosaur prints, other fossils, or outright forgeries.[25][30][32][33] In 2008, a descendant of a family that found many original Paluxy River dinosaur tracks in the 1930s claimed that her grandfather had faked many of them, including the "Alvis Delk Cretaceous Footprint".[34]

Both scientists and creationists have criticized Baugh's claims. In 1982–1984, several scientists, including J.R. Cole, L.R. Godfrey, R.J. Hastings, and S.D. Schafersman, examined Baugh's purported "mantracks" as well as others provided by creationists in Glen Rose. In the course of the examination "Baugh contradicted his own earlier reports of the locations of key discoveries" and many of the supposed prints "lacked characteristics of human footprints." After a three-year investigation of the tracks and Baugh's specimens, the scientists concluded there was no evidence of any of Baugh's claims or any "dinosaur-man tracks".[35]

Creationist organizations such as Answers in Genesis and Creation Ministries International have criticized Baugh's claims saying he "muddied the water for many Christians ... People are being misled."[1] Don Batten, of Creation Ministries International wrote: "Some Christians will try to use Baugh's 'evidences' in witnessing and get 'shot down' by someone who is scientifically literate. The ones witnessed to will thereafter be wary of all creation evidences and even more inclined to dismiss Christians as nut cases not worth listening to."[36] Answers in Genesis lists the "Paluxy tracks" as arguments "we think creationists should NOT use" [emphasis in original].[37]Answers In Creation also reviewed Baugh's museum and concluded "the main artifacts they claim show a young earth reveal that they are deceptions, and in many cases, not even clever ones."[38]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d "Footprints of Fantasy", by Kaylois Henry, Dallas Observer, December 12, 1996. Retrieved August 15, 2008.
  2. ^ a b c "Creationism Alive and Kicking in Glen Rose", by Greg Beets, August 5, 2005, Austin Chronicle.
  3. ^ Finding the Evolution in Medicine, Cynthia Delgado, NIH Record, July 28, 2006.
  4. ^ As reported by Newsweek: "By one count there are some 700 scientists (out of a total of 480,000 U.S. earth and life scientists) who give credence to creation-science, the general theory that complex life forms did not evolve but appeared 'abruptly'," in "Keeping God out of the Classroom (Washington and bureau reports)", Larry Martz & Ann McDaniel, Newsweek CIX(26): 23-24, June 29, 1987, ISSN 0028-9604
  5. ^ "IAP STATEMENT ON THE TEACHING OF EVOLUTION" (PDF). Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. http://web.archive.org/web/20070927094546/http://www.interacademies.net/Object.File/Master/6/150/Evolution+statement.pdf. Retrieved 2007-10-02. 
  6. ^ a b "Creation Evidence Museum, Glen Rose, Texas", Roadside America. Retrieved August 15, 2008.
  7. ^ a b "Rock solid proof?", by David May, Weatherford Democrat, July 28, 2008. Also printed as "Rock-solid proof?", in Mineral Wells Index, July 28, 2008.
  8. ^ Massimo Pigliucci Denying Evolution: Creationism, Scientism, and the Nature of Science (Sinauer, 2002, p. 246): ISBN 0878936599
  9. ^ "Human footprints along with dinosaur tracks?". Star-Telegram. August 10, 2008. http://www.star-telegram.com/news/story/820344.html. Retrieved 2008-08-10. [dead link]
  10. ^ Vickers, Brett (May 31, 2002). "Some Questionable Creationist Credentials". talk.origins. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/credentials.html. Retrieved 2007-02-19. 
  11. ^ "Adam, Eve and T. Rex", by Ashley Powers, August 27, 2005, Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 14, 2008.
  12. ^ "Bronstein, head of Israeli Department of Antiquities, lectures in Glen Rose", John Watson, Cleburne Times-Review, February 05, 2006.
  13. ^ "The Case for Teaching The Bible", by David Van Biema, Time magazine, March 22, 2007.
  14. ^ Amanda Colleen Brown, "Losing My Religion: The Controversy over Bible Classes in Public Schools," Baylor Law Review 59 (2007): 193-240.
  15. ^ "SCIENCE IN IRAN: Picking a Path Among the Fatwas", John Bohannon, Science, 21 July 2006, 313: 292–293 [DOI: 10.1126/science.313.5785.292] (in News Focus).
  16. ^ "Tyrannosaurus Redux". The Daily Show. November 14, 2001. http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=105921&title=Tyrannosaurus-Redux. Retrieved 2007-02-19. 
  17. ^ "Lone Star Adventure: Creation Evidence Museum", KDFW, a local affiliate of Fox TV, in Dallas Fort Worth aired on March 11, 2006
  18. ^ "If I Had a Hammer". National Center for Science Education. Issue 15 (Volume 5, Number 1 - Winter 1985). http://ncse.com/cej/5/1/if-i-had-hammer. Retrieved 2007-02-19. 
  19. ^ "The London Hammer: An Alleged Out-of-Place Artifact". The Paluxy Dinosaur/"Man Track" Controversy. 14 July 2006. http://paleo.cc/paluxy/hammer.htm. Retrieved 2007-02-19. 
  20. ^ Kuban, Glen (2008). "The "Burdick Print"". The Paluxy Dinosaur/"Man Track" Controversy. http://paleo.cc/paluxy/wilker6.htm. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  21. ^ a b "Claim CC120: Baugh's Cretaceous fossil finger". talk.origins. 2001-02-18. http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC120.html. Retrieved 2008-02-19. 
  22. ^ "The "Meister Print"". talk.origins. 1998. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/paluxy/meister.html. Retrieved 2008-02-19. 
  23. ^ "Creation Evidence Museum Online — Museum Displays", official site. Retrieved August 15, 2008.
  24. ^ "Alleged Human Hand Print in Cretaceous Rock". talk.origins. 2006. http://paleo.cc/paluxy/hand.htm. Retrieved 2008-02-19. 
  25. ^ a b "Creation Science Rebuttals — Creation Evidence Museum Lacks Evidence!", by Greg Neyman, Answers in Creation. Retrieved August 15, 2008.
  26. ^ "Creation Evidence Museum Online – Alvis Delk Cretaceous Footprint", official site. Retrieved August 15, 2008.
  27. ^ "One step at a time", by David May, August 11, 2008, Mineral Wells Index. Retrieved August 15, 2008.
  28. ^ "Rock's finders discovering celebrity not always pleasant", by David May, August 12, 2008, Mineral Wells Index. Retrieved August 15, 2008.
  29. ^ "Transparent fakery". Pharyngula (blog). July 28, 2008. http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/07/transparent_fakery.php. Retrieved 2007-02-19. 
  30. ^ a b "A Review of NBC's 'The Mysterious Origins of Man'", 1996, Glen J. Kuban. Retrieved August 15, 2008.
  31. ^ a b Thomas, Dave (March 1996). "NBC's Origins Show". Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Archived from the original on 2007-02-03. http://web.archive.org/web/20070203134301/http://www.csicop.org/sb/9603/origins.html. Retrieved 2007-02-19. 
  32. ^ "Seeking Ancient Paths", John R. Armstrong, PSCF 41 (March 1989): 33–35, American Scientific Affiliation. Retrieved August 15, 2008.
  33. ^ "The Rise and Fall of the Paluxy Mantracks", by Ronnie J. Hastings, PSCF 40 (September 1988): 144–154. American Scientific Affiliation. Retrieved August 15, 2008.
  34. ^ "Human footprints along with dinosaur tracks?", by Bud Kennedy, August 10, 2008, Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
  35. ^ "Creation/Evolution". National Center for Science Education. Issue 15 (Volume 5, Number 1 — Winter 1985). http://ncse.com/cej/5/1/introduction. Retrieved 2007-02-19. 
  36. ^ "What About Carl Baugh?". Creation Ministries International. 1998. http://paleo.cc/paluxy/whatbau.htm. Retrieved 2007-05-17. 
  37. ^ "Arguments we think creationists should NOT use". Answers In Genesis. 2008. http://creation.com/arguments-we-think-creationists-should-not-use. Retrieved 2007-05-17. 
  38. ^ "Review of Carl Baugh's Museum". Answers In Creation. 2008. http://www.answersincreation.org/rebuttal/cem/cem.htm. Retrieved 2007-05-17. 

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