Creationist Vacations: Adventures in Anti-Science

By Boonsri Dickinson | March 12, 2009 1:52 pm

creationism.jpgDavid DeWitt takes his educational duties seriously. Each year, the biology “professor” and director of the Center for Creation Studies at Liberty University takes his class on a field trip.  Their destination is the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History, where the students in his Advanced Creation Studies course can bolster their “biblical view of natural history” by viewing a “temple of evolution.” In other words, they’re going to check out the enemy.

Adding to the ludicrous quotient even more, DeWitt’s trips are part of a recent trend: Plenty of adult creationists are reportedly taking these so-called “creation vacations” too. While scientists and science-lovers everywhere were celebrating Darwin’s 200th birthday, creationists saw the event as a chance to visit natural history museums, aquariums, geologic sites, and dinosaur parks to challenge evolution.

So what’s a trip to a museum like with a creationist? First, DeWitt’s class went through the fossil exhibit. His only complaint was that one of the films shown failed to discuss DNA, and only talked about amoeba. He bashed the film for being too ’80s, and called it “embarrassing” [ed. note: Oh the rich irony in that word choice].

When the class headed to the dinosaur exhibit, they had no objections—they don’t deny the existence of dinosaurs, they just believe that God created all animals on the sixth day. Never mind the fact that dinos first appeared 215 million years ago, and were wiped out about 65 million years ago. Or the plethora of fossil records  proving that birds descended from dinos.

The creationists’ only major gripe was that the timeline showing geology’s 630-million-year history was “totally off,” since creationists believe rocks and fossils were formed about 4,000 years ago during Noah’s flood. As the group moved through the hominid site, a student noticed the size difference between human and ape skulls. The students wondered why God didn’t get any credit for creating all of the diversity on display at the museum.

DeWitt’s oh-so-witty comment to the Washington Post pretty much sums up the tone of the trip: “There’s nothing balanced here. It’s completely, 100 percent evolution-based. We come every year, because I don’t hold anything back from the students.”

So is DeWitt encouraging valuable debate by exposing his students to hard science with such a derisive tone? Or simply embarrassing our educational system? We’ll leave it for you to decide—though we will say you don’t see too many MIT kids on field trips to the Creationism Museum.

Related Content:
DISCOVER: We All Live In Darwin’s World
DISCOVER: Blinded By Creationism
DISCOVER: Creationism Lurking In High Schools Near You

Image: flickr/ Jayeb333

  • Blue

    This is freaking hilarious. Careful, Zombie Jesus might be pissed and drown all his kids again. Father of the Year! lolzies

  • Blue

    Sorry meant Daddy might.

  • Tom H

    All the this writer can come up with is ad hominem attacks. There is no real scientific or logical challenge to the oppositions’ viewpoint. For someone who claims to be reasonable, I think he is sorely lacking in reason.

  • James

    Ugh. When will these morons research the scientific definition of a “theory”? As has been said many times before: publish a credible study that disputes evolution in a peer-reviewed journal, and the world will take you seriously. Until then (i.e. never) you’re a joke.

  • James

    @ Tom: There is a scientific challenge to the opposition’s viewpoint. It’s called science.

  • Steve S.

    Oh you guys are acting so lame. Rehashing the same condescending insults from decades ago. Get with it. Evidence points to creation all around. You’re just alienated from God. You have a conscience in bondage to constantly accusing itself, then having to defend itself. And I mean….constantly. Your attacks are part of that action. Get liberated! Get life! (and I can imagine your response here. It will be nothing new or novel.)

  • FrootBat

    “There is no real scientific or logical challenge to the oppositions’ viewpoint.” Scientific fact vs. theological assumption.

    “You’re just alienated from God.” You say it like it’s a bad thing. Also, “You have a conscience in bondage to constantly accusing itself, then having to defend itself. And I mean….constantly. Your attacks are part of that action. Get liberated! Get life!” No, no.. that would be Your flaw.

    Sticks and stones. It’s still a funny story. 😉

  • David DeWitt

    Yes, this is the David DeWitt who is the subject of this blog. It would have been better if you read the original story in the Washington Post instead of the secondary version from MSNBC. Always go to the primary source.

    I would have much to say about this, but I will only focus on the comment about the origin of life film that I said was “embarrassing”. Before you defend that cartoon, you should watch it. It should embarrass every scientist (or even non-scientists) who knows anything about the origin of life. It is completely outdated even from an evolutionist perspective. It shows dancing amino acids (they are cartoons with smiles, arms and legs) that bind together as the sun dries up the water. Then it shows “cells” that “appear” along with “complex cell division”.

    Where is the DNA? Where is the RNA? It should be talking about the RNA world or panspermia at least. 80’s is generous it is probably more like a 60’s version of the origin of life.

    So the problem with that film is that it is so outdated as to be ridiculous. This is the issue, why can’t they present a current view of the origin of life from an evolutionary perspective? As it is, the film is at the level of “not even wrong.” Come on, there is better and more current stuff on youtube.

    They also are FINALLY working on the new human origins exhibit. The sign, still there but covered says, ““What’s New in Human Evolution? A lot. The science of human evolution is a fast-changing field. Much of the material in this exhibit—which opened in 1974—is now out of date.” 35 years is a long time to wait in a fast moving field.

    We were not surprised about the evolution at the museum, we expect it and did not expect any balance. The reporter asked me if I thought there was any balance and I said no.

  • Pingback: News Round - Catch up › British Centre for Science Education()

  • Louis222

    The Caribbean is known for it’s adult sex vacations resort with European and Russian escorts at charlisangels where you can enjoy the pleasure of escorts in beach front villas.


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