Thursday, June 28, 2007

Dinosaur Adventures

Way back there in the dim mists of time, sometime in the late Jurassic when I was still in high school, I had a couple of classmates and a number of teachers who were deeply committed Christian fundamentalists. These acquaintances believed, among other things, in the idea that that the evolutionary view of the world was wrong and that the biblical view of creation as recounted in the book of Genesis in the Christian Bible was literally true and correct.

Even as a teenager, I had a problem with this.

This YouTube video, a mini-documentary posted by Dave and Karen, two of the Usual Suspects, brings back fond(?) memories of creationism debates. Their topic is Dinosaur Adventure Land, a small theme park built by a man named Kent Hovind in Florida.

Kent Hovind is currently serving some jail time now for various criminal offenses. However, a lavish new Creation Museum has opened in Kentucky. In my view, this is another manifestation of the same creationist belief culture that produced the Presidentially-appointed NASA PR flack who was anxious to reshape the outward message of the space agency to conform to a political agenda driven by the religious right.

When I see the representations of humans and dinosaurs together, that being one of the central premises of the beliefs of Hovind and his Creation Museum compatriots, I am struck but how similar their vision is to the imagery of the Flintstones. But unlike the cheerful buffoonery of Fred and Barney and their friends, the creationist vision serves a darker purpose, whose aim is to keep its adherents tractable through ignorance of the truth.

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