Friday, January 3, 2014

Kentucky's House of Horrors

A creepy, primitive, frightening reptilian predator, posing
with an animatronic velociraptor.
Take one part ignorance, one part zealotry, and one part used car salesman, wrap it up in an Aussie accent, and you get Ken Ham, huxter extraordinaire. If there is a bright intellectual center to the world, Ken Ham has created the district furthest therefrom -- his own shining refuge from the torment of honest inquiry and critical thought.

Science, you see, with its tedious and tiresome habit of teasing out facts about the universe that contradict his beloved tome of Bronze Age desert nomad scribblings, was simply a bridge too far for poor Ken. He took on the daunting task of arresting human progress, gathered donations from his flock of equally feeble - minded simpletons, and erected a state-of-the-art, multimillion dollar, fully interactive monument to ignorance in sunny Kentucky.

Prepare to go backwards... not in time, but in the mind.
The Bluegrass State, known for music, horse racing, basketball, and bourbon can now add this curiosity to its CV, a pilgrimage destination of sorts for the blind faithful and those who wish to gawk at them--participants and spectators in the Ken Ham sideshow. Humans and dinosaurs, living side by side, just like in the Flintstones! Look at the little girl riding the triceratops! To think, this was only 6,000 years ago!

The Flintstones was daddy's favorite
documentary series!
Would that it stopped there, it would be harmless enough. Like a bizarre curio on display at the Ripley's "Believe it or Not" museums--simply take it in, shake your head at the twisted diversity of our little world, and move on. But no, the Kentucky House of Horrors has a mission, an agenda aimed squarely at the next generation. The dramatic dioramas and technological dazzle of animatronic dinosaurs is a carefully crafted multimedia blitz designed to plant a mutant seed of credulity and denialism in the fertile soil of a child's mind.

Anything that conflicts with Ken Ham's one and only bedside book--or, at least, his interpretation thereof--cannot be true, and he's not above the cynical misappropriation of scientific language, lies, and outright child indoctrination, to prove it. The village idiot can be entertaining, but the village idiot with a multimillion dollar budget can be downright dangerous. The Creation Museum is YEC (Young Earth Creationist) agitprop disguised as an educational family attraction. Ham wants to open your childs' skulls, and take a big, steaming dogma dump on their impressionable brains. The malevolent hobgoblin from Down Under is here to stay and, like a less charming version of Firefly's Captain Mal Reynolds, he aims to misbehave.

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