Blog Syndicate

Fathers Day at the Creation Museum

On Sunday, for Fathers Day and my birthday, my wife took me to the Creation Museum in Kentucky, outside of Cincinnati. I expected this to be a strange excursion into a foreign culture, and it was, but one I was prepared for after living in Tennessee for a couple of years. That’s me below with an exhibit.

Here I am with an exhibit at the Creation Museum.

This is a kids’ museum with lots of animated, life-size dinosaurs accompanied by exhibits explaining how the theory of evolution is wrong, the Bible is right, and dinosaurs are not so many years old after all. There are zip-line adventures through the lovely grounds, an ambitious petting zoo, and lots of shows. It is a place to bring the kids. I heard the same conversation everywhere in the museum as parents explained to their kids, “your teachers lie to you” and “don’t believe what they tell you in school.”

The photo below shows an exhibit where cave-kids are playing alongside the dinosaurs, much like in The Flintstones. It was explained that, in the beginning, animals were all vegetarians and everyone got along with the animals. It was only after Eve ate the forbidden fruit (depicted as berries) that the dinosaurs and other animals starting eating meat and getting surly.


Many of the exhibits are organized as rebuttals to science, contrasting man’s “theories” with God’s truth, and offering alternative explanations to rebut popular misconceptions – like the notion that Earth’s geology formed over millions of years, or that canyons are carved out by rivers. One recurring theme is the refutation of the scientific method, since the Bible gives us the truth as a starting point and the truth is not to be refuted. We learned that “natural selection” is OK, but “evolution” is wrong, a distinction that they seem to think is very important.

There is a lot of space devoted to the mechanics of Noah’s Ark, with descriptions of how the animals all fit into the ark and how they were probably cared for and fed while on the ark (for example, all the animals were likely young, so they would be small and easy to manage). There was a giant replica of a portion of the ark, and lots of talking, animatronic Bible characters. Methuselah was particularly chatty. There also was a lot of space devoted to how long these characters lived and how Adam and Eve’s kids had sex with each other, and why that was no problem. Different times. The museum also had a nice looking mural of the Skopes Monkey Trial from 1925 – the good old days when the government in Tennessee understood that evolution was a sham.

Here’s a typical display showing “Man’s Word” or science on the left, and “God’s Word,” refuting the science on the right. Most of the museum has this theme.

An interesting part of the museum was styled to look like an urban ghetto, with graffiti on brick walls; a heading on the entryway says “Scripture Abandoned in the Culture Leads to Relative Morality, Hopelessness and Meaninglessness.” Much like the attendees at the museum, the urban area featured no minorities. Peering through the broken windows on a blighted building there were videos of middle class white folks doing terrible things, like discussing how they were considering having an abortion. This was the chamber of horrors for the Creation Museum.

My math teacher wife tells me that her science teacher friends in Nashville get lots of blowback from students who call them liars. She said the museum made her sad. There is a big sign on the front door of the museum warning that anyone who acts disrespectfully, or who wears a t-shirt with a disrespectful message, will be kicked out. This is no place to argue. The docents seem hardened by many encounters with disrespectful visitors in the past; they have a stern attitude until they discern that the person they are talking to isn’t arguing, then they open up and are quite friendly. I didn’t test getting on their wrong side.

The museum has nice pizza, movies with impressive special effects, and a cool array of zip-line adventures. Also, as a father visiting on Father’s Day, my admission was free!

That’s me at the entrance with a nice looking dinosaur. Kids love dinosaurs. At the Creation Museum dinosaurs introduce kids to God and science – the museum hosts Summer science camps for kids, where “Science meets Truth,” encouraging kids to enter STEM careers. God help us.



Cartooning for Peace

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Le Monde’s editorial cartoonist, Jean Plantu, and his trademark mouse.

I’m a big supporter of French cartoonist Jean Plantu’s Cartooning for Peace organization. It sounds a little silly, because all of the cartoonists are in favor of peace, and the nature of cartoons seems to be frivolous, while peace is a serious topic.

That said, Cartooning for Peace does a lot of great stuff; they organize meetings of editorial cartoonists and hold impressive exhibitions all over the world. I’ve made a lot of worldly, cartoonist friends through Cartooning for Peace. Plantu is the star cartoonist of France – that’s him at the right, with his trademark mouse that appears in the corner of every Plantu cartoon.

One of Plantu’s recent projects is a weekly page in his newspaper, Le Monde, with cartoons from around the world about a topic in the news. Plantu does a great job with it, soliciting the newest cartoons from member cartoonists every week.  I have pasted some pages below.  They look great and show the power of editorial cartoons at their best.

We syndicate a bunch of international cartoonists to about 850 newspapers, and they tend to be less popular than our American cartoonists. Americans aren’t much interested in events outside of the United States, unless we’re at war or threaten to be at war with someone. Passionate cartoons about water issues or the European Union don’t generate much reader passion in the USA.

On the topics that penetrate our borders and generate interest here, collections of international cartoons are a wonderful way to show a variety of world opinions at a glance. My local newspaper, the Santa Barbara News-Press does an international week in review with world cartoonists regularly. I would urge more editors to consider doing it.

The page below is “Egypt: an explosive cocktail”. It includes the Adam and Eve cartoon by Doaa El Adl, that has led to her prosecution by Islamist authorities. I’d love to see newspapers all around the world reprint Doaa’s cartoon.

Egypt Cartooning for Peace cartoons

Gay marriage has recently been a hot topic in France.

GayMarriage Cartooning for Peace cartoons

Here is the most recent one, on International Womens Day.

IntlWomensDay Cartooning for Peace cartoons




Better Not Insult Adam and Eve

entert03 Better Not Insult Adam and Eve  cartoons

Egyptian Cartoonist Doaa El Adl of the Al-Masry Al-Toum newspaper.

It didn’t take long for the new Islamist government in Egypt to start acting like other nutty Islamic regimes when it comes to cartoons.  The latest wacko religious intolerance comes in response to the cartoon below, by Egyptian editorial cartoonist Doaa El Adl.

The cartoon, published on her newspapers online site, shows an Egyptian man with angel wings lecturing Adam and Eve.  The three are on a cloud beneath the infamous forbidden fruit tree.  The man is telling Adam and Eve that they would never have been expelled from heaven if they had simply voted in favor of the draft constitution in the recent Egyptian referendum.  Some of the supporters of the referendum were quoted as saying a “yes vote” guarantees one a spot in heaven, while a “no vote” guarantees one a spot in hell.  Neither Adam nor Eve in Doaa’s cartoon is uttering a word. In short, the cartoon is critical of Egyptians who have recently politicized religion.

The cartoonist is being sued by Egypt’s new Secretary General for the Defense of Freedoms, Khaled El Masry; he claims that the cartoon insults Adam, who is considered a prophet in the Muslim religion.  Egypt’s Attorney General has ordered an investigation.

DoaaElAdlToonAdamEveLectured Better Not Insult Adam and Eve  cartoons

This is the offending cartoon. The angel who appears to be a typical Egyptian man, is telling Adam and Eve that they would never have been expelled from heaven if they had simply voted in favor of the draft constitution in the recent Egyptian referendum.

I met Doaa El Adl at the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists convention a couple of years ago in Florida, shortly after the revolution in Egypt.  She was the only woman cartoonist in a large group of Arab cartoonists sent by the US State Department to visit their colleagues in the USA.  In our conversations she was beaming with pride and optimism about Egypt’s revolution and her high hopes and expectations about Egypt’s future.

In Egypt, editorial cartoonists are especially important.  There are lots of popular, thriving, competing newspapers in Egypt, and most of them run their editorial cartoon in color on the front page. The editorial cartoonists are the most important voices in each newspaper, and clearly, the most threatening voices to Islamic-extremist politicians. I doubt that Doaa is being sued because of insulting Adam, rather she is being sued to chill her voice, and make it costly to be a cartoonist who is critical of Egypt’s new religious junta.

This is a shame.  Doaa is talented, brave and eager to seek a better future for Egypt – just what Egypt needs right now.  Read more about her case on the Cartoonists Rights Network site.