Outrage at 'Noah's Ark' creationist zoo which denies Darwin's theory of evolution

A secular group is demanding that tourism groups stop promoting a ‘creationist’ zoo which questions the traditional view of evolution. The Noah’s Ark Zoo is accused by the British Humanist Association of misleading tens of thousands of visitors annually and ‘threatening public understanding’. The BHA says the zoo farm, run by husband and wife Anthony and Christina Bush in Wraxall, near Bristol, promotes creationism - the belief that all life was created by God - and seeks to discredit scientific facts such as carbon dating, the fossil record and the speed of light. BHA director of education and public affairs, Andrew Copson, said: ‘As they are public bodies, we believe it is inappropriate that tourist boards should support establishments that seek to urge religious or ideological beliefs upon people.’

Noah’s Ark research assistant Jon Woodward said: 'We are offering our visitors the chance to look at the evolution/creation debate. As it is a free country, that is within our right. 'We are slightly different from popular creationism. We hold a view that the natural world around us is the product of both God and evolution. ‘We do not hold the stereotypical creationist views that the world was created in 6,000 years.’ In a long section entitled ‘creation research’, the zoo’s website says Darwinism is ‘flawed’ and wants to encourage a ‘creation/evolution debate’.

Elsewhere it reads: 'God was watching over his people on the earth he had made.
'But he was not pleased with what he saw; violence and corruption plagued the earth, all the people had hearts full of evil. 'The sight of what his creation had become made God very upset. ‘God decided he would wipe away mankind and the animals on the earth by sending a great flood.’ Signs at the zoo in Wraxall near Bristol also describe how the ‘three great people groups’ could be descended from the three sons from Noah.

BHA director of education and public affairs Andrew Copson said: 'We believe Noah’s Ark Farm Zoo misleads the public by not being open about its Creationist agenda in its promotional activities and by advancing misunderstandings of the natural world. 'We have therefore asked the South West England and Visit Britain tourist boards to stop promoting the zoo. ‘As they are public bodies, we believe it is inappropriate that they should support establishments that seek to urge religious or ideological beliefs upon people in these ways.’ The government has not allowed the teaching of Creationism to be part of the National Curriculum, but guidelines on teaching it have been issued by ministers.
Science teachers have been told they can answer questions on the subject but must make clear that Creationism has ‘no underpinning scientific principles’.

The BHA was behind the ‘atheist bus campaign’, which saw thousands of buses across Britain carrying a poster saying: ‘There is probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life’. The Advertising Standards Authority received more than 150 complaints, but it was not deemed to have breached guidelines. Noah’s Ark research assistant Jon Woodward dismissed the BHA’s claims and said the Creationism debate was limited to posters in the indoor section of the zoo and the play area. Mr Woodward said: 'We look at the evidence that is there and it is not 100% certain that God didn’t have an involvement in the creation of the Earth. 'If it were false science we were claiming, that the Earth was created six thousand years ago and God created everything, then I could see their point.
‘We’re not saying that. You need to look at what we are saying: we are making claims to say that the facts suggest there is creation involved.’

He added that during lectures at the zoo no mention was made of Creationism and staff kept to the National Curriculum. 'It’s not hokum, it’s not rubbish science and it’s not brainwashing - we’re doing a fair job and some of the criticisms have been unfair. ‘Out of 120,000, visitors each year, of which a vast amount are made up of parents and school trips, we get approximately 10 complaints a year regarding this topic which is very low. Clearly the public do not share the British Humanist view point.’

Last year the Scout Association faced a human rights watchdog investigation over a complaint that it discriminates against non-religious members. The association’s refusal to admit those who will did not make a promise to God forces youngsters to lie as there is no alternative for atheists, the National Secular Society claimed. North Somerset Council spokesman Steve Makin said it awarded the licence for the zoo based on whether or not it promotes an understanding of animals and the natural world. The religious beliefs of those in charge is not a factor.

Read more: dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1209474/Outrage-Noahs-Ark-creationist-zoo-denies-Darwins-theory-evolution.html#ixzz0PTRXLuPV

How dare anyone try to deny The One True Faith of Our Lord Darwin???

Heresy!!! Burn them at the stake!!!

But’s its okay not to include creationism in schools?

As long as it was alongside all sorts of worldwide creation stories, it might be rather nice.

This sort of judicial activism makes me fume. “forces youngster to lie” my hind foot. If they don’t want to admit atheists, then fine. Don’t admit them.

As far as teaching creationism goes, there are so many flavors of creationism that I’m not sure I’d support that. Evolution attempts to explain the ‘how’ of life. It doesn’t refute that God is the ‘who’ and ‘why’

Be careful. Evolutionary psychology does not care one wit about a who or why. God? Pfft! What God? Your genes that were randomly mutated and naturally selected created God. Man created God. It was all planned by our genes to help us survive until we were smart enough to invent computer games.

Darwin’s book is science-fantasy. It is about the self starting engine that makes life, and changes gills to lungs, and fish to men. Now that should be doubted.

The “outrage” is about atheism, nothing more.

Peace,
Ed

I’m willing to accept that but it would have to include creation stories and flood myths the world over, and I’d like to see it taught in a standard biology course.

Pax.

Why should it be taught in a standard biology course? And not a religion/theology or even a mythlogy course? Creationism is not science and has no place in a science class.

The reason is that since evolution offers one answer to the origin of mankind and creationism another that is precisely the reason it should be taught in biology, unless you want to teach evolution in a mythology course :rolleyes:. The two should be taught together.

Pax.

Yeah but the theory of evolution is an actual science creationism is not. Evolution is an important part of biology creationism is not. Maybe if creationism could actually make a valid scientific case then I would support teaching it in a science class. But so far over the years I have been reading about the creation versus evolution debate I have yet to see such a thing.

C. S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity offers a somewhat scientific view. There are also at least a few threads in one of the other fora which deal with scientific ideas for intelligent design / creationism. And evolution is not a necessary part of biology (in a museum or even at high school level). So, the two are really on equal footing. I don’t care whether the two are taught in biology or mythology but they should be taught together.

Pax.

Evolution is a key part of biology in high school – Without Darwin’s theory (or a theory like it), modern biology would not exist. We would not have investigated DNA or have been able to explain how viruses mutate–there would be no flu vaccine (or any vaccine).
We wouldn’t be able to explain the presence of mitochondrial DNA or the similarities among genomes of different species.
Keep in mind that the theory of evolution is not yet complete–it is still developing, and scientists are struggling to understand all of evolution’s nuances. Still, it is a sound theory, and it is no way incompatible with my Catholic faith. I accept evolution as part of God’s amazing creation.

We have to remember that Christianity is a religion one of the many religions out there, and as such there is absolutely no proof for creationism, Leave that for fairy tales, Evolution is based on scientific theory having been studied for decades by some of the worlds brightest minds, We teach evolution in School’s for a reason, because that’s what happened,

If atheists can have a summer camp, creationists can have a zoo. But that dosen’t mean either of them isn’t stupid and pointless.

Uh…No, they shouldn’t. You can’t teach something that isn’t science in a science class and you never should. Your first problem is that you seem to think evolution even attempts to offer an origin. The study of how life may have began is called abiogenesis. While the two may both be under the umbrella of biology, they are 2 different fields of study.

Either way, I’ll say it again. In order to teach something in a science class, it first has to be science. Please read that over and over again until it sinks in. If all we need to do is offer an opposing view with nothing to back it up then we could realistically say anything about how life began and it would be just as valid as creationism. We all know that creationism, in ANY form is not science, to claim otherwise is either a lie or ignorance about what science is. And no, evolution shouldn’t be taught in a mythology class either.

If there’s evidence that stands up to scientific scrutiny then by all means teach it but there isn’t, not a single piece, and I’m not talking about the evidence that says “evolution can’t explain this so it must of course be that”.

Although I have not myself read them, there have been scientific works proffered in the field. See Dembski and Behe.

Intelligent design is most certainly science and does belong in a biology classroom. Biology is the study of life. A study of the origin of life and how it has lived through since the beginning is a part of that field.

Pax.

I would like anyone to explain to me what exactly makes ID/Creationism a field of science.

Dembski is a mathmatician and a philosopher. He’s not a biological scientist. He has not offered any actual evidence to support his claims.

Michael Behe is actually a scientist which makes it all the more troubling that he gets to the edge of scientific knowledge and then rather than trying to find the answer he invokes god as the one behind it.

Neither of these guys have produced any actual evidence for ID other than filling in the blanks with God. That is not science.

Who cares if this zoo promotes creationist views? If you’re an atheist, it shouldn’t bother you if somebody doesn’t accept your views on Darwin. I support evolutionary theory, but I don’t have the problem with creationists that the militant atheists have.

It’s a problem because it doesn’t teach actual education. It pretends to and puts on the disguise of science and education but it does neither for the sole purpose of getting people to think that God created everything. It’s a theistic view, it’s philosophy and mythology. It should be kept as such. We cannot allow theism to infiltrate knowledge, it’s a step backwards in time and goes along the lines of needing to hold a degree in theology in order to also have a degree in medicine as in the middle ages. Creationism does nothing to advance our society. If people want to think it’s true with nothing to actually back it up except the bible then fine, but don’t pass it off as actual science.

That didn’t come out the way you might have intended it.

It pretends to and puts on the disguise of science and education but it does neither for the sole purpose of getting people to think that God created everything.

Catholics believe that God is the creator of all things, heaven and earth, visible and invisible. So, what you’re calling a problem really isn’t one (from our point of view).

It’s a theistic view, it’s philosophy and mythology. It should be kept as such.

It’s a creationist zoo and therefore has theistic ideas (it includes theology also) about science.

We cannot allow theism to infiltrate knowledge,

I think the problem here would be that you’d have to extract theism from human knowledge first and only then forbid it from infiltrating. I’m not sure how you would propose to eliminate theism from the body of human knowledge though. You could purge all libraries of any books that contained religious ideas. That would be a big job.

it’s a step backwards in time and goes along the lines of needing to hold a degree in theology in order to also have a degree in medicine as in the middle ages.

I believe evolutionary science requires familiarity with Darwin – and that’s a step back to a time when eugenics was considered something good (as Darwin thought it was). The point here, I don’t think we should be worried about learning from history. It doesn’t mean that we will cease gaining new knowledge about things.

Creationism does nothing to advance our society.

It created a nice-looking creationist-zoo (as I see it) and many seem to enjoy it. I’d be concerned about measuring things on their capability of “advancing society”. For example, someone could argue that the performance of a Beethoven concerto does not advance society since it has been done many times before, done more expertly, available on recorded disk and wastes people’s time in learning how to play it or listening to it.

There might be some people who think that music itself in general does not “advance society” since it’s just the movement of molecules in the air.

If people want to think it’s true with nothing to actually back it up except the bible then fine,

Ok, I think that was the original point. It’s a creation-zoo and it should be fine with people. But instead, these atheists are very bothered by it.

but don’t pass it off as actual science.

The same could be said about many evolutionary speculations.

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