Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Cincinnati sights

April and I went to the zoo a few weeks ago; normally, it's prohibitively expensive, but the law school offered $3 tickets for an evening visit, so I snatched them up. It's actually a pretty impressive zoo. I was a little bothered, however, by how much they sensationalized things. Most of their snakes were the poisonous types (whereas most snakes in the world are not dangerous). Same with their spiders. They had displays full of live cockroaches--solely for the gross-out effect.
I understand that the zoo needs to attract people, and this is one way of doing it. And the rest of the zoo was impressive enough that I didn't mind too much (although a few more amphibian displays would've been nice).
Yesterday, however, I discovered that the zoo had passed the line. They offered a combo-promotion ticket with a creation museum in Kentucky (only 15 miles from the zoo). This creation museum is top-notch. It's the biggest and best creation museum in the world. Admission is well over $20. It's big news.
What does a creation museum include? Well, it looks a bit like the Flintstones. People riding dinosaurs. Stuff like that. And it claims that it's science. In fact, as almost anyone with a degree in biology, geology, or anthropology will tell you, it's anti-science.
I'm a religious person. I have a degree in biology. I believe in being honest. And so I cannot support a museum that makes claims like the creation museum does.
As a former biology teacher, I can just imagine teaching here in Cincinnati. I'd teach the students something (the age of the earth, for example), and they'd reply, "But the museum says that's not true! The earth is only 6000 years old! And it's a museum, so it must be right!"
The zoo, on the other hand, is publicly funded. It exists to educate about science. Real science. Its goals are the exact opposite of the goals of the creation museum.
Imagine if the Catholic church teamed up with a bunch of devil-worshippers.
Yeah. It's kind of like that.
I emailed the zoo, complaining. Enough other people complained that they withdrew the offer. I have a feeling the PR side of the zoo had not been speaking with the educational side of the zoo--if they had, this problem never would have emerged. Anyone working for the zoo with a biology degree would've shot it down immediately.
It's nice to know that reason can trump ignorance.
There's a stellar aquarium nearby. An art museum, a natural history museum. Maybe next time the zoo can team up with one of these.

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