(Photo: Backyard Skeptics via The Christian Post)
An atheist group in San Diego, Calif., is planning to protest the unveiling of two new expansions to the Creation and Earth History Museum that will be celebrated on Saturday, Sept. 29, with the group's leader describing Americans' belief in creationism as dangerous.
"The main idea behind the protest is to get media coverage to let people know that creationism is false pseudo-science. Most people that are angry enough to see our education dumbed-down will take part and participate," said Bruce Gleason of the Backyard Skeptics of Orange County in a phone interview with The Christian Post on Friday.
Gleason is expecting around 40 people from different secular groups to participate in the demonstration at the Creation Museum, which is opening two new exhibits. "The Tabernacle" is a 2,015-square-foot expansion that features a theater seating presentation on the Old Testament tabernacle, the Ark of the Covenant, and the Holy of Holies. "The Age of the Earth Cave" exhibit, on the other hand, presents rare minerals said to contain a date that defends a Young Earth creationist view that the planet is 10,000 years old, offering also a 300-square-foot experience of touring an underground cavern.
Gleason told CP that a strong belief in creationism is unique to the United States, and pointed to statistics that show that as many as 46 percent of Americans subscribe to such a view.
"We are the only nation that has those figures. It is because children are indoctrinated in their religion. I have great respect for parents, even though they are of one belief, but will teach their children many beliefs, and let their children choose," the atheist said.
"Ninety-nine and a half percent of scientists disagree with creationism. It's hard to imagine any type of theology influencing education wrongly as much as creationists."
Trying to illustrate why he finds creationism to be such a dangerous belief system in America, Gleason offered the following example:
"You go to a hospital with a very rare disease. One doctor tells you – 'I have this medicine, that will help you, it is scientifically proven that it will help you, 99 percent of other scientist believe it works, and it has a 99 percent success rate.' Then a second doctor comes in and says, 'Oh, I have a better way. This medicine will cure you as long as you believe it will cure you, but really it only has a 1 percent cure rate.' Which one would you take?"
He concluded by stating that religious parents who don't allow their children the chance to fully study evolution and science and instead try to force upon them a literal view of the Bible are stifling their progress.
Most recently, popular 90s science TV show host Bill Nye created some controversy among religious groups when he also claimed that teaching creationism to children is dangerous, and stifles innovation in America.
"If we raise a generation of students who don't believe in the process of science, who think everything that we've come to know about nature and the universe can be dismissed by a few sentences translated into English from some ancient text, you're not going to continue to innovate," Nye said earlier this week.
The Creation and Earth History Museum in San Diego is open Mon-Sat from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and includes detailed information of its other exhibits on its website.