The Creation Museum’s Shocking Indoctrination Effort Reminds — Only The Authority Of Reason Can Save Us

This is the second post about the Creation Museum. The first post is here.

It seems hard to believe, evidently, a large percentage of Americans — 40% – 50% — agree with the Creation Museum’s point of view — that the world is 6000 years old, etc. (It’s hard to believe that the percentages are so great, but, see this poll and this poll.) The stunning realization that such a big percentage of Americans are in such absolute denial of reality prompts some big questions.

Here in 2009, only a person who has been indoctrinated, brainwashed in a sense, could believe the world is only 6000 years old. Such a belief cannot come from any independent thinking. Its existence in any person’s reality structure indicates relentless indoctrination — often from a early age.

Wow. To realize that a huge chunk of the American citizenry have been successfully indoctrinated to accept a completely crazy, irrational idea about humanity’s origin raises the question about what other crazy ideas Americans have been indoctrinated to believe. This widespread indoctrination raises the question of whether the problem is that American education system regularly produces graduates that are easily indoctrinated. There is a lot of evidence, in fact, that indoctrination is a big part of the American education system, and, that the mission, purpose, and daily function of most American schools is to indoctrinate students. A successful school, certainly, is seen as one where students are made to be pliable and agreeable to manipulation by those in control.

In education and in life in general, a big question that needs to be answered is: What constitutes authority? Indoctrination is empowered by the idea that the individual has no independent authority in him or herself, but instead, must acquiesce to a powerful authority that is outside of himself or herself. The whole point of the Creation Museum is that the authority that should guide everyone’s thinking is the literal words of the Bible. The museum teaches that the words of the Bible have authority because they are the literal words of God, and mere mortals should not question God’s words.

The museum has a number of displays that disparages rational thinking. The displays say that when human rationality is the starting point, the result is error and eventual disaster (including the disaster of eternal punishment), but when the words of the Bible are the starting point, then the result is truth (and personal salvation).

Education often operates from the same definition of authority — a definition that sees the student as an empty vessel to be filled, one that sees the point of education as indoctrination, one that agrees with the museum’s notion of original sin, and sees the student as full of sin and error and in need of correction and direction. Students are rewarded for right answers, for following directions, for acquiescing to their teacher and school. Often the authority demonstrated in school is simply positional power — the power to reward or punish. It is easy to see that graduates from our system of education are prepared for a life time of indoctrination by the media and by power figures in their society. It is not surprising that many of these graduates, acclimated to the notion that they have no authority within their own thinking, readily accept the authority of quacks and extremists.

The Creation Museum, by its advocating the most radical of antievolution stands, the “Young Earth” stand, I think, may do a great favor, because it makes the question of what constitutes authority such a stark, compelling question. The focus of this whole $35 million museum is to ask: How can we know truth? What is our authority for knowing truth?

The great popularity of the Creation Museum forces us to acknowledge that indoctrination is very much in force in our whole society and that, if we could see the total landscape of what Americans believe — about our history, about our own society, about the world, about how to achieve peace — we’d be astounded to see beliefs equally as goofy and unfounded as a belief that the world is only 6000 years old. The popularity of the museum, and its emphasis on indoctrination, should force us to examine who or what we accept as authority and should shock us into once again realizing that the human race is doomed unless somehow there is a transformation in humanity’s thinking — toward a new respect for truth and for the authority of reason.

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51 Responses to The Creation Museum’s Shocking Indoctrination Effort Reminds — Only The Authority Of Reason Can Save Us

  1. Mike Bock says:

    Eric, — I make a response here

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