Monday, October 19, 2009

Noah: "This ark ain't gonna float if we have to put one more pair of dinos on it"

The new 20,000-square-foot Glendive Dinosaur and Fossil Museum in Montana includes sculptures of T-Rex skeletons, murals of ancient mountains and a diorama of dinosaurs walking two-by-two into Noah’s Ark.

Yes, just when you thought it was safe to venture back to eastern Montana, a creationist museum opens up.

Glendive, known to some as the crossroads of east-central Montana, and to others as the only town on I-94 in Montana east of Billings to have three exits, opened its new museum this summer.

Donna Healy wrote about it in Sunday’s Billings Gazette. It sounds like an educational and amusing place:
Displays on the Glendive museum's second floor, which rings the central exhibit space like a gallery, are geared toward refuting evolutionary theory.

A large case contains a diorama of Noah's ark, built on a scale meant to represent an ark of 300 cubits, or 450 feet. Miniature animals and dinosaurs move two-by-two into the ark.
Glendive is dinosaur dig country. Many of the skeletons at the museum are modeled after those found in the vicinity. It's also the site of Makoshika State Park in the Hell Creek Formation that has yielded major dinosaur finds, and the nonprofit Makoshika Dinosaur Museum, which opened in 2004 in a renovated downtown building.
Both the state park and the Makoshika Dinosaur Museum are on the Montana Dinosaur Trail, a nonprofit created in 2005 to promote tourism at affiliated museums and dig sites.

Otis E. Kline Jr., founder and director of the Glendive Dinosaur and Fossil Museum, attended some early meetings of the Dinosaur Trail group, he said. But he left the organization when the group adopted the slogan "150 million years in the making."
Kline doesn’t say this, but he probably would have preferred something like "6,000 years of ignorance – and counting."

The Montana museum joins two other creation-based dino museums in the U.S. – one in Kentucky and one in San Diego. They now are drawing dangerously close to Wyoming. While most Wyomingites are known for their pragmatism and live-and-let-live attitudes, the state also home to scores of dinosaur digs and lots of space for kooky museums. There also has been an alarming rise in fundamentalist activity.

We’ll let a member of the reality-based scientific community have the last word. Jack Horner, the curator of paleontology at the reality-based Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, says that there is a fundamental difference between his museum and the one in Glendive.
"It's not a science museum at all," Horner said. "It's not a pseudo-science museum. It's just not science. …There's nothing scientific about it."

No comments: