(Published in GralsWelt 15/2000)
In America a lot is different, and in the “Land of the Free” many things can be represented that may seem absurd to us; for example the long-standing quarrel between Darwinists and Bible Christians who believe in the letter.
In the USA there is a group of "creationists" who want to convince us of what they themselves believe: that modern natural history, the theory of evolution, is wrong, whereas the biblical story of creation offers literal truth.
A center of creationism can be found in Glen Rose (not far from Dallas, Texas), where one would like to prove the theses of Bible-believing fundamentalists, which have long been believed to be outdated, with strange exhibits and to reduce the modern, globally recognized development history of the earth to absurdity.
If you are traveling through the USA, you should plan a detour to Texas and visit Glen Rose - especially in spring, when some of the most northern tourist destinations in the west (e.g. Yellow Stone, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Yosemity, Kings Canyon, Sequoia) there is still snow, while Texas can already come up with summer temperatures. The small town of Glen Rose has two special features to offer:
Creationism - what is it?
The catchphrase "creationism" summarizes various directions that interpret natural history less as a history of development than as a history of creation:
The "JOUNG EARTH" creationists believe in a single creation event that took place 10,000 years ago. They take the Bible (especially the Book of Genesis) literally.
The "OLD EARTH" creationists believe, like the Jung Earth creationists, in a single act of creation, which, however, lasted several billion years. They accept the modern geosciences including analytical methods for determining the age of the earth. However, they reject the fact that a new species can develop from one species.
The “DAY AGE” and “GAP” creationists believe in an older earth. For them the act of creation took place in seven very long days ("day age"), or in seven days between which there were very long breaks ("gap").
In their fight against the theory of evolution according to Darwin, creationists in the USA achieved their first success. In Kansas, the Board of Education decided to ban evolution and related subjects from public schools. He gave biology teachers the following recommendation: The knowledge of Darwin's theory of evolution, the development of species through mutation and natural selection, but also geological determinations of the age of the earth, fossil bones and the big bang theory should be spared the students in Kansas.
Quoted from: "Bild der Wissenschaft", 12/1999.
Dinosaur Valley State Park
One of the many well-kept parks in the USA with great camping opportunities and various footpaths (trails) on which you can hike, photograph the romantic Paluxy River and, above all, admire real dinosaur footprints.
In this area, due to geological peculiarities, about 105 million year old footsteps by dinosaurs have been preserved, which can often be seen more or less clearly in the river bed, sometimes also on the dry bank. It is a moving experience to contemplate these rare footsteps, which only appear for a brief geological time.
Formed 105 million years ago on a sandy beach, they were hidden under limestone until they are visible in our time, exposed by the floods of the Paluxy. Natural weathering gnaws at these fossil traces until they are blurred. It is a stroke of luck that they emerge in our lifetime, after being hidden for a hundred million years and disappearing in the not too distant future.
These dinosaur tracks are scientifically proven, and what has been said so far is the current state of knowledge. In the Dinosaur Valley State Park, the state of research is documented in accordance with the standard in American parks in boards and signs so that the interested visitor can find informative information.
Creation Evidence Museum
On the way from Glen Rose to Dinosaur Valley State Park you will pass an inconspicuous, barrack-like building with the striking sign "Creation Evidence Museum". Here you will find exhibits that underline the convictions of the creationists and are intended to unhinge the modern scientific worldview based on Darwin.
The focus is on the footprints of dinosaurs, next to which, or even in those, there are footprints of human beings. This proves for creationists that humans and dinosaurs lived at the same time and accordingly the generally taught history of development cannot apply, according to which dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago, while humans appeared only five or at most 10 million years ago. Scientists consider these human footprints from the dinosaur era to be confused with the footprints of smaller dinosaurs, if not fakes.
Another evidence of the existence of dinosaurs in historical times is a rock drawing by the Anasazi ("the ancients", pre-Columbian Indians), which allegedly depicts a dinosaur. Finally, the fossilization of a human finger is shown, which is said to come from the time of the great dinosaurs.
A particularly remarkable exhibit is a hammer with a handle made of petrified wood, locked in a boulder. (Cf. “Short, concise, curious” page 71 “The iron hammer from the Cretaceous”).
Such finds are intended to underpin the worldview of the creationists, who are convinced that the world arose directly from God's hand and that Genesis (the first book of Moses) offers a better description of the history of development than the modern sciences. Creationists try to explain the history of the world - from creation to the Flood to Judgment Day - in harmony with the Bible.
We do not want to enter into a criticism of the teachings of creationism, which contradict much of what is now considered a proven fact or even a law of nature.
In any case, it remains interesting that there are - by no means uneducated - people who oppose modern scientific knowledge with a medieval idea and want to achieve that in American schools creationism is taught on an equal footing with the theory of evolution.
Describes dinosaur footprints and other strange finds from the Creation Evidence Museum: Hans Joachim Zillmer “Darwin's mistake”, Langen-Müller, Munich, 1998.
The creationists publish their ideas in various videos. English-language videos suitable for the German PAL system can be obtained from: Ed Miller, 2422 Cozy Nook, Chewelah, Washington 99109, USA Tel. 509‑935‑6651. The video “Family Tour of Creation Evidence Museum” is suitable as an introduction. If you want more specific information, you can have a list of the available videos sent to you. For more information, please contact: Creation Evidence Museum, P.0. Box 309, Glen Rose, TX 76043, USA.
You can read about this in “In a nutshell, curious” on page 393 “The search for Noah's ark”.