Dinosaur fossil donor affiliated with hate group

| 103 Comments

Kentucky geologist Daniel Phelps yesterday sent us a press release noting that AIG’s Allosaurus fossil will go on display this weekend; see the AP release by Dylan Lovan here. Mr. Lovan quotes Mr. Phelps to this effect:

Daniel Phelps, president of the Kentucky Paleontological Society, said in a release Thursday that the Creation Museum “has decided, without doing research, that the dinosaur fossil is evidence of Noah’s flood.”

What Mr. Lovan left out is far more interesting.

The Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky is about to unveil a dinosaur fossil donated by an organization whose leader is affiliated with a hate group.

In October 2013 the Creation Museum, operated by Answers in Genesis, announced the receipt of a partial Allosaurus skeleton and skull from the Elizabeth Streb Peroutka Foundation. The foundation’s leader Michael Peroutka until recently was also a board member of the League of the South, a white supremacist, neo-Confederate and pro-secessionist organization that has been named a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Mr. Phelps further notes that AIG, to its credit, has been strictly opposed to racism and suggests,

The Creation Museum could use this opportunity to take a stand against a racist, neo-Confederate, hate group by refusing to take possession of the Allosaurus fossil or by donating it to a real natural history museum so the specimen could be placed in the public trust, especially in the light of AIG’s anti-racist position.

Additionally, Mr. Phelps points out that the Creation Museum will not perform scientific research on the specimen because its employees are required to take an oath of biblical literalism that precludes open-minded scientific research. Mr. Phelps adds,

Oaths based on religious doctrine are not how modern science is accomplished. The Creation Museum has decided, without doing research, that the dinosaur fossil is evidence of Noah’s flood, which they believe occurred in approximately 2350 BCE.

Since the Creation Museum doesn’t do scientific research, all the Creation Museum really has done is obtain a nice display trophy. Real museums do research. The Creation Museum has asserted the specimen to be evidence of Noah’s flood without any actual research and will not consider other explanations for theological reasons.

——

References. Mr. Phelps supplies the following documentation for his claim connecting Mr. Peroutka to racist organizations.

Here, here, and here is more information on Michael Peroutka and his connections to The League of the South.

Here is a YouTube video of Peroutka joining League of the South board.

Michael Peroutka “proud to be a member” of The League of the South.

The Southern Poverty Law Center names The League of the South a Neo-Confederate hate group here.

The Southern Poverty Law Center writes of connections between Peroutka and The League of the South here. People For the American Way articles on Peroutka’s activities may be found here.

Michael Peroutka decries Union victory in the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg here.

Michael Peroutka’s listing in the Encyclopedia of American Loons can be found here.

103 Comments

Well, the end justifies the means, I suppose.

That’s in the Bible somewhere, right? Right? Probably close to “Am I my brother’s keeper?”?

There are claw marks on the Ark that precisely match this dinosaur’s claws, settling the matter for all time. So the only thing left to do is find the Ark.

Karen S. said:

There are claw marks on the Ark that precisely match this dinosaur’s claws, settling the matter for all time. So the only thing left to do is find the Ark.

Based on the angle at which this dinosaur was buried, the claw marks should clearly be in the center of the starboard side, about 2/5ths of the way up. I can tell because pixels.

Er, how could claw marks on the Ark be known prior to having found the Ark in the first place? :D

Henry J said:

Er, how could claw marks on the Ark be known prior to having found the Ark in the first place? :D

YOU MUST HAVE FAITH

Who wonders? Monotheism is supremacism, after all.

Er, how could claw marks on the Ark be known prior to having found the Ark in the first place? :D

Next question, please.

At the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, teenagers above a certain age can volunteer to clean fossils (with supervision). Although chipping dirt from old bones might not sound like Real Research, it involves a lot of careful observation, and that’s how research begins.

Great job, Dan.

I’m always intrigued by the mental gymnastics it must take any self-respecting creationist to deal with any dinosaur in the first place.

Here’s a creature that literally doesn’t exist in the creationist pantheon.

Really, it’s pretty hard to argue with a straight face that these things were running around just a few thousand years before Jesus and nobody saw fit to write it down.

And the time they are from literally doesn’t exist in the creationist pantheon.

But still, there are the bones to deal with and the kids want dinosaurs, and claiming they’re some sort of communal hallucination isn’t going to fly so… let’s put em’ in the garden and feed em’ on coconuts.

You know - for the kids.

I still say we missed the opportunity to pull the all time worlds best prank on AIG. All we had to do was sneak into the warehouse where they were cleaning the think, drill a hole into the sandstone, and cement in a couple of rusty saddle buckles.

stevaroni said:

I’m always intrigued by the mental gymnastics it must take any self-respecting creationist to deal with any dinosaur in the first place.

My dear Seventh Day Adventist neighbors (we never argued about creation, we were neighbors) once asked me about all those old fossil bones, “Don’t you think they just put them together wrong?” (and made up all those fantastic creatures which never really existed?)

Which goes to show, there’s no gymnastics if you don’t even try. And if you can’t be an Olympic gymnast, why even exercise?

Ken Ham supports racism. He says there are two races, Christian and non-Christian. His race is superior and must be propped up with a political system based on racial supremacy. Race hatred is justified and interracial marriage is strictly banned.

This is actually a fairly serious thread topic.

I hate to sound like the guy who always says the same thing all the time, but since the obvious hasn’t been commented on, I’ll make the point.

Creationism is part of the religious right which is part of the US mainstream right wing coalition, represented by the Republican party.

Within the coalition, there is something of a spectrum. Not all individuals take the most extreme view, and the very most extreme views, it is understood, must be hinted at with coded language, rather than expressed directly. For example, on race, an extreme view, which is quite common, is that black people are inherently inferior and that discrimination against black people should be encouraged, and this includes defending the idea that people should be able to use extremely inflammatory racial epithets directed toward black people without being subjected to any business or social disadvantage. (While simultaneously expressing thin skinned outrage at even the mildest critical comment directed toward them, I should note.) Note that these ideas form a cluster, but don’t logically follow from one another. However, they are associated with one another. This idea cluster is routinely expressed openly in comments sections, and at sites like World Net Daily. (Note, however, that overt vulgar racism, as by prison white supremacist gangs, is not accepted as part of the mainstream right wing coalition, but that it is the lack of coding, not the idea content, that is the main objection.)

A far less extreme, and also common, idea, is that black people would be perfectly okay if only they would not bring up topics like slavery, segregation, and entrenched inequality, and would all adopt rigid authoritarian right wing Christianity, and reject all social programs and favor Ebeneezer Scrooge economics. People who hold this view are arguably not racist at all, since that’s also what they think white people should do. Ken Ham seems likely to be a member of this group of people. Note that these people may appear very racist as they are callous about human suffering and totally deny obvious disadvantage or unfairness, an attitude which disproportionately attacks black people due to US history. However, they actually tend to be equal opportunity self-absorbed hypocrites rather than racists.

But here’s the problem. Both types of people I described above are members of the same coalition. Now, I happen to like dogs, and I hate to say something bad about them, but yes, when you lie down with dogs who have not been adequately treated for flea prevention, you yourself will wake up with fleas.

The President of the League of the South, Michael Hill, has made numerous over-the-top racist speeches. Here’s one of his milder quotes.

Michael Hill said:

Just so there’s no chance that you’ll confuse The League with the GOP or any other “conservative” group, here’s what we stand for: The survival, well being, and independence of the Southern people. And by “the Southern people,” we mean White Southerners who are not afraid to stand for the people of their race and region.

These are the people who gave Ken Ham his dinosaur.

Here is a photo of Michael Peroutka, who donated the allosaurus fossil to Ken Ham’s creation museum, wearing a shirt with the racist Confederate battle flag on it. Ken Ham wouldn’t have a creationist museum without all the contributions, ideological and financial, of racist creationists. No racism, no creationism.

Maybe this is a better image of Peroutka.

diogeneslamp0 said:

Here is a photo of Michael Peroutka, who donated the allosaurus fossil to Ken Ham’s creation museum, wearing a shirt with the racist Confederate battle flag on it. Ken Ham wouldn’t have a creationist museum without all the contributions, ideological and financial, of racist creationists. No racism, no creationism.

Hmm, FL’s being kind of quiet on this, isn’t he?

diogeneslamp0 said:

Maybe this is a better image of Peroutka.

Can anyone read the caption on the flag?

I see it as [something] “Southern Pride”.

Because the LOS explicitly defines Southern as meaning white non-Jews (see Michael Hill quote above), his shirt basically says “White Pride.”

diogeneslamp0 said:

The President of the League of the South, Michael Hill, has made numerous over-the-top racist speeches. Here’s one of his milder quotes.

Michael Hill said:

Just so there’s no chance that you’ll confuse The League with the GOP or any other “conservative” group, here’s what we stand for: The survival, well being, and independence of the Southern people. And by “the Southern people,” we mean White Southerners who are not afraid to stand for the people of their race and region.

These are the people who gave Ken Ham his dinosaur.

I’ve just never understood the whole mindset that Life is a zero sum game: I can only do well at your expense, or I succeed only when you fail. It sounds very, Darwinian. Isn’t the whole concept of civilization, of cooperation, that we all do better individually when we all do better together? That I can be enriched by enriching you?

“The survival, well being, and independence of the Southern people”

Survival: Is your very survival being threatened in some way? Cannot both you and others survive together?

Well Being: How is your well being threatened by the well being of other people? Can your well being only be secured by threatening the well being of others?

Independence: Welcome to the real world, buddy. Nobody is truly “independent” today. Each and every one of us depends on someone else, typically a lot of someone elses. “Independent” to do what, exactly? What is it that you can’t do today that you feel you need independence to do? Own other people, perhaps? Take away the independence of someone else? Independence to use the government to force other people to do what you want them to do?

the Southern people: How precisely is increasing tribalism a good thing? I thought we had a war over this notion. Do you look forward to another? Is the model of Sunni and Shia, Tutsi and Hutu, Unionists and Nationalists killing each other in job-lots an appealing virtue of your idea of tribalism?

Scott F said:

I’ve just never understood the whole mindset that Life is a zero sum game: I can only do well at your expense…

Says the unabashed carnivore.

Scott F said:

I’ve just never understood the whole mindset that Life is a zero sum game: I can only do well at your expense, or I succeed only when you fail. It sounds very, Darwinian. Isn’t the whole concept of civilization, of cooperation, that we all do better individually when we all do better together? That I can be enriched by enriching you?

It goes something like this:

The Jews run all the banks, so if they’re gone, I’ll have more money.

The niggers and spics take jobs from good white people, so if they’re gone, I’ll have a job or a better one.

The US government (Obama) wants to take away my guns, so if we secede I can buy that .50 cal. machine gun and a Stinger missile to protect my rights against the black helicopters from the UN.

Scott F said:

Scott F said:

I’ve just never understood the whole mindset that Life is a zero sum game: I can only do well at your expense…

Says the unabashed carnivore.

Take it easy on yourself Scott. I’m sure you eat the occasional salad .. or potato .. or potato salad even.

Protip: Your canines are for opening coconuts (h/t Ken Ham)

Rikki_Tikki_Taalik said:

Scott F said:

Scott F said:

I’ve just never understood the whole mindset that Life is a zero sum game: I can only do well at your expense…

Says the unabashed carnivore.

Take it easy on yourself Scott. I’m sure you eat the occasional salad .. or potato .. or potato salad even.

Protip: Your canines are for opening coconuts (h/t Ken Ham)

Coconuts?? Heck, my canines can’t even open walnuts.

Perhaps shark teeth were for sawing through tough seaweed, or something equally tasty.

Just curious… probably DSM knows: When God trotted all the animals past Adam, looking for “an help meet” and letting Adam name them, did that include marine creatures? They’re not “beasts of the field” or “fowl of the air”, but surely it wouldn’t be beyond the capabilities of God Almighty to transport a few sharks and jellyfish into the Garden long enough for Adam to name them. Why should they be left out of the name game, when all land animals were so ‘blessed’? It seems to me that a dolphin or giant Pacific octopus might be as likely to be a useful “help meet” as, say, a hummingbird or a koala (just not helpful with the same tasks).

Second question: It seems Adam bestowed names on animals and birds, which must be their TRUE, ORIGINAL names, sanctioned by God. So what were those names? Do fundagelicals or Hebrews or anybody have a list of the purported Adamic names of all creatures? It would seem that such names ought to have some totemic or commanding power, being the TRUE names.

diogeneslamp0 said:

Here is a photo of Michael Peroutka, who donated the allosaurus fossil to Ken Ham’s creation museum, wearing a shirt with the racist Confederate battle flag on it. Ken Ham wouldn’t have a creationist museum without all the contributions, ideological and financial, of racist creationists. No racism, no creationism.

How does the racist Confederate battle flag differ from the regular, non racist one?

KlausH said:

diogeneslamp0 said:

Here is a photo of Michael Peroutka, who donated the allosaurus fossil to Ken Ham’s creation museum, wearing a shirt with the racist Confederate battle flag on it. Ken Ham wouldn’t have a creationist museum without all the contributions, ideological and financial, of racist creationists. No racism, no creationism.

How does the racist Confederate battle flag differ from the regular, non racist one?

By existing, Klaus, by existing. The non racist flag doesn’t.

Just Bob said:

When God trotted all the animals past Adam, looking for “an help meet” and letting Adam name them, did that include marine creatures? They’re not “beasts of the field” or “fowl of the air”, but surely it wouldn’t be beyond the capabilities of God Almighty to transport a few sharks and jellyfish into the Garden long enough for Adam to name them. Why should they be left out of the name game, when all land animals were so ‘blessed’? It seems to me that a dolphin or giant Pacific octopus might be as likely to be a useful “help meet” as, say, a hummingbird or a koala (just not helpful with the same tasks).

Second question: It seems Adam bestowed names on animals and birds, which must be their TRUE, ORIGINAL names, sanctioned by God. So what were those names? Do fundagelicals or Hebrews or anybody have a list of the purported Adamic names of all creatures? It would seem that such names ought to have some totemic or commanding power, being the TRUE names.

Well, unfortunately the author of Genesis 2 had never seen a dolphin, or the thought may well have occurred to him.

The standard narrative (yes, I know I go to AiG a lot on this stuff, but they really are the most prolific) is that it was livestock, birds, and beasts of the field who lucked out and got special names. From a perspective of literary criticism, this probably had something to do with defining the boundaries of humankind’s dominion over creation; the Hebrews only expected to domesticate livestock, birds, and certain “beasts of the field”.

AiG wants to make the naming-list as short as possible in order to fit the naming process into the span of a few hours. Because obviously this is intended as something which could actually happen and isn’t symbolic of ANYTHING. Right.

What language were their names in? Well, Edenic, supposedly. Edenic was lost at Babel. Or was it? Lots of fundies will say that Hebrew was the real pre-Babel language. At one point, I was told (and believed) that speaking in tongues happened in Hebrew and that someone who speaks Hebrew would be able to understand me if I was really doing it properly. Obviously that makes no sense in comparison to the New Testament usage, but hey, who cares?

So has anyone tried summoning or controlling animals using their TRUE Edenic and/or Hebrew names? And does anyone claim that it works?

KlausH said:

How does the racist Confederate battle flag differ from the regular, non racist one?

Anyone who has a non-racist Confederate battle flag is either very naive, desperately trying to fool himself, or lying.

It’s the history behind it, including its recent history and use by various groups.

It’s like the swastika. Once it was just an interesting geometric figure. Not anymore.

david.starling.macmillan said:

What language were their names in? Well, Edenic, supposedly. Edenic was lost at Babel. Or was it? Lots of fundies will say that Hebrew was the real pre-Babel language. At one point, I was told (and believed) that speaking in tongues happened in Hebrew and that someone who speaks Hebrew would be able to understand me if I was really doing it properly. Obviously that makes no sense in comparison to the New Testament usage, but hey, who cares?

I always understood that “speaking in tongues” meant speaking in other languages; that all the known languages were created ex nihilo at Babel. Why has it come to mean speaking in “gibberish”?

That’s great, but I seem to recall reading at PT a year or two ago that the city of Williamstown had quietly given Ark Encounter a few hundred thousand dollars– not a tax break, just a straight gift. I’m sorry I don’t have a reference.

Hammie’s scaling back and may have to scale back more. From a Lousville blog Ken Ham’s dinosaur boat isn’t receiving $43 million in tax incentives from Kentucky, and might not receive any (UPDATE):

Ark Encounter’s original tax incentive application for potentially $43 million was approved by a Tourism board in May of 2011. This gave them three years to start construction, and whatever Ark Encounter spent on construction, they would be eligible for up to 25 percent of that amount once the park opened in rebates, assuming that the project was an economic success and passed benchmarks. However, that three year period ended this month, and Ark Encounter construction has not yet started, which would mean that they are not eligible for any tax incentives unless they amended or resubmitted an application. And in March, that’s exactly what they did.

Tourism Cabinet spokesman Gil Lawson tells LEO that on March 28, Ark Encounter representatives withdrew their original application for a $172 million project and resubmitted a new application for a dramatically scaled back $73 million project. If this application is approved — and if Ark Encounter is actually built and meets economic benchmarks — they would only be eligible for a maximum of $18.25 million in tax incentives.

But that remains a big “if.”…

h/t Ed Brayton.

david.starling.macmillan said:

Henry J said:

Er, how could claw marks on the Ark be known prior to having found the Ark in the first place? :D

YOU MUST HAVE FAITH

Actually the claw marks is a Prediction … and once the ark is found … Oh I am so sorry … and once The Ark is found, the presence of claw marks will be proof of the inerrancy of the Bible and the incredible predictive power of creation science … damn, I did it again … the incredible predictive power of Creation Science.

tedhohio said:

david.starling.macmillan said:

Henry J said:

Er, how could claw marks on the Ark be known prior to having found the Ark in the first place? :D

YOU MUST HAVE FAITH

Actually the claw marks is a Prediction … and once the ark is found … Oh I am so sorry … and once The Ark is found, the presence of claw marks will be proof of the inerrancy of the Bible and the incredible predictive power of creation science … damn, I did it again … the incredible predictive power of Creation Science.

**goes on a questionably-legal artifact-hunting expedition with a homeschool group to Turkey**

**finds random piece of wood with scratches on one side outside my hotel**

**OMG PROOF**

Scott F said:

Rikki_Tikki_Taalik said:

Scott F said:

Scott F said:

I’ve just never understood the whole mindset that Life is a zero sum game: I can only do well at your expense…

Says the unabashed carnivore.

Take it easy on yourself Scott. I’m sure you eat the occasional salad .. or potato .. or potato salad even.

Protip: Your canines are for opening coconuts (h/t Ken Ham)

Coconuts?? Heck, my canines can’t even open walnuts.

Perhaps shark teeth were for sawing through tough seaweed, or something equally tasty.

Did sharks even have teeth before The Fall?

I do find it funny that on my one trip to the Creation Museum Kennie had a simple display right out in the ticketing area of a few kids playing with a couple of dinosaurs … velocirators if memory serves. They did have teeth and, IMHO, the only thing that would have been going on in their minds if the scene was in any way a reflection on reality was “Lunch!”

So this Ark thing didn’t get quite the Deluge of Donations that Ham wanted?

That’s no way for Ham to bring home the Bacon!

tedhohio said:

Did sharks even have teeth before The Fall?

I do find it funny that on my one trip to the Creation Museum Kennie had a simple display right out in the ticketing area of a few kids playing with a couple of dinosaurs … velocirators if memory serves. They did have teeth and, IMHO, the only thing that would have been going on in their minds if the scene was in any way a reflection on reality was “Lunch!”

Aren’t shark teeth “Intelligently Designed”? Aren’t there fossils of animals captured in the act of eating other animals? Aren’t there bones found in coprolites?

If we can trust our ability to detect design in features designed to capture prey - or in the design to defend against predators -aren’t able to see predation when we see it?

TomS said:

tedhohio said:

Did sharks even have teeth before The Fall?

I do find it funny that on my one trip to the Creation Museum Kennie had a simple display right out in the ticketing area of a few kids playing with a couple of dinosaurs … velocirators if memory serves. They did have teeth and, IMHO, the only thing that would have been going on in their minds if the scene was in any way a reflection on reality was “Lunch!”

Aren’t shark teeth “Intelligently Designed”? Aren’t there fossils of animals captured in the act of eating other animals? Aren’t there bones found in coprolites?

If we can trust our ability to detect design in features designed to capture prey - or in the design to defend against predators -aren’t able to see predation when we see it?

Obviously shark teeth were created a few minutes after the Fall. Before the Fall, they ate plankton like everybody else.

Think there wasn’t enough plankton to feed all sea creatures? Think again. OBVIOUSLY there had to be at least 500 times more plankton in the ocean in order to form all the world’s oil reserves in a single year.

Henry J said:

Er, how could claw marks on the Ark be known prior to having found the Ark in the first place? :D

You do not get sarcasm, do you?

JJ said:

Henry J said:

Er, how could claw marks on the Ark be known prior to having found the Ark in the first place? :D

You do not get sarcasm, do you?

You don’t have a sense of humor, do you?

JJ said:

Henry J said:

Er, how could claw marks on the Ark be known prior to having found the Ark in the first place? :D

You do not get sarcasm, do you?

Yeah, I also didn’t hint a note of sarcasm :D in HenryJ’s comment. I mean seriously, why would he even ask such a silly question? It must be because HenryJ doesn’t get sarcasm. :p

Long article on Peroutka here. Bottom line:

Peroutka’s web of influence shows that he is more than, as one libertarian scholar put it, a solitary “wackypants anti-gay crusader.” Peroutka’s activism and philanthropy illuminate the connections between the Creationist movement, the Christian-Nation philosophy of people like Judge Moore, anti-choice agitators, fringe anti-gay extremists like Daubenmire and Klingenschmitt, and the network of Confederate nostalgists that can never quite hide its racist roots. All are striving for a biblical and constitutional purism that exists only in the minds of those who adhere to it, and a return to an imagined past where dinosaurs stowed away on Noah’s ark, the Constitution mandated an exclusively Christian nation, and the Civil War didn’t turn out quite right.

Right Wing Watch reported yesterday that “Christian Reconstructionist And Southern Secessionist Michael Peroutka” has most likely won the Republican nomination to the county council in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. The article contains a good synopsis of his, um, ravings. To wit:

“Since civil government is ordained by God in order to protect God-given rights, then the function of civil government is to obey God and to enforce God’s law – PERIOD.”

“It is not the role of civil government to house, feed, clothe, educate or give heath care to…ANYBODY!”

“There is a God. Our rights come from him. The purpose of civil government is to protect and defend God-given rights. This is the American view of law and government. It also happens to be the biblical view of law and government. America was founded upon the biblical view of law and government….”

“All men are created equal, they are not evolved equal, get it? So evolution is anti-American.”

We await the counting of the absentee ballots with bated breath.

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This page contains a single entry by Matt Young published on May 23, 2014 10:55 AM.

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