Creationist math, creationist accuracy

May 24, 2007

From today’s Christian Science Monitor, a story about Ken Ham’s Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky:

The $27 million museum set on 50 acres opens on Memorial Day, and [Answers in Genesis] AiG hopes for 250,000 visitors a year. Mr. Ham, a former science teacher in Australia, is direct about the museum’s purpose: to restore the Bible to its “rightful authority” in society.

And, later in the article:

No one has a handle on the scope of creationism’s influence, says [Ronald] Numbers, author of “The Creationists.” “Intelligent design” (which disputes aspects of evolution but accepts that the universe is billions of years old) has been more in the news recently. But AiG, simply one group in the creationism fold, is clearly doing well. The museum has 8,500 charter members, [Mark] Looy says [AIG’s p.r. guy], and is all paid for – by donations averaging $100.

Now, I admit to having had difficulty with calculus in college. But even using a calculator to make sure my in-the-head numbers were right, 8,500 members multiplied by an average contribution of $100 equals $850,000. That’s considerably less than the $27 million advertised at the top of the article.

There’s a gap of more than $26 million in those figures. Where did the extra $26 million come from?

Is that where the money missing from Iraq went? Is Judge Crater in one of the displays? Is their claim of a 6,000-year-old Earth also off by a factor of at least 27?

Just askin’.

Cartoon of note: Berryman on TR and fair play

May 24, 2007

Clifford Berryman cartoon, "Drawing the Line in Mississippi, 1902"

Clifford Berryman cartoon, “Drawing the Line in Mississippi, 1902”

Berryman’s Bear: “Drawing the line in Mississippi.”

In 1902 Teddy Roosevelt hunted bear near Smedes, Mississippi. He didn’t get a bear, as he had hoped. Trip guides tracked a bear with dogs, clubbed it, and tied it up. The bear was offered to TR to shoot.

Teddy refused to shoot it, of course. It was tied up. It was not sporting, not fair, not a match — not the vigorous hunting Roosevelt wanted.

Clifford K. Berryman, a cartoonist for the Washington Post newspaper (he moved to the Washington Star in 1907), captured the moment in a drawing published November 16, 1902. This 1902 cartoon is among the most famous political cartoons ever done.

The good sportsmanship Roosevelt demonstrated echoed long and hard among Americans. His reputation for fair dealing and good sportsmanship increased his popularity immensely.

Candy store owners in New York City, Morris and Rose Michtom, made a stuffed bear, a “Teddy bear,” to commemorate the event. We still call them Teddy bears, today.

Berryman continued to use the bear cub in cartoons for the rest of his career.

Teddy Roosevelt cartoon sources:

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