I think this is stupid...but I think you get into sticky business when you tell people they can't give tours in a museum. The museum does not affiliate itself in any way with the tours, but if there aren't any measures being taken to let the tourists know that, then there's always the appearance of the museum backing the tours. The museum is a public institution; can they disallow the tours? What about the mission of the museum? Does it matter?
I'd love to hear more about this from someone with a more firm stance. I mean, my initial reaction is "Hell no! These tours are not okay and should not be allowed," but there's more to this than my gut feeling and emotional reaction.
I tried reading the comments on the linked article, but I only made it to the second page before I had to stop...I just can't stomach this stuff like I used to. The constant stream of blind watchmaker arguments, "god said so" arguments and arguments for evolution that are made by people who don't know what they're talking about make me want to rip off my face. Here are a few comment gems that raised my hackles a bit:
- Time will not perfect any creature. We only lose species. We don't gain them. We have lost a vast variety of plants and animals and we are still losing them. Time does not evolve anything. People have made the mistake of assuming that the historical account of Scripture is not accurate. That is a big mistake because there are some other very important facts of Scripture that people are missing as well. Our sinful state. Our need for redemption. The only way of eternal life through sanctification by the Spirit of God and faith in the truth. Our history proves the validity of God's word through more ways than one. There are at least three very large extinct creatures spoken of in the historical accounts of Scripture proving that evolution is a lot of speculation without any proof. Because some atheistic evolutionist said so, or because history says so? I will go with history. Why would the historical accounts lie about the existence of dinosaur like creatures?
- Lies have been coming from school curriculum for years. People have been duped. It's about time the truth came out. How does a dinosaur grow sharp teeth? The teeth were already there. It is something from something already there. It is not something from nothing as the atheistic religious fundamentalists would try to convince you. Hello!!!???
- Life on earth has been evolving for about 3.5 billion years, although admittedly it didn't accomplish much in the first couple billion.
- Evolution is not a science. The study of history is a science.
- When it comes to facts, Scientists are the closed-minded ones, espcially regarding Radiometric dating, they do not take into account that the Carbon dating, is EXTREMELY innacurate and unstable, there have been numerous cases, the one in particular with the Mount St. Helens eruption where the rock from the eruption was "dated" to be in the million's of years. Another instance is with the findings of humans and dinosaurs fossilized together. Hmmm. who's ignoring the facts now?
Photo from ABC News
So, the museum HAS to let the tours happen. It's a matter of public funding...the museum is public and to not let the tour groups in would be discrimination and/or a violation of freedom of speech/religion. The museum employees also do not have the right to correct anything misleading/wrong with the tour guides' speeches because it is seen as harassment. The tour guides, in turn, cannot give the impression that they're affiliated with the museum. I think, though, that young kids aren't thinking about the affiliation of the tour guides... they see a man in a museum and they regard him as some kind of authority.
The museum is doing exactly what it should be doing...allowing people to access the information without impeding on the rights of others. Sadly, in a country where everyone is supposed to be free to say and believe what they like, we often end up having to deal with such blatent wrongness. Freedom ain't free.