Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Dinosaur Adventure Land

Have you wondered about Creationism and Intelligent Design? Have you wished there was a children's theme park explaining the science behind the theories? Well, there is. And it's right here in Pensacola. Lucky me, I got a chance to go.

The park is in a suburban backyard. It cost $1.5 million to build, and has a museum, a park, and a science center.

Creation Science evangelism

There's a teensy parking lot and a big gate out front. The moment you cross the threshold, friendly sweetie pie guides (all male, all caucasian) in yellow button down shirts with their first names embroidered in blue on the pocket approach and offer assistance. We politely declined at first, preferring to explore the science center on our own. The science center has all kinds of hands-on experiments for kids, similar to the Exploratorium in San Francisco. I say similar, but there's one pretty notable difference. These experiments all have a biblical lesson.

Here's the jist of the thing, with some Lincoln Logs and Legos as definitive proof:

Creation Station!

This applies to all kinds of science:


That eyeball was definitely fearfully made, it's creeping me out right now.

The experiments generally had simple instructions, a description, and then a spiritual lesson to be gleaned from the activity. This sign demonstrates how it's set up. Pay special attention to the lesson at the bottom.

Generator Sign

It seems simple enough, but I still had a hard time figuring out how some of the spiritual lessons connected to the science activities. Like this one, which was with a lesson about magnets:

Spiritual Application

Did you know? The Grand Canyon couldn't possibly have been made by a river!

That river didn't make that canyon!

Here's a pop quiz next to a little motor display:

Pop Quiz!

Where did the motor come from? It's either A or B:

A or B?

And you open the little doors to find out which one is correct:


I can't really tell if it's annoying or refreshing that they're so sarcastic on the signs. I'm gonna go with a little from each.

Here are the two timelines side by side:

Timelines, big and small
It's obvious where the $1.5 million went with displays like this.

I thought this was kind of sweet in a way, a 12 year old learning to tan hides in the traditional painstaking ways, but it's also a little creepy to think of him in the backyard harvesting them:

Cute! Sort of.
Note the fun typo on the last line. I know I have some typos on here from time to time, but how does that saying go? He who hath typoed first should cast the first... something. I think I'm still entitled to laugh at it.

Eventually we agreed to a tour of the science center by one of the guides. He was extremely well informed, super friendly, and very polite. We learned:

Science Fiction
Underlining makes it more true. See? Is it working yet?

It becomes more clear when you see the proof, that lots of things have a larger or smaller counterpart:

Robot Evolution

We also learned that there were dinosaurs and lots of white people on Noah's Ark:

Dinosaurs on the Ark

Here's a close-up showing that some pastel colored adorable baby dinos and a cartoon kid with an incongruous British Colonizer outfit were also headed to the Ark :

Dinosaurs boarding the Ark

There are also still dinosaurs alive today, evidenced by the Loch Ness monster.

People used to be at least 12 feet tall before the flood, as this replica of a leg bone proves:

The leg bone proves it

That's a regular modern human skeleton over on the side for comparison.

Back outside, there is a display about paper airplanes:

Super Paper Planes

And an awesome snow cone shop:

Frozen Mammoth snow cone stand

Also, a real live scary dinosaur (sponsored by the local yellow pages):

Scary Dinosaur!

We made sure to hit up the gift shop before we left:

Dinky Dinosaur

And I picked up some free informational booklets. All in all we spent probably three hours learning, and we wanted to sit back and get something to eat and discuss what we'd seen. I spotted the perfect place along the road.


As the beer disappeared from our glasses, we talked about the things we'd learned and it all started to make sense. Spicy debate over hot wings and circular logic over onion rings:

Hooters' famous wings

It was falling into place. It became clear that the pamphlet titles would make excellent names for punk bands:

Reviewing the informative pamphlets at Hooters

And as we lingered my attention wandered to the slogans at the eatery:

Hooters sign

And the interesting outfits of our friendly servers:

Hooters waitress uniform

Why, oh why do they make them wear tan pantyhose under shorts and sweat socks? WHY???

It's a good thing though that they're not chauvanists. The name "Hooters" is really in reference to their cute owl mascot, not the women in revealing clothing. We had the genius idea (after three beers) to start a sister restaurant with a squirrel mascot called "Nutters" that has attractive male waiters with revealing outfits. And I wouldn't make them wear those tan pantyhose either.

All said, it was a very informative day. It began as educational and then evolved into something else. Or did we create it as something else? The debate rages on. In the meantime, if anyone wants to audition for THE DEATH COOKIE, THE LAST GENERATION, or IT'S COMING! drop me a line. I don't really have any musical skills, so I'll just be the manager or play the tambourine.


At 6:21 AM, Blogger PAYNTERinFLORIDA said...

Wow...good stuff, very funny indeed.

At 11:17 AM, Blogger xine said...

i want to be a part of death cookie please. where do i send my audition tape?

At 3:50 PM, Anonymous kacey said...

elyse...put on your "jesus fucking christ" shirt, we're going to visit iomi!!!

At 5:19 AM, Anonymous Erica said...

I really don't know what to say...wow.

At 7:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ditto, i was totally there,
it was awesome.
i still wish we were still 12 feet tall, imagine how big the cows would be. plus SUV's would have more purpose

At 3:27 AM, Blogger xine said...

also, I would like in on the ground floor of nutters. however, i disagree about making our male hottie waiters wear the pantyhose. I think its a must

At 1:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After hearing the story from you-it's great to see the pictures. Hg

At 7:46 PM, Anonymous Mud said...

Holy shit, Iomi. It's like the Exploratorium was taken over by Creationists. The exhibits are basically the same, but there's that pesky Creationism thrown in to make sure you know who's who...Scary!

At 2:56 PM, Anonymous Punkin' Noodle said...

Okay- first of all, this scares the crap outta me because I live in Pensacola. No I've never been but I vaguely remember seeing the sign for this place somewhere. On a road sign maybe? It really makes me want to open a bullshit propaganda museum, too! How hard could it be? I wouldn't imagine people funnel into this place either. I feel sorry for any children that went on field trips there. Oh yea I already thought of the nutters idea but I couldn't think of the perfect name. No never will any employee of mine be forced to wear nasty brown shiny panty hose. In fact I will insist that they not wear them!

At 9:31 AM, Blogger Himself said...

Hello Iomi, a great post thank you.
I have taken the liberty of lifting a couple of your graphics, hope this is ok.


At 7:10 AM, Blogger Himself said...

Iomi, thanks for your comment.
I have done a follow up to the original, this story just gets better, or worse, and I think there might be more to come.

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