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How Old Does Steve Daines Think the Planet Is?

I can’t believe I skipped over this detail about the Daines “Ohio” fundraiser in Kentucky–it’s taking place at the Creation Museum, which mixes dinosaurs, dragons, and turtles to explain how the Earth was created just thousands of years ago.

It’s not just that we probably shouldn’t have a US Congressman who doesn’t understand the basics of science making decisions about the environment; it’s the stunning hypocrisy of the Museum itself.

You see, the Creation Museum certainly didn’t get there by itself, as the New York Times noted in 2011:

The Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority granted more than $40 million in tax incentives for a planned $172 million Bible-based theme park, featuring a full-size replica of Noah’s ark, complete with live animals.

Conceived by the Christian ministry that built the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., the Ark Encounter park aims to promote a literal interpretation of the Bible by “proving” that Noah had room on his vessel to fit two of every kind of animal. Ark Encounter is owned by a profit-making company, of which the ministry is a part owner.

Even better, the state chipped in $11 million to build a better highway for the attraction:

In addition to the tax incentives, approved unanimously by the state’s tourism board, taxpayers may have to pony up another $11 million to improve a highway interchange near the site.

It does seem fitting that Mr. Daines would have a fundraiser in a place like this. After all, his “more jobs, less government” motto certainly hasn’t applied to his career. Why should apply to a batch of scientifically-challenged creationists who want the government to fund their religious views?


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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.


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  • That’s kind of a terrific question, one I’ve been asking for years.

    It’s worth noting that Daines’ (former?) boss and friend, Greg Gianforte donated over $200,000 to the completion of the creationist Glendive Dinosaur and Fossil Museum.

    However, all mention and thanks for that generous gift have been disappeared from the FACT (Foundation Advancing Creation Truth) website. Count that among things that make you go “hmmm”.

  • It is truly amazing that associations with places like the Creation Funhouse er… “Museum”, aren’t political deal breakers to more Americans. As you pointed out, how the hell can someone make educated decisions regarding the environment when that individual’s appraisal of Earth’s age needs to be multiplied by 450,000 to be correct?

    Recently while hiking, I taught my 3 year old daughter about how we can age trees by the rings visible in their sawed off stumps. My preschool aged daughter is capable of understanding empirical evidence that disproves the Creation “Museum’s” claim of a 6,000 year old earth.

    It says a significant amount about Daines’ dogmatic allegiances when it is clear that to him, toeing the party line is synonymous with truth. What kind indoctrinating crap would this guy approve of teaching Montana’s children?

    While Daines is busy making money surrounded by statues of men riding dinosaurs, his critical thinking abilities must be brought into question. Basically, does he have any?

    • Not that I don’t agree with you, but where are these 6,000+ y/o trees your daughter’s been dating? I’m intrigued 🙂

      • Agreed. I don’t for a minute think the earth is less than 4.5 billion years old, but the oldest bristlecone pine is only 5000 years old and they are all out in California.

      • Mal,

        I said she “is capable of understanding the empirical evidence”, not that we counted the rings on a 6,000+ year old tree.
        I don’t know what the oldest tree in Montana is, but I doubt it’s much older than 1,000 years. The Ross Creek Cedars are said to be over 500 years old.

        As far as tree rings disproving a 6,000 year old earth, Google Dendrochronology. It’s fascinating stuff

  • You are mixing up the two theme parks. The Creation Museum was built almost entirely with private money. It is the Ark-n-Park that Governor Beshear wants to give tax incentives to.

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