Friday, June 8, 2012

Shooting fish in a barrel with a gatling gun

A billboard for Kenny Ham's creationist fantasyland in Kentucky, USA was shared by Hemant Mehta on Twitter yesterday. It's an easy target, but one I can't resist. After all, while we do share some rather derpy dinosaurs in our Vintage Dinosaur Art posts, we typically try to be fair.

But we don't have to be fair to this! Click to brachio-size.

I'm pretty disappointed. I hold Hambone to a high standard, and this just doesn't cut it. I mean... the features that make Brachiosaurus recognizable as Brachiosaurus just aren't there: the distinctly macronarian noggin, the notably longer forelimbs than hindlimbs. They've given this poor beast a set of human-like teeth, and just look at those feet! Ghastly. They couldn't be bothered to look at even a poor illustration, let alone any of the decent ones that are freely available.

I mean, even this LEGO model looks pretty much like Brachiosaurus...

Brachiosaurus
[Hewkii9]

...as does this origami version.

Simple Brachiosaurus
[Juston]

For crying out loud, this is more recognizable as Brachiosaurus!

Brachiosaurus / Preschool Art
[Geoffrey Kehrig]

Really, I'm relieved that Hambone isn't able to hire someone with the chops to accurately illustrate Brachiosaurus.

Now, send some traffic these folks' way...
NCSE
Panda's Thumb
Understanding Evolution
Stupid Dinosaur Lies

And if you're ever tempted to visit his little sideshow in Kentucky, be a dear and donate double the entrance fee to an organization that defends our responsibility to teach evolution in science classrooms.

16 comments:

  1. That Origami brachiosaur is exquisite.

    I don't know whether it's possible that they simply commissioned someone for a random, generic-looking sauropod and simply slapped 'Brachiosaurus' on it. The artist is clearly someone with no mean skills otherwise; even if that is a strange diplodocid-type thing with wrong feet and an odd varanid sort of head. Did the artist know (or care) what it was going to be used for? I know that seems unlikely, but it happens.

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  2. I'm curious about what's being said in the tiny word balloon.

    One of these days I'd like to go down and check that place out. Between my fascination with Jack Chick comics and weird dinosaur art, I'm pretty sure it would make for an entertaining (if aggravating) afternoon. Plus, it's only a couple of hours away, so it wouldn't be too hard to get there.

    However, I'm still waiting on a way to do that without giving them any money.

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  3. "Super Raptor" is not drawn correctly. Triceratops is not drawn correctly. Even T.Rex is not drawn correctly. Are these artists stupidly ignorant of the actual dinosaurs based on fossil evidence or what... Oh, that's right. They don't want to know how to draw dinosaurs accurately lest they expose themselves to "evilution" and the truth behind it.

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  4. Agree with Niroot-- the illustration is fine for its style and technique-- I kind of dig it, actually. Looks like skater/rockabilly artist Coop did a dinosaur. But it def. seems like a throwback Apataosaurus/Diplodocus that some jerk slapped "Brachiosaurus" on. The head looks like the head of the sauropod from "Baby." I just designed some billboards myself. Sometimes there is a designer on the billboard's end who does layouts, revises things, etc. and works "with" (or, more commonly, against) the designer on the client's end. That's the best way to get things screwed up. Though, this being a Creationist museum, I'm sure the folks buying the billboard don't know Brachiosaurus from a hole in the ground.

    @Talcott-- a lot of Creationist museums are free, being that they're essentially propaganda palaces. I went to a fantastic one in Lemmon, South Dakota, that practically sits right on the Hell Creek formation. All of their interpretive info was Creationist of course (dinosaurs died in the flood, etc) but their fossils were outstanding, and all real, no casts. They had a pachycephalosaur dome, a full Trike skull, full edmontosaur, rex teeth, you name it. That stuff just falls out of the ground in S. Dakota.

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    1. "All of their interpretive info was Creationist of course (dinosaurs died in the flood, etc) but their fossils were outstanding, and all real, no casts. They had a pachycephalosaur dome, a full Trike skull, full edmontosaur, rex teeth, you name it. That stuff just falls out of the ground in S. Dakota."

      That's quite disturbing.

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    2. It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I guess I'm not afraid of walking into a creationist museum and being converted any more than a creationist is of walking into a legitimate museum and coming away renouncing his faith. I don't think a single visit has the power to indoctrinate. And I don't begrudge them the right to display fossils they found and prepared. They were on free display, and that's pretty generous of them. They sold all sorts of non-creationist material in the gift shop, as it turns out.

      To me the more disturbing museums are the ones with literally fabricated and made-up material, like (obviously carved) human footprints alongside dinosaurs' (there's one in Texas like that). Yikes.

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    3. Lemmon, SD is just a few hours from where I live, and I am familiar with the place you mentioned, thought I haven't been there since I was a kid (and have no desire to return as long it's under the keep of creationists).

      You see, it wasn't always a creationist museum: it was once a respectable, science-centric attraction called Petrified Park. Over the years they accumulated a number of nice specimens, many found by area farmers and ranchers on their land and donated just to keep the sleepy town's only attraction going. As you mentioned, its location is prime for great fossil discoveries.

      Unfortunately, the owners experienced financial trouble some years ago, and were forced to sell the museum. It was purchased lock, stock and barrel by a creationist church. And now all the carefully accumulated and thoughtfully kept fossils have been bastardized into tools for creationist propaganda. It makes me mad.

      If you're ever in that area of SD, I recommend visiting the Timber Lake Area Museum in Timber Lake, SD instead. It's a small museum in a small town, but they have an excellent mosasaur skull, an exquisite ammonite collection, a near complete thescelosaurus, and other goodies.

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    4. @Paul Heaston

      I wasn't referring to the museum itself so much as the fact that so many potentially valuable fossils are being held hostage by a creationist institution & thus not accessible to science.

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  5. Yeah, clearly not a bad artist at work. I recognize this in VDA posts and cut them plenty of slack, since the work generally isn't in service of ignorance. In this case... bombs away.

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  6. I have seen pics of the models inside the " museum " . I would guess this is probably based on their restorations..which aren't the best over all. Though they a have few nice JP-style Raptors. ;)

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  7. The artist who did the artwork for the sign appears to have based his design upon the apatosaurus/"brontosaurus" from "The Land Before Time", it's head strikes me as almost indentical to those. Perhaps this is to tie into a family atmosphere and making sure poor kids dragged there by their parents feel a certain... familiarity.

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  8. hm, looks like the origami one is defecating. Obviously inspired by the Frankfurt Diplodocus mount ;)

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  9. I have to add my praise for the delightful origami brachiosaurus. Fabulous!

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  10. Mc Affee warns me about Stupid Dinosaur Lies ;-)

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