Updated: David Williams has abandoned the Divine Design Creation Ministries domain in February 2014. All hyperlinks have been updated to Wayback Machine archived pages. 🙂
While searching for a web developer for a side project, I stumbled upon the website below that was actually in a contractor’s portfolio. I could not even get through the first paragraph without laughing at the ignorant nonsense, so here is a review of the website and the ridiculous claims.
A quick whois look-up reveals that the domain is owned by David Williams from Custer, South Dakota and was created in February 2011. According to the Founder’s Bio page, David Williams was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. Soon after his parents divorced, his grandparents began to indoctrinate him in the church at age eleven. After working with young people for twenty years, Williams arrives at the conclusion that evolution is to blame for so many kids are no longer serving his Lord. He then sets out to teach creationism and formed Divine Design Creation Ministry, Inc. (DDCM)
Arriving at the home page our eyes are
blessed assaulted with the following:
Is there dinosaurs in the Bible?
In the beginning, the web was without form or grammar.
We will start by answering that question with a question.
Attempting to answer a question with another question is never a good idea when trying to make a point.
Why is the word dinosaur not mentioned in the Bible?
Answer: Because the word “dinosaur” was not invented until 1841 by Sir Richard Owen. Before the word was invented by him, these large creatures were called “dragons”.
While the first portion of the statement is correct that naturalist Sir Richard Owen coined the word “Dinosauria” (meaning “Terrible Reptile” or “Fearfully Great Reptile”), the remainder of the statement is completely false and total bullshit.
Mr. Williams attempts to link fantasy (mythical dragons) to reality (extinct dinosaurs) by asserting the definition of the words are the exact same creatures. They are not. Dinosaurs have been extinct for roughly 65 MILLION years and Dragons are just mythical creatures from stories and fucking awesome role playing games.
So dragons are mentioned a total of 34 times in a 2000 year old book that started as ancient mythical stories, plagiarized, circulated by word of mouth for generations, written down centuries later, re-copied by hand, and re-translated several times is the sole proof that dragons and dinosaurs are the same species? That is some serious “Grade A WTF”.
Never mind the thousands of different dinosaur species across millions of years and the obvious fossil records. As for actual proof or fossils of dragons… nada, zilch, none.
Cherry Picking The Translations
What Mr. Williams and other christian apologetics intentionally ignore are the many many translation problems in their own Bible.
A quick look at the King James and New King James versions of the bible usage of the term “dragon” shows some drastic differences. In the King James version of the bible, the Hebrew words that are translated most often as “dragon or dragons” are “tanniym and tanniyn”. Here are a few translation examples:
And yet it continues…
In the book of Job it mentions of a creature that some commentaries have identified as a hippo or elephant, but after reading that he had a tail like a cedar, I can not see how that they can justify the tail of either one of these animals being a cedar. Take a close look at the two animals, does either one of their tails remind you of a cedar?
Really? Was Mr. Williams incapable of even doing a quick image search before blathering about dragons?
Mr. Williams is likely referring to Job 40:17 “He moveth his tail like a cedar”. Which is where the speculative correlation to extinct dinosaurs with very large tails. Translations are again the root of problem here. The Hebrew word #2654 “chaphets” ( ????? ) means to “to bend, to curve”. The meaning here is that the animal had a remarkable ability to bend or curve its tail and there was a resemblance to the motion of the cedar tree when it moved.
Behemoth, which is mentioned in Job is described just like a “dragon” or what we would consider today as a “dinosaur”.
Nope. Sorry Charlie. The Behemoth is certainly the Hippopotamus. This creature is nowhere near the description of a fantasy dragon.
The DDCM website then jumps all over the apologetic spectrum.
“Of the many influences that have shaped the United States into a distinctive nation and people, none may be said to be more fundamental and enduring than the Bible”. President Ronald Reagan, 40th President of The United States
Wait, what? We went from dragons to Ronald Regan within one carriage return?
Ronald Reagan did say this as part of his speech for Proclamation #5018 – “Year of the Bible” on February 3rd, 1983. [source] While the speech is complete pandering to the religious conservatives of his own party, this is the same President that reminds us about the very critical importance for the separation of Church and State in 1984.
The complete quote/context: “We in the United States, above all, must remember that lesson [of the Holocaust], for we were founded as a nation of openness to people of all beliefs. And so we must remain. Our very unity has been strengthened by our pluralism. We establish no religion in this country, we command no worship, we mandate no belief, nor will we ever. Church and state are, and must remain, separate. All are free to believe or not believe, all are free to practice a faith or not, and those who believe are free, and should be free, to speak of and act on their belief.” [ source ]
“It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and The Bible.” President George Washington, 1st President of The United States
The DDCM cannot even get an appeal to authority off the ground as the statements are either irrelevant to the claim being made or proven to be completely false.
The Divine Design Creation Ministries then goes on to offer several exciting exhibits and attractions. Check em out!
Well, you cannot actually check out any of these exhibits or attractions as they do not exist. None of these items are linked to anything!
It appears that the DDCM is trying to be Ken Ham Jr. and copy the Creationist Museum in Kentucky, which becomes evident on the following pages linked back to AnswersInGenesis.org.
The “Education” page of the DDCM makes another evangelical jump from dinosaurs to creationism in public schools. Uh oh.
None of the poorly formatted religious propaganda on this page was written by the DDCM or Mr. Williams. The links at the top of the page indicate that it is from Creation Today (www.drdino.com). The Creation Today site deserves a completely separate review on it’s own!
Not only can creation science be legally taught in the public schools, it can be taught right out of the Bible. The Bible can be used as a class textbook.
What. The. Fuck. Seriously? I wonder what proof the author will provide to prove this claim.
We all know the effects of what happened in 1963 when the Bible was taken out, and evolution was put in to the schools.
We do? What exactly happened? Whatever details about the ominous effects of what happened in 1963 is
intentionally completely missing.
Rulings in Favor of Creation
This section is where the author (whoever that may be at this stage) completely fails to verify their claims and uses misleading information that is irrelevant to the claims being made.
In the landmark ruling of School District of Abington Township v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203, 225, (1963) the court held that, “it certainly may be said that the Bible is worthy of study for its literary and historic qualities. Nothing we have said here indicates that such study of the Bible or of religion, when presented objectively as part of a secular program of education, may be affected consistently with the First Amendment.”
The court’s ruling on Abington Township vs. Schempp was NOT in favor of creation! The author of the article
intentionally failed to include the second half of the quote:
But the exercises here do not fall into those categories. They are religious exercises, required by the States in violation of the command of the First Amendment that the Government maintain strict neutrality, neither aiding nor opposing religion. [source]
The Supreme Court held that sanctioned and organized bible reading in public schools was unconstitutional. [source] The court also explicitly upheld Engel vs. Vitale, where the court ruled that the sanctioning of prayer by the school amounted to a violation of the Establishment Clause. View the notes of the decision here.
Clearly not in favor of creationism or public indoctrination.
In the ruling of Stone v. Graham, 449 U.S. 39, 42 (1980), The Supreme Court stated that, “the Bible may constitutionally be used in an appropriate study of history, civilization, ethics, comparative religion, or the like.”
Yet again the author provides false
witness information that is easily verified online.
The Supreme Court held that a Kentucky statute requiring the posting of a copy of the Ten Commandments, purchased with private contributions, on the wall of each public classroom in the State is unconstitutional and in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. [source]
The quote posted on the DDCM website is AGAIN only a small portion designed to mislead the casual reader. Here is the full context of what the court stated, with emphasis to show what was
intentionally skipped by the author.
This is not a case in which the Ten Commandments are integrated into the school curriculum, where the Bible may constitutionally be used in an appropriate study of history, civilization, ethics, comparative religion, or the like. Abington School District v. Schempp, supra at 225. Posting of religious texts on the wall serves no such educational function. If the posted copies of the Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all, it will be to induce the schoolchildren to read, meditate upon, perhaps to venerate and obey, the Commandments. However desirable this might be as a matter of private devotion, it is not a permissible state objective under the Establishment Clause.
“…not a permissible state objective under the Establishment Clause.” is a very clear statement.
In Florey v. Sioux Falls School District, 619 F.2d 1311, 1314 (8th Cir, 1980), the court found that permitting public school observances which include religious elements promotes the secular purpose of “advancing the student’s knowledge and appreciation of the role that our religious heritage has played in the social, cultural, and historical development of civilization.”
This case had NOTHING to do with teaching the bible in schools. The School Board of Sioux Falls, SD adopted policies allowing the observance of religious holidays, but only within certain boundaries. The historical and cultural roots of religious holidays was permitted, but not in a way that would endorse those holidays. Roger Florey filed suit against the school district arguing that the policy was unconstitutional. The US District Court agreed that previous Christmas programs “exceeded the boundaries of what is constitutionally permissible under the Establishment Clause,” it held that the new policies were legitimate. Florey appealed to the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals, where the lower court’s decision was upheld.
What this decision means is that public schools are permitted to make extensive use of religious material during religious holidays of the administrators’ choosing without violating the separation of church and state. So long as the school can claim to be working for the purpose of educating students about the religious and historical heritage of the holiday – even if it is their own holiday which they know well – there is no constitutional problem. [source]
The last portion on court rulings is detailed as:
There are at least two other cases where the Supreme Court has ruled that the Bible may be used in its entirety for secular educational purposes such as history, civilization, ethics, comparative religion, culture, and the morals on which this country was founded!
What were these two cases? Since the author provides zero details and does not even have the decency to provide the names of these cases, these two “rulings” are automatically invalid.
If their bible was actually read “in its entirety” as the author suggests, the readers would have a front row seat to the horrific smorgasbord of murder, rape, slavery, genocide, misogyny, and ignorance christianity has to offer. Groups like the DDCM will do a quick ‘about-face’ and quickly dismiss all that icky bad stuff as ‘out of context’ and then cherry pick only the fluffy portions of their bible (and Supreme Court case information apparently) to further their mythology.
Based on the author’s claims, the Rulings in Favor of Creation = ZERO out of FIVE!
The DDCM is also looking for donations. A LOT of donations apparently. According to a message posted at Online Baptist, the DDCM intends to construct a museum that will exhibit a biblical viewpoint of creation. Sound idiotically familiar?
They have a goal of $500,000 dollars and have so far raised $2,062.
If the rate of donations continues at the current pace, DDCM will have raised half a million dollars by the year 2650.
With luck (and a shit-ton of education, tolerance, and critical thinking), Christianity will fade into mythology long before that time.
Not to get sidetracked on a massive rant on the Creation Museum in Kentucky (for now), but a piece of encouraging information is that the number of visitors to a place of such jaw-dropping scientific ignorance is falling dramatically year by year. When the Creation Museum first opened in 2007, their attendance was pegged at 404,000. In 2009, the number of visitors dropped to 310,000. [source] The attendance continues to plummet in 2012 where only 280,000 people visited the museum of stupidity and the owners are unable to finance their “Ark Encounter” expansion. [source] The Creation Museum will eventually follow the same path as Holy Land USA.
The remaining pages are either empty or contain outdated links from 2012 or earlier. The “Store” page for DVDs and Books has the ominous image of a
No, Dinosaurs did not live with man. Dinosaurs became extinct millions of years ago and has repeatedly been proven by scientific facts.
No amount of manipulative and apologetic stammering over vague words in a feeble attempt to link dinosaurs with dragons to further indoctrinate and lie to children will ever change the facts.
Mr. Williams and the DDCM easily fall into the creationist method in the web comic below.
The DDCM website and it’s related Facebook page both appear to be unused and inert for the last two years. However, they did provide an opportunity to examine the apologetic methods used to dismiss science, misrepresent facts, and outright lie through their teeth to indoctrinate children into believing fairy tales and dragons.