Science center to halt programs, shut camp due to lack of funds

Posted: February 26, 2013 at 1:56 a.m.

STAFF PHOTO ANDY SHUPE Students from McNair Middle School enjoy a fire Thursday, March 31, 2011, at the Ozark Natural Science Center.

Ozark Natural Science Center will suspend programs in May, after nearly 20 years of offering an overnight science camp for thousands of fifth-graders.

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Northwest Arkansas, Pages 7 on 02/26/2013

My son went to this a decade ago or so and his mother (a musician) helped coordinate a successful fund raising event for them. They've done some very good things here and a lot of kids have had a good time. Various church groups put their kiddies through here so unfortunately the science was at times watered down and compromised. A friend of mine gave a lecture about this at one of our freethinker meetings at the library. He is a geologist who would give hiking tours to the little buckaroos and buckettes while describing various rock formations, types and varieties. He was however not allowed, that is, forbidden, to refer to the age of the rocks, millions or billions of years, or the age of the earth. After a while, he quit.

So I was forced to think of it as the Ozark "science" Center with a dollop of southern fundamentalism on top.

There are things we know and things we don't know. That the earth is a few billion years old is one of the things we know with great certainty and for very well established well understood reasons. This is hard won knowledge that didn't fall from the sky, its a great achievement of science that took a few centuries of very hard work. That a "science" center in the year 2000 is so cowed to religion that this fact can't be acknowledged, should be, and is, embarrassing. American children deserve better than this.

Posted by: fayfreethinker

February 26, 2013 at 12:58 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Still, I am sorry to see it closed.
I was told that the policy re geologic age may have been changed at a later time than the experience of the geologist who spoke. (I heard him too.)
Don't know for sure, but it was someone who worked there.

Posted by: Coralie

February 26, 2013 at 1:20 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Went to a talk at the Grand Canyon by the Old Ranger (pictured and quoted in National Geographic) and one of the subjects he discused was the age of the Canyon.

He said: "Various geologists have guessed at the age of the Canyon, none of them agree. Some say 5 million years, others say 100 million years, and some others 500 million years. As to its age, I don't know, either, but the Canyon is not as old as the earth, but perhaps was started with the Contenial Divide. No one knows, but its older than you think. When it begin, God only knows."

I recorded his talk. This was the end of it.

Posted by: JailBird

February 26, 2013 at 1:53 p.m. ( | suggest removal )