Scalzi suffers for our sins


Last June, we goaded science-fiction author, blogger, and professional wise-ass John Scalzi into promising to visit Ken Ham's Creation "Museum" (actually we bought his attendance by sending him money, which he turned around and donated to Americans United for Separation of Church and State).

Well, Scalzi finally makes good on his promise. It was worth it. There's both an essay and a photo tour. He was amused by it all.

Indeed, it’s over the top enough that I never could actually get angry with the place. Not that I was planning to; I admit to dreading coming to the place, but that’s primarily because I thought it would bore and annoy me, not make me angry. In fact, I was never bored, and was genuinely annoyed only by the “paleontologist” at the start of the walk-through. The rest of the time I enjoyed it as I suspect anyone who is not some stripe of creationist could enjoy it: As camp. At some point — specifically the part where the Scopes Monkey Trial was presented as the end of decent Christian civilization as we know it — I just started chuckling my way through. By the time I got to the Dinosaur Den, with its placards full of patent misinformation about how soft tissue fossilization strongly suggested a massive, worldwide flood, I was a little loopy. It was just so ridiculous.

There's some understanding for why the silly place is popular (apparently, attendance is quite good), and a recognition that it's all one big, ridiculous joke.


Yeah, kind of like watching cross dressers sing Barbra Steisand songs?

Let me preface by admiting, right out front, that I’ve never been to the Creation Museum. In all honesty, I don’t ever intend to go.

I can certainly understand Mr. Scalzi’s reaction. Having spent a fair bit of time in the military, and a little time doing other, much nastier jobs, my sense of humor has developed a decided skew. It doesn’t mean what I’m laughing at is *right* or harmless, though.

Here, I think, is a case where laughter may be as inapporpriate as my laughing in a Friday the 13th movie. Come ON, those movies are *FUNNY*.

Be that as it may. No matter how “over the top” something like the Creation Museum may be, the fact remains that it is a deliberate attempt at teaching a lie. Argument from authority is bolstered when the authority in question spends millions of dollars on gee-whiz and glitz; “If they spent that much, they must be right!”

There are some cases where laughter is entirely the right action, but in this case, I don’t think the emperor is wearing his birthday suit. He’s feeding the youth of this country a poison cake with lots of pretty frosting and trinkets, and laughter is meaningless to him and his people. They all KNOW where we’re going, so we don’t matter.

The only way to combat this insidious invasion is by properly educating our children. For the most part, the public school system in this country is completely not up to the task. I’m not laying the blame on them - in general, the schools do the best they can. But it’s only in very rare cases where the teachers/school system tries to teach the students to THINK. The only word that’s completely verbotten in the US public school system is “Why”.

I have no idea how to fix this, on a global scale. I do know that I’ve spent most of my kid’s lives encouraging them to ask that question - and to then seek answers. But that’s just me.

So, while I can understand the laughter behind a drunk driver, it’s just not likely to resolve the issue.

So now they want to put up a big addition.

Also–On PBS, the News Hour (James Lehrer) this hour (18:00 EST) will air an interview with Judge Jones in anticipation of this evening’s Nova presentation.

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This page contains a single entry by PZ Myers published on November 13, 2007 6:50 AM.

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