Okay, I fully admit that in the larger context of the creationism/evolution controversy this might seem a pretty small quibble, but I think it is revealing that creationists seem to have a real problem with biological structures that we among the laypeople might refer to as boobies, beavers, and the weenus. (I’m particularly fond of the term ‘weenus’, having first come across it in Frank Zappa’s autobiography, a truly interesting read.)
Answers in Genesis recently did their usual blathering while critiquing Chicago’s Field Museum’s new exhibit, Evolving Planet. I won’t go into any of their usual silliness; you can read it for yourself here.
They show images of many of the displays, each with a link to a larger view. Except that, and this is the funny thing, the second to the last one does not have such a link. It happens to be an image of what a female Australopithecine might have looked like in the flesh. It’s pretty obvious this was not just a misstep on the part of the web content administrator. No, you can’t link to a larger picture of Lucy because she has boobies.
According to AiG President Ken Ham, “We didn’t link to a larger view because boobies aren’t biblical. I mean, they may be mentioned in there somewhere, I haven’t really done a text search or anything, but murder is in the Bible too, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay. So even if boobies are in the Bible we still shouldn’t look at them or acknowledge they exist. Unless it’s between a married man and woman in the privacy of their own bedroom… with the lights off… and only if they’re trying to make a baby.”
Okay, Ham didn’t really say that, at least not that I know of. But I can’t imagine any explanation that would be any less absurd.
But what the heck are they afraid of here? Are they concerned that adolescent Christian boys are going to get turned on by a picture of an Australopithecine and immediately go for their weenus? I can’t think of a better argument for comprehensive sex education!
LITTLE BOBBY: (in his sex education class): Mrs. Vanderhorn, would sex with an Australopithecine be okay? MRS. VANDERHORN: My God, Bobby, you are sick! Get out of my class before I call security. LITTLE BOBBY: (sheepishly, standing to leave the classroom.) Sorry, Mrs. Vanderhorn.
If this were an isolated incident, I’d probably not have given it much thought. But take, for example, the creationist book Body by Design, which purports to “define the basic anatomy and physiology in each of the 11 body systems from a creationist viewpoint.”
Now I’ve flipped through this book before, and it’s nicely done with quality illustrations even if the text is standard creo claptrap. But once you come to those typical kind of images of the human body with all the muscles and tissues and gooey stuff showing you realize these Barbie doll smooth individuals have no genitalia!
So what the hell are they? Male… female… Boy George? (I’m a Culture Club fan and I think the boy is dreamy, so please, no flame emails calling me intolerant.)
How are kids supposed to react to this supposed textbook when they see these pictures and then look at themselves in the mirror? What if little Bobby gets all freaked out because he’s got this thing between his legs that the book says he shouldn’t, so while his parents sleep he grabs a butcher knife and sets himself up for a career as a castrato?
What better way to tell children their bodies are dirty and nasty than to pretend parts of them don’t exist? Now that I think of it, I guess creationists do that with their brains on a pretty regular basis.
In the interest of clarity, I’ve gone ahead and added some minor edits to the description of Body by Design from the ICR web site, which I will be forwarding to them for their consideration. Now I was very careful to make sure my edits blend in with the ICR’s text as seamlessly as possible, so go ahead and see how many of my additional edits you can spot. I think you’ll find it quite challenging.
Body By Design by Alan Gillen
Body by Design defines the basic anatomy and physiology in each of the 11 body systems from a creational viewpoint (except the weenus). Every chapter explores the wonder, beauty and creation of the human body (except the weenus), giving evidence for creation, while exposing faulty evolutionistic reasoning.
Special explorations into each body system (except the weenus) look closely at disease aspects, current events and discoveries, while profiling the classic and contemporary scientists and physicians who have made remarkable breakthroughs in studies of the different areas of the human body (except the weenus).
Body by Design is an ideal textbook for Christian high school or college students as it utilizes tables, graphs, focus sections, diagrams, and illustrations to provide clear examples and explanations of the ideas presented (except the weenus) . Questions at the end of each chapter challenge the student to think through the evidence presented (and to not think about the weenus).
Dr. Alan Gillen is a biologist and zoologist with a doctorate in Science Education. Having taught biology for two decades at all grade levels, Dr. Gillen is presently a professor at Pensecola Christian College in Florida. (He reportedly has no weenus.)
I think the ICR will be thrilled to add adopt my revisions. Don’t you?
In closing, however, I think this does reveal a common thread that runs through all creationist thinking. If anything comes up that makes you feel uncomfortable, no matter how well supported by evidence and accepted by an overwhelming number of scientists, just pretend it doesn’t exist.
And that goes double for boobies, beavers, and the weenus.