Review of the Creation Museum.

John Scalzi, SF author and blogger extraordinaire (famous for Bacon Taped to Cat and the recipe for Schadenfreude Pie that we baked to celebrate the 2006 Democratic victory), gives us a guided tour of the infamous Creation Museum:

Here’s how to understand the Creation Museum:

Imagine, if you will, a load of horseshit. And we’re not talking just your average load of horseshit; no, we’re talking colossal load of horsehit. An epic load of horseshit. The kind of load of horseshit that has accreted over decades and has developed its own sort of ecosystem, from the flyblown chunks at the perimeter, down into the heated and decomposing center, generating explosive levels of methane as bacteria feast merrily on vintage, liquified crap. This is a Herculean load of horseshit, friends, the likes of which has not been seen since the days of Augeas.

It gets a little more technical than this, but is definitely worth reading. I do plan on getting a little more religion-friendly than I’ve been in the past few months, but the young earth creationists give even many believers in the U.S. a bad name. And when Biblical literalists begin to influence education and science policy as they do in the current presidential administration, the kid gloves come off. This has moved way out of the realm of private belief and into the public arena, and inasmuch as Creationism tries seriously to pass itself off as science, it deserves to be publicly ridiculed.

And Scalzi does a fine job of it.


  1. that review is fabulous. i’ve been wishing i could go to the creation museum–just for the entertainment value. though i think there would be a sizable horrified reaction, too. unfortunately i don’t think kentucky is on the itinerary for any of my projected travels…

  2. Thanks for the link, John. That was a great read.

    I have some thoughts about it, but they are going to have to wait until I’m finished with work for the day.

  3. Okay. Now that I’m finished with work…and with running around doing last-minute things to get ready for the holiday weekend…a few things that came to mind while I was reading Scalzi’s blog post about the Creation Museum.

    First, I think that one of the big problems with biblical literalists is that sometimes it seems like that is all that Christianity is. But it isn’t. The last time I saw statistics on the issue, literalists were well in the minority and I imagine they still are. The reason, of course, that it sometimes seems like they are dominant within Christianity is that they are so loud and insistent (and I really wanted to say obnoxious, because some of them are…but I won’t because not all of them are that way). This was really brought into focus when I was at university and some of my very devout Christian professors had some very unflattering things to say about biblical literalists.

    Second, and in reference to the remarks Scalzi made about how some of the exhibits in the museum put the blame for just about everything bad in the world on Adam eating the fruit…my first thought was: Well, cool, at least they’re blaming Adam rather than Eve for tempting him, which is very common in my experience. I don’t know, however, if that is the Creation Museum’s way of presenting the issue or if it is just Scalzi’s spin on it.

    The further problem this blaming of Adam brings up for me is the tendency in at least some of Christianity to say that God created us human, but then the theology has God spending most of his time since the creation punishing humans for being, well, human. This has never made a lot of sense to me.

    I really appreciate that Scalzi made the point that Christianity and Creationism are not identical sets. There are (many) Christians who are not creationists, and there are creationists who are not Christians. Just as with literalism seeming to have been conflated into all of Christianity, especially by the media in a number of cases, if you only listened to certain sources, you really would get the idea that all Christians are six-literal-day creationists, which they clearly are not.

    Again, John, thanks for that link.

  4. xJane

    I agree, Elaine: it’s nice to know that this is all Adam’s fault :-p

    I’ve been following the Creation Museum through flickr (some of the shots are good enough that you can actually read the placards) as I’ve neither desire to fly to Kentucky nor to pay them a dime for the privilege of seeing this particular brand of horseshit gilded & mounted on a pedestal.

    What really impressed me (from what I’ve seen of it elsewhere) is the amount of stuff that can be “explained” by Noah’s Flood, an event I never knew belonged to Noah until the Creation Museum. I think Scalzi hit it on the head when he said that “Once the flood’s done, the Creation Museum doesn’t seem to care too much about what comes next; we’re in historical times then, you see, and that’s all Exodus through Deuteronomy, ie., someone else’s problem.” Although his point about dinosaurs hanging out with the Egyptians would seem to indicate that maybe they need lessons not just in evolution but history as well.

    Enjoying it as “camp” is an interesting way of looking at it. Maybe if I won a ticket in a manner that allowed me not to spend any money I might check it out, but it’s not likely right now.

  5. John

    xJane, Scalzi had similar feelings, and said that he would only go the museum if readers raised $250 to counter the effects of his $20 donation to creationism. He ultimately raised over $5000 to donate to Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.

    Elaine, I like your take on God’s relation to his creation. And I agree with your last point about differentiating between varieties of Christianity (Christianities). Many Christians are as distressed/bemused by the creationist agenda as I am.

    Thanks, amelia! I wish I could write half as well. And if I’m ever near Kentucky, I might just pop in for an afternoon of infuriating entertainment.

  6. xJane

    ah, I like that! when he talked about money raised, I assumed other ppl were paying his way & could only think, “but you’re still giving them money!”

  7. Rich

    If you missed the recent Nova “ID on Trial”, check your local PBS station in case it’s repeated. Very well done.

    4-word summary of the ID movement: “Telling lies for Jesus”

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