Sunday, January 31, 2010

among the believers

at war with the enlightenment

a trip to a Creation Museum in Vanity Fair:
"The Creation Museum isn’t really a museum at all. It’s an argument. It’s not even an argument. It’s the ammunition for an argument. It is the Word made into bullets. An armory of righteous revisionism. This whole building is devoted to the literal veracity of the first 11 chapters of Genesis: God created the world in six days, and the whole thing is no more than 6,000 years old. Everything came at once, so Tyrannosaurus rex and Noah shared a cabin. That’s an awful lot of explaining to do. This place doesn’t just take on evolution—it squares off with geology, anthropology, paleontology, history, chemistry, astronomy, zoology, biology, and good taste. It directly and boldly contradicts most -onomies and all -ologies, including most theology."
a little later
But we should cut the creationists a little slack, because every new bit of evidence, every discovery, is a nightmare for them. Take the ark. The big-boat business poses all sorts of questions. But, again, they’ve got answers. There are models and plans and layouts of the vessel. You can walk through a part of the hull. There’s biblical carpentry and weather reports. And the dinosaurs are on board. (They were probably small ones, the museum helpfully adds.) But recently scientists found a new giant rat and a fanged frog in Papua, New Guinea, so now some Noah-ists have to redesign the amphibian quarters. The rats probably sort themselves out. O.K., so you get everybody aboard, 10 million creatures, times two, without the neighbors’ noticing. Where did the water come from? You have to flood the whole world. Did they import water from the Scientologists? No: it came from underground. There is a great reservoir, presumably for flooding purposes, under our feet. I assume that’s where it went back to. Why don’t we drill for it to water Phoenix? (By the way, the flood is where we get fossils from. That’s all the dead stuff, caught in mud.) When the waters abated, the animals got off, stretched, and walked around the world eating one another’s children. I’m not making this up. Nobody’s making this up. This is what happened.

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