This week, Answers in Genesis opened their creation "science" museum. Many news organizations treated this uncritically on their pages, but the LA Times published the laudable editorial, Yabba Dabba Science:
THE CREATION MUSEUM, a $27-million tourist attraction promoting earth science theories that were popular when Columbus set sail, opens near Cincinnati on Memorial Day. So before the first visitor risks succumbing to the museum's animatronic balderdash — dinosaurs and humans actually coexisted! the Grand Canyon was carved by the great flood described in Genesis! — we'd like to clear up a few things: "The Flintstones" is a cartoon, not a documentary. Fred and Wilma? Those woolly mammoth vacuum cleaners? All make-believe.PZ Myers has organized a concerted effort to publicize the laughable ignorance on display at the museum, and writes this critique:
Science is under assault, and that calls for bold truths. Here's another: The Earth is round.
The museum, a 60,000-square-foot menace to 21st century scientific advancement, is the handiwork of Answers in Genesis, a leader in the "young Earth" movement. Young Earthers believe the world is about 6,000 years old, as opposed to the 4.5 billion years estimated by the world's credible scientific community.
I wish the country's newspapers had responded that unambiguously and clearly, but the image above was modified. Journalists, you have a problem. Most of the articles written on this "museum" bend over backwards to treat questions like "Did Man walk among Dinosaurs?" as serious, requiring some kind of measured response from multiple points of view, and rarely even recognized the scientific position that the question should not only be answered with a strong negative, but that it is absurd. Let me ask any reporters out there: when you cover a story about a disaster, say the destruction of a town by a tornado, do you also feel obligated to get a few pithy quotes from a few people who want to argue that the disaster was a good thing, or that the residents deserved it?There are a load of blog posts there that are worth reading. Head on over and educate yourself.
One of the worst examples of this inane and unwarranted "fair and balanced" reporting comes from the Newspaper of Record, the hallowed New York Times. The Times published an appallingly credulous article, Adam and Eve in the Land of the Dinosaurs, that strained to give equal time to idiocy.
UPDATE: And check out ERV's discussion of creationism, errr, I mean, intelligent design. Very entertaining.