Yabba Dabba Science

Given that the NYT piece on the Creation Museum was such fluff, I was gratified to read the LA Times’ more rigid take.

HE 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.

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. This would be risible if anti-evolution forces were confined to a lunatic fringe, but they are not. Witness the recent revelation that three of the Republican candidates for president do not believe in evolution. Three men seeking to lead the last superpower on Earth reject the scientific consensus on cosmology, thermonuclear dynamics, geology and biology, believing instead that Bamm-Bamm and Dino played together.

Good for the LA Times. And I can’t believe no one else coined “Yabba Dabba Science” yet. Did I miss it? It’s genius.

Comments

  1. #1 Tegumai Bopsulai, FCD
    May 24, 2007

    That’s a lot of snark for an unsigned editorial.

  2. #2 SLC
    May 24, 2007

    What does this tell us about the decline of the NYT, the “newspaper of record” (ho, ho ho, and need I say ha, ha, ha). Bravo the the LAT, telling it like it is.

  3. #3 MarkH
    May 24, 2007

    Sorry about that, the sciblogs have been having a lot of hiccups today. I’m barely able to post.

    Comment on this thread, the other two I’m going to kill.

  4. #4 factician
    May 24, 2007

    Yabba, Dabba, Scccccience!

    I love it.

  5. #5 Andy
    May 24, 2007

    Well deserved snark. That it is unsigned means that it represents the Editorial Board, ie the voice of the newspaper. Good for them.

    The NYT piece is unbelievably sappy. This ‘museum’ is contradicting every piece of science of the last 300 years, but look! Pretty diorama! Inspiring video!” And it misses the truly dangerous part of this, that the LAT gets, that Ken Ham and co are building a truly alternative reality for people to live in.

  6. #6 Linkfinder
    May 25, 2007

    If you want a link that works:

    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-ed-round24may24,0,7881591.story

    Or to be a bit impolite and copy the whole thing:

    EDITORIAL Yabba-dabba science

    Note to would-be Creation Museum visitors: the Earth is round.

    May 24, 2007

    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.

    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. This would be risible if anti-evolution forces were confined to a lunatic fringe, but they are not. Witness the recent revelation that three of the Republican candidates for president do not believe in evolution. Three men seeking to lead the last superpower on Earth reject the scientific consensus on cosmology, thermonuclear dynamics, geology and biology, believing instead that Bamm-Bamm and Dino played together.

    Religion and science can coexist. That the Earth is billions of years old is a fact. How the universe came into being and whether it operates by design are matters of faith. The problem is that people who deny science in one realm are unlikely to embrace it in another. Those who cannot accept that climate change may have caused the extinction of dinosaurs 65 million years ago probably don’t put much stock in the fact that today it poses grave peril to the Earth as we know it.

    Last year, the White House attempted to muzzle NASA’s top climatologist after he called for urgent action on global warming, and a presidential appointee in the agency’s press office chastised a contractor for mentioning the Big Bang without including the word “theory.” The press liaison reportedly wrote in an e-mail: “This is more than a science issue, it is a religious issue. And I would hate to think that young people would only be getting one-half of this debate from NASA.”

    With the opening of the Creation Museum, young people will be getting another side of the story. Too bad it starts with “Yabba-dabba-doo!”

  7. #7 Tegumai Bopsulai, FCD
    May 25, 2007

    Well deserved snark. That it is unsigned means that it represents the Editorial Board, ie the voice of the newspaper. Good for them.

    Yes, I found it refreshing. It’s just unusual to find an unsigned editorial written in that fashion. The usual practice os to go for a more stodgy, er, stately tone.

  8. #8 Graculus
    May 25, 2007

    And I can’t believe no one else coined “Yabba Dabba Science”

    I believe “the Flinstones was not a documentary” line was coined by Warren Kinsella, Canadian politician (Liberal Party) while debating Stockwell “Doris” Day, then Reform party leader and YEC.

    Day lost.

  9. #9 Marilyn
    May 28, 2007

    Here’s one:Published in Did Man Get Here By Evolution or Creation?

    Sir Isaac Newton

    A conversation he had with an infidel friend is related in the MINNESOTA TECHNOLOG
    One day, as Newton sat reading in his study with his mechanism on a large table near him, his infidel friend stepped in. Scientist that he was he recognized at a glance what was before him. Stepping up to it, he slowly turned the crank, and with undisguised admiration watched the heavenly bodies all move in their relative speed in their orbits. Standing off a few feet he exclaimed, My! What an exquisite thing this is! Who made it? Without looking up from his book, Newton answered, Nobody!

    Quickly turning to Newton, the infidel said, Evidently you did not understand my question. I asked who made this? Looking up now, Newton solemnly assured him that nobody made it, but that the aggregation of matter so much admired had just happened to assume the form it was in. But the astonished infidel replied with some heat, you must think I am a fool! Of course somebody made it, and he is a genius,
    Laying his book aside, Newton arose and laid a hand on his friends shoulder. and Id like to know who he is.
    This is but a puny imitation of a much grander system whose laws you know, and I am not able to convince you that this mere toy is without a designer and maker; yet you profess to believe that the great original from which the design is taken has come into being without either designer or maker! Now tell me by what sort of reasoning do you reach such an incongruous conclusion?

    Newton convinced his friend that whatever is made requires a maker.

  10. #10 Daniel Murphy
    May 31, 2007

    Thanks, Marilyn, for that moving story featuring Isaac Newton. It’s a miracle that students at the University of Minnesota Institute of Technology in 1957 were privy to Newton’s private conversations!

    According to
    http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/gi_0199-614347/Who-made-it-The-Isaac.html

    another version of the story appeared in a 1974 creationist book that also argued for geocentrism. Newton would have loved that. And apparently Jimmy Swaggart used to tell a version of the story which has a young Creationist hero in the role of Newton confronting an Soviet atheist materialist professor of evolution.

  11. #11 MarkH
    May 31, 2007

    Wow Marilyn, nice argument by analogy via Newton. The assumption that things move the way they do by design is as good an example of promiscuous teleology as I can think of.

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