Byassee on the Creation Museum

Finally, The Christian Century has published this lengthy report of a visit to the Creation Museum. It was written by Jason Byassee. Most of the article is a bemused and slightly cynical account of the exhibits you find at the museum. It was the last paragraph that really caught my eye, however:

Reconciling Christian claims about God, creation and humanity with the findings of Darwin and his successors is an important and daunting task, one that mainline theology has still not satisfactorily accomplished. AiG can hardly be faulted for attempting the task, though its effort is a spectacular failure.

Two excellent sentences. I recommend having a look at the whole thing.

Comments

  1. #1 James
    February 11, 2008

    Wow…a theist finally admitting the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of theism.

  2. #2 Kevin
    February 11, 2008

    “It’s still not clear how a Tyrannosaurus would fit inside and leave room for the rhinos, but never mind..”

    That has already been addressed. Noah brought on board BABY dinos!

  3. #3 JohnnieCanuck, FCD
    February 12, 2008

    Clearly then, he isn’t a True Theist.

    Baby dinos, and Noah knew how to sex them, as well.

    Eggs would have been a possible improvement, but God couldn’t have gotten them to walk on, two by two.

  4. #4 XYZ
    February 12, 2008

    The article says,

    Reconciling Christian claims about God, creation and humanity with the findings of Darwin and his successors is an important and daunting task, one that mainline theology has still not satisfactorily accomplished. AiG can hardly be faulted for attempting the task,

    How has AiG attempted to reconcile “Christian claims about God, creation and humanity with the findings of Darwin and his successors”? It looks more like the AiG rejects the findings of Darwin and his successors — the article also says,

    A few curious visitors walk in unawares. One asks the ticket-seller whether the museum “integrates the Bible and Darwin.” The clerk replies, “It’s more like the Bible versus Darwin” and then leads the visitor inside.

  5. #5 Jim
    February 12, 2008

    I’ve found something that I can agree on with Larry Fafarman. Larry is right, AiG decidedly does not attempt to reconcile Christian claims about God, creation and humanity with the findings of Darwin and his successors.
    On the AiG site Ken Ham states:

    It should be obvious that the Bible contradicts all seven ‘contributions’ of Darwin in some way. Mixing the two results in an unholy mess. Do oil and water mix? What fellowship has light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14). Let us not try to mix evolution and the Bible � they just don’t go together!

  6. #6 Ginger Yellow
    February 12, 2008

    Meh. The article was a bit of a washout for me. It didn’t really confront any of the empirical claims of the museum displays, either dismissing them or turning them into a joke. The author seemed to be much more concerned with drawing a bright line between reasonable theism and young earth creationism. His substantive points were theological rather than scientific.

  7. #7 Kevin
    February 12, 2008

    “Baby dinos, and Noah knew how to sex them, as well.”

    Noah would NEVER have sex with dinos! You must be a prevert and a bad person.

  8. #8 Jason Rosenhouse
    February 12, 2008

    XYZ-

    I think you’re being a bit too literal in jumping on Byassee’s use of the word “reconcile.” I think his point was simply that AiG is at least confronting head-on the challenge to Christianity posed by evolutionary theory, while more mainstream theology often tries to evade the problem. Granted, AiG confronts the problem by trying to refute every bit of science that conflicts with their view of things, but they certainly can not be accused of trying to avoid the issue!

  9. #9 Tom Jackson
    February 12, 2008

    “His substantive points were theological rather than scientific.”

    Which is about what you’d expect from a magazine called the Christian Century, right?

    I thought it was a very good article, which should be quite effective in explaining the museum to the liberal Christian.

  10. #10 Divalent
    February 12, 2008

    I liked John Scalzi’s review much better.

    It begins with: “Imagine, if you will, a load of horseshit.”

    http://scalzi.com/whatever/?p=121

    Well worth the time spent reading it. (and he has a fairly extensive photo album of the visit as well.)

  11. #11 Ginger Yellow
    February 13, 2008

    “Which is about what you’d expect from a magazine called the Christian Century, right?”

    Sure, but it’s also spectacularly missing the point. I understand “normal” Christians having theological issues with fundies, but the problem with the museum isn’t its theology. If you turn evolution vs creationism into a debate about how to interpret the Bible, science loses.

  12. #12 Pseudonym
    February 13, 2008

    If you turn evolution vs creationism into a debate about how to interpret the Bible, science loses.

    I think that both are important.

    When talking to school boards about what to teach in science classes, it’s all about science. No ifs or buts about that. In science classes, you teach science. No “equal time” for stuff that isn’t science. Just teach the damn science.

    In this discussion, you’re trying to win over disinterested observers who may not have thought about evolution much, and who might think that giving kids all the information seems like a good idea. You’re trying to show that creationism has nothing to add to your science class.

    When you’re talking to Christians who might get sucked in by AiG, on the other hand, then it is a debate about how to interpret the Bible.

  13. #13 Pseudonym
    February 13, 2008

    Oh, and one more thing.

    Creationism is, as we all know, simply not a scientific belief. To attack it at its source, therefore, requires attacking it on religious grounds, not scientific ones.

  14. #14 JohnnieCanuck, FCD
    February 13, 2008

    Well Kevin, what else could you expect from an evil atheist?

    You’re a city boy, I think. Maybe, just pretending to be one for the sake of the joke, but I can tell you most every chicken born on a modern farm has been sexed. By a human. After some instruction and practise, you could learn to do it too. It would surprise me a little if they did it with machines now.

    :]

  15. #15 JohnnieCanuck, FCD
    February 13, 2008

    I was rather struck by this paragraph.

    How does young-earth creationism make sense to intelligent, well-meaning people? Well, much of any religion appears counterfactual. After all, preachers in liberal churches proclaim that a Jewish peasant executed by an empire is the God who rules the cosmos, and that we should love our enemies and that the poor are blessed. If you can believe that stuff, you can believe a lot.

    Not the kind of insight I would expect from an assistant editor of such a magazine. Almost qualifies for that Critical Thinking claim in their masthead.

  16. #16 Kevin
    February 14, 2008

    ” can tell you most every chicken born on a modern farm has been sexed. By a human”

    That’s disgusting! why do you think about people having sex with chickens? what is wrong with you?

    Here this should keep you busy…
    Bad Chicken Stuff

  17. #17 michael
    February 19, 2008

    I thought it was a very marginal article. AiG claims to be biblically based, but they cut and paste to match their preconceived viewpoint like anyone else. How can they reconcile Genesis with modern astronomy – a dome over the earth with windows for rain and stars/planets attached. In terms of science, it is either all or nothing.

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