Monday, November 1, 2010

We Atheists Should Start Our Own Creation Museum

...Except it wouldn't just be creationism. It would be a museum of crackpot theories and denialisms, a veritable monument to the misfiring of neurons in social contexts. It would be the museum equivalent of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds. Imagine the possibilities. Come on kids, get your popcorn and come down the Doublethink Road with me! (Start humming silly circus music while you read.)

1) We'd have to get Pascal Boyer to lead the opening ceremonies. Step right up, think your theory of reality has what it takes? Sorry kid, better luck next time.

2) Walking in you will find an exhibit about Flat Earth/geocentrism in all its forms, from persecutions of Renaissance astronomers to yahoos in the Middle East who still manage to get appointed to government offices while spewing this nonsense. (Creationism is coming, don't worry. You don't want to blow your load right away.)

3) Next: the moon-landing nuts! I don't know why I like these guys so much but I do. (Hugo Chavez is one of them as it turns out.) Maybe we could combine this with physical science/engineering nuts of all strains, like the quantum-physics-disproving crackpots that Boyer loves to pick on.

4) Right after this, medical charlatans! Here you would find a water cooler with homeopathic water, a life-like wax statue of Jenny McCarthy and Andrew Wakefield, an exhibit on the Singh affair, and a looped film of un-immunized kids with whooping cough. I don't know what we could include for the HIV-doesn't-cause-AIDS crowd. Of course the museums VERY OWN herbal supplements will be on sale here. You might say it looks suspiciously like the pressed grass clippings from the museum's lawn, but NO, it's er ah Aleutian peppergrass! Yes, that's right, it's been used for millennia by people in balance with nature!

5) NOW is when you come around a corner to find Jesus riding atop a T. rex, and Noah pushing kangaroos up onto the Ark, and Satan planting bones in the dirt to trick us while Yahweh salts everything with radioisotopes to...test our faith. And wait, a live specimen, over in the corner behind bars - what is that grotesque half-man wallowing in its own mess! Why, it's Kent Hovind! Watch out, don't let him fling dung at you, or do your taxes!

6) Not to be outdone, around the next corner, and ending your tour of our lovely museum is the Islamic creationism exhibit. An enormous image of Harun Yahya's fishing lure will dominate the scene, along with elaborate refutations of Christian creationism and flowing Arabic script. Christian creationists visiting the museum can get their parking pass validated but only by the attendant in this part of the museum.

In all seriousness, it might be fun to set up such an exhibit, even if not as a permanent museum, and make a point of inviting the various factions represented. An idea for campus groups? If we had an actual museum we would definitely have to serve beer. And whatever we do it would sure be a hell of a lot more fun than that place out there in Santee we San Diegans have to tolerate.


Philippe said...

Best. Idea. Ever. We would definitely visit, and make a party of it.

TGP said...

If you serve beer, you'd better make the exhibits piss-resistant.

Michael Caton said...

I would go, but I'm not going to be putting one together anytime soon. Might be a good idea for a college group to put together a little display though. The beer part might be problematic though, at least on campus.