Monday, June 04, 2007

A Brit Comments on the Creation Museum

From the BBC:

America is famously religious, infamously if you like, but try as they might, the real hard-line theocracy crowd repeatedly fail to get their ideas to fly.

When you visit them, as I did, coincidentally, just days after the breakfast silence issue, you find a group of people in a funk comparable to that of the atheists.

I was at the Creation Museum in Kentucky, the day after it opened, a moment evangelicals should really have been celebrating with great gusto. And to an extent they were.

The museum is a striking place, with wonderfully life-like models of Adam and Eve and the garden of Eden, and an airy, well put-together feel.

But I did not get the impression from those in charge or from those visiting, that they considered themselves to be on the march in modern America.

In fact the whole thing had a slightly beleaguered feel.

One parent confided: "At last there's a place I can bring the kids where they are taught what we teach them at home."

Another asked me almost plaintively whether I was convinced by the museum's planetarium where the sun was created after the Earth.

Freedom of choice

I had to be honest and say that I was not, but I felt quite sorry as I did.

There is nothing remotely convincing about the Creation Museum and frankly if it poses the threat to American science that some American critics claim it does, that seems to me to be as much a commentary on the failings of the scientific establishment as it is on the creationists.

There is a reason, I think, why theocracy will never fly in the United States and it has been touched on, inadvertently, by George Bush himself.

Mr Bush often makes the point that the philosophy of the Islamic radicals, full of hate and oppression, would not be attractive to people who truly had the freedom to choose.

Similarly the philosophy of the Old Testament, so much celebrated by some evangelicals here, has a limited power to enthral free people.

At the Creation Museum, goggle-eyed children watch depictions of the Great Flood in which children and their mums and dads are consumed, because God is cross.

In a nation of kindly moderate people I am not sure this is the future.

I put my faith - in America.

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