Today's Blogs

Meet the Flintstones

Bloggers are all over the new Creation Museum, and they debate whether Time’s Joe Klein deserves praise or censure for reporting good news from Iraq.

Meet the Flintstones: The most e-mailed New YorkTimes story on Friday is a review of the new Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky. Founded by Answers in Genesis, a Christian fundamentalist group that believes the Earth is a mere 6,000 years old, the museum features displays of cavemen cavorting with animatronic dinosaurs; Noah’s ark; and Adam and Eve. Total cost: $27 million, not including the DNA sequencing of an amberized Jerry Falwell.

Lefty Sisyphus writes: “[T]hese people are products of their time and are enamored with scientific methods and the illusion of science. They have merged the two to come up with something on the level of the Flintstones. … That there are people who will undoubtedly take this sham of a museum serious is rather sad, if not frightening.”

Liberal religious blogger Mahanoy at Street Prophets says the Jurassic Park-like lure of the museum is particularly dangerous for fantasy-drunk young minds: “What child hasn’t fantasized about playing with dinosaurs, and what Christian child hasn’t imagined watching as Noah lined up two of every animal to board the ark?  …  By presenting these fantasies as incontrovertible fact, children are being manipulated to believe the pseudo-science of this museum dedicated to ‘Christian Apologetics’ rather than the prevailing scientific wisdom concerning the history of our planet.”

Prometheus 6 echoes the Flintstones theme but isn’t laughing: “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.”

Southern Baptist Larry Arnhart at Darwinian Conservatism points out the idea of a 6,000-year-old Earth comes not from the Bible but from a 17th-century Anglican archbishop. “If God wanted to reveal a scientific chronology of the world, why is the Bible written so as to force Ussher to go outside the Bible–to pagan authors like Xenophon and Herodotus–to try to piece together this chronology?” he asks “Trying to pull a scientific chronology out of the Bible denies the real purpose of the Bible, which is to say something about the spiritual condition of humanity under God.”

Jacob Fortin at The Good Atheist notes: “What strikes one as odd is the dichotomous nature of the museum, which seems to be both disdainful of science and progress while simultaneously passing itself off as scientific. Alternative explanations to evolution are everywhere: the Chameleon does not change color as a function of natural select; instead, it does so to apparently communicate with others, and to show off its mood. The museum even endorces its own highly specific version of evolution, arguing that animals are evolutionary offshoots of the animals rescued in Noah’s flood.”

Even some evangelical conservatives, like Harrison Scott Key at World magazine’s WorldViews, don’t think curating paradise is such a hot idea: “This is either a great big leap into a new paradigm for Christian engagement of the culture, or it’s a silly joke. A badly-done museum – as thorough as its theology tries to be – will only make Christians look as dead-eyed as the faux cavemen in the exhibit. Can’t say which it is.”

Read more about the Creation Museum.

Good news is bad news:Time magazine columnist Joe Klein says that al-Qaida has been all but routed in Anbar Province, once its Sunni stronghold in Iraq, thanks to coalition efforts to make tribal alliances. Too bad for Klein that lefty blogs, however, are denouncing him for reporting that denotes good news in the war.

Salon’s lefty Glenn Greenwald thinks Klein is just a megaphone for pro-administration propaganda: “As always, the very idea of granting anonymity to government sources to do nothing other than repeat pro-government claims is both manipulative and moronic on its face. What possible journalistic value could there ever be in cloaking someone with anonymity in order to say something that Tony Snow would happily say, and does say, every day from the White House Press Briefing Room?”

Iraq war supporter Glenn Reynolds at InstaPundit argues that Time and Klein have merely caught up with the conventional wisdom among military bloggers: “[T]o me the big news about the Time story was that Time was finally catching up with what warbloggers on the scene – Michael Yon, J.d. Johannes, Bing West, etc. – have been reporting for quite a while. Instead of criticizing Time for straying (if only a bit) off the current Democratic message, people should, if anything, be criticizing it for taking so long to get to the story.”

Liberal Kevin Drum at the Washington Monthly’s The Political Animal says: “[I]f Klein deserves any abuse here, it’s not for trusting anonymous government sources, it’s for trying to spice up his column by repeating common knowledge as if he had dug it up himself. This tribal U-turn against AQI predates the surge by many months, of course, and mainly shows that the U.S. presence isn’t really necessary in order to fight them. The tribal sheikhs consider AQI a threat, and left to their own devices they’ll get rid of them on their own. That leaves us in the position not of staying in Iraq in order to fight al-Qaeda, but of staying in order to moderate a communal civil war, a task we’re singularly unsuited for.”

Read more about Joe Klein’s article.