Anyone up for a Creation Museum Carnival?

John McKay of archy has noted that Ken Ham’s fabulously low-rent sideshow attraction of pseudoscience (AKA his Creation “Science” “Museum”) opens next week, and has asked if there is going to be any coordinated response in the blogosphere — some kind of mini-carnival or something. I say, why not? Let’s!

It’s short notice, but I’ll organize it, and you all just have to contribute to it. The museum’s opening day is 28 May, so we should aim to have a one-stop page full of links to commentary the day before, on 27 May. If you’ve written something recently, or would like to put something together this week, on anything to do with Ham’s folly — everything from outright mockery to serious critical dissections of claims from Answers in Genesis is fair game — send it to me by Saturday and I’ll put up a media-ready digest of reactions on Sunday. We should aim on making it easy for people searching for the term “creation museum” to find the criticism.


  1. says

    Yeah, you’ve got carte blanche, but what I’ll probably do is categorize links from the silly to the serious, and try to include a juicy pull-quote from each entry. I’m sure there’s going to be a flurry of news fluff on this ‘event’ next week, and what I’d like to do is make it really easy for reporters googling for comments to do that awful “balance” thing they do to find something that will fit their story, whatever its style.

  2. E-lad says

    PZ, or other,
    There is a guy on the Defcon blog asking, “”Which of Darwin’s hypotheses have “panned out” (i.e. been observed to verify his prediction)? Can you help me out?”

    Could you give me something along with a link that I can throw back at him.

    I’m not a scientist but I have had enough courses in biology, especially geology to know the earth is not six thousand years old.

    Thanks in advance for your help on this.

  3. says

    You should set up the URL quickly, so we can start a GoogleBomb.
    We can all link to it in our own blog posts, but GoogleBombs only help it grow.

  4. says

    The International House of Goblins might be able to compete for historical autheticity. Goblins and trilobites were discovered in the Burgess Shale along with a Barry Manilow box set that clearly refutes evolutionary theory.

  5. says


    DNA? As I recall, Darwin predicted (or at least stated that his theory required) a mechanism of inheritance that would not be diluted through successive generations. Genes as encoded onto DNA fit those requirements nicely.

    As for anything more specific, well, I haven’t read Origin yet, so I can’t even say what specific hypotheses he’s made.

    Why be restricted to Darwin, though? I mean, there’s a whole 150 years of evolutionary biology since his time, and they’ve made tons and tons of predictions, most of which have panned out (or we wouldn’t bother studying evo-bio).

  6. says


    Darwin stated in The Origin of Species that more light will be shed on human evolution. You could just show this guy example after example of species of Homo or Australopithecus that creates a near perfect gradient from our common ancestor with the Chimpanzee and us.

  7. says

    I just uploaded video to YouTube on the museum from a news report from WBSN 10TV in Ohio where they are allowed to go through and tape a little of the “scientific exhibits” of the place. I’m not sure how many videos are out there showing some of the inner workings of the place and featuring Ham repeating his beloved canards. Anyway, it should be available for viewing soon, I just uploaded it. Watch it HERE.

  8. says

    The Peroxide and Palentology Center for The Performing Arts. Reenactments of Noah’s Flood demonstrate the extinction of dinosaurs via topical solution flooding.

  9. Berlzebub says

    The (ahem) “museum” was in the op/ed pages of the Cincinnati Enquirer, yesterday. A good cartoon is here.

    This might give me an occasion to start a blog, like I’ve been wanting to.


  10. says

    I want to plan a denialism blog field-trip at some point. Do you think they’ll let us take pictures? There can be no more damning indictment than exposure.

  11. mojojojo9000 says

    Face painting was always biggest attraction at annual carnival at science-tech museum I used to work at… I’d make monkey faces only available design for this one…

  12. mojojojo9000 says

    Face painting was always biggest attraction at annual carnival at science-tech museum I used to work at… I’d make monkey faces only available design for this one…

  13. says

    The CBC program “Dispatches” had a short (critical) item last week:

    The Young Earth Creationists who are building The Creation Museum believe a literal interpretation of the Biblical story of Genesis, and say the world was created by God in six days, just 6,000 years ago.
    And a surprising number of Americans are sympathetic.


  14. says

    There is a guy on the Defcon blog asking, “”Which of Darwin’s hypotheses have “panned out” (i.e. been observed to verify his prediction)? Can you help me out?”

    Right now I don’t recall whether he made the prediction in Origin of Species or a later monograph on orchids, but Darwin noted an odd orchid found in Madagascar that had about an 11-inch throat, or nectar spur. He noted the near-impossibility of pollination of such a flower, and he predicted that when the then-unknown pollinator was found — probably an insect, like a moth, he said — it would have a tongue or proboscis 11 inches long, just right for the flower. It was about 50 years later the moth that pollinated the flower was found, and my recollection is that special high-speed night photography finally captured the pollinator in action in the 1980s — a moth with an incredible 11-inch tongue.

    There are dozens of predictions made throughout the book. A key question would be, which of Darwin’s predictions did not pan out? Those are fewer. Darwin had assumed that geologists knew a lot more about rocks than they knew, and he predicted that massive numbers of transitional fossils would never be known; today we have thousands of transitionals way beyond what Darwin ever dreamed.

    Darwin also rather favored the idea that evolution would always move quite slowly. Huxley complained that there was no evidence of any barrier to extremely rapid evolution. Recent evidence tends to favor that in some cases, evolution can move very fast indeed.

    I’ll bet your sparring partner doesn’t know much about what Darwin said. Good luck educating him.

  15. says

    Bummer. I took jabs at the museum in Florida instead. There were too many good quotes from its creator to resist.

    Of course, it was also in part because I went to the website for Ken Ham’s museum, and it had nothing but a pretty dinosaur picture and a bunch of unclickable links. It’s pretty lame for something that’s about to have a grand opening. I wonder – are they waiting for God to finish up the site for them, or are they just hoping it’ll evolve on its own?

  16. says

    Left ‘Toon Lane is having a cartoon contest for the event. Deadline Friday, with winning entries to PZ on Saturday. Maybe we can even get him to judge the contest and run the winner. PZ, are you out there? Regular Left ‘Toon Lane cartoonists will participate, but guest artists are also welcome. Just send me your ‘toon- my address is there or at my link (click my name), and I’ll post it.

  17. says

    Kristine– Let’s also photoshop some of the images from the museum, or add dialogue balloons. Hours of fun.

    OMG did you ever see that thread on InternetInfidels where everyone was photoshopping AiGs ‘After Eden’ cartoons??

    Too bad they couldnt archive that thread :(

  18. Keanus says

    Today’s Wall Street Journal had a short article about the new Coca-Cola museum (depicting the history and trajectory of the company) opening in Atlanta shortly. It’s entrance fee is somewhere in the mid teens, it covers 92,000 square feet, cost something like $90 million and is expecting in excess of a million visitors a year (the old Coke museum that just closed drew about 900,000/year). Given Ham’s forecast of 250,000 a year–based on what I’d like to know–the Flinstone special seems rather sad by comparison.

  19. says

    Hah! One reason I was concerned about including “Hooray For Captain Spaulding!” was that I could find only one report of the claim that T-rex ate coconuts and I couldn’t find anything at AiG’s site about it. Thanks to a hint by a commenter at your most recent post about Ham, I checked his blog, which apparently isn’t searched by AiG’s own engine and found an entry where Ham denies the story. He does say that “all animals, including the T. rex dinosaurs ate plants originally.” Of course, he doesn’t say why a vegetarian T-rex needed six inch carnivore’s teeth or how it managed to eat … well … whatever.

  20. E-lad says

    Thanks to those who helped out this non-scientist.
    I aquired a lot of key words etc. with which to continue my personal self development course in evolution and biology. I’ll never be a scientist but I have been fairly good at wrapping my arms around the concepts.
    It is very facinating stuff.

  21. says

    Here is a nice article, “Dr. J.’s Commentary: Creation “Science” Makes a Comeback.” And the best thing is it is by the un-Egnor: Steven Jonas, MD, MPH, a Professor of Preventive Medicine at Egnor’s school, Stony Brook University in New York.

  22. Peter McGrath says

    I like Kristine’s photoshop idea: a pair of feet with stumps of ankles next to the ‘vegetarian’ tyrannosaur would be a good one.

  23. says

    Science? Science? Where’s the frackin’ science? Creation is a foregone conclusion, that works backwards to a hypothesis, and does nothing to “prove” creation; the sole purpose of any “science” is to disprove evolution.

  24. says

    The Creation Museum Cartoon Contest is up at Left ‘Toon Lane. Special hat tip to Kristine for the fist ‘toon, because the idea came from her comment- I didn’t do the stumps, but this cartoon comes about three second earlier, to highlight the “vegetarian” nature of the thing. Credit at my own ‘toon site, Hypnocrites.

  25. says

    Can you tell us how we get life from non-life? In other words: did the big-bang create life or did life create the big banb? And do we know how life evolved from non-life? Also, how did man and woman, indeed all male/female pairs evolve?

  26. ShermB says

    Yeah. Does anyone have a serious answer or refernce as to how life comes from non-life. I know that the Miller-Urey experiment has been discredited. (BTW, he recently died). I’ve also never gotten an adequate explanation from my HS teacher as to how all the animals were able to procreate (or proevolve)? How did they multiply prior to this point? Thanks JM.

  27. says

    OK people, listen and listen good. Evolution is the study of life, and how it has changed over time to produce what we have now and have learned existed in history. How the first life form came to be is an area of study called abiogenesis. It is only tangentially related to evolution because of the fundamentally different processes related to each (which I hope is obvious).

    Because of this, it doesn’t matter what the eventual outcome of the abiogenesis question is, whether it turns out to be some sort of material process akin to crystals, or a seeding from aliens or meteors, or a good old-fashioned Magic Man done it, makes not one whit of difference with regard to the questions that evolution answers.

    It’s akin to a row of dominoes falling. The theory of why a series of dominoes in a particular arrangement are all knocked down in sequence one is already falling, is fairly straightforward and well-established. The question of how the very first one fell, however, is open to a variety of possible answers of very different natures (the wind, my finger, the dog’s tail). Yet none changes the “falling dominoe sequence” theory one bit.