Saturday, March 19, 2005

Creationists versus Volcanoes

Creationists are preventing Volcanoes of the Deep Sea from appearing in several Southern IMAX theaters, including some in science museums. Apparently the Creationists are worried about speculation that life might've started in undersea volcanic vents.

The film (I haven't seen it, I'm only relying on reviews and the description in the article) doesn't even focus on evolution. What's so freaky about this situation is that it underscores how evolutionary theory is integrated with the rest of our scientific theorizing, and how right-wingers who become aware of this won't hesitate to attack scientific accounts in other fields simply because they connect to evolution. I just hope the people running the science museums are the kinds of people who we need so badly in the South, and they don't give in to the pressure.

Perhaps one positive consequence of the last election is that the big papers are sensitized to the influence of the Religious Right out in the provinces and will cover this stuff. May the backlash be mighty.

1 comment:

Justin said...

By the way, creationists don't only raise evolution-based objections. They have also tried to pressure museums/institutes/etc. to not include exhibts discussing what happened, say, 100 million years ago, on the grounds that the world isn't that old. And, while the guy quoted in the Times article says that scientists won't draw objections if they talk about dinosaurs, provided they don't talk about 65-million old clay layers, at least some creationist organizations have protested dinosaur exhibits (though I'm not sure if they've ever been successful when it comes to dinosaurs).

As a side note, the baseball player Carl Everett is some sort of creationist, and he gave a Sports Illustrated interview a couple years ago in which he claimed that all dinosaur bones are man-made. I remember it being a generally entertaining article, well worth the read -- I think he also claims that no human being shave actually been to the moon, and other weird things which are independent from creationism.