… a load of horseshit?

Came across an interesting and amusing blog post by John Scalzi, describing his recent visit to the Creation Museum, here’s how he describes it:

Imagine, if you will, a load of horseshit. And we’re not talking just your average load of horseshit; no, we’re talking colossal load of horsehit. An epic load of horseshit. The kind of load of horseshit that has accreted over decades and has developed its own sort of ecosystem, from the flyblown chunks at the perimeter, down into the heated and decomposing center, generating explosive levels of methane as bacteria feast merrily on vintage, liquified crap. This is a Herculean load of horseshit, friends, the likes of which has not been seen since the days of Augeas.

You have to read the whole post it really did make me laugh out loud. Whilst the posting begins in a very irreverent manner Scalzi does succeeds in making some interesting points most notably about the nature of Creationism and his objections to it and not Christianity …

There have to be people who believe this horseshit unreservedly, but I suspect that perhaps the majority of the visitors I saw were Christians who may not buy into the whole “six days” thing, but are curious to see how it’s being presented. To be clear, the “horseshit” I’ve been speaking of is not Christianity, it’s creationism, which to my mind is a teleological quirk substantially unrelated to the grace one can achieve through Jesus Christ. Now, the Creation Museum rather emphatically argues that a literal reading of the Bible is essential for true Christianity — it’s got a whole red-lit section that suggests the ills of society are directly related to folks deciding that maybe some parts of the Bible are, you know, metaphorical – but that’s just more horseshit, of a slightly different flavor. There are lots of Christians who clearly don’t need to twist their brain like a pretzel to get around the idea that the universe is billions of years old and that we’ve evolved from earlier forms. For those folks, the Creation Museum is probably about culture, to the extent any installation largely created by someone who previously worked for Universal Studios can be about culture

I only came across the posting because I finally bought a copy of Bobby Henderson’s The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, which  Rob recommended to me ages ago! I started reading it last night and am thoroughly enjoying, I must confess I haven’t laughed so much in ages! I’ll post up a review when I’m finished. I visited the official site for the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and that’s where I came across the link to Scalzi’s posting.

Rob and I have been debating the whole Creationism vs Evolution thing for a while now and if nothing else this has given me a bit more food for thought.

Are we still evolving … biologically?

Had a rather impassioned debate with Amanda this evening on the subject of whether we, humans as a species, are still evolving biologically. Or even whether or not we need to. I was arguing that the human race might very well be stagnating or reaching ( or have even reached ) an evolutionary impasse due to the fact that we aren’t being forced to adapt to our environment anymore. Humans are unique as a species in that we are able to change the environment around us (even destroy it) … critically though we are no longer forced, at a biological level, to adapt to it. I was also suggesting that we are evolving culturally and technologically and that we can see that certain pockets of humanity suffer more than others because of the rate at which they can absorb or adapt to cultural and especially technological advances. 

Amanda was making the point that the advent of agriculture, arguably our first and most important technological advancement, might very well have been the point at which we no longer needed to adapt to survive in our environment. I’m no anthropologist but it certainly sounds reasonable. I said I was going to read a bit around the topic and try and rationalise my thoughts into a blog posting … as part of that I came cross this short piece by Marc West. I’m probably biased because, as Amanda will no doubt suggest, Marc makes almost exactly the same points I was except he does it much better than I did – even the notion that our biological evolution may very well be defined by some convergence between our biological bodies and technological enhancements – or as I put it to Amanda … the cyberisation of the human species

It’s well worth reading Marc’s posting and the podcast and panel discussion he links to … it’s amusing because some of the ideas do seem far fetched but it’s still interesting and insightful.