Wednesday, March 11, 2009

You and the Dinosaur You Rode In On

If you're still wondering whether Liberty University deserves either part of its name, wonder no more. Turns out they offer a class called Advanced Creation Studies. I assume you can take the course with other upper level work like Stupidity II, Ph.D. Seminar in Yeti Identification, and Independent Study in Being Dependent (pre-requisite: handing one's brain in a paper bag to the instructor). An article in today's Washington Post discusses brave creationist souls going to places like the Smithsonian, where they can't believe displays suggest the world is more than 6000 years old. At one point the article says:

"Why should we be afraid to test our worldview against reality?" asked Bill Jack, a Christian leadership instructor who leads groups across the country for a company called Biblically Correct Tours.

Test away. But it's called reality for a reason. (And thanks for not going by Billy, Jack.) But we can't expect too much from folks who want to read the Bible not as stories by which we might learn how to live, but as a text of history and science (and people make fun of Scientologists and Dianetics--gee, wonder where they got the idea to think all life's mysteries are solved in one book?). For in the article we get this illuminating passage:

Otherwise, the 20 students listened attentively as co-leader Marcus Ross, an enthusiastic paleontologist who teaches at Liberty, expertly explained about the world-class fossil collection and told ripping tales of the towering tyrannosaurus rex that was casting skeletal shadows over the group.

"I love it here," said Ross, who has a doctorate in geosciences from the University of Rhode Island. "There's something romantic about seeing the real thing."

Beyond teaching paleontology at Liberty must be like having been Bristol Palin's high school health/abstinence teacher, a scientist shouldn't get caught up in the "romance" of the "real thing." (And I don't just mean for you cynics to make jokes about romance and reality, or as Los Campesinos! put it: "And this sentimental movie marathon has taught us one thing/It's the opposite of true love is as follows--/Reality!) Then again, trying to convince the world of "early earth"-ness (how cute a name) is sort of romantic in the literature sense: fantastic stories about the marvelous adventures of a chivalrous, heroic knight, often of super-human ability, who goes on a quest. Except for that super-human part.



Blogger Queen Whackamole said...

Good post, but let's leave the yeti out of it. They're cool, and I'm pretty sure they're liberals.

3:15 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

They lost me at "Bill Jack."

All I could think of was Tom Laughlin in his hat.

4:21 AM  
Blogger Smitty said...

And we wonder why culturally, many other countries see us as a backwater.

8:17 AM  

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