Your Creation Museum Report, 15 Years On

John Scalzi

A tweet from Cory Doctorow reminds me that 15 years ago today, I filed my report on a trip to the Creation Museum, a biblically-themed attraction about ninety minutes south of me in Kentucky. I had been dared to go to the thing by Joe Hill, and I said I would if Whatever readers pledged to donate to Americans United for Separation of Church and State, an organization which, well, you can see what they do in their title. I asked for a minimum of $250; I got over $5000. Apparently people really wanted me to go.

The report, along with the accompanying Flickr album of the trip, are among the most popular things I’ve ever posted online and will still occasionally spike up the “visits” chart when people link to it from somewhere else. I haven’t been back to the Creation Museum since 2007, but I have been led to understand by those who have visited it more recently that not all that much has changed. This makes sense to me; it’s not as if the (logically poor and factually incorrect) arguments the place offered 15 years ago have materially changed in the interim. I did know they had an exhibit refresh a couple years ago, and now have a planetarium. Good for them, I suppose.

I was going to note that it doesn’t feel like it’s been fifteen years since I went and did this, but after some thought, it actually does. I went to the Creation Museum with two friends; one of them died a few years ago and I’ve lost contact with the other. The version of Whatever I posted the piece on ran different software and looked completely different. This was before Facebook and Twitter were much of a thing, and blogs were still the new hotness. And it was three presidents ago. So, yeah, I feel the time, actually.

I any event, if you’re new to Whatever (“new” meaning “started reading around here 14 years ago or sooner”) then check it out. For everyone else: Time flies! Like a pterosaur!

— JS

16 Comments on “Your Creation Museum Report, 15 Years On”

  1. Linked from PZ Myers (Who I no longer read), this is what got me to your blog and found me a wonderful new author.

  2. I remain far more amused than I should be by the baby triceratops wearing a dressage saddle, complete with stirrups.

    So ridiculous.

    (I would pay good money to see a dinosaur dressage test, though: “Enter at A, praying there are no carnivorous judges …”

  3. You presented this report/slideshow in Minneapolis at the first Con I attended. It was the highlight of the conference for me. PZ Myers also presented there – a double dip of sanity.

  4. I did know they had an exhibit refresh a couple years
    ago, and now have a planetarium.

    So basically an evolutionary change, then. :-)

  5. It seems like a long time ago to me but that may be because 15 years ago I could still refer to myself as “niddle aged” without generating laughter.

  6. If I’m ever back in that part of the country, I may have to stop by just to check out that planetarium. I have to wonder what kind of shows they do there given their lack of science in the rest of the museum.

  7. Great. I loved the slide show. Like you, I learned something about the wooden pegs.

    Now there is no reason for me to want to see the Arc. My curiosity has been satisfied.

  8. I distinctly remember when you filed your report on the Creation Museum, how dare you say that it was 15 years ago! Had started reading your books before I, somehow, found Whatever, and was hooked. You were also my gateway account to Twitter, and now that it seems to be fading away, look forward to following you to the next place, whatever it may be.

  9. I think the comments thread on the original post from 2007 is worth its own retrospective analysis and tribute, but it would require the equivalent of a 3-credit hour course to cover it all…

  10. I thought the Flickr album was quite boring at first, but then I realized each image has a hover-over caption and your, ahem, writing skills shine.

  11. Is there any amount of money we could raise to get you to do a revisit, perhaps with Athena along to give a different perspective? I’m guessing that Whatever has a much higher readership than 15 years ago and that you could probably reach the $10k mark for a worthy charity.

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