“The Underground Site” passes on some arguments from Answers in Genesis responding to comments made by an ethnologist, Bernadette Barton, who took a few trips to the “Creation Museum” facility. From the looks of the responses, AiG probably should have just kept mum; they seem to be of the “Bridgewater Treatise” sort of reply that leaves one thinking that the original critique is still looking pretty good.
But what comes through is either pure laziness or lack of journalistic drive on the part of the anonymous “staff” writing the piece. Given a “he-said, she-said” situation (literally!), the “staff” goes for “reporting” he-said only. Not only did only AiG’s arguments get space in the article, the author couldn’t even be bothered to link to the original critique that AiG was responding to. That seems curiously uninformative for a site with pretensions of delivering news. Oh, and there is the inability to run a spell-checker. Even AiG managed that. Hey, anonymous staff writer at “The Underground Site”, if you are wondering why Christians often get a bad rap in intellectual circles, you aren’t helping.
I felt moved to leave a comment. I’ll quote it here.
“Enthologist”? When Answers in Genesis can correctly spell “ethnology” and you can’t, I think you lose 50 points in the t.o. home game.
-50 if a C’ist corrects a factual error of yours (This may seem
like a big penalty, but lets face it — if a C’ist has a better
grasp of bio than you do, maybe you shouldn’t be posting.)
[End quote – Chris Colby, http://www.antievolution.org/features/evohumor/tohome.html ]
But going beyond the title’s spelling glitch, I don’t see much that looks like journalism here. AiG responds to just about anything that might resemble a comment about their facility in Kentucky. Did anybody even consider checking to see whether AiG’s response here made sense in its various supposed points?
Take response (1), for example. AiG doesn’t like the “fundamentalist” adjective. They note that their objection is solidly based on … market perception. Then they equivocate on “mainstream” versus “extremist”, using the demographic connotation of the former to try to deny the philosophical import of the latter. Sorry, inerrantist literalism is still a plank of the fundamentals, and it is still extreme, no matter what percentage of the population happens to be on board with it. All they manage there is to show that extremism is popular. I feel safe saying that Islamic fervor for sharia law in Iran is popular there, but that does nothing to make it any less extreme.
If you want to do some commentary from a Christian perspective on AiG’s curious commitment to plain error, then you can cite St. Augustine’s advice on these topics:
Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he hold to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion.
[End Quote – St. Augustine, “De Genesi ad litteram libri duodecim” (The Literal Meaning of Genesis)]