Saturday, August 30, 2008

Life imitating art in museum bungle--not quite

When I first heard that a British museum had to cover up a reference to evolution after a complaint, I thought we were in for a re-run of the hilarious Simpsons episode on evolution, which you can view here on OneGoodMove.

But in fact on further reading, this seems more cock-up rather than conspiracy. The complaint was over some text that read
He used the same layers of fossils that had supported the Genesis view of evolution to show the slow changes that are taking place over the millennia of earth history.

The complaint was that there is no Genesis view of evolution, which I guess is a fairly reasonable one, and the museum's position is that this is just an opportunity to correct some badly written text, rather than an opportunity for secular activism, which I also think is probably a reasonable stance (although the complainant was supposedly a Christian fundamentalist).

But whatever the real reason, it gave me an excuse to point out the excellent and hilarious Simpson's episode!

1 comment:

Mike the Mad Biologist said...

I've worked in museums off and on for years, and I've never heard of a museum taping over text on the recommendation of a visitor who does not like the subject matter. The museum did not 'take an opportunity' ... to do the right thing. (although someone working at the museum who happens to be a creationist may have taken an opportunity ... who knows.)

If they have trouble with their text, they need to fix it, and it is good to take ideas from visitors into account. But a museum does not go from complaint to black tape in one step. They are feeding us a line post-hoc.

By the way, I am not mike the mad biologist. This is a problem with Google and Blogger. I am Greg Laden the Slightly Annoyed Anthropologist.