Friday, July 21, 2006


Creation Capers

Is there something about creationism that makes people incapable of anything but the most ham-fisted humor? We've already seen Ann Coulter's bilious raccoon. Now Casey Luskin of the Discovery Institute has at a quilter named Barbara West who created an "attack" on Intelligent Design (never mind that she called it poking some fun at the ID debate) that won a national prize in Canada.

Beginning with more than we might want to know about his angst at being pushed out of the nest as a young adult, Casey tells the story of Bertrand Russell's supposed encounter with the old woman who insisted that the Earth was carried on the back of a giant turtle. When Russell slyly asked what the turtle stood on, the old woman was alleged to have responded that it was "turtles all the way down."

After recounting the story, that Ms. West got from Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time and that inspired her quilt showing eight giant Galapagos tortoises one on top of the other with the earth sitting precariously on the back of an orange-shelled one, Luskin launches into a knee-slapping discourse on Aristotelian ultimate and efficient causes that Jay Leno is bound to be repeating any time now.

In perhaps the most sensible part of the piece, Casey made sure to tell us that it is all meant "in good fun," just in case the ancient metaphysical hilarity has somehow escaped anyone.

By the way, Ms. West deserves better than this, as she is quite a good artist in her own right, as this piece, based on plankton drawn by Ernst Haeckel, clearly shows:

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