The Special Times at the Creation Museum

Beast

A group of guys from the alternative Buffalo-based newspaper The Beast decided to have a little fun at the Creation Museum.

They created a fake website for “The Special Times” newspaper (which catered to “developmentally disabled people of faith”). This gave them press credentials which in turn gave them special access to Ken Ham.

Oh. And one of the guys acted… well, retarded.

That’s when the fun begins.

Here’s reporter Ian Murphy, who played the role of “Dougie”:

Of course, I had the easy job. My cover was absolutely foolproof, so to speak. I had no tells whatsoever. Even if I felt a laugh coming on, which is normally a big no-no in any risky undercover assignment, I’d just play it up. The more inappropriate my actions, the more believable Dougie became. Besides, questioning a retard’s condition just isn’t done in polite society. “They’re God’s very special miracles,” as I’d told our museum contact.

They eventually get to Ham, the museum’s founder.

Here’s what transpired:

Murphy also writes about what’s going on in his head during the video:

The interview was going well. Ham was spouting nonsensical creationist rhetoric, and I was in full-blown retard mode. We were like long lost twins.

At the end of the interview:

“I like Ham!” I roared, giving the bearded Aussie one last bear hug for good measure.

“Thanks. Enjoy the museum,” Ham said, as [fellow Beast writer Josh] Bunting pushed me deeper into fantasyland.

“I talked to Ham!” the exclamation resonated through the entire lobby.

A little later, they make their way through the museum as they try to get the hell out of there:

Bunting upped our pace as we wove among the walking dead, milling like cattle, staring in slack-jawed wonder at Methuselah’s Tent and the Dinosaur Den. “Oooooooh!” I shouted reflexively as we passed Adam and Eve bathing in a waterfall. “YOU CAN ALMOST SEE HER BOOBIES!” Her deliberately-placed hair was an incredible bummer for Dougie.

I’m not actually sure if they accomplished anything by pulling this stunt… though the piece is amusing to read.

Murphy himself seems to agree. He thinks it may not have changed anything, but it was good for a laugh:

Not entirely sure of what we’d accomplished, if anything, the seven hour trip home was euphoric and surreal, punctuated with contagious bouts of uproarious laughter. Ken Ham is certain his museum will undo the damage caused by Charles Darwin and Clarence Darrow; a concrete push of destiny away from the forbidden fruit of knowledge and toward a theocratic vegetable paradise. Are this man and his museum fossilized relics of our subconsciously inclined, mythological leaning past, or a signpost on the highway of history: “Caution: slow people worshiping ahead?” Regardless, a strange sense of optimism pervaded my being as we drifted down the open road. It was America, 2007 the year of our lord, and these were special times indeed.

(via Saint Gasoline)


[tags]atheist, atheism, The Beast, Creation Museum, The Special Times, Ken Ham, Ian Murphy, Josh Bunting, Methuselah, Charles Darwin, Clarence Darrow[/tags]

  • Maria

    As much as I can’t stand Ken Ham, I just don’t like the idea of spoofing on mentally handicapped people.

  • http://globalizati.wordpress.com globalizati

    Ditto with Maria. All they proved is that they’re not very sensitive, and that Ham was polite and gave plenty of time to someone who is disabled, which seems like a plus to me.

  • http://emergingpensees.blogspot.com/ Mike C

    As much as I can’t stand Ken Ham, I just don’t like the idea of spoofing on mentally handicapped people.

    Yep

  • Logos

    that was in bad taste

  • Monkeymind

    Hardly a shining moment in the campaign for truth, reason and human dignity.

  • http://olvlzl.blogspot.com olvlzl, no ism, no ist

    Ham? Really? Where’s Shem and Japeth? And any mention of the “mark of Ham”?

  • http://olvlzl.blogspot.com olvlzl, no ism, no ist

    And see what incidents of ironic amusement you miss by not reading the Bible?

  • Katie

    Hardly a shining moment in the campaign for truth, reason and human dignity.

    Exactly.

  • http://globalizati.wordpress.com globalizati

    olvlzl,
    I (a heathen) thought the same thing (\but I have read my Bible). I thought, “What an ironic name for a Caucasian fundamentalist…” Of course, it’s not like his parents chose his last name for him, it’s like a mark that just got passed down…

  • Jen

    And see what incidents of ironic amusement you miss by not reading the Bible?

    Most atheists read or have read the Bible. The Bible is the leading cause of atheists.

  • Pingback: Buffalo “Beast” Visits Creation Museum « Pop Culture

  • http://groundedinreality.blogspot.com Bruce

    Going to agree with everyone else on this. What did they expect from Ham, to be a complete asshole to a mentally disabled person? When South Park did it, it was funny. This was just sad.

  • Polly

    Ditto on bad taste. Obviously, the creationist museum is a nauseatingly stupid waste of money, time, and effort, but the mixture of deception and impersonating a disabled (mentally at that) person is more than a little warped.
    It may have been fun to pull this prank, but it wasn’t fun reading about it – quite the opposite. Practical

  • Polly

    Ditto on bad taste. Obviously, the creationist museum is a nauseatingly stupid waste of money, time, and effort but, the mixture of deception and impersonating a disabled (mentally at that) person is more than a little warped.
    It may have been fun to pull this prank, but it wasn’t fun reading about it – quite the opposite. Practical jokes are usually funny if the person at whose expense they are pulled is also allowed the diginity of having the opportunity to find the humor in it afterwards.

  • http://off-the-map.org/atheist/ Siamang

    Yuck.

    I fear as the ranks of atheists grow, the number of them who will make us look bad will also.

  • http://olvlzl.blogspot.com/ olvlzl, no ism, no ist

    Most atheists read or have read the Bible. The Bible is the leading cause of atheists.

    Jen, I highly doubt that. The one’s I have contact with haven’t got a clue about the text or the history of the ghing anymore than most of those who espouse belief in the Bible’s divine origin have read it. Most of the atheists I’ve had any contact with have a smattering of what fundamentalists say about the Bible but they’re just as ignorant as most other people about it. If two in ten understood the joke I made without google I’d be surprised.

  • http://sedition.com/ Ashley

    I beat them by 10 days! Let’s all go to Hell together, shall we?.

    If two in ten understood the joke I made without google I’d be surprised.

    If one in one hundred of those who understood it laughed, I’d be surprised.

  • http://off-the-map.org/atheist/ Siamang

    olvizi,

    Ham, son of Noah. Cursed for seeing Noah naked. Rationalization for discrimination against the black people. No google.

    Don’t quit your day job and write comedy.

  • Miko

    If two in ten understood the joke I made without google I’d be surprised.

    If one in one hundred of those who understood it laughed, I’d be surprised.

    See, now THAT’S funny. ;-)

  • Miko

    Ham, son of Noah. Cursed for seeing Noah naked.

    More precisely, “uncovering his father’s nakedness,” which doesn’t necessarily mean what you think it means. Compare with Leviticus 20:11: “And the man that lieth with his father’s wife hath uncovered his father’s nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”

    Rationalization for discrimination against the black people.

    And other groups throughout history; most recently the cause of the Rwandan Genocide (as Belgian colonists established an aristocracy based on who had the ‘most European’ noses through Hamitic claims). Since the Bible doesn’t say too much about Ham, it can rationalize pretty much any hatred people want it to.

  • James

    Yuck.

    I fear as the ranks of atheists grow, the number of them who will make us look bad will also

    True. This tends to happen as any minority grows. It’s an unfortunate human occurence

  • http://olvlzl.blogspot.com/ olvlzl, no ism, no ist

    Ashley, it was a very little joke, more the smile level than anything else. But the general level of humor among blog atheists doesn’t inspire one to try very hard. Some of them think Richard Dawkins has a sense of humor.

    What are the words that atheists have the hardest time saying?

    I Don’t Know.

  • HappyNat

    Ashley, it was a very little joke, more the smile level than anything else. But the general level of humor among blog atheists doesn’t inspire one to try very hard. Some of them think Richard Dawkins has a sense of humor.

    What are the words that atheists have the hardest time saying?

    I Don’t Know.

    I don;t know why you come here. You don’t enjoy the posts or the sense of humor displayed by others, and when you comment you are snarky and condesending. Are you this much fun in real life?

  • Polly

    What are the words that atheists have the hardest time saying?

    I Don’t Know

    That’s an agnostic jab at atheists. Much better applied to fundamentalists, in my opiñon.

  • Tammy

    I’m sorry, but Richard Dawkins is friggin’ hilarious, and “The Bible is the leading cause of atheists” should be printed on T-shirts. I’m new to posting here, but that’s a really good one!

  • Tammy

    Oh, and I’m in agreement with everyone who thought pretending to be handicapped is in poor taste, no matter what we think of the so-called “museum”.

  • http://olvlzl.blogspot.com/ olvlzl, no ism, no ist

    That’s an agnostic jab at atheists. Much better applied to fundamentalists, in my opiñon.

    Certainly applicable to fundamentalist atheists.

    Richard Dawkins is Friggin’ hilarious

    That has to be one of the saddest things I’ve ever read. He’s about as funny as Joey Bishop was.

  • Jen

    olvlzl- I am willing to bet American money that 98% of the atheists posting here got your joke. At least here, but on most of the atheist blogs, you have the people commenting and writing who really care about and are passionate about their atheism. I know I read constantly on religion, reading just as many books on the Bible as on atheism. I will agree with you that often I see atheists who post about certain verses or chapters, and I realize that they don’t have all the backround knowledge they could- and just as often, that they know more about specific information than I do. We all have learning to do- I am not a Biblical scholar, and I know that, so personally if someone presents me with information that contradicts what I know about the situation, I will reevaluate what I previously thought. I am sorry you are not running into these knowledgable atheists yourself, but talk to more of us here- we know stuff about things.

    Tammy- I would be lying if I claimed to have come up with that on my own. Credit some famous guy… though when I tried to google it, I came up with this thread.

  • Richard Wade

    Okay, I’ll put myself out there for ridicule as one of the 2% by Jen’s estimate who didn’t get Ollie’s joke. It sounds like it wasn’t very funny anyway. I don’t know squat about the Bible. I’m a second generation atheist. I’m not a recovering Christian like so many of those here who are so very well versed in scripture. I didn’t have to react against religion, I just never caught it. I didn’t have to go through a painful process of extricating myself from its grip. My grandmother gave me a Bible with my name embossed on the cover for my 18th birthday. Because she was a sweet old lady I started reading it, got bored and confused, skipped ahead, perused different sections, decided it was idiotic and so now nearly 40 years later it still gathers dust on my bookshelf. I’d have donated it to some library or shelter except that it has my name on it.

    The others here became knowledgeable about the Bible because they had to argue their way out of it within their own minds and their families. I admire their courage and flinch at the stories of their pain. I never had to go through that. I just don’t believe that stuff and never did. So please tell me why I should have to fill my head with a bunch of useless nonsense that so many biblical scholars here do so good a job of calling useless nonsense? If I just don’t believe in something, do I really have to become an expert in that thing? Most of the chapter-and-verse black belts here are nice enough and not at all pretentious, but there are a couple who really have a conceit about “knowing your Bible.” WTF for? There’s a lot of literature about fairies. If you don’t believe in fairies, do you have to read everything ever written about them in order to justify your lack of belief? I have better things to do besides argue skillfully against fairies.

    I suppose it might enrich my appreciation of literature to understand all the biblical references in a similar way that my very good education in classical mythology has, but I just don’t have the time or the inclination with so many other interesting and actually relevant things to read instead.

    Some might call me an ignoramus, but I’m like the children of the toughened, ex-Christian atheists here. I’m just naturally free of that stuff because it wasn’t put into my head to begin with.

  • Jen

    Hey Richard, hope it doesn’t sound like I was condemning those who aren’t good at the Bible! I wish I could be a second generation atheist; instead, I know too much because I have to argue with my religious mother who still thinks she can make me go to church on Easter, even though I am past the age of majority. I also have some people who are fairly hostile to my atheism; they argue with me and personally, I prefer people understand where I am coming from. For me, it helps to “speak their language”.

    PS. It wasn’t a funny joke, I just understood where the humor was supposed to be.

  • Darryl

    What are the words that atheists have the hardest time saying?

    I Don’t Know.

    You’re projecting.

    Richard, there is so much to know, and life is too short to read everything, so why would anyone study the Bible if it was not part of their business? You’ve lost nothing, and saved yourself a lot of confusion–I wish I had had parents like yours.

  • Darryl

    If I had to rate the Bible as literature (and what else is it but that?), I’d say it’s a piece of crap, for all the usual reasons. But, it beats some of the other holy writings I’ve read: by comparison, the Q’uran is sooooo boring; the Book of Mormon is idiotic. I think the church fathers more or less purged it of the really silly stories that it included way back when (the apocryphal stuff, and ‘spurious’ books, and heterodox letters, etc.). I prefer the Philokalia, but I never read this stuff any more–why do it? It’s not worth the time it takes to eek out something that might be of use.

  • Richard Wade

    Oh no Jen, I took nothing negative from what you said. I sometimes get a little nagging “less than” feeling when I’m around people who’ve had a tougher road than me. They have the strength I admire and I have the ease they envy. It’s nice when we can still relate positively and share our different angles on things to encourage each other. As much as you probably love her, that sounds like a pain in the ass with your mom. And I’d probably not have the patience to remain civil with people who were hostile to my views, so I generally avoid face-to-face conversations on such topics. I don’t know how you and other brave ones do it.

    Darryl, thanks for your comfort and understanding.

    I’m just an early arrival of the type of non-believers who will grow up without all those scars. They’ll have their own challenges but those will be quite different from what their parents had to struggle with. They’ll have to write their own definitions.

  • Miko

    I suppose it might enrich my appreciation of literature to understand all the biblical references in a similar way that my very good education in classical mythology has

    When I was a kid, I began reading the Bible and a big book of classical mythology at the same time. My parents didn’t think to mention that they thought that one of the two wasn’t fiction until I was pretty far through both, by which time I’d concluded that neither was true. From that position, I can tell you without a doubt that classical mythology makes better literature than the Bible. And most classical allusions are meaningful to understand, whereas most Biblical allusions are of the form “Hey, look at me! I’m using a Biblical allusion!” and have no relevance to plot, character development, etc.

  • Jim

    Hey bonehead, Next time you try to pull and “undercover” job, try to stick with your story. Pay attention to they fact cameras are on you from the time you enter the parking lot till the time you leave, and remember that just because you are in a dark theatre you still you keep your special hat and glasses on, not many mentally handicapped people sit and take notes of the film they are whatching! And by the way, Try to remember not to give orders to your two buddies who are wheeling you around all afternoon, and then get out of your wheel chair and drive away! lol Professional? I think not, the Profesionals where the ones who came in said who they were and asked their questions, honestly and in the open. Without making fun of people with handicaps. better luck next time pal.

  • wingnutjeff

    I agree it was in poor taste.

    But an interesting thing was said by Ham, he said that

    Carbon dating is good only up to 100,000 years

    that’s pretty interesting for someone who’s from a group that believes that the world is only 6,000 years old.

  • http://NA Robert DaJob

    I guess I’m a horrible person, because I thought that article was hilarious. Thanks for sharing, friendlyatheist!

  • Joe

    I want to just clear one thing up and yank away all of Ian Murphy’s bragging rights. He did not sneak in under the radar, nor did he fool anyone. We had our eye on the three person crew the entire time they were here at the museum. In fact we have over a half an hour of video footage of their escapade including the times when “Dougie” thought no one was watching like in the SFX theatre and became Ian again. We have all names of the three involved including the license number off the BMW that “Dougie” drove home in. So did they accomplish anything, yes they made fools of themselves and didn’t even get the satisfaction of fooling Ken Ham..

  • Pingback: Friendly Atheist » Creation Museum Update

  • Hey Joe

    Hey Joe,

    What exactly are you planning on doing with the information you have gathered on Ian Murphy and his cohorts? Track them down and kill them, or what? And if you knew they were fakes, why were they given press access and why didn’t you throw them out when they were an obvious disruption? Are you guys just pussies, or what?

    I think you’re embarrassed, and trying to save face. What you should be embarrassed about is the fact that you’ve spent 27 million bucks on a ludicrous hoax.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X