Sigh. Maybe if History, Animal Planet, Discovery and National Geographic weren't wasting airetime with these scam/fraud cryptozoological, ghost and UFO shows government agencies wouldn't have to waste time on them.
Can we add science museums? My as I don't want to slag them in any way, but "Pirates" is not a science museum topic, and "Cleopatra" only barely so (esp. as distinct from "King Tut" and "Mummies" exhibits that were very close in time.)
Oops - failed to identify myself and the science museum I'm referring to - Phila's Franklin Institute.
I've complained about this in the past, including both the Pirates exhibit and its "Science of Narnia".
My first thought was that it couldn't take much time to write a press release saying that mermaids do not exist. My second thought was that if you had to write a press release denying the existence of everything that some mass-market TV/Internet/print piece of crap hinted might exist, you'd have to write a lot of press releases. My third thought is that we seem to live in an age where the number of willfully ignorant people is increasing, reversing a trend of perhaps modest but steady decreases over say the last 200 years. Maybe I'm wrong, and maybe this is just a spike of randomness, but it is disheartening. I just think that if a TV show pretended to be serious about the claim that mermaids exist, or that aliens built the pyramids, or that the world just maybe might end in 2012, there would still be stupid people who believed in that horseshit (e.g. harmonic convergence), but there at least would have been fewer of them.
"Science of Narnia"? Seriously?Certain persons with a gene mutation on chromosome 12 are more susceptible to the chemical reaction resulting from confectioners sugar heated at a high temperature and added to rosewater, causing a hypnosis-like state in which they will do as another person instructs. Thus, there is no actual "magic" about the Turkish Delight.
From the actual Educational Guide: "T<span>he evil hold that Jadis the White Witch has over Narnia</span><span>is represented by her ability to keep Narnia’s weather in </span><span>her icy grip. On Earth, many experts believe that the most </span><span>serious consequence of human carelessness must be stopped </span><span>now. And, just as in Narnia, it involves understanding the </span><span>importance of climate and temperature to the well-being of </span><span>everything living on Earth."</span><span><span><span>h</span></span></span>
Oh sweet Jesus on toast.
the slate headline is funny because you can't "wade" into a debate or anything else unless you have legs.
Science museums struggle a lot with these decisions. Each one draws the line differently -- Harry Potter? Star Wars? Most of the big blockbusters are made by for-profit companies that have no accountability for actual learning. (If, on the other hand, NSF funds the development, they require, you know, actual learning. But they do less if that than they used to.)And blockbusters are expensive to produce and risky. Most museums don't currently have the funds to take that risk. So they look around, see which one is least bad and can be had for decent terms, and bring that in. Why not give up blockbusters? Because there are fewer "regular" visitors than there used to be, and more people who only show up for the blockbuster. To keep attendance up, you need something big. These museums do pay attention to what people do and say about them. Vote with your feet by visiting and skipping the up charge section when you think it's crappy. And go when there isn't a big show. Go to the more educational, smaller touring shows that museums themselves make. Look for the NSF or NIH or NOAA logo. And tell the museum (use the web site, don't just tell the person who takes your money at the bos office) what you want to see. It's a tough business to be in these days. But there are people who are trying to figure it out in a more positive direction.
Fine, but what about mermen?
They'll be swell. They'll be great. They may have the whole world on a plate.http://www.youtube.com/v/04czMdv2ZCc" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="170" height="140
But, Isaac, it's important to Teach the Controversy!http://controversy.wearscience.com/
There has always been a market for this stuff -- I recall being a great fan of "In Search Of... with Leonard Nimoy" Granted, I was nine or something, but instinctively knew then that just because the Nazcu markings in Peru were probably hard to draw didn't mean they were very good evidence of alien visitation or ancient flight technology.
Bradley Whitford can attest to their existence.
I was really hoping someone would take this particular bait. Thanks, lisased.