Tuesday 9 October 2012

Creationist road trip conspires against reality

Yesterday I noticed BBC Three was to broadcast the second in a three-episode series ostensibly on conspiracy theories, this one taking a small group of creationists on a coach trip in America and showing them the evidence for evolution. It sounds like a recipe for disaster, and so it turned out, more or less. Jerry Coyne was in it:

Soon after watching the whole thing, I posted my reaction on Facebook:
OK I watched it, and some parts were indeed disastrous — kind of like Big Brother Goes On The Road. They started in Las Vegas, for no other reason (that I could discern) than it allowed for some clichéd photo-opportunities.
Jerry Coyne doesn't suffer fools, and his debunking of Noah's Ark did not go down well with the creationists. The creationist who appeared to have appointed himself "star-of-the-show" also seemed to be entertaining the idea that the show itself was a conspiracy, and he was impervious to reason, maintaining that the purpose of science was to deny God.
The presenter, Andrew Maxwell, nailed it with his bemused announcement that he couldn't understand how, in the face of so much evidence for evolution, the creationists simply dismissed anything that was contrary to scripture. He asked one of them why they even bother to look at the science if they're not going to accept anything that doesn't agree with what they already believe.
A frustrating programme that generated — on my part — more than its fair share of sighing and head-shaking.
Conspiracy Road Trip: Creationism is on iPlayer at the moment, and as it's BBC Three it's likely to be available again fairly soon.

UPDATE 2012-10-13:

Here's the whole thing on YouTube:

...and here's Jerry Coyne's post about it: