The Author Who Got It Almost All Wrong

A new book was recently published—entitled Paradise Lust:  Searching for the Garden of Eden and authored by Brook Wilensky-Lanford.

I read a couple of reviews of this book, and we purchased a copy for our AiG library. The author certainly makes known her disdain for those of us who take God’s Word in Genesis as literal history. As I read many of the statements she made about those who adhere to a six-literal-day creation as the Bible clearly teaches, I thought I was reading one of the typical atheist-type blogs—with all their usual distortions, misinformation, and so on. And there were the usual type of misrepresentations made by our opponents of what is taught through the Creation Museum.

Now, I don’t know if the author is an atheist. But if I were to write a critque of just what is written about the Creation Museum and biblical creationists in this book, I would end up writing a significant book myself.

I thought I would select just a small section of this book to show how inaccurate the author’s research is. This section is so bad, as anyone who has ever visited the Creation Museum will be able to detect, that it makes you realize you shouldn’t trust anything else she says in this book.

I have pasted in statements from chapter 11 in the book, and then put my comments in.

As I drove past the Cincinnati airport into the mountains of northern Kentucky in the fall of 2008, there wasn’t much to break the rural scenery, only a few abandoned factory smokestacks and blown-out ghost towns. The museum itself was completely hidden behind a jagged mountain peak, but along the highway, its colorful roadside signage–“Prepare to Believe!”–stood out. (Brook Wilensky-Lanford, Paradise Lust: Searching for the Garden of Eden [New York, NY: Grove Press,  2011], p. 203.)

Comments:

  1. I know of no mountains in northern Kentucky—certainly gentle rolling hills—but where are the mountains?
  2. There are no abandoned factory smokestacks near the museum. There are smokestacks visible on the way to the museum, but at an impressive working power station across the river in Ohio.
  3. “Blown-out ghost towns”? I know of no such towns anywhere near the Creation Museum; we are in the greater Cincinnati area, which is well developed.
  4. “The museum itself was completely hidden behind a jagged mountain peak . . . .”  There is no such “jagged mountain peak”  here or anywhere nearby! Furthermore, the Creation Museum is clearly visible from the Interstate. This is just ridiculous.
  5. “. . . along the highway, its colorful roadside signage–“Prepare to Believe!”–stood out.”  But the only signage along the highway are the typical brown signs authorized and produced by the State. The signs only state,  “Creation Museum, Exit 11.” The first time you see the “Prepare to Believe” sign is on the front gate of the museum itself.

Well, hardly anything in those two sentences in the book is remotely accurate or true. One wonders whether she was just wanting to insult Kentucky (as well as the Creation Museum)—so maybe she just made up the information to slam the area anyway!

Dinosaurs, the museum stated, had existed, and had died out only a few thousand years ago.  Therefore, if the Earth was 6,000 years old, humans and dinosaurs must have coexisted. Every exhibit in the Creation Museum set out to reinforce this idea: in the lobby, a tiny model caveman child stood giggling next to a tiny velociraptor, a benevolent prehistoric pet. (Brook Wilensky-Lanford, Paradise Lust: Searching for the Garden of Eden [New York, NY: Grove Press,  2011], p. 203.)

Comments:

  1. “. . . if the Earth was 6,000 years old, humans and dinosaurs must have coexisted. Every exhibit in the Creation Museum set out to reinforce this idea.” Now, there are exhibits that reinforce this, but certainly not “every” exhibit deals with this. Lots of different information is presented in many varied exhibits throughout the Creation Museum.
  2. “. . . a tiny model caveman child stood giggling next to a tiny velociraptor . . . .”  Actually, the two animatronic children at the Main Hall’s waterfall are life-size. Also, the two animatronic dinosaurs are baby T.-rexes, not velociraptors.

The Creation Museum posited that dinosaurs did make it onto Noah’s Ark, and were saved.  Later, they turned against each other and most were killed, except a few surviving stragglers, which we know as dragons.  (Yes, dragons are real. How else could Saint George slay them?)  (Brook Wilensky-Lanford, Paradise Lust: Searching for the Garden of Eden [New York, NY: Grove Press,  2011], p. 204.)

Comments:

  1. Nowhere do we teach that the main reason dinosaurs died out was that “they turned against each other and most were killed.” In fact, there are many possible reasons as to why dinosaurs have died out.
  2. To say that the stragglers that didn’t kill each other and then were the “dragons” is to totally misrepresent what is stated about dragons in the museum. The point is the word “dinosaur”’ was not even invented until 1841. So how could we say that dinosaurs turned on each other and then the “surviving stragglers” were the dragons? We suggest that some of the dragon legends could be people’s descriptions of animals that we today refer to as dinosaurs.

When I finally arrived at the museums’ Garden of Eden, I thought I’d figure that out . . . . Pushing through thick plastic curtains, I left the main exhibit hall and went into a steamy, climate-controlled garden. It was easy to think I had actually been transported to a tropical paradise. The teeming plant and animal life seemed to come right up against the guardrails and overwhelm the walking path.  (Brook Wilensky-Lanford, Paradise Lust: Searching for the Garden of Eden [New York, NY: Grove Press,  2011], p. 213.)

Comments:

  1. We know of nowhere in the Creation Museum where one has to (or has ever had to) push “through thick plastic curtains.”  These just don’t exist.
  2. To say that the Garden of Eden area in the Creation Museum is a “steamy, climate-controlled garden” is just outlandish. The whole Creation Museum and offices are air-conditioned like any other building. We don’t have such a “steamy, climate-controlled garden”—this just doesn’t exist (and never has existed at the museum).
  3. “The teeming plant and animal life seemed to come right up against the guardrails and overwhelm the walking the path.” There are no guardrails in this part of the museum and none of the plants (which are all artificial in this walk-through) overflow on to the walking path.

Well, I’ve just commented on a few sentences! Did the author really come to the Creation Museum? Or did she just make this stuff up? Or did she deliberately distort her text just to be more colorful in her writing to help her polemic against the biblical creation position.

If the author really wants to search for information about the location of the Garden of Eden (the premise of her book), she needs to first of all learn how to accurately conduct sound research. I can’t imagine how bad the rest of the book must be!

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,

Ken