Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson issued a scathing critique of creationism on this week’s podcast of Star Talk, after a listener said they visited the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky.
Co-host Eugene Mirman read an email from a listener who said the Creation Museum uses outdated astrophysical models and theories about the universe to discredit science.
“I visited the Creation Museum,” read Mirman, “purely out of a sense of mystified curiosity. The recorded narration in their planetarium said that contemporary astrophysics predicted [sic] that certain stars were older than the known age of the universe and cited this problem as evidence against science and for Young Earth creationism.”
The listener asked for Tyson’s take on “this problem.”
“Which problem?” asked the director of the Hayden Planetarium. “The problem that a creation museum exists at all?”
“Actually, I have nothing specifically against a creation museum just keep it out of the science classroom,” Tyson added. “We live in a free country, people can say what they want about whatever. Just don’t confuse it with actual science.”
“Just like the Batman museum is not accurate, historically” joked Mirman. “But it’s fun.”
Tyson went on to explain that the Hubble space telescope answered most of these questions about the age of stars and other celestial bodies.
He also pointed out that several billion years is well within the margin of error when estimating the age of a celestial object and astronomers were quite comfortable that over time accuracy would get better and that margin of error would recede.
“The overlap in that was fine,” he said, but “it made much sexier headlines” to point out how science was getting it wrong.