Yesterday the film critic Roger Ebert posted an article to his website that reads very much like an endorsement of creationism. It starts
Questions and answers on Creationism, which should be discussed in schools as an alternative to the theory of evolution:
Q. When was the earth created?
A. Archbishop James Usher, working out a chronology from the Bible, calculated in 1654 that the earth was created on the night of October 23, 4004 B.C. Other timetables reach back as far as 10,000 years.
The article contains nothing that would indicate satire, so it already has people scratching their heads
, wondering what the deal is. Ebert was never known to have creationist leanings. In fact, he's openly criticized creationism before, such as in this article from 2005
in which he writes: "Evolution is indeed a theory. Creationism is a belief, not a theory."
I'm guessing it must be some kind of attempt to provoke debate. Either that or he's gone off his rocker. (Thanks, Bob!)
Update: Ebert has revealed
that his creationism article was meant to be satirical. He scolds his readers for not realizing this, claiming that we as a culture are losing our sense of irony.
Ebert doesn't seem to appreciate what makes a good hoax, which is that people should fall for it at first, but recognize in hindsight how ridiculous it was. Ebert's hoax fails this test because even in hindsight his article doesn't seem ridiculous. Unfortunately, people really do
believe that crap.