August 6, 2006
Except that this is more of a tragicomedy:
Like most natural history museums, this one has exhibits showing dinosaurs roaming the Earth. Except here, the giant reptiles share the forest with Adam and Eve.
That, of course, is contradicted by science, but that is the point of the $25 million Creation Museum rising fast in rural Kentucky in the United States.
Its inspiration is the Bible - the literal interpretation that contends God created the heavens and the Earth and everything in them just a few thousand years ago.
“If the Bible is the word of God, and its history really is true, that’s our presupposition or axiom, and we are starting there,” Ken Ham, the museum founder, said during recent tour of the sleek and modern facility, which is due to open next year.
Ham, an Australian native who started the Christian publishing company Answers in Genesis in the late 1970s, said the goal of his privately funded museum was to change minds and rebut the scientific point of view.
“We’re going to show you that we can make sense of the different people groups, we can make sense of fossils, we can make sense of what you see in the world,” he said.
Visitors to the museum, a few kilometres from Cincinnati, will be able to watch the story of creation unfold in a 180-seat special-effects theatre, see a 12 meter recreation of a section of Noah’s Ark and stare into the jaws of robotic dinosaurs.
… “Genesis is not science,” said Mary Dawson, the curator emeritus of vertebrate paleontology at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh. “Genesis is a tale that was handed down for generations by people who really knew nothing about science, who knew nothing about natural history, and certainly knew nothing about what fossils were.”
Ham said he believed most fossils were the result of the Great Flood described in Genesis.
Mark Looy, a vice-president at Answers in Genesis, said the museum, which should be opened in May, had received at least $21 million in private donations.
John Morris, the president of the Institute for Creation Research in San Diego, an organisation that promotes creationism, said the museum would affirm the doubts many people had about science, namely the notion that man evolved from lower forms of life.
“Americans just aren’t gullible enough to believe that they came from a fish,” he said.
Although some are clearly gullible enough to hand $21 million to Ken Ham.
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