Sunday, May 27, 2007
Creation Museum Opens Amid Criticism
The venerable Los Angeles Times has already pronounced the effort, “Yabba-dabba science” in a May 24 editorial. Condemned as a “60,000-square-foot menace to 21st century scientific advancement” by critics, Answers in Genesis unveils its $27 million Creation Museum this weekend in the Cincinnati suburb of Petersburg, KY.
Designed to present a “young earth” creationist model of human origins, the facility was designed to incorporate the latest in high-tech sensory experience. It even boasts recreations of Noah’s ark, animatronic dinosaurs, and a movie theater with seats that shake, all designed by some of the same people behind the attractions at Universal Studios in Florida.
The museum has drawn objections from a coalition of scientists and organizations, including the Campaign to Defend the Constitution (http://www.defconamerica.org/) , or DEFCON, a Washington-based group that says it seeks to combat the political influence of religious conservatives. In a May 24 conference call with reporters, those opponents said the museum is presenting a distorted view of evolution and the earth’s history.
In an ABC interview, Eugenie C. Scott, the executive director of the National Center for Science Education (http://www.natcenscied.org/), an Oakland, Calif.-based organization that supports the teaching of evolution, called the museum a “creationist’s Disneyland.”
Even Christian authors have weighed in, decrying the project. One of the Baptist blog sites (dominated by seminary educated clergy) was full of naysayers and skeptics. “Don't know that I'd call it a ‘Christian’ museum any more than I'd call Left Behind ‘Christian’ fiction." “I had no idea there were so many people out there to who actually believe in and accept such a strange cosmology--enough to completely pay for a place like that!” “It's astonishing to me that people believe this stuff, but P.T. Barnum's axiom still holds true.”
Despite criticism that the Creation Museum will put Christianity back a hundred years (or at least until the Scopes trial of 1925), AIG founder Ken Ham sees it differently. Answers in Genesis claims:
"The Creation Museum will be upfront that the Bible is the supreme authority in all matters of faith and practice, and in every area it touches upon.
We’ll begin the Museum experience by showing that “facts” don’t speak for themselves. There aren’t separate sets of “evidences” for evolution and creation—we all deal with the same evidence (we all live on the same earth, have the same fossils, observe the same animals, etc.). The difference lies in how we interpret what we study. We’ll then explore why the Bible—the “history book of the universe”—provides a reliable, eye-witness account of the beginning of all things.
After that, we'll take guests on a journey through a visual presentation of the history of the world, based on the “7 C’s of History”: Creation, Corruption, Catastrophe, Confusion, Christ, Cross, Consummation. Throughout this family-friendly experience, guests will learn how to answer the attacks on the Bible’s authority in geology, biology, anthropology, cosmology, etc., and they will discover how science actually confirms biblical history."
According to an ABC News poll, 60 percent of Americans believe God created the world in six days. So do theologians Al Mohler and R.C. Sproul. Before dismissing it out-of-hand, visit the AIG web site for yourself (http://www.answersingenesis.org/). Browse around in the articles and online books and see if the arguments and evidence challenge some of your own ideas about cosmology and the Bible.