May 31, 2007 Leave a comment
A rather curious new museum has opened in Petersburg, Kentucky. For fans of the Flintstones (my favorite show as a kid), it might sound familiar:
pastoral scene undreamt of by any natural history museum. Two
prehistoric children play near a burbling waterfall, thoroughly at home
in the natural world. Dinosaurs cavort nearby, their animatronic
mechanisms turning them into alluring companions, their gaping mouths
seeming not threatening, but almost welcoming, as an Apatosaurus
munches on leaves a few yards away.
For here at the $27 million Creation Museum, which opens on May 28 (just a short drive from the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky
International Airport), this pastoral scene is a glimpse of the world
just after the expulsion from the Garden of Eden, in which dinosaurs
are still apparently as herbivorous as humans, and all are enjoying a
little calm in the days after the fall.
It also serves as a vivid
introduction to the sheer weirdness and daring of this museum created
by the Answers in Genesis ministry that combines displays of
extraordinary nautilus shell fossils and biblical tableaus,
celebrations of natural wonders and allusions to human sin. Evolution
gets its continual comeuppance, while biblical revelations are treated
Outside the museum scientists may assert that the
universe is billions of years old, that fossils are the remains of
animals living hundreds of millions of years ago, and that life?s
diversity is the result of evolution by natural selection. But inside
the museum the Earth
is barely 6,000 years old, dinosaurs were created on the sixth day, and
Jesus is the savior who will one day repair the trauma of man?s fall.
Learning of the museum reminded me of one of my more interesting experiences at work in “the real world.” One summer while in college, I worked at the warehouse for the Smithsonian Institution gift shops. All merchandise sold in all Smithsonian museums in DC, came through our warehouse first where we spent all day counting items and then placing price tags on them (let's just say I prefer being a college professor). Not surprisingly, lots of dinosaur stuff came through (and that summer, a ton of Star Trek merchandise due to a special exhibit). I remembering being floored when one of my co-workers said, “you don't believe in that dinosaur s*** do you?” I had no idea, dinosaurs were “a belief.” It was not long after that one of my co-workers gave me a chick tract (if you have no idea what I'm talking about, you really should click the link) and tried to explain to me that Catholics were actually worshipping Egyptian gods and that I could only be a true Christian if I spoke in tongues. Let's just say I was glad to get back to college that year.