Artist Laura Spence works painting next to a mechanical Utahraptor 16 May 2007 at The Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ken. Designed by a former Universal Studios exhibit director, this state-of-the-art 60,000 square foot museum will demonstrate the Bible's authority in all matters including science is scheduled to open to the public this weekend. The museum is a fully engaging, sensory experience with murals and realistic scenery, computer-generated visual effects, over fifty exotic animals, life-sized people and dinosaur animatronics, and a special-effects theater complete with misty sea breezes and rumbling seats.
Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he hold to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion. [1 Timothy 1.7]
Mainstream scientists worry that because the museum is so technically sophisticated, it could be effective in giving children
a distorted an accurate, Biblical view of science.
Was there a reception afterward?
Not fossils, but bones?
There are mammoth and mastodon bones all over, along with dozens of other extinct critters--but no dinosaur bones.
How would a creationist explain this?
I am not a Darwinist, since I think the scientific difficulties of the Theory of General Evolution render it astronomically improbable. But I’m not a literalist creationist, either.
Still, I doubt whether this museum can do much harm, indeed no more harm than all those other museums which teach that Darwinism is the eternal truth that cannot be questioned. It will teach children about dynosaurs and other creatures, and it will also teach them to question Darwinism, which is not a bad thing.
Since this is one museum against the entire public school system, the courts, the universities, and all the other natural history museums in the country, it can do no more than teach children that there is more than one possible point of view about the origins of things.
We live in interesting times, where ignorance and superstition flourish.
That is indeed funny to me. I am afraid to say that I do not believe into the co-existance of dinosaurs and humans at the same time. As everybody here knows I have some reason to this assumption. Nevertheless I accept wide parts of the bible as reality. Even the Genesis has its justification to me if I see it in a wider coherence. But holding on to dates and details that can not be true does not make any sense. Evoloution happened. But it happened under the control of God. This is a very simple truth.
In Europe were I live we do not have this discussion. If someone doubts such proven scientific context on our continent he makes a complete clown of himself. Except of a handful extremely fundamentalistic Christians (whose mental health is regulary questioned from the official side) nobody in Europe (as I already said) is questioning evolution. We had this dispute when Darwin came out with his book in 1858. A comparable museum (even in staunch christian countries like Poland or Italy) would be a maximum joke. A funny Disneyland of creation.
It is extremely interesting that Americans feel so different about this issue. Is it possible that the resticted access to information (i.e. through homeschooling) of certain levels of the American population leaves many people unknowing?
For whatever it’s worth, I went to a conservative Christian college (Grove City), and one of the science professors there gave a very cogent presentation on this topic. The gist of it was that no honest examination of the evidence points to a so-called “young earth,” a literal six-day creation or the coexistence of humans and dinosaurs.
This was a very smart man, a devout Christian and an all-around nice guy, but I remember the annoyance and embarrassment in his voice when he spoke of some of the more contrived “theories” hatched to reconcile scientific evidence with biblical literalism: for instance, the notion that God created the earth and its geological formations to “appear” billions of years old. My prof said essentially that the God Christians believe in does not aim to deceive and that a notion like this is an insult to everyone’s intelligence.
I’m not scientist myself (far from it), so this is just my prof’s two cents.
Call it what it is.
A religious interpretation of natural history.
I find that take incredibly myopic however.
I doubt that will happen. My daughter's been to Disneyland three times and she knows that mice don't actually talk.
I was quite surprised at reading this thoughtful piece from the New York Times.
It seems to be that the author of this review is a good multiculturalist.
He seems to be saying that if you grant the premises of multiculturalism, then even creationists are as entitled to tell their own story using privately donated funds as any other cultural group.
As long as there is no effort by anyone to squash this museum by force, I believe it will be good for science in the long run.
If the scientific evidence presented by this museum does not hold up, people will simply be looking at it as a curiosity — similar to mythology.
This is wrong because it conflates evolution with atheism, when they aren't the same thing at all. On the other hand, there are plenty of militant evolution proponents who perpetuate this misperception by displaying overt God-hatred.
Dino's not real???
At least they should have the right to marry.
I just got back from the museum. I plan to put the pictures on my blog; expect to see them late tonight or tomorrow.