Creation Museum Two Years Old

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Today is Memorial Day in the U.S., and it was Memorial Day 2007 when the Creation Museum opened. Technically, the museum’s birthday is May 28 (this Thursday), which was the date when America celebrated Memorial Day in 2007; but today really feels more like the museum’s birth date.

Our 720,000th visitor will have walked through the museum before the official two-year birthday date this Thursday, so the museum is as popular as ever—attracting guests from across the USA, Canada, and around the world.

I thought it would be good on this memorable day to quote from two recent articles about the Creation Museum: first a very positive one where the Creation Museum’s teaching is helping answer questions and bolster the faith of young people; the second article is vehemently attacking what is taught—but at the same time extremely complimentary in places!!

1. Christian Broadcasting Network CBN TV wrote an article (and re-broadcast a story where reporter Paul Strand, with his boys, had Dr. Jason Lisle of our staff take them through the museum and answer their questions). The article begins:

Creation Museum Bolsters Kids' Faith-- PETERSBURG, Ky. -- At most public schools in America, students are taught the theory of evolution. But many Christian parents are teaching their kids the biblical view of creation. And they're finding new ways to back up their beliefs with scientific fact. One major mission of the new Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, is bolstering the faith of kids who believe in creationism, but have that belief bashed by their schools and teachers.

From dinosaurs to DNA to carbon dating, kids of faith have questions these days. They're struggling to put together what their schools teach about science and what their beliefs are. For evolution to be true, the earth must be billions of years old, with life-forms on it evolving slowly over hundreds of millions of years. That seems to contradict the biblical version of creation, with God making the earth and its many life-forms rapidly...and probably not all that long ago.

I brought my boys Austin and Ryan -- both public school students -- to investigate these opposing viewpoints with the Creation Museum's Dr. Jason Lisle. How Old Are Dinosaurs? Upon seeing the many dinosaurs in the museum, the boys asked if evolutionists are right saying the dinosaurs lived tens of millions of years ago. "They like to believe that dinosaurs are millions of years old and that the earth's billions of years old," said Lisle, creation scientist. But Lisle says material has been found in dinosaur remains that could last -- at the most -- thousands of years. "You know, we actually find dinosaur soft tissue -- things like red blood cells -- and can you imagine that lasting millions of years? It even looks fresh," he said.

Ryan asked, "do fossils support creation?" Lisle said creationists love the fossil record because it shows no evolving of species. "What we don't find is a continual sequence of one kind of organism changing into another kind -- what they would call 'transitional forms.' You ought to have millions of those things if evolution were true," Lisle said.

What about DNA? Austin said, "My teachers say human and ape DNA are so alike it proves evolution." Lisle pointed out their DNA does have many similarities, but so what? "We actually have a lot of the same DNA as a banana," Lisle said. "But that doesn't mean we evolved from a banana, does it? "But the boys wondered about all that dating of objects science does that seems to prove they're millions of years old. Lisle pointed to Mount St. Helens, where scientists radiometrically dated some of the brand-new rocks just created by the volcano's eruptions in the 1980s… "And they came out hundreds of thousands to millions of years old -- on rocks that we know are just a few years old," he said.”

You can read the entire article and watch the video clip (which also features the 7 Wonders Creation Museum near Mount St. Helens, Washington, run by our friends the Andersons. www.cbn.com/cbnnews/healthscience/2009/May/Creation-Museum-Bolsters-Kids-Faith-/

2. HEART OF DARKNESS - THE CREATION MUSEUM

Recently a couple came to the Creation Museum and wrote up a lengthy report on their blog (with many beautiful photographs) entitled “Heart of Darkness—The Creation Museum.” This couple and their article illustrate so well exactly what is taught in the “starting points” room of the Creation Museum. If you start with a belief that rejects God and His Word, then no matter what you see, you will interpret it a different way—and, as is usual for such critics, they mock and attack and name call—but don’t use logical or scientific arguments. I have reprinted excerpts from their report below with some comments/responses of my own:

Today we went to the creation museum in Kentucky, right across the Ohio river from Cincinnati. It was an overwhelming experience that I have been trying to process for a week. Originally I thought that I should not even try to list the problems with the museum, because engaging the place is pointless; I’m not going to convince anyone who already believes, and anyone who knows the problems doesn’t need me to elaborate. But I just can’t help myself. Read on if you want to hear about my foray into a strange land. And trust me, what I’ve written here is only the beginning. I have many more images and thoughts that I just don’t have time to put here.

Those of you who know me will understand that this visit was not inspired by faith; it was a voyage to an alien world. The creation museum is an attempt to counter the scientific interpretation of natural history with the view that the earth is only 6000 years old. It is operated by a sect that is connected ideologically to the fundamentalist right-wing Christianity that is prominent in the political life of the USA.

COMMENT: Actually, Answers in Genesis has never had a political agenda. We don’t ask politicians, the courts, school boards, etc. to force creation into public schools. This is a typical ploy to use emotional language and “color” people’s thinking before we even begin to discuss the issues.
I count among my friends many Christians. I hope this post doesn’t disturb them, because I have to report that this “museum” is a farce. To be clear: The ideas promoted by the creation museum are intellectually bankrupt; the primary thesis of the museum is absolute lunacy, and the agenda is anti-intellectual. The religion espoused by the museum is hostile to modern American society and has an underbelly of paranoia and prejudice; these things are served to the visitor with a cheery, friendly facade of reasonableness. The museum is a propaganda tool designed to keep the converted in line and to inculcate the young or naive with pretzel logic and fear; it aims to change American society by undermining the accomplishments of the last 400 years of intellectual and cultural progress. I believe that a society based upon such beliefs would result in tyranny.
COMMENT: It’s one thing to name call, it is another to use logical scientific arguments.
There are heavily armed guards carrying tazers and pistols who will stop you from taking pictures of some copyrighted things (that are sold in the store there).
COMMENT: Hmmmm. We allow people freedom to take photographs everywhere (as you can see in their own blog!!) except in the theaters because photography would disrupt the program. Also, some of the images in the videos are copyright protected by people who have allowed us to use their images, but that permission doesn’t necessarily carry over to others to videotape or photograph them. “Heavily armed guards?” Well we do have a public safety department, and some are armed just as most security-type personnel are in museums.
… There is also some kind of cult of personality going on; Ken Ham, the founder of the museum - and its driving force - has a stirring sermon that is shown multiple times a day in a theatre there. On the stage is a mannequin who appears to be watching the filmed sermon, as if to instruct the audience that they, too, should be watching the film. This strikes me as a weirdly conformist situation; what else would you do in a theatre? Is it not obvious?
COMMENT: They are talking about the Special Effects Theatre that presents the Men in White program that involves an animatronic girl on stage. At times during the day (depending on the numbers attending), we use the theatre for live talks instead of the special effects program—all of AiG speakers are involved in this. At other times, we sometimes show a DVD of a speaker—sometimes it is one of my presentations, sometimes other speakers, and sometimes a documentary film. Apparently these people didn’t read the signs well enough to understand that the “mannequin” on stage is actually part of the Men in White video/special effects program, and it is too difficult to remove this sophisticated animatronic girl off stage when we show a video or have a live presentation.
… Religion aside, it a a beautiful building surrounded by exceptional gardens. It has a first-rate petting zoo, a good cafeteria, nicely done displays, and a good planetarium (although some of the content is cracked). The fact that it has a bizarre agenda and distorts facts does not necessarily overcome the reality that the place is fun. They’ve done a good job in that respect. The personnel are friendly and helpful. I liked the people I spoke with when I was there, at least on a personal level. We did our best to treat everyone with respect and not scoff openly at anything we saw…This is no duct-tape hillbilly offering; it is a polished experience similar to Disney world. A lot of money, thought, research, and the work of many intelligent people went into the creation of this museum (sic). It is an impressive enterprise, and I suspect that it is raking in the dough. They’ve been open for 2 years and have had 700,000 visitors. The items in the gift shop are imaginative and numerous. The marketing coverage is thorough to the extent that they have special labels for the bottled water they sell.
COMMENT: Well, even though the article is peppered with more mocking, the authors at least acknowledge the quality of the Creation Museum.
I knew something about this museum before my visit. I’d read about it, seen other people’s reviews, and looked at their web site; anyone who has been awake in the last eight years will understand the relevance of this brand of religion in the USA. I have a particular interest in such matters and have followed developments in the new earth creation movement. I entered this museum with preconceived notions. I knew that my visit would be at best amusing, but probably enraging as well. Still, I wanted to see it for myself.
COMMENT: Well at least he admits it — he entered with a “starting point” (preconceived notions) and proceeded to use that starting point to mock and attack, regardless of the content of the museum! Yes—this couple are a good example of exactly what the Starting Points Room is all about.
… But I cannot hide my contempt for the type of mental vandalism going on in this museum. It is irresponsible and harmful to naive individuals and to society. Yet the museum is so silly and the ideas so uncompelling that I believe it will not succeed…A mixture of scientific findings and biblical beliefs are offered as support for weak reasoning.

One thing the museum does not do too much, though, is make fun of scientific reasoning. They do a pretty good job of treating standard reasoning with respect so that the argument appears above board and based upon rational disagreement. Or so they’d have you believe. The museum really, really, really wants to play with the big boys (scientists) and presents itself as simply an alternative viewpoint, one equal to other forms of interpreting the evidence. They have a saying: “We all have the same facts, we just have different starting places.” This statement is incorrect; we do not have the same facts. I do not assume that the bible is factual. this unsupportable statement is taken as truth by the museum, which clearly does not consider this elementary weakness in all of its reasoning.

COMMENT: Well for all the name calling, and rejection of what the Creation Museum teaches, and for all their attacks on the content, typical of such commentaries, there is no detailed logical or scientific reasoning—basically just an appeal to man’s authority, claiming that everyone knows what this museum teaches is wrong and unscientific, so who needs to detail that? Just throw mud, as you know, and some will eventually stick.

The above quotes came from this link on the web: spleen-me.com/blog/?p=869

Actually, the fact that these people who already rejected the Bible and had “preconceived notions” against us came to the Creation Museum is in itself a positive. You see, the Creation Museum does not just attract Christians—we meet people from many different backgrounds, and a significant number of non-Christians do visit us. And because the Creation Museum honors God’s Word and presents the gospel clearly, we leave it with the Lord to convict these people and open their hearts to the truth. And yes, we have heard testimonies of those who have committed their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ as a result of coming to the Creation Museum.

Please continue to pray for the effectiveness of this outreach that Honors God’s Word and proclaims the gospel in an ever darkening world.

DEVOTION

Marry the need with the remedy

(Luke 3:2-3) the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;

The Word of God creates in us a concern & anxiety to marry the need of the lost to be forgiven for sins with the vital remedy of the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying

Ken

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