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Education extends far beyond the classroom. Every newspaper article, TV newscast, and dramatic movie reflects—to varying degrees—the personal biases of those involved. Following is an example of how two journalists might cover the same event, based on their worldviews.
Although these two sample articles were written by the same journalist, they both reveal how easy it is to “slant” the very same information in two very different ways.
PETERSBURG, Kentucky—Undeterred by the scorn of leading academics, Answers in Genesis has forged ahead with its elaborate new museum just outside Cincinnati. Described as “a walk through history,” the 60,000-square-foot Creation Museum presents a version of history outside the mainstream.
It’s a history that most anthropologists and paleontologists see as a manipulation of the natural evidence. And it’s one that historians see as plain old wishful thinking.
The organization leads a movement among the Christian right that proclaims the biblical creation story to be literal and factual. Similar stories abound in various cultures. The museum builds on that religious notion, going so far as to claim by “biblical authority” that nature and the fossil record support a 6,000-year-old universe, created in six 24-hour days. Its displays are expertly crafted to bolster the belief that evolution never happened.
The National Academy of Sciences has determined that the origins of primitive life can be traced back at least 3.5 billion years. And in the words of the National Science Teachers Association, “There is no longer a debate among scientists over whether evolution has taken place.”
Some museum visitors may leave with the impression of a Disney ride rather than a science museum. Instead of riding Dumbo, kids can sit on a saddled, life-size Triceratops, winsomely presented to reinforce the notion that humans and dinosaurs were created simultaneously.
The National Center for Science Education calls the notion “factual nonsense.” But AiG remains undeterred in its quasi-evangelistic version of “science.”
The Creation Museum, by and large, is a visual feast prepared for an audience heavily populated by fundamentalist adherents who need little convincing.
PETERSBURG, Kentucky—Despite vigorous opposition and delays, the Answers in Genesis organization has opened its elaborate new Creation Museum near Cincinnati. Critics, such as the National Center for Science Education which accuses AiG of “twisting reality,” may be in for some surprises.
The 60,000-square-foot museum is a marvel of creative planning and high-tech craftsmanship. And though the nearly 200 exhibits consistently refute evolution theory, that is not the primary emphasis. The central theme is the truth of the Bible.
The emphasis on biblical inerrancy in no way minimizes the scientifically accurate displays. Often striking in their realism, the exhibits include archaeological digs and studies of cataclysmic geological formations at Mount St. Helens and the Grand Canyon. And there is an ample array of natural treasures from fossils to finches.
The experience also considers the science of caves and landmark events in biblical history—including the first coming of Christ. Other exhibits include the Garden of Eden, Noah’s Ark, and the Tower of Babel.
The museum does have a darker side, reminding visitors of the fallen creation in displays within the Cave of Sorrows and Corruption Valley. But everything points to the offer of salvation in Jesus Christ.
The Creation Museum and AiG headquarters are located on a rolling 50-acre Kentucky site. The project was moved to its present location after earlier plans for another site were stymied by local opposition and an environmental lawsuit by the Sierra Club.
In spite of the challenges, the new $27 million museum is up and running—to the delight of visitors not only mesmerized by the artistry and animation, but challenged by its unabashed adherence to the Bible and its Christian message about life and the world.