The Flying Spaghetti Monster would not be pleased to learn that the world’s first (and I desperately hope, only) Creationist museum will soon open in a bustling part of backwood Kentucky. This $25 million Disney-fied, anamatronic monstrosity is dedicated to presenting the biblical creation story as factually accurate.
The Creation Museum – motto: “Prepare to Believe!” – will be the first institution in the world whose contents [editor’s note: and ideas]…. are entirely fake.
This museum is the brainchild (and I use the word ‘brain’ loosely) of one Patrick Marsh, an ex-employee of Universal Studios whose eyes were opened–hallelujah!–when he was born again through Jesus. He believes that the bible is completely factually correct:
“The Bible is the only thing that gives you the full picture,” he says. “Other religions don’t have that, and, as for scientists, so much of what they believe is pretty fuzzy about life and its origins … oh, this is a great place to work, I will tell you that.”
As you meander through the museum, likely dumbstruck with disbelief, you will encounter mechanical models of dinosaurs whose real counterparts apparently co-existed with people. No matter that dinosaurs were never mentioned in the bible, likely god had more pressing matters to write about than his children getting torn limb from limb by T-Rexes. In addition, you can purchase books and models of dragons in the museum store–dragons being real animals similar to dinosaurs. In this building, the world is only 6,000 years old (as calculated by a 17th century bishop, and swallowed whole) and the Grand Canyon was created by Noah’s Flood. Speaking of the Flood, in the museum you’ll also find a large model of the Ark, as well as a soothing voice explaining how all those animals that usually eat each other were able to behave themselves for 40 days on a big boat that didn’t even have a midnight buffet.
And what about those pesky *humanoid* fossils? The ones that proponents of evolution claim are our ancestors. Well Mr. Marsh has an explanation for them as well:
“There are no such things. Humans are basically as you see them today. Those skeletons they’ve found, what’s the word? … they could have been deformed, diseased or something. I’ve seen people like that running round the streets of New York.”
Continue on, and you’ll see the Tree of Life and a life-like representation of God removing Adam’s rib to make Eve (with a warning for children!).
“Absolutely, because we are in there, being faithful to scripture.”
However, one thing you will NOT see is any nudity, despite Adam and Eve being described as naked in the bible.
With this commitment to authenticity, I find myself asking what they are doing about the fig leaf. Marsh considers this gravely and replies: “He is appropriately positioned, so he can be modest. There will be a lamb or something there next to him. We are very careful about that: some of our donors are scared to death about nudity.”
The other minds behind the Creationist museum? First there’s Dr Jason Lisle, who has a PhD in astrophysics from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
The museum’s planetarium is his pride and joy. Lisle writes the commentary. “Amazing! God has a name for each star,” it says, and: “The sun’s distance from earth did not happen by chance.” There is much more in this vein, but not what God thought he was doing when he made Pluto, or why.
The museum’s director is Ken Ham, a former science teacher (!!!!!) from Australia.
“You’d never find something like this in Australia,” he says. “If you want to get the message out, it has to be here.” On top of the shelves is an array of fluffy poodle toys, as well as cuddly dinosaurs. “Poodles are degenerate mutants of dogs. I say that in my lectures and people present them to me as gifts.” “We want to try to convince people using observational science,” he says. “It’s done very gently but forthrightly. We give both sides, which is more than the Science Museum in London does.” This is true in that the Creation museum does include an animatronic evolutionist archaeologist, sitting beside a creationist, at one point. But there’s no space for an animatronic Charles Darwin to fit alongside King David and his harp.
Ham is even a fan of Dawkins, and has “flipped through” his most recent book. His critique?
“The thing is, Dawkins does not have infinite knowledge or understanding himself. He’s got a position, too, it’s just a different one from ours. The Bible makes sense and is overwhelmingly confirmed by observable science. It does not confirm the belief in evolution.”
The museum, when it opens, is expecting 300,000 visitors a year.
“You’ve not seen anything yet,” [Ham] says with a smile.
It has already been suggested by a couple of my friends that when this place does open, we will have to take a road trip down to it. I am debating this. On the one hand, I’m sure a group of irreverent atheist hoodlums could kick up a lot of fun at this joint, but is it worth a lifetime of nightmares that Americans actually believe this stuff???