New Museum Says Creation, Science Go Hand-in-Hand
PETERSBURG, Ky. -- Ken Ham stood outside his $27 million Creation Museum before its official opening on Monday (May 28) and declared its mission is not just to counter evolution.
He also wants to create a few Christians.
"We don't just want to see people converted to creationism,'' said Ham, president of the Answers in Genesis ministry, which built the museum on a site officials say is a convenient travel distance for two-thirds of all Americans.
The latest juncture between evolutionists and creationists comes in the form of a 60,000-square-foot building whose main hall features animatronic dinosaurs and figures of young children playing near each other in a way its owners believe life really occurred some 6,000 years ago.
With the slogan "Prepare to Believe,'' Ham's creation-defending ministry opened the museum on Memorial Day on 49 acres just over the Kentucky state line from Cincinnati.
The museum was partially funded by three anonymous families who donated $1 million each, but 75 percent of all donations averaged around $100, officials said. Those donations built a state-of-the-art museum with vibrating seats and sprays of water in a theater that depicts Noah's flood, and extensive exhibits that claim the Grand Canyon could have formed around the time of that flood rather than millions of years ago as suggested by most scientists.
A studious visitor could spend several hours in the museum, which includes a planetarium, exhibits detailing the construction of Noah's Ark and life-size sculptures of Eve handing Adam the forbidden fruit from the Garden of Eden.
Two days before the official opening, a supportive crowd of hundreds of civic and business leaders and charter members -- some who paid $1,000 for a lifetime membership -- dined on shrimp and fruit kabobs after a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Critics, however, were not far away: a plane circled overhead from the group Campaign to Defend the Constitution (DEFCON) flying a banner that read, "DEFCON SAYS THOU SHALT NOT LIE.'' Atheist and scientific groups have signed petitions complaining the museum fosters "superstition'' and will confuse schoolchildren who see one view there and hear another in high school and college.