Ken Ham has high hopes that his Creation Museum, set to open in late May, will become a welcome refuge for people who take the Genesis account of Creation literally, including its testimony of a 6,000-year-old Earth and universe, a flood of cataclysmic proportions, and a real Garden of Eden. The museum, encompassing 60,000 square feet, is situated on a 5-acre plot of land in the town of Petersburg, Kentucky.
Ham is a native of Australia and a former high-school biology and zoology teacher. While believing in the literal word of the Bible regarding creation, Ham continued teaching evolutionary theory to his students. Increased conflict on interest between his job and his personal beliefs finally made Ham seek other, more faith-based employment: as president of the Evangelical Ministry, Answers in Genesis.
However, Ham’s inspiration for a creation-based museum came during his evolutionary theory teaching stint: while on a field trip to a natural history museum with his students, Ham was troubled to see evolutionary theory presented as fact. He then conceived of the idea to open up a comparable creationist museum, one that would propose an alternate theory to evolution. Answers in Genesis stood behind and funded the project, at a cost of $26 million so far. The money was raised through private donations. Answers in Genesis describes the museum project and its aims via its online Web site, which also includes a link to a video, narrated by the director of Creation Evangelism, Cecil Eggert.
The Creation Museum is high-tech all the way: its special effects theater contains seats that rumble and shake with the announcement of the Biblical Flood, and audience members are sprayed with a mist of water and air. A separate planetarium provides visitors with impressive views of the constellations. The exhibits feature elaborate displays of dinosaurs and humans in coexistence, and even a small replica of Noah’s Ark.
Ham expects a quarter of a million visitors yearly, and his expectation may be fulfilled: a CBS poll, conducted in 2004, found that only 13% of Americans believe in an evolutionary process that is not guided by God, compared with 27% that believe evolution to be guided by God. Another 55% of Americans were found to believe in a literal creation of human beings by God. Two-thirds of all Americans also favored that creationism be taught alongside evolution in public schools.
Ham would probably agree with the idea of teaching creationism along with evolutionary theory in schools, given his statement that evolutionists “define science as naturalism. They say we cannot involve the supernatural.” However, if science can be redefined to involve both the natural and the supernatural, then creationism can become a focus for science teaching as well.
Sources: Biblically Correct http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18061154/site/newsweek/
Answers in Genesis http://www.answersingenesis.org/museum/
Poll: Creationism Trumps Evolution http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/11/22/opinion/polls/main657083.shtml