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A visit to AIG's Creation Museum

Post of the Month: August 2009


Subject:    | Creation Museum
Date:       | 29 Aug 2009
Message-ID: |

I just got back from taking my son to college. On the way back we stopped off at the Creation Museum outside of Cincinnati in Kentucky. It was a Thursday and for a time when school has already started for many, there were quite a few people in attendance. It is a sad comment on our times that armed security people were, likely purposely, openly displayed. The people were friendly and helpful. We were lucky enough to come when a tour group was going in and they had extra two-for-one coupons that they handed out to other visitors, so we got an instant discount to start the day off right. The full price is around $23.00 a pop if you are thinking of going.

They have put a lot of effort into this facility, and we had a pleasant walk through the garden outside the museum. It is sad that if I have to sum up the fruit of their efforts it would be that it was a monument to ignorance. The science content was minimal and obfuscation and denial were prevalent. The main focus was indoctrination of their specific theology with a view that they seemed to deny with their efforts in putting up the physical displays. The main message was that faith was more important than the physical evidence. If you accepted their narrow literal interpretation of the Bible then you had to deny everything contrary to that view. All their “science” displays meant nothing, and that is about what anyone would have gotten out of them besides “hey, this looks niffty” You didn't really learn anything. There were a lot of dinosaurs scattered around, but you didn't learn much about them except that they were all vegetarians before the fall.

I hadn't really thought about it before, but a lot of the old patriarchs overlapped each other. One exhibit indicated that Methuselah and Noah may have known each other. They coexisted for around 400 years. The claim was that Methuselah died 200 years before the flood, so he wasn't among the unworthy. Noah was 600 when the flood came. I recall Karl Crawford claiming that Noah was around 500 when he started building the ark and it took him around a hundred years, so that fits his time line. There is apparently another timeline in the septuagint that would have Methuselah living until after the flood, and the claim is that, that timeline is in error.

They had one exhibit where they had some claim that meat wasn't eaten until after the flood. They seemed to be talking mainly about people, but I don't know how they interpret the story of Cain and Abel (Abel was the shepherd and brought the best of his flock to the Lord) and what people did with the carcasses after they made their clothes from the animal skins. They had an interesting exhibit about the Ark. They showed a three layered hull and an inner bracing configuration similar to Comstock square set timber bracing. I don't recall seeing any specific number for the kinds that were on the Ark, but their displays were woefully inadequate to portray taking care of the 30,000 different kinds (pairs of most and and 7 pairs of the birds and ritually clean) that is the Woodmorappe estimate. There seemed to be the hope that all the dinos and other animals on the ark were still vegetarians. They acknowledged that God brought the animals, but Noah was tasked with taking care of them. They claimed that the flood lasted 5½ months, but my Bible says that Noah was on the ark from the seventeenth day of the second month to the twenty seventh day of the second month when God told Noah to come out of the ark. According to Woodmorappe the median size of an animal on the ark was the size of a sheep. No mention was made of the hellish conditions that must have existed for 8 people trying to take care of 10s of thousands of animals for a year. Someone should try to pack 60,000 plus sheep into an ark sized volume and try to get 8 people to keep them alive for a year. Even without the ventilation problems it would be a neat trick to take care of the liquid and solid waste along with feeding each pair in their individual pens.

They had a method of getting the animals spread across to the continents that they needed to go to in order to get back to where the fossils of their ancestors can be found. They claimed that there were massive amounts of logs that would spend years floating around the oceans moving with the currents that could have transported the ark survivors to where they needed to go. These log rafts seemed to be different from the “floating forests” that they claimed were responsible for forming the coal deposits during the flood. Apparently, during the flood there were living forests floating around that grew and produced massive amounts of biomass that would sink and form the coal deposits.

According to guys like Ray the people responsible for the Creation Museum are not “true creationists.” My guess is that most of the security is to take care of true believers that disagree with the exhibits. There is no big tent atmosphere that is prevalent in the intelligent design scam, only a narrow view of their literal interpretation of the Bible. They had several panels indicating that they believed in massive amounts of evolution before and after the flood. The entire history of the earth has to be crammed into around 6,500 years. People might be surprised that all canids are derived from one kind on the ark. They even listed foxes as being derived from one dog kind. True foxes are more than twice the genetic distance from wolves and domestic dogs as chimps are to humans. This is a massive amount of genetic change in just a few thousand years.

Like Woodmorappe they have to limit the number of kinds on the ark as much as they can, and so a kind seems to be anything that they think that they can get away with on the genus or family level. According to one display your house cat is descended from the same pair of cats that gave rise to tigers, jaguars and probably those saber toothed monsters that evolved during the cold period after the flood. Just a few thousand kinds produced all the millions of species that exist today and evolved after the flood, but are now extinct. They claim that a lot of the fossil record is of the various species that evolved after the flood. One display claimed that marsupials could travel farther and faster from the ark than eutherian mammals (because they could carry their young in pouches) and that is why you find marsupial fossils in sedimentary layers under the layers containing most of the eutherian mammalian fossils. I am not making this stuff up. This would mean that in order to explain the fossil record they have to claim that the evolution and extinction of the Eocene mammalian megafauna, along with the Pleistocene megafauna had to occur after the flood in just a few thousand years. The sedimentary layers that they are likely talking about that hold the marsupial fossils are likely over a hundred million years old.

The planetarium show likely contained more scientific information than in the rest of the entire museum (worth the 7 or 8 dollars extra if only to get some useful information out of the museum). They tried to give an accurate portrayal of the vastness of the universe. Our star's place on the edge of one arm of a galaxy that is one of hundreds of billions of other galaxies was depicted in an interesting way. Then they discounted everything to claim that we are special. They went to great lengths to explain about stars and stellar progressions that should take millions of years, and then said nothing about supernovas that have been observed that indicate that if it really does take these young stars millions of years to die there have been stars that reached that limit, and died as predicted. They were trying to claim that because it only took millions of years for some stars to blow up that the existence of such stars proved that the universe could not be billions of years old. They discount any new star formation, and of course ignore what supernova tell them about how much time must have passed already.

My wife and I discussed the theology during the drive home and since she teaches Sunday school at our church I asked if they teach the basic theology portrayed in the museum. She claimed that they did not. YEC interpretations isn't mentioned. As far as I know Methodists have no official stance on young earth creationism, and it isn't part of the Sunday school lesson program. It wasn't part of what we learned in Sunday school when I went decades ago, but for some reason it is one of the most important parts of the theology of the people responsible for this museum.

I was curious about what the museum was like and it was a nice way to spend a few hours. I did not expect much and I was not disappointed. I even learned a few things about what these guys believe. This is hard to believe since I've read TO since around 1993. It indicates to me that ignorance is a way of life for YECers, and that most of the YEC posters do not even know what they are supposed to believe.

Ron Okimoto

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