The Creation Museum is a 60,000 square foot museum designed to promote a Young-Earth Creationist view of history with state of the art displays and presentations. It cost $27 million to construct and is located in Petersburg, Kentucky, just outside of Cincinnati; a location chosen due to having almost two thirds of the United States population within a 650-mile distance. It opened its doors to the public on May 28, 2007, exceeding expectations by receiving 4,000 visitors on the first day. Membership to the museum, which includes annual passes, now exceeds 10,260.
The Creation Museum presents a "walk through history" with a basis on a straightforward reading of the Bible, particularly the early chapters of Genesis. The exhibits are designed, for "[a] fully engaging, sensory experience," to illustrate Earth's history and origin from a Young Earth Creationist perspective. The enterprise is supported by Ken Ham, founder of Answers in Genesis.
On its opening, the New York Times gave it a page one review which commented:
|“||Whether you are willing to grant the premises of this museum almost becomes irrelevant as you are drawn into its mixture of spectacle and narrative. Its 60,000 square feet of exhibits are often stunningly designed by Patrick Marsh, who, like the entire museum staff, declares adherence to the ministry's views; he evidently also knows the lure of secular sensations, since he designed the "Jaws" and "King Kong" attractions at Universal Studios in Florida.... The Creation Museum offers an alternate world that has its fascinations, even for a skeptic wary of the effect of so many unanswered assertions. He leaves feeling a bit like Adam emerging from Eden, all the world before him, freshly amazed at its strangeness and extravagant peculiarities.||”|
There has been much controversy since the Kentucky-based Creation Museum was announced, and it has been widely criticized by those who oppose the literal-historical view of Genesis, because it differs with the Theory of Evolution.
Lawrence Krauss (a physicist and astronomer) stated that the museum is both a "fraud" and "hypocritical" because it "repeatedly misrepresents the process and results of science and distorts the scientific record. Yet in every case it takes advantage of the technical wizardry of science to get its point across, with a series of dazzling animatronic displays and explanations"
Greg Neyman, of Answers In Creation, expressed concern about non-Christian museum visitors. "They will see the museum, and recognize its faulty science, and will be turned away from the church. This will increase the already widening gap between the unchurched and the churched. ... Atheistic people and organizations are increasingly attacking the church, because they perceive that the findings of modern science cannot be reconciled with the Bible."
In August 2009, atheist and evolutionist PZ Myers led a group of over 300 atheist and agnostic students on a tour of the Creation Museum. During the visit, the 52-year-old Myers had noticeably greater difficulty than others climbing on and off a dinosaur model due to the fact that he was overweight and out of shape. In addition, the purpose of the dinosaur model is clearly for children to sit on for photographs. Myers donned a borrowed cowboy hat and was egged on by the cheers and laughter of the students.
Other Creation Museums
- The Creation Evidence Museum in Glen Rose, Texas, was established in 1984. According to its web site, the museum presents "scientific evidence for creation and design by a personal Creator", and "makes a unique contribution, demonstrating that man and dinosaur lived contemporaneously".
- Dinosaur Adventure Land in Pensacola, Florida, a "theme park" consisting of a discovery center and museum, was established in 2001. Its founder, minister Kent Hovind, said "There are a lot of creationists that are really smart and debate the intellectuals, but the kids are bored after five minutes. You're missing 98 percent of the population if you only go the intellectual route." The site has no rides. Demonstrations include the Nerve-Wracking Ball, a bowling ball suspended from a rope. Visitors are challenged to stand at a specific location, while a park guide carefully launches the ball from another specific location, and demonstrate their "faith in God's laws"—in this case, that a swinging object will never come back higher than the point from which it took off—by standing without moving or flinching as the ball comes close to their face.
- A much more modest creation museum, the Big Valley Creation Science Museum, is scheduled to open on June 5, 2007 in Big Valley, Canada. It includes displays on "Fossils and the Flood," a set of English scrolls tracing the family of King Henry VI back to the Garden of Eden, and illustrations of humans and dinosaurs coexisting. Big Valley is a small village located about 270 miles north of Alberta. The region is an historically important dinosaur fossil collecting area, where the "great Canadian dinosaur rush" occurred in the early 1900s, popular for school field trips and tourists interested in fossils; the area also includes the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology and Dinosaur Provincial Park.
- The Institute for Creation Research in Santee, California (near San Diego) has a small "Museum of Creation and Earth History" which has been operating since 1975 with an upgrade around 1992.
- Ark Encounter, sister attraction of the Creation Museum
- PZ Myers embarrasses himself at the Creation Museum - satire
- Creation Museum
- Museum Brings Creationism to Life, MSNBC, says "50,000 square-foot-museum"
- Dinosaurs frolic with Adam and Eve at creationism museum
- Answers update, volume 14, issue 8, August 2007, pg. 3
- Rothstein, Edward (2007) "Museum Review: Adam and Eve in the Land of the Dinosaurs," The New York Times, May 24, 2007, p. 1; also online.
- Lawrence Krauss, Faculty Page
- Kraus, L, 2007 quoted in "Museum of Misinformation", New Scientist, May 26th 2007, p24
- Answers in Creation - Creation Museum Media Mania, March 30, 2007
- Ken Ham on The O’Reilly Factor
- Creation Museum's 1st visitor? Bill Maher worldnetdaily.com April 16, 2007
- "Creation Museum: Is This How World Began?" (ABC News)
- See this video.
- "A firebrand visits Creation Museum" (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)
- Creation Evidence Museum
- Goodenough, Abby (2004), "Darwin-Free Fun For Creationists", The New York Times, May 1, 2004, p. 7
- Big Valley Creation Science Museum, museum website
- Canada's first museum of creation opens in Alberta, Reuters, May 29, 2007
- Dinosaur Valley, Travel for Kids website
- Morris, John,  Acts & Facts, June 2007.
- Morris, Henry, ICR and The Word Of God Back to Genesis, December 1995.