Creation-science ministry Answers in Genesis (AIG) opened on Memorial Day the first large-scale museum dedicated to teaching young-earth creationism. Weeklong celebrations attracted more than 15,000 visitors, including a group of 40 protesters.

The 60,000-square-foot Creation Museum, located outside Cincinnati in Kentucky, displays dinosaur bones, a planetarium, and fossils. A walk-through-the-Bible exhibit features recreations of the Garden of Eden, the Tower of Babel, and Noah's Ark. A spate of publicity prompted AIG to expand the size of the $27 million museum.

AIG president and CEO Ken Ham said he has wanted such a museum for more than two decades.

"Twenty-five years ago, we didn't have all the arguments fine-tuned," Ham told CT. "This is part of the maturing of the biblical creationist movement."

The modern creationist movement began with John C. Whitcomb's The Genesis Flood, published in 1961.

"Christians have problems answering the questions of skeptics because churches and Christian colleges don't teach apologetics," Ham said. "The museum is a rallying point to call the church and culture back to the Word of God by confirming the Bible's accuracy."

Creation science largely arose in response to philosophically unsophisticated efforts to impose evolution education following Sputnik's launch in 1957, said Notre Dame University history professor Mark Noll.

"It's commendable that Christian parents want to resist the atheistic indoctrination of their children," Noll said. "Yet as eminent Christian scientists like Francis Collins have demonstrated, it's possible to honor God scientifically without recourse to creation science."

AIG officials anticipate that more than 250,000 visitors each year will pay the $19 admission fee (children get in for $9).

Related Elsewhere:

The Creation Museum opened on May 28, amid protests.

Answers in Genesis has a "tour" of the museum with information and drawings of the displays.

Christianity Today's articles on science are available in our special section.

Weblog commented on the many Christian tourist destinations in the news recently.

Other related articles include:

The Trouble with Fred and Wilma | A Christian magazine editor critiques the Creation Museum—and The Times' coverage of it. (Michael Patrick Leahy, The Los Angeles Times)
Actor's risque past halts 'Adam' film | The man who plays Adam in a video aired at a Bible-based creationist museum has led a different life outside the Garden of Eden, flaunting his sexual exploits online and modeling for a clothing line that promotes free love. (Associated Press)
Adam and Eve in the Land of the Dinosaurs | Outside the museum scientists may assert that the universe is billions of years old, but inside the museum the Earth is barely 6,000 years old, dinosaurs were created on the sixth day, and Jesus is the savior who will one day repair the trauma of man's fall. (The New York Times)
A Monument To Creation | Kentucky museum discounts centuries of research, critics say. (The Washington Post)
Creation Museum Promotes the Bible over Evolution | The $27 million Creation Museum opened its doors in northern Kentucky on Monday. Protesters outside the museum criticized it for trying to replace science with fiction. (NPR's All Things Considered)
Creationist museum challenges evolution | For some a battle between science and religion is being fought for the soul of America. The Creationists argue God created the world in six days and want their beliefs given equal status to evolutionary science. (BBC News)
Inside the Creation Museum | Adam and Eve frolic amid the dinosaurs in the new $27 million museum that demonstrates Darwin has nothing on the Book of Genesis. (Salon)

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