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Creationist Cults

Museum completes design

By Kevin Eigelbach
Post staff reporter

A man and woman clad in animal skins relax beside a pond. The man stirs the water with a stick, the woman feeds a squirrel by hand.

Ducks, turtles and fish swim in the water. And just a few feet from the people, two velociraptors, those smart dinosaurs that made a meal out of a gamekeeper in "Jurassic Park" drink water and munch on leaves.

You won't see this scene at your local natural history museum, but you will see something like it when you walk into the Creation Museum and Family Discovery Center.

Answers In Genesis Ministries, the Florence-based proponent of creation science, has completed the rough design of the exhibits for the $14 million museum it has started building off Interstate 275 in Boone County.

The exhibits will tell the biblical story of the creation of the universe and put forth the scientific evidence that the ministry believes supports the view that God created the world in six days about 6,000 years ago.

"So many people think Genesis is a book of fables. We think it's a book of truth," Museum Design Director Patrick Marsh said.

Most scientists believe the fossil evidence shows that velociraptors and people lived millions of years apart. But creationists believe God made land-based dinosaurs on the sixth day of creation, the same day he made people.

"God didn't originally make them meat-eaters, in fact, in the Garden of Eden, animals didn't eat other animals. It wasn't until Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit that animals turned to each other for food."

"The fall of man changed everything," Answers In Genesis Ministries Executive Director Ken Ham said. "The world today is not the world God originally created."

The museum will show glimpses of the original creation as Answers in Genesis sees it, with a life-sized Tyrannosaurus Rex walking among people, as well as the corruption and catastrophe that followed the fall.

A 150-seat, special-effects theater will tell the creation story, complete with fog, lightning and animatronic characters, Marsh said.

Dioramas will show the Tower of Babel and the dispersion of people throughout the entire earth. Other dioramas will serve an evangelistic purpose, telling visitors why God needed to become man in Jesus and what the Bible says about his return.

Breakout exhibits will address tough questions about the Bible, such as the existence of suffering, and where did Cain get his wife, anyway?

Guides will answer questions in whatever depth of science that people want to dive into, Marsh said.

Outside the building, visitors will walk along nature trails with exhibits that show evidence for creation, Ham said. For example, an exhibit of fossils would tell the creationist belief that most fossils happened during a worldwide flood in the days of Noah.

Visitors also will see something that will show them how big Noah's ark purportedly was, either through a full-scale model or markings on the ground (according to Genesis 6:15, it was 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high).

Ham hopes that the museum will show people that the Bible isn't just a religious book, but a book of science as well. Creationists disagree with the conclusions evolutionists have drawn about the origins of the universe.

The ministry is building the museum as funds become available. So far, it has raised almost $5 million, enough to buy the 47 acres for the building and to finish excavation for its foundation.

Ham hopes to have the shell of the building complete by March 2003, and to open the first phase of the museum sometime in 2004.

In addition to the museum, the building also will house the ministry's main offices and a warehouse/distribution center for its literature.

Copyright 2001 The Cincinnati Post, an E.W. Scripps newspaper.

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