Several weeks ago we had an opportunity to take a field trip to the Creation Museum near Cincinnati, Ohio. My parents went with us. You can see in the picture that my mother is going to beat the dinosaur in the nose with her museum map. That is very like my mother! You really do not mess with her grandchildren, especially if she has a museum map in her hand.
We really enjoyed this museum. We had the opportunity to hear Steve Ham (Ken Ham's brother) speak and to meet him. As a side note, I spoke with him about my book Amazing Animals by Design and am hoping the museum book store may decide to carry it!
Now, since I have been writing about the theory of intelligent design, I get a lot of questions as to how it is similar to or different from Creationism. The primary difference is the starting point of the study. Creationism begins with the Judeo-Christian belief that God created the world, and it studies scientific evidence to see if it supports that belief (and it does!). Intelligent Design starts with the evidence itself, determined to follow wherever it leads, and the ID scientists find that the evidence supports the theory that the universe was created by an intelligent and purposeful Designer rather than by a series of random events and natural selection. Many ID scientists believe that the Designer is the God of the Bible, while others simply present the scientific evidence and stop there. You can find out more at my Amazing by Design blog.
I have said before and will say again here that I personally am a Creationist. I believe God created the world because the Bible says so. I am interested in the study of intelligent design theory because of the different perspective. Many of these scientists started out not believing in God, believing the Bible was only a figurative story, or just not being sure, and they came to believe in God because of the scientific evidence. I believe this is a powerful witnessing tool, and that their scientific study will equip our children well to deal with scientific studies in high schools or universities. While some critics may say that Creationists are simply looking for evidence to support their own belief and finding what they choose to find, I believe the same could be said of Darwinian evolutionists. Intelligent Design Theory is a good way to teach my kids to look at evidence objectively, and to realize that all evidence can be interpreted in different ways. This could lead to a whole discussion about the importance of our Worldview, which I had better leave for another article!!
Now back to the Creation Museum. It is owned by the Answers In Genesis foundation, and they are, of course, creationists. The museum is full of information about creation, dinosaurs, other early creatures, Noah's Ark, the Flood, and how science supports creationism rather than Darwinism. It was wonderful for my children to experience the life-size exhibits after talking about these things in school. There is a petting zoo and several animals in terrariums. My children loved watching the chameleons run from branch to leaf and back and quickly change color. They also loved the Zorse and the Zonkey - crosses between a zebra with a horse and a donkey, respectively, to demonstrate how genetics work. My youngest thought they looked cool and enjoyed feeding them, while my oldest, who studied genetics in biology this year, was fascinated with the breeding.
The Creation Museum was great for all ages. The younger kids enjoyed the scavenger hunt through the museum. They all enjoyed explaining things they had learned in science this year to the grandparents as we browsed the exhibits - and of course grandparents always act enthralled whether they already knew that information or not!! I enjoyed seeing all the exhibits that reinforced what we had been learning. I especially appreciate seeing things that are backed by hard scientific or Biblical evidence and seeing how they fit together. There were a few things here that were more speculation. For credibility's sake, I prefer to stick with the facts when teaching my children. We look forward to AIG completing their life-size model of what Noah's Ark could have looked like.
Enough rambling. Let me show you some pictures! If you are in the Cincinnati area this summer, certainly consider the Creation Museum for a field trip!
Happy museum - visiting!! :-)