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Jun 28 2013

Creation Museum in trouble?

I simply could not see how the Creation Museum in Kentucky, that opened to great fanfare and big crowds, could maintain that pace of visitors because unlike real museums which are dynamic and change with new scientific knowledge thus enabling productive repeat visits, this museum is pretty much stuck with unchanging source material. Once the excited faithful had seen it, why would they come again?

Back in February I wrote about signs that attendance was declining and now I read that the museum is trying to attract people with gimmicks such as sky bridges, zip lines, and dragon exhibits, though what all these things have to do with the Bible is unclear, unless they are suggesting that Moses and the Israelites crossed the Red Sea using a zip line or a sky bridge while being chased by Pharaoh’s dragons.

In addition, the museum is planning to build something called the Ark Encounter, a separate park 45 minutes away where the main attraction will be a replica of the ark.

How far can they go with this kind of gimmickry? The trouble is that making it into a kind of religious theme park costs real money and their ark project is already behind schedule due to slow fundraising for just the first phase alone. Earlier biblical-based theme parks such as Holy Land and Heritage USA have not had a good track record, going bankrupt quite quickly and it would not surprise me in the least to find that the Creation Museum has over-reached the way the previous religious theme parks did.

15 comments

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  1. 1
    CGM3

    Perhaps they could resort to the medieval practice of indulgences. “Visit the Creation Museum this summer, and your next five sins are automatically forgiven!”

  2. 2
    trucreep

    A nice lesson in “natural-selection” for ol’ Hambo ;]

  3. 3
    rory

    Off topic:

    It’s funny. I grew up in Waterbury, CT (home of Holy Land USA, linked above) and until just now I never considered how messed up it is that my old hometown sits at the foot of a big illuminated cross that’s visible for miles around, How’s that for cognitive bias?

    To be clear, my understanding is that the cross and the land its on are privately owned, and the little maintenance work that’s done is done by volunteers, so I don’t think there’s a First Amendment issue here, but I find it kind of distasteful nonetheless.

    Apologies for the digression.

  4. 4
    changerofbits

    But, but, but, the Creation Museum was intelligently designed! Ok, maybe not intelligently, but it was designed. Ok, maybe it’s not designed, but is the natural outcome of naturally evolved human brain, and is being naturally selected to have the same fate as the dinosaurs it dishonestly portrays. I guess this means Hammy doesn’t have free will, either.

  5. 5
    anubisprime

    Looks like a commie dragon to me…is that biblical or summat’ ?

  6. 6
    raven

    unless they are suggesting that Moses and the Israelites crossed the Red Sea using a zip line or a sky bridge while being chased by Pharaoh’s dragons.

    Sure. Why not?

    It’s all make believe and lets pretend anyway.

    I’d be surprised if the Ark Park is ever built. They’ve had trouble raising money.

    I also don’t see the point. The Big Boat Incident is one of the most vicious and pointless stories in the bible. God invents genocide and kills all but 8 people to fix his mistakes. And it failed anyway and he had to go with Plan B, sending himself down to sacrifice himself to himself. That didn’t work either. Next fix, more genocide at the Apocalypse where he destroys the earth and kills 7 billion people.

  7. 7
    Mano Singham

    It is a truly ghastly story and one that I often use to make Christians squirm because they haven’t thought through the horror of it. That was why I was surprised when I heard that they were making a film of the story with big time stars. I don’t see how the filmmakers can avoid depicting god as a monster who kills off a vast number of people, including children and infants.

  8. 8
    Seeker

    Speaking of the Ark and ghastly, there’s a Christian daycare center near me named after the Ark, and it has a huge logo of the Ark. “Hey, kiddos, God flooded the world and killed off just about everything! Wheeee!”

  9. 9
    Zugswang

    I’m really just biding my time until the whole dismal place has to close down and declare bankruptcy. Then I can have a grand closing party with my evolutionary biologist colleagues.

    Thankfully, stupidity breeds consistency, but, as the Red Queen Hypothesis has stated, long-term survival necessitates adaptability.

  10. 10
    cw2

    sure, science museums can update, but what about museums dedicated to history/art? In fact, to believers, is the creation museum not just a type of history museum? I don’t think the business model is at fault here.

  11. 11
    raven

    It’s not just the world’s greatest atrocity in percentage terms. 8 people left worldwide.

    It’s also incompetence.

    God’s fixes for his own mistakes usually involve murder or mass murder. And they haven’t worked yet.

  12. 12
    raven

    Art museums have real art and frequently change their exhibits.

    The creation pseudomuseum has…plastic dinosars and dragons. In fact, it is really a monument to the power of modern plastics.

  13. 13
    changerofbits

    Big boat + lots of animals + obedience to God – largest genocide in history (percent of humanity at least) = wholesome Sunday school story

  14. 14
    thisisaturingtest

    Mano:

    I don’t see how the filmmakers can avoid depicting god as a monster who kills off a vast number of people, including children and infants.

    Simple- they won’t show the children and infants being kiilled, and any adults shown will be the kind of people that your average moviegoer, Christian or not, will dismiss as “just getting what they deserve.” After all, moviemaking is an exercise in simplistic exclusion, a deliberate lensing out of any context that’s not important to what the film-makers want you to concentrate on. Since this is also sort of the basis of any “good” Christian’s worldview, film-making and Christianity are a match made in heaven (so to speak).

  15. 15
    Mano Singham

    Unfortunately, you are probably right. After all, in that old classic The Ten Commandments, they managed to sanitize another atrocity, the killing of all the Egyptian first-born children. The Noah filmmakers are likely looking at how that was done for tips.

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