Stephen Bates of the Guardian gets an advance tour of Ken Ham’s new creation science museum. It’s amusing and creepy at the same time.
When it is finished and open to the public next summer, it may, quite possibly, be one of the weirdest museums in the world.
The Creation Museum — motto: “Prepare to Believe!” — will be the first institution in the world whose contents, with the exception of a few turtles swimming in an artificial pond, are entirely fake. It is dedicated to the proposition that the account of the creation of the world in the Book of Genesis is completely correct, and its mission is to convince visitors through a mixture of animatronic models, tableaux and a strangely Disneyfied version of the Bible story.
“Entirely fake” is right—the title is a misnomer, it’s not a museum, it’s a carnie show. A very serious, very expensive, very elaborate freak show exhibit.
[The workers], too, know they are doing the Lord’s Work, and each has signed a contract saying they believe in the Seven Days of Creation theory. Mornings on this construction site start with prayer meetings. Don’t think for a minute that this is some sort of crazy little hole-in-the-corner project. The museum is costing $25m (£13m) and all but $3m has already been raised from private donations. It is strategically placed, too — not in the middle of nowhere, but within six hours’ drive of two-thirds of the entire population of the US. And, as we know, up to 50 million of them do believe that the Bible’s account of Creation is literally true.
That 50 million is a very conservative estimate, I fear.
You know, I hate to give these guys any money, but I would like to propose that sometime after that “museum” opens, we should organize a mob of sciencebloggers (and others) to descend upon it, take the tour, and coordinate a massive storm of ridicule. I am, unfortunately, more than a six hour drive away, so I’d have to fly in to Cincinnati to do it, but I’d be willing. Is there anyone else who’d be up for a vivisection without anesthesia of Ken Ham’s Temple of Idiocy? Depending on when they actually finish the foolishness, maybe late summer 2007 or early summer 2008?