Answers in Genesis' creation ''museum'':
a repository of the absurd
John Stear [revised 30 November 2005, and 6 June 2007]
The links herein to AiG's "museum" articles were operative as at 30 November 2005
Anyone interested in the evolution/creation debate will know that Answers in Genesis (AiG) are building a so called creation museum near Petersburg, Kentucky, USA. As they have insisted on referring to their project as a museum it might be instructive to look at the formal meaning of the term "museum". My dictionary defines it thus:
mu.se.um - n. A building, place or institution devoted to the acquisition, conservation, study, exhibition and educational interpretation of objects having scientific, historical or artistic value.
Does AiG's "museum" conform to this definition? First, we should see exactly what AiG plans to place in their "museum" -
...This 50,000 square foot facility will proclaim to the world that the Bible is the supreme authority in all matters of faith and practice and in every area it touches on...
So, this "museum" will be filled with examples from the Bible which will show that the Bible speaks authoritatively about matters of faith and practise. That's fine, that's certainly what many believe the Bible should do. But having read the definition of a museum above, can it be clearly demonstrated that a collection of Biblical writings can be categorised as "...having scientific, historical or artistic value"?
Let's look at each criterion separately -
1. "scientific"? No, the Bible cannot and should not be interpreted as being in any way scientific.
2. "historical"? No, the Bible is not an historical document.
3. "artistic"? Yes, we can concede that the Bible can be considered to have artistic value.
So, AiG scores one out of three. But as the Bible has artistic but not scientific or historical value then AiG must find some bona fide science or history to include in their "museum". Because it's clear that a belief in a young Earth, a world wide flood and their other assorted "evidence" is neither scientific nor historical, therefore this "museum" must be fraudulent. For an example of just how fraudulent see Walkthrough and "If dinosaurs could talk …".
Now, let's examine another statement by AiG -
Our writers, researchers and friends are combing the earth, looking for the best and most helpful things to display.
This research takes us to some of the world's great museums—not to copy their work, but to undo their damage! [my emphasis]
I've often wondered what twisted logic drives an organisation like AiG. To claim that the great museums of the world have damaged society surely dispels any doubt that young Earth creationists (YECs) are intent on discrediting science by any means at their disposal. If that means they have to lie about science they will. Any effort by AiG to indoctrinate people into believing that science is not to be trusted is reprehensible. For an explanation of the reasons for the anti science sentiment sweeping the United States see Is the United States Becoming Hostile to Science?
It is abhorrent that AiG will spend some 25 million dollars on such a travesty of learning as their "museum".
The museum, should it become reality, will forever stand as a monument to AiG's dishonesty and man's credulity.