Creation Science Museum, Part 1

 noahs-ark-on-ararat-by-simon-de-myle-1570

Noah’s Ark on Mount Ararat, by Simon de Myle, 1570

Ken Ham’s latest monument to his beliefs has opened in Kentucky. The Ark Encounter is about an hour from his Creation Museum. Both are operated by Answers in Genesis, which is operated by the Australian immigrant. They both seek to cash in on a small subgroup’s faith in the early 17th-century translation of a 1,700-year-old collection of tales inscribed from 3,000-year-old legends recited for generations by a nomadic desert tribe. These tales explain cosmology and the origin of the universe. Got a modern scientific query? Look for the Answers in Genesis.  Is King James too ponderous to read? Come see the Creation Museum where dinosaurs and humans frolic in dioramas – or take a thrill ride beside the freshly painted 510-foot Ark of Noah at the Ark Encounter.

Or come to the Canadian Creation Science Museum in Big Valley, Alberta, Canada (as I did!). There you can wonder about and wander among the assorted relics that prove evolution never happened. Marvel at the huge genealogy tree that shows all 6,000 years of human history – from Adam’s creation to his direct descendants – King James and Prince Charles! Gaze at the fossilized leg in a cowboy boot and the iron pot discovered in coal. See books with Hitler on the cover. Marvel at DNA models.  It’s all there – and not much more – at the Creation Science Museum.

Big Valley Creation Science Museum Entrance

Big Valley Creation Science Museum Entrance (photo: Miksha)
The museum is in the little house to the left, not the quonset behind us.

Admission is just $5. (I think Ham charges more.) Only $3 per kid. And there’s a special family discount – available to families that the museum’s website describe as “A Father, Mother and children”. No pesky gay couples with kids shall be given the family discount at Big Valley’s wonder-filled Creation Science Museum. The discrimination isn’t legal, but it certainly reflects the above-the-law sentiments of these faith-driven sorts.

Before you head off to the Creation Science Museum, you may want to take a look at Trip Advisor. Only 7 reviews, but they are dandy. Two reviewers gave the place top marks – they write in glowing terms about the depth of science presented. The other five reviewers graded the place as “Terrible”, the lowest mark possible. There are no in-between scores. If you aren’t visiting the tiny museum seeking validation for the stories you heard as a child, if your common sense and critical evaluation skills have matured, then you’ll see the museum as a one-room curio shop of dubious merit designed to shimmy up a crumbling shanty of religiosity. Here are some of Trip Advisor’s warnings:

This is basically a small room full of nonsense… “behold, these dinosaur track fossils all go in the same direction so they MUST have been running away from a global flood, right?”

Unfortunately, this is a curio shop of archaic biblical nonsense. Visit only if you are interested in seeing how those who refuse to educate themselves on true science operate.

It’s basically a shack full of crazy proofs for creationism.

I am sorry they put this [museum] here – does not reflect how good the rest of the town is. What a bunch of nonsense.

royal tyrrell

Creation Museum’s competition

The Canadian province of Alberta is rich in fossils. We have 45 major dinosaur groups (including Ankylosaurus, Stegoceras, Triceratops, Ichthyosaurus,  and various close relatives of the T-rex), mostly unearthed in Mesozoic-age rocks exposed in Alberta’s badlands. A world-class research station at Dinosaur Provincial Park and a major showcase museum at Drumheller draw millions of visitors. Undoubtedly, the people who built the Creation Science Museum in nearby Big Valley expected thousands of truth-seeking guests, folks looking for the non-mainstream-science explanation for dinosaur fossils. I’ll bet that they thought their tiny one-room museum would soon occupy a quonset or two to hold the capacity crowds. The day I showed up with my two sons, we were the only customers for the day.

It was a pathetic little museum. I imagine that there were high hopes at the planning stage. Western Canada has ten million souls. If just one-percent would visit every year, the place would quickly expand. The instigators likely believed that people visiting the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, just a few dozen kilometres down the road, would feel compelled to get the facts about evolution right. If one in a hundred cars headed north from the devil’s museum to the one built upon the Bible, this would be a success. But alas, the lonely woman taking our money at the door had hosted only us – just three people the entire Saturday that we visited. When we left, she put our $13 in the till and locked the door. Her day was over.

Meanwhile in Kentucky, Ken Ham’s new $100 milion Noah adventure opened with just 8,000 visitors. That will probably be their best day of the year. The Creation Museum had 450,000 guests the first year but is down to half the number now.  Their daily take is about $25,000 – but they have a big property to maintain and 300 employees to pay.  Part of Kentucky Ham’s problem relates to the quality of the museum and the fact that Creationists unfortunately correlate with poor education which correlates with poverty. Not many believers can afford over $100 (plus fuel, lodging, food) to visit the museum. It would go bankrupt and close, but Answers in Genesis is adapt at sucking taxpayers money out of the Kentucky government coffers. Fortunately for Canadians, the Alberta Creation Science Museum isn’t likely to receive tax breaks and subsidies. But its overhead is nearly zero, so it will limp along, like a cowpoke with a single fossilized leg in a boot.

Tomorrow I’ll write more about the museum and that fossilized cowboy boot. And we’ll enter the one-room curio cabinet and look around.

Come back tomorrow and see what else is on display!

Come back tomorrow and see what else is on display!

About Ron Miksha

Ron Miksha is a geophysicist who also does a bit of science writing and blogging. Ron has worked as a radio broadcaster, a beekeeper, and is based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He has written two books, dozens of magazine and journal articles, and complements his first book, Bad Beekeeping, with a popular blog at www.badbeekeeping.com. Ron wrote his most recent book, The Mountain Mystery, for everyone who has looked at a mountain and wondered what miracles of nature set it upon the landscape. For more about Ron, including some cool pictures taken when he was a teenager, please check Ron's site: miksha.com.
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11 Responses to Creation Science Museum, Part 1

  1. Pingback: Into Big Valley | The Mountain Mystery

  2. Ron’s left wing bias comes shinning through. As a geophysicist Ron must knows a little about the Cosmic Microwave Background Horizon Problem or the Big Bang Inflation Problem. But I’m sure he wouldn’t dare mention it. The Left don’t like debate, because it can’t stand scrutiny. Ron does not mention the C14 (half life of 5730 yrs.) found in fossils through out the complete geological record. Ron clearly knows nothing about DNA, as it has information, a language and a communication system, which is not molecular, In The Beginning Intelligence !. Maybe Ron would like to do the math on evolution happening by chance. Empirical Science is Great, but Ron a Unproven Theory is not a Fact !. Ron the difference between Education and Wisdom, Education is Indoctrination, Wisdom is knowing the Truth and how to use it. Ron when ever you are open for a live debate, we would be more than happy to grant your wishes.

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    • Ron Miksha says:

      Hi Harry, and thanks for subscribing to this blog!

      I hope you are well and enjoying the January thaw up in Big Valley! Did you get any visitors at your museum today?

      I was delighted to see your comments. I especially like the way you end – “we would be more than happy to grant your wishes.” I’ve never known anybody able to grant wishes before, but I guess mine would be world peace and a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – thanks!

      You wrote, “Ron clearly knows nothing about DNA.” How did you know that? Were you in my Duke University genetics class? Since you have an interest in science and genetics, you may enjoy my beekeeping blog where I wrote about the genetics of the Africanized honey bee and Brazil’s stingless Melipona. I could answer your other comments and compare my understanding of geophysics with yours, but that would just waste your time.

      Regards, Ron

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      • H. Nibourg says:

        Hey Ron, Then you do know that mutations in the DNA is a loss of genetic information, which make evolution impossible, no matter how much time you incorporate. It never fails to amaze me, how scared the Left is of the Truth and the lengths it will go to, to cover it up. Your a lair Ron and I can prove it ! Hey Ron real men men don’t lie to their children, do they they Ron.

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      • Ron Miksha says:

        Hi Harry,

        Thanks for adding to the conversation! I find your comments quite interesting, even if they make you seem rather rude. My ten-year-old daughter laughed when she read what you wrote, “Dad, he called you a lair. That’s where lions sleep, in a lair!” Yeah, I know. He also said that “real men don’t lie to their children” and he’s right about that, I told her. Real men don’t feed fairy tales to their children to build their character – real men lead by example, honesty and self-discipline. I didn’t waste any part of my youth on drugs and booze – since I was 18 I’ve been living on my own and with my wife and kids and have been running businesses and hiring dozens of people.

        If you intend to continue commenting, please make an effort to engage in intelligent, dignified discourse. Rudeness does not help your case (nor will it attract visitors to your museum). And I don’t want to have to keep apologizing for your crude impolite words to my ten-year-old daughter.

        I’m also puzzled why you keep making derogatory remarks about what you imagine my political affiliation might be. Just because someone finds your version of Creationism foolish, they are not necessarily a pawn of the Left. My grandparents escaped totalitarianism. My wife was born under communism. My older brother, an avowed atheist, served overseas during the Vietnam War against the communists. His dogtag says “Atheist” where some of his comrades had “Baptist” or “Catholic” engraved on theirs. Today, he works with a Republican organization – yup, he’s an American Republican atheist and thinks that evolution is true. You see, not everyone who disagrees with your interpretation of the Bible is a leftist. By the way, I have friends who are extremely polite, well-mannered Christians who have accepted Jesus as their personal saviour – yet they believe the universe is billions of years old and they believe that evolution is fact. Go figure. Maybe, Harry, you should try to convert them to your own very special little religion. But when you make presumptions about my politics, you expose a tendency to create beliefs without evidence – but then, that’s the whole point of a creationist’s museum.

        The last time religious zealots had power, we called it The Dark Ages. Ignorance and blind allegiance to dogma led to oppression and prohibited natural rights, freedom, and dignity. People were burned as witches. Today, in the USA, a father and son are on trial for despicable child abuse against a 13-year-old girl whom they kept locked in their basement. Their defence is the Bible. They will point to passages in it that condone what they’ve done. Nice, eh?

        Regarding DNA mutations. There is no loss of genetic information. It’s still information, even when it mutates. Mutations are random changes in alleles. We see evolution when superbugs evolve to withstand antibiotics. Evolution is real and is happening every day. If you seriously are seeking truth, you will find it in unbiased science books. If you read a science book that’s trying to indoctrinate you with Vedic pantheism (for example), then it’s propaganda and not science.

        A couple of days ago, you commented, “Ron the difference between Education and Wisdom, Education is Indoctrination, Wisdom is knowing the Truth and how to use it.” Again, I agree with you. Religious education (which your museum attempts to promote) comes only with indoctrination. An individual never exposed to the teachings of the Bible would never conclude that there was Jesus and blood and Noah and the slaying of 10,000 with a donkey’s jawbone. The only way anyone knows this is that they have been indoctrinated via a religious education. On the other hand, individuals around the world learn the wisdom of science through observation and experimentation. They created agriculture, invented writing, and harnessed fire. Science is wisdom (not indoctrination) and, as you’ve indicated, it’s the ultimate truth.

        Well, Harry, that’s all I’ve got time for tonight. I know that you have some serious science questions waiting answers and I will try to answer them the best I can, maybe in a new blog post. Meanwhile, I hope you are doing well. And if you wish to contribute to this blog, that would be nice. But if your comments lack any semblance of argument but instead rely on name-calling, then I have no time for you.

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      • H. Nibourg says:

        Hey Ron, Maybe you could explain, just basic now on supernova remnants, or are you just a left wing loudmouth.

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      • Ron Miksha says:

        Oh my.

        I guess Harry just couldn’t help himself. This is understandable – a determinist would say that Harry does not have free will, so he’s unable to act in any other manner. I would like my readers to know that Harry Nibourg owns Alberta’s creationism museum in Big Valley, Alberta. You may read a short biography about Harry here and this national news story about the museum, here. If you have a chance to visit, you may get to talk to Harry in person. The entrance fee is very reasonable (but your family will pay more to get in if (as the museum’s website said the day I visited) it isn’t a traditional nuclear family – and no, discrimination is not legal in Canada). Anyway, I was hoping that Harry would be able to politely explain why he believes in his brand of Christianity, which is so different from the majority of Christians, and perhaps pose some thoughtful, intelligent questions. But that’s not going to happen.

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  3. Harry is to be congratulated on having heard of the horizon problem, and of inflation, even if he is blissfully unaware that inflation is the solution to the horizon problem.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ron Miksha says:

      Hello Paul,

      It would have been interesting to have a conversation with Harry on this and other topics, but conversation isn’t going to happen. Many evangelical Christians do provide thoughtful discourse on evolution. One is Scott Buchanan. He has a PhD in chemical engineering and he writes that he’s “interested in the intersection of science with my evangelical Christian faith.” Scott writes a blog which Harry may enjoy. Harry might submit questions there. Dr Scott Buchanan’s blog is found at this link. Other readers may find Scott’s thoughtful, intelligent blog useful.

      Ron

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      • indeed, Letters to Creationists is a blog that I follow, and I have just re-blogged the latest posting, which contains up-to-date counterarguments to the usual creationist claims, as well as a link back to the well-known but now rather dated talkorigins compilation. But I suspect that Harry will dismiss Scott as a heathen or a heretic.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ron Miksha says:

        Perhaps you are correct and Harry would dismiss Scott Buchanan as a heathen or a heretic. My guess is that Harry is not interested in what an intelligent evangelical Christian thinks about creationism, so he likely will not bother to read anything by the fellow. Meanwhile, I have given Harry’s little curio shop quite a bit of free publicity here, so I suppose he’s grateful for that.

        Liked by 1 person

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