STEVE INSKEEP, host:
The Web site of a museum that opens today says: Prepare to believe. It's the new Creation Museum outside Cincinnati. Walk in the door and you'll see animatronic creatures, those moving figures like you'd see at Disney World, only in this case you'll see dinosaurs next to children, suggesting they existed at the same time.
The man who created the Creation Museum is an Australian named Ken Ham, who raised $27 million for this project.
Mr. KEN HAM (CEO, Answers in Genesis): You know, why can't we have a museum that challenges people concerning the truth of the Bible? And so, 25 years ago, I had this burden that I believe was from the God of Creation to build such a Creation Museum, to challenge people concerning creation rather than evolution.
INSKEEP: Just to define our terms here, there are certainly people who read the Bible and interpret it in such a way that they find no conflict between the theory of evolution and what's in the Bible, but it sounds like in your reading of the Bible there is a huge conflict.
Mr. HAM: There is a conflict, actually, if you try to add evolution to the Bible and take Genesis as literal history. For instance, the Bible teaches man was made from dust in Genesis, whereas evolution would teach that men came from some ape-like ancestor. And I know there are many Christians that would say they believe in evolution in millions of years, and I would say they're being inconsistent in regard to their approach to scripture, because a literal Genesis is actually the foundational history for the rest of the Bible for all doctrine.
INSKEEP: So you've got the museum you're about to open. When the first visitors walk in the door, what are they going to see?
Mr. HAM: They're going to see two baby T-Rex animatronic dinosaurs together with two children that are animatronic there as well. And actually, that's become the most photographed section of the Web site for the secular media around the world. The reason for that is because when you have dinosaurs and people together, that makes a statement concerning one's belief about the age of the Earth and evolution and so on. Obviously, it flies in the face of what secular evolutionists would teach.
INSKEEP: Do you present evidence for evolution somewhere in the museum?
Mr. HAM: We do what secular museums don't do. We actually do give both sides as people walk in. One of the first exhibits is a dig site, where we have a creation paleontologist and an evolutionary paleontologist that have different interpretations of the same fossil, because they have different starting points concerning beliefs about the past. Christians weren't there to see Adam and Eve being created, but evolutionists weren't there to see the Big Bang or to see dinosaurs roaming around supposedly during the dinosaur age. And so there's different interpretations of fossils and so on because of the different starting points.
INSKEEP: It seems like more than differing interpretations. A scientist might argue - a conventional scientist might argue - he or she is looking at the evidence and following that evidence where it goes. Your starting point is that it's already known that the world is only 5,000 years old and that it was created in seven days, and you must look at the evidence in a way that fits what you already take as truth.
Mr. HAM: Well, you see, I would disagree with that. You know, I had a debate on the Alan Colmes radio program with Dr. Eugenie Scott, who admits that she doesn't believe in God, she's an atheist, and she leads an organization against creationists in America. And so when she looks at evidence, she already has some beliefs to start with. Her belief is that God or the Bible has nothing to do with that. She's already ruled that out. And I think that's an important thing to understand.
INSKEEP: Are you saying - wait a minute, are you saying that all scientists who believe in evolution are trying to disprove God? I just want to understand that.
Mr. HAM: No, I'm not saying all scientists who believe in evolution are trying to disprove God. But what I am saying is that all scientists have presuppositions that they start with to determine how they interpret evidence.
INSKEEP: I suppose one risk of an exhibit like this is that the people who come will be people who already agree with you. Are you doing anything to try to lure people that you'd like to persuade?
Mr. HAM: I think the opposite will happen. I think a lot of people will come who don't agree with this. There are people who won't go to church but they will come to something like this. We had an open day yesterday for certain people in the community, people associate with our staff, and there's a number who were not Christians, but they came and they were very impressed by what they saw. We're also doing TV advertising and newspaper, and we're doing a lot of other marketing across the nation. I think you might be surprised at how many non-Christians actually come here.
INSKEEP: That's Ken Ham, president of the Creation Museum, which is just across the river form Cincinnati in Petersburg, Kentucky.
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