The $27 million Creation Museum officially opened its doors to the public Monday amid protests and petitions, but the founder of the project, Ken Ham, could not be happier.
Not only have the protests brought more publicity to the museum – which illustrates the literal six-day creation model in the Bible using science – but it also led Answers in Genesis (AiG), the ministry behind the museum, to the location they chose.
"This is partly their legacy too," explained Ham in the Cincinnati Enquirer. "When we first started to research property in 1996, they caused all sorts of problems, and they stirred up trouble, and there were all sorts of things that went on.
"Anyway, as a result of all that, we lost that piece of property – it was 20 minutes off the freeway, and we were going to build a 30,000-square-foot building. [Instead], the Lord directed us to this piece of property, right on a major freeway at a major interchange. And we decided to build a far bigger building (nearly 60,000 square feet), and a far bigger vision and a far bigger impact around the world – and I just want to thank, sincerely, the local secular humanist group."
The opening of the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., located outside Cincinnati, has stirred up a lot of controversy among secular and Christian circles. The museum creators – who are Young Earth creationists that believe the world is only 6,000 years old – have been battling with Darwinists over whose science is right.
The big scuffle between the groups is not over the evidence. They both agree on what scientific evidence is out there. The dispute arises over how to interpret that evidence, and both sides have expressed that the other camp does not know what they are talking about.
"They make such a point of trying to make it appear scientific," said Lawrence Krauss, a physics professor, author and critic of the museum, according to the Associated Press. "Instead of shying away from those things that clearly disprove what they're trying to say, they use those things for deception."
Museum visionaries would highly disagree, however. They would argue that pro-evolutionists are overlooking the facts, and that they are so confined by evolutionary thought that they cannot see the problems inside the theory.
"What we do at our museum, by the way, is that we actually get both sides in one sense, because we teach what evolutionists teach," explained Ham in an interview with The Christian Post last week. "But we teach [visitors] how to correctly think about science whereas evolutionists only teach one side and teach them incorrectly about science. They are the ones leading children astray, not us."
Several Christian groups who do not believe in a literal interpretation of Genesis have voiced their opinion, however. While some believers may agree with the angry protesters who claim that the museum has no place among science, other Christians have agreed with the intent of the museum, just not what it teaches.
"As a born again Christian, I regard Ken Ham as my brother in faith and I have no doubt of the complete sincerity of his position," explained Francis Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institute of Health, to The Christian Post. "But as a working scientist who has studied the intricacies of human DNA as my life's profession, I have arrived at very different conclusions on the basis of the facts in front of me."
Despite all the controversy, Ham has shown his gratitude for finishing the museum and for all the publicity - positive and negative.
He still expects many people to travel to the museum from around the United States and world and that groups, such as from Christian schools, will be visiting the site often.
"This museum is open to all ages – children, adults, everybody," he said.