A 60,000 square-foot museum that teaches about the literal six days of Creation has proven to be more popular than expected, surpassing its projected first-year attendance in less than six months since its opening.
The Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky. welcomed its 250,000th visitor on Friday, reported Ken Ham, founder of Answers of Genesis, the evangelical group behind the $27 million facility.
"We praise the Lord for this," said Ham in his Nov. 3 blog entry on the organization's website. "I still remember the mocking of certain people in the secular world that the Museum would fail as people would not be interested – and some in the Christian world who said it would be a white elephant!"
Officials now expect nearly 400,000 people to come to the Cincinnati-area museum by the year's end, reported The Courier-Journal. The museum averages 1,500 to 4,000 visitors per day.
Museum spokeswoman Melany Ethridge credited the positive response to the dramatic exhibits and ongoing media interest from Europe and elsewhere.
Around 10,000 people have paid for year-round access but the museum still relies partly on donations.
The facility opened on Memorial Day earlier this year amid protests and petitions.
Museum visionaries had designed the anti-evolution exhibits to reflect their belief in Young Earth creationism – a literal interpretation of Genesis that claims the world is only 6,000 years old, dinosaurs appeared on the same day God created other land animals, and geologic features such as the Grand Canyon and fossils were created in a global flood during the time of Noah.
Non-Christians and Christians alike have criticized the way museum organizers framed scientific evidence to support views attributed to the Bible.
Others have praised the museum for representing their worldview of creation.
Despite all the controversy, Ham has expressed his gratitude to both supporters and protestors for all the publicity – positive and negative.