In my review of the Ark Encounter, I shared how Noahs Ark is one of the most challenged stories in the book of Genesis. This stems from Genesis being one of the most contested books of the Bible. One of the biggest contentions skeptics have is the historical accuracy of creation. Genesis goes completely against the idea of naturalism or evolution. The world has natural history museums that explain the origins of creation. But there was no state of the art museum that pointed out the Bibles explanation. This was a burden on Answers in Genesis founder Ken Hams heart. He wanted the truth of scripture to be on display.
The Creation Museum may have a simple name, but it was anything but a simple process to build it. This process began as early as March of 1996. It took almost four years just to buy the land. A difficult journey clouded in controversy and filled with many land issues. From zone denials, to lawsuits, to court public hearings, and endless committee meetings. Ken Ham faced almost every obstacle imaginable. But in June of 2000, Ham persevered and won the right to acquire land in Petersburg, Kentucky. It then took another three years to build the Creation Museum. Also another three years to create all the exhibits and botanical gardens. It was not until May 28, 2007 that the Creation Museum came to life with its grand opening. That is an 11 year odyssey.
The Creation Museum is a sister attraction of the Ark Encounter. It was the original building project of Hams Answers in Genesis ministry. Fast forward to April 3 2019, I am visiting the Creation Museum almost 12 years from when it opened. Unlike the Ark Encounter, the Creation Museum is not far from the Cincinnati Northern Kentucky Airport. It is only 10 miles which is about a 12 minute car ride. If you are only going to see the Creation Museum, taking a taxi is the more more affordable option over renting a car. But since my trip involved seeing both attractions, I rented a car.
The Creation Museum is a 75,000 square foot facility. This does not include all the outdoor space such as its gardens, walking trails, and petting zoo. But what everyone wants to know is how credible is the Biblical view of creation? At the heart of the Creation Museum is a chronological retelling of biblical history in seven parts they like to call The Seven C's. Theses are seven pivotal events from the beginning to the end of time. Creation, Corruption, Catastrophe, Confusion, Christ, Cross, and Consummation. Guests step back in time, beginning with Creation, and fast-forward to Christs return. Along the way, they see how Gods Word provides the big-picture answers for our most difficult questions. Questions in regards to science, the Bible, or our personal relationship with God.
Just like my visit at the Ark Encounter, I arrived on a weekday morning right when it opened. There are no security checks whatsoever. A staff member scans your ticket and that it is. Very simple....wow Kentucky is awesome!
From the ticketing area, guests walk about five minutes through its botanical gardens. This was a peaceful experience with a large variety of birds singing in unison. This short walk leads guests to the main entrance of the museum. Upon entering, the entrance is spacious with various fair trade items for sale. There are strollers and scooters for rent. Around the corner is the Main Hall. Guests are immediately greeted by what appears to be a life sized skeleton of a mammoth. Surrounding this mammoth are various displays of animatronic dinosaurs.
I would say a smart thing to do is to immediately check out their 4D Theatre. This is because once people started arriving, a long line builds up for this theatre. The feature presentation titled,In Six Days shows the six day creation of the world found in Genesis 1. It was about a 22 minute video. The fourth dimensional elements are flashing strobe lights, vibrating seats, and even blowing air. This was a dynamic experience of God creation coming to life. Of course due to restrictions I am not permitted to show any footage. It doesn't matter anyways because the 4D theatre is not so much what you see as it is what you experience.
Across from the 4D theatre is another unique theatre called the Stargazers Planetarium. This is where the ceiling becomes the screen. Guests recline to look up at a large circular ceiling which sort of has an IMAX feel to it. There was two different short movies playing. One was Created Cosmos which tours the known universe. Guests travel through nebulae, galaxies, and superclusters to show the immense size of our universe and the power of God who created it. The other showing is *Aliens: Fact or Fiction?*which tries to address questions like Are we Alone in the Universe? Does life exists on other planets? Did we really see a UFO?. Each show was about 23 minutes long and costed $9 each. Guests could buy both for a combo price of $15 which is what I did. I watched both of them back to back. I will say I enjoyed the Created Cosmos movie more. It provides a convincing case of how fine-tuned the universe is, that it is far more reasonable to believe in a creator rather than random chance.Now that I saw their main theatres, it was time to walk through the main exhibit of The Seven Cs starting with Creation.
The Creation area is likely the most decorative and designed areas of the museum. It wanted to make guests feel like they transported to the beginning of time. They make a valiant attempt at doing that. With all the trees, plants, grass, rocks, animals, and of course Adam, there is a real sense of how beautiful creation was. Although all the creatures in this display were artificial and did not move, they looked authentic and real. While each animal had there own companion, Adam did not have one of his own. God knew it was not good for man to be alone, so he provides Adam with a female companion by the name of Eve. Adam and Eve enjoyed each other within Gods creation. Everything was good.
There was no sin whatsoever. And it would always remain that way as long as Adam and Eve obeyed Gods one command. They were not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. As simple as that command was, it did not take long for Satan in the form of a snake to deceive them both into disobeying God. That one disobedience of man was the start of sin entering the world.
The rejection of Gods word led to the second C; Corruption. From that point on, the world as we know it created death, catastrophes, diseases, and every form of suffering imaginable. If the punishment for sin is death, why did Adam and Even not die? Well this is because God disclosed a part of his permanent solution to sin; Atonement. Blood needed to be shed to atone for Adam and Eves sin. This was through the sacrifice of animals; a temporary solution to mans sin. Corruption is still an active presence in our world today. Whether it be wars, concentration camps, slavery, addiction, natural disasters, or even terrorism. We all have seen corruption. The world as we know it, is not how it was meant to be. The serpent, the ground, every man, and every woman all received their own curse from Gods judgement. There was all sorts of brokenness within creation. Diseases, poisons, weeds, and burdensome work. While animals overpopulated to atone for the continuous sin of man, the world became more and more wicked. So wicked, that God judged the earth with a great catastrophe.
This is the third C which was a worldwide global flood. If you are unable to visit the Ark Encounter, this part of the museum is like a condensed version of it. Guests witness a construction site of the ark. There was several workers that were helping to build it. This museum does maintain that it is conceivable that Noah and his family were capable to build the ark themselves. But they are open to the possibility that Noah could have hired shipbuilders to help. Even friends or extended family members could have helped too. The Bible does not say anything about Noah hiring or receiving help. But 2 Peter 2:5 speaks on Noah being a preacher of righteousness. If Noah did have extra people help him, this would have given him opportunities to warn people about the coming judgement. Although it would be crazy to think Noahs extended family and friends building the very ark that could save them, but chose not go on it. Noah was warning everyone he could about this flood, but nobody believed him. If anything, they mocked him. The ark was like one giant billboard sign warning that Gods judgement of the world is coming. Despite this billboard and many years of warnings, the whole world was wiped out with a flood.
There was a few interactive elements to this area as well. There was a kiosk where you can choose to ask Noah a question and he would give you an audible answer. Children would enjoy this one. Another kiosk children would enjoy are these touch screen trivia games. You need to help Noah build the ark by answering several trivia questions. Each correct answer brings Noah closer to building the ark completely.
There was an area made of complete wood to make it feel like people were inside the ark. Inside was some of these awesome miniature displays. The immense details of these displays are astounding. There is one that shows the animals entering the ark along with the gathering of food and water. There is one of the actual flood itself with people trying to find the highest ground to survive. There is a display of the Ark resting in the mountains of Ararat. Because the earths crust was probably unstable after the flood, there is no certainty what the land looked like. There is no certainty if the location had anything to do with the modern mountain in Turkey named Ararat. There is one last miniature display of Noah and his family sacrificing an animal on an altar. This represents Gods new covenant as he promises that he will never destroy the world again with a flood. Every time we see a rainbow, even today, represents that very promise God made.
The second half of the catastrophe is the after effects of the flood. How it buried creation, re-arranged the earth, and formed ice sheets. There was so many informational placards to read, it became a bit overwhelming to read. But what stood out were some incredible dinosaur fossils including this Allosaurus skull. It is one of the most complete skulls ever found. There is also a full Allosaurus skeleton named "Ebenezer". The name actually comes from 1 Samuel 7. In that chapter, Samuel set up a stone to remember Gods help in rescuing Israel from the Philistine army. Samuel called that stone Ebenezer which means the stone of help.
The fourth C is Confusion. This is all about how Noahs descendants disobeyed Gods command to fill the earth. As civilization rebuilt itself, it also wanted to build their own religion. Instead of worshiping the creator, they instead worshiped the creation. The one major creation was in the form of a tower called Babel. This started a long string of Gods judgement towards other wicked nations. Often God would raise up other nations to humble them. What is interesting is that each of Gods judgments were often attended by promises of great blessing. So when Adam sinned, God promised a seed who would crush the serpent. When God judged Babel and scattered the Earth, God promised to bless Abraham and make him the father of the Hebrew nation. So what is that promised seed that would crush the serpent? That seed was Gods one and only son named Jesus. A lineage that God preserved and promised from Adam, to Noah, to Abraham, and to David.
This leads us to the fifth C which is Christ. God spoke through Israels prophets, revealing details of His plan to redeem His creation. God himself in the identity of a man named Jesus would be the Saviour we needed. He is the promised messiah and redeemer of the world. God promised this messiah would rule over all nations as the King of Kings. Born of a virgin in the town of Bethlehem. They called his name Immanuel which is translated as God Be With Us. Only Christians believe that Jesus was both fully God and fully man. Some believe he is a created being. Some believe he was merely a prophet. Some believe he was a good moral teacher. But what does the Bible teach? What did Jesus say about himself? Well there are several verses that not only say that Jesus is God, but also that Jesus is the Creator. He applied Gods name to himself. He grants eternal life. He claimed equality with God. He has the authority to forgive sins. These are radical claims Jesus made to suggest he was in fact God.
But what about the redemption of creation? What about the solution to sin? Is there a permanent solution to all of this? The sixth C, is the Cross. For centuries, Gods people shed animal blood to cover their sins, but the blood of these creatures could never take away their sins. Only a perfect man could pay for our sins. So Jesus lived a sinless life, and died on the cross as a once-for-all sacrifice for sin. On the third day, Jesus resurrected from the dead and in a span of 40 days, appeared to various people including over 500 people at one time. After 40 days, his followers watched Jesus ascend into Heaven. Two angels informed them that Jesus would return again, but with a whole new purpose.
The seventh and final C is that new purpose; Consummation. God will create a new heavens and a new earth. He will judge the living and the dead in righteousness. While no man knows the timing of the Lords return, the bible teaches that Jesus will physically set foot on earth again. He will put a permanent end to death, disease, suffering, and the original curse. All who have received His forgiveness will dwell eternally with Him in the new heavens and the new earth. There will be a holy city called the New Jerusalem coming down from Heaven. It will be the location on this new earth where all true believers will spend eternity with God. Revelations 21: 2-4 describes how there will be no longer any death, mourning, crying, or pain, for the former things have passed away.
After the walk-through of The Seven Cs, guests enter a spacious area called the Legacy Bookstore. You would think this is where the Creation Museum ends, but there is actually more exhibits. There is this Dino Den that shows life sized dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes including some of their skeletal systems. There are interesting facts about each one such as their height, length, weight, and even what layer of rocks their bones were found in. Once again, they did an exceptional job designing these creatures in great detail. From their eyes and teeth, to their skin and bones. There is not much else to say about this exhibit other than if you love dinosaurs, this is the exhibit to see.
There is even this Dr. Crawlys Insectorium for those that love insects and bugs. I did not care for this exhibit, but I do see why they have it. It shows a vast large array of unique insects and bugs all with intricate designs and purpose. The emphasis of this exhibit is to display Gods intelligent design even when it comes to tiny creatures. I saw several youth kids fascinated with this exhibit.
The very last stop of this museum tour is a large bookstore. This had all types of books, games, movies, clothing, and many other souvenirs. I was actually impressed with the interior design of this book store. From the brick patterns, to even a large dragon reading a book. If you were not able to get a certain item from the Ark Encounters gift store, this was sort of like a second opportunity to get one here.
When it comes to food, there are a couple options of where to eat. Noahs cafe appeared to be the more common place to go. It operates as a fast food restaurant with burgers and sandwiches. There was plenty of seating both inside and outside. It looks empty now, but come lunch time, this entire place fills up.
The other half of the Creation Museum is being outside with creation itself. Their large botanical gardens connects with a three acre lake and a mile of paved accessible trails. Through all the twists, turns, and bridges, there are some beautiful plants, trees, fountains, and gardens. There is a carnivorous bog garden, a koi pond, and a rain forest. Unfortunately I was not able to see and enjoy it all to its fullest. Why is that? Well, because I went in early April. Many of the plants and trees are not in full bloom at that time. This is an unfortunate aspect of arriving too early in the year. I am sure this is going to be a recurring challenge on certain months of the year for this garden. Half of this museum experience pretty much depends on the weather and season. This results in the footage you see now as bare and underwhelming.
Like the Ark Encounter, there is a zipline, camel rides, and a petting zoo called the Eden Animal Experience. Children could once again feed, pet, and interact with the animals. This zoo was smaller in comparison to the Ararat Ridge Zoo at the Ark Encounter. Once again there was not much of a variety of exotic animals. There was no giraffes or elephants or pandas. The most exotic animal I saw was this large dromedary camel. The sheer size and height of it up close was incredible. This is an area I hope they plan to expand on.
There is also this ariel challenge park. This is an elevated playground for adults with dozens of swinging planks. As for the children, there is a ground level playground for them to enjoy. The ziplines, playgrounds, and parks are all attractions and activities. They add nothing to the concept of creation. But they add extra fun things to do outside.
There is finally this mining sluice. Children are able to pan through flowing water to discover rocks and minerals from around the world. This one at least had more of a creation and educational element to it. It is clear The Ark Encounter and Creation Museum shared many ideas with one another. These are activities that both locations have.
The Creation Museum overall was enjoyable. For a museum that is 12 years of age, it does not show any signs of being outdated. They have kept up with its technology and continue to add and expand to it. But if I had to choose, I would still pick the Ark Encounter. Many of the outdoor attractions at the Creation Museum are also offered at the Ark Encounter. And in some ways, they expand more on them. There was a bit more that the Ark Encounter offers. But where the Creation Museum stands out are its theatres, walk-throughs, and botanical gardens.
I enjoyed that it was less busy in April, but of course that came at a cost of their bare gardens. With so much of their plants and trees not in full bloom, it did not look anything like their promotional videos. I would suggest going in the summer to get a more enjoyable experience. But be ready for much larger crowds. When it comes to enjoyment, the children gain the most from this museum. Many adults did not have museums this amazing when growing up. To see their childrens amazement and wonder is a great success for the Creation Museum. There is a healthy mix of fun and education. This museum may not prove that God created the world, or that the Earth is young, but it is hard to deny the case they make for it. One thing they do prove is that learning about creation is far from boring.