A Museum of Creationism
PETERSBURG, Ky. — The entrance gates here are topped with metallic
Stegosauruses. The grounds include a giant tyrannosaur standing amid
the trees, and a stone-lined lobby sports varied sauropods. It could be
like any other natural history museum, luring families with the promise
of immense fossils and dinosaur adventures.
ut step a little farther into the entrance hall, and you come upon a
pastoral scene undreamt of by any natural history museum. Two
prehistoric children play near a burbling waterfall, thoroughly at home
in the natural world. Dinosaurs cavort nearby, their animatronic
mechanisms turning them into alluring companions, their gaping mouths
seeming not threatening, but almost welcoming, as an Apatosaurus
munches on leaves a few yards away.
What is this, then? A
reproduction of a childhood fantasy in which dinosaurs are friends of
inquisitive youngsters? The kind of fantasy that doesn’t care that
human beings and these prefossilized thunder-lizards are usually
thought to have been separated by millions of years? No, this really is
meant to be more like one of those literal dioramas of the traditional
natural history museum, an imagining of a real habitat, with plant life
and landscape reproduced in meticulous detail.
For here at the $27 million Creation Museum, which opens on May 28 (just a short drive from the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky
International Airport), this pastoral scene is a glimpse of the world
just after the expulsion from the Garden of Eden, in which dinosaurs
are still apparently as herbivorous as humans, and all are enjoying a
little calm in the days after the fall.