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A trip back in time

Petersburg’s Creation Museum
explores a Biblical view of history

High-tech museum combines
message and entertainment

By Lela Jane Bradshaw
Contributing Writer

(March 2008) – A roar echoes though the hall as a dinosaur turns its head, seemingly meeting the eyes of onlookers. Elsewhere, another giant lizard peacefully browses among the greenery as children squeal in delight.

Creation Museum

Photo provided

The Creation Museum, which opened
last summer, includes exhibits, a
nature trail and a botanical garden.

These aren’t sets from an upcoming blockbuster movie, but rather exhibits at the Petersburg Creation Museum. Spokesman and co-founder Mark Looy, 53, describes the museum saying, “This really is a fun, entertaining place for our guests.”
The Creation Museum opened Memorial Day Weekend in 2007. Combing fossils and animatronic dinosaurs with a literal interpretation of the book of Genesis, the $27 million museum has caused controversy throughout the country. The nationwide discussion of the museum’s rejection of evolution has lead to great curiosity about its exhibits – in just eight months, the museum has welcomed more than 315,000 visitors. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Beginning March 21, the museum will offer extended hours, remaining open until 9 p.m. on Fridays and opening an hour early at 9 a.m. on Saturdays.
Located in Northern Kentucky, the museum is an easy 30-minute drive from Cincinnati.
Looy explains, “The thrust of the museum is a walk through history according to the Bible.”
Much of the museum is dedicated to a defense of Genesis as a factual account of how the world began. Embracing the view that all life on Earth was created in six days, exhibits present humans and dinosaurs living alongside each other. Other exhibits show the power of the Biblical flood and discuss the effect such a flood would have had on the fossil record.

Creation Museum

• 2800 Bullittsburg Church Rd., Petersburg, Ky. (near Hebron)
• Admission: Adults (ages 13-59): $19.95; Seniors (60-up) $14.95; Children (ages 5-12) $9.95; Children (under 5) Free. Planetarium with admission $7.
• Information, call 1-888-582-4253 or visit the website: www.creationmuseum.org

Whatever one’s view of the museum’s mission, visitors are certain to be entranced by the high-tech exhibits and special effect displays.
In addition to the museum’s already famous animatronic dinosaurs, visitors can also enjoy a state of the art planetarium and a special-effects theater. This highly popular theater includes seats that shake and a mist that falls over the audience, making visitors feel as though they are experiencing part of the Biblical flood.
Looy describes the Creation Museum as combining the best aspects of a theme park with a natural history museum. The comparison to an amusement park is not surprising considering that exhibit designer Patrick Marsh’s previous work includes scenic design for Universal Studios’ “Jaws” and “King Kong” attractions.
Situated on 49 acres, the 65,000-square-foot museum includes a mile of nature trails as well as botanical gardens. “It’s even bigger than they realize,” Looy warns guests.
He added that visitors tend to spend more than four hours in the museum. If guests want to cover everything, including the 50 short videos, a visit can increase to seven hours.
Each week, the museum features authors and lecturers to discuss a variety of scientific and social topics.

Creation Museum Display

Photo provided

The Creation Museum offers large
displays of prehistoric animals,
including dinosaurs.

Upcoming speakers include Buddy Davis, who will discuss his trip to Alaska to examine dinosaur bones. An accomplished artist, Davis is known for his life-sized sculptures of dinosaurs, some of which can be viewed at the museum. Davis will share stories from his Alaskan adventure and speak on ways that he finds dinosaurs to be better explained by the Bible than by evolution. Other guest speakers will encourage visitors to reflect on ways that Genesis relates to modern cultural issues ranging from cloning to racism.
The museum’s founders have been very pleased with the number of visitors and already plans are in the works for expansion.
A new program for the planetarium is being designed and even more children’s areas will be added to the exhibits. Later in the year museum officials hope to begin hosting rotating exhibits, beginning with a display of antique Bibles. With ever-changing attractions, the museum aims to remain fresh and attract repeat visitors.
Looy reflects on the museum as a realization of a 14 year dream saying, “It’s even better than I envisioned. The creativity that went into it is a tribute to our team of designers.”

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