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PALM LATITUDES

STATE OF MIND : Dissing Darwin

October 24, 1993|Mark Ehrman

Any natural history museum can satisfy your garden-variety atheist's curiosity about the cosmos. But to see how well biblical beliefs blend with the scientific method, one must make the pilgrimage to the Museum of Creation and Earth History in Santee in east San Diego County. The museum "spearheads biblical Christianity's defense against the godless dogma of evolutionary humanism" by offering creationist history from Genesis through "the infallible proofs of Christ's bodily Resurrection," past the misguided Charles Darwin and on to the 20th Century.

The exhibits attempt to demonstrate "the scientific bankruptcy of evolution" and to shore up the scriptural version of creation. Peruse "The Fallacies of the Big Bang Theory" and learn about the problems with radioisotope dating techniques (which contradict the creationists' estimate of the age of the Earth). The Flood Room--complete with thunder and rain sound effects, flashing strobes and, of course, a model of the ark itself--tries to answer such questions as "How Could All the Animals Fit Aboard the Ark?" (The answer in a nutshell is that the ark was really big and the great majority of animals are really small.)

"The purpose of the museum is to show the creation model and demonstrate its parameters," says Richard Bliss, director of curriculum development for the Institute for Creation Research, which, in addition to operating the museum, publishes creationist literature, holds seminars and broadcasts radio programs. "The mandate of ICR is to collect all the scientific evidence we can . . . that points to a sudden creation of all things rather than a creation over eons and eons of time."

Since it moved into its new building about a year ago, the museum has had more than 27,000 visitors. For about 17 years before that, more primitive exhibits were housed in the institute's basement. "The day it started, it was just pieces of paper on the wall," Bliss says. The flashy, high-tech, color-saturated displays the museum has today were years in the making. "Oh, yes," he says, " this has evolved."

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