Creating Profit: The Creation Museum

And God said “Let us make money” and they made money Answers in Genesis 1:3

What can one learn from the website for the Kentucky based Creation Museum? In short, nothing, at least for free anyway. This museum, built by the young earth creationist group Answers in Genesis,  if on the forefront of a movement called “Creation Science”, this “Creation Science” attempts, as the name suggests, to explain the bible in terms of science, and directly combat and disprove modern science. It would seem that a group with such a noble cause would be eager to educate the public about the word of god and young earth creationism, however on their website, they keep everything very close to the belt. The museum’s website is virtually devoid of information on actual creation science, the closest thing being the brief exhibit synopses in the “What’s Here” section. Even the virtual tour is useless as the pictures are all taken from the middle of the room and are not of good enough quality for anything to be read, other than a few headers. The sites blog also does not have a single educational article on it and is only useful for keeping up with the day to day news of the museum. This can be steeply contrasted with the content of the website of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History’s Hall of Human Origins, a museum whose true purpose is education. The Smithsonian’s website allows the user to choose from hundreds of educational articles ranging from a wide variety of categories such as human evolution research, evidence, and Human characteristics. There is even a section called education with articles for teachers and students. The fact that the hall of human origins website’s purpose is education is clear, but the question remains, what then is the purpose of the Creation Museum’s website? As it would appear, the museum, and its website, seem to be yet another way of funding the Young Earth propaganda juggernaut Answers in Genesis, which already produces magazines, videos, and books on creation science. This conclusion can be drawn by the fact that there is no way to learn about creationism for free, for what the website, lacks in educational value, it makes up for in ways to spend money. You can buy tickets, browse the store, buy documentaries, plan group events or even become a member and pay your membership fees. The museum itself is also full of gimmicks that cost extra such as camel and zip line rides, and as far as promotions go, they are few, and only aim to further increase profit. They do offer some free day, but they are only for specific groups, Mothers are free on Mother’s Day, Fathers are free on Father’s Day, Veterans are free on Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Veterans Day, this is counting on the fact that these people will bring their family, the only time it’s truly free are for 5 hours on Christmas. In the end, with the lack of actual artifacts, all of the gimmicks like petting zoos and Christmas light displays, and the tendency to nickel and dime its customers, Kentucky’s Creation Museum, comes off as more of a road side carnival exhibit than a legitimate education institution, and it becomes clear that the Museums goal is to make money off of those who already believe in creationism, rather than trying to facilitate any learning.

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7 Responses to Creating Profit: The Creation Museum

  1. djrosato says:

    Practically speaking, The Creation Museum doesn’t have the funds that The Smithsonian does and therefore has to charge visitors to stay open. The Smithsonian receives a whopping $775 million federal appropriation from our government–even then this only takes care of about 65% of the actual budget ( http://newsdesk.si.edu/factsheets/facts-about-smithsonian-institution ). On top of that, private sources are more inclined to donate (and do indeed donate a lot) to The Smithsonian as opposed to The Creation Museum because The Smithsonian is actual science. Regardless of the legitimacy of The Creation Museum’s legitimacy or intentions, it’s clear that they simply don’t have the funds to be able to offer free admission. Ken Ham, one of the founders of the so-called-museum, honestly believes that he is educating the Kentucky population and thus would like to be able to have free admission in order to let more people be educated about young earth creationism and biblical literalism. However, because of lack of funds he’s forced to run The Creation Museum as a business as opposed to a museum–something that a perversion of science such as this can never be.

  2. jps591 says:

    This particular museum poorly appeals to pathos, logos, and ethos. The very layout makes me question the legitimacy and trustworthiness of this institution. I found it interesting that on the website, they decided to feature the new dragon exhibit along with the new insect, early human, and Bible translation exhibits. With the presupposition that most Americans with at least a middle school education know that dragons aren’t real, I question whether it was in the museum’s best interest to include it with the other exhibits. Personally, it makes me take the museum less seriously. Additionally, I was surprised that the Creation Museum included an exhibit on dinosaurs. Knowing that the existence of dinosaurs contradicts the story of Genesis, it doesn’t help their argument to include it. The content and layout of this museum makes it lose credibility with evolutionists as well as creationists.

    On a lighter note, here is a comical photo essay of one blogger’s experience with the museum: http://urchinmovement.com/2010/09/29/the-urchins-visit-the-creation-museum-a-photo-essay/

    • tksekf says:

      In addition to jps591’s comment on featuring “the new dragon exhibit along with the new insect”, I would like to note that from what the website’s explains in ‘what’s here’ category, ‘exhibits’ section, the ‘dragon invasion’ as well as the ‘insectorium’ exhibits simply does not seem to support their claim on the creationism. My guess on what the museum curators are trying to do is that they are trying to make the museum an entertaining place for elementary (at the most middle) school kids so that their experience at the museum as a kid stays in their minds and helps later on to believe in creationism.

  3. secondcitytocapitalcity says:

    I agree with djrosato that funding has a lot to do with the differences in between the Creation Museum and the Smithsonian, but another important reason for the differences is the way they are making their argument. The Smithsonian is using explicit reasoning by giving people the facts and all of these facts will support their claim. On the other hand, the Creation Museum uses implicit reasoning. This means that they always have the belief in the Bible as there basis. Because of this, they structure their argument around facts that support them and disregard contradictory facts. So no matter how sparse and unconvincing the museum might seem to some people, the people who believe in creationism because of the Bible will be convinced because it is reinforcing what they already know to be true.

    • tksekf says:

      I just wanted to second secondcitytocapitalcity’s opinion and add to your comment: “So no matter how sparse and unconvincing the museum might seem to some people, the people who believe in creationism because of the Bible will be convinced because it is reinforcing what they already know to be true.”, that the subtitle of the Creation Museum is ‘Prepare to believe’, which I think just exactly shows your point.

  4. phillykid888 says:

    The article posted by jps591 provides a sometimes humorous, sometimes frightening glimpse into the inner workings of the Creation Museum. The exhibits displayed in the photographs are some of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever seen; it’s a shame that they’re being presented as legitimate information. It is obvious that the exhibits have no basis in scientific fact; one claims that dinosaur fossils cant be millions of years old because “the Earth is just thousands of years old.” This exhibit neatly sums up the arguing tactic of creationists: attempt to refute scientific evidence and provide absolutely no rationale except for “the Bible says.” The author of the article also mentioned overhearing a mother tell her daughter to read the plaques. The fact that parents would take their children to this museum and tell them to take it seriously is sickening; a parents’ goal should be to teach her child, not feed her lies. As long as things like the Creation Museum continue to exist, huge numbers of children will grow up believing that the Earth was created 6000 years ago, exactly as it is today. They will grow up and tell their own children the same things, and this vicious cycle of misinformation will continue with no end in sight.

  5. foldervral says:

    The very idea of a creationist museum is a contradiction. Unless there is physical evidence of the process God went through during the creation process there is no way to disprove evolution in favor of creationism. Even if they had evidence of the Garden of Eden it could be explained away by just being a highly productive area of land in the distant past. Artifacts and remains only help prove evolution and thus a museum for creationism just contradicts itself. Besides the lack of actual evidence, djrosato is correct in saying that the lack of money would force the founder of such a museum to depend on profiteering gimmicks to support the museum. Most legitimate organizations will most likely not fund this museum because it seems destined to fail with an almost consistent increase in belief of evolution. There target audience does seem to be the younger generation so tksekf is most likely right when he says that these gimmicks could be preparing young children to have good memories associated with a institution of creationism.

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