Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cincinnati Zoo/Creation Museum Deal: An Opposing View

Steve Goble writes in the Mansfield News Journal that people overreacted with regard to the Zoo/Museum deal:

News reports portrayed it as a short-term deal centered around Christmas displays. The zoo's Festival of Lights isn't a science thing, and Bethlehem's Blessings isn't a science thing, either. It doesn't seem so horrible to me to promote the two jointly for a few weeks, and families looking for things to do no doubt would appreciate saving some money.

I imagine a lot of people who might enjoy seeing the zoo all lit up for the holidays would also like to see a live Nativity like the one at the Creation Museum. Bethlehem's Blessings is billed as a re-creation depicting the city of 2,000 years ago. Considering the money the Creation Museum spends on its exhibits, Blessings probably will be an impressive display. It might be the kind of thing even a scientifically minded Christian, or a non-believer who simply adores Christmas displays, would like to see.

Likely this is true, but the mission of the Creation Museum is to teach young-earth creationism. That is its goal in life. It has the Christmas display to bring more people around to that way of thinking, either overtly or covertly. It is kind of like reading "Days of Praise," a daily Bible reading guide that is put out by the Institute for Creation Research. Most of the time, it is good, straight biblical teaching, but every so often, a dig at the evolutionary, old-earth crowd pops up, jarring you from your reverie. It is their central perspective. Biblical teaching is almost secondary to it. That is the case with the Creation Museum as well. Mr. Goble continues:

The Creation Museum and the Ham-sponsored Web site Answers in Genesis are key weapons in an all-out assault on scientific thought, so much so that science people are outraged, and they're operating on a hair-trigger to the point of missing the nuances of what might have been a brief joint holiday venture.

These aren't nuances. Science education is already in dire straits in this country. Places like the Creation Museum are at the forefront of that decline. A better venture would have been between the Cincinnati Zoo and with a 10%-off coupon for Francis Collins' The Language of God. That wouldn't have helped with the Christmas displays but it would have opened up people with a scientific bent to the possibility of believing in God. The Creation Museum just makes Christians look silly.

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