One of the first things you come across inside is an animatronic display of a child next to a couple of velociraptors. (Dinosaurs are a big part of the attraction here, starting with the stegosaurus on the parking lot gate: the owners know it's a way to get kids to want to visit the place.)
That velociraptor display is problematic, however, and not just because it's on the scientific level of The Flintstones. You see, according to Ham and his people, all creatures were vegetarian prior to the Fall: this means that lions could sleep with lambs and, apparently, children could play with velociraptors. It was the eating of the forbidden fruit that introduced hardship into the world and turned some animals into predators. The problem, though, is that there were no children until after the Fall. Up until then, only Adam and Eve were around. Moreover, the child in this display is clothed, which is something no one would be before the Fall, for as everyone knows, until they ate the fruit, the first man and the first woman were nudists.
Once you get past the velociraptor display, you enter the main exhibits. Here, visitors are first informed that different scientists can view exactly the same data yet come to radically different conclusions: some see fossils and think they are millions of years old, others understand them to have been around no longer than a few thousand years; some see the Grand Canyon and think it formed gradually, others see it and conclude it was the result of an immense flood; it all depends on how you interpret things. As one sign puts it, “dinosaur fossils don't come with tags.” Another display informs us that Lucy the australopithecine may have been a chimp or gorilla. No mention is made that its hip structure demonstrates it walked upright.
Skepticism about science is juxtaposed with claims about biblical authority. Since the empirical evidence is open to more than one interpretation, to truly know the past we need the evidence of one who was there and who wrote it all down: God. In one of the displays, a boy is shown saying (by means of a speech bubble) that he's never heard any of this stuff in school.
The message that one can either trust fallible human reason or God's infallible word is repeated throughout. The fact that one has to use human reason to conclude that the Bible is God's word is conveniently ignored, however.
Ignoring God's word is the cause of the modern world's problems, and this leads to the next section, the “Culture in Crisis” exhibit – a dark, subway-like tunnel in which all the evils of the modern, Darwin-believing world, are represented: there is lots of graffiti, and talk of teen pregnancy, infidelity, and abortions.
Visitors then go through a history of the world that takes them from the creation of light through the garden of Eden, the Fall (dramatically described as the worst day in the history of the universe), Noah's ark (where you can see dinosaurs embarking), the repopulating of the world after the Flood, the Tower of Babel, and finally a film (which I didn't see) about the last Adam, Jesus.
Many of the claims made throughout are supported by nothing more than the authority of scripture. For instance, to the question, “did dinosaurs evolve from birds,” the answer given is that “God made birds on day 5 and land animals on day 6. Dinosaurs are land animals, so they were created the day after birds.” This is obviously something that all those scientists who believe birds are descended from dinosaurs failed to consider.
Other times, though, they try to provide more elaborate explanations. Mostly, these hardly make sense. For instance, the reason they give for why marsupials “were the first mammals buried and preserved after the flood” is that marsupials, “which have pouches, can nurse their young while moving,” whereas placental mammals, “which nurse their young in the womb, spread out more slowly.” Other times, the claims are just outlandish. My favorite is their suggestion that the super-continent Pangaea broke apart to form today's continents as a result of the Flood.
The burning question I most wanted answered was why there are no longer any dinosaurs. After all, according to the Creation Museum, they were taken aboard the ark, so they didn't all perish in the Flood. One possible answer they give is that people “killed them for food or sport.” Another display, however, actually claims that, though unlikely, there might still be dinosaurs around today that no one has yet found.
It must be admitted that the Creation Museum is entertaining for nonbelievers. With so much emphasis on dinosaurs, it feels sort of like a cross between the Bible and the old Raquel Welch movie One Million Years B.C. But even though it is funny, it's also sad, especially when one sees the children who are taken there to be misinformed and who will no doubt become confused when they are taught real science in school. If only they didn't have all those animatronic dinosaurs.