Took the kids to see A Night At the Museum this afternoon. For those who don't know of this movie, the basic plotline is that all the creatures in New York's Museum of Natural History come to life at night and proceed to do what nature intended. The predators chase their prey, the human displays fight with one another, Teddy Roosevelt rides around on his horse and no one and nothing is where it should be.
Well, imagine my surprise when I got home and saw a story on Yahoo! about a museum where nothing actually is where it's supposed to be.
The Petersburg, Kentucky museum is the brainchild of Ken Ham who is gambling $27 million that 500,000 people a year will visit his biblically correct museum. That's right: at this museum, man and dinosaurs co-exist and the world was created a mere 6,000 years ago.
Of course, one of his main target goals is children, particularly children attending Christian schools because, hey, it's tough to raise a generation to be totally ignorant of real history when there's that pesky internet, TV, books and other museums that actually insist on giving kids facts. A visit to Ken's museum will ensure that they can remain blissfully empty of real history and scientific research while still qualifying as an appropriate school field trip.
Ham is no dummy. First of all, he's a transplanted Australian who moved to the US 20 years ago and began a Christian publishing and broadcasting company in America's heartland. If pushing evangelical Christianity is your art, there's no better place to practise it.
As lacking in reality as his museum is, he also knows that there is no such thing as bad publicity and he's getting plenty of ink (or blog posts). He's hired established professionals to create Hollywood-style animation and effects. The museum is a few minutes drive from Cincinnati's airport and two-thirds of Americans apparently live within a day's drive. Added to the rather unfortunate fact that close to 50 per cent of Americans, according to polls, now believe in creationism over evolution, I think Ken might well make a Noah's Ark-sized boatload of money.