As a science teacher, I am always curious about people’s attitudes toward what I teach. Since more than 40 percent of U.S. adults believe literally what is written in the Book of Genesis—that Earth and the universe were created in six days about 6,000 years ago—and since I was in the neighborhood recently, I decided to visit the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., run by the Answers in Genesis (AiG) Ministry.
The museum has a brand-new planetarium and 70,000 square feet of exhibits claiming that the story of Genesis happened exactly as written. In the main lobby, a large display depicts life just after creation. Richly detailed with plants and rocks, it features a small boy playing, while two dinosaurs graze nearby. According to the exhibits, the stars are younger than Earth (they were created on Day 4), and Noah saved all animal species that we see today from the Flood. Earth had its one and only ice age, lasting a few hundred years.
What disturbed me most about my time spent at the museum was the theme, repeated from one exhibit to the next, that the differences between biblical literalists and mainstream scientists are minor. They are not minor; they are poles apart. This is not to say that science and religion are incompatible; many scientists believe in some kind of higher power, and many religious people accept the idea of evolution. Still, a literal interpretation of Genesis cannot be reconciled with modern science.
Read more at Scientific American.