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Creation-science ministry Answers in Genesis (AIG) opened on Memorial Day the first large-scale museum dedicated to teaching young-earth creationism. Weeklong celebrations attracted more than 15,000 visitors, including a group of 40 protesters.

The 60,000-square-foot Creation Museum, located outside Cincinnati in Kentucky, displays dinosaur bones, a planetarium, and fossils. A walk-through-the-Bible exhibit features recreations of the Garden of Eden, the Tower of Babel, and Noah's Ark. A spate of publicity prompted AIG to expand the size of the $27 million museum.

AIG president and CEO Ken Ham said he has wanted such a museum for more than two decades.

"Twenty-five years ago, we didn't have all the arguments fine-tuned," Ham told CT. "This is part of the maturing of the biblical creationist movement."

The modern creationist movement began with John C. Whitcomb's The Genesis Flood, published in 1961.

"Christians have problems answering the questions of skeptics because churches and Christian colleges don't teach apologetics," Ham said. "The museum is a rallying point to call the church and culture back to the Word of God by confirming the Bible's accuracy."

Creation science largely arose in response to philosophically unsophisticated efforts to impose evolution education following Sputnik's launch in 1957, said Notre Dame University history professor Mark Noll.

"It's commendable that Christian parents want to resist the atheistic indoctrination of their children," Noll said. "Yet as eminent Christian scientists like Francis Collins have demonstrated, it's possible to honor God scientifically without recourse to creation science."

AIG officials anticipate that more than 250,000 visitors each year will pay the $19 admission fee (children ...

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