Amusing story in the New York Times:
PETERSBURG, Ky. — Tamaki Sato was confused by the dinosaur exhibit. The placards described the various dinosaurs as originating from different geological periods — the stegosaurus from the Upper Jurassic, the heterodontosaurus from the Lower Jurassic, the velociraptor from the Upper Cretaceous — yet in each case, the date of demise was the same: around 2348 B.C.
“I was just curious why,” said Dr. Sato, a professor of geology from Tokyo Gakugei University in Japan.
For paleontologists like Dr. Sato, layers of bedrock represent an accumulation over hundreds of millions of years, and the Lower Jurassic is much older than the Upper Cretaceous.
But here in the Creation Museum in northern Kentucky, Earth and the universe are just over 6,000 years old, created in six days by God.
Near the entrance to the exhibits is an animatronic display that includes a girl feeding a carrot to a squirrel as two dinosaurs stand nearby, a stark departure from natural history museums that say the first humans lived 65 million years after the last dinosaurs.
“I’m speechless,” said Derek E.G. Briggs, director of the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale, who walked around with crossed arms and a grimace. “It’s rather scary.”
“I think they should rename the museum — not the Creation Museum, but the Confusion Museum,” said Lisa E. Park, a professor of paleontology at the University of Akron.
“Unfortunately, they do it knowingly,” Dr. Park said. “I was dismayed. As a Christian, I was dismayed.”
Dr. Bengtson noted that to explain how the few species aboard the ark could have diversified to the multitude of animals alive today in only a few thousand years, the museum said simply, “God provided organisms with special tools to change rapidly.”
“Thus in one sentence they admit that evolution is real,” Dr. Bengtson said, “and that they have to invoke magic to explain how it works.”
By the end of the visit, among the dinosaurs, Dr. Briggs seemed amused. “I like the fact the dinosaurs were in the ark,” he said. (About 50 kinds of dinosaurs were aboard Noah’s ark, the museum explains, but later went extinct for unknown reasons.)
The museum, he realized, probably changes few beliefs. “But you worry about the youngsters,” he said.
Dr. Sato likened the museum to an amusement park. “I enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed Disneyland,” she said.
Did she enjoy Disneyland?
“Not very much,” she said.
Pictured above, right (click to embiggen): Eve gets some water from a nearby stream while her pet velociraptor frolics in the brush