Saturday, June 16, 2007

Creation Museum Review

Last week, I went to the Creation Museum, which is just outside Cincinnati, Ohio. I've been once before, but that was a couple of years ago when they were just starting to put it together and they didn't have any of the exhibits finished at that time, but were doing behind-the-scenes tours for charter members. The museum just opened to the public about three weeks ago, so this was my first "official" visit.

My first thought was wow -- not for the museum itself as I already had a pretty good idea of what to expect, and had come away with a wow for the museum after seeing what they were putting together two years ago -- but wow for the crowds!! When they finally posted the admission rates last month, I was really surprised at how high (to me) they were, and I wondered, "is anyone going to pay that??" Apparently, many anyones will!! The line to get in took about half an hour!

Our first stop was a movie, "Men in White", featuring a girl who is asking the age-old questions of life... is there any meaning, is there anything beyond death, is there a God?, and two angels, Gabe and Mike, as the men in white. The movie is cute and comedic, but addresses the purpose of the museum -- to dispel the lies the world feeds us about evolution and its proof that there is no God -- using scientific evidence. The movie is a special effects movie, and I must warn you that if you go, when it comes to the part about the Flood, put your hand over the little hole in the top of the seat in front of you, or you will be very wet. A "mist" is what they called it... it's no mist, it's water squirting at your face repeatedly as if coming from a squirt gun. Not my idea of pleasant, but easily shielded with a hand over the hole...

Next we began the "Walk through Biblical History". I'm disappointed that I didn't get to see much of this. We had planetarium tickets for 12:30, and entered the walk at 11:45, thinking we'd just walk through pretty quickly to get a grasp of what's inside and then come back later for anything we decided we wanted to give a more thorough look. It was SO crowded that it took forever to walk through exhibits. When by 12:15, we had gotten through about 5 of the 40+ exhibits, we turned around and went back. What we did see was very well done, and I was very sad that we didn't make it to the "time tunnel" to go back and see all the exhibits from the past, like scenes from the Garden of Eden, and Noah's Ark.

So next we visited the planetarium. Amazing. There's just no other word for it. Just seeing the vastness of space, learning HOW BIG some of those stars are compared to our sun, and how far away in space all these other stars and systems are compared to the size of our solar system is just mind-boggling. The sheer numbers of stars out there that we can't even see from earth blows my mind, and those are just the ones we've been able to discover through technology -- who knows how many more might be beyond that??

This brought to mind a question for me. When God promised Abraham that his descendants would be as many as the stars, do you think this was merely a figurative statement, as in, "See, there's too many to count, same for your descendants", or do you think this was a literal statement, and there really will eventually be the same number of descendants of Abraham as there are stars in the sky? Because if it's literal, then anyone anticipating an imminent Rapture better take off their coat and stay awhile, because it's going to be many more thousands of years before the descendants of Abraham could come anywhere close to the number of stars in the sky.

Another question that came to mind was, WHY? This is a very earth-centered perspective, but I believe that the world IS very earth-centered in the physical realm, as I don't believe there's another race of people on some other planet, so as the only planet bearing people, God created these things for His glory, but for our enjoyment also. So why so many stars? Stars and planets and entire galaxies that we can't even see from the earth... that even with modern technology, we can't even begin to imagine how vast the universe must be. Why create all these planets with nobody to live on them and enjoy them? Why would God bother to do all of that?

Randy Alcorn, in his book Heaven, theorizes that God will give each person his own planet to live on and enjoy that will be specially created and suited just for that person's pleasure, based on their likes and their personality. I don't know why he thinks that, but as many planets as there are out there, who knows but that maybe he's right. Maybe they don't serve as much now, but God has plans for those planets and stars and galaxies in the future. Who knows! It's all very overwhelming to my small brain, but I'd be very interested in hearing what others think -- why do YOU think God created such vast amounts of things we can't even see from the earth?

As far as the earth-centric idea, one interesting thing they showed was the constellations as viewed from earth, the constellations as viewed from other stars within our galaxy, which still essentially looked the same, and then leaving our galaxy and going way way out in space somewhere, showing our constellations. All the lines connecting the same stars that our constellations connect now made no pictorial sense, except that all together they made a cone-like shape, as if all the lines were "pointing our way home". Not sure if I described that well enough for you to visualize, but it was a rather cool thought.

Unfortunately, this was all of the museum that we were able to experience on this visit, as we had to get home to babysit everyone's favorite Cincinnati baby (aka, my other nephew, who is one month younger than Baby Boy who is previously referenced on this blog), and none of us wanted to miss a moment of that opportunity. :)

I look forward to returning, however, and despite the high admission fees if you're not a member, which I thankfully am and free is always a nice price, I highly recommend a visit to the museum if you're ever in the Cincinnati, Ohio -- or even if you're not. I couldn't believe how many people were traveling there from far far away -- this was their family vacation this year!! (Fortunately, Cincinnati does have good family attractions to offer, such as Kings Island, the Newport Aquarium, and the Cincinnati Zoo, so the Creation Museum makes a nice addition to a family trip rather than having to be the ONLY thing done on the trip!)

I imagine that the crowds will die down as the summer progresses -- it was a Saturday and only two weeks after the museum had opened, after all, so it probably isn't as crowded on the weekdays and the novelty will dwindle eventually, especially come fall. In the meantime, if you do go, plan on an all-day trip in case you do run into the crowds.

Monday, June 4, 2007

"My Personal Policies"

I've never done a meme before, but have certainly seen quite a few floating around out there in blogland. This one looked interesting, and kittyhox tagged everyone, so I guess that means me!!

Here's the description:

"My Personal Policies

I think it would be safe to say that we all have personal rules that we live by. Surely it's not just ME. I'm not talking about moral rules, like "Do not kill." I'm talking about the silly policies we impose on ourselves, like "Never eat anything you can't identify," or "Don't step on sidewalk cracks." For some reason, I started mentally listing the quirky rules I follow and got curious about other people's personal rules.

As an added bonus, I will include parenting policies I USED to think I would follow before I actually became a parent: (feel free to add yours, too!)"

Okay, trying to think of some self-oddities here -- it's always fun to see what really weird things other people do because then you feel more comfortable with your own weirdness. :)

1. Eat a hamburger every day. But I can ONLY have one a day. If I had a burger for lunch and am REALLY craving one for supper too, then I will allow myself a veggieburger as a substitute, though I attempt not to do that terribly often as I KNOW I need to eat other things too!! (I'm really not kidding about's an addiction, I'm telling you!)

2. No pop allowed except rootbeer (since most rootbeers have no caffeine) and even then, ONLY when eating in a sit-down restaurant.

3. If a muscle clenches for any reason on one side of the body, the other one must do so to match it. Same thing with touches. If something brushes against one arm, the other arm must be equally brushed. If one eye closes tighter than the other, the blink must be repeated with the other eye tighter. It can sometimes take several back and forths to get both sides of the body balanced out correctly.

4. Spend twenty minutes at the computer upon awakening. I do fine to break this rule when at other people's homes; this is just a rule for at MY house. I can only break this rule at my house in case of an emergency, which of course almost never happens. I need that twenty minutes to transition from sleep to awake.

5. Go to Disney World every year. I LIKE this one!! :) I can't remember the last year I missed but I think I've gone pretty much every year for at least the last ten or so and usually more than once. I'm a Disneyite. :)

6. Read before falling asleep. Even when I'm soooo tired I can't keep my eyes open, I still have to read a couple pages before turning out the lights or it just doesn't seem right!!

7. No bare feet in the house. Strangely enough, I'm fine with bare feet outside. I used to be fine with bare feet in the house. Now I can't stand to be without socks inside. But if I'm walking around the house in socks and need to go out to get the mail or take out the trash, I don't put on shoes to do so, I just take off the socks (so they don't get dirty), leave them by the door and put them back on as soon as I get back inside. I know it doesn't make sense... but that's okay! :)

8. NEVER peek ahead in a book or read the end first to see what's going to happen. Totally ruins the book. Can't understand people who do that!!

As for the parenting principles from before one was a parent -- well, I'm in the before stage, unfortunately, so I'll go ahead and post five principles I anticipate living by, and if I ever have the privilege of becoming a mother, then I can look back and laugh at myself as my child breaks all the rules! :)

1. Tv time will be LOW. Only occasional during infancy. In toddlerhood, they can watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Sesame Street (based on current programming available :) ), plus a Disney (or similar) movie together as a family once or twice a week. That's it, unless they're sick or some other extenuating circumstance is going on that makes more on a particular day reasonable. I will probably get a little more lax as the child gets older because I know kids have to watch certain tv shows to be able to fit into conversations with friends, but I will always be very cautious as to the content of what they're watching.

2. Hands-on learning will be incorporated into everything we do, and I want them actively playing throughout most of their day. Thus the small amount of tv time. I want them outside running, jumping, and climbing when weather permits, and inside reading, constructing, and playing games when it doesn't. NOT sitting in front of a screen all day. Being an early interventionist and doing this all day long with other people's kids anyway, I do think I'll probably manage to keep this rule.

3. No junk food (including sweets and fast food type items) when little except when necessary to fit in socially. Cake and ice cream at parties, a few pieces of candy at Halloween, Christmas, and Easter, snacks at preschool if they go, etc. I think I really will be a real stickler on this the first 3-4 years of life at least, and then will get more lenient as they get older.

Now then, I guess I'm supposed to tag someone. Since I don't know too many people who blog personally, I reckon I'll tag KiwiRia. :)