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.