PETERSBURG, Ky. – A museum that tells the Bible's version of Earth's history — that the planet was created in a single week just a few thousand years ago — attracted thousands to its opening as protesters rallied outside.
The dozens of demonstrators argued Monday that the Creation Museum's central tenets conflict with scientific evidence that the Earth is several billion years old.
Overhead, an airplane pulled a banner with the message: "Thou Shalt Not Lie."
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The privately funded museum had more than 4,000 guests on opening day, said Mark Looy, a co-founder of the $27 million facility 20 miles southwest of Cincinnati. The parking lot was filled with license plates from dozens of states.
"The guests were very happy with the museum experience," Looy said. "Of course, we had some naysayers come through and engage us in conversation, and that's fine — we want them."
Lawrence Krauss, an author and physicist at Cleveland's Case Western Reserve University, decided to view the museum firsthand.
"It's really impressive — and it really gives the impression that they're talking about science at some point," Krauss said.
On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being best, "I'd give it a 4 for technology, 5 for propaganda. As for content, I'd give it a negative 5."
The museum features high-tech exhibits designed by a theme-park artist, including animatronic dinosaurs and a wooden ark at least two stories tall, plus a special effects theater and planetarium.
Some exhibits show dinosaurs aboard Noah's Ark and assert that all animals were vegetarians until Adam committed the first sin in the Garden of Eden.