Today (12/27/16), we had the opportunity to meet with Hannah, whom we hadn’t seen in a year. She was here with a group from her church to check out the Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum. Since we had wanted to check these out for a long time and we had the chance to see Hannah, we woke up early headed for Kentucky.

First floor of the Ark

We arrived at The Ark Encounter before it opened, bought our tickets ($40 for an adult, but $60 for a combo ticket with the Creation Museum which is normally $30 itself).  It seems a bit pricey, but if you’re able get there before the year ends, the Ark is half price admission (5-9 pm) and the Creation Museum is $5 (5-9 pm). Having seen both, I’ll try to highlight what I appreciated about each.

Feeding the dinosaurs

The first thing I appreciated about The Ark was the sheer scale of the exhibit.  The first floor of this Biblically scaled model was filled with cages for animals, supplies needed for the voyage, etc.  But, the most fascinating thing for me came on the second level.  Here was the collection of animals reproduced from the fossil record.   To be able to see life sized editions of these animals was truly incredible.  They also had some amazing comparisons between the evolutionary account and the Biblical account.  The displays discussed the fossil record, other flood stories, and a variety of other comparisons.

Ham and his wife (theoretical rendering)

On the third floor were two major exhibits that I especially appreciated.  The first was a rendering of the living quarters of Noah’s family.  They speculated how each might have looked (in order to provide the races we have today) and the various skill sets they would have brought to the ark.  There were also different speculations about food sources.   It was very fascinating.

Chinese section

The final section was on the spread of the gospel.  Displays showed various countries where missionaries have traveled, translations of the Bible from that culture, and different artifacts from one of the missionaries who ministered there. Having Hannah and her friends with us, we particularly enjoyed the section on China, complete with Hudson Taylor’s chair!   The section ends with a map of the world and information about which areas still haven’t been touched with the gospel.  A great ending!

Entrance to the Creation Museum

While The Ark focused on just one area of the Bible, the Creation Museum focuses on many.  By exploring 7 different areas from creation to Revelation, the museum truly offers something for every interest.  I loved the questions they wrestle with.  Right when you walk in, you encounter the question of whether or not dragons ever existed–historical stories, biblical accounts, and arguments.  Next, you see the creation of the world with comparisons between Biblical theories and evolutionary theories.  This also was fascinating as we considered Darwin’s finches, the blind cave fish, and a number of other “hot topics” of discussion.

What you believe shapes what you find

One of my favorite sections was the discussion of “Lucy.”  In this section, both creationists and evolutionists gave their theories of who or what Lucy was.  In the middle of these two opposing views was this display.  It shows many different renderings of Lucy based on what the creator believed about the bones they were given.   I think it was so poignant because both sides believe all evidence supports their theories and the opposing view is distorting facts–facts that obviously support their own view.  This is the reason world view and beliefs really matter–they shape everything!  Ape, human, or transition?  You can examine the evidence and decide.

Finally, both the exhibit on Judaism and the exhibit on insects and butterflies were incredible (No pictures in either.). For me, one of the biggest proofs for the existence of God is the variety and intricate beauty of nature–design that serves no practical purpose (survival of the fittest), but shows such personality and creativity.  Being able to see these insects from all over the world–both modern and fossilized–was amazing!

In final analysis, it’s a tough choice, but when it’s all said and done, I think the variety in the Creation Museum makes it the better value, but if you can do both, it’s well worth it!