Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Creation museum expects crowds

Answers in Genesis: Construction still under way

By William Croyle
Enquirer contributor

PETERSBURG - Some in this western Boone County town of about 2,000 residents envision it becoming a vacation destination for people across the nation and around the world.

They're part of Answers in Genesis, a religious group that believes its $25 million Creation Museum and Family Discovery Center will draw people from everywhere.

The 95,000-square-foot museum and U.S. headquarters for AiG has been under construction near Bullittsburg Church Road for three years and is to be completed in 2006 or 2007.

The museum will feature dinosaur bones and fossils like those at a natural history museum. The difference is that this museum will show the earth's history based on a biblical timeline of about 6,000 years, rather than on the theory of evolution, which dates back millions of years.

"We all have the same evidence. What's different is the starting point and how you interpret the evidence," said Mike Zovath, vice president of ministry for Answers in Genesis and head of the museum project. "This will be a place where people can get a tasteful look at the history of the Bible."

The group is a nonprofit, nondenominational religious organization that teaches a strict interpretation of the Bible through seminars and its Web site to nearly two dozen Christian faiths and churches worldwide.

"Evolution is just a theory, and with this museum AiG is saying, 'Here is the alternative to evolution,' " said the Rev. Stanley Cole of Kento-Boo Baptist Church in Florence. "I think it will be popular."

The project is being built through donations. Zovath said about $10 million has been donated so far.

The museum, on a 47-acre site, will feature an 84-seat planetarium, 180-seat special effects theater and 160-seat classroom.

It's a project that could be valuable to the region financially - and in other ways.

"I think any effort to remind believers of their divine origins is of value," said Tim Fitzgerald, spokesman for the Diocese of Covington.

About Answers in Genesis

A nonprofit group founded more than 20 years ago in Australia by Dr. Carl Wieland and Ken Ham.

Today has six offices worldwide, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, United Kingdom and Northern Kentucky.

Northern Kentucky office opened in 1994 with three employees. Staff today is about 80.

Publisher of the quarterly magazine Creation, with subscribers in more than 120 countries.

Has 35,000 visitors each month to its Web site, www.answersingenesis.org.

Web site has a wide range of biblical questions and answers on more than 50 topics, including "How did all the animals fit on Noah's ark?"

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