On the 28th of September, many museums observed Free Museum Day by offering (you guessed it) free admission. The Creation and Earth Museum in Santee, California, offers free admission all year long, but observed the day instead by hosting a free family event that featured a number of guest speakers, including Ray Comfort, and the rollout of several new “Kids Knee High Exhibits.”
The Institute for Creation Research (who launched and managed the Creation and Earth History Museum for 16 years), Krispy Kreme donuts, Chick-fil-A, and more had booths outside of the museum, along with a stage for musical performances and a tent for the guest speakers.
The museum features a wide array of exhibits, including nearly everything from the origin of the universe to irreducible complexity and from human body systems to the likelihood of an actual Noah’s ark. There is even a tabernacle reproduction with a 30 minute presentation.
The amount of text and images and displays borders on overwhelming, but it seems that this would make an ideal trip for families who have certain topics that they would like to explore in a hands on, 3D environment. One would be hard-pressed to really take in all of the information in one trip, especially on a crowded event day.
Throughout the museum, accompanying many of the exhibits are articles for adults that contain more in depth information on topics like “How Long Was the Seventh Day?” and “Pantheistic Evolution.” These articles are also available on their website. As we leafed through the articles, we were somewhat surprised to find that a few were from as far back as 1980 on topics that have certainly received more scholarly attention in the 30 years since.
Overall, we found the information contained in the exhibits to be accurate and the families filling the halls were engaged and entertained. Children ran about, interacting with exhibits and asking their parents questions, who in turn asked museum volunteers questions. The exhibit detailing the feasibility of Noah’s ark was a personal favorite, because it threw out stylized (ahem, misleading) renditions of the ark and presented instead a bare bones, solid depiction built on the description in Genesis. Calculations estimating necessary and provided room for animals as well as the ability of the ark to really float were posted alongside a scale model that would have made Johannes Buteo proud.
One point of contention that may arise for some was the institution’s bias toward a young earth model. This is not to say that it would be detrimental to subscribe to young earth over old earth or vice versa(surely we all have an opinion), but several exhibits plainly describe young earth as the biblical view and old earth as the opposite. Old earth is presented as inextricable from evolution, and the big bang is similarly dismissed as one and the same with a non-biblical explanation. At Youth Apologetics Network, we do not see young earth or old earth creation differences as matters worth dividing over, and we also do not see how either can be dismissed as lacking biblical basis. Good arguments abound for both but that admission seemed to be lacking at this particular museum, which may be worth noting ahead of time for some families.
If you are looking for a fun day of interactive exhibits that welcome important conversations, The Creation and Earth Museum in Santee is a great day trip idea. We would love to hear what your family enjoyed about this museum, or if there is another creation museum that you have particularly enjoyed.