Eugenie Scott, director of the National Center for Science Education, says, "This is freedom of speech, but it's unfortunate the public is going to be exposed to erroneous science presented with great flash and dash ... in an authoritative way. This is going to be detrimental to science literacy."
No doubt, AiG knew how to create an appealing experience, choosing a designer of amusement parks who created the Jaws and King Kong exhibits at Florida's Universal Studios. In a special-effects theater, the seats shake and visitors are sprinkled with water. There's a lush Garden of Eden, a partial re-creation of Noah's Ark, a slice of the Grand Canyon, lots of videos on plasma TVs, and a planetarium for exploring the universe. At Noah's Cafe, kids can saddle up on a triceratops.
Yet the main mission isn't entertainment; it's presenting a particular "biblical worldview" in which Genesis stands as literal history and true science.
"Genesis gives an account of the history of all basic entities ... from the One who knows everything," Ham says. "If you don't know everything, there could always be evidence that will lead to wrong conclusions."
And wrong conclusions is what AiG claims is behind evolution. Dividing science into "observational science" and "historical science," its theme is that the latter is simply interpretation based on one's presuppositions. In one exhibit, for instance, two paleontologists (a creationist and an evolutionist) are digging up a dinosaur skeleton, but they have two different interpretations – one from a perspective of thousands of years and the other, millions of years.
"Fossils don't have labels," Ham says. "You have different interpretations because you have different starting points – one starts with God's Word, one with human reason."