May 25, 2007 -- According to an ABC News poll, 60 percent of Americans believe God created the world in six days. In Petersburg, Ky., this weekend, a creation museum is opening that depicts a story far from what you may have learned in science class.
Exhibits at almost every natural history museum teach that dinosaurs are millions of years old, and that they died out long before human beings existed. But at the Creation Museum, they say God created dinosaurs and humans at the same time.
The Creation Museum, designed by the same man behind some of the attractions at Universal Studios in Florida, is a $27 million, high-tech sensory experience with animatronic dinosaurs and a movie theater with seats that shake.
The museum is intended to convince visitors that evolution is wrong and that the biblical story of life on earth from Adam and Eve to Noah's ark is scientifically verifiable.
The museum depicts Adam living with animals, including a dinosaur.
Ken Ham, the president of Answers in Genesis, the group that is funding the museum, says that only "secular scientists" would maintain that the first humans never lived with dinosaurs.
"[Scientists] can say that, but what's their evidence?" Ham says, insisting that "All land animals were made on day six."
Mainstream scientists worry that because the museum is so technically sophisticated, it could be effective in giving children a distorted view of science.
"That they'll show up in classrooms and say, 'Gee, Mrs. Brown, I went to this spiffy museum last summer and they say that everything you're teaching me is a lie,'" said Eugenie Scott, the executive director of the National Center for Science Education.
Ham believes that's what should happen.
"And I say, great. Amen. That's what this place is all about," he said. "It's meant to challenge people."
The stakes are high. The museum argues that evolution jeopardizes people's belief in the Bible and leads to social ills like pornography and abortion.
"In an evolutionary world view, why should you have things like absolute morality? Why would it be wrong to kill someone?" said Jason Lisle, of Answers in Genesis. "I'm not saying that evolutionists aren't moral. I'm saying they have no reason to be moral."
The group running the museum says there are two audiences they hope to reach: Christians who need scientific proof that their beliefs are true and non-Christians who need to be saved.