Awhile back, our church went on a group tour of the Creation & Earth History Museum. I thought I would share what we there and some of my thoughts on the museum.
The Creation and Earth History Museum is located in Santee, California near San Diego. It was started by Dr. Henry M. Morris who was a strong young earth and literal six day creationist. He was determined to show that you cannot mix creation and evolution, so he began this museum. (Click here for the history).
The museum takes you through the six days of creation. It starts in the first hall way on Days 1-3: Heaven and earth and then leads to a dark, star-patterned room where you discuss Day 4: Astronomy. There are pictures and very detailed posters on a range of subjects relating to the sun, moon, starts, etc. Afterwards, the tour moves into a room filled with live animals and a presentation on Days 5-7. This is also where the Gospel presentation was given.
The tour then walks you through two small exhibits on the Fall of Man and Noah’s Ark and arrives in a room dedicated to the Grand Canyon, fossils, and the Flood. As you pass through exhibits on Mt. St Helen and the Ice Age, the tour’s final stop is on Ancient Civilizations in Rome where you learn about the tower of Babel and other cultures.
There were two other interesting exhibits on Race and Genetic Makeup and a special Tabernacle Presentation at the end of the tour.
The tour guide was very knowledgeable, but was more of lecturer. Since the museum is on the smaller end, there are long rests and a lot of listening. There were some exhibits we walked through or skipped that would’ve been good to look at (you can always go back after the tour is finished). I would have preferred for our guide to point to things on the wall and describe them specifically as it related to the topic. And as a whole, the tour was a bit lengthy but very doable even for younger children.
The positives greatly outweigh any critiques I have of this museum. Though it is a small museum, the content is weighty. The posters and info on the walls are worth the visit, even if you don’t purchase a time with a tour guide. And our tour guide was knowledgeable, descriptive, helpful, and answered all our questions. I appreciated the clear Gospel presentation for the unbelievers too. The atmosphere was very laid back, personal. You were allowed to move at your own pace if you desired. And the tour fit our big group of about 40 people, and it was set at a great price per person. The museum also had nice book store with lots of good resources. For the most part, it was child friendly but the length may bother some parents who have kids with short attention spans.
It is very detailed and dealt with the the major arguments of evolution at every step. I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about soft tissue in dinosaur bones, and how soft tissue is problematic for an Old Earth interpretation of creation. Learning about Lucy (the supposed “missing link”) and how the length of her arms make impossible for her to have walked upright, and the way that some tried to manipulate her fossils to try to fit an evolutionary worldview.
Recommendation: I highly recommend a trip to this museum at least once. If you’re vacationing in the San Diego area or want to plan a trip just for the museum, the wealth of information alone is worth it. Plan a church event or a bring a group within your church to go in visit. Students who are bombarded with secular sciences in public education will greatly benefit from this and be able to defend the faith with good apologetic responses to controversial issues. I do recommend doing the tour as it adds different dynamic to the visit, and allows for questions. I also highly recommend bringing unbelievers to this as it is a great opportunity in the trip and the tour to be exposed to the Gospel.