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Creation Museum Reaction (Part One)

August 8, 2009

As promised, I want to give further reaction to my visit to the Creation Museum. I’m not going to use this post to talk about my conversations with the atheists. I’ll be talking plenty about the atheists throughout the weekend.

So, without further ado, my reaction to the creation museum.

Aesthetics- I have been a Christian for most of my life. Not only that, I grew up in a charismatic church which usually trends toward the cheesy and kitchy. Case in point: The current Left Behind books and the whole PTL network. Even worse, I have been to the Holy Land experience in Orlando. I’m tired of seeing Christians do things in a crappy manner. Even worse, they call it a “God thing” as if God was to blame for their horrible sense of an artistic aesthetic.

So, it was with great fear that I entered the Creation museum. I thought it would be a huge disaster. I was wrong. The museum is really well done. I was highly impressed with the exhibits. Someone spent a lot of time, effort and thought into each detail. The dinosaurs were the most impressive example, especially with the fossils and fossil molds. The staff, at least the “low line” employees were very helpful and nice. They probably didn’t know I was a minister.

The only drawback was the security people. They disturbed me. It represented a “Fortress” mentality among Christians I can’t stand. The whole thing reeked of a fearful worldview that is typically found in dispensational theology. This brings me to my real objections, theological. I’ll post these very soon.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. onein6billion permalink
    August 10, 2009 7:14 pm

    “The museum is really well done.”

    You’re hilarious.

  2. Sach permalink
    August 11, 2009 5:26 am

    I have never visited the museum, but from the pictures I have seen, the quality of the exhibits is wonderful. Which, sadly, makes me question who was willing to design the exhibits.

    It isn’t that YEC-style Christians are all design-illiterate, but rather that in my (admittedly very limited) experience, there aren’t too many GOOD designers who are very religious (and the likelihood that these individuals would magically meet up with Ken Ham seems slim to me). Which begs the question–who was willing to do the design work for the museum, and why? How badly did the designer need cash, what was the payment, or did the designer simply not care if his or her work was used to push an agenda he/she did not agree with?

    I *have* read that the TV spot used to advertise the work was actually created by a design team that was NOT given very vital information about the project until it was mostly underway: http://www.cartoonbrew.com/advertising/creation-museum-spot.html (see commenter “Soyeon”‘s posts; for a sample: “I and director, Todd were asked to create a spot for the natural history museum. And that’s how we began the concept. Irony is that we didn’t know that it was for the ‘creationism’. With all the respect for anyone who has belief in their point of view, both of us are not christians.”)

    I recognize that to most people, this doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, but I know that when I did design work, it was very hard to create pieces for things I just somewhat disagreed with. So these displays, and how they got to the museum, are an incredible mystery to me.

    Thank you for writing this blog; I’m not really a believer but I find it incredibly refreshing.

  3. thomas2026 permalink*
    August 11, 2009 12:22 pm

    Sach,
    I actually know some good Christian designers.

    It’s sad the creation museum withheld the truth from the designers, but not suprising. That seems to be the mode of operation down there.

    I love your last point about it being hard to design something you completely disagree with. Most people try to fight the idea that their view of the world influences how they go about the world. You get a plate of St. Thomas cookies too.

    Thanks for the kind words and stopping by. Hope you stick around.

    Doubtfully,
    J-

  4. gmv permalink
    August 11, 2009 1:43 pm

    Sach,

    Actually, if you read lower down in the thread, the designer of the TV spot says this:

    “Just to clarify (not to defend anyone), we were told to do a spot for museum, but the client never use the term ‘natural histroy museum’. It was my personal assumption since that’s only kind of museum that I knew of. I found out ‘additional’ concept later in the process. Some of you might have caught the word ‘creationism’ right away and connected to the religious concept, but neither I nor the director did. We might have been too naive… but, AGAIN, all we focused was ‘visualization’ as… visual artists.”
    Sach,

    They were not led astray or lied to. They just didn’t understand the term “creationism” and what that implied. They assumed it was a natural history museum. And later in the post the designer states, “I may not have the same viewpoint as the client, yet I must say that they did show a great deal of respect and appreciation for this spot.”

    So, get your facts right.

    BTW – most of the design work for the exhibits at the Creation Museum was done by in-house designers, who agree with the theology of the Museum. There are talented creationists.

  5. Sach permalink
    August 11, 2009 9:27 pm

    GMV:
    I hope it didn’t sound like I said that the designer of the TV ad had been actually lied to; really, my issue is just that Mr. Kim did not receive certain information. To me, starting a project without that information would be a no-no, but different people work in different ways…. and I would hope that a client would be more up-front.

    So essentially, the big question in my mind is really… why did the museum not provide additional detail (“Why did the designer not ask?” is another, fair, one, but given how downright nasty some clients can be, I’m a little more sympathetic to that side)? Given the subject matter presented at the museum, I would have hoped that the owners would be very vocal about what they wanted and needed from the get-go. Because they weren’t, it just leads me to wonder if the lack of additional information to these tv-spot designers is because Ken Ham et. al didn’t particularly want to scare off their agency of choice. Again, part of it IS the designer’s fault for assuming, but I understand at least partially that side of it.

    FYI, I DID read the posts on that site way prior to giving the link here, so my reading may be different from yours. I hope this did not upset you.

    I am happy to hear that the design work for the Creation Museum was done by in-house designers. I’d like to read more about the design behind it if possible–do you have any more information?

    Thomas–Thanks for the kind words. 🙂

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