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A Tyrannosaurus rex greets visitors at the Creation and Earth History Museum in Santee. Creationists maintain that dinosaurs were aboard Noah’s Ark and that the universe and our solar system were created in six days about 6,000 to 10,000 years ago. Scientists and astronomers say the universe is more than 14 billion years old. Photo by E’Louise Ondash
Columns Hit the Road

Hit the Road: Santee museum tells story of biblical creation

It’s feeding time at the Creation and Earth History Museum in the East County city of Santee.

An attendant hauls a large plastic bin of greens through a camouflaged door to the right of a wall of aquarium-like enclosures. The glass boxes are home to snakes, a turtle, a legless lizard, fish, a tarantula and a few other creepy-crawlies that are hiding under rocks and logs.

One large enclosure holds a half-dozen fluttering birds, and on an opposite wall is a sizable glass window displaying a few hundred butterflies. The colorful specimens blanket the wall.

The back of one of the snake enclosures opens and the attendant slides a large “tweezers” holding a black-and-white mouse through the space. The mouse dangles, wriggling, above the snake, who feigns disinterest.

The snake next door is offered the same bi-monthly treat. His mouse is cowering in the corner, probably seeing his life flash before him.

Sorry, but I can’t look.

The timeline for the history of the Earth passes through an arch with an Egyptian motif.  Photo by E’Louise Ondash

I know it’s the Circle of Life and all that, but I’m going to move from this room, which illustrates Day 5 of biblical creation, to other sections of the museum that argue further against the theory of evolution.

The thermometer reads 90 degrees here in Santee, so the air-conditioned museum is a welcome refuge. The purpose of the museum, according to the website, is to “provide scriptural and scientific evidence that reinforces the biblical account of creation … and (to offer) educational and evangelistic opportunities through interactive museum experiences and activities.”

Exhibits in the 10,000-square-foot facility argue for a literal, six-day creation of the Earth, which believers maintain is only 6,000-10,000 years old. For instance, the Grand Canyon was created in a relatively short time as a result of the Great Flood, which was survived only by Noah and his family and the animals that were onboard the ark, including some dinosaurs.

We begin our journey through the museum in the rooms that represent the six days of creation. Each room represents one day of the “young earth’s” creation and presents a voluminous amount of text on the walls. My husband returns for a free portable chair that visitors need if they want to spend time reading all of the text.

Should you want to explore further but don’t have time to read everything on the walls, there are take-home pamphlets featuring topics like “Noah and Human Etymology”; “Mount St. Helens and Catastrophism”; “The Meaning of ‘Day’ in Genesis”; and “Mutation and Natural Selection Are Insufficient to Have Brought About Any Emergence of Present Living Kinds from a Simple Primordial Organism.”

To summarize this last heading, mutations in species are always harmful, so there is no way a species could both evolve and survive over billions of years. This is another argument that supports the creationist’s view that the Earth is only 6,000 years to 10,000 years old.

After the-six-days-of-creation rooms, we walk through other exhibits that include an age-of-the-earth cave, an Egyptian-era room, a human anatomy exhibit, a dinosaur-discovery zone, a timeline of the Earth’s history and more.

We head back into the 90-degree day with a fistful of pamphlets. We feel so much luckier than those mice in the snake enclosures when, in the late afternoon, we make it all the way to North County on the 15 without hitting major gridlock.

For more photos and commentary, visit facebook.com/elouise.ondash.

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