The debate over creationism is about to evolve in Boise.
The Vision Center for the Northwest Science Museum
opened for business on June 14 at 1835 Wildwood St. in Boise. That's where the public has been invited to preview exhibits and talk with creationists about the theory behind their disagreement with mainstream, evolution-based science.
Organizers hope to raise funds for a fully developed creationist exhibition center sometime in the future.
"The Northwest Science Museum is different from anything that's been done before, because it will explain the biblical and naturalistic point of view side by side," Doug Bennett, a geologist with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in Boise, said in a promotional video.
Stan Lutz, a Boise-based "field paleontologist" also speaking in the video, described the museum as containing artifacts that will challenge the evolutionist perspective.
"Our goal here is to present true science that has been hidden from the public. We have artifacts that absolutely confound the most ardent evolutionists. We have some things that some creationists have never heard of," said Lutz, a former longtime farmer who studied at the Creation Science Evangelism Institute in Pensacola, Fla., and has been associated with the Creation Evidence Museum in Glen Rose, Texas.
Northwest Science Museum
An artist's rendering of the Northwest Science Museum.
According to the NSM prospectus
, the proposed museum would be 300,000-450,000 square feet, possess the first "full-size" Noah's Ark replica in the United States, contain a planetarium, chapel and lecture hall, and include all the usual museum amenities like a gift shop, a cafe and a picnic area. The prospectus estimates that more than 100,000 people would visit the museum and generate $20.4 million in business for the Treasure Valley every year. The prospectus provided no estimate for how much the facility would cost.
Though the museum website states the facility would engage creationists and evolutionists alike, it's openly adversarial toward the consensus scientific point of view, with the video linking the founder of modern evolutionary theory, Charles Darwin, to Adolf Hitler at the 1:22 mark. Its stated mission is to "strengthen the visitor's faith in God and the Bible. It will give the visitor the information they need to trust the Bible and what it says about the creation of the universe."
"This goal makes available the resources necessary for an individual to continue to study Biblical creation science on his/her own so he/she will be well versed and can give an answer to anyone who asks about origins," the website claims.