CALGARY, Alberta Compared with the $27 million
(13.6 million pounds) Creation Museum that just opened its
doors in Kentucky, Canada's first museum dedicated to
explaining geology, evolution and paleontology in biblical
terms is a decidedly more modest affair.
The Big Valley Creation Science Museum, which opens next
week, was built for C$300,000 in the village Big Valley,
Alberta, population 308, a two-hour drive northeast of Calgary.
The Canadian museum features displays on how men once
walked among dinosaurs, a giant model of Noah's Ark, a set of
English scrolls tracing the family of King Henry VI back to the
Garden of Eden, and an interactive bacterial flagellum.
The aim is to contest the widely accepted view that the
Earth is billions of years old and its flora and fauna,
including humans, evolve. The museum, like its peers in the
United States, relies on Genesis, the biblical explanation of
creation, to explain fossils, geology and humanity's origins.
"We believe the Bible to be true," said Harry Nibourg, the
owner of the museum. "We believe evolution fails the facts."
Aside from a some travelling shows and a handful of
homemade displays, the Big Valley museum is unique in Canada,
But it joins other creationist institutions in the United
States, including the Kentucky museum opened this weekend. One
Web site lists a few dozen scattered throughout the United
States and one in Germany.
The opening of the Petersburg, Kentucky, museum has
attracted the ire of scientists and moderate Christians who
object to a museum that teaches that the Earth is 6,000 years
The Big Valley museum has been more low key, with a few
stories in local newspapers discussing the facility. But the
impending opening has been noted by one of the world's premiere
museums of paleontology, the Royal Tyrrell, which lies in the
fossil-rich Alberta badlands near Drumheller, a 40-minute drive
south of Big Valley.
Andy Neuman, acting director of the Royal Tyrell, said his
museum prefers to rely on more mainstream science to interpret
fossils. The Tyrell, which averages about 375,000 visitors a
year, doesn't expect the Big Valley museum to take a away many
"I think we attract a bit of a different audience," he