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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A group of residents has opened a small creationist museum in Boise that they hope to expand to as much as 450,000 square feet and display a full-sized depiction of Noah's ark.
"We want to show a lot of science that's being censored and not presented to the public," Doug Bennett, the museum's executive director, told the Idaho Statesman in a story Wednesday.
The Northwest Science Museum opened Saturday with what organizers are calling a Vision Center.
They said the goal is to build a full- size museum to present biblical stories from the book of Genesis as a literal telling of the world's origin. Entry is free, but organizers plan to charge admission if they can get enough money to build a larger facility.
"We're also looking at grants, scholarships, that sort of thing," Bennett said.
He said the museum will counter mainstream science with exhibits about Earth as created by God in six days about 6,000 years ago.
"We want to present science not only from the evolutionist paradigm shown in state-controlled museums, but also show the compelling censored science that those museums do not show, in order to allow people to draw their own conclusions about the origins of life," the group's website says.
Scientists say the Earth is billions of years old, and species evolved over millions of years.
The center cost about $10,000 to open, Bennett said, and many of the items on display are from personal collections of those who backed the museum.
With enough funding, the group says it will have exhibits, a planetarium, chapel, lecture hall, gift shop, coffee shop and picnic area.
Bennett said there's been a flood of emails from people he described as atheists and naysayers, but otherwise the response during the opening week has been positive.
The group has created a business plan that explains why the museum could thrive in Idaho. It cites the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, that was built with $27 million in private donations about seven years ago and features dinosaurs and biblical characters.
The group notes that the Boise museum would have 66 million potential customers within a 750- mile radius.
Information from: Idaho Statesman, http://www.idahostatesman.com
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