Representing the ‘world that then was’ …
13 October 2003
The shell of the Creation Museum (located near Hebron, Kentucky USA) is quickly taking shape—the walls are up, the roof is on, and the concrete floor slabs have been poured. Thanks to the Lord’s provision through the generous gifts of His people, everything that has been built is paid for. We still have a long way to go, though—including designing and building the Museum’s interior. The exhibit design team is working diligently, developing the various areas that our guests will experience as they journey through a visual presentation of the ‘7 C’s of history’ (Creation, Corruption, Catastrophe, Confusion, Christ, Cross, Consummation). Throughout the Museum, guests will learn how to answer the attacks that undermine the Bible’s authority in areas such as geology, biology, anthropology, cosmology, etc., and will find out how science really confirms biblical history.
Although the Bible gives the ‘big picture’ of what happened and when it happened, we’ve taken on the huge challenge of bringing that picture to life. The Creation Walk section of the ‘walk through history’ begins with a brief overview of what happened on each of the six days of creation, and proceeds to highlight the creation of Adam, the naming of the animals, the creation of Eve and the brief time in Eden. The problem? We don’t know what Adam looked like, we don’t know what the animals—the original created kinds—looked like, we don’t know what Eve looked like, we don’t know what Eden looked like, we don’t know … . Get the picture?
Recently we sat down with Dr Carl Wieland, CEO of [CMI]-Australia, to hash out ways to portray the world as it was before the Flood. For example, based on the study of genetics, we are relatively certain that Adam and Eve’s skin and eyes were middle-brown in color, but was Adam’s hair tightly curled, or wavy, or just plain straight? Did he have a full beard? Were Eve’s eyes almond-shaped? In order to help ‘flesh out’ the physical descriptions of our first ancestors, Carl suggested (among other things) coming up with a ‘composite sketch’ of the characteristics of all the various people groups combined into two people. Now there’s a challenge!
Another example of the problems with presenting a pre-Flood world: what did the animals look like? Obviously the various created ‘kinds’ weren’t as speciated out as they are today, so what did the ancestor of, say, the sheep/goat kind look like? Which structures now used as defense-attack mechanisms were already present in the original ‘very good’ world, and which came about as a result of the Fall? It’s hard to tell, but recent hybridization observations are giving us hints of how the original kinds may have appeared. Our artists anticipate some challenging—but fun—work as they attempt to literally piece together some of those original animals.
And what about Eden? Since it was destroyed in the Flood, along with the rest of the world, we really have no idea where it was originally, or what it looked like. Was Eden on top of a mesa or a mountain? Was it a dense forest, or a sprawling garden with lots of open space? Or portions of both? What did the original ‘plant kind’ ancestors look like?
Although the Bible isn’t specific about a lot of these things, we’ll take what we do know from observation of today’s world and the history in Genesis, and combine it with lots of ‘sanctified imagination’ (based on biblical principles). Our prayer is that the result will be glorifying to the Lord, true to the Bible and a blessing to our guests, as we encourage them to stretch their own thinking, while teaching them that the Word of God can be trusted from the very first verse.