PETERSBURG, Ky. (AP) — A new exhibit of a 30-foot-long fossil skeleton of an Allosaurus, which resembles a Tyrannosaurus rex, is set to open at a Kentucky museum that asserts dinosaurs lived alongside humans a few thousand years ago.
A release from Answers in Genesis, the Christian ministry that owns the Creation Museum, said about 50 percent of the skeleton's bones were recovered when it was found in Colorado over a decade ago. Keeping with its Bible-themed approach, the Creation Museum says the dinosaur died in a worldwide flood about 4,300 years ago. Scientists say the last dinosaurs roamed the earth more than 60 million years ago.
Museum founder Ken Ham said the new exhibit "will help us defend the book of Genesis and expose the scientific problems with evolution." The new exhibit is called "Facing the Allosaurus," and has the skeleton as its massive centerpiece. It opens Saturday.
"Evolutionists use dinosaurs to reach children more than anything to promote their worldview," Ham said. "Our museum uses dinosaurs to help tell their true history according to the Bible." The Allosaurus was a large carnivore that lived in North America during the late Jurassic period about 150 million years ago, according to Mark Clementz, a paleontologist at the University of Wyoming.
The topic of a worldwide flood, told in the Bible's Old Testament, was discussed by TV star and science educator Bill Nye during a debate with Ham at the Creation Museum in February. The debate's live Web stream drew millions of viewers and intense national media attention.
Nye challenged the biblical story by describing how animals would have behaved during such a flood event, citing the fossil layers at the Grand Canyon as an example. Nye said if "there was a big flood on the earth, you would expect drowning animals to swim up to a higher level," which would mean their bones would be mingled with fossils known to be from a later time period. "Not any one of them did, not a single one."
Daniel Phelps, president of the Kentucky Paleontological Society, said in a release Thursday that the Creation Museum "has decided, without doing research, that the dinosaur fossil is evidence of Noah's flood."
The Allosaurus, named Ebenezer, was donated to the museum by the Elizabeth Streb Peroutka Foundation, which purchased the bones over a decade ago. Michael Peroutka, a member of the foundation and the Constitution Party's candidate for president in 2004, said the fossil "is a testimony to the creative power of God in designing dinosaurs, and ... it also lends evidence to the truth of a worldwide catastrophic flooding of the earth in Noah's time."
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