In May, we officially began construction on the ICR Discovery Center for Science and Earth History. Many of you have given generously to make this vision a reality, knowing that ICR plans to showcase the scientific evidence that confirms the Bible in new and innovative ways. But you may be wondering more specifically how we plan to accomplish this.
We’ll design each exhibit to:
- Demonstrate the attributes of our Creator (Romans 1:20).
- Motivate the desire to know God and His Son Jesus Christ (John 17:20-21).
- Give glory and honor to the Creator (Revelation 4:11).
- Inspire worship of the Creator (Revelation 14:6-7).
- Encourage hope in God in the generations to come by proclaiming His strength and wonderful works in unforgettable ways (Psalm 78:4-7).
With this in mind, I’d like to take you on a virtual tour of the exhibits we’re planning for this groundbreaking project.
The guest entrance opens to the most recognizable feature of the ICR Discovery Center. This unique elliptical pavilion, skirted in glass, gives visitors a glimpse of life-size T. rex and Stegosaurus fossils on display in the main lobby. You can also see the round, red outer walls of our state-of-the-art planetarium.
The planetarium is a primary feature of the ICR Discovery Center. It will be equipped with the latest in 3-D digital projection technology, allowing visitors to be fully immersed in an environment that will transport them to endless locations within our vast universe. This planetarium is not limited to presentations about astronomy. It can facilitate a trip through the Grand Canyon, journey into the sophisticated machinery of a living cell, or take you into the world of subatomic particles.
Also connected to the main lobby is a 200-seat multimedia auditorium. This generous space allows us to conduct educational seminars, pastoral training sessions, continuing education units, and summer institutes for creation advocates. We’ll offer these educational presentations year-round.
As we move toward the exhibit halls, we’re passing 3-D holograms of key founders of modern science who have uncovered major scientific principles. These scientists are also known for their strong biblical faith and commitment to a recent six-day creation as described in the book of Genesis. Each holographic bust displays elements of their discoveries, and a short quotation appears as guests approach the display.
Before we tour the exhibit halls, let me give you the big picture. Each exhibit room contains major scenes representing early creation, the Fall of man, the Flood of Noah’s day, and early civilizations of the post-Flood age. Each area also focuses on a key attribute of the Lord Jesus Christ. The applicable attribute scrolls periodically across the wall as a laser-beamed phrase: “Jesus is the Creator,” “Jesus is the Designer,” and so on.
In the universe hall, 3-D rotating models of each planet in our solar system are suspended within the galaxy field of background stars. A central kiosk of touchscreens provides visitors with scientific evidence about the complex design and order of the universe that refutes the popular Big Bang theory and the many long-age assumptions.
The elaborate Garden of Eden hall shows off the beauty of this fabulous garden, the tree of life, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:8-9). It highlights God’s original “very good” creation and emphasizes the complexity of DNA that requires a Designer. Touchscreens throughout this exhibit teach guests the major conflicts between uniformitarian views of biochemistry and entropy, demonstrating that there can be no accidental biogenesis—regardless of time.
As we leave the Garden of Eden and head into the hall of Noah’s Ark, you’ll see both a detailed scale model of the Ark and a full-size rendition of a portion of the Ark. Kids will enjoy seeing life-size animals throughout it, and interactive touchscreens provide information about the Ark and its construction as well as comparative information of the revised and renewed Genesis mandate (Genesis 9:1-7). A large globe shows a moving 360° computer-generated animation of the stages of the year-long Flood as the water rose to its maximum height and then gradually receded. Another exhibit communicates how the biodiversity of animals enabled them to multiply and fill the earth as God commanded.
The largest exhibit hall shows the effects of the Flood on our world. We offer several major displays within this hall, each providing insight into the enormous volume of evidence that demonstrates the worldwide, catastrophic destruction of the planet by water. A scale model of the Grand Canyon features the results of ICR’s five-year study of radioisotope dating processes. Crystalline rock samples from sediment deposited across North America were analyzed for this study, and the results provide convincing evidence of a watery catastrophe of global proportions.
The horrible consequences of the global Flood came because of God’s judgment on evil humanity—it totally inundated and destroyed the earth. We’ll depict that catastrophe and its effect on the planet through electronic media. The early post-Flood world is shown in a life-size diorama that includes several dinosaur replicas and a strangely magnificent baobab tree. The baobab is often referred to as a living fossil. This tree has such a large, hollow trunk that visitors can walk inside it to learn more about how living fossils defy evolutionary expectations.
A mechanical pterosaur flies over this hall, soaring past an exhibit debunking the early hominid-to-human story. This area also displays the evidence that falsifies the evolutionary development from a common ancestor. An exhibit discrediting the popular myth that chimpanzee DNA is 98% similar to human DNA demonstrates that humans are unique creatures “created…in His own image” (Genesis 1:27). After learning this truth, kids can dig for real fossils and take home some of their finds.
The central feature of the Ice Age hall is the Ice Age Theater. Short films depicting the science behind global warming, the cause of the Ice Age, and the recognizable animals that adapted during the Ice Age play periodically throughout the day. A full-size mammoth stands guard outside the theater entrance, watching over several interactive touchscreens that communicate the research done on the Ice Age. Visitors will see evidence of God’s faithful promise to preserve the earth given to Noah in a covenant soon after he left the Ark (Genesis 8:20-22).
The Second Age began after Noah and his family left the Ark, and it’s often referred to as the Age of Redemption. The early years included the times of the patriarchs, best known for the lives of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. The exhibit hall covering this period documents the history of the early nations. The Tower of Babel is featured with an emphasis on evidence that God’s intervention originated multiple languages. The resulting disbursement of humans throughout the earth produced the genetic diversity present after Babel.
All of these rooms we’ve toured so far focus on several attributes of our Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ, while the final two emphasize the good news of God’s redemptive plan. They connect all of the prior exhibits to the gospel and communicate its message clearly through sculptures displaying the life of Christ, including the empty tomb and His resurrection.
As we turn the corner on this last part of the tour, we come face to face with a life-size hologram of Jesus Christ returning from heaven in glory as recorded in Revelation 19:11-16. This stunning display asks a vital question of us all: “Are you ready for His return?”
We are excited as we think and plan for all the ways God can use these exhibits to draw more people to Himself. All of us at ICR pray for those of you who faithfully donate to our ministry and are anticipating your continued faithfulness in the years ahead. The operational needs do not cease during the additional demands of the capital project, and we depend on your faithful giving as we continue our regular research, seminars, radio programs, publications, and DVDs.
We also need additional gifts to help us complete the ICR Discovery Center for Science and Earth History. Although we have about $14-plus million available to begin this project, we need to raise $2.6 million to finish the basic construction and about $3.7 million to complete these wonderful exhibits and provide all of the technology they require. Thus, the total challenge for our ICR constituency is to help us raise an additional $6.3 million within the next 18 months.
Both the Board and the directors of ICR are convinced that this discovery center is a vehicle to honor the Lord Jesus. We have prayed and planned long and deep for this to become a reality. Please consider investing in this project to reach the souls of people and turn your earthly wealth into eternal value.
* Dr. Morris is Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Creation Research. He holds four earned degrees, including a D.Min. from Luther Rice Seminary and an MBA from Pepperdine University.