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Creation "Museum" rebuffed by Cincinnati Zoo

"A promotional deal between the Cincinnati Zoo and the Creation Museum was scuttled Monday after the zoo received dozens of angry calls and emails about the partnership," reported the Cincinnati Enquirer (December 1, 2008). The promotion involved a package deal for tickets to the zoo's annual Festival of Lights and to a Christmas-themed event at Answers in Genesis's Creation Museum. The museum, which opened its doors in northern Kentucky during Memorial Day weekend 2007, aims to illuminate "the effects of biblical history on our present and future world" — that is, to evangelize for Answers in Genesis's particular brand of young-earth creationism.

On November 30, 2008, biologist and blogger P. Z. Myers complained about the promotion at his blog Pharyngula, writing, "the Cincinnati Zoo has betrayed its mission and its trust in a disgraceful way, by aligning themselves with a creationist institution that is a laughing stock to the rest of the world, and a mark of shame to the United States," and urging his readers to write to the zoo to "point out the conflict between what they are doing and what their goal as an educational and research institution ought to be." Other bloggers echoed his call, and the zoo was evidently flooded with calls and e-mails, prompting it to cancel the promotion because of the uproar. No refunds will be necessary, since no packages of tickets had been sold.

NCSE's previous coverage of the Creation "Museum" includes Daniel Phelps's review and overview and Timothy H. Heaton's account of his visit. NCSE also sponsored a statement, signed by almost one thousand scientists in the three states surrounding the museum — Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana — expressing their concern about the effect of the scientifically inaccurate materials displayed there: "Students who accept this material as scientifically valid are unlikely to succeed in science courses at the college level. These students will need remedial instruction in the nature of science, as well as in the specific areas of science misrepresented by Answers in Genesis."