Our Summer: Fernbank Museum of Natural History

Fernbank Museum Natural History

Our Summer o’ Fun continues with Fernbank Museum of Natural History! We took one of Lydia’s friends (who goes to our school and church!) with us and had an absolute blast.

naturequest

The best part by far was NatureQuest which at first glance is just a giant play area. But once you got inside it was much more—the areas and decor mimicked areas and foliage of Georgia. There were native trees, animals, caverns and bugs! We explored rocks, footprints, pulley systems, swamps and even excavation sites.

kids play area

If you wanted to just run around and play you could. Or you could stop, look a little closer and see animals, geodes and specimens embedded into the play area. There were high-tech microscopes, puzzles built into the walls and interactive video games. They even had book nooks and at-your-own-pace scavenger hunts. It was really, one of the coolest interactive playgrounds I’ve ever seen.

under the sea

The rest of the museum walked you through the different areas of Georgia: swampland, mountains, etc. There was a shell exhibit, artifacts from Georgia, an interactive 5 senses exhibit and cultural relics. There was even a special exhibit called “The Scoop on Poop” (which the kids chanted for about 8 minutes straight) and except for the creative name, wasn’t very exciting.


creation evolution kids
One of the most breath-taking sites in the museum was the giant dinosaur skeleton replicas. It was pretty awe-inspiring to look at how large they are, towering above your head. But this is where the museum of natural history turned into a conversation about Creation versus Evolution.

In every step of the museum, there were comments, plaques and teaching about “350 million years ago” or “when humans came to Georgia”. There were paintings of animals in between their different evolutionary stages (like a giant elephant with a crocodile’s snout and a 8 foot tall furry duck).

We even watched an IMAX movie called Into the Arctic, which was beautiful–polar bears, caribou and gorgeous ice waterfalls. The first line of the movie explained that black bears migrated to the Arctic and eventually adapted to live there–turning into what we now know as polar bears. The VERY NEXT piece of dialogue said, “Polar bears were BUILT to live in the Arctic” (<–that is a quote) and “if we don’t protect the melting Arctic, what will these bears do?” (<—not an exact quote.)

polar bear

So, the entire movie was about the poor polar bears who are dying because of the melting ice. Yet, they had JUST said black bears had adapted to the Arctic. Why can’t the polar bears adapt to the new slightly warmer Arctic? But besides all that, why use the word BUILT? If they were built, who built them?! Completely illogical.

It was just so odd to me that the entire museum was based, built and centered on these evolutionary phases. There were no questions, no theories presented, no alternate ideas–just the “facts” of evolution. It was really just a giant, interactive museum showcasing the teachings of evolution. Is that really what everyone believes? Am I just naive in thinking that most of regular America believes God created the world?

My thoughts about Creation vs. Evolution (or even macro- or micro-evolution) can be summed up with a devotion one of my Science professors in college did (he was a Doctor of Genetics). He read Genesis 1:1 and John 3:16. Then he said, “I have to take Genesis 1:1 literally so I can take John 3:16 literally.”

I know there is more to it than all that, but at the same time–there’s not. God created the world. He lovingly called life into being. He didn’t haphazardly make creatures that would shed their parts to become something different. If he did, it would make me question Psalm 139:13-14,

psalm 139:13-14

I believe God knows me intimately, designed my body, my mind and my personality. I want my children to believe this. I don’t want them to question God’s design of cats, dinosaurs or lizards because I don’t want them to question the amazing and wonderful design of themselves.

We took the museum with a grain of salt. We loved exploring the animals and landscape of Georgia, we loved imagining dinosaurs and fossils. We had an absolute blast on scavenger hunts and explorations. But we turned every exclamation into praise to God. We pointed all glory and honor to the God, the Creator of the Universe.

How do you explain creation and evolution to your kids?

bible craft

linked to The Better Mom
polar bear photo source: irishwildcat yarn photo source: adamknits, text by me
disclosure: I was given these tickets as a member of the media.

Comments

  1. Great post! I had my first Creation vs. evolution discussion with my 3 year old last week. I couldn’t believe how well she understood! God has made us with a knowledge of His existence, it’s my job to nurture & encourage that while pointing out the flaws in man’s theories.

  2. That sounds like a great place to take the kids for an outing! Love the pics of the smiles on your kids’ faces:)

    To answer one of your Qs – I think the migration of black bears occurred quite slowly, so they had time to adapt to the new environment. The changes happening in the Arctic are occurring very quickly, leaving little time for adaptation.

    I try to teach my kids about different theories – I want them to grow to understand, communicate with and respect everyone (regardless of their beliefs).

    I don’t think there is a solid line that exists between evolution and creation, and my kids and I talk about both.

    I think their love and awe and wonder for the design of their body will come from my own love, awe and wonder.

    Kids are very curious about nature – they will always have lots of questions! And dinosaurs? My own kids and students at school seem to have an endless fascination with them:)

    Thanks again for sharing your summer adventures,
    Kristina

    • You’re right–kids are endlessly fascinated with nature, dinosaurs, their bodies, etc. My kids ask questions on end! ;) I know many people think evolution and creation overlap. And honestly, that could be. I am just so passionate about my kids’ knowing their Creator and focusing on Him even before the amazing creation that surrounds us!

      Thanks for your comment, Kristina!

      a

  3. Someday if you can travel a bit, check out the Creation Museum near Cincinnati, Ohio. I think (err… KNOW) you would love it!

    • That sounds like another great place to go! I’ll have to check it out next time I’m in Ohio – I go there often:)
      Thanks for sharing, Janet:)

    • I would LOVE to go there! I went to the park in Orlando…I just forgot what it’s called! But isn’t that made by the same people?

      Maybe not.

      Regardless, I would love to go there!

      a

  4. Great bear picture!!!

  5. I, for one, agree that God created it all. I have done a great deal of study though and found that the word translated day (yom) is used elsewhere in the Bible to mean other lengths of time. Science has evidence of some evolution, but of course no ‘missing link’ Can either ‘side’ prove their stance? At this point, no.

    I believe that it doesn’t matter if God set a plan of evolution into motion (knowing full well where it would go–since He can do things like that, standing outside of time), or if He made created things in a literal 6 – 24 hour periods, or if he allowed evolution to a point, and created humans separately or at least gave them a special sentience at some point. He is so great, and so vast, we can not begin to fathom. So I choose to take it that He made it and we are to take care of it–regardless of how He worked out the details.

    • Kristy: I know that is a very valid theory and UNLIKE you I have NOT studied it all! Ha!

      I definitely believe this world as we see it is not as it was when God created it. I mean, just think of the differences that occurred after the Tower of Babel!

      It was just walking around that museum & seeing a place void of God and His awesome power as Creator that left me feeling…sad, I guess.

      I’m w/you. God made it, we need to take care of it!

      Thanks!
      a

  6. Ashley O says:

    I trust that the Bible is the breathed word of God. Therefore I cannot question it or understand all of it with my limited human understanding. That’s where I depend on the holy spirit to step in and give me a better understanding. I will definitely give my son all sides of everyone’s beliefs. But of course, I want him rooted in the Word of God first. NONE of us were here when God created the universe. Therefore, none of us can give an accurate account. I rely on Job 38 to teach my children!

    • Ashley: you’re exactly right! None of us were there! In fact, the little boy that went with us to the museum kept saying, “That’s just their best guess!”

      And oh, Job 38! My favorite verse is 32, “Can you loosen Orion’s belt?!” God is SO BIG!

      a

  7. Erin @ Home with the Boys says:

    We encounter the same questions and discussions at the natural history museum and I feel so inadequate to explain these things to my kiddos! I completely agree with the points you make!

    For this homeschool year, I bought the Museum Guide from Answers in Genesis to take along to the museum. I haven’t used it yet but I know it explains lots of natural history museum exhibits from the creation standpoint! I know I will appreciate that help for sure!

    • When we left the museum I said, “I wish I could go thru this place with a super smart Creation Scientist!” *sigh*

      I’ve got to buy all the books you’ve mentioned!
      a

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