A group of Idahoans dismayed by science education have opened the Northwest Science Museum offering a Biblical explanation of Earth's origins and disputing other explanations, such as evolution.
"We want to show a lot of science that's being censored and not presented to the public," said Doug Bennett, the museum's executive director.
The organizers have big plans. They formed a nonprofit, with one employee and several volunteers.
They're starting with a "Vision Center" — the current museum at 1835 Wildwood St., near Fairview Avenue and Five Mile Road, is in a small building next to a store that sells Magic the Gathering and other gaming supplies.
But their hope is to raise enough money through donations to build a full-scale museum, which will charge admission. (The Vision Center is free and open most weekday afternoons.)
"We're also looking at grants, scholarships, that sort of thing" to fund the full-scale museum, Bennett said.
The central premise of the museum is to counter "mainstream science" with exhibits about life on Earth as created by God in six days, about 6,000 years ago — not over a span of millions of years.
Bennett said the founders had been kicking around the idea for a creation museum for 10 or 20 years.
The organization is "just a group of us that have kind of the same idea of promoting true science," he said, adding that it's not affiliated with any church or religious group.
The museum cost about $10,000 to open, he said. Many of the items on display came from the founders' personal collections.
Bennett said the response opening week was encouraging and supportive, except for a flood of emails from people he described as atheists and naysayers.