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Creating the Creation MuseumHow Fundamentalist Beliefs Come to Life$
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Kathleen C. Oberlin

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781479881642

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479881642.001.0001

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“Lucy” Up Close

“Lucy” Up Close

(p.128) 4 “Lucy” Up Close
Creating the Creation Museum

Kathleen C. Oberlin

NYU Press

How did Answers in Genesis make particular decisions about what to display in its exhibits at the Creation Museum? This chapter hones in on the ‘Lucy’ exhibit, the Australopithecus used to depict human evolution and our common ancestor, to examine how Answers in Genesis constructs a plausible counterclaim and compellingly depicts this to visitors. Unpacking the materiality of objects in a contested exhibit affords a close up understanding of how a group attempts to make ideas and objects credible—what techniques do they use and how do they accomplish a plausible ‘look and feel.’ The Creation Museum is compared to three natural history museums across the US that feature Lucy in its human origins exhibits: the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the Field Museum, and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC. Throughout this comparative work, this chapter underscores how mainstream institutions vary in their approach and anticipation of challengers like AiG.

Keywords:   Australopithecus, museum, exhibit, common ancestor

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