The Museum of Natural History in Georgia, US was, until recently, a very peculiar exposition. Despite what its name suggests, the museum was not set up by naturalists using the scientific, experimental and observational approach to studying plants and animals and all things living, but rather, was built in the creationist logic.
Creationism is, in essence, the belief that everything, the universe, humanity and nature, have been created by a supernatural agent. The Christian and Jewish doctrines are the most famous proponents of creationist theories, for their sacred texts encompass very clear descriptions of the birth of the universe and all that it encompasses.
Specifically, the purpose of the "The Gallery of Creation" in Georgia was "to present examples of God's creations in such a beautiful manner as to inspire visitors with a greater appreciation for God's handiwork and a greater love for their Creator." thegalleryofcreation.com.
Amongst these works, the Gallery contains typical artifacts of natural history such as minerals, rocks, fossils and embalmed animals. It includes many extinct specimens, insects, butterflies, skeletons, flowers and meteorites as well as interesting feats of animatronics and fibreglass reconstructions, many of which have toured the Smithsonian, Disneyworld Tokyo and the Sight and Sound Centre in Pennsylvania.
The demise of the gallery is broadly attributed to the economic crises and its somewhat controversial and anti-scientific stance on the natural world and humanity. Is viewing the world through a religious lens irrelevant or is it that we live in a world where contentious theories are rejected outright? Perhaps suggesting that the world is only 6000 years old is a tad extreme on the creationists' behalf, but does the fact that the Hurt family (the owners and creators of the gallery) attribute their formation to a supernatural entity render this worldwide historical collection any less valuable?
As a result of the recent closure, the Gallery has decided to sell all of its interesting and somewhat peculiar memorabilia at an online auction that will be held in the next couple of days (25th and 26th of June).
Words like peculiar and odd are perhaps understatements, as the auction includes a Hydraulic Dental Chair, hundreds of skulls (alligator, baby hippo, human etc), a Japanese Pachinko machine, a Kalamazoo Oak Stove, a Jurassic Park pinball machine, a 1949 Coke machine, a Lion exhibit, a mummified Egyptian cat, authentic mammoth teeth, dinosaur fossils, animated elephant and panda displays, and so, so much more!
We wouldn't mind an elephant animatronics in our living rooms; reckon it would be a great dinner party conversation starter!
Here's the link to the Auction Website.