“Where the heck am I?” I thought to myself as I paid the gentleman at the counter. I had just finished charging and had seen a huge sign for a “Creationist” based dinosaur museum. I didn’t even understand how that would work. The Glendive area was home to many fossil dig sites though, so I knew locally based artifacts would be included so I was interested in going. As I walked in, I was greeted by an extremely gracious teller and reminded “this was a museum based on facts from the Bible”. I chuckled at the way he worded that.
“That’s why I’m here.” I responded. I eagerly stepped through the door not knowing what to expect.
As soon as I walked into the next room, I was greeted by two magnificent and frankly, ginormous, full skeletons of prehistoric sea creatures. One was a sea turtle with a shell at least 10x20ft. The other (Mosasaurs) resembled a cross between a whale and a crocodile, at least thirty feet long. Its body and tail curved across the upper areas of this and the adjoining rooms, cutting a path between smaller skeletons of fish hanging from the ceiling. While reading the information about though, I couldn’t help but notice that the authors made sure to point out the similar animals we have today; a point of reference I am sure was intended to start the journey into Creationist beliefs on evolution.
Walking into the next room, a squeal of glee escaped my lips as I came upon two amazingly complete Tyrannosaurus skeletons. Every boy that grew up in the 90’s is fascinated with T-Rex’s thanks to Jurassic Park and I am just like all of them. I remember being a child taking the train up to the Field Museum in Chicago to see Sue the T-Rex and the elation that ensued. For a second, I was transported back to those moments. That feeling of nostalgia engulfed my entire being and then imploded upon itself because this was not one, but two T-Rex. I don’t care how crazy this place was. This cemented it in my mind as awesome.
With the T-Rex display taking up most of the bottom floor, I headed upstairs to check out the cream of the crop, the area where the museum “disproved” evolution. The floor was divided into 4 different areas, each ready to tackle a different “misconception” of science as we understand it today. First stop, why DNA is useless.
I laughed to myself at the absurdity of the sentence. To think that we have mapped the entire genome of different species, including our own, and still have questions (or denials) about this stuff is downright mind-boggling. Going down the line of posters, the museum attempted to disprove any relation humans may have to chimps, solely using the sheer amount of data in DNA to try to say that even though 98.4% is the same, that would amount to billions of differences, making any real relation impossible. We know that this isn’t true as we see genetic mutations happen all the time.
Further down the hall, I found skeletons of prehistoric mammals like the Wooly Mammoth and Saber Toothed Tiger. Next to them was an amazing Stegosaurus. Right next to that though, was a small exhibit dedicated to ancient writings that had legends containing dragons and sea monsters. Using the museums logic, the reason these legends were created was that man and dinosaur MUST have lived together 800 years ago. How else would man be able to know what dinosaurs were like?
I ended my journey in a small theater dedicated to movies trying to disprove evolution. The current one playing was about dragons and the bible. I watched for a while and a few staff would come in every once in a while asking if I needed anything. Everyone was so nice here. It was both welcoming and a bit off putting. Just let me learn about dragons!
Leaving the museum, I had to wrestle with my thoughts. The place was so cool with the amount of fossils they had, yet the message they were trying to push went against most of what I knew. I laughed to myself thinking about some of the absurdity of it all.
It’s not that I have anything against religion. Quite the opposite really. I think the values it teaches are extremely worth while. The sense of community it conjures, the politeness, it’s all pretty great. It’s just everything here seemed so silly while also being so cool. I don’t know. It was weird. If you’re charging up in Glendive though, you should absolutely stop in.
Closest Supercharger Glendive MT 0.3 mi
1919 North Merrill Avenue Glendive, MT 59330
Glendive Dinosaur Museum
139 State St, Glendive, MT 59330