PETERSBURG, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky museum that tells a Bible-based history of the world says it has acquired the fossil of a large dinosaur predator similar to a Tyrannosaurus rex that offers evidence of the Old Testament worldwide flood.
The museum said in a written statement Friday that the Allosaurus probably stood about 10 feet tall and 30 feet long, and was a meat-eater. The skeleton, nicknamed "Ebenezer," includes a skull with 53 teeth and will go on display in an exhibit next year.
"For decades I've walked through many leading secular museums, like the Smithsonian in Washington, and have seen their impressive dinosaur skeletons, but they were used for evolution," said Ken Ham, co-founder of the Answers in Genesis ministry, which operates the museum. "Now we have one of that class for our museum."
The museum's religious exhibits are often at odds with evolution science, which asserts that the earth is billions of years old and the age of dinosaurs and humans was separated by tens of millions of years.
The well-preserved condition of the Allosaurus is evidence that it died during a worldwide flood as described in the Bible's Old Testament, Andrew Snelling, a geologist at the Creation Museum, said in the statement.
Snelling said the fossil's intact skeleton is proof of an extremely rapid burial, "which is a confirmation of the global catastrophe of a flood a few thousand years ago."
Similar fossils are on display at the University of Wyoming's Geology Museum and at the Museum of the Rockies in Montana. The Wyoming Museum says the Allosaurus was the most common large carnivore in North America during the late Jurassic period about 150 million years ago.
"The Creation Museum has asserted the specimen to be evidence of Noah's flood without any actual research," said Dan Phelps, president of the Kentucky Paleontological Society, said in an email Friday.
"Real vertebrate paleontologists study the surrounding sediments and the geological context of their finds," he added. "Of course since the Creation Museum doesn't do scientific research, all (it) really has done is obtain a nice display trophy."
Phelps said he was concerned the museum would not let vertebrate paleontologists study the specimen.
The Creation Museum's fossil was donated by the Elizabeth Streb Peroutka Foundation of Maryland. The foundation bought the bones about 10 years ago and they have slowly been restored over time.
The Creation Museum said the new exhibit would be ready by Memorial Day.