October 21, 2008 : By igillis
When Family and Consumer Sciences professor Ruth Gomes suggested that the Creation Studies display, located in the Science Hall off the DeMoss courtyard, needed a new look, seniors Bethany Turner and Lydia Norton agreed and began coming up with a proposal for the redesign.
“We desperately needed a more visually appealing display, one that would attract attention and show the potential a creation display could have,” biology professor Dr. David DeWitt said. “The students did an excellent job.”
Turner and Norton, both FACS majors, were one of four teams who presented proposals to Dewitt, who chose their team for the redesign. They spent three weeks working with Liberty’s carpentry department to build the new black backing and white letters for the display.
Place cards with the scientific names of each artifact were also added.
“We saw it as a design challenge and thought that the place cards would add a nice dimension,” Turner said. “I learned a lot during this process with all the research that went into arranging [the casts].”
The display includes a total of 33 skull casts, with five hand and feet skeletal casts and black models of hands and feet. The skulls casts are from male and female gorilla, chimpanzees and orangutans. There is also a coyote skull and hand cast and skull casts for scientific fossils such as Lucy, and the fossil hoax Piltdown Man. There is a human skull and hand cast as well. History place cards show some background information on creationism, one example being the comparison of Neanderthals to modern humans.
According to DeWitt, in 1998 Liberty’s Creation Studies Department lost the museum space previously used to display the cast models. Since then, the department has been working to set up smaller cases on the Science Hall and now has on display more Neanderthal casts than the Smithsonian Museum.