Steve Sommer has a passion for challenging the theory of evolution - enough so that he is working tirelessly on a very special museum dedicated to that challenge.
The Bone Yard Creation Museum is set to open some time this summer. Steve is shooting for mid to late June, but that is still up in the air. When completed, however, the museum will be quite the attraction. The museum and its counterpart, The Book Pile, is located along west Highway 2 in Broken Bow.
“It (the museum) contrasts creation science with evolution - such things as how the earth originated and how you interpret fossils, with two totally different points of view,” Sommer explains. “Evolution says “big bang” around 13 billion years ago, while creationism is a direct interpretation of the Bible, which is in terms of thousands of years.”
Sommer has been interested in science most of his life. He loves to collect rocks and fossils, and has a clear view of what he believes to be true.
“The definition of science is when something is observable, testable and repeatable. Neither evolution or creationism fits that,” he says.
Sommer explains that the displays in the completed museum will outline the time difference between evolution and creationism, the origin of life, and will progress through the time line. Fossils and various plant and animal groups will be displayed here as well.
Whale evolution will be depicted along the west wall of the museum, which will feature a 30-foot mural painted by well-known artist Gib Neal.
“Further back in the museum we will get more into the nuts and bolts of what is wrong with some of these ideas,” says Sommer. He also hopes to add a hands-on area in the back.
“The main purpose of the museum is, point blank, if creationism is true the Bible cannot possibly be true.”
Science is not the only passion for Sommer - he also loves to read. And with his love of reading comes a joy in sharing books. That prompted him to open a book store in Broken Bow several years ago. The book store operated in conjunction with the Bargain Barn is what is now Hogan’s.
The Book Pile is currently open from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday - Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. The store offers a series of creationist books and DVDs, along with all types of used books.
Some fossil-related souvenirs can also be purchased at the Book Pile, which opened its doors in December 2011.
The large metal dinosaur in front of the museum/book store was built at Sargent Pipe, transferred in pieces, and put back together on site. Sommer says it was quite a project - as is the entire museum.
Visitors to the finished Bone Yard Museum will find a waterfall, origin of life pool, and many other dramatic displays. More details of the opening of the museum will be announced in the near future.