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A Christian-owned zoo has challenged a critic to a discussion after being accused of not being worthy of awards because it's "openly creationist and anti-science".
Alice Roberts, a University of Birmingham professor, broadcaster and author criticised the zoo in comments on Twitter on Sunday.
I honestly don't see how a zoo like this can win awards and say it supports education when it's so blatantly, openly creationist & anti-science! "We think that evidence shows the world is much older than 6000 years but much younger than 4.5 billion years." https://t.co/VAxqfgdv63— Prof Alice Roberts (@theAliceRoberts) March 11, 2018
Anthony Bush, one of the owners of Noah's Ark Zoo Farm, told Premier she has criticised the zoo before but he doesn't know why she does it.
"Alice Roberts has had a go at us before", he said.
"I like Alice Roberts. She lives in our parish. She sends her child to our church school and yet she seems to have a go at me for some reason. It's sort of a slight mystery as to what she's got against us."
Noah's Ark Zoo has won numerous awards including The national 'Quality Badge' from the Learning Outside the Classroom Scheme and the Gold Award in the Green Tourism Business Scheme.
The zoo prides itself on being "a unique hands-on zoo" that celebrates "the wonders of creation".
Its website states: "Did life arise naturally or supernaturally? Can undirected, random processes result in complex life forms or is there evidence to support the notion of a Creator? Can we reconcile our knowledge of evolution and a belief in God? These are important questions for some people.
"Biological life is a wonderful thing. In our view the evidence currently known points to a 'both/and' situation (creation and evolution) rather than 'either/or': there was an initial creation, followed by a vast amount of evolution, geological and biological."
Bush told Premier in response to Roberts' criticism about the zoo's creationist views, he would like to chat with her about their differences of opinion.
"I would say 'come and talk to Anthony he really wants to talk to you' and we'll try and work something out," he said.
"We're only asking [about creation]. We're not shouting it.
"We're asking 'was Noah a true story or was it a made up one?' There was a mention of it on every continent of the world and on tablets of stone going back thousands of years. So 'what evidence is there of Noah and where could it have happened?' and so we're exploring that."
Bush also encouraged other Christian business owners who face criticism because of their beliefs.
He told Premier: "Be nice and keep going doing the same things. Don't be put off when people come along and say 'you're the only people who are doing this and all the world believes something different' because it's not true. There are lots of Christian believers who think God made the world and everything in it and it's all awesome."
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