Judges Say Creationists Should Settle Outside Court

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A federal appeals court has told an Australian ministry to settle out of court with the founder of a popular Kentucky museum dedicated to biblical history.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday ordered Australian-based Creation Ministries International into arbitration with Answers in Genesis over copyrights and control of affiliates in other countries. Answers in Genesis had asked for arbitration.

The dispute highlights a rift between former friends who started a biblical creation ministry three decades ago in Australia before one left to develop a following in the U.S.

Ken Ham settled in northern Kentucky and built the $27 million Answers in Genesis Creation Museum, which has drawn hundreds of thousands of visitors to its exhibits since opening in 2007. The museum outlines the Old Testament's version of creation and asserts that the earth is only a few thousands years old.

Ham's success "caused significant tension" between the groups, "as each vied for control of what was becoming an increasingly international movement to teach creationism," the appeals court ruling said. The decision upheld a lower federal court ruling that also dismissed an attempt by Answers in Genesis to be shielded from a lawsuit filed in Australia.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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