Ed Van Gennip was born in Barrie, Ontario, Canada. He spent most of his youth on the family farm, raising hogs. He also worked for his father in the family painting business. His love for computers began in high school when he first saw a ‘PC’. This led to the University of Waterloo and a Bachelor’s Degree in Math, majoring in Computer Science, with a minor in Combinatorics and Optimization, as well as developing practical experience by participating in the coop program. He graduated with honours.
Upon graduation he began a career at IBM Canada, working in the Toronto laboratory as a software developer where he worked for 28 years. The first 14 years he was a developer on various projects. The latter 14 years have been in management, managing various aspects of software development, release, testing and support. After 28 years Ed took early retirement enabling him to focus entirely on the museum project.
Ed’s wonderful wife is Nancy. They have three children: Robert, Matthew and Lyndsey, all in their twenties.
Growing up in rural Ontario in the 70’s and early 80’s meant few TV channels. Watching nature shows, learning a little about geology and the animal kindgom was common. This happened through shows like “The Wonderful World of Disney” and “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom”, and magazines like “National Geography”. He also attended a Bible believing Christian Reformed Church. The Bible says God created everything in six days. While never thinking too seriously about it, Ed did feel that the ideas of evolution never made sense. Along with an interest in computers, the Lord has blessed Ed with an aptitude in math and an interest in science – physics in particular. This led to some courses in physics and astronomy at university, along side the math and computer courses. These course professors did not promote evolution and the science taught did nothing to confirm it either.
After years of slowly deteriorating health, and 22 months on the transplant waiting list, Ed had a liver transplant on June 20, 2000. You can read the book he published by clicking here. It can be purchased by clicking this link, which takes you to lulu.com. In the Bible, about 800 years before Jesus was born it says “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5) Later, as Jesus hung on the cross his side was pierced with a spear. My side was pierced, cut open, when my liver was removed and replaced. Jesus’ side was pierced to confirm he was dead. He died that our wrongs, our sins, would be forgiven and we can one day live forever with God. This really hit home to me when I realized someone died for me, to give me their liver, so that I might continue to live on this earth, in this life. A huge difference is that the person who died for me did not do it willingly but died in some form of accident. Jesus died willingly. How amazing, how loving, is that?
May 12, 2002 was Mother’s Day, a week after Ed’s 40th birthday. He and the family were
visiting his parents for the day. His brother borrowed a video from his church, which we watched in late afternoon. The video was from Creation Science Evangelism (CSE)1. Kent Hovind was presenting the evidence for creation in 6 days, denying that it took billions of years as evolution teaches. This was the first time Ed has seen such information presented. It was the first time he became aware that organizations existed that taught about the scientific evidence in favour of creation, as well as the flaws in the science used to justify evolution.
Near the end of the video Mr. Hovind asked the viewers to decide what they believe based on the evidence they had just seen. He also said to those who already believe in Jesus and have seen the evidence, “what are you doing with this evidence?” What are you doing to share this good news? Instantly, as Mr. Hovind said this, a picture, a vision, formed in Ed’s mind. No voice, just an instantaneous ‘statement’ to build a creation science museum. The image included what to build, how large, and what to include in it. Ed spent the next few days creating a 40-page Powerpoint presentation with information about the museum. Since that day Ed has been slowly but steadily working towards this vision.
In March 2003, Ed and family were vacationing in Florida and they visited Kent Hovind at CSE in Pensacola. They toured his park and took him to lunch explaining the vision. Mr. Hovind warned Ed it would be a lot of work with a lot of resistance from the evolutionary establishment. During the summer of 2003 we listened to some Ken Ham2 lectures. We met with him and again explained the vision. Mr. Ham suggested Ed forget the idea. It would be a lot of work and there would be a lot of resistance. Both of these suggestions galvanized Ed to persist.
Ed enrolled in Liberty Seminary3 in the fall of 2004. He studied at night while continuing to work fulltime, spending time with his family, and being involved in his church. He graduated with a Master of Arts, specializing in Religion, cum laude, in the fall of 2008. Having a stronger foundation in God’s word, he is now continuing with the original vision, to create a creation science museum.
The museum will be three floors, built in the standard dimensions of Noah’s ark, as recorded in Genesis chapter 6. This is 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. This maps to about 100,000 square feet of space in which to present the ideas of creation science and evolution science, side by side. This aspect is very important. Nowhere do you see evolutionary theory presented with a recent creation theory side by side. Evolution is taught stand alone, as the only option. Similarly, but not quite so strongly, many Christians teach a six day recent creation but do not address the evolutionary ideas.
Thus people on both sides are left wondering who is telling the truth. This museum will attempt to fairly present both sides of the story and thus allow the visitor to see the evidence, the theories and the assumptions underlying those theories. The visitor is then free to make an informed decision. The visitor is freed from the one sided arguments and dogma they so often hear. Ed trusts that once this is done God will be able to reach the visitor’s heart and mind and show them the errors of evolutionary teachings and open the door for them to come and see there is no contradiction between science and what the Bible claims with respect to our origin. This enables a believe in Jesus Christ and thus one will then be saved from their sins; saved from the consequences, the punishment, of those sins.
In August 2009 a subarachnoid brain hemorrhage set Ed back a month. Thankfully the Lord enabled a full recovery. All was well until May 2011 when Ed discovered a lump in his left hip. Tests indicated stage 2 non-Hodgkins lymphoma. CANCER! Again, the Lord carried him through chemotherapy treatments. It does not end there. In the fall of 2012 basal cell carcinoma (skin cancer) was found on Ed’s chest. A ‘toonie’ size spot. It was burned and scraped off. A superficial type of cancer, and relatively easy to deal with. More recently, April 2013, Ed remains cancer free and continue to slowly but steadily move forward towards the goal, to build a full size, operational, Noah’s ark science centre/museum.
The health saga continues though as Ed had a second liver transplant on June 19, 2014. The disease in Ed’s body was destroying this liver. As the Lord has provided, after being on the waiting list for 17 months the right liver came available. Now, just over a year later Ed is doing amazingly well. He is in better health now than at any time in the past 20 years since all this began. The Lord truly has provided recovery and strength enabling Ed to work on the museum. Lord willing, no further health complications will cause setbacks to the project.
These events in Ed’s life have enabled him to realize personally the meaning of God’s Word, as given in the Bible. For example it says “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:30,31) Likewise the Apostle Paul says “But he[God] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-11)