• Noah’s Ark Theme Park – On the Ropes

    Ah, fundamentalist creationists are such fun people.  Reuter’s just published an article talking about Kentucky’s Noah’s Ark Theme Park and how it’s in trouble.  I’d like to add some of my own commentary to the article, because it is just so hilarious.  (Click the link for the full article.)

    In an office park in Hebron, Kentucky, the designers of the proposed “Ark Encounter” theme park are trying to answer questions like these in order to build faith in the Bible’s literal accuracy. The project has run into delays because of lack of financing, which could cost it millions in potential tax breaks. Despite the uncertainty, a recent Reuters preview of the project showed that plans for the ark are continuing.

    Man, that’s a shame.  Those tax breaks for a Biblical-based theme park are so important to the Kentucky government that they ended up cutting the education budget last year. Yeah, that’s a bit of hyperbole.

    First, the tax breaks don’t kick in until the theme park is running (although, I recall the the State built a road for access to the theme park). Second, the state (all the state’s) are in budget trouble.  But the decision by the Kentucky government to grant a tax break to a FOR PROFIT Bible theme park while still dealing with a massive budget crisis is curious.

    You know, I could see if a company like General Electric wanted to come in to Kentucky and build an office complex and a factory and employ a couple thousand workers.  That would be a good investment for a tax break.  But a theme park?  Most of the middle class that I know can’t afford to go to a theme park these days anyway.  And you know no one there is going to be making $50k a year… well, maybe the CEO.

    Anyway, this is obviously the Kentucky government giving a benefit to a religious organization.  I’d love to see a Muslim or pagan (see below) organization come in to Kentucky and try to build a theme park to supports their version of religion (and reality).  Tax breaks?  Try “jail-time”.

    “We’re basically presenting what the Bible has to say and showing how plausible it was,” said Patrick Marsh, design director for the park, which will feature a 500-foot-long wooden ark and other Old Testament attractions, including a Tower of Babel and a “Ten Plagues” ride. “This was a real piece of history – not just a story, not just a legend.”

    Ten Plagues ride?!?!??  Seriously?  How much fun.  “RIDE THE RIVER OF BLOOD!!!”  “SEE THE DEATHS OF THE FIRSTBORN OF EVERY FAMILY!!!”  “WATCH AS LOCUSTS SWARM (with real locusts)!!”

    Who, in their right mind, is going to find that entertaining?  And please let me know if you do, because I never want to be anywhere near you.

    I find it interesting how this “real piece of history” was never recorded by the multiple civilizations who existed before, during, and after the Flood.

    The project has $12.3 million in hand and $12.7 million more in committed donations; it needs $23 million more to start building the ark alone. Zovath does not know when that will happen.

    Like Noah before the Flood, the builders are in a bit of a time crunch, since Kentucky tourism tax incentives for the project are set to expire in May 2014.

    Poor guys.  Noah must have had a heck of a lot more donations… oh wait.  He didn’t.  Nevermind.  Him and his three sons built it… by themselves.  With no power tools.  So much for Biblical accuracy.

    Also note that them theme park Ark isn’t intended to be an actual floating boat.  It’s just going to sit there. I’m not going to get into actual ship design and how building a 500 foot wooden boat is effectively impossible (especially one that’s intended to survive the worst storm ever created on the planet.  Imagine 30 category 5 hurricanes all happening at the same time.)

    The museum, which has been harshly criticized by educators and scientists, argues that the earth is around 6,000 years old and was created by God in six 24-hour days with dinosaurs existing at the same time as humans. It rejects the theory of evolution and explains phenomena like the Grand Canyon as a consequence of the Flood.

    Two of these points will become important in a minute.

    Scientists have cataloged 1.3 million species of animals, but Ark Encounter protagonists figure Noah could have brought on just 1,000 to 2,000 pairs to represent every animal “kind,” as the Bible puts it.

    “If you start with a wolf, you can basically generate all of these dog-like kinds,” said Marsh. As for large animals like dinosaurs, Marsh said Noah could have brought them on as eggs or juveniles, to save room.

    If you start with a wolf, you can generate all of these dog-like kinds.  You know, just how like evolution says you can start with a single common ancestor and through successive generations, changes build up in different populations and generate new species.  But they reject evolution…except when they need to fit 1.3 million pairs of animals on a 500 foot boat and feed them for a year.

    Oh yeah, this scenario would also require evolution that is way faster than any biologist deems possible.  According to the standard science model, dogs diverged from wolves about 100,000 years ago.  Certainly ‘dogs’ (as compared to wolves) definitely existed 33,000 years ago (paper).  And in those 33,000 years, in spite of all the breeding and new breeds, dogs are still dogs.

    Yet, the creationists need wolves to become all the varieties of dogs, plus foxes, and coyotes, and jackals in less than 6,000 years.  See, evolution way faster than biologists require.

    Though the park is meant to teach that the Noah story is true, it is also for profit, and Marsh takes inspiration from secular theme parks. In the exhibit depicting the wicked pre-Flood society that God wanted to destroy, for example, Marsh plans a pagan temple with pagan ceremonies done in a “Disneyesque” way.

    I think I speak for everyone when I say “WTF?”  And you guys complain that Harry Potter might lead people away from God, but you’re going to have pagan rituals at your theme park.

    Heck, why shouldn’t creationists steal pagan rituals to help make a few bucks, they stole most of the holidays.

    He also plans exhibits within the three-level ark on how animal waste could have been taken away by mechanical devices and how fresh air could have been brought in.

    Now he’s just making shit up.  So Noah not only built a marvel of wooden engineering, he also built fans, ductwork, and a mechanical waste removal system.  Not to mention some way of keeping a year’s supply of food for some very picky eaters fresh and an aquarium system that would rival Sea World for the various sea creatures and dinosaurs.

    We can’t forget the dinosaurs.  I mean, Sauropoda is an ORDER of dinosaurs with dozens of subgroups and thousands of species… the smallest of which were only 20 feet long or thereabouts.  The largest were on the order of the Ark itself (200 feet maybe) and weighed 200 tons or more.  And that’s just sauropods.  That’s not ceratopsians, stegosaurs, the raptors, or the big predators.  Most of these species were as large as an elephant and there were thousands, if not tens of thousands of smaller species (chicken to large dog sized).

    Marsh said that while you can be a Christian without believing in creationism, you are on a “slippery slope.”

    “So many people have gotten hooked with the concept of evolution that it really makes their faith very delicate,” he said.

    Yeah, because we know that belief in an impossible flood and an impossible boat is more important that following God’s laws like “thou shalt not lie”.

    “If somebody wants to come into Kentucky and build a Harry Potter park and teach all the fun things about witchcraft, nobody would say a word about it – they’d just think it was so cool,” Zovath said. “But if we want to come in … and build a Biblical theme park, everybody goes crazy.”

    That’s because people are basing their lives and policy decisions that affect hundreds of thousands of students on Harry Potter.

    That’s because everyone can admit that Harry Potter is fiction.  Heck, the Potter series is, at least, internally consistent.  That can’t be said for the Bible.

    That’s because people like to have fun, not go to an amusement park where one of the rides is based on the death of some 20% of the population of a major empire and the entire destruction of its ecosystem.

    That’s because Harry Potter is not a religion and not violating the 1st Amendment of Constitution of the United States (which does apply to the states by the 14th Amendment of the Constitution).

    I could go on.

    I kind of wish that this would succeed, just to see the government’s actions trounced in a court of law, but I’ll settle for them continuing to say stupid things like this.  They are just marginalizing their own constituency.

    Not ‘farewell’, but good riddance, Ark Park, we never really got to know you.

    Category: CreationismEntertainmentGovernmentReligionScienceSkepticism


    Article by: Smilodon's Retreat