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The ark is sinking! All Christians to the lifeboats!

It’s looking dire for the Ark Park. They are facing financial collapse.

Bloomberg reported on Friday that creationist ministry Answers in Genesis must sell $29 million in unrated junk bonds by Feb. 6, or else their entire bond structure will collapse for the construction of Ark Encounter — the proposed evangelical tourist attraction in Grant County that will feature a giant boat telling the story of how a 600-year old man rounded up dinosaurs and fire-breathing dragons onto Noah’s Ark a few thousand years ago.

To put that in perspective, they need to raise $29 million in less than a month…and they have only managed to raise a total of $27 million in a few years of heavy PR.

And you know whose fault all this is? Well, Satan, but also…Ken Ham blames us!

As you have read in some of my prior emails, many challenges and road blocks came up as we worked through the stages of the bond offering and the first closing. From atheists attempting to register for the bond offering and disrupting it, to secular bloggers and reporters writing very misleading and inaccurate articles about the bonds, to brokerage firms saying “yes” but after reading these incorrect reports saying “no” in allowing the Ark bonds into their client accounts—the obstacles were numerous and disruptive. Frankly, it has been an extremely stressful and frustrating time for all of us.

Well done, everyone.


I guess as a sign of desperation, AiG has now opened up free attendance to the Creation “Museum” for kids under 12. He’s quite proud of this, and has a cartoon to illustrate it.

freecreationism

To which I must reply, if he’s so interested in helping souls into heaven, why is there an asterisk there that says “with paying adult”? Don’t us grownups get to be saved?

There are lots of creationists commenting on it that make a similar point; I like this one. Why not make it free to atheists? Or those other non-Christians, like the Catholics.

KEN HAM: You should open up the museum, free to atheists for a certain time period. However some ppl may lie to get in for free. Idk how you would discern the atheists from the theists. Or possibly all non Christians free (Catholics, Muslims etc)

Comments

  1. Rey Fox says

    Bloomberg reported on Friday that creationist ministry Answers in Genesis must sell $29 million in unrated junk bonds by Feb. 6

    Maybe they can sell the movie rights to this wacky caper.

  2. Alex says

    In related news, ticket prices for the Ham/Nye debate just went up and are now at around 25000$.

  3. David Wilford says

    Ham should have built the Ark in Branson, right next to the Titanic show. Come on, do I have to do all the thinking around here?

  4. says

    The people who lose in this fiasco are the citizens of Kentucky. I feel sorry for them given all the state money that went into the project. I’m glad we get blamed for the failure though, finally some good press.

  5. says

    Well, I was about to buy 29 million dollars worth of the bonds, until I read a biased atheist article. They used inflammatory language like, “unrated” and “junk” to describe these unrated junk bonds. And well that was enough to put me off from buying well, unrated junk bonds.

    Also, I realized that I didn’t have 29 million dollars. However, I am willing to buy all outstanding bonds at .000000000000000000001 cents on the dollar.

  6. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    Genuinely, my response to this entire post is just helpless laughter :) thanks PZ.

  7. timberwoof says

    Ken, Ken, Ken, Ken, Ken. Sigh. Isn’t it clear to you by now that God is on the atheists’ side in this?

  8. Reginald Selkirk says

    However some ppl may lie to get in for free.

    If they lie, then they’re not a true Christian™ , so they are definitely in need of saving and Ham should let them in free. So it all works out.

  9. pianoman, Heathen & Torontophile says

    “Or possibly all non Christians free (Catholics, Muslims etc)”

    Wait! Catholics are non-Christians?

  10. moarscienceplz says

    However some ppl may lie to get in for free.

    Nice of him to confirm that at least some Christians don’t take the Ten Commandments seriously. However, bearing false witness about your beliefs in order to save a few bucks while you try to improve your chances of getting in to heaven seems counterproductive.

  11. says

    Shucks! We unbelievers can’t take all the credit. Ken Ham’s incompetence was a big, big help!

    P.S.: It always amuses me when certain Christians insist on labeling Catholics as non-Christians. They just can’t bear to acknowledge that they are shards chipped off the old block of the once-monolithic mother church. The Protestant Reformation was more of a metastatic event than a reform, allowing Christianity to mutate into many new virulent strains, several more malignant than the original (but, fortunately, often limited in their capacity to damage society by their tiny size).

  12. stevem says

    re 16:

    Catholics ≠ Christians!!! Donchanoe? “Christian” is not just a classification label for anyone who believes in Christ. But for those who reject Papism AND are “saved” by Christ. English (re: Americanisms) is very complicated. Words may have many meanings but when I say a word it only means what I want it to mean. So many Christians classify Catholics as “others”; they must be correct. Christians are always right, they don’t just repeat whatever the Pope tells them to say. Rebellion is freedom. The Pope is the anti-Christ, not a Christian; just turn your back on him, forever. Christians follow Christ, Catholics follow the Pope. What more do you need?

  13. says

    Just to add to the fun: “Americanism” is classified as a heresy by the Catholic Church. It’s considered a form of the “modernist” heresy condemned by Pius X and Leo XIII, especially because it includes the notion of separation of church and state. Apparently that’s a no-no. Nevertheless, JFK expressly embraced church-state separation in his presidential campaign of 1960, as later did Mario Cuomo. Not until the 21st century did such leading exponents of Catholic political thought as Rick Santorum explicitly repudiate Kennedy’s position (which, he said, almost made him throw up; no modernist he!).

  14. Menyambal --- making sambal a food group. says

    Maybe the Christians aren’t buying the bonds because they have sold all they had and gave the money to the poor.

  15. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @moarscienceplz #17

    No, no! If someone lies to get in then obviously they are not a Real True Christian™. Christians don’t lie. Christians always follow the Ten Commandments. It’s those fake poser Christians who’ll lie.

  16. Compuholic says

    I would not be so quick to count them out. I’m sure there is some rich idiot with more money than sense to be found out there who is willing to fund them.

  17. Rich Woods says

    @Menyambal #23:

    Maybe the Christians aren’t buying the bonds because they have sold all they had and gave the money to the poor.

    That would certainly explain why there are no longer any poor people in the 85%-Christian USA.

  18. wondering says

    Jokes on Ken Hamm. The Left Behind series definitively showed that children under 12 are automatically taken up into heaven at the time of Rapture. Therefore, to maximize the number of people who go to heaven, any cut-rate or free ticket offers should be targeted at adults.

  19. PDX_Greg says

    Funny thing is, I would go for free (heck, I’d even pay) if it would get me into heaven when my mortal brain permanently ceases functioning. Then I could kick the almighty in the ethereal nuts if he is anything like the genocidal, misogynistic, baby-killing, slave-endorsing, rape-encouraging, blood-thirsty asshole he is invariably described to be in the bible and its kin.

  20. says

    Idk how you would discern the atheists from the theists.

    How hard can it be? Show them a picture of a random exhibit. If they go, “Praise Jesus,” they are christian. If they giggle, they are atheist.

  21. raven says

    Hang on here.

    It’s too early to say they won’t get all the money.

    Ken Ham is running around shrieking like a stuck pig for a reason. He needs to raise $29 million in a month. They need to raise $70 million and claim to have already raised a respectable (considering what they are funding) $40 million.

    They aren’t that far away and a month can be a long time.

    Will they get it all? Wait and see, no one knows. There are a few rich fundie xians running around, the Hobby Lobby CEO, Pat Robertson the billionaire, the Templeton foundation, and so on. For a few of these, $29 million is chicken feed.

  22. raven says

    Hang on here.

    It’s too early to say they won’t get all the money.

    Ken Ham is running around shrieking like a stuck pig for a reason. He needs to raise $29 million in a month. They need to raise $70 million total and claim to have already raised a respectable (considering what they are funding) $40 million.

    They aren’t that far away and a month can be a long time.

    Will they get it all? Wait and see, no one knows. There are a few rich fundie xians running around, the Hobby Lobby CEO, Pat Robertson the billionaire, the Templeton foundation, and so on. For a few of these, $29 million is chicken feed.

  23. Lance Johnson says

    Maybe they’d have better luck if they built a life-size model of Ymir the Frost Giant, whose blood flooded the Earth when he was killed by Odin and his brothers.

  24. says

    Wait! Catholics are non-Christians?

    That depends. When they’re trying to make the argument that Christianity is the majority religion, then Catholics are Christians. When they’re trying to argue about the one true doctrine of the faith, then they’re not.

  25. says

    The only surprise about the financial flop is how fast it happened. I thought there would be more gullible people.

    thewhollynone (#1) –

    I don’t care how you do it, you must sink the ark!

    You’re to blame for this, if anybody asks….

    “Sink The Ham Ark”
    (with all apologies to Johnny Horton)

    In January of fourteen the collapse had begun
    The christians had delusions that their arguments had won
    The Ham Ark was dumbest idea, and now it would cease
    ‘Cause AiG couldn’t find “investors” they could fleece

    Behind murky and foggy accounting they claimed they’re doing good
    (Arguing rationally is something they never understood)
    Who had sunk the Ham Ark? Was it the atheists or gays?
    Blaming everyone in sight put their ignorance on display

    The novelty had worn off, there was nothing to discuss
    The Ham Ark was a fiction based on claims, spurious
    Investors were a-runnin’ as attendance counts went down
    We’re laughing as the Ham Ark slowly sinks into the ground

    The christians on the Ham Ark would pray and pray and pray
    As facts and reality fired from fifteen miles away
    “We gotta save the Ham Ark!” was the desperate sound
    But when nobody wanted to pay
    The Ark Park went down

  26. Al Dente says

    Instead of complaining about atheists, Ham should be complaining about how most people have fewer discretionary funds. A major reason for that is the lower and middle classes in the US are actually losing income compared to what they and their contemporaries were making ten and twenty years ago. Money is being concentrated by the 1%. Ham shouldn’t be whining about PZ, he should be whining about the Koch brothers.

  27. says

    I just found this discarded note.

    Ken – When I told Noah to build an Ark he did it with no complaint. You should not need power saws and multimillion dollar bonds. And don’t blame the atheists. I’ve never expected them to help you with anything. Just do it.

    God

  28. stevem says

    re 35:

    Do you even know Ham? Expect him to be aware of REALITY? Ham ain’t a real person, anyway, just a character he is playing; shouting “talking points” to get money thrown at him by all the rubes in the audience. Do you also think Colbert’s [silent T] character is a real person? Ham is just a character Ken is just hamming up.
    /snark

  29. says

    Dammit left0ver1under, you stole my thunder! I was going to rework that song because of that comment. Well, you probably did a better job than I would have anyway.

  30. kayden says

    Catholics are “non-Christian”. Never knew that.

    Ham should ask T.D. Jakes or one of the other mega church pastors to loan him the $29 million. Would be chump change to them.

  31. stevem says

    re 37:

    Mannn, I really like to hope that all these “guys” (i.e. Ham, Rush, O’Reilly, etc.) are just actors playing a$$holes for the money their producers are paying them. If only that were so, it would be our fault for giving attention to them. If only…

  32. says

    Catholics are “non-Christian”. Never knew that.

    It’s actually a very common idea among certain strands of Protestant Evangelicals. It’s not just that they’re not the right kind of Christian. Some view the Catholics as outright Satanic.

    Try asking Protestants what they think of the Catholic veneration of Mary. You’ll hear some interesting things.

  33. kreativekaos says

    Christ, after scanning the article in the link, it’s like (for those who may remember the late ’80′s and ’90′s), Jim and Tammy Faye Baker all over again.

    God must like theme parks, I guess; must be the ‘inner child’ in him (virgin born, of course.)

  34. ironflange says

    Wow, that cartoon makes it look like they’ll kill you once you’re through the door.

  35. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Come and listen to a story about a man named Ham.
    A poor Aussie shyster, barely kept his wallet cram’d,
    Then one day he was preachin at some rube,
    And into his coffers come some poor sucker’s lube.

    Cash that is, silver and gold, Moolah.

    Well the next thing you know Ken Ham’s a millionaire,
    Kinfolk said “Ken move away from there”
    Said “The Bible Belt is the place you ought to be”
    So they loaded up the truck and moved to Kentucky.

    Rubes, that is. Republicans. Christians.

    Well now its time to say good by to Ken and all his kin.
    And they would like to thank you folks fer kindly droppin in.
    You’re all invited back a gain to this locality
    To leave a heapin helpin in their hospitality

    Cash, that is. Set a spell, Take your wallet out.

    Y’all come back now, y’hear?.

  36. Sastra says

    KEN HAM: You should open up the museum, free to atheists for a certain time period. However some ppl may lie to get in for free. Idk how you would discern the atheists from the theists. Or possibly all non Christians free (Catholics, Muslims etc)

    If Ham lets in kids for free, the hope is that they’ll be brought in by their mom and dad and Grandma and Grandpa and aunt and uncle and their other uncle and their aunt’s boyfriend — in other words, paying customers.

    How many of these pious families are going to come in on ‘Atheist Day?’

    Think of what they might be exposed to! And the opportunity to witness to the Unsaved will appeal to very few of them, since most of them aren’t interested and/or prepared for that – given that they’ve probably got a sneaking suspicion that the kind of atheists who go to Creation “Museums” aren’t exactly going to be pushovers when it comes to proselytizing. The situation is uncontrolled: children and those with childlike faith could be placed in danger. Stay home.

    Also, atheists probably won’t spend much money on souvenirs or “teaching materials” either. It’s just a losing proposition all around.

    As far as Christians lying and saying they’re atheists in order to get in for free, I was going to say that this would be very rare. Fundamentalists are superstitious enough to think that even mouthing the words “I don’t believe in God” is either an irresistible invitation to demons or a one-way ticket to Hell.

    But then I remembered how loose their definition of “atheist” can be. It includes people who really want to believe but have doubts — along with people who usually believe but have doubts. It also includes people who more or less believe but really don’t want to do the hard sorts of things they think being a Christian entails, so they try not to think about the Bible. I mean, think of all the “former atheists” who turn out to have been hard partiers who skipped church.

    If that’s “atheism” then they can say they’re atheists, sincerely mean it, get in free, and have their Christian beliefs confirmed again.

  37. JohnnieCanuck says

    Masterful, Ogvorbis, just masterful.

    All your sins are hereby declared forgiven.

    You get to start over again from the beginning, and this time you’ll know exactly what you are doing so it should be even more fun.

    Now all we have to do is get this on Fox News where all his rubes past and future will see it.

  38. Alverant says

    Whatever happened to the conservative philosophy of taking responsibility for ones mistakes? Ham isn’t doing that, he’s blaming everyone but himself for his errors in judgement.

  39. woozy says

    Man, that cartoon is weird! Goofus and Gallant type disagreement and accusation and gotcha revelation. Kind of reminds me of the Onion’s political cartoons. *Weird* paranoid mindset to announce a “kids get in free” promotion.

  40. says

    @Alverant
    That is good conservative philosophy. It’s only other people who should take responsibility for their mistakes.

    That’s what conservative philosophy is all about: If something bad happens to you, it’s your fault. If something bad happens to me, it’s your fault.

  41. stevem says

    re 56:

    DITTO. Conservatives NEVER take responsibility themselves, they always blame “others”. Everybody else should take responsibility, everything wrong is those others’ fault. [ looking at NJ right now: Christie ain't responsible for the traffic jams in Ft. Lee, his subordinate is responsible] The conservatives’ “philosophy” is little more than, “I’ll be fair. Heads I win, tails you lose.<flips coin>”

  42. Doubting Thomas says

    Free for atheists? Fuck! They’d have to pay me to go to the damned thing. And from the way things are going, they couldn’t afford me.

  43. howardhershey says

    Shouldn’t be easy to tell who has the “mark of the beast” and who doesn’t? How many of these bonds does Hamm have in his retirement account?

  44. says

    I love that their own marketing cartoon explicitly calls attention to the desperation of the move, and then completely fails to do anything to dispel the notion…!

  45. says

    Ham could always try the old Oral Roberts ploy, announcing that “I need X millions of dollars by the end of the month or God will make me eat a bug.”
    At least that’s how I remember it.

  46. shoeguy says

    The good thing is that if they spend all their money building the ark of silly then they won’t have any money left to send missionaries to pester the poor tribal people of Africa and South America.

  47. Menyambal --- making sambal a food group. says

    “Sell all that you have, and give the money to the poor planners.”

  48. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    JohnieCanuck @52:

    Thanks, but no. Do not want to relive certain periods of my life. Especially knowing what’s coming.

  49. da5id says

    Ken Ham still has one card left to play: ‘Buy $29 million of my bonds before February 6th or Jesus will call me home.’ Works every time.

  50. arctic says

    A 900 foot Jesus is on his way to Kentucky with a giant bucket of pitch…or a checkbook…

  51. Owlmirror says

    I have a secret hope that Bill Nye will spend the entire “debate” taunting Ham about the ark.

    “Why do you need millions of dollars? Shouldn’t six thousand dollars be enough?”

    “Noah built the ark with maybe three helpers. You could easily offer 3 or 4 homeless people room and board in exchange for the labor, and finish before the spring floods.”

    “Noah had God’s help? So you’re saying that God refuses to help you? Maybe he doesn’t like you?”

    (More ideas could probably be lifted from here: http://ncse.com/cej/4/1/impossible-voyage-noahs-ark )

    (I suspect that Nye would not be as mean as he ought to be agaist Ham.)

  52. Owlmirror says

    Oh, and if Ham says that he thought that the debate was supposed to be about the validity of creationism as science, Nye could reply that yes, that’s exactly the point. According to Ham’s “worldview”. it is absolutely possible to build an ark with only a handful of men working on it. So according to that worldview, Ham should not need more than that in finishing his ark.

    If Ham complains about the longer lifespans back then, Nye could shrug and say that if Ham were comitted to demonstrating the validity of the biblical worldview, he would stick to using a handful of men, no matter how long the project took.

  53. stevem says

    re @69:

    If Ham complains about the longer lifespans back then, Nye could shrug and say that if Ham were comitted to demonstrating the validity of the biblical worldview, he would stick to using a handful of men, no matter how long the project took.

    Man-years; Nye, “the science-guy”, could calculate the labor requirements. 3 men * 50 years = 150 man-years.
    So 150 men and 1 year is just the same, job done, and so-on with 300 men for 6 mnths, and so-on and so-on.
    I assume Ham would object to such calculation but I really want to hear the details of his objection. ;-)

  54. Menyambal --- making sambal a food group. says

    Maybe he could raise money from us heathens. I would pay cash to have replica of a drowned person outside the ark.

    Skeletons might be cheaper than bloated corpses, or perhaps just a drift of skulls.

    I would seriously pay to have some reminder of the genocide added to the exhibit, even if just some fingernail scratches on the outside.

    The good Christians might like it, though.

  55. chigau (違う) says

    Menyambal
    Sound recordings of screaming children would be really inexpensive.
    and puppies and kittens

  56. robinjohnson says

    #23, Menyambal:

    Maybe the Christians aren’t buying the bonds because they have sold all they had and gave the money to the poor.

    Nah, that bit’s obviously just an allegory.

  57. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Kids getting in free? Every national park in the US lets kids under 16 in for free with an adult. Can even be one adult, thirty kids. We just ask that they leave with the same number of kids they came in with.

  58. says

    Travis (#38) –

    you stole my thunder! I was going to rework that song because of that comment.

    Timing is everything.

    If you want, you could do “The Wreck Of The Answers In Genesis”, by Gordon Lightweight:

    When no money came the old crook came on deck sayin’.
    “‘Fellas, it’s too tough to fund now.”
    And seven days later the whole scheme caved in, he said,
    “Fellas, who can we blame now?”

  59. mothra says

    Just sit right down for a whale of a tale,
    a tale of a mythic ark.
    of fiscal inability,
    to make a great ark park,
    a wonder full ark park.

    Ken Ham was a fiery preach’n man,
    with gesticulati’n flare,
    he railed against the evidence,
    with a trademark ‘Were you there?’
    a trade mark ‘Were you there?’

    The economic times were tough,
    Ham’s message ‘feed me host,’
    Without big money from a loyal few,
    His ark park could be lost,
    Well and truely lost!

    The ark’s on ground
    in a backward place,
    the hills of Kentucky,
    WITH Kenneth Ham,
    and A.i.G.
    the local flock,
    -to be fleeced,
    With cap in hand in bible land,
    All here to build ark park.

    So this is a tale of a Junk bond scheme,
    these bonds not rated prime.
    Tried to get by with an i.o.u.
    its still an up hill climb,

    No facts, no brains, no rationale,
    and no integrity,
    with late bronze age ‘he said so.’
    its primitaive as can be.

    Skeptics watch as this unfolds,
    its sure to bring a smile,
    the ark parks going keel side up,
    (and Ken Ham’s in denile!)

  60. chakolate says

    It’s looking dire for the Ark Park.

    Don’t you mean, ‘It’s looking dark for the Ark Park’?

  61. says

    I did a filk of Edmund Fitzgerald once about the trade of Gretzky, called The Wreck of the Edmonton Oilers. I really wanted to record it.

    The Wreck used to give me chills when I heard it as a kid.