The Ark Encounter: Wood, plus animal noises

I visited Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter today, and my title says it all: it’s a big wooden box full of more fake wooden boxes, with recorded animal noises playing constantly to make it seem like there’s something more. A hollow cacophony. Maybe if you’re a church-goer, you’re used to that, but I’m not. I tweeted a bunch of stuff as I went along, and I’ll post that below with a litte more commentary below.

The parking lot is huge, at least ten times the size they need (I guess they were optimistic), and you get to pay $10 for the privilege of parking there, and then you take a shuttle bus to the actual ark. On the shuttle, you get to listen to Ken Ham bragging about how big it is, just how very big, O Lord. That’s the whole schtick. It’s gigantic, aren’t you amazed? It’s a bit counterproductive, though, because after all the pumping up, when you turn the corner and actually see it, it’s kind of a let down.

Yeah. Whoop.

That wood is showing a lot of weathering. I’m wondering how well it’s going to hold up.

At the entrance, you’re told that Noah was 600 years old when he started building the boat. It also leads in to the conceit of the entrance: as you file in, there are sounds of a thunderstorm played at loud volume, that get louder as you proceed. Hurry! The Flood is coming! Get into the boat quickly!

You won’t get in quickly. The entrance is a winding maze intentionally designed to slow the crowds down. You get to shuffle slowly inside, under the watchful eyes of the guards.

That’s right, rent-a-cops with police dogs. I don’t know why. Either they’re paranoid, or they’re concerned about all the Trumpkins in the crowd.

All you do is plod, plod, plod a winding route through a landscape of crude crates. See, all the animals are here, but you can’t see them because they’re all caged up, but instead there are noises piped in. So you get pigs squealing and snuffling noises, together with these stacks of wooden boxes everywhere. I guess it’s setting the mood, which, if that mood is supposed to be one of bored exasperation, they succeed at very well.

I do have to say one thing: despite the immense parking lot dwarfing the number of cars there, attendance was good.

Comparing this to real museums I’ve gone to, the numbers here would be considered a good day at the Science Museum of Minnesota or the Franklin Institute. Lots of old people, but also lots of families with kids. That’s especially remarkable given that the Ark Park is not in an urban location — it’s a long drive, almost an hour away from Cincinnati. Many of the kids were part of church groups that were getting bused in. Also remarkable because of the low quality of the contents.

I was trudging along for about 45 minutes just through this entrance part. I was momentarily excited by the sight of an EXIT sign, but we actually hadn’t even entered the ark proper yet. What you see in that photo is what is exactly there throughout this section: wooden boxes. Nuffin’ but boxes. Made of wood.

But then we get to the first “deck”, and I momentarily anticipate something to see. I would be proven wrong.

I have to explain the layout of this place. The central (literally) feature is a winding ramp. Picture a great big box. In the center, about half the length of the box and half the width, is a shallow wooden ramp that zig-zags back and forth. About a quarter of the volume of this box is dedicated to just providing a route for moving between the three decks (+ ground floor). Noah was not particularly efficient in designing layouts.

So we get to Deck 1. It’s more boxes.

Most of them are just sealed wooden boxes, with squeaky/scratchy noises. They do finally show us something, though, it’s the cages with animals big enough that they can actually show them. These are the “kinds”, and we’re informed that Noah only had to bring in 34,000 different “kinds”.

You get the idea. These are just static models of animals in barred boxes. I’m pretty sure there weren’t 34,000 of them, though.

Then I arrive at Deck 2.

Remember, it’s just a box with a central ramp. What they do here is slap pictures and signs on the outer walls, with a few scattered dioramas.

This is the impression I have: that Ken Ham got together with his architects and emphasized that you just need to make this box immense, and he really didn’t have a plan for what to put into it, and his imagination and his evidence were so feeble that he didn’t have much in mind for the content of this giant box. So yeah, if you ever want to wander around inside a really big wooden box, this is the place to go.

So just slap a few random bible verses and pictures on the wall.

When Eve was naughty, she brought death into the world, so then they could start sacrificing animals unto the Lord. I was beginning to suspect that the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was actually called Boredom, and I was thinking that Eve had the right idea.

Then we got a section on the terrible consequences of the Fall. There was a series of panels illustrating the Descent into Darkness caused by sin. They confused me.

He lists civilization, polygamy, music, metalworking, giants, and violence. OK, sure, the giants were a bad idea, but we needed the violence to keep them under control.

We get a few dioramas.

Honestly, I had to wait a bit to get a good look at that last one, because there were all these young Christian men stacked up trying to get photos of the dancers — they were positioning their cameras very carefully, trying to get a good shot up those barbarian bras and skirts. (Don’t try, everying is covered, there are no naked boobies anywhere in there).

More boxes with noises.

I was so tired of these fake-ass displays. Then there’s a glimmering of a discussion of genetics, got my hopes up, and quickly killed them.

See? God gave them an unspecified gift that allowed speciation to occur.

At the end of Deck 2, there was a room filled with children’s books — big print picture books. And this on the wall.

Hey kids! Be happy! Or god will kill you!

Deck 3 was…can you guess?

More boxes, claims painted on the wall, and dioramas.

There was a pseudo-sciencey section where they showed these other models of mythological arks, like a coracle and a boxy thing that was apparently the design from the Gilgamesh. We know these were all false, because they were playing a cartoon above that showed each one getting launched into the Flood storm, and then promptly sinking…except the one that looks like their big boat, which bravely weathers the waves.

Proof by cartoon! Of course, real shipwrights would also tell you that a wooden boat with the dimensions of their ark would also warp and break and sink.

There is a deck three. It’s more wood and posters and dioramas. I was ready to go.

The last section is for the teens, who are all into those comic books. So it was another maze of dividers with comic book panels on the walls, telling the story of a group of college kids, one of whom was a doubter, so the others convince her that the bible was the true word of god. Dude. Gag me with a spoon. You think you’re hip, but you’re not. I skipped it.

I went to the gift shop, which was just cheesy mass of stuffed animals, gospel videos, odd hats, key chains, and refrigerator magnets. You can skip that too.

Overall impression: it’s even more boring than the Creation “Museum”, and has even less content, all in a much bigger space that is monotonously wooden. There is no lasting appeal here, except for one thing: it’s a big wank for your religiosity, with constant affirmations that your crude, backward vision of the history of the world is true, because they say so. If you’re lacking in religiosity, as I am, it’s a dead space with nothing of enough intelligence to even provoke a thoughtful reaction.

After visiting the Creation “Museum”, I thought it was a reasonable, responsible action for scientists to visit it to see what they’re up against. I can’t make the same recommendation for the Ark Park. There’s nothing of interest or value there, and it’s so poorly designed that no objective perspective could find it even entertaining.

Stay home. Put a wooden crate on a dirt pile. Have a friend grunt and make funny animal noises. Meditate upon it.

There. You have just replicated the Ark Encounter Experience, and you don’t have to spend $43.50 on it (that’s what it cost me. I shamelessly got the Senior Citizen’s discount, which is the first time I’ve done that.)


  1. archangelospumoni says

    No snack bar? No burgers & fries & pop? No sugary food to help with that Type II Diabetes later on?

  2. robro says

    Dancing girls! Why is that not surprising. And wow, the young men are trying to get peek-a-boo shots of manikins. Where’s that Sears catalog?

    Tha last shot on Deck 3 looks pretty empty. Maybe there aren’t so many teenagers. Or there downstairs checking out the scenes of debauchery.

    Scenes of Debauchery…band name.

    I guess you didn’t find the Holodeck.

  3. says


    as you file in, there are sounds of a thunderstorm played at loud volume, that get louder as you proceed. Hurry! The Flood is coming!

    I play recordings of thunderstorms, loud ones, at loud volume when I want to relax. Not once have they ever brought a flood to mind.

    So basically, this is the same shit as in the creation ‘museum’, just less of it. I’m really quite surprised people aren’t grumbling more about being ripped off. From your account, there’s precious little entertainment to be had. Maybe the dancing girls and people being wicked make it all worthwhile. There’s a terrible sadness in all those young men taking photos of them. So many lives wasted.

  4. shadow says

    I’m sure those fine, upstanding young xtian males were only inspecting the ‘display’ to see if there was anything they had to report. Not that they were actually looking for bare feminine flesh or anything.

    (I threw up typing this — they could have spent less and gotten a porn video or something).

  5. chigau (違う) says

    Why are the model dinosaurs in cages? They are not alive.
    At what age do you get the “Senior Citizen’s discount”? It’s 65 here.
    Is that dinosaur gladiator wearing a helmet?

  6. specialffrog says

    My copy of the Bible doesn’t include the instruction to ensure that the animals in the ark are under video surveillance.

  7. busterggi says

    There really should have been a free buffet for visitors to show how Noah and his family enjoyed all the rotting dead carcasses laying about after they landed.

  8. kestrel says

    Forty-three dollars and fifty cents for that?!! Christ of the Andes. If it were me I’d want my money back… that is really underwhelming. Or as Weird Al says in “You’re Pitiful”, the whole place is “suffering from delusions of adequacy”.

    And as a side not, I would not have been very happy going to this thing when I was a child. It just confirms everything I worried about when I was 6 years old: not enough food or water or space for those animals in there. Locking them up in wooden boxes? How the hell do you feed, water and clean an animal in a wooden box? It would probably have made me cry.

  9. DonDueed says

    I’m surprised they made that quote from Genesis so prominent. It contradicts their own myth.
    After all: God lied. The Serpent told the truth.

  10. Pierce R. Butler says

    So we now “know” that Mrs. Noah was named Ezmara (a string of letters nowhere found in the KJV, nor in the recent Noah movie, per IMDB). Perhaps this hints at a film (or, more appropriately, a comic book) to come.

    And we here learn that Methuselah managed to die in the year before the flood. Conceivable, with a little fudging, but working out the biblical numbers indicates he died in the same year: I can’t help but picture a very old man having the Ark door slammed in his face as the waters rose.

    And where was the pitch, “within and without with pitch”, as in the original job specs?

  11. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    Put a wooden crate on a dirt pile. Have a friend grunt and make funny animal noises. Meditate upon it.

    There. You have just replicated the Ark Encounter Experience

    Or, if parties are amenable, give your friend a reason to grunt and make funny noises for a significantly improved experience. :3

  12. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    One way to give your impression of the indoctrination. Eat foods with lots of alpha galactans about 4-6 hours prior to your visit. The sulfurous by-products of the lower intestinal bacteria, and sound effects should show your contempt without saying a word, for the “exhibition”.

  13. Saganite, a haunter of demons says

    See, all the animals are here, but you can’t see them because they’re all caged up, but instead there are noises piped in. So you get pigs squealing and snuffling noises, together with these stacks of wooden boxes everywhere.
    These are just static models of animals in barred boxes.

    That’s really damn sad. Sounds from “invisible” animals and unmoving dinosaur sculptures. I would’ve expected some basic Chuck E. Cheese animatronics at least.

  14. lesherb says

    I get that god might’ve made Noah & family build the ark in order to teach them some sort of lesson. I don’t get why Ham has to prove the ark story & the story’s absurd components are possible. God is all powerful, right? Methinks Ken Ham doesn’t actually believe in god. 😉

  15. Pierce R. Butler says

    … the gift shop, … odd hats…

    Sounds almost interesting, though not $40 worth of interesting.

    Bishoprical miters? Bright yellow rain headgear? Caps saying “Make Ararat Great Again”?

  16. anchor says

    That is an unconscionable waste of good wood. They might just as well have thrown all that lumber into a big pile and left it to rot. As it is, its rotting in the grotesque shape of a simulated museum of a creationist’s silly wet-dream.

    I wonder how the citizens of Kentucky feel now about the tremendous influx of tourist money and the endless job opportunities Ham has so generously provided them.

  17. gijoel says

    I think I can see why Ken went to the states now. It’s kind of hard to run a creationist museum in Australia when there’s the constant threat of a platypus, koala, or cassowary wandering into you fundy amusement park.

  18. Zeppelin says If you’re wondering about the “big wooden box” and coracle-style Ark, you might enjoy this talk. I also quite like the idea that the weird chubby boat with a little house on top that we see in Christian illustrations is informed by a distant memory of the “original” coracle design.

  19. anchor says

    BTW: I can’t imagine that monstrosity being compliant to any Kentucky fire-safety regulations at the time it was dreamed up by Ham. I wonder how he managed to get around that…

  20. weylguy says

    Somehow or some way, those who believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God are the same people who start wars for profit that kill innocent civilians, glorify the military, hoard guns and ammo, deny scientific theories, enact laws transferring money from the poor to the rich, defund scientific research, and oppose women’s and minority rights. And they’re the same ones who profess to worship Jesus and follow his teachings. God, what fucking monstrous hypocrisy.

  21. thirdmill says

    On a somewhat related note, one of the anti-creationist arguments is that the numbers don’t work; that there is abundance of natural phenomena demonstrably older than 6000 years; that the ark was much too small for two of each species; that there hasn’t been enough time since the flood for biodiversity to return in the way that it has, etc. I ran across an article the other day by a creationist claiming that this is not a problem under special relativity; that because time and space bend and time is non-linear, that things that appear to have taken much more time than 6000 years really didn’t need to.

    I don’t know enough about physics to know if that’s a legitimate argument or not. Is there anyone here who does know enough about physics to either confirm or refute the validity of that claim?

  22. anchor says

    #20: its complete malarkey, vomited up by somebody who thinks they understand relativity.

  23. woozy says


    It’s not valid because it doesn’t *mean* anything. It’s about as valid as saying “since god is immortal a day to him could be like 600 million years”. The theory of relativity is that observed time passes at different rates in different frames of rerence:

    Time in one frame = Time in other frame/sqrt (1 – v^2/c^2)

    12.5 billion years = 6 days /sqrt (1 – v^2/c^2) we need

    760416666666.66666666666666666667 = 1/(1 – v^2/c^2)

    1- v^2/c^2 = 1.3150684931506849315068493150685e-12

    v = 0.9999999999993424657534244413586 c

    So earth must be moving away from god at 99.99999999993% the speed of light and for some reason the bible must refer to things from god’s perspective and then inexplicably we stop or we arbitrarily switch from god’s perspective to earths.

    So… yeah… we can say that. We can also say given the proper pressure to condense things and being far enough away from the earths center things weigh less, so it’s not inconceivable I can put mount everest in my pocket and walk away…

    It’s crap. And making excuses.

  24. S K says

    Well, apart from the snarky comments PZ promised he would be making about his visit to the Ark, at least he admitted in a tweet today that the Ark had a “good-sized crowd.” The myth out there among atheists is that nobody is coming. But in reading posts from other Ark visitors, you’d notice the place has been very busy since the slow winter months, when almost all Midwest attractions face low crowds (many remain closed in the winter and fall). And while PZ (in a tweet) finds the Ark boring, a bus company that brings both Christians and non-Christians (lots of them) to the Ark report that the Ark scores almost 4.9 out of 5 for the overall experience, easily beating out other excellent tourist attractions in the area (e.g. the famed Cincinnati Zoo and Newport Aquarium).

  25. says

    How come the Ark isn’t covered inside and out in pitch? (Gen 6:14)

    I guess that Mr. Ham thinks that he knows more than God about giant Ark design.

  26. says

    @24, S K

    the Ark scores almost 4.9 out of 5 for the overall experience, easily beating out other excellent tourist attractions in the area (e.g. the famed Cincinnati Zoo and Newport Aquarium).

    I’m not sure how much we can infer from those numbers XD

  27. chigau (違う) says

    S K #24
    Did you know that it is possible to provide links to … all the things?

  28. woozy says

    Noah’s wife’s name was Ezmara.

    This, in a way, bugs me more than anything. A speculative or humorous video or a painting of generic dancing girls and other fictions for the sake of illustration I’d one thing. But simply boldly declaring something utterly made up shows no concept of the need of facts.

    I mean if I wanted to write a television drama I could claim Martha Washington’s favorite food was raisins and almonds but if I simply put up a museum sign claiming it’s a known fact, then I’m just out and out lying.

  29. Pierce R. Butler says

    woozy @ # 29 – The almighty Tpyos manifested in my # 8. The Great-N Grammaw of us all spelled her name Emzara, according to The Book of Genesis According to Ham. Bad enough that The Movie called her Naameh; we certainly wouldn’t want this mighty revelation distorted again by perpetuating my error, potentially leading to deadly schisms in future generations as the smallest doctrinal variations usually do.

    Let us pray the Prophet Kennetham is vouchsafed the names of Grammaw Emzara’s daughters-in-law before Jesus comes again.

    woozy @ # 23 – I claim very little mathematical prowess, but I think I followed your equations.

    Except for the part where you seem to derive 12.5B yrs from 6 x .6B yrs.

    If we use the latter, I guess that means the entire observed universe recedes from point Deity (or vice-versa) at a bit under 1/4 C, instead of all that asymptosis; won’t try to rework the formulae.

    Can you suggest any techniques for concentrating more dark energy to our stern, or other means for further acceleration?

  30. militantagnostic says

    Chigau @28 responding to SK’s claims of a 4.9 out of 5 satisfaction score for the ark park.

    Did you know that it is possible to provide links to … all the things?

    I for one have no need of a link to SK’s ass or Ken Ham’s ass, whichever is the source of this statistic.

  31. vucodlak says

    @ coreyschlueter, #17

    The Oklahoma Aquarium in Tulsa, OK is far more impressive than the Ark Encounter.

    Which sounds like a bit of a backhanded compliment now that I think of it, but it’s actually quite a nice aquarium. Especially for a city so far away from a major body of water. Certainly more worth a visit than Oral Roberts University, or the towers supposedly built to the dimensions of Noah’s ark (both of which are also located in Tulsa).

  32. Rowan vet-tech says

    PZ, did they at all bring up the exact number of animals on the ark (taking into account the ‘7 of every clean animal, the male and his female’ … meaning 14 animals I’m assuming, and 2 of every unclean … again the male and his female so… 4?) and how exactly they kept them fed for an entire year in a boat that size, especially the predators? Or did they ignore that and hope that everyone else does too?
    I mean, even assuming that a mere 1% of those animals were clean (and not using the phrase the male AND his female, which doesn’t work with an odd number unless they only count the males… which is a thing in the bible that happens), that’s just over 69,000 THOUSAND animals. If you use the phrase ‘the male and his female’, that number jumps to an astonishing 138,700 animals. And predators require a steady supply of fresh meat. And herbivores require lots and LOTS of food.

  33. Rowan vet-tech says

    …. please ignore the thousand after my 69,000. It is not, in fact, that many animals when mathed to add the extra thousand at the end. It is late and I meant to write the whole thing out to read sixty nine thousand.

  34. kestrel says

    @Rowan vet-tech: as a 6 year old, that was my main concern about the astounding story of the ark: didn’t these adults know that a single elephant needs 5 bales of hay and 50 gallons of water a DAY? As a child I was aghast at this story about the ark. As an adult I realize that is simply the tip of the iceberg when it comes to problems with the whole ark story.

  35. komarov says

    Regarding the dog, I say they ate everything else on the ark including Noah and his family. And lo, they lived few days longer in the barren landscape and then, as was the Lord’s will, perished in a most dreadful manner. Thus no life was left but two well-fed bacterial colonies which, guided by the Lord’s loving hand, evolved and brought forth all life on Earth we know today. This took about a fortnight, although scholars are divided on how many ice ages occured in this time.* Praise the Lord for his Wisdom And Mercy.

    Incidentally, those barren mountains on the dog paintings look rather green to me. Any theories? Maybe a planet-wide algal bloom due to the nutrient-rich flood waters? All those semi-dissolved corpses had to go somewhere… anyway, where was I? O yes, the Lord. Praise! Mercy! Wisdom! And so forth.

    *Some say one, some say seven, others still claim its nine. They all agree the Lord has terrible handwriting that would make a medical doctor’s scrawlings look good.

  36. blf says

    I knew I’ve heard the name / claim “Ezsomething” someplace before… still don’t recall where, but Ye Pfffft! of All Knowledge says: “In the Book of Jubilees, known to have been in use from the late 2nd century BC, the [… w]ife of Noah [is] Emzara, daughter of Rake’el, son of Methuselah”.

    The Book of Jubilees (see embedded link), also know as Lessor Genesis (and other names), was apparently widely used and quoted by early xians. An interesting tidbit, “The large quantity of manuscripts (more than for any biblical books except for Psalms, Deuteronomy, Isaiah, Exodus, and Genesis, in descending order) indicates that Jubilees was widely used at Qumran.” (Qumran is the site of the Dead Sea Scrolls.)

  37. procyon says

    I suppose the Pareiasaurs, the Azhdarchids, and Pakicetids are only “presumed to be extinct” because there may very well be colonies of them living around a hidden lagoon in the darkest forests of the Congo.

  38. Just an Organic Regular Expression says

    Was the space in “lot of fun dies lined up” intentional? Either way, pretty funny. When the fundies arrive, the fun dies…

  39. birgerjohansson says

    It might make sense if Noah et al fled from another planet (Krypton?) and landed on Earth, walking into a working, safe ecology.
    Nevermind the business with human DNA being closely related to other life.

    Alien Engineers ????

  40. Sastra says

    SK #24 wrote:

    . And while PZ (in a tweet) finds the Ark boring, a bus company that brings both Christians and non-Christians (lots of them) to the Ark report that the Ark scores almost 4.9 out of 5 for the overall experience …

    This doesn’t surprise me, given that the primary benefit of most religious pilgrimages is the emotional experience of the sacred, not the objective learning of a series of facts. Anything which is supposed to evoke a sense of history and wonder will probably invoke that very reaction in the viewer, especially if there’s a strong desire to identify with a particular group, value, or belief. The longer it goes on, the deeper the sense of connection — especially if it involves spirituality.

    So the creationist Christians goggling patiently at the boxes are probably no different than Catholics who gaze upon a rock which once supported a saint, or Buddhists who walk a long, sacred path up the mountain. The challenge is to strengthen faith. That’s not going to happen if you consider the scenery, artifact, or theme park with a skeptical eye, or concern yourself with the time. Any Christian reporting disappointment after the fact knows that this translates into a failure on their part. Ham could probably have just provided a 1′ = 1″ Spinal Tap “Stonehenge” model and, with the proper publicity, staging, and encouragement, gotten the same positive reviews.

    The Ark Encounter is a God Encounter. What Christian wants to go on record as having found it insufficient?

  41. blf says

    Ham could probably have just provided a 1′ = 1″ Spinal Tap “Stonehenge” model […].

    Actually, he did, albeit in his case, it’s more like 1″ = 1 parsec. Those fake crates poopyhead passed were, on the actual voyage, significantly downsized planetary-system sized ecosystems. This is also a hint as to why gopherwood is a mystery, it’s actually some form of exotic matter, suitable for building megastructures even larger than Dyson spheres.

    Of course, one might wonder why such a large craft was “needed”. It wasn’t, and as poopyhead points out, was mostly empty and boring. The reason, as previously noted, is the blue rock print’s carving was terrible. And it didn’t use indo-arabic digits (1, 2, …) but roman (I, II, III, …) making the problem of bad rockbashingship even more vexing.

    The dinosaurs’s ecosystem was, like the entwives, misplaced, floating around someplace in that vast hull. They are possibly still out there somewhere. So are, possibly, the dinosaurs.

    Unfortunately, only small spiders were on the ecosystem(s?) which returned to Earth.

  42. tbp1 says

    Interesting observation about attendance. While perhaps this is wishful thinking, I just can’t imagine it having much long term viability if it’s so boring, though. Repeat business is very important to any sort of “attraction.” And even if attendance is decent, I doubt it’s what he said it would be.

    And for sure, it is not bringing the economic boom to the area that they promised. The county could end up on the hook for millions and millions of dollars based on overoptimistic projections (AKA lies).

  43. says


    I think there’s also an aspect of “Christian warfare” to it. That is, advertising to non-christians or competing with non-christians, etc.

  44. blf says

    me@43: Those fake crates poopyhead passed were, on the actual voyage, significantly downsized planetary-system sized ecosystems.

    They are significantly downsized fakes at Ken “piglet rapist” Ham’s miniature model.

  45. says

    PZ, did you wear a disguise during your visit? I can imagine Ham having his rentacops and other minions on the lookout for you so you don’t irradiate the place with Atheist Rays.

    Rowan@34 perhaps Ham is one of those people who believes all animals were vegetarians before the Flood. Apparently there’s also some debate about whether God let people eat meat before the Flood, so perhaps the same prohibitions were in place for lions, tigers etc. etc. as well.

  46. lumipuna says

    “Our biblical model maintains that there was only one ice age”

    Why only one? Because, while it’s ridiculous to cram one ice age in a time slot of couple hundred years, it would be even more ridiculous to cram several ice ages* in that slot.

    Note that the “biblical model of ice ages” didn’t exist until after secular geologists had found the concept of ice age (and indeed until after the concept had been well studied in detail and widely popularized). There’s no mention of ice ages in the Bible. The only insight you can get from the Bible is “ain’t nobody got time for that”.

    *I understand we’re technically speaking about glacial periods within the quaternary ice age. You could probably lead Ham into agreeing that pre-cenozoic ice ages happened between Fall and Flood, and some of their geological traces survived over flood.

  47. lumipuna says

    How come the Ark isn’t covered inside and out in pitch? (Gen 6:14)

    The pitch budget was used up in the sales department.

  48. says

    So does Ham actually think all of the animals on the ark were in boxes? Did he have an exhibit explaining how Noah got his hands on a forklift to move all of them around?

  49. says

    Skipping over the miracle of feeding 69,000 animals, does this mean that eight people spent the whole time shoveling the shit produced by 69,000 animals and didn’t kill each other? That is a miracle.

  50. says

    “The serpent said to the woman….” O much prefer “The actress said to the bishop…” It goes much better with the debauchery and dancing girls.

  51. wcorvi says

    The trouble with applying special relativity to creation times is, it’s backwards. If earth were moving nearly the speed of light compared to some other frame, everything on earth would appear young, while the true age (in the other frame) would be old. But in fact, geology, biology, astronomy, all make the surroundings on earth look old, while the YECs want it to be young.

  52. raven says

    The county could end up on the hook for millions and millions of dollars based on overoptimistic projections (AKA lies).

    The bonds aren’t guaranteed or backed by either the city or the county.

    No one is on the hook if they default.
    Which is why they were unrated and hard to sell.

  53. blf says

    The bonds aren’t guaranteed or backed by either the city or the county.

    Correct. However, there is a local TIF (Tax increment financing), which reduces the tax rate so that the monies can be used to pay off the bonds(? interest?). In other words, the local community does not get as much in tax as it normally would, so that the junk financing can be paid off. (I am sufficiently cynical to doubt that all of the not-paid taxes will be used as intended.)

    And, apparently, the size / rate of the TIF is based on projected revenues (i.e., in this case, lies) rather than actual revenues — I admit to being unclear on just how that is supposed to work, whether for legitimate projects or frauds like this. (Alternatively, this projected / actual point may be a misunderstanding on my part.)

  54. Rob Grigjanis says

    wcorvi @54: Special relativity has nothing to say here. Frames moving uniformly at some relative speed in a flat spacetime are symmetric. What Humphreys tries to do (see link in #25) is construct a solution to the Einstein field equations in which clocks on Earth run unambiguously slower than clocks at a great comoving distance from Earth. An immediate problem with that is that distant objects would be very blue-shifted, which is the opposite of what we see. And there are many more problems.

    And yes, it also ignores the evidence from geology and biology.

  55. unclefrogy says

    I have to agree that the key to any attraction’s success is repeat business. I wonder just how many of the visitors will make the trip to see it again and again.
    Were there no rides or other amusements to be had at this park just that big joke box and souvenir/book store gift shop ?
    They will probably default on the bonds and at some time declare bankruptcy, blame the godless for their failure and turn the whole thing into a real estate development and sell it to the true believers as a true christian community dedicated to true christian values a place to raise a family in true christian bliss (total ignorance).
    in ten or 20 years or sooner
    uncle frogy

  56. Owlmirror says

    I can’t imagine that monstrosity being compliant to any Kentucky fire-safety regulations at the time it was dreamed up by Ham. I wonder how he managed to get around that…

    It’s worth keeping in mind that the Ark Encounter is not a boat. It is a boat-shaped façade of a building that is firmly attached to and integrated with several other buildings, as well anchored to the ground. It has thoroughly modern HVAC for temperature and humidity control, and I’m pretty sure that it’s up to fire code as well.

    I’m a little busy, or I would google for pictures of the “Ark” from above, or from the non-boat-shaped side.

  57. unclefrogy says

    from the linked article

    “It’s not only meant to bring the Gospel. We will also bring hope to the favelas, to people living in poverty, people from the streets, parents, drug addicts, prostitutes.”

    christianity = no actual help or change in the conditions of real people in the here and now mind you only pity and a vague hope that things will be better in the by and by.
    uncle frogy

  58. Scott Simmons says

    I am massively amused that the randy young men angling for revealing pictures of the dancing girl statues thought that they would be anatomically correct under their clothes. Like, this would be the one spot in the museum that featured biological accuracy.

  59. archangelospumoni says

    Go to google reviews of the bullshit fake ark ripoff fake museum bullshit deal, select “least liked” reviews, and prepare to laugh. I don’t think Dr. Myers wrote a review judging from the dates, but some classics are there . . . .

  60. says

    So, what there anything at all about housing zillions of insects on the Ark? I actually got curious and looked it up, and it appears that AiG is noncommittal about whether or not insects (let’s have this be a stand-in for all invertebrates) had to be on the Ark. I do believe that the ICR’s model has insects not being on the Ark, magically surviving on “vegetative mats” or something, which if anything is even more absurd. But AiG seems to duck the issue. I would have thought that in a giant theme park dedicated to this very issue, they might have at least brought it up.

    The funny thing is, the Ark story in Genesis is clearly the result of gluing together two or more different stories, which is how you end up with weird repetitions and inconsistencies on things like the number of clean animals, the length of the flood itself, etc. Very basic things that the story can’t get straight. But one of the few things that is actually clear and unambiguous is that every living creature not on the Ark dies. It says this several times, and unlike with everything else, it doesn’t contradict itself. Yet the people who base their belief system on taking this stuff literally can’t bring themselves to take that part literally.

  61. says

    All insects are a “kind” of fly, so the flies ate the shit mountains then were fed back to the animals after magically turning green like leaves. Easy peasy.

  62. rietpluim says

    But one of the few things that is actually clear and unambiguous is that every living creature not on the Ark dies.

    I wonder how the fish died. Was there a gigantic drought under the surface of the flood?

  63. blf says

    I wonder how the fish died.

    They were all hiding in a cave (it’s wet out there!). When the ark finally came to rest, it was right on top of the cave’s entrance. The fish couldn’t get out.

    Was there a gigantic drought under the surface of the flood?

    The cave eventually completely dried out, so in a sense, yes, the fish were killed by a drought.

  64. says

    I wonder how the fish died. Was there a gigantic drought under the surface of the flood?

    Okay, the text (KJV) says that “all flesh died that moved upon the earth” and “every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground”, which can be interpreted to exclude aquatic organisms (though there’s no way most could have survived the flood anyway). It cannot be interpreted to exclude terrestrial invertebrates, unless the creationists think they’re non-living.

  65. Alex the Pretty Good says

    From what I remember of the few times I visited the AiG site, Ham and his fellow grifters make a big deal about the line that “everything that had the breath of life in it’s nostrils” dies. This way, they have an insta-goalpost shift every time somebody raised the rediculousness of gathering all animals: “it’s only the ones that breathe through nostrils”, Which would imply only tetrapods needed to be on the ark and invertebrates and fish could survive to clean up all the corpses.
    Of course, that still doesn’t explain where Noah kept the whales and dolphins, seals or the manatees (or any tetrapods that needs a fixed body of water for an extended period of time to survive for that matter)
    Maybe he included that “Pakicetid kind” to allows for a rapid cetacean “micro-evolution” in the few centuries following the flood?
    And don’t get me started about how the mixing of all that water would either kill all the fresh water fauna (too salty) or all sea fauna (not salty enough) or more likely … Most of both fresh and seawater fauna because the mix would have been too brackish for either.

  66. says


    The obvious problem with that is that the line about “nostrils” is clearly inclusive, not exclusive. Here are the relevant passages:

    7:4 For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.

    7:21 And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man:
    7:22 All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.
    7:23 And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.

    Using the “nostrils” line to argue that only thing with nostrils were destroyed would be like using the stuff about fowl to conclude that only birds were killed. “Every living substance” either means what it says or the whole idea of Biblical literalism is meaningless.

    AiG has an article here in which they explain their position as not having a position. Which is bullshit for many reasons I’m sure we all agree with.