The Tower of Babel is a gimmick to make money


Ken Ham wants to expand his Ark Park with a Tower of Babel.

A Bible-themed attraction in Kentucky that features a 510-foot-long wooden Noah’s ark is planning to begin fundraising for an expansion.

The Ark Encounter said Wednesday that it would take about three years to research, plan and build a “Tower of Babel” attraction on the park’s grounds in Northern Kentucky.

A release from the Ark Encounter park said the new attraction will “tackle the racism issue” by helping visitors “understand how genetics research and the Bible confirm the origin of all people groups around the world.” No other details were given on the Babel attraction or what it might look like.

No. Genetics research confirms that human beings are far older than 6,000 years, and that we are not all descended from a single family of 8 people 4500 years ago. If you’re going to pretend to have the authority of modern genetics, you have to accept that genetics refutes the fundamental young earth claims of the Bible literalists (as does physics, geology, archaeology, history, etc., etc., etc.).

The important part of that story is the “three years to research” nonsense. It won’t take that long, because there’s nothing to research. Here’s the whole of the Babel story from Genesis 11 — literally. I’m quoting the entire goddamn thing.

Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. 2 As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.

3 They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. 6 The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”

8 So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

There. Research done. They made a tower of unknown dimensions out of brick, with tar for mortar. Ham and company will just make up some dimensions, and I guarantee you it won’t be made of brick and tar, and it won’t be tall enough to reach the heavens. They could save themselves a lot of work and just paint a pretty poster or a diorama, like most of what they have in their ark.

Oh. They’ve already got one.

It’s not very impressive for a structure that enraged a god, but OK, the research is done. There’s the scale model, just make it bigger. Think that will appeal to the rubes?

They aren’t going to do Bible scholarship, or serious archaeological research, or anything legitimately worthwhile. They’re going to be “researching” theme park organizations, and most importantly, they’re going to be fundraising. This Babel thing is all about keeping the grift going, fueling their money-raising efforts, and nothing more.

Rob Boston has them pegged.

During a recent interview with a Grant County newspaper, Ham talked about his plans to add a Tower of Babel to the park. This attraction, based on a story that appears in Genesis 11:1-9, will explain Ham’s view of how we ended up with so many languages. Bottom line: Look for more bad science. (Remember, folks, creationism is about more than just claims that the Earth is only 6,000 years old, humans and dinosaurs existed at the same time, the Grand Canyon is the result of the massive flood described in the Bible, etc. It’s a comprehensive, unscientific worldview that addresses, well, everything.)

I recently received a press release from a PR agency Ham hired to blast the media with happy stories about his big boat. In the release, Ham carped that he’s had to work hard to respond to “the rumor that state money was used to build and open the Ark Encounter.”

That’s not a rumor, it’s a fact. Journalists, bloggers and Americans United have compiled entire lists of the forms of taxpayer support Ark Encounter received. But wait, there’s more! Ark Encounter received between $1 million and $2 million in federal aid under the original COVID-19 relief bill’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Blogger Hemant Mehta noted that even as Ham was pulling in a hefty PPP loan – which is really a grant because the federal government plans to forgive most of it – he was sending emails to supporters begging for contributions to save the Ark Park.

To recap: Ham built the Ark Park on the backs of Kentucky taxpayers. He denied jobs to anyone who failed to agree with him on religion. He stuck it to a small town that had been wowed by Ham’s tales of an economic turnaround. These are inconvenient facts he continually denies.

That’s another component of their three year plan: it’s going to take time to tease so much more money out of the state legislature and local civic groups. It’s not about truth, or affirming the faith, or educating the citizenry, or reconciling science and religion — it’s about Mammon.

Comments

  1. OverlappingMagisteria says

    So, in the Bible, the people built a big tower that pissed off God. Ken Ham says “Yea, let’s do that again!”

    Maybe its actually an experiment. If it fails and everyone involved with the project suddenly learns various languages, it will be proof of the Lord!

  2. jrkrideau says

    Actually the research is all done and a “real” scale model is available in the British Museum. The Tower of Babel.

    Ham is going to need a lot of money and a lot of mud for this one.

    I was hoping fora bit more from Irving Finkel about it but someone must have hit him with a bear tranquilizer before letting him on camera.

    For a better appreciation of Finkel in full cry I highly reccommend The Ark Before Noah:.

    It’s actually a fascinating story on Babylonian boat-building and archeological research.

  3. Akira MacKenzie says

    And he’s likely going to build that addition and the KY taxpayers are going to get screwed over again. Why? Because JEEZ-us, that’s why! That, and American liberals don’t have to stomach–or they’re fucking Christians themselves–to shut these Bible-humpers down forever.

  4. Mobius says

    Yup. If Ham’s god is real then everyone at the Ark Park are going to be speaking gibberish that no one else can understand, and they will be unable to understand English.

  5. Larry says

    Here’s the whole of the Babel story from Genesis 11 — literally.

    Yeah, but what color was it?

  6. euclide says

    I’m not a christian anymore and was never a fundie, but if God was upset with the first tower, recreate it seems to be something you should not do if you believe in Him no ? Maybe next time Ham will ask for gold to rebuild the Golden Calf too

  7. Bruce says

    Genesis shows that “God” is truly the Author of Confusion.
    No need for Satan, because God does it all. What a psychopath, to have to be both the hero and the villain of every myth!

  8. raven says

    Genesis

    6 The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.

    This story doesn’t make the xian god look very good.

    .1. He confused the people’s languages and stopped the Tower from being built because…he is afraid of humans. He is afraid that humans can cooperate to make large scale plans and carry them out.
    This is BTW, the same reason he kicked the first two humans out of the Garden of Eden. There were two magic trees in the Garden**, the Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life, conferring immortality. If you eat from both, you become gods. That scared the god.

    .2. Like all of the xian god’s plans, preventing the Tower didn’t work. We’ve since gone on from piling up mud bricks to make a Tower to robots on Mars and in the Outer solar system, inventing the worldwide Internet, sequencing the human genome, and coming up with effective vaccines to a newly evolved disease in one year, among many other accomplishments.
    The xian god isn’t very competent.

    **Great planning there. Why weren’t the two magic trees anywhere but in the Garden, Australia, Jupiter, Morris, Minnesota, etc..
    The god was right to be scared of humans though. One tree down, one to go.

  9. davidc1 says

    I am planning to do a road trip down the East Coast next year ,Boston down to Kittyhawk ,always been plane crazy I have always wanted to see where it all started .
    If there is time ,plan to visit the USAF Museum at Dayton again ,might just might travel to the ark site and spend a good half hour laughing at it .No way am i going to pay money to go inside .

  10. raven says

    I am planning to do a road trip down the East Coast next year..

    The ultimate plane and spacecraft museum is the Smithsonian Air and Space museum in Washington DC.

    I was there a long time ago.
    As you go in they used to have a moon rock you could touch set in plastic.
    And one of the Mercury space capsules. It was amazing how small it was and how simple. They had computers back then but they weren’t much.

  11. whheydt says

    Re: davidc1 @ #9 and raven @ #10…
    I commend the natural history museum in Chicago to your attention. The have a Ju-87 and a Spitfire (that actually flew in the Battle of Britain), as well as the U-505.

  12. pilgham says

    @11, whheydt
    I think you mean the Museum of Science and Industry, near the site of the soon to be constructed Obama Library. The Field Museum of Natural History is great too, but miles away.

    Second the recommendation for Irving Finkel. “Ark Before Noah” is a great book, but any Finkel is great Finkel.

  13. birgerjohansson says

    jrkrideau @ 2
    I donated my copy of The Ark Before Noah to Umeå library so as many as possible would get to share the fascinating backstory of Christian (and Babylonian / Sumerian) mythology.
    .
    Ken Ham…. maybe redirect an asteroid to hit the site? It has to be an iron asteroid so it survives ablation in the atmosphere.
    With brittle stuff you get an anticlimax, like that comet that was about to hit the Simpsons.
    Low-cost alternative. Wait for a really big thunderstorm and use a laser to ionize a path down to the building site, bypassing all local lightning rods.

  14. kingoftown says

    Languages obviously evolve over time. You can observe, say, the romance languages diverging from Latin.

    Ken Ham: That’s just what you call microevolution, it’s still a romance language. Have you ever seen a Basque speaker spontaneously speak Swahili?

  15. kingoftown says

    Languages obviously evolve over time. You can observe, say, the romance languages diverging from Latin.

    Ken Ham: That’s just what you call microevolution, it’s still a romance language. Have you ever seen a Basque speaker spontaneously speak Swahili?

  16. birgerjohansson says

    whheydt et al,
    If you pass through northern Norway , Troms has an excellent museum with many aircraft, several of WWII vintage.
    .
    If you continue down through north Sweden, Umeå museum has many ancient skis preserved from peat bogs. One pair is (gasp) older than the creation of the world (as per bishop Ussher).
    .
    The Russians have managed to find an even older pair of skis, the lucky bastards.
    So the proto-sami in Lapland and Russia had their hunting and fishing rudely Interrupted by Jehova creating the world.

  17. birgerjohansson says

    davidc1,
    I hope they haven’t built up the area in Kittyhawk where the first powered flight happened
    .
    The place where Otto Lilienthal pioneered gliding and made 2000 glides with his various designs is somewhere at the Polish – Russian border, on a narrow strip of land going east-west in the sea outside the town of Klaipedia.

  18. jrkrideau says

    @ 12 pilgham
    The book is great but I was recommending Finkel”s presentation (video) at the Oriental Institute. He is a mad showman.

  19. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    6 The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”

    Funny how zealots conveniently pass over understanding how this is an instance of Gawd being a real bitch. how dare they work together. Shit they could do anything, cooperating like that. Let’s make it impossible for cooperation t happen. ptui
    And this is a deity we are supposed to LOVE? Fuck no

  20. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    Why don’t Evangelicals ever get asked what evil was there in cooperating to cause Gawd to smite their building down to rubble and confuse our language into so many dialects. I wonder what answer they could come up with

  21. Rob Grigjanis says

    slithey tove @19: Oh FFS. there are tons of evangelical sites which ask and answer questions like that. I’m sure you’ll find their answers ridiculous, but I seriously doubt there’s a ‘gotcha’ question you could come up with that they haven’t addressed, however feebly. So if you really want to know ‘what answer they could come up with’, just google.

  22. Rich Woods says

    Seconding all the positives regarding Irving Finkel. He inspired me to have my grandmother eaten by a jackal.

  23. Jazzlet says

    jrkrideau
    Thanks for recommending Finkel’s presentation on the Ark, wonderfu stuff.

  24. says

    5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. 6 The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
    Didn’t work.
    https://www.burjkhalifa.ae/en/the-tower/facts-figures/

  25. says

    jrkrideau @ #2:

    For a better appreciation of Finkel in full cry I highly reccommend The Ark Before Noah…

    Amazing video. Thanks for that link.

    Finkel on documentaries on such subjects: “And in the editing stage, they leave out certain words, like ‘not’.”

  26. pilgham says

    I love the video, love the book which I have as an audio book, read by the author. If you have only a small bit of time, I recommend watching “Irving Finkel and the Chamber of Lewis Chessmen” on youtube.

  27. pilgham says

    And despite the impression given by the video, the British Museum is a real place that you can actually visit and see the Lewis Chessmen.

  28. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re @20
    excuse me for not making my rhetorical question more clearly sarcasm. Simply pointing this story out as essentially one of the legendary contradictions in the bibble everyone says are mythical./s

  29. davidc1 says

    @10 Yes ,the smithie is on the list .@11 Only flew into Chicago twice ,on the way to somewhere else .
    @!7 No chance of that happening .
    By the by ,I had to declare myself bankrupt in March ,so credit cards are a no-no ,how hard is it to hire a car in America with a Debit card ,I have read it is possible ,but it’s a lot of bother .

    I like driving in America ,well in the countryside at least .

  30. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re @9
    re roadtrip: good luck
    For the last total solar eclipse, we drove down the coast from ~Boston to Charleston, SC. Made a stop at Kitty Hawk, only we didn’t quite make the Wright Bros. site. Budget a few days to reach Kitty Hawk from Boston
    cheers

  31. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re @31:
    retracting that I missed Kitty Hawk itself. My memory failed, my GPS records shows we DID hit the site. Wasn’t long enough to burn in my head. (The eclipse took precedence) The reason I rely on hard recording devices to log my travels. pfeew. :-)
    Cheers, safe travels.

  32. Howard Brazee says

    Prove how good of Biblical Literalists we are by reenacting the heresy that got God real, real angry.

  33. lucifersbike says

    The Bible has been translated from Hebrew and Aramaic sources into Greek, Latin, medieval, early modern, and modern English, Russian, Mandarin, tok pisin, all the Celtic languages and hundreds of others. In short, Dog’s own book is proof that his/her/its dastardly attempt to divide humans by making us speak different and allegedly mutually incomprehensible languages was either unsuccessful or a job creation project for interpreters and translators.

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