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NEWS: Ark Encounter theme park set for Northern Kentucky


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So I guess this thing is set to open in Thursday. Religious beliefs and funding controversy aside aside it's a pretty cool looking structure and I hope it succeeds, but $40 seems a bit steep although there is a ropes course (?) but it's not sure if it is included in the price of admission. Also, their projections for 2 million + visitors in the first year seems a bit optimistic, I mean there are a lot of really well established museums and amusement parks in the world that don't have 2 million visitors per year.

 

 

With Noah's 'Ark Encounter' Attraction, Builder Ken Ham Invites All Comers -- and Controversy

Ken Ham made a popular and commercial success of his Creation Museum in northern Kentucky, promoting the Biblical account of origins to an appreciative market of Christians — and against the tide of modern scientific consensus.

 

But in opening the nearby Ark Encounter this week near Williamstown, Kentucky, with a $101-million bet and an unusual economic-development story, the Australian-born entrepreneur and former science teacher might be able to count on more than just another narrative from Genesis for its appeal. He thinks he can tap into fascination with the story of Noah across the American tapestry and throughout the generations, not just from believers. A fleet of new TV ads for Ark Encounter on cable channels is attempting to make that connection.

 

And Ham and his company, Answers in Genesis, can do it with an attraction that he said will measure up to today’s standards for theme-park fun.

 

“If you do something in a first-class, professional way, with the quality you’d see at Disney, Universal or the Smithsonian, it will give you a reputation such that people will talk about it and come back and, by word of mouth, encourage others to come,” Ham told me. “A lot of times, Christians are seen as doing things in a cheesy way and the secular world is seen as doing things in a professional, first-class way. We want even the skeptics to admit that what we present is done in a first-class way.”

 

The centerpiece of Ark Encounter is a massive wooden structure matching the Bible’s description of the huge boat that, as the Bible tells it, Noah built to house the remnant of God-fearing humanity and other life on Earth before the great flood. It’s 510 feet long, 85 feet wide and 51 feet high, and Ham’s new “ark” is the largest timber-frame structure in the world. The entire construct, including piers that raise the ark about 15 feet above the earth as he said Noah might have done, is about 10 stories tall.

 

The approach to the ark site through rolling hills, Ham said, comprises a designed bit of “decompression” which will “take people out of the modern world and into Noah’s world.” As they emerge into a clearing and confront the magnitude of the structure, he believes, attendees “will gasp in awe.”

Inside, Ham has packed Ark Encounter with multiple ways to tell the story of how God preserved creation, dividing the structure into three decks that variously feature animatronic creatures as well as members of Noah’s family, their living area, cages and other spaces that could support live animals if necessary, themed exhibits, state-of-the-art videos, a blacksmith shop, a giant rainbow mural depicting a divine promise to Noah, and much more.

 

Outside, around a pond and under the shadow of the giant “ship,” Ark Encounter is extended with a petting zoo of live animals, camel and donkey rides, a 1,500-seat restaurant and, eventually, a network of zip lines spanning the 800-acre site.

 

Ark Encounter also devotes a good deal of attention to making the case for a literal reading of Noah’s story, with exhibits illustrating the evils of the pre-flood pagan world, demonstrating the engineering skills of ancient mankind, and suggesting how the family actually could have built the ark over the course of a century and loaded it up, two-by-two, for the rain-sotted 40 days and 40 nights described in the Bible.

 

Indeed, this is not the temporary home of the fuzzy, conflicted, Russell Crowe version of “Noah.” Just as the zeitgeist is turning against evangelical Christians in part because of their stand on LGBT issues as inspired by Scripture, Ham is unapologetically interpreting Noah’s ark with a full-scale paean to Biblical literalism. This includes Ham’s belief in a “young Earth,” which means including dinosaurs inside the ark.

 

There also are not-so-subtle doses of proselytization. On the ark’s second deck, for instance, in coming weeks Ark Encounter will set up an animatronic representation of the wife of Japheth, one of Noah’s sons, who presents the Biblical view of God’s holiness and reasons for sending the flood. And on the third deck, an exhibit imagines a future college-student Christian “witnessing” to non-believers.

 

Most Americans who know Ham, after all, will recognize him as the iconoclast who debated Bill Nye “the Science Guy” on TV in 2014 advocating “intelligent design” and the Genesis creation story against Nye’s evolutionist stand.

 

“We are bold about the fact that we’re doing it because we’re Christians and we’re doing it for the Christian message,” Ham said. “But we’re not trying to force it on people. What we want to do is challenge people to consider that what they’re seeing was true and feasible. We want to get them to take the Bible seriously.”

 

His sectarian approach already has caused Ham a boatful of problems, including friction over host Grant County’s $62 million in TIF financing, a bitter lawsuit over $18 million in tax incentives that the state withheld due to church-state separation concerns, and a controversy over whether Ham has been applying a faith test to hirees for Ark Encounter. He’s also been accused — for the alleged purpose of gaining good terms on the financing — of drastically inflating prognostications of attendance in the new attraction’s first few years.

 

But Ham noted that America’s Research Group, a well known market-research organization in Summerville, South Carolina, studied the market for him and predicted attendance at Ark Encounter of up to two million, even in its first year. Another group conducted an economic-impact study for Ham and predicted that Ark Encounter would contribute $4 billion to the Kentucky economy over the next decade and lead at least indirectly to the creation of up to 20,000 jobs. Initially, Ark Encounter has been sharing a few hundred employees with the Creation Museum, and it’ll have 300 of its own seasonal employees for the opening.

 

Like Noah, Ham is difficult to bet against even though he may seem to be battling the sensibilities of an entire age. One reason for his confidence is the success of the Creation Museum, which has built attendance to about 300,000 people a year since its opening in 2007.

 

Another reason is that Ham believes he was able to lure exactly the right people to help him build the Ark Encounter. They range from Patrick Marsh, who worked on the Jaws and King Kong attractions at Universal Studios before joining Answers in Genesis as vice president of attractions designs, to about 75 Amish craftsmen from northern Indiana who were among the few people expert enough in timber framing to have been able to build any kind of ark replica.

 

“Nobody’s ever attempted anything like this before,” Ham maintained, “because God never has brought all of these kinds of people — literally thousands of people — together to make it happen, until now.”

 

And like any ambitious entrepreneur, Ham continues to think ahead. Elsewhere on the site he plans a replica of the kind of walled city where Noah and his family might have lived. Among other plans: a depiction of the Tower of Babel, whence God, after the flood, dispersed earth’s inhabitants, according to Genesis.

 

But without a specified measurement in the Bible, Ham hasn’t yet said how tall the tower might be.

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^ Nice.

 

Yep, it will certainly be interesting if this guys dreams come to fruition.

 

I vote for TPR to set up a Go Fund Me page so we can send Eric and Smisty on a pilgrimage there so that they can do a PTR for us!

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I vote for TPR to set up a Go Fund Me page so we can send Eric and Smisty on a pilgrimage there so that they can do a Photo TR for us!

 

Nothing would make me happier than to read a trip report by them for this place.

 

The Ark Encounter's official Twitter is posting random trivia about Noah and stuff using the hashtag #OhNoahhedidnt which is both awful and awesome at the same time. I don't have a whole lot of interest in visiting but in their defense it does look really well done, even the ainmatronic dinosaurs Noah apparently had on the Ark look great!

 

 

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/noahs-ark-dinosaurs_us_577d9ff8e4b0344d514dea93

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I got to tour it once more but for opening day for the newspaper I'm with (did a small video). (x) Had a hefty crowd lined up an hour before it opened at 9am that morning, and they had a whole army of buses to bring people back and forth from parking lot to site (easy to see they plan to expand BIG in the future).

 

Personally speaking as a non-religious person, and putting aside the obvious controversial-ness of it all, it's okay. I did admire the woodwork that went into the entire structure inside and out, and there was a scent of fresh wood or sawdust in certain places inside. For any remotely interested in visiting, it's more of a one-and-done thing until the next phase is complete.

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So when I visit this park, I'm supposed to assume two penguins wobbled all the way from Antarctica through deserts and into the Middle East to walk onto an ark built by a 500 year old man? Got it.

 

Now this isn't meant to start a theological discussion or argue the accuracy of the Bible. It's simply a defense of account from within it's own context as a literary work, the way one would defend what seem to be plot holes in a movie to a friend.

 

At the time of Noah there was no Antarctica, Middle East, deserts, or even penguins for that metter. The two things Creationists and Evolutionists agree on are the existence an original single continent called Pangaea and common ancestors to each species of animal. They simply disagree on the when and how of the details. Creationists believe Pangaea was broken up during the tectonic stresses of the Flood for which Noah built the Ark. Evolutionists believe it was over millions of years. But both agree that there was no Antarctica nor were there any deserts or tall mountains originally. Also the Biblical account says Noah took "kinds" of each creature, not species. This means he would have taken a pair of canines, a pair felines, a pair of equines, pair of certain birds, etc; and probably small versions of each. No lions or wolves or elephants, which probably didn't exist then anyway. All the various species evolved from those " kinds" afterward. It makes sense within in the context of the story. It may not jive with the science but neither do X-Men. No one rips comics for being unscientific within their universe. So as story self contained in it's own universe it makes sense. I mean even evolutionists believe in micro-evolution - that all birds for example came from a single bird ancestor. They just also happen to believe that original bird evolved from another species like a reptile which itself had evolved from a fish maybe. Creationists simply believe that God created each kind separately. Remember that within the Biblical timeline it had only been a little over a thousand years since the Fall of Adam and Eve. So in that time, according to the story, there wouldn't have been that much evolution of kinds. Noah could have simply gathered up animals from around his neck of the woods since biologically there aren't that may different kinds.

 

Whether you believe story is true or not isn't point. It's whether or not the narrative makes sense within its own universe. Like X-Men. No one believes that mutations are ever beneficial and give people super powers. That's not how evolution works. But within the context of the stories it does and it works.

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But within the context of the stories it does and it works.

Except for the minor detail that Noah was, what, 500 years old when he completed the Ark?

He was 600 and it took 150 years to build and he died at 950. But in the context of the Biblical universe people were closer to the perfection of Adam. Only about 1000 years or so removed. They didn't have chemicals in their food and a polluted planet. If they came from a perfect created state then they were smarter and more intelligent. Technology would have been more organic. They would have been healthy. Their immune systems stronger and more pure. It wasn't uncommon for people to live 900 years plus before the Flood. Even the Earth itself is described as being a paradise with a perfect axis and a vapor cloud cover in the atmosphere that protected from the Sun's radiation. No one born after the Flood is recorded as living more than 120-ish. Which makes sense within the story. Imagine the devastation brought on the Earth. Pangaea ripped apart. The vapor cover destroyed. The Earth tilted on its axis creating dramatic weather patterns and seasons of cold and hot. Creating the arctic regions and equatorial deserts. Even many traditional scientists belief the Earth was knocked off its axis, probably by the impact of a massive meteor comet.

 

Think of it the same way you accept the Vulcans of Star Trek and the Asgard of Stargate SG1 living 500 to 1000 years plus. It's a story and in the story it makes sense.

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^ LOL. Yeah, every attempt I've seen to validate Ken Ham's BS just seems more convoluted than his arguments.

 

Here are the facts, and I'm going to keep this in the context of this theme park and Ken Ham's preaching in general. I am quite familiar with Answers in Genesis and what they're all about.

 

The fact is that Christianity teaches that God created the world. It doesn't say anything about Pangaea or plate tectonics or a vapour cloud or anything of the sort. It doesn't say anything about chemical additives to food or pollution. Science teaches us about those things; Christianity does not. You cannot possibly say that Christianity agrees with plate tectonics because it doesn't. It also doesn't disagree with plate tectonics. It doesn't say anything about plate tectonics at all. Only through science do we know about it, not religion.

 

There is no such person as an evolutionist. Ken Ham tries to say that evolution is a religious idea that can be believed or disbelieved. It's nothing of the sort, and that's the danger of what he preaches. It allows people to disbelieve scientifically proven theories.

 

The story of Noah is a religious story. I agree that you should put it in its own context, and that context is religious, not scientific. If you believe that Noah existed, that's a religious belief. If you don't believe he existed, that's a religious belief. Noah didn't live to be 950 because of a vapor cloud or a lack of chemical additives in food--because those are scientific hypotheses. We can test whether eating food without chemical additives causes extreme longevity. We can use computer models to test whether a vapour cloud over the entire earth would cause extreme longevity. That makes these questions scientific. Science cannot tell us whether Noah lived to be 950, because that's a religious question. You're free to believe anything you want about it.

 

Ken Ham provides religious answers to scientific questions, and as such comes up with complete nonsense that has no relevance in either field. That's why he is worthy of ridicule. I do believe that he preaches what he believes, and that he is very sincere in those beliefs. He is free to believe whatever he wants. He is also free to say what he believes in a public forum, just like all of us are. But his anti-scientific message is dangerous to our society and should be refuted sternly.

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^ LOL. Yeah, every attempt I've seen to validate Ken Ham's BS just seems more convoluted than his arguments.

 

Here are the facts, and I'm going to keep this in the context of this theme park and Ken Ham's preaching in general. I am quite familiar with Answers in Genesis and what they're all about.

 

The fact is that Christianity teaches that God created the world. It doesn't say anything about Pangaea or plate tectonics or a vapour cloud or anything of the sort. It doesn't say anything about chemical additives to food or pollution. Science teaches us about those things; Christianity does not. You cannot possibly say that Christianity agrees with plate tectonics because it doesn't. It also doesn't disagree with plate tectonics. It doesn't say anything about plate tectonics at all. Only through science do we know about it, not religion.

 

There is no such person as an evolutionist. Ken Ham tries to say that evolution is a religious idea that can be believed or disbelieved. It's nothing of the sort, and that's the danger of what he preaches. It allows people to disbelieve scientifically proven theories.

 

The story of Noah is a religious story. I agree that you should put it in its own context, and that context is religious, not scientific. If you believe that Noah existed, that's a religious belief. If you don't believe he existed, that's a religious belief. Noah didn't live to be 950 because of a vapor cloud or a lack of chemical additives in food--because those are scientific hypotheses. We can test whether eating food without chemical additives causes extreme longevity. We can use computer models to test whether a vapour cloud over the entire earth would cause extreme longevity. That makes these questions scientific. Science cannot tell us whether Noah lived to be 950, because that's a religious question. You're free to believe anything you want about it.

 

Ken Ham provides religious answers to scientific questions, and as such comes up with complete nonsense that has no relevance in either field. That's why he is worthy of ridicule. I do believe that he preaches what he believes, and that he is very sincere in those beliefs. He is free to believe whatever he wants. He is also free to say what he believes in a public forum, just like all of us are. But his anti-scientific message is dangerous to our society and should be refuted sternly.

Oh don't get me wrong, Ham is a whako. He isn't a scientist. He doesn't have a doctorate. He has a Bachelors of Applied Science. Not even a qualification for having an opinion on the matter let alone a museum. As for the vapor cloud, that's what firmament is. I was simply addressing the man's question to a piece of literature based on my experience in college with a "Bible as Literature" class for some extra credits.

 

Now to the Ark Museum. If Ham really wanted preach his beliefs to the world then there are much better ways to spend $100 million dollars. I think it's a joke.

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I miss the old Fairy Land Forest that was at Conneaut years ago. Maybe he should have tried for that angle. Either way, after the first wave or two of "guests" I don't see much success. Sort of like the holey land experience in Orlando. I had some religious relatives down for a visit who went and they really felt ripped off by the whole thing. I tried to warn them, before they went, even showed them Erik and S's TR. but.....

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Oh don't get me wrong, Ham is a whako. He isn't a scientist. He doesn't have a doctorate. He has a Bachelors of Applied Science. Not even a qualification for having an opinion on the matter let alone a museum. As for the vapor cloud, that's what firmament is. I was simply addressing the man's question to a piece of literature based on my experience in college with a "Bible as Literature" class for some extra credits.

 

Now to the Ark Museum. If Ham really wanted preach his beliefs to the world then there are much better ways to spend $100 million dollars. I think it's a joke.

I'm sorry you were taught that in a college classroom. I would encourage you to forget everything you learned, as what you've stated above is terrible scholarship. Literature must always be placed in its proper context, and for Genesis, the context was that the Israelites, newly escaped from slavery in Egypt, were suffering an identity crisis. Moses wrote Genesis to tell them who they were and where they came from. Genesis should be studied in that context, as a religious and political text. Moses was both, as ancient rulers often were.

 

To derive anything scientific from Genesis is to do exactly what Ken Ham does. Your interpretation of "firmament" is exactly the same as Ken Ham's. Where that comes from is an attempt to reconcile young earth theory with the fossil record. We know scientifically that in the age of dinosaurs, the world was much warmer than it is today. As plants and animals died and were buried under layers of sediment, that carbon was trapped in the earth, eventually to become oil, which cooled the earth due to a weaker greenhouse effect. This process requires millions of years to accomplish, which is a problem for Ham and his ilk. So they found a verse in Genesis that says there was a firmament, and described it in scientific terms as a worldwide vapour cloud, which would have warmed the earth and been able to be destroyed quickly. Bam! Problem solved! Oh, and where did oil come from? Never mind that....

 

So you may not believe what he does, but what you were taught in that class comes straight out of his textbook. That's no literary study; it's an attempt to get his line of thinking legitimized by being taught in a college. Scary stuff.

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Imagine how many more people would visit this arc if they added some rides, including a coaster or two, which would make it a real theme park. An Intamin Megalite alone, which would be the first in the USA, would get every coaster enthusiast to visit this place.

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