After Years of Controversy, Noah’s Ark Park is Now Open

By Jameywiki [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons
By Jameywiki [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons
A 510-foot-long recreation of Noah’s Ark called Ark Encounter is finally open in central Kentucky.

Creationist Ken Ham is the designer of Ark Encounter, a for-profit park, and he says that “this is the most authentic recreation of Noah’s Ark in the world.”

After Years of Controversy, Noah’s Ark Park is Now Open[/tweetthis]

However, newly discovered information from Dead Sea Scrolls points out that Noah’s Ark may have actually been pyramid-shaped. At this time, Ham has not addressed this research.

Perhaps this comes as no surprise as Ham and other Creationists practice a literal interpretation of the book of Genesis, including a belief that God created the Earth in six days and six nights. They also reject scientific evidence supporting that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old.

The life-sized replica includes no live animals, just models stored in wooden cages, including dinosaurs, which the Creationists believe coexisted on Earth with humans.

Some people say that the state of Kentucky’s support of the project is a violation of the separation of church and state.

The state of Kentucky supported the Ark Encounter with an $18-million tax credit, stating that it is not in support of any religious views as some have argued, but as economic support for Williamstown. The park is expected to attract over two million visitors annually.

Also controversial is the requirement that Ark Encounter employees must sign a “Statement of Faith” supporting the notion that “sexual intimacy” should “only occur between a man and a woman who are married to each other.” Furthermore, the document also requires employees to accept Jesus Christ as their savior, noting “those who do not believe in Christ are subject to everlasting conscious punishment, but believers enjoy eternal life with God.”

Once the state of Kentucky recognized the park’s overt religious theme as well as the “Statement of Faith” requirement, it rescinded the tax credit. But Answers in Genesis, the group behind the park’s creation, sued and won back the tax credit.

Ark Encounter also features a zoo, a restaurant and zip line tour. An adult ticket to the park costs $40.

FreeThoughtBlogs reports the park is not doing so well its opening week, citing a tweet from American Atheists’ David Silverman showing an empty room. Silverman also tweeted a photo with no lines.


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