Ark Encounter exec says they have enough funding to begin construction

Posted Friday, February 28, 2014 9:14 AM | Contributed by Jeff

The founder of a Bible-themed museum who recently debated evolution with TV's "Science Guy" Bill Nye says fundraising after the widely watched event helped to revive stalled plans to build a 510-foot replica of Noah's Ark. Creation Museum founder Ken Ham said a municipal bond offering has raised enough money to begin construction on the wooden ark, estimated to cost about $73 million.

Read more from WCPO/Cincinnati.

Friday, February 28, 2014 10:15 AM

With climate change and *another* 6,000 years, maybe the Ark will become useful?

Today's song of the day: Thomas Dolby's "She Blinded Me with Science."

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Friday, February 28, 2014 11:47 AM

Controversial post!

As a Christian, even I am getting tired of all these dofuses who believe that the Earth is only 6000 years old and that gays cause disasters and terrorism. An attraction like this will be used to spread their stupefying message and underlying hatred.

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Friday, February 28, 2014 12:07 PM

...who recently debated evolution with TV's "Science Guy" Bill Nye says fundraising after the widely watched event helped to revive stalled plans...

I'm sure that's just what Nye was hoping for.

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Friday, February 28, 2014 12:12 PM

LK,

One of the problems is that Christians that share your view aren't vocal enough in denouncing this nonsense. Without that internal opposition, the Bible Thumping Fundie YEC becomes the Christian stereotype, just like the Amoral, Baby-devouring Nutjob becomes the atheist stereotype.

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Friday, February 28, 2014 12:20 PM

As a demographic, Christians suffer from the same problem that a lot of groups do: The fringe and wackos make the most noise. But then, that doesn't surprise me in a country where anything vaguely Arabic is thought of as terrorism, and xenophobia gets in the way of meaningful immigration reform. At least we're equal opportunity haters.

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Friday, February 28, 2014 12:36 PM

There's an "us against them" mentality everywhere you look. It doesn't seem like the country is united on anything, except being disunited.

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Friday, February 28, 2014 12:42 PM

Nye had to know that the debate would help with project funding.

I agree that currently, we have a lot of "wars" being engaged. War against women, against the poor, against Christians, against the rich, against science, etc. Though I think there is a lot of over-dramatization in play with most of it. In large part driven by what I call political theater.

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Friday, February 28, 2014 2:23 PM

The xenophobia has been around for over a century. It isn't new, and it isn't going away anytime too soon.

The extremists were once thought of as nutjobs, but now that they get airtime all over the place, their views are seen as more mainstream (a real shame for EVERYONE, that is).

Lastly, most Christians don't believe the Earth is 6,000 years old, or that Science is Satan's way of fooling us. But the ones that get the best ratings...do try and make their arguments seem like they speak for Christianity as a whole. Again, bummer....

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Friday, February 28, 2014 2:37 PM

What if I don't believe in God, but I do believe the Earth is only 6000 years old?

Think I could corner the market on that kind of wacky?

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Friday, February 28, 2014 3:00 PM

rollergator said:

Lastly, most Christians don't believe the Earth is 6,000 years old...

I'm always so conflicted about this. Part of me respects such Christians because they don't let their faith cloud their judgment so much as to deny reality (age of the earth, evolution, etc.). They believe in God to the point of moral and spiritual satisfaction, but they let the evidence really do the talking in terms of what's really going on in the world.

But I also have a modicum of respect for people like Ken Ham, because he's all in and he's not afraid to say it. I mean, to say your a Christian, as I understand it, means that you believe, among other things, that the Bible was written by people who were divinely inspired and is therefore the word of God. Of course, a typical response is that the book shouldn't be taken literally, which allows one to be a Christian without actually believing that the earth was created in 6 days 6,000 to 10,000 years ago. But then Christians do take the part about Jesus performing miracles and ascending bodily into heaven literally. Isn't that cherry picking? And if you're cherry picking, then why look to the Bible at all? And if you don't believe those things to be literally true, then why call yourself a Christian?

I promise I'm not trying to start a fight. I love all of you!

Last edited by Bakeman31092, Friday, February 28, 2014 3:02 PM
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Friday, February 28, 2014 3:53 PM

I call myself a Christian because I aspire (fail, but aspire) to think and live the way Jesus said to think and live. I don't carry the burden of Old Testament proscriptions against tattoos (despite not having any), or of wearing garments of multiple fabrics, or of eating pork or even (gasp!) homosexuality.

I don't believe the Earth is 6,000 years old, or that hurricanes are God's wrath for accepting and loving homosexuals. I believe that the human mind, and science, should take us as far as they possibly can. Some questions remain unanswerable, and those, for the time being, are left up to one's beliefs (faith). When Science finds answers to questions previously considered outside the realm of understanding, I take them at face value precisely because our ongoing experiment has always been, and will always be, one of a quest for knowledge. "Peer review or it didn't happen" is a mantra on a college campus, and that's one of the things I love about living in a college town. The thirst for a better understanding of where we're going, and where we've come from, is continuous.

And, as it always has been, there are questions that Science simply cannot answer. For those, you can choose what you want to believe. And you might get me to go along with you - provided that your beliefs don't require me to abandon that which I believe to already be understood by Science. For the religious - God gave us these huge brains for a reason, and it would be a sin to NOT use them to the fullest.

Sorry for the long-winded rant, but I needed it....and thanks!

Last edited by rollergator, Friday, February 28, 2014 3:55 PM
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Friday, February 28, 2014 4:57 PM

I enjoyed reading that Gator, thanks for sharing!

Follow-up question: what Christian doctrines relating to the divinity of Jesus do you believe? Do you believe them because you're drawn to his teachings, or are you drawn to his teachings because you believe them?

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Friday, February 28, 2014 5:29 PM

Bakeman,

Taking only some parts literally doesn't necessarily have to be "cherry-picking". In fact, the Bible itself is full of folks who struggle with parts of their faith. I think it's far better to be a conflicted Christian then reject the whole thing because of a few points of contention. Rarely is anyone on board absolutely 100% with anything. I love my country of the USA, but she ain't perfect by any stretch.

Personally I think Genesis is full of truth and wisdom about humanity, and actually does a great job of condensing billions of years of complex stuff into a lesson that a child can understand.

Hopefully the folks behind the Ark encounter use it as a way to spread the Christian faith, instead of driving folks from it by taking a "100% literal or nothing" approach.

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Saturday, March 1, 2014 2:24 PM

Given their contention that dinosaurs and humans both walked the Earth at the same time, I think they do go with the 100% literal approach.

That said, I also think they're preaching to the choir. The people who visit the Creation Museum, and presumably will be customers of the Ark Encounter, are people who already believe what the Museum presents.

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Saturday, March 1, 2014 3:30 PM

There's a lot of money to be made with echo chambers. Look at cable "news."

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Saturday, March 1, 2014 3:54 PM

Surely you're referring to "Faux" News and not MSNBC, which only speaks the truth :-)

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Saturday, March 1, 2014 6:26 PM

Notice there's no mention of human cohabitation with dinosaurs in the Bible?

Bakeman: Since I have no hope of truly knowing the answer to the "divinity question" - I simply go along with the idea that the message itself is divine. Primarily, love God and love your neighbor (especially the ones you disagree with). I remember something along the lines of "everything else flows from that."

For me, I see a responsibility to "God's creation" the planet itself. To me, that's an unspoken rule that had lead to my evangelical environmentalism.

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Sunday, March 2, 2014 1:10 PM

The Bible itself has been cherry picked by kings, popes, etc. who distilled it down into the version you may have before you in your hotel room.

I've often wondered what would happen if we could replace tales like Adam & Eve, Noah, David & Goliath, Jonah, etc. with what we call "fairy tales" today...would anyone notice? Jack and the Beanstalk, for example, could be seamlessly interwoven in a new book called "Jack".

From Jack, Chapter 2;

13 And from a fire in the heavens, Jack heard the voice of God address him: "Jack, have faith in me, the Lord your God, and give up your coins to the first person you see. For it is I before you." 14 "But my Lord, " Jack wept, "We are hungry, and with these coins I can buy a meal for my mother and I." 15 "Oh ye of little faith. Make haste to put thy faith in me, and ye shall not eat for a day, but be blessed for a lifetime".

Yep. It would work just fine.

There are people who will go see the Noah movie (Russel Crowe, I think?) and view it like a documentary. The marketing is all timed perfectly. And I stress the word marketing. Just like Lucasfilm could make R2D2 toilet paper and make millions overnight, Ham (like many others before him) is merely plucking coins out of gullible bible-literalists who will pay to have their beliefs confirmed via a cheesy diorama. Like Jeff said, there is indeed a lot of money to be made inside an echo chamber, especially when it's an imaginary boat-ride that plays on one's religious tendencies. Maybe Russell will even be there to cut the red ribbon.

That said, I happen to believe Ham actually believes most of what he says.

Last edited by OhioStater, Sunday, March 2, 2014 8:16 PM
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Sunday, March 2, 2014 8:29 PM

I tend to be 99% in line with Gator on these things, but I do want to push back a little bit on one thing:

rollergator said:

I believe that the human mind, and science, should take us as far as they possibly can. Some questions remain unanswerable, and those, for the time being, are left up to one's beliefs (faith).

The problem with what I think is your interpretation is it means that as science advances, God retreats. When I asked why the planets stay in place, we used to say "God keeps them there." (God of the gaps). Now we know it's gravity. I prefer a God who acts in and through and with science and so my answer is "Gravity...which God made so we don't burn or freeze."

Re: Biblical Interpretation
Many people claim that biblical interpretation must be either a) all or b) cherry picking to match what you already believe. A third option (which maybe resembles b) a whole lot) is the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. In my faith tradition (Presbyterian) the truth of the bible is not in the words that are on the page, but in the voice of the Holy Spirit in my heart when I read the bible. Sometimes the Spirit says, "This part is allegorical", sometimes it says "This part is literal", sometimes is says, "I'll tell you all about this part later", and sometimes it's silent. But the words on the page themselves are not divine in any way; it's the way the Spirit inspires the reader which makes it divine.

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Sunday, March 2, 2014 8:31 PM
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