Hey, Ken Ham: A Dutchman Builds Noah’s Ark

The website Sky News reports Modern-Day Noah Opens Doors Of Ark Creation. We are informed:

A faithful reproduction of Noah’s ark, using the dimensions in The Bible, has just opened to the public in The Netherlands. It was constructed by the Dutch creationist and millionaire building contractor Johan Huibers, after he dreamt that Holland would be flooded once again.

This must be a shocking blow to Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia. As you know, Answers in Genesis (AIG) is Hambo’s online creationist ministry, and they’re planning Ark Encounter, a replica of Noah’s Ark, Now a Dutchman has done it first. The story continues:

He [Huibers] used the ancient measurement of the cubit – the length of a man’s arm from the elbow to the fingertips – to build the craft according to Biblical proportions. In Genesis the ark is described as being 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high so the mammoth effort took him and his team of five just over four years to finish.

Huibers did it in four years — with a team of five people? Ol’ Hambo’s been raising money and talking about his replica for a year and a half, but he hasn’t even started construction yet. Let’s read on:

Using Mr Huiber’s arm [as a cubit], the craft, which is moored in the southern Netherlands town of Dordrecht, is just over 450 feet in length, dwarfing buildings along the waterfront.

It’s moored? That means it’s literally a ship. Hambo’s replica is going to be entirely on dry land. We continue:

He has filled it with a plastic menagerie of animals – as well as a few species of live birds – to recreate the story of Noah for paying visitors and to make The Bible more ‘touchable’.

Plastic animals are much more sanitary than the ghastly conditions with which Noah had to contend. Here’s more:

Deborah Venema-Huibers, manager of the Ark [we think she's the daughter of Johan Huibers], told Sky News that they had to abandon plans to sail the ark to the London Olympics after they were asked to make the wooden boat safer for visitors.

Bureaucrats! Good thing Noah didn’t have to deal with them. But look what else they have to deal with:

Mrs Huibers says they are being contacted by dozens of people worried about the Mayan prophecy of the end of the world in December this year.

That’s to be expected in the Ark business. Fortunately, Hambo won’t have to worry about that. His Ark — if he ever raises the money to build it — won’t be finished until after the Mayan doomsday. Besides, Hambo’s Ark won’t float, so he has nothing to offer the end-of-the-world crowd.

Well, dear reader, if you’ve been yearning to visit a replica of the Ark, there’s no reason to wait for ol’ Hambo to get his project off the ground. He’s been upstaged by a Dutchman.

Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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18 responses to “Hey, Ken Ham: A Dutchman Builds Noah’s Ark

  1. I may have to visit just to see the construction. My understanding is that a wooden vessel that size is not sea worthy. If it is indeed a 450 foot wooden ship, I will be duly impressed. Not to mention that Mr. Huibers will no dubitably be contacted by several engineering firms.

  2. According to the article the vague term “gopher wood” allows a certain amount of artistic license resulting in the short cut making the core from the metal skeletal frame work of salvaged barges.
    While it may dwarf buildings in the vicinity it certainly does not dwarf the air breathing members of the animal kingdom and their food requirments.

  3. Pretty cool, but it’s still built on barges. I’m still waiting for someone to try and build a legitimate wooden ark that floats on it’s own hull, using period fasteners and sealers etc. The test would be to load it with the weight of it’s mythical cargo and tow it out to sea. I would be willing to grant them an experienced crew rather than requiring that a family with no known experience handling boats of any sort attempt to sail the large unwieldy and unpowered vessel.

  4. Ed says: “Pretty cool, but it’s still built on barges.”

    Whoever wrote the Noah story may have considered barges. They were used on the Nile. I wouldn’t try to cross the ocean in a vessel like that, but it’s possible that the people who wrote the bible never saw the ocean.

  5. Charles Deetz ;)

    So no one knows what gopher wood is? It must have been wiped out in the flood along with dinosaurs.

  6. Charley Horse

    But you have to respect the ancients ability to forecast weather
    100 years ahead. Certainly tops modern capabilities.

  7. Ceteris Paribus

    “He [Huibers] used the ancient measurement of the cubit – the length of a man’s arm from the elbow to the fingertips – to build the craft according to Biblical proportions.”
    ” Using Mr Huiber’s arm [as a cubit], the craft, which is moored in the southern Netherlands town of Dordrecht, is just over 450 feet in length, dwarfing buildings along the waterfront.”

    Good thing it wasn’t Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps providing the standard of a cubit – his arm span is over 6-1/2 feet – or the project would still be going.

    Isaac Newton was a religious fanatic who obsessed over the actual length of the biblical cubit. His dissertation on the subject is here. Notice that fractional amounts are given as true fractions because the decimal system had not yet come into use.

  8. Paul Hunter

    This is just a large wooden superstructure build on steel barges. The properties of wood won’t allow a ship 450 feet long even when modern engineering is used in the design.
    The largest wooden ships have all been less than 350 feet and had significant iron and steel reinforcement.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_world's_largest_wooden_ships

  9. NeonNoodle

    Only 4 years? I’m impressed. It took Noah anywhere from 75 to 120 years to build his ark, depending on how one calculates the age of his youngest son. But before we conclude that Noah was a slacker, leave us not forget he was at least 480 years-old when he started.

  10. Built on steel barges? That seems like cheating. I am shocked, shocked I tell you. I cannot believe that a xian would do such a thing.

  11. Maybe we’re all looking at this ark stuff the wrong way. Maybe Noah had achondroplasia and the ark was much smaller than people estimate. Then all that remains is for Noah to gather up and miniaturize all the animals. Or perhaps it has the properties of the TARDIS. That would also explain why no one can find it. Apparently the chameleon circuit of the ark/TARDIS is working and it is blending into its surroundings.

  12. Yes, the builder cheated. “The boat was constructed by welding the metal hulls of several old barges together and then using Scandinavian pine for the skin.”

    So no one knows what gopher wood is? What happened was Noah told his sons, after they’d clear cut the local forest, to ‘gofer wood’ out yonder; the Bible just didn’t report it correctly.

    Here’s what that thing looks like:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/30/noahs-ark-replica-johan-huibers-netherlands_n_1717778.html?source=rss&ref=weird-news

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/30/world/europe/johans-ark-noah-dutch/index.html?eref=rss_mostpopular

    And the story says: “He resolved to build the ark, to inspire children with the biblical story of how Noah and the inhabitants of his Ark survived the flood that, according to Old Testament, washed the world clean of sin.”

    Yes, kids, so after the flood, the land was strewn with millions dead bodies of humans and animals and it stank ferociously. You couldn’t step anywhere without encountering one.

    So now perhaps this boat could be sailed between the Netherlands and Hamland, like a tourist ship with all the amenities of 5000(?) years ago for today’s passengers.

    Some creationists claim there was a sexual orgy prior to loading the animals on board, that is, rather than the animals themselves, only their eggs were loaded on board, though Noah and the boys got tired of omelets.

  13. From the article linked to below the gofer explanation, which makes more sense than just about anything the Bible actually says: ‘Another concession to modernity, or at least to animal rights, instead of two of each kind of animal, there are only a few live chickens on the boat and a whole menagerie of life-size plastic critters such as giraffes, elephants and donkeys,’ I urge people who plan to visit this thing to research which plastic animals the museum has on board, and then look at the lists of known critters that should have also been on the vessel. There are, I believe, almost 1.5 million to choose from (too bad perhaps some multiple millions more remain presently undiscovered, but that is still an impressive number). Choose one creature, make a life sized model pair of it, and offer it as a donation. If enough people do this, visitors will have the opportunity to get a real feel for the amount of free space on board for the animals, their water and food storage availability, room available for poopie/pee and cleanup of same, and human crew space, too.

  14. The whole truth

    “He resolved to build the ark, to inspire children with the biblical story of how Noah and the inhabitants of his Ark survived the flood that, according to Old Testament, washed the world clean of sin.”

    Yet, according to bible thumpers, there is still lots and lots of sin in the world. Apparently their imaginary god forgot to add sin-cleansing detergent to the wash.

  15. Ceteris Paribus

    “He resolved to build the ark, to inspire children with the biblical story of how Noah and the inhabitants of his Ark survived the flood that, according to Old Testament, washed the world clean of sin.”

    Resolutions to inspire can go astray. From my frame of reference Walt Disney built the “It’s a Small World” ride at Disneyland to inspire young couples to abstain from ever having children.

  16. retiredsciguy

    SC: “…it’s possible that the people who wrote the bible never saw the ocean.

    “Possible”? I’d say it’s a dead certainty, unless you count the Mediterranean or Red Sea as being the ocean. And even if they had seen the ocean, they would have had no idea of its vastness.

  17. There is already a Dutch guy whith an ark on the Rhine. Here’s a linkt to a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZlwr8S1tX4 (unfortunately, available in German only)

  18. Retired Prof

    “Apparently their imaginary god forgot to add sin-cleansing detergent to the wash.”

    That’s why he introduced a new product a couple of centuries later, trademarked the Blood of the Lamb. The faithful sing about it in a hymn: “Are your garments spotless, are they white as snow? Are they washed in the Blood of the Lamb?” This faith in the detergent properties of ovine bodily fluids has always seemed misplaced to me, considering how much trouble I have getting blood stains out of my hunting clothes.

    However, as David Rives advises on a different thread, it is better to believe than to think.