Ken Ham’s Ark Has Disappointed Grant County

This happy item comes to us via the diligent work of one of our clandestine operatives, code-named Blue Grass. It’s at the website of WKYT-TV, the CBS-affiliated television station in Lexington, Kentucky. The website has a comments section, and their headline is Grant Co. leaders: Ark Encounter doesn’t live up to economic promise.

Gasp! Hambo’s ark doesn’t live up to its economic promise? How can that be? As you probably know, Grant County, Kentucky is the location of the bizarre, land-locked “replica” of Noah’s Ark, the biblical tourist attraction run by Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia, famed not only for his creationist ministry, Answers in Genesis (AIG), but also for the infamous, mind-boggling Creation Museum. His latest triumph has been building an exact replica of Noah’s Ark. He is unquestionably the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else.

The local folks have done all they can to make Hambo’s Ark Encounter a success. As we reported in Kentucky Newspaper Turns Against Hambo’s Ark:

The city of Williamstown agreed to a 75 percent break on property taxes for 30 years and a $62 million bond issue. The Grant County Industrial Development Authority gave the park $200,000 plus 100 acres of land at a reduced price. The state has promised $11 million in road improvements for the park’s benefit.

We’re stunned. After doing all that to support Hambo’s ark, now they’re claiming that Hambo’s ark doesn’t live up to its economic promise? We gotta read this news article. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

A big crowd squeezed into a corner of the third deck of the Ark Encounter Friday, February 24, for the ribbon cutting on its latest exhibit. “This is a significant exhibit,” Answers in Genesis founder Ken Ham said in his familiar Australian brogue. “2,500 square feet. 11 scenes. It’s really unique because it’s done as a graphic novel approach to presenting the message of Christianity.”

About 600 people were expected for the first day of “Why the Bible is True.” It was an abnormally big crowd for a winter weekday at the seven-month-old Ark. But Ham said attendance had been higher than expected and travel agents told him to expect a busy spring and summer.

Y’all throwin’ up yet? If not, you soon will be. We’re told:

They are getting so many calls a day that they can’t keep up with it. Looking at the bookings for the future and group bookings, I would say we are well on target for hitting our minimum of 1.4 million to 2.2 million as our research had suggested,” said Ham.

Isn’t that thrilling? The TV station reports:

Ham said the Ark hosted 500,000 visitors in the six months it was open in 2016. A staffer said about 645,000 guests have visited the 510-foot replica of Noah’s Ark.

Hambo says 500,000, and some guy who works for him says it’s 645,000. We believe them both! But there’s a serpent in the garden. The TV station tells us:

Ham called the Ark a success but its success has not had quite the ripple effect that many in Grant County expected. It’s been a great thing but it’s not brought us any money,” said Grant County Judge-Executive Steve Wood during a break from a budget meeting.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Who cares about Grant County? The ark is producing revenue for Hambo, and that’s what really matters. Let’s read on:

The county is teetering on bankruptcy and is trying to balance the budget. Wood said they were to the point where jobs may have to be cut. He will propose a 2% payroll tax at next week’s fiscal court meeting. He blames prior fiscal courts for the budget crisis, not the Ark. But he said the Ark had not lived up to its promise.

The ark didn’t live up to its promises? Hey — if the attendance figures are accurate, it seems to be doing just fine for ol’ Hambo. As for his followers, their reward will be in the hereafter. The end of the article is another quote from Steve Wood:

“I was one of those believers that once the Ark was here everything was going to come in. But it’s not done it. It’s not done it. I think the Ark’s done well and I’m glad for them on that. But it’s not done us good at all.”

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Slowly — very slowly — the people of Grant County are learning one of life’s great lessons: A creationist promoter’s goal is to benefit himself, not his followers. Hambo may be one of the rare exceptions, but so far it doesn’t look that way. However, your Curmudgeon is not judgmental. We shall keep an open mind. Hambo may decide to announce large donations to Grant County. Then all will be well. If not, the ark will be just another data point that supports the general rule: As the moth seeks the flame, the simpleton seeks the charlatan.

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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And The Curmudgeon Said, Let There Be …

Let there be what? WHAT?

Let there be an Intellectual Free Fire Zone! Yes, dear reader, all your Curmudgeon needed to do was utter the words, and it was so! You want proof? Well, you’re looking at it.

Why did we do this? Because the Creationists have never been so boring. We’ve been through slow news days before, but nothing like today. We can’t even find a goofy letter-to-the editor. So if the creationists won’t entertain us, we’ll have to entertain ourselves.

Your rants about Trump are a bit predictable, but this is the place for them. Beyond that — and we hope one day that we will get beyond that — we’re open for the discussion of pretty much anything. The usual topics are science, politics, economics, whatever — as long as it’s tasteful and interesting. Banter, babble, bicker, bluster, blubber, blather, blab, blurt, burble, boast — say what you will. But avoid flame-wars and beware of the profanity filters.

The comments are open, dear reader. Have at it!

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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ICR and AIG on the Discovery of New Planets

This is even better than we hoped. Two days ago we wrote Klinghoffer Dismisses Latest Planet Discoveries, in which we described the NASA discovery of seven Earth-sized planets orbiting the dwarf star TRAPPIST-1, three of which orbit in the star’s habitable zone where they could have water and possibly life.

As you know, this is the sort of godless science discovery that gives creationists nightmares. Regardless of what scientists actually discover, creationists insist that the scientists are wrong — totally wrong — because they are confused by their naturalist assumptions, or perverted by their sinful nature. Creationists know that a perfect planet like ours, and a splendid species like us cannot naturally exist. Therefore they declare:

• Earth was uniquely created as the special home of a special species — our wonderful selves
• We were created (not evolved!) by and in the image of Yahweh (for litigation purposes called the intelligent designer) — blessed be he!

We’ve already written about the Discoveroids’ reaction to the news of the discovery. Klinghoffer declared: “However, everything else we do know indicates that life can’t and won’t originate and evolve without intelligent design.” Very persuasive!

Today we have responses from two more creationist outfits. First, we have the reaction of the creation scientists at the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom. Their headline is Seven Earth-size Planets Discovered.

It was written by Frank Sherwin, M.A. (Note that he touts his Master’s degree.) At the end of the article he’s described as “Research Associate, Senior Lecturer, and Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.” This is his writeup at the Encyclopedia of American Loons. ICR has a bio page on the guy: Frank Sherwin. Here are some excerpts from Sherwin’s post, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Secular scientists are excited about the recent detection of seven Earth-size planets in the constellation Aquarius, a nearby solar system. According to the report, three of the planets orbit a parent star, called TRAPPIST-1, at a distance that would allow water to exist on their surface.

Many evolutionists are giddy with the suggestion that life on one or more of these planets is just around the corner. But this wholly unwarranted extrapolation lies far beyond the known facts. Just because a planet may be positioned for surface water to exist doesn’t mean water is there. Even if liquid water is present does not mean complex organic life is even remotely possible. Evolutionists know the serious biochemical problems of getting life to arise spontaneously from an aquatic environment. Water’s structure causes interfering side reactions that would prevent, not promote, the simplistic “just add water” idea of life’s origin. In addition, spontaneous-forming molecules could never put themselves together to produce a living cell; such an event requires purpose, plan, and special creation. Such an event is nothing less than miraculous.

Impressive, huh? Then Sherwin says:

The philosophy of naturalism is seen in the scientists’ appeal to deep evolutionary time: “TRAPPIST-1 is at least 500 million years old,” and “it will live for another 10 trillion years,” and a convenient exit if life is not found, “Even if the planets do not have life now, it could evolve.” Throughout the article words such as “could,” “believed,” “prospect,” “hope,” “maybe,” “possible,” and “even if” appear. This is wishful speculation, not empirical science.

That’s essentially the same reaction as Klinghoffer’s, which isn’t very surprising, considering that they’re both creationists.

After that, we have the reaction from Answers in Genesis (AIG) — the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia. Their title is Discovery of 7 Earth-Sized Planets Orbiting Star TRAPPIST-1. It was written by one of ol’ Hambo’s creation scientists — Danny Faulkner. Here’s AIG’s biographical information about him. They say he taught physics and astronomy until he joined AIG. His undergraduate degree is from Bob Jones University.

After describing the discovery, and emphasizing that as yet we know little about conditions on the planets in the TRAPPIST system, Danny says, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

The team found that three of the seven planets, e, f, and g, lie in the habitable zone of their star. Planet f has the least uncertainty in its density, but it also has the lowest density, 60% of earth. It is not clear if this planet has enough gravity to maintain an atmosphere proper for life. The masses and densities of the other two planets have much higher uncertainties, so it is unclear whether they have the proper composition.

In other words, nothing definite is known — at least not yet — so creationists aren’t worried. Not much, anyway. Moving along:

There have been many extrasolar planets touted as being “earth-like.” As always is the case, the details indicate that the conclusion is far less certain than most people realize. This is the case of the most recent announcement of three earth-like planets orbiting TRAPPIST-1. Several assumptions must be true for any of these planets truly to be earth-like, and there are reasons to believe that, like the others, there is far less here than thought. As far as we know for certain, there are no earth-like planets.

Hooray! Then he says:

A different analysis indicated a 25% chance of the planetary system undergoing disruption within a million years, and only an 8.1% chance of surviving a billion years. According to the evolutionary timeframe, it took three billion years for higher life to develop on earth, so these results are a serious problem for the possibility of life on the planets orbiting TRAPPIST-1.

Danny’s final sentence is a real zinger. He tells us:

Or perhaps it is evidence that this system is not very old at all.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Still more evidence for the recent creation of the universe — if one ignores all the contrary evidence.

So there you are, dear reader. The big three creationist websites are unanimous. The discovery of seven Earth-sized planets orbiting the dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 doesn’t do a thing to strengthen the view of those wicked Darwinists. All the evidence supports creationism. It always has; it always will. Oh yeah!

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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More Weird Legislation Proposed in Florida

You may recall a few weeks ago when we wrote Florida Bills Allow Religion in Public Schools. Although they weren’t the typical bills inspired by the Discovery Institute, we thought they were worth mentioning. We quoted the Orlando Sentinel, which said:

Florida needs a new law to protect “religious expression in public schools” and to make sure students aren’t discriminated against, if they share religious beliefs in their school work, according to two state lawmakers. Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala and Rep. Kimberly Daniels, D-Jacksonville, filed the bills (SB 436, HB 303) to create a new “religious liberties act.”

[…]

The identical bills say, among other things, that students could not be penalized for expressing religious views in “coursework, artwork or other written and oral assignments” and must have their work judged based on academic standards not religious content.

That was bad enough, but now Florida has taken another step backwards. Our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE). just posted Antiscience bills in Florida. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

A pair of bills introduced in the Florida legislatureHouse Bill 989 and Senate Bill 1210are ostensibly aimed at empowering taxpayers to object to the use of specific instructional materials in the public schools, for example on the grounds that they fail to provide “a noninflammatory, objective, and balanced viewpoint on issues.” There is reason to believe that evolution and climate change are among the targets.

NCSE mentions that two similar bills were introduced in Florida and failed in 2016. We wrote about them here: Florida Creationism: New Bills for 2016. But this year’s effort is a bit different. NCSE says:

Currently, Florida parents unhappy with instructional materials are entitled to complain to their local school board, whose decision is final. HB 899 and SB 1018 in 2016 would have allowed any taxpayer to complain to the local school board, and moreover allow the appeal of a negative result to a circuit court to seek damages and/or injunctive relief. HB 989 and SB 1210 in 2017 would allow any taxpayer to complain, but not allow a further appeal.

If last year’s bills passed and had become law, Ma and Pa Drool could have taken their passion for creationism to court. This year’s bills don’t provide that option. No loss, really — such suits are certain to fail. Anyway, dropping the litigation option is an improvement — but it may be the only improvement. Other parts of this year’s bills are every bit as bad as before.

NCSE tells us:

Currently, instructional materials used in Florida’s schools must be consistent with the state science standards. HB 989 and SB 1210, like their predecessors, would allow that instructional materials may be alternatively be consistent with “standards that are equivalent to or better than the applicable state standards.” No criteria for assessing the relative quality of standards are provided.

No standards at all — that’s great! Deranged teachers will have the opportunity to jam Noah’s Ark into the classroom. Or intelligent design. Both Hambo and the Discoveroids should approve of this legislative effort.

Well, dear reader, that’s the latest from Florida. Interestingly, the legislature in that state is still getting organized. They won’t officially convene until 07 March, and they’ll stay in session until 05 May. We’ll be watching.

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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