We found some interesting news at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), one of the major sources of young-earth creationist wisdom. AIG is the online creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia.
Ol’ Hambo is the impresario of imbecility, the authority on absurdity, the producer of poppycock, the tycoon of tomfoolery. He’s the brains behind the infamous, mind-boggling Creation Museum — which has become the North American Mecca for the mindless.
Not only that, he’s also trying to raise funds for his proposed replica of Noah’s Ark — a “full-scale, all-wood ark based on the dimensions provided in the Bible (Genesis 6), using the long cubit.” This bizarre project has its own website: Ark Encounter. We’ve written about it several times, for example: Ken Ham Announces Noah’s Ark Theme Park, and recently Ken Ham on the Meaning of His Ark Park.
Today the AIG website has a progress report for us. It’s Final Piece of Land for Full-size Ark Purchased, subtitled “Ark Encounter moves forward; $5 million in donations, other updates.” Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us and AIG’s links omitted:
Passing another significant milestone, the Ark Encounter, LLC, closed today on the last and largest piece of land for its planned development on an 800-acre site in Williamstown, Ky., off Interstate 75 (south of Cincinnati). Under the direction of Answers in Genesis (AiG), a full-scale Noah’s Ark will be constructed as the featured attraction at the Ark Encounter. Research indicates the Ark Encounter will draw well over a million people in its first year.
Thrilling, huh? Wait ’til you read this:
In addition, the completion of complex engineering and architectural work on the Ark structure has allowed for significantly greater guest capacity inside the Ark than originally anticipated. This finding has eliminated the need to build additional biblical attractions simultaneously to accommodate the projected crowds.
That makes no sense. They haven’t changed the dimensions of the Ark, so they’ve known from the start how much interior space it would have. It sounds like this “discovery” of extra space is an excuse for not building the extra attractions they had planned. And not building the extra attractions won’t “accommodate” the projected crowds — it’ll be a lost opportunity to sell additional tickets for the extra goodies. As we reported here: Ken Ham’s Ark Park Gets Tax Incentives, the Ark Park was going to include “a Tower of Babel, petting zoos and other live animals and an assortment of Bible-themed exhibits.” Now they’re putting the Tower of Babel and the other attractions on hold. That same post also reported:
Mike Zovath, senior vice president of the Ark Encounter project, would not disclose the major investors in the project but said that project backers are still raising money and hope to have all of the $150 million needed for initial construction by the end of June .
Does it sound to you, dear reader, like the money isn’t rolling in as rapidly as anticipated? Let’s read on:
Accordingly, the Ark Encounter will be built in multiple phases over many years, with the Ark and other supporting elements opening during phase one. This approach will reduce the initial construction period and funding requirements. It will also allow the utility infrastructure to be able to grow with the Ark Encounter’s expansions at a reasonable pace. Phased-in construction is also a safe way to proceed in a difficult economy.
Yup, there’s definitely a money shortage. We continue:
Even then, over $5 million in donations have already been received for the building of the Ark itself. In addition to that milestone, many more millions of dollars in memberships and private funding have been raised or committed for the construction of the other attractions surrounding the Ark, the centerpiece of the project.
It’s worse than we thought. They were predicting they’d raise $150 million by last June, for everything, but so far they’ve only got $5 million for the Ark. That’s a serious shortfall. Here’s more:
AiG continues to be encouraged to see that even in a difficult economy, thousands of supportive people have already made donations to the full-size Ark (including through the “Pegs, Planks, and Beams” sponsorship program) or have purchased boarding passes (lifetime Ark memberships). Now that the land has been secured, AiG — as more revenue is received — has the next milestone in its sights for the ambitious project: groundbreaking.
Groundbreaking — Wow! Maybe we’ll fly up there for the ceremony. Well, maybe not. They haven’t scheduled it yet — but it’s in their sights. One last excerpt:
“The Ark Encounter, LLC, and AiG continue to trust the Creator of the Universe to supply the needed funds for this project, just as He did with our successful Creation Museum, even with some bumps along the way in its construction,” said co-founder and CCO Mark Looy.
Some “bumps along the way.” That’s okay, we’re confident that ol’ Hambo will see it through. The world desperately needs a replica of Noah’s Ark.
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