Ken Ham’s Ark Park: A Flood of Problems

This story is in Yahoo! News: Noah’s Ark theme park wants to show the Flood was “plausible”. It’s all about Ark Encounter — the latest project of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) and his online creationist ministry, Answers in Genesis (AIG). They’re described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page.

It’s been a few months since we wrote Ken Ham’s Ark Park — Latest Update, and we know how concerned you are about ol’ Hambo’s holy endeavors, so we’ll give you a few excerpts from the Yahoo! story, with bold font added by us for emphasis. Much of this is old news, especially the part about fund raising and permitting delays, but it’s good to see it again. Here we go:

The project is currently in the design phase. Not enough private donations have come in to start construction, and building permits will not be ready until November, according to Ark Encounter co-founder and Senior Vice President Michael Zovath. The project has $12.3 million in hand and $12.7 million more in committed donations; it needs $23 million more to start building the ark alone. Zovath does not know when that will happen.

We already knew that, but now it gets interesting:

Like Noah before the Flood, the builders are in a bit of a time crunch, since Kentucky tourism tax incentives for the project are set to expire in May 2014. The longer it takes to start building the $150 million park, originally planned to open in spring 2014, the less the project stands to gain from the rebates, which allow it to receive up to 25 percent of project costs over 10 years from sales taxes generated by the business.

Oh, how horrible! What will Hambo do? Let’s read on:

Zovath said the project may refile for the incentives, which critics argue are a violation of the constitutional divide between church and state. If the rebates applied to the full project cost, they could amount to $37.5 million.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! The tax rebate scheme was controversial the first time around. See Kentucky’s Governor Is a Flaming Idiot. It’ll be fun watching them go through that all over again. The story continues:

Attendance at the Creation Museum has declined since it attracted 400,000 visitors in the first year after its 2007 opening, said Zovath. He attributes this to the poor economy and believes some visitors may be delaying their visits until the ark exhibit opens.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! At the rate things are going, those people won’t be visiting Hambo’s wonderland for a long time. Here’s more:

The Creation Museum was condemned by the National Center for Science Education, which said that students who accept material presented at the museum as valid are “unlikely to succeed in science courses at the college level.” Many Biblical scholars interpret the Creation and Flood stories as poetic myths and not history.

Those “scholars” are gonna be in big trouble one day. Moving along:

[Patrick Marsh, design director for the park,] said that while you can be a Christian without believing in creationism, you are on a “slippery slope.” “So many people have gotten hooked with the concept of evolution that it really makes their faith very delicate,” he said.

And we know where that slippery slope ends — the Lake of Fire! Another excerpt:

Barry Lynn, a United Church of Christ minister who heads Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said the planned park promotes “junk science.”

“You don’t pay for the ministry of people out of the taxpayer’s collected dollars,” said Lynn, who said his group will consider a lawsuit if the tax breaks for the ark ever kick in.

Why is there always someone who wants to make trouble for ol’ Hambo? Anyway, there’s lots more to the Yahoo! story. Click over there and read it all.

We’ll close with a prediction: Regardless of the obstacles, Hambo will prevail. Why do we think that? Isn’t it obvious? He’s on the right side!

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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13 responses to “Ken Ham’s Ark Park: A Flood of Problems

  1. Ken Ham’s Ark is all about the flood — that is, it is about the flood of money he hoped to draw in.

    From that article:

    Attendance at the Creation Museum has declined since it attracted 400,000 visitors in the first year after its 2007 opening, said Zovath. He attributes this to the poor economy and believes some visitors may be delaying their visits until the ark exhibit opens.

    More likely, the museum is just boring so people aren’t finding a reason for a return visit.

  2. MontyMoose

    I would pay to see a diorama of dinosaurs and unicorns drowning.

  3. Neil Rickert surmises, “More likely, the museum is just boring so people aren’t finding a reason for a return visit.”

    Bingo!

  4. I disagree with Barry Lynn of A.U. that the tax kickbacks would violate church-state separation. For one thing the Ark encounter would be a secular business without tax exemption, another is that any other theme park would get the sale tax rebate. That said I look forward to the day the ark encounter goes bankrupt and is re-purposed as the museum of Biblical absurdities.

  5. Let’s do the maths … I’ve been following the rate of donation at arkencounter.com for the last 58 days. Daily average in that period: $ 5,034. They intend to raise $ 24,500,000 but still lack $ 11,689,839. The grand goal would seem to be six years and four months away. Unless some nice old lady with fundamentalist convictions and VERY deep pockets suddenly warms up to Ken Ham, they are not going to make the May 2014 deadline. It could easily be 2020 before they can start building anything, if ever.

  6. Hambo could raise the requisite cash by selling guaranteed berths on his Ark in preparation for the approaching Apocalypse. $10,000 gets you an entry level hammock down in the bilge, $25,000 for a shared cabin on the ‘poop’ deck, and a cool million for a starboard Stateroom with a dining place at the Captain’s table. Shuffleboard is free.

    OK, OK, so you know and I know the thing ain’t seaworthy, but the True Believer suckers won’t know that, and it’s manifest that Hambo can have no scruples about fleecing the deeply gullible…

  7. H.K. math can do what 40 days of rain can not do, sink the ark. I suspect they’d have more luck getting Trekkies to crowdsource a full scale replica of the Enterprise…Make it so!

  8. @ Troy: you called it. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TIh1fxlqIoY&feature=fvwrel
    Maybe skip ahead to about 2:50.

  9. The whole truth

    “[Patrick Marsh, design director for the park,] said that while you can be a Christian without believing in creationism…”

    Huh? What? Creation of the universe, and especially the ‘special creation of man in God’s image’, are fundamental to christianity.

  10. Troy: “I suspect they’d have more luck getting Trekkies to crowdsource…

    Sshh!! Don’t give Ol’ Hambo any ideas about crowdsourcing!

  11. @The whole truth special creation of man in God’s image

    Please clarify: Is that “man” as a species (or “kind”) or “man” as an individual? Be wary of the fallacies of composition and division.

    The concept of species didn’t exist until rather late (early modern times). (And, of course, “baramin” is a 20th-century concept.)

  12. docbill1351

    Like everything else about creationism the Creation Museum is static. It tells one story, has some robots and that’s it. There is no reason for a return visit to see the same old, same old again.

    When the project fails, and that’s only a matter of time, what happens to the donations? Well, they’ve already spent it! I don’t think the engineering firm working on the plans is working for free. Somebody’s getting a salary at this very moment. Those donations are going into somebody’s bank account.

    How many jobs has the Ark Park created? None. How many tourists has it brought in? None. What are the prospects of A and B happening? None.

    As far as I know, no work has been done on the physical site. There was a blurb some years ago about putting an exit from the freeway to the park but that work hasn’t started, either. There is no way, even with a miracle, they’ll get anything built by Spring, 2014. It’s totally laughable.

  13. What passes for information is static?