Big Thrill — Opening Date for Ken Ham’s Ark

This is the news you’ve been waiting for. It’s at the website of the Ark Encounter project, a religious theme park under construction in northern Kentucky, promoted by Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia. He’s famed for his creationist ministry, Answers in Genesis (AIG) and for the mind-boggling Creation Museum.

They just posted Ark Encounter to Open July 7. Isn’t that exciting? Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Ken Ham, founder and president of Answers in Genesis and visionary behind the Ark Encounter, announced today at a press conference on the Ark that the massive re-creation of Noah’s Ark will open to the public July 7, 2016. In looking for a creative strategy for comfortably accommodating the anticipated crowds, the Ark Encounter will be open for “40 days and 40 nights” during its first 40 days of operation, in reference to the 40 days and 40 nights of rain as the Flood commenced. AiG anticipates starting normal hours of operation after August 15 unless crowds continue to be large.

Forty days and forty nights? [*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] The news continues:

“We are so excited that the construction progress and schedule landed on this 7/7 date. Genesis 7:7 states that Noah and his family entered the Ark. So it’s fitting we allow the public to enter the life-size Ark on 7/7,” Ham said.

A biblical prophecy! [*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] Let’s read on:

“While the Ark Encounter will be able to accommodate 16,000 guests per day, our consultant’s research has shown that we could possibly expect more than that during the first few weeks of opening, especially during the summer time frame,” Ham continued. “So, to make sure this themed attraction remains an enjoyable experience for everyone, we are adding a nighttime shift for the first 40 days.”

Try to imagine all those droolers assembled in one place. It’s going to be the event of the century! Hey — look at this:

Ham added, “Some supporters who have been watching the construction of the huge ship have said they believe this Ark will be one of the ‘new wonders of the modern world.’”

No doubt about it! Here’s more:

In addition to announcing the project’s opening date, Ham confirmed that the majority of the funding for the Ark Encounter’s first phase has been raised — about $80 million of the $91.5 million needed. Ham is confident the rest will come in before construction is completed, including through sales of Ark memberships (called boarding passes).

Your Curmudgeon has never been so thrilled. We’re making plans to be there during the historic 40 days and 40 nights. We have no doubt, dear reader, that you’ll be there too.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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40 responses to “Big Thrill — Opening Date for Ken Ham’s Ark

  1. Aw, gees, I’ve got something else planned. (For all 40 days and nights?) Yes, for them all.

  2. Well it is a wonder! I WONDER why anyone would bother to visit it!

  3. Headline from the grand opening:

    Drool from 16,000 floats “replica” ark.

  4. The Biblically appropriate date would have been “the seventeeth day of the second month” when the Flood began (Genesis 7:11), corresponding to some date in October or November in terms of our current calendar. But of course, Ham isn’t going to lose months of business waiting for the proper date in late autumn, so let’s make it JULY instead. Hey, it’s summer in Kentucky and the sun shines …

    … or even if it rains on Opening Day, Ham can interpret that as a timely and welcome omen!

  5. If the ark stays open continuously for 40 days and nights, they may not be able to clean the restrooms. But hey, that could lend an “air” of authenticity to the whole thing. Word to the wise – if planning to visit the ark during the first 40 days, try to get there on one of the first days rather than later on.

  6. They speak of guests. But my guess is that the “guests” will be expected to pay.

  7. michaelfugate

    Do you think that is how Noah financed the first Ark? Did he get people to pay upfront and shut the door on them when the rains came? Ham is promising heaven – can he deliver?

  8. michaelfugate says: “Ham is promising heaven – can he deliver?”

    Can you afford the risk of betting that he’s wrong?

  9. michaelfugate

    If Hell is the absence of the god Ham worships, I think I am better off in Hell.

  10. After 40 days and nights there might enough drool to float the ark.

  11. So when do the animals get to sleep?

  12. I’m interested in seeing two of each kind. When do the animals begin the trek to Kentucky? Will there be satellite coverage? Thank you Curmudgeon for the save-the-date notice.

  13. michaelfugate

    From the Guardian:

    Unlike Noah’s handcrafted bateau, Ark Encounter will not hold livestock. Regarding the question of how Noah would have managed to fit two of all the world’s animals into his ark, [Dr Nathaniel] Jeanson [a research biologist at Answers in Genesis] said it was a misconception that all the animals of today were stuffed into the ship’s hull.

    Instead, according to young earth creationists, it was the ancestors of modern-day species that were taken by Noah, and the animals we know today descended from those: for example pigs and horses came from one male and one female bovid herded on to the ark.

    Horses are bovids? different family, different order.

  14. A ship of fools floundering in a sea of drool.

  15. I won’t be going anytime soon, but I must admit I have my eye on that Resin Ark Replica. And it’ll only set you back $4.95! Unlike the real exhibit ark, that bad boy actually floats (Watch it though, small enough to go down some drains!)
    If I was Hambo I wouldn’t wait until a Biblical signficant date comes up. Still have the “official opening” on July 11, but offer a “sneak peak” and charge a premium and limit the audience size. I figure Hambo’s wasting a whole good month of summer. One advantage is that the “sneak peak” doesn’t require all the exhibits and the ark to be finished, in fact if they are still putting it together it would add to the allure.

  16. bovid
    If the taxonomic family represent a “kind”, then there is a lot of diversity to “micro”evolve. Some of the bovids: sheep, goats, antelopes, bison, and cattle. Wikipedia says that there are 143 extant species – and, get this – 300 extinct species. Just think, after the Ark landed, there were 300 species of bovids which evolved only to go extinct in that short time. And the Bible gives a hint as to how short a time that was, for in the story of Abraham (who lived about 2000 BC, well less than 1000 years after the Flood) we hear of distinctions between and among sheep, goats and cattle.

  17. michaelfugate

    I should add that pigs are bovids either, but they are in the Cetartiodactyla which does contain bovids.

  18. @MichaelFugate – WRT Horses are bovids? different family, different order. Which brings to mind the saying, ‘To err is human, to “moo” is bovine.’

  19. If horses evolved from bovids, why are there still bovids?

  20. @Ed Why are there still bovids? I for one refuse to be cowed with this argument.

  21. michaelfugate

    I love that when one tries to look at the animals the crack creation “scientists” believe to have been on the Ark, one gets ” we haven’t figured it out yet, but we’re working on it.” Do they start with the size of the boat and work backwards to the number that fit? The Bible is no help here – so what’s a creationist to do? Also, due to the rapid evolution required after disembarking 4000 years ago, one would almost have to think that God would have created new animals for the Ark with extra-special, deluxe genomes.

  22. Ham’ll have the novelty shops working day and night turning out replica baubles of arks and other artifacts for the “guests.” In addition, I’m sure there will be food vendors selling their $10.00 hot dogs in ark replica buns to be washed down with 40 day old sodas and $7.00 single scoop ice cream in ark holders, spoons extra.

  23. Dear Curmudgeon et al: This Los Angeles Times opinion piece really torques my jaw. I haven’t commented yet, but intend to. This auxiliary bishop of the Los Angeles diocese basically claims science for Christians, uses God of the Gaps and Argument from Incredulity freely and without restraint in his war on ‘scientism’. Sigh.

    http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-1112-barron-religion-scientism-20151112-story.html

  24. Does one bring hip waders for the bull feces or a raft to float on the drool?

    Maybe the dung will form “floating mats” just like in the Flood and visitors will only need snow shoes to walk on the viscous mats?

    I think the real winner in any scenario is the nearest sporting goods store.

  25. On kinds: if horses, pigs, and goats all rapidly evolved from one mating pair of the bovid kind (for argument’s sake), that would mean those later species would not have existed before the flood. Or am I missing something? Adam couldn’t have named all the animals if they hadn’t yet evolved. I mean, the chances of a species evolving into an identical form that was specially created by a diety – and later drowned in a giant deluge at the hands of that diety – have to be vanishingly small.

    Anyway, I’m most interested in seeing how Noah took care of the Pinniped kind on the Ark.

  26. michaelfugate

    I can’t find anything in Genesis about rapid evolution within “kinds” after leaving the Ark. Does Kenny have a special edition with footnotes?

  27. @Maezeppa: it’s no coincidence either that modern science showed up in Europe only after 15 centuries of christianity, including 10 centuries of stagnation in totally christian Byzantium.

  28. Do I need to point out that this may not go over well in the UK? 7/7 is the date for the London bombings of 2005. I don’t know if it has the same cachet as “9/11” would have for an American, but still.

  29. Ham added, “Some supporters who have been watching the construction of the huge ship have said they believe this Ark will be one of the ‘new wonders of the modern world.’”

    Let’s see him make it float. With a full crew and a full load of animals.

  30. Bovids, pigs, etc. — doesn’t Ham come from pigs? And if Kentucky gives Kenny boy the tax break he’s looking for, that would be a lot of pork.

    Well, time to stop horsing around and evolve rapidly. Guess I’ve milked this for all it’s worth, but then again, isn’t that a mammalian trait? (He asks sheepishly. Sorry if I got your goat.)

  31. Mark Germano:
    “Anyway, I’m most interested in seeing how Noah took care of the Pinniped kind on the Ark.”

    Oh, they got along swimmingly. After all, they had Noah’s seal of approval.

  32. Even if the Ark Park isn’t finished yet, Ham will open on 7/7 come Hell or high water.

  33. This blog link gets into Hambo’s tax sleight of hand. Hambo skirts the boundary between being a tax exempt church and a lucrative business. Something I didn’t know, only the ark itself is paid for by private donations. The surrounding land is subsidized. In the end Hambo is going to take the northern Kentucky rubes to the cleaners and walk away with a big bag of money.
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2015/11/11/what-ken-ham-isnt-telling-you-about-ark-encounter-funding/

  34. Like many Americans, I grew up as a small child with stories and books about the ark, the animals, the flood, the dove returning with an olive twig
    etc. Church groups are going to love this thing. It’s not going away.

  35. I have a feeling that RSG is (well, as far as I can Sea) Lion’ to me.

  36. retiredsciguy says: “Well, time to stop horsing around and evolve rapidly. Guess I’ve milked this for all it’s worth …”

    Buck up and stop worrying that you’ll make a jackass of yourself. You’re not hogging all the fun, and even if you were, thanks for the yaks.

  37. @Och Will:
    I tend to agree with you, but I wonder how many kids are going to be disappointed by not seeing the giraffes sticking their heads up out of the Ark.
    And where are the lions? (Or is the “felid kind” represented by a pair of house cats?) Isn’t it going to be boring?

  38. Warren Johnson

    Where are the kangaroos, and wallabies, and koalas? We know they were able to get from the first Ark to Austraila, so why couldn’t they get to Kentucky? I am gonna be heartbroken if they aren’t waiting in the parking lot.

  39. Eddie Janssen

    I am still wondering about life on earth in the first year after the Ark. Apart from the obvious problem of the two felines and the two bovines there is the problem of a completely destroyed ecosystem. How is any animal going to survive in these conditions.

  40. @Eddie Janssen:
    For example, how many plants survive being under miles of water? What was left for the herbivores to eat? Ecology was one of the sciences which were not highly developed in the Ancient Near East when the stories of the Flood were composed.